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Hiking Adventures: Perfect for Family Trips or Romantic Getaways

Are you interested in taking a trip?  Whether you are looking to take a traditional trip with your family or go on a romantic getaway, have you ever thought about going on a hiking adventure?  Hiking adventures are nice because they are great for just about everyone, as well as just about any occasion.

One of the many reasons why hiking is great for both romantic getaways and family trips is because hiking trials come in a number of different formats.  In the United States, you will find hiking trails that are designed for beginners, hiking trails that are designed for experts, as well as those that are at the intermediate hiking level.  This is great if you are planning on hiking with your children, as you should be able to find a number of hiking trails that would be easy for them to hike.

As for romantic getaways, one of the many reasons why hiking is perfect for a romantic getaway is because of the scenery. The scenery is one of the many reasons why hiking is such a popular activity.  No matter what hiking trail you choose to hike, there is a good chance that you will come across a wide array of landscape.  Many hiking trails are set next to rivers; therefore, there is a good chance that you will get to see some waterfalls. These waterfalls, as well as the other scenery types that you may come across are perfect for romantic getaways.

In keeping with romantic getaways, hiking adventures can last as short as a few hours or as long as a whole week.  Many individuals who go hiking choose to stay onsite, often at an onsite campground.  This is nice, as when you are camping you are one with nature.  This setting is perfect for privacy, as well as romance.  As for family vacations, camping overnight at a hiking park is also nice, as it adds another fun activity for you and your family to enjoy.  If you are planning on hiking with your children, there is a good chance that they would find the camping part just as exciting as the hike itself.

Speaking of activities, when you go hiking, you will likely end up visiting a hiking park. Hiking parks are often home to a number of different hiking trails. In addition to being home to a number of hiking trails, as well as a campground, you will also likely find a number of other activities for you and your family or you and your romantic partner to participate in. For instance, it is not uncommon for a hiking park to have a playground or a swimming pool. This means that you and whoever else you are with may enjoy playing a few outdoor games or going for a swim. In today’s society, hiking isn’t just about hiking anymore.

As you can see, from being outlined above, hiking is the perfect way to spend your next family vacation or even your next romantic getaway.  If you are interested in enjoying a hiking adventure, you may want to think about making your reservations in advance.  While you may not necessarily need a reservation to just go hiking, you may need one if you are interested in camping out overnight.  Making your reservations in advance will help to ensure that your next hiking and camping adventure is as memorable as possible.

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Beautiful Vancouver, City of the Sea & Mountains

As one flies over Vancouver during the decent into the Canadian city’s airport, the surrounding beautiful natural scenery is already noticed with mountains on one side and the sea on the other.  Once inside the baggage claim area of the international airport, visitors are greeted with large Pacific Northwest Coast Indian art carvings.  This adds to the overall flavour of nature and the environment that makes Vancouver so different from other major cities.  When driving along Granville Street towards the city centre, one can’t help but notice that the trees and hedges in the residential areas are so much larger and taller than the ones we normally see elsewhere.

One of the locals claims that the superior growth of the area’s plant life is due to the huge amount of rainfall.  Vancouver is close to both the ocean and the mountain range so lots of rain is expected.  In fact, the rain here can actually be a problem as grey skies, especially during the winter months, are one of the few negatives of living in Vancouver.  Fortunately, there is very little snowfall within the city so for Vancouverites; it is a trade-off of some sort to have to deal with rain rather than shovelling snow during their winters.  As for tourists, the best time to visit Vancouver is the least wet season which is during the summer months.  I’ve been told by another local that September is one of the best months to visit.  When the sun is shining in Vancouver with both the ocean and mountains as the background, it really doesn’t get any better.

Stanley Park on the west side of downtown Vancouver is the most visited attraction.  A drive around the island will reveal great photo spots of both the city and the ocean.  Vancouver’s Aquarium is also on site in Stanley Park as well as a magnificent collection of Pacific Northwest Coastal Indian art totem poles.  Of course, one can always marvel at the tall trees which seem to touch the skies here.  The Lion’s Gate Suspension Bridge connects Stanley Park with North Vancouver on the other side of the harbour.  On the north side is Grouse Mountain, the area’s closest ski resort to the city that has turned into an all year round attraction.  During the non-winter months, one can take the gondola up Grouse mountain for some wonderful hiking and views of the Vancouver skyline.  The Capilano Suspension Bridge which visitors walk across to a nice nature area is another must see nearby.  One of the cuisine highlights in the British Columbia province is the salmon and one of the best restaurants to sample it is the Salmon House in adjacent West Vancouver.  Dinner there with the Pacific Northwest Coast Indian art décor and spectacular night-time views of the city is one of the best ways to finish off a day of sightseeing.

Back in downtown Vancouver, the Gastown district is one of the top tourist areas for boutique shopping and souvenirs.  Don’t miss the steam clock that rings on the hour.  Vancouver has one of the largest Asian communities in North America so the Chinatown nearby as expected has some of the best dim sum luncheons outside of Hong Kong.  Further boutique shopping can be found in the Yaletown and Granville Island districts.

If time permits, one of the recommended day trips to do out of Vancouver is to drive up the Sea & Sky highway to Whistler, one of North America’s largest ski resorts. During the off ski season, Whistler is all season resort with many activities such as hiking, biking, festivities and shopping in the village.  A ride up the gondola here will enable visitors to get a bird’s eye view of the majestic Canadian Rockies mountain range.   The drive itself to Whistler, about two and a half hours along the coastline, offers many wonderful scenic points as well.

Vancouver is a great city to visit as one can really see how a major city can still be in very scenic surroundings.  For those coming to Vancouver as the departure port of a cruise to either Hawaii or Alaska, it is highly recommended to allocate at least a full day before or after the cruise to see what the city has to offer.  As I mentioned before, on a sunny day with the sea on one side and the mountains on the other, Vancouver is really hard to beat.

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Barbados Holidays

Barbados

When considering a travel holiday to the Caribbean Barbados is considered by many to be the best choice of islands with its beautiful beaches, high standard of living, and amazing people.  Whether you are in the market for total relaxation or a holiday packed with activities and parties Barbados will not disappoint.

Barbados, located in the southern Caribbean, is the most easterly of the Caribbean islands, located at Latitude 13° north and Longitude 59° 37W. This isolated pear-shaped island is for 21 miles long and 14 miles wide at its widest point, giving it a total land area of 166 square miles.

 Barbadians or Bajans

This is what Barbados locals call themselves are among the most educated people in the world with free education a right of each and every Barbadian citizen.

Although there a many private doctors and clinics on the island providing excellent care.  Health care on Barbados is also guaranteed to every citizen and the standard of care is high.

The island’s lone airport. The Grantley Adams International Airport is one of the most modern in the Caribbean and is serviced by many major airlines including Air Canada, American Airlines, British Airways, Air Jamaica, BWIA International and Virgin Atlantic.

 The Island of Barbados

This charming island of Barbados is made up mainly of coral limestone and is fringed with coral reefs.  However, the north-eastern part of the island or The Scotland District which runs through the parishes of St. John, St. Joseph and St Andrew is comprised of sandstone and clay. This area is well known for its lush vegetation and spectacular scenery and is covered in most if not all island tours.

The island is characterized by gently sloping; terraced plains which rise west to east to its highest point mount Hillaby at 1100 ft.

Most of the development in the island of Barbados can be found along the south and west coasts of the island with the Capital Bridgetown at its centre.  Most hotels on Barbados are also located on the south or west coasts of the island, with the south coast being the most active, the hotels on the south coast in general tend to be mostly 2 to 4 star hotels with many no frills accommodation available while the west coast is where most of the luxury hotels are located, including the exclusive Sandy Lane Hotel, although there are exceptions to the rule in both instances.

The crystal clear ocean of Barbados beaches provide the perfect setting for days spent at the beach engaged in water or beach activities including jet-skiing, surfing, kiteboarding, windsurfing, kayaking, parasailing, sailing, water skiing, snorkelling, wakeboarding and scuba diving.  There is also deep sea fishing, boat cruises boat charters available.  For the true water enthusiast there are rentals available for almost all disciplines including scuba gear, surfboards, kayaks and kite equipment.  Lessons are available for almost all water activities as well.

If you were to travel the coast of Barbados you would find the calm waters of the west coast meeting the small shore break conditions of the south getting increasingly rougher as we come around the east with the Atlantic waves rolling in and finally the equally rough conditions of the north battering the cliffs.

Transport

Transportation on the island is also excellent with the Transport Board which is government run and Route Taxi’s providing excellent coverage to just about every conceivable destination.  In addition there are many taxis and Rental Car companies available for those who wish to travel at their own convenience.

The nightlife on Barbados is very varied and ranges from the cultural rum shops to modern nightclubs, beach bars, pubs and also some of the best restaurants to be found anywhere in the Caribbean. This is Barbados at its very best.

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A Few Simple Steps To Booking Cruise Travel Deals Online

Best Price Cruises

With online travel suppliers and Internet cruise company’s, they deal with the cruise lines a little differently, and they either pre-purchase cabins at a very low discounted price, or they’re large enough to be directly linked to the cruise lines inventory database system. They are also capable of receiving live updated stateroom information daily and in most cases hourly! With this powerful online system, they can take these updated cabin inventory deals, and pass them directly to the consumer, which offers you the consumer far deeper discounted savings!

 

What this means to you, is that once you understand what these suppliers are offering, you will have a better chance of reserving your favourite cruise in minutes and take advantage of the incredible discounts that could easily range from 20% – 60%, depending on the seasonality, type of itinerary, and actual cruise ship you book.

 

Just make sure that before you make any reservations online, that if you have any doubts, or understanding what your booking, contact the customer service departments via their toll-free numbers, or the cruise lines email, and they will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have prior to booking your next cruise vacation.

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A Vacation To Remember In Iceland

Iceland

As a senior executive for a large multinational corporation, I have been assigned to nine different countries in five different continents over the last 20 years. I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting new people and adapting to new cultures. But perhaps my favourite perk of the job is that it allows me to have my annual vacations in some of the most exotic locations on the planet. My vacation last summer has to count as one of the most surprising and most pleasant of all. It may sound hard to believe, but I really had a grand time spending nearly three weeks in Iceland.

As the name implies, Iceland is constantly covered in ice as more than 11 percent of the country is covered by ice glaciers. I know, that doesn’t sound very cosy, but Iceland’s climate is surprisingly mild and filled with countless geothermal hot spots.

Located in Northern Europe, Iceland is actually a large mountainous island in the North Atlantic that comprises one of the most picturesque places you will ever see. It is never dark in Iceland and nearly the entire landscape is filled with beautiful and colourful wildflowers, especially around the hills that surround the island’s deep fjords. The view of the ocean, mountains and delicate grassy shores is spectacular and breath-taking.

The typical Iceland vacation starts with a cruise from one of the many ports of Europe. You will sail through the country’s beautiful deep natural harbours and witness its quaint farming villages perched delicately on the rocky shores.

Once in Iceland, you will have every opportunity to try their natural hot springs, which are known all over the world and are universally recognized as sort of a native national pastime. Like bears in hibernation, Icelanders enjoy spending most of the winter and much of the summer months blissfully soaking in these springs to pass the long months of night away in relative comfort. It seems like the entire island is filled with these natural hot springs.

Traveling by car around the countryside is a novel experience as well since there is only a single road that traverses the whole rim of the island and affords a majestic view of Iceland’s barren and icy interior.

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