A (near) empty airport. Faisal Mahmood / Reuters
A (near) empty airport. Faisal Mahmood / Reuters
— Rosie Spinks
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Traveling can be a rewarding experience, but it often comes with its fair share of challenges. Rarely is travel one extended period of purely stress-free moments. That would be ideal, but it’s not reality and I can say this after having traveled non-stop for over 20 years. Some of the more common challenges that travelers face are anxiety, stress and motion sickness, all of which can put a damper on your journey. Like I said, travel is hard at times and it can take a toll on our bodies and minds.
Fortunately, I came upon a product that offers a very simple yet effective solution to alleviate these kind of travel-related woes. It’s called the Reliefband.
This product was introduced to me by two friends. They both used it to eliminate nausea associated with motion sickness whenever they are traveling by air or car during their adventures. I did some more research about Reliefband in order to find out how it works and if it could be a genuine solution. While looking for more info, I was also thinking about the small group tours that I lead as there are often travelers who experience some motion sickness on some of the journeys we take.
In the end, this product could very well be a must-have piece of travel gear for those travelers who do suffer from motion sickness, stress or anxiety.
Traveling should be exciting and fulfilling, and free from the discomforts that can often accompany it. With Reliefband, you can now bid farewell to motion sickness, nausea and anxiety, and fully embrace the wonders of exploration. This revolutionary wearable device offers a drug-free, non-invasive and highly effective solution for travelers.
(Note: This blog post is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. If you have specific medical concerns, please consult with a healthcare professional.)
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Let me start off by thanking every one of you who left a suggestion in the comments of my last post (and in emails) about where I should travel next. I really wasn’t expecting such enthusiastic recommendations and every single comment I read put a huge smile on my face.
And as soon as those comments starting piling up I began to spend some time pondering over the suggestions, as well as thinking about my own goals for my upcoming travels and what I wish to accomplish.
In fact, I had originally planned yesterday to be the day that I would sort it all out and make a decision. The idea was that I would use the one and a half hour flight from Cancun, Mexico to Florida to concentrate on choosing my next destination. Flying through the sky at 35,000 feet just seemed like a perfect time to think about travel.
And as the plane took off at 11:31am yesterday morning, I did begin to read through the list of possible travel destinations – which includes Africa, Azerbaijan, Philippines, Colombia, Antarctica, Latvia, Bosnia, Bulgaria, India, Tajikistan, South Korea, China, Japan and many more – I had written down from all of your comments.
However, the reality is that my flight came and went and I was not able to reach a conclusion, not because there were too many options but because my session of travel contemplation did not last very long after take-off.
I believe that it was about 20 minutes into the flight, as we soared high above the western tip of Cuba, that the airplane suddenly dropped straight out of the sky. One second the clouds outside seemed to be far below the airplane and the next second they seemed to be far above.
And I, my friends, was terrified.
Okay, maybe the above was a little bit of an exaggeration.
Perhaps the airplane didn’t exactly ‘drop’ out of the sky. I guess it was more like a quick shake, a little shimmy if you will. Actually, if I remember correctly, the pilot referred to it as a ‘small pocket of turbulence’.
However, it sure felt like more than a ‘small pocket of turbulence’ to me. I braced for the worse and remember thinking that I really should have been kinder to the woman at the airline check-in counter who had confusingly tried to charge me double the normal airport departure tax. Now I was certain that my life was about to end and that was going to be my last thought.
This never used to happen when I traveled on airplanes. But, and I really, really, really, hope that I’m not alone with this, as I get older, it seems that those little moments of normal turbulence have become significantly more frightening.
It’s as if the airplane hits one small ‘bump’ in the sky and the next thing I know the sweet elderly lady next to me is asking if I would be so kind as to release my insanely tight grip on her now black and blue arm.
All it takes is one little hiccup in the air and I immediately reach under my seat (while holding back tears of course) to ensure that my inflatable life vest is in place before lowering myself halfway into the crash position. Of course, I try to pretend that I’m searching for something in my backpack that I’ve placed under the seat in front of me but I’m really just getting ready for the inevitable impact.
I’ve literally flown hundreds of times during my life and for years I loved every single minute of every one of those flights, even those moments when the plane was stuck in turbulence, both small and large pockets. Never did I find such common turbulence to be any reason for worry at all.
But these days, not only do I immediately think my life is in its last precious moments but I’m often unable to concentrate on anything else during the rest of the flight.
I can’t even concentrate enough to watch Kung Fu Panda 2 on my personal entertainment screen. The airplane shakes once and I close my eyes so tightly and my heart beats so quickly that I enter into a twenty minute ‘life flashing before my eyes’ session. And when I finally snap out of it, the damn Panda has somehow discovered inner peace and is now able to redirect cannon fire coming from Lord Shen’s armada. How did that happen? I missed it all.
Well, I suppose this is just something that I need to come to terms with. There is no denying the fact that as I get older, I find myself more and more uncomfortable while flying. Perhaps ‘uncomfortable’ is not even the best description.
‘Scared out of my flipping mind‘ is probably somewhat more accurate.
Has anyone else experienced this? Anyone? Please??
Photos: Brace Position (by kalleboo) / Light Turbulence (by Robert Couse-Baker)
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Paris is one of the world’s most popular travel destinations, attracting millions of visitors each year. Located in the heart of France, the city is known for its stunning architecture, rich history, world-class museums, and unparalleled cuisine. Whether you’re interested in art, fashion, or simply soaking up the ambiance of a beautiful city, Paris has something to offer everyone. The city’s romantic atmosphere, charming neighborhoods, and iconic landmarks make it an ideal destination for couples, families, and solo travelers alike.
However, with so much to see and do, it can be overwhelming to plan a trip to Paris. That’s why it’s important to make sure you experience the best of the city while you’re there. From exploring the city’s historic landmarks and museums to indulging in local cuisine and wandering through charming neighborhoods, there’s no shortage of things to do in Paris. Taking the time to plan your trip and prioritize the activities and sights that interest you the most can help ensure that you have an unforgettable experience in the City of Light.
Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, experiencing the best of Paris can be a truly rewarding experience. From strolling along the Seine River to enjoying a cup of coffee at a cozy cafe, the city offers a wealth of experiences that can’t be found anywhere else in the world. By taking the time to plan your trip and make the most of your time in the city, you can create lasting memories and discover a newfound appreciation for this iconic destination. So if you’re looking for a travel destination that offers beauty, history, culture, and charm, look no further than Paris.
Planning Your Trip
One of the key factors that can make or break your travel experience in Paris is the type of accommodation you choose. The city is home to a wide range of hotels, from budget-friendly options to luxurious five-star properties. While there are certainly plenty of affordable hotels in Paris, we recommend splurging a bit to stay at the best hotels in Paris. These hotels offer a level of service, comfort, and amenities that can greatly enhance your travel experience. From stylish boutique hotels to grand palace hotels, Paris has no shortage of exceptional properties to choose from. Some of the best hotels in the city include the Four Seasons Hotel George V, the Ritz Paris, and the Mandarin Oriental, Paris.
When creating your itinerary for Paris, there are a few key things to consider to help ensure that you have the best possible experience. First, think about what type of traveler you are and what you hope to get out of your trip. Are you interested in art and culture? History? Food and wine? Nightlife? Once you have a sense of what you want to do and see in Paris, you can start planning your itinerary accordingly.
Another key consideration is the time of year you’re planning to visit. Paris is a popular destination year-round, but there are certain times of the year when the city is especially busy or when certain attractions may be closed. For example, the summer months can be crowded and hot, while many museums and restaurants close for vacation in August. On the other hand, the holiday season is a magical time to visit Paris, with festive lights and decorations throughout the city.
Finally, be sure to leave some time for spontaneity and exploration. While it’s important to have a general plan for your trip, some of the best experiences in Paris can come from simply wandering through the city’s neighborhoods, stumbling upon charming cafes and boutiques, and interacting with locals. Don’t be afraid to stray from your itinerary and embrace the spirit of adventure!
Must-visit Landmarks and Attractions
Paris is home to some of the world’s most iconic landmarks and attractions, and no trip to the city would be complete without visiting a few of them. Whether you’re interested in history, art, or simply soaking up the city’s beauty, there’s something for everyone in Paris. Some of the top landmarks and attractions that travelers should visit include:
While Paris is famous for its iconic landmarks and popular neighborhoods, there are many lesser-known things to see and do in the city that are just as impressive. Here are a few examples:
These are just a few examples of the many lesser-known things to see and do in Paris. Whether you’re interested in art, history, nature, or just exploring the city’s hidden corners, there’s something for everyone to discover in this vibrant and captivating city.
To make the most of your visit to each landmark, there are a few tips to keep in mind. First, consider purchasing skip-the-line tickets in advance to avoid long lines and save time. Many popular attractions offer these types of tickets, which allow you to bypass the regular queue and enter the attraction more quickly. Another option is to take a guided tour, which can provide you with additional context and insights into the history and significance of the landmark. Many guided tours also offer skip-the-line access and can help you make the most of your time at the attraction.
In addition to these tips, it’s also important to plan ahead and budget your time wisely. Some of the top landmarks in Paris can be quite crowded, especially during peak travel season, so be sure to factor in wait times and plan your visit accordingly. Finally, don’t forget to bring your camera and take plenty of photos to capture your memories of these iconic landmarks and attractions!
Exploring The City’s Neighborhoods
Paris is a city of many neighborhoods, each with its own distinct character and charm. Exploring these neighborhoods is a great way to get a sense of the city’s rich history, diverse culture, and vibrant street life. Some of the most popular neighborhoods in Paris include:
Each of these neighborhoods has its own unique features and attractions that make it worth a visit. In the Marais, for example, visitors can explore the city’s Jewish history and culture at the Musée d’Art et d’Histoire du Judaïsme or sample delicious falafel at L’As du Fallafel. In Montmartre, visitors can climb the steep steps to the top of the hill for stunning views of the city and explore the winding streets and charming cafes of the neighborhood.
Saint-Germain-des-Prés, meanwhile, is known for its elegant architecture and rich cultural history. Visitors can explore the neighborhood’s many art galleries, bookstores, and cafes, or take a stroll through the picturesque Luxembourg Gardens. No matter which neighborhood you choose to explore, you’re sure to discover something unique and fascinating about this beautiful city!
While Paris is famous for its iconic landmarks and charming neighborhoods, there are also many unique experiences to be had that travelers might not have considered. Here are a few ideas for off-the-beaten-path activities to try:
When planning these unique experiences, it’s important to do your research and book in advance, as many of them require reservations. For example, tickets for the Catacombs often sell out quickly, so it’s best to book in advance to avoid disappointment. Similarly, hot air balloon rides are weather-dependent and should be booked well in advance to ensure availability.
When you’re actually experiencing these activities, it’s important to be open-minded and embrace the adventure. Try to immerse yourself in the experience and enjoy every moment, whether you’re exploring the eerie tunnels of the Catacombs or soaring high above the city in a hot air balloon. And don’t forget to take plenty of photos to capture your memories of these unique and unforgettable experiences!
In summary, Paris is a city that offers endless possibilities for travelers, from iconic landmarks and charming neighborhoods to unique experiences that are off the beaten path. To make the most of your trip to Paris, we recommend staying at one of the city’s best hotels, carefully planning your itinerary to include must-see landmarks and attractions like the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Notre-Dame Cathedral, and the Palace of Versailles, and exploring some of the city’s most popular neighborhoods, such as the Marais, Montmartre, and Saint-Germain-des-Prés.
In addition to these popular activities, there are many unique experiences to be had in Paris, such as visiting the Catacombs, taking a hot air balloon ride, or attending a cabaret show. To make the most of these experiences, it’s important to plan ahead and be open-minded to new adventures.
Finally, we encourage travelers to embrace the spirit of adventure and explore all that Paris has to offer. Whether you’re wandering the streets of the Marais, savoring a croissant at a sidewalk cafe, or taking in the stunning views from the top of the Eiffel Tower, Paris is a city that rewards those who are willing to step outside their comfort zone and embrace the unknown. So don’t be afraid to try something new and make the most of your time in this beautiful and captivating city!
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Dreaming of a trip around Europe during the summer? I always like to say I have two moods: summer in Europe or cozy holiday mode. Well, if you’re in the mindset of summer in Europe — this is for you!
While it’s difficult to narrow down the “best” destinations to visit in Europe during the summer as it truly is up to your preferences and the things you’d like to do, I can definitely provide some suggestions.
First up: if you’re able to travel during the shoulder months, as in May/June and September, you’ll find far fewer crowds. July and August are high seasons, and, I would say avoid August at all costs. Trust me, I visited Greece in August and while it was beautiful…it was PACKED.
The Dalmatian Coast is home to some of the clearest waters in the Mediterranean, making it the perfect destination for swimming, snorkeling, and other water activities. The colors of the water range from turquoise to deep blue, and you’ll be able to see all the way to the bottom!
The Dalmatian Coast is made up of thousands of islands, each one more beautiful than the last. From the historic city of Dubrovnik to the quiet, serene islands of Hvar and Brač, there’s an island for every type of traveler.
For the history buffs, dive into ancient Roman ruins and see the fortified city walls of Dubrovnik. You’ll feel like you’re stepping back in time as you explore this stunning coastal region.
Did you know that some of the best food and wine are found here? Yep, Croatia is a foodie’s paradise! From fresh seafood dishes to hearty meat stews, the cuisine of the Dalmatian Coast is both delicious and hearty.
And don’t even get me started on the wine – the region is famous for its crisp, refreshing whites and rich, full-bodied reds.
You’ll find some of the most stunning beaches in the Mediterranean in Mallorca!
From the bustling Cala Millor to the secluded Cala Deià, there’s a beach for every type of traveler. The crystal-clear waters and soft, white sand make Mallorca the perfect destination for a summer getaway.
Beyond the beaches, Mallorca is also home to some of the most breathtaking countryside in Europe. From the rolling hills to the rugged coastline, the scenery is simply stunning. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a postcard as you explore the island’s beautiful landscapes.
Oh, and for those wanting to dive into culture and history — look no further than the ancient ruins of the Talayots to the Gothic architecture of the capital city of Palma.
Spend your days hiking in the mountains and your nights sipping cocktails on the beach. Whether you’re looking for an action-packed vacation or a peaceful retreat, Mallorca has something for everyone.
The Greek Islands are home to some of the most stunning beaches in Europe, from the bustling party beaches of Mykonos to the secluded coves of Santorini. With crystal-clear waters and soft, white sand, the beaches of the Greek Islands are the perfect place to soak up the sun and relax.
For those looking for a cultural experience, visit the ancient ruins of the Acropolis in Athens to the medieval castles of Rhodes.
Beyond the beaches, the Greek Islands are also home to some of the most breathtaking scenery in Europe. From the dramatic cliffs of Santorini to the rolling hills of Crete, the scenery is simply stunning. You’ll feel like you’re in a postcard as you explore the island’s beautiful landscapes.
The Greek Islands are the perfect destination for those who want a mix of adventure and relaxation. Spend your days exploring ancient ruins and your nights lounging on the beach.
Sardinia, Italy doesn’t always make lists…but it should! It has some of the most stunning beaches, from the famous Costa Smeralda to the secluded Cala Luna.
Whether you’re interested in history, art, or local traditions, Sardinia is brimming with unique things to explore, from the ancient ruins of Nuraghi to the traditional costumes of the island’s rural communities.
The island is famous for its fresh, local ingredients and dishes up hearty seafood plates.
Amalfi Coast is a chart-topper for good reason! The dramatic cliffs, the coastal towns, and the brilliant blue water. The Amalfi Coast is a photographer’s dream!
The Amalfi Coast is the perfect destination for those who want a mix of relaxation and adventure.
Spend your days lounging on the beach and your nights exploring the picturesque villages. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful retreat or an action-packed vacation, the Amalfi Coast has something for everyone.
I’d highly recommend planning well in advance as this is the prime busy season and accommodations book up early. Here are some of the best hotels to stay at on the Amalfi Coast!
Pack your bags and head to the South of France! The gorgeous region of Provence, France is brimming with sun-kissed vineyards, lavender fields, and charming villages.
Spend your days wandering around the rolling hills of the Luberon to the vineyards of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Whether you’re exploring the countryside by bike or by car, you’ll be constantly amazed by the beauty of Provence.
Provence is dotted with charming villages, from the hilltop town of Gordes to the seaside town of Cassis. Each village has its own unique personality and history and is the perfect place to immerse yourself in local culture and traditions.
Whether you’re looking for an action-packed vacation or a peaceful retreat, Provence has something for everyone.
Get ready to pack your bags and escape to a world of sun, sea, and glamour! Whether you’re exploring the coastline by boat or by car, you’ll be constantly amazed by the beauty of the French Riviera.
Whether you’re looking to be pampered in a five-star hotel or to explore local culture and traditions, the French Riviera has something for you. Whether you’re interested in history, art, or local traditions, the French Riviera has something for you.
Imagine spending your days sipping rosé next to the beach, dining on niçoise salads, and then lounging at a chic resort. Sounds like paradise to me!
While Iceland may not be the typical place you imagine during a summer vacation, you should definitely consider it…especially because the weather is GORGEOUS!
Iceland is renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty, from its glaciers and fjords to its hot springs and geysers.
Whether you’re exploring the rugged wilderness or taking a dip in one of the country’s famous hot springs, Iceland’s natural beauty is truly awe-inspiring.
During the summer months, Iceland experiences the “midnight sun” – which means that the sun never sets, and you can enjoy 24 hours of daylight! This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the beauty of the country in a completely different way.
Iceland offers a wealth of unique activities, from glacier hiking and whale watching to horseback riding and kayaking. Whether you’re looking for an adrenaline rush or a more relaxed experience, Iceland has something for everyone.
Iceland is home to a diverse range of wildlife, from puffins and seals to whales and reindeer. During the summer months, you may be able to see puffins, seals, whales, and even reindeer in their natural habitats.
The Azores Islands are renowned for their breathtaking natural beauty, from the lush green landscapes to the dramatic cliffs and pristine beaches. Whether you’re exploring the countryside on horseback or taking a dip in one of the many hot springs, the Azores will leave you in awe.
Offering a wealth of adventure activities, from hiking and surfing to whale watching and snorkeling, it’s the perfect place for someone who wants to be active and explore. Whether you’re looking for an adrenaline rush or a more relaxed experience, the Azores have something for everyone.
The Azores are one of the best places in Europe for whale watching. From June to October, visitors can observe these magnificent creatures in their natural habitats, making for a truly unforgettable experience.
Book your trip to the Azores today and escape to a world of natural beauty, relaxation, and adventure!
Do you have a favorite European summer destination? Let me know in the comments below!
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Orlando, Florida is a great vacation destination for couples, families and more that want to enjoy theme parks, beaches, nature and a wide variety of entertainment. Located in the heart of Florida, Orlando is actually home to more than 50 theme parks and attractions spread across almost 4,000 square miles. With so many things to do, it’s hard to know where to start and planning a trip here can be overwhelming. The good news is that there is something for everyone and with such a diverse range of available activities, it’s difficult not to have a rewarding visit to this destination.
Here’s a list of some of the best ways to enjoy your vacation in Orlando…
Disney World is the most popular theme park in the world, and it’s easy to see why. There are four parks: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom. Each of these theme parks features rides and shows that will excite children and adults alike. You could easily fill up your vacation simply by visiting these four parks. Naturally, if you are coming to Orlando for a vacation, visiting at least one park is probably on your mind. And you should. Choose the one or two that match your interests the most and then spend the rest of your vacation at other places in the region, without the crowds and lines.
For a different kind of excursion, why not join one of the airboat tours that take you through the wilderness of the Central Florida Everglades. You’ll encounter a combination of wildlife and beautiful nature, while enjoying time away from the city itself. Alligators are frequently seen as you zoom through the wetlands.
There are many options as well. You can take a short tour, longer tour, sunset tour, night tour or even a private tour just for your family or group of friends. Either way, if you love spending time in nature, this is an experience that should be on your list.
You can visit the beach anywhere in Florida, and the beaches near Orlando are certainly not to be missed. Only 45 minutes away, you can easily reach places such as Cocoa Beach (a surfing haven!), Cape Canaveral (relaxed beach) and the expansive sands of New Smyrna Beach.
Each beach offers its own vibe, along with activities such as renting a boat, surfing, stand-up paddle boarding, fishing, manatee sighting and more. You could even rent a bike and ride along the coast, passing through quiet neighborhoods and chilled-out town centers, finding no shortage of places to eat along the way. Rarely crowded the way that Miami Beach can get, these beaches offer a great day trip from Orlando in order to ensure you don’t leave Florida without having taken a swim!
If you’re traveling with kids, a resort stay can be an ideal option. With a lot of pre-planned activities at these resorts, it makes for an easier time since you won’t have to plan out every minute of the day on your own. Staying at such a resort also eliminates the need to find a place to eat for every meal.
All-inclusive resorts offer great value in many cases – especially when all food and drinks are included – so they are perfect for those on a budget. There are many resorts to choose from in Orlando, such as Westgate Resorts, and it’s worth looking through them all to see which one suits your family or group the best.
Only a 45 minute drive from central Orlando, the Kennedy Space Center is a great place to learn about the history of space travel. The center has an extensive museum and interactive exhibits that allow visitors to get a better understanding of how astronauts train for space flight, as well as how they live in space. You can see real rockets and other space vehicles there, too.
You can take tours of both launch pads (where rockets were launched) and flight decks (where they landed).
Even better, check the schedule in advance to see if you’ll be in Florida during an actual launch. If you are, head to the pier in the nearby town of Port Canaveral and watch the launch live. It’s a spectacular event to witness as you observe the rocket burst into the sky, with the sonic boom that soon passes over land.
The crystal clear waters of Crystal River await anyone looking for a pristine slice of nature to marvel at. Hop in a kayak and enjoy a guided tour along this magical river, with two variations depending on the time of year you’re there. If you’re in Orlando during the winter months, you’ll have an excellent chance of seeing manatees as hundreds of them make this river their home in order to escape the cold. During the rest of the year, you’ll have an opportunity to visit several springs, including the famous Three Sisters Spring. You can swim in the beautiful water, look for dolphins, turtles and fish and paddle among some of the most impressive scenery in the entire state.
Universal Studios is another one of the more popular places to visit in Orlando of course. But it’s popular for a reason. It’s home to some of the most exciting rides and entertainment in the city and provides are more interactive experience, with activities that take you into the world of ET, Harry Potter, the Minions, Transformers, Fast and Furious and so much more.
With rollercoasters, rides, live shows and plenty of shopping and dining, it’s not surprising that you could easily fill up two days at Universal Studios alone.
When you visit Orlando, getting wet at a water park is a very fun way to pass an afternoon. The water park Aquatica is particularly popular given its range of waterslides, rapids and more. There’s 13 different slides and water experiences to choose from!
Reef Plunge is a waterslide that actually takes you underwater to observe marine life and Riptide Race is the world’s tallest dueling waterslide. There’s also pools where you can simply relax, dining options and a lazy river to float down in order to enjoy some real calm vibes.
If you’re looking for another excursion out of the city, pay a visit to the Bok Tower Gardens approximately 1 hour away. This serene 250 acre garden is designed to offer a contemplative experience for visitors, right at the top of Iron Mountain. You can wander through the Olmsted Gardens, with over 126 different species of birds, and you can view the Singing Tower, with its impressive carillon (an instrument consisting of 23+ bells). You can also take a walk on over 2 miles of nature trails in order to learn about the unique upland savanna-like ecosystem that sits on one of the highest points in Florida.
If the hustle and bustle of Orlando gets to be too much, Bok Tower Gardens could be the answer to help you re-balance.
It goes without saying that there are endless ways to create a memorable Orlando vacation. As you can see, from theme parks and beaches, to hiking and boating, to nature and wildlife…and beyond, it’s hard to find a destination that offers such a variety of experiences. As a result, you simply need to look at the long list of options and figure out what suits you the most so that you can plan a fun-filled trip to this world-famous vacation destination!
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Traveling alone is no longer terribly daunting. In fact, it is now seen as a common and wonderful way for people to avoid travel regret. Why not head out on your own? There’s no reason to wait when the world provides so many rich experiences for solo travelers to enjoy as well.
Some of those memorable experiences involve being active. Mountain sports, for example, involve activities that can be perfectly-suited to solo travelers given their focus on connecting with nature and relying on ourselves to move around. And there is perhaps no better place than the French Alps for such activities.
Fun-filled active holidays in French Alps can provide a fascinating experience, one that allows you to discover other cultures, partake in a variety of adventures, build confidence and create long-lasting memories on the way.
Why the French Alps?
There are a wide variety of activities that you could choose during a solo trip to the French Alps. And they all offer ways to spend some quality alone time in the fresh mountain air, in serene settings that will provide the quiet and peace of mind that you might be craving. Here are some ideas…
Extraordinary terrain, an exceptional lift system, serious investment in mountain biking infrastructure and spectacular scenery all come together to make the French Alps one of the best biking destinations in the world.
The Downhill and Cross-country riding programs provide you an opportunity to explore the forested valley floors over a network of trails. You can also take advantage of the lifts in order to navigate the high mountain routes marked Green, Blue or Red depending on their difficulty.
From the famous multi-day trek that is the incredible Tour du Mont Blanc to hiking the Haute Route from Chamonix to Zermatt, the French Alps are a paradise for hikers. With accessible and well-marked trails in the shadows of soaring peaks, the Alps always provides options for all levels of walkers.
Solo hikers need not worry as plenty of accommodation is available through a combination of mountain huts, family owned chalets and hotels. To get the best out of this experience, you can have your luggage transferred from one accommodation to the next one in order to travel lightly and simplify the logistics while you enjoy the hiking.
A high altitude solo climb on a mountain route is simply one of the best ways to have an unforgettable adventure. When you climb solo, you are out there relying on your abilities to take you up to the summit and once you do reach the summit, the sense of achievement is something to behold.
The Alps have long been a hub of mountain climbing tourism given the sheer diversity of opportunities. Summer is naturally the most optimal time for such climbing, especially for first-time and solo climbers, as the snow cover will be gone. The weather is generally calm with plenty of sunny days. Even if you are not a seasoned mountaineer, you’ll find options and you can also find plenty of equipment to rent or purchase to help make your climbing easier.
A via ferrata, also referred to as an ‘Iron Path’, is a style of protected mountain route located mostly in Italy and Austria. However, they also exist in the French Alps. Though it’s not for the faint hearted as such a hike will involve metal cables and footholds, hence the name. You’ll cross over deep ravines and climb steps that leave you exposed right on the side of the mountain… it’s certainly enough to get the adrenaline flowing.
While via ferrata vary in design, required skill level and length, one thing they all have in common are surreal views. If you have the nerve, head to Le Rocher du Saint Julien in the Drome region. With a vertical drop of 288 meters and a length of 1.6 km, it’s sure to get your heart racing. And for some of the most magical views of the Mont Blanc range, the via ferrata of Les Evettes takes the crown.
If you love the tranquillity of being near water, the Alps provides something for you as well. Canyoning in the French Alps can be a beautiful experience, especially because most of the terrain in this region is well-suited for this activity. The combination of obstacles such as glacial gorges and deep rivers provides an inspiring canyoning experience for all those who attempt it.
Local experts will guide you through an itinerary based on your ability, so you don’t need to worry about going it alone. They’ll ensure you’re properly prepared for the course ahead and will help you with any of the difficult aspects so that you can really soak up the atmosphere of your impressive natural surroundings.
Rather than stand atop a snow covered mountain or bike along windy roads, another option is to embark on a day of white water rafting. Some of the most popular locations for this activity include Arve, Dora Baltea and the Giffre. Rafting can easily be enjoyed by solo adrenaline seekers, especially if you are experienced. You can rent your own raft or join a group of others on an organized trip through the rushing waters.
During the summer months, the rivers around Chamonix are transformed into rafting playgrounds, as it’s considered one of the more ideal rafting spots. The cool waters of the Mont Blanc valley offer a respite from the harsh rays of the sun and are extremely popular with adventure lovers. Even if you are not an enthusiastic water person, a day of river rafting in Chamonix could change that.
The post Active Holiday Ideas in the French Alps for Solo Travelers appeared first on Wandering Earl.
Germany is already a world-famous destination among tourists and travelers. However, it has much more to offer than culture-packed big cities, wine-growing towns, and charming hamlets. Why not make a trip to explore some of the scenic villages in Germany this year?
Depending on your country of origin and the purpose of your visit, you may need a visa to enter Germany. Check here to see if you need a visa and how to apply for one well in advance of your trip.
Germany is home to many charming and scenic villages worth visiting. There’s so much more to this beautiful country, apart from the bustling and diverse Berlin.
Here are some of the most scenic villages in Germany:
Rothenburg ob der Tauber – Rothenburg ob der Tauber is a medieval town in the heart of the Franconian region of Bavaria that is famous for its half-timbered houses, cobbled streets, and extensive gardens. The town is surrounded by a well-preserved city wall and is home to several landmarks, such as the St. James Church, the Town Hall, and the Plönlein, a lovely square with a historic fountain. Rothenburg ob der Tauber is also a popular destination for tourists due to its Christmas markets, which are held in November and December.
Mittenwald – Located in the Bavarian Alps, Mittenwald is a village with a charming old town and an ideal mountain setting. The village is known for its colorful houses, painted in shades of yellow, green, and blue, and its many artisan workshops, where you can watch craftsmen at work. Mittenwald is also home to several landmarks, such as the St. Peter and Paul Church, the Maria Himmelfahrt Church, and the Linderhof Palace, a remarkable Baroque palace built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria.
Quedlinburg – Quedlinburg is a very well-preserved medieval town in the Harz Mountains with a rich history and an atmospheric old town. The town is known for its unique houses, narrow streets, and beautiful gardens, and it is home to several landmarks, such as the Quedlinburg Castle, the St. Servatius Church, and the Romanesque Church of St. Mary’s.
Tübingen – Situated in the state of Baden-Württemberg, Tübingen is a charming university town with a rich cultural and intellectual tradition. The town is known for its quaint old town, with its narrow streets, diversely colorful houses, and picturesque squares, and it is home to several landmarks, such as the Hohentübingen Castle, the St. George’s Church, and the Tübingen Old Town Hall. Tübingen is also known for its lively student culture and its many festivals and events.
Bacharach – Located in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate, Bacharach is a town with a rich history and a pleasant historical area. The town is known for its narrow streets and beautiful gardens, and is home to several landmarks of its own, such as the Bacharach Castle, the St. Peter’s Church, and the Stahleck Castle, a well-preserved medieval castle that now serves as a youth hostel. With its wine festivals and idyllic setting on the banks of the Rhine River, Bacharach is certainly worth considering.
Lindau – Lindau is another attractive destination with a delightful old town and a picturesque waterfront. The town is situated on the shores of Lake Constance and is home to several landmarks, such as the Lindau Lighthouse, the St. Stephen’s Church, and the Lindau City Hall.
The post Most Scenic Villages in Germany appeared first on Wandering Earl.
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