Posts for Travel Tips Category

Top 3 Holiday Gift Ideas for Christmas 2018

Travel Tips - Ross French - November 21, 2018

It is that time of the year! November is nearly over and the month of December is knocking on the doors. December – the month of festivities, the month of Christmas, the month of gifts. The tradition of showering each other with gifts every year during the 25th of December and the eve of New Year has always been one of the favorite traditions among people of all ages. However, choosing the right gift for so many people can be a bit tricky. If you don’t keep yourself up to date with the latest trends of products, you can very easily become the ‘grandpa of gifts’. So if you have been busy with your work during the past couple of months and need some help choosing gifts for your friends and family, here are the top three gifts you can give during this Christmas season.

1. Vaporizers

Small premium vaporizers are one of the hottest things in the market right now, which make them one of the perfect gifts you can give to your friends and family. If anyone in your family or your friends are into vaping, the newer, sleeker, premium vaporizers will surely blow them away. Vaping has been around for a long time but the older vaporizers used to look very bulky and unattractive. However, with modern technology, the new generation of vaporizers available now look really slick, provide wonderful flavor and have cutting-edge technology like Bluetooth and app integration.

2. Vector by Anki

If you want to gift something really unique to your family or friends, then this might be the best gift you can buy for them. Vector is a small house robot designed and made by the company named Anki, famous for their previous consumer-grade robot Cozmo. However, Vector is not capable of the things you might think of when you hear the words ‘house robot’. The robot is tiny and not capable of doing any work for you. In fact, the company designed the robot to be more of a companion, something like a pet or so. And with its adorable animations, cute gestures and continuous chirps, Vector will surely win a lot of hearts.

3. Gaming console

Well, gifting a gaming console during Christmas is not the most original or new idea, but it is a tried and tested one. Video game consoles are one of the most loved gifts you can give anyone at any time. These all-time top favorites are popular among all ages and make for a great gift. You can go for a PlayStation 4 Pro from Sony or an Xbox One X from Microsoft if you want to gift the most powerful gaming console available on the market. However, if you want to gift a portable gaming console, you can go with Nintendo Switch. This beautiful looking portable gaming console is capable of playing a lot of high-end games. The console was released last year and you can find a lot of great deals on this product during Black Friday sales, which make it one of the best gifts for Christmas.

Continue Reading

Your Gift Guide For People Who Love Traveling

Travel Tips - Ross French - November 19, 2018

When it comes to choosing gifts for travelers who are close to your heart, you might get a bit confused, since there are tons of items to choose from in the market. Picking a gift that is beneficial, as well as unique, can really be a daunting task. Luckily, we made this list to make your life easier. Based on the advice of fellow travelers, this list contains common, useful that travellers agree will come in handy, no matter your final destination.

Portable Drone

A drone is a gift every traveler dreams of. It is an enjoyable and helpful gift for travelers and gadget lovers alike. The best drone on the market has to be portable and small so it can fit in all kinds of bags. Choose a drone that takes amazing photos and selfies, and has several intelligent flight systems.

Parachute Hammock

Hammocks are an impressive present for travelers, especially those who love to hike and camp, to watch the twinkling stars, and of course, save money from expensive hotel accommodations. Hammocks are sensuous, almost weightless, convenient to sleep in, and offers the ability to set up almost anywhere to doze off for the night. There are a variety of hammock types you can choose from, but if you want a cheaper one, consider getting a parachute hammock. This hammock type is light, but durable.

Backpack

Gifting a backpack to a travel enthusiast is one practical idea. They can use it in day to day life, or when they are travelling to other places. Go for a backpack that is stylish, yet does not compromise its convenience. If the person you are giving this gift to is a backpacker or a hiker, make sure that the bag is waterproof. Other features to look for in a backpack are anti-theft, secure pockets, and a USB charging port.

A Gift Card for a Resort or Cruise

For many travellers, vacations are an opportunity to splurge and enjoy luxuries that they don’t necessarily get in their day to day lives. To reach a higher level of comfort, your traveling friends may want to stay in a luxurious resort, or book a cruise that covers their every need and desire. Regardless, these kinds of trips are seldom cheap, and every little bit helps in settling the final bill. A gift card for a choice resort or cruise is a great way for you to get your traveling friends started on their journey to relaxation.

Headphones

If your loved ones love traveling and music, then headphones are the perfect gift to keep the tunes rolling while on the road. Choose headphones with Bluetooth compatibility, and a heavy duty battery that provides power for hours, if not days, on end. Additionally, choose headphones with a noise canceling feature to allow your travelers to block unnecessary sounds, like airplane engines noise. Other characteristics of good headphones would be comfortable ear cups that lightweight and easy to pack.

Security Belt With Secret Money Compartment

This is an essential piece of gear that any traveler, hiker or backpacker should have. You can hide up to 25 folded notes inside the inner section of the security belt. Since the clasp of the belt is not made of metal, you can wear this belt straight through airport scanners without setting off any alarms. Even though a security belt is a great option for your traveling friends to help prevent loss, don’t forget to remind your friends to take additional steps to protect themselves while travelling as well.

Sunglasses

You can never go wrong with sunglasses. Each of us needs and loves them, especially when going on a travel vacation. The usual aviator glasses are an eternal must have. They are classy, and will look good on you no matter the setting. So, if the person you are giving a gift doesn’t own a pair, consider giving this to them. It is crucial that the sunglasses have 100% ultraviolet protection. The only concern when buying sunglasses is picking the correct size, so before purchasing one, try and ask for their size.

Quick Drying Towel

Every time you go on the road, make it a routine to bring a quick drying towel for your vacation. Whether you are camping, hiking or just regularly travelling, you should always have a super quick drying towel to help you get clean when on the road.

Continue Reading

6 Unusual Adventure Sports to Get your Adrenaline Pumping

Travel Blog, Travel Tips - Ross French - October 17, 2018

Just about every adventure enthusiast is well versed with the common and popular adventure sports like rock climbing, surfing, bungee jumping etc. Not many would have heard about the unusual and extreme adventure sports like sea stack climbing, volcano boarding etc. There are so many interesting adventurous activities around the world which offer numerous opportunities to enjoy the unique experiences offered by them. These activities aren’t as popular as the regular ones, but anybody who tries them out is surely going to enjoy it more than the other usual adventure sports.

Several such activities are waiting to get explored by every adventure enthusiast. Out of all, here’s a list of some unique adventure sports which are sure to get your adrenaline pumping.

Volcano Boarding

Leon city in Nicaragua offers the best volcanic boarding experience. For this, first the participants have to hike up the volcano, which takes about 45-50 minutes. The activity is carried out with the help of wooden boards. After reaching the top, you can either sit on the wooden board and slide down, similar to sledding, or you can stand on it and slide down, which is like surfing. It sure does sound exciting and fun, but it is equally dangerous as well. The wooden sled which the participants use has a rope in the front for support while sliding down and also to control the direction in which the sled is going. You can easily control the speed of the sled by putting your foot down. Protective gear is a must as the volcanic rocks are very sharp and can easily wound anybody.

Flyboarding

Goa is the most exotic place with numerous options for experiencing the best water sports. Flyboarding is one such sport which is sure to get your heartbeat racing and your adrenaline pumping. This sport was recently introduced in Baina Beach in Goa and since the time it has opened, it has become quite a rage with the tourists. As part of this activity, you will be sent up to 15 metres up in the air. It basically works as a combination of a jetpack and jet ski where the jetpack sends a jet ski attached to it flying up. It makes for a thrilling and a very unique sport.

Sea Stack Climbing

Balls Pyramid is the highest volcanic sea stack in Australia and the climb here is extremely hard and not for the faint-hearted. It was actually formed from the remains of a shield volcano. It is located near Lord Howe Island and starts tall with razor-sharp ridges. When you start sea stacking and begin your climb, you can find many beautiful seabirds flying and circling around you. The first team to climb this magnificent sea stack was lead by Bryden Allen. Sadly, seastacking here has been restricted now, but if you can get access to the permit, sea stack climbing here makes for one of the most glorious adventures.

Wing Walking

Wing Walking was first introduced by wartime pilots who wanted to find a way to satisfy their adventure seeking heart. Once introduced, it started becoming popular among all pilots who would perform this stunt to impress the onlookers. Soon, this concept was adopted by many private agencies who started providing this experience to everyone, and now it has become available in almost every part of the world. Anybody who enjoys the thrill of being at a height can have an amazing experience but for those who have a phobia of heights, it’s best left unattempted!

Downhill Mountain Biking

This sport is carried out with the help of full suspension bikes which are designed in such a way that they can float easily over rocks and the many tree roots which come on the way. Downhill mountain biking involves the bikers racing downhill in extreme speeds, overcoming every obstacle which crosses their path. Death Road is the most popular and adventurous spot for downhill mountain biking. It is located in Bolivia. As the name suggests this is a very dangerous track and it is advisable that only the highly experienced downhill mountain bikers try this out. For beginners, Whistler Bike Park in Canada is a safer option.

Freshwater Cave Diving

Almost everyone must have heard and even tried scuba diving. Many feel that scuba diving is itself an extreme sport, so imagine going into the deep sea and exploring a cave system which is completely submerged under the sea. This next-level experience is sure to get your pulse racing as it holds many unexplored experiences. The area with the world’s largest number of sinkholes is the Yucatan Peninsula, which is located in Mexico, is the best for trying freshwater cave diving.

So, take a break from the usual adventure sports and add the aforesaid adventure sports to your bucket list for that extra thrill next time!

Continue Reading

Beyond Schnitzel: 5 Unique Foods and Drinks To Sample While Visiting Germany

Travel Blog, Travel Tips - Ross French - October 10, 2018

Germany

People are visiting Germany in record numbers, and this beautiful country remains one of Europe’s most popular vacation destinations for nearly a decade now, according to one 2018 report. The atmosphere, culture, and historical sites all draw visitors, but one attraction that likely makes Germany so popular with tourists is the food. If you plan to visit Germany in the near future, there are few unique dishes to experience that can take your palate far beyond the ordinary.

1. Frittatensuppe

This is a meal that originated in Austria but is popular throughout the country. It is not a complicated dish yet it is quite hardy and filling. Frittatensuppe consists of a beef stock base, which is then topped with strips of pancake. This is usually a starter dish that you can find at many restaurants. Some chefs may add in other ingredients, such as chives.

2. Kalbsgulasch

Germans love their meat, so this Hungarian recipe is a favorite with locals and tourists alike. Veal, or “calf meat,” is combined with a meat-based gravy-and-mushroom mixture. It is almost always served with some type of wide savory pasta as well. This is an entrée that is likely to fill you up and is a good choice as long as you do not have plans to do any major walking tours directly after.

3. Döner

If you are looking for a bite to eat on the go, then head to your nearest döner stand. These can be found all over Berlin and are almost as common as burrito stands are in Mexico. The meat, which is prepared kebab style, is served on panini or crusty bread along with tomatoes, lettuce, and a dill-like sauce. These delicious portable sandwiches are also usually quite inexpensive, costing around $5.00 USD.

4. Apfelkuchen

Some of the best places to eat in Germany have this dessert available on their menus, and the description alone will probably be enough to make your mouth water. German bakers soak apples in a mixture of cinnamon, brown sugar, and lemon juice, then prepare a buttery crust. Once the crust is complete, raisins are added to the apples, then the entire pastry is baked. While Germany is well-known for its amazing chocolate, this dessert will not leave you disappointed.

5. Beers

When you think of Germany, you might think of beer. After all, there are dozens of different brews that originated there, and planning a beer tour can add even more adventure to your gastro-tour of this wonderful country. Rent an affordable vehicle from CarRentals.com, choose a designated driver, and you are on your way.

If you favor beer over wine, there are several different brews to sample. In Berlin, you can try the trademark Berliner Pilsner, which is a light, easy-drinking beer. If you want something with lots of flavor, try Radler, which is beer combined with carbonated lemonade. Berliner Kindl Weisse, which is beer combined with raspberry syrup, can help satisfy your sweet tooth and your craving for alcohol.

Germany is a cavalcade of tastes that can suit almost every palate. Do not be afraid to try new foods during your visit, as the experiencing the unknown can make memories that will last a lifetime.

Continue Reading

5 Best Internet Options for RVers

Travel Tips - Ross French - September 24, 2018

Having an internet connection seems like less and less an option and more and more a necessity for many people. Some require it for work, some for entertainment, movies, music, or games, others for connecting to banks, or paying bills, or sending emails. Having internet available all the time is pretty simple for most people. If you have service connected to your house or apartment, you are set.

Out of the house? Your workplace has a network with internet connectivity, and maybe a WiFi system. Your cell phone likely can reach the internet, and many businesses offer free WiFi. But not everyone wants to stay at home, or even in their own town. They want to travel. For those who travel in RVs, it feels a lot like home and they’d like the same conveniences, including the internet. So what are their options?

Park/Campground WiFi

The most obvious is to park your RV at a campground or an RV park that offers WiFi, either free or for an additional fee. For casual users this can work out quite well. Just need to check your email or your bank balance? Connect and your set. But your space might not be close enough to the access point, or there might be something blocking it. Still, you carry your device to a point where you can connect, do your business, and head back. If you want more convenience, purchase a WiFi booster to get better signal. It won’t help in every situation, but it will give you better signal than you would get without it.

For users with higher requirements this might not be enough. If you use your internet connection for work you might need enough throughput to do video conferencing or large data transfers to support your website. The park WiFi is shared between all the users and that can limit the bandwidth available. Worse yet, the owners may decide to throttle or otherwise limit users so everyone has some bandwidth and no one can use too much. This can make it unusable for your work. If you have high data consumption and rely on access to work you should not rely solely on this.

Public Access WiFi

Instead of using the park provided WiFi you could use another company’s access. Some fast food restaurants offer free WiFi, as do many coffee shops, bars, and libraries. These can provide more service than a park as there are typically less users on them at once. But many businesses expect this access to be used by customers, so it is wise to make purchases while using it, making you a customer.

A rule of thumb for coffee shops is to make one purchase an hour, and some even offer discounts on refills. Still, this can become a bit expensive. Libraries are usually free, although they may require a library card which might have a fee for a non-resident. Libraries can have more users so they may have limits on access. Of course, a basic limitation on all of these is business hours. Once the business closes you won’t be able to stay.

These are great options if you are working while traveling. This is also a good time to turn your travels into money. You can take pictures to sell to other travel sites or artist. You could start a blog and build an audience so that you can make money.

Satellite

For access that you never have to leave your RV to use you can connect directly to a satellite. While this option has some drawbacks, it has one major advantage. All other access depends on someone else providing an access point close enough to where you are at for you to connect. Satellite internet can be accessed in practically any location with a view to the southern sky (in the northern hemisphere). Point your dish at the correct part of the sky and you should be able to connect to the internet through the orbiting satellite.

One drawback to this is the sheer distance to reach that geosynchronous orbit. This creates latency (or lag) in your connection. Gamers recognize this is a severe problem with their programs, as will anyone using video conferencing, but many users will never notice it. Another problem is expense. The dish can be expensive, and the service itself costs more than most other paid alternatives, with somewhat slower speeds and lower data caps.

Cellular Tether/Hotspot

As many people know, their cell phones can connect to the internet both through WiFi and by using their cellular data plan. While WiFi usually isn’t regulated on the phone, the data plan is. Even unlimited plans have caps where new rules apply, such as throttling or data management. But, using a cell phone to access the internet from an RV can not only give you internet on the phone, but also share that access through USB tethering, connecting to another device using a USB cable, or by creating a mobile hotspot, a WiFi access point based out of your phone. Some providers or plans charge extra for these services, or have a separate cap on their data usage, so check to see what your limits are.

To make it even more useful, consider investing in a booster that will let you connect to a cell tower at a greater distance and increase your data speed at whatever distance you connect. Another upgrade is a means of sharing that connection with multiple devices by plugging the phone into a router or laptop.

Dedicated Hotspot

To free up your cell phone from the duty of providing access you can get a hotspot device that only connects to your cell service and provides a mobile WiFi hotspot. You can still benefit from cell boosters to get better signal or a router to handle more devices, so consider what your needs are before settling on a single device.

You may have noticed that these different options can be combined to provide alternatives if one doesn’t work out in a particular location or situation. Your best option will always be enough different choices to be sure you have the access you require. If your needs are modest, two inexpensive options can fulfill them. If you rely on the internet for your livelihood and need guaranteed access at all hours having many options with enhancements for each will give you the greatest peace of mind. Balance your needs and your budget and choose what is best for you.

Continue Reading