Posts for Travel Tips Category

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

5 Las Vegas Bars that are Truly Unique

Travel Blog, Travel Tips - Ross French - August 21, 2018

When you come to Las Vegas, you come for the excitement, adventure, and of course, we can’t forget the food and fun. There are so many attractions and fantastic things to see that it can get overwhelming to the senses. Sometimes there is so much to do that you don’t know what to do. Seeing a unique and interesting bar and spending some time there is always a good way to enjoy yourself and to regroup and put a plan together for the rest of your Las Vegas stay.

1. Camden Cocktail Lounge Palms Casino and Resort

The Camden Cocktail Lounge is a Las Vegas bar that focuses on mind-blowing cocktails which are presented in over-the-top manners. If you want to be wowed by your cocktail, this is the perfect place to go. The bartenders here are masters of mixology and put their own spin on your favorite classics, or they will create a new favorite for you right before your eyes.

When you step into the opulent atmosphere, you’ll feel like a different person. The setting is much like a modern library. The bookcase that lines one wall gives you a great feel, and the flat-screen TVs give you the modern-age technology we’ve all come to know and love.

The cove ceiling hangs a collection of black and gold glass pebbles in different heights, and sheen finishes and bronze accents and charcoal velvets are along the lounge. When you think of Camden – think luxury with approachability.

2. Count’s Vamp’d Rock Bar & Grill

Talk about a unique bar, Count’s Vamp’d Rock Bar & Grill will give you the unique experience you’ve been searching for. There is live music, great food, drinks and a cool setting. This bar was founded by Danny “Count” Koker of the History Channel’s popular show “Counting Cars” and represents the Rock & Roll and Classic Era of Sunset Strip. If you love music, you’ll be impressed with the high-quality, professional sound system and stage. You’ll truly feel the music in this setting which gives you the hard rock/motorcycle/macabre atmosphere.

3. Double Down Saloon

At Double Down Saloon, it is all shut up and drink. If you love your brew, then this is a great spot for you to come and visit. This dark, mural-covered saloon features live punk bands, an electric jukebox, and bacon martinis. Enjoy bar games, fast service, and great cocktails when you come to this joint.

4. Mountain Springs Saloon

If you want something different than what you are going to find on the main strip, Mountain Springs Saloon is the perfect place for you. Bring your motorcycle and get ready for a delicious pig roast. All you need is ten dollars, and you’re going to be high on the hog. Check the calendar to see when there is going to be live entertainment or another event to your liking.

5. Hofbrauhaus

You’ll feel as if you’ve just stepped into a German bar when you come to Hofbrauhaus. The community seating, plenty of brews and live entertainment will have ready to kick up your heels and have some fun. Don’t miss out on the garden with its full-sized chestnut trees, and fountains. You may want to focus on going to the bar. Whatever you want, there is a lot to see when you visit Hofbrauhaus.

What You Need to Know When Visiting Las Vegas

If you’ve never visited Las Vegas before, you are in for a treat. This city has many unique attractions, shows, and people. While there is plenty to do, there are some things to keep in mind before you come to Las Vegas.

1. Las Vegas caters to the twenty-one and over crowd. While Las Vegas has worked to become more family friendly, that is not always the case. Las Vegas can be a little on the wild side for bringing children. You might want to keep your crew to those that have their valid of-age IDs.

2. In Las Vegas, you can drink on the street as long as the container is not glass. In most places across the US, you aren’t allowed to drink legally on the streets, but here you can bar hop as much as you like and take your alcohol with you.

3. Las Vegas wants people to visit their city, and there is a place to sleep for any budget. Whether you want a swanky loft of you’re ready to Airbnb it with a shared apartment, you can have at it in Las Vegas.

4. The food scene is on point in Las Vegas. There are plenty of all-you-can-eat buffets and cafeteria style joints where you can grab a bite to eat or fill yourself to your heart’s content. Your choice. Extreme fine dining is alive and well in the desert with various chefs such as Wolfgang Puck, and Guy Fieri have their own restaurants in Las Vegas.

Conclusion

When you’re on your way to Las Vegas, know there is a place for you. No matter what you are looking for, Sin City has you covered. Keep the above information in mind, visit one of these great bars and you are sure to have a great time. What happens here stays here so have some fun, let your hair down and enjoy the entertainment, food, brews, and people of this fun and inviting tourist-favorite location.

Continue Reading

Riga – How my wanderlust saved my life

Travel Tips - Ross French - August 14, 2018

The world offers magnificent sceneries which everyone who has the chance should visit during their lifetime. When we had visited Sicily to discover my Italian roots, I realized how vast and beautiful our world really is. It was at that time when the spark of wanderlust flickered inside of me. By that time, however, I was already struggling with my weight, being stuck in that endless downward spiral of unhealthy, sedentary lifestyle. The food was my only companion and stress reliever, slowly ruining my life with each gained pound. A few years later, my BMI had increased so much, that getting a gastric sleeve surgery had become my only chance at having a normal life once again. I was hopeless.

However, it was at this time when that long-forgotten spark to travel and visit beautiful and exotic places, kicked in once again. I had always been intrigued by the Baltics and their rich culture, history, cuisine, and beautiful climate.

Riga – A historic crossroad

Latvia is such a beautiful country and an important historic crossroad, where different cultures and powers had influence over the centuries. And Riga’s architecture shows that in the most beautiful way. The breathtaking sights of Daugava River, the wonderful climate, and hospitable people, made the city an obvious choice to visit.

Alas, that was not the only reason why I chose this wonderful city as my destination. It offered something I gravely needed – medical tourism opportunities for the treatment I needed. A treatment that would change my life forever.

Medical Tourism in Latvia

As soon as I discovered the affordable gastric sleeve in Riga, at a fraction of the price, I immediately made my arrangements with the hospital and accommodation. Something inside of my flickered, telling me that after this trip, nothing would ever be the same.

It wasn’t only the prospect of a normal life, but the sheer beauty of the city and country that forever captured my heart. I decided to have a week-long vacation before my treatment, so I could fully experience Riga, visiting as many landmarks as I could.

P?rdaugava

The city’s west bank is a magical place with lots of green spaces and beaches. Even though the beaches weren’t my favorite place to go, in Riga, they radiate with peace and serenity. After a long time, I felt good just feeling the sand on my feet.

Vecr?ga

I fell in love with the old city instantly. The specific architecture, the old, car-free cobblestones beneath my feet, gave me a feeling of traveling through time – where the most of Riga’s beautiful landmarks are located. The House of Blackheads, Riga Town Hall, and the Riga Castle are just some of the landmarks which took my breath away.

A wonderful cuisine

Knowing that my relationship with food would soon change forever, I decided to taste some of the traditional dishes before my treatment. Pelmeni Dumplings, Pickles and Sauerkraut and the Latvian staple dark rye bread, are a-must-taste if you ever visit this wonderful city.

A new step forward

Only a few days after the surgery, I was released from the hospital and took my flight back home, knowing that I had probably made the most important decision in my life. There were apprehension and anxiety at first, but as my excess weight began going away, I knew I had made the right choice. At last, I felt like a complete person, ready to tackle life’s challenges and enjoy its beauty. Because of this, Riga will always have a special place in my heart – because, in its own way, it had saved my life!

Continue Reading