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America’s Most Visited National Parks

The United States have some of the most amazing and spectacular National Park land in the world and you should be visiting them all.  Here are the top 10 most visited parks in the system and why I think you should check them out.

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The United States have some of the most amazing and spectacular National Park land in the world and you should be visiting them all. Last year was a banner year for National Parks as they recorded 331 million visitors in 2016, a 8 percent increase over 2015. That’s a lot of visitors, they all can’t be wrong, these National Parks might have something here.

Luckily, our great country has over 417 National Parks for you to explore and all are reasonably priced. The parks just celebrated their 100th anniversary so let’s all celebrate together by checking some out. The top 10 National Parks are some stunning places to visit, so what are you waiting for?

Here are the top 10 most visited parks in the system and why I think you should check them out.

 

Vietnam Veterans Memorial — 5,299,713

Located in Washington, D.C., the Vietnam Memorial is a somber and powerful monument. The Washington Mall has many great monuments that symbolize our country’s freedoms; the Vietnam memorial may be the most shocking. The amount of names on the list of people that died fighting for our country is alarming.

Check out this monument if you are in D.C. and want to see a truly moving piece of American History.

 

Natchez Trace Parkway — 5,891,315

The parkway cuts through Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee and is over 400 miles of American History. Native Americans and settlers used the ancient trail during the country’s expansion West. Take a trip back through time as you can explore hiking trails, camping and horseback riding.

 

Grand Canyon National Park — 5,969,811

This should be number one in my opinion, just based on how epic and awesome the Grand Canyon truly is. One of the seven Natural Wonders of the World, The canyon is so awe-inspiring. Everyone should see the sun rise over the North Rim and walk over the glass bottom observation deck. Make a day trip from the Las Vegas area or make a weekend trip and take a donkey tour to the bottom.

Real adventurers will take a white water rafting tour down the Colorado River.

 

Lake Mead National Recreation Area — 7,175,891

Straddling the border of Arizona and Nevada, Lake Mead Recreation area is a watery paradise. Spring breakers gather here to party and families venture here for some boating fun. Great destination for the whole family, so check it out and make a day trip to the Grand Canyon, boom, two birds baby.

 

Lincoln Memorial — 7,915,934

Another wonderful monument on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The Lincoln Memorial is a great place to take in the whole mall and reflect on our country’s greatness and deficiencies. Be one of the millions of people who take a selfie with President Lincoln.

 

Gateway National Recreation Area — 8,651,770

The top destination for New Yorkers Gateway national is actually three parks in one. It includes Jamaica Bay, Sandy Hook, NJ and Staten Island, NY. These three parks combine to offer big city dwellers small glimpses of nature to enjoy. Living in the urban jungle is tough and sometimes you need some greenery in your life.

 

George Washington Memorial Parkway — 10,323,339

Take a scenic drive down the GW parkway alongside the Potomac River; you’ll understand why so many people come here. With miles and miles of hiking trails and jogging paths, the GW parkway has some great green areas. Located just outside of Washington DC in Northern Virginia, the parkway connects the city and the suburbs.

 

Great Smoky Mountains National Park — 11,312,786

Spread across North Carolina and Tennessee, the Great Smoky Mountains offer grand views and amazing local foliage. Visitors love hiking and other outdoor activities. Come in the fall for some amazing color displays as the leaves are changing.

 

Blue Ridge Parkway — 15,175,578

Driving on top of the world is how this park feels. Located in Virginia and West Virginia, the Blue ridge Parkway takes drivers on some winding mountain roads. Motorcyclists love these mountain rides and huge convoys can be seen on weekends.

 

Golden Gate National Recreation Area — 15,638,777

Outside of San Francisco is a wonderful park full of mystic and wonder. The most visit national Park in the United States is a great one. With giant sequoia trees to ever expanding vistas, the park is worth the trip.

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Destinations

Thai Government Wants Tourists to Wear Digital Wristbands

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Tourists will be required to wear digital wristbands in Thailand. This will enable the Thai government to easily track their health status while touring the said Southeast Asian country.

To sever possible COVID-19 transmission, Thailand plans to require would-be tourists to wear digital wristbands while staying in the country. This mandate will allow the government to track their whereabouts including their health as they visit Thailand’s different traveler destinations.

Last month, the said Southeast Asian nation opened its borders to a group of Chinese visitors—the first ever arrival since April when Thailand halted inbound travels to control COVID-19 transmission. The country has been doing quite well in the battle against the novel coronavirus. Hence, it has been reluctant to reopen its doors to visitors wanting to explore its various tourist spots.

The recent October group of Shanghai tourists were automatically required to undergo a 14-day quarantine period, especially since they planned to stay within the country for a month. They were also relegated to a government-accredited hotel.

Nevertheless, aside from the automatic quarantine period, recent Thailand updates assert that the nation now plans to mandate all approved, incoming tourists to wear digital wristbands, “Smart Bands” as they are called. These devices will help the government track the tourists, particularly their health, as they visit the different places within the country.

The said digital device measures the body temperature of the wearer which will, then, notify nearby health centers. Tourists who wear digital wristbands will also be able to ask for help should they ever get lost while touring the country.

Not all would-be visitors will be able to enter Thailand, however. At present, only visitors from low-risk areas will be given a Special Tourist Visa. This visa can be obtained by paying 2,000 Baht ($64.25).

Additionally, a would-be tourist needs to have a “fit-to-fly certificate” from a certified doctor, a negative PCR COVID-19 test result, and a health insurance policy of at least $100,000 that will cover COVID-19 treatment within the country.

If you plan to travel to Thailand, you must be able to secure these requirements before buying your ticket. See to it that you will be coming from a country that is enlisted as a low-risk area by the Thailand government. You should also obtain the necessary “fit-to-fly certificate” from your doctor, have a negative PCR COVID-19 test at least 72 hours before your flight, and an insurance policy of the above-stated amount before you can apply for the said Special Tourist Visa.

As of writing, Thailand has only less than 4,000 total COVID-19 cases, a far cry from the overall COVID-19 cases worldwide that has already reached more than 46 million. Hence, the Thai government strictly monitors tourists who are allowed to enter their borders. The planned mandate to require tourists to wear digital wristbands while staying in the country will greatly help control possible COVID-19 transmission which may be brought on by the gradual reopening of its borders.

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Destinations

Visit the World’s Happiest Countries

I have no idea what makes a country happy but I know they must make nice places to visit. Let’s explore the happiest countries in the world and see why we should check them out.

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According to some smart people Norway is the world’s happiest country followed by Denmark, Iceland and Switzerland. SO apparently being freezing cold 9 months out of the year equals happiness. I have no idea what makes a country happy but I know they must make nice places to visit. Let’s explore the happiest countries in the world and see why we should check them out.

How do you judge a country’s’ happiness? Well the smart people at the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) have figured some way out. Working for the United Nations the SDSN used tons of data and statistics to come to their findings. The main factors used were Happiness, Caring, Freedom, Honesty, Health, Income, Generosity and Good Governance.

Sweden

Scandinavian countries were well represented on this list with all their countries placing in the top 10. Sweden ties for 9th place and is such a wonderful place to visit. Stockholm has some amazing attractions and interesting architecture. Come for the Scenery and stay for their happiness.

 

Australia

Tied for 9th place is the happy people down under. Throw another shrimp on the barbie and drink a Fosters with some real happy folk. Check out the amazing Great Barrier Reef and scuba dive with thousands of animal varieties. Australia is a wonderful place to visit and see why everyone is so happy.

 

New Zealand

Australia’s neighbor and rival is number 8 on the happiness list. The kiwis are a boisterous and happy people known for being welcoming and helpful. The landscape in New Zealand is second to none and offers epic views at every turn. Incredible sailing and waters ports dominate the beaches and hikes and white water rafting are inland favorites.

 

Canada

We all knew Canadians were a happy people and they rank 7th on this list. Celebrating their 150th anniversary as a nation this year, there should be plenty of celebrations going on.   Check out Prince Edward Island where the independence from Great Britain was first discussed.

 

Netherlands

The Dutch are a happy people and their country is one of the best to visit. Celebrating their rich history, The Danish people have plenty to be happy about. Check out the Van Gogh museum or take a tour in the Heineken Brewery. Check out their famed marijuana coffee shops or stroll down the beautiful canals.

 

Finland

Scandinavia represents again with Finland and the 5th spot. A favorite winter sports destination, Finland is as beautiful during the summer. Check out their wonderful lakes and take in some beautiful landscapes.

 

Switzerland

The Swiss are always neutral but you shouldn’t be neutral about visiting the fourth happiest country on Earth. Enjoy the amazing mountains and outdoor activities in this natural playground. The Swiss have been at the top of this list since it’s inception.

 

Iceland

The island nation off on its own in the Atlantic Ocean is the third happiest country. Outdoor activities, the Northern Lights and some incredible thermal pools make Iceland an awesome destination. Reykjavik is an international city with huge attractions and natural beauty, outside the city offers the most intense experiences.

 

Denmark

Number two on the list is the happy people of Denmark. Copenhagen is my favorite European city and it is a must visit. Check out the tall ships and the cute coastal architecture all around Copenhagen.

 

Norway

The happiest country on the planet is Norway. The Scandinavian country has the happiest people and some of the most breathtaking views on the planet. All you have to do is see one fjord in person and you’ll understand natural beauty. The people of Norway are healthier and happier than anywhere on Earth. See why everyone is so happy and experience it for yourself.

 

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Destinations

Travel the World for FREE

Yes, you can travel the world for free if you exchange your hard work and time for the cause. Here are some interesting ways to travel for free, so get planning and decide where you want to visit.

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Have you ever daydreamed about traveling the world? If so, you most likely came to the realization that global travel is out of your reach financially, but what if it wasn’t? There are creative ways to finance vacations that only require a little elbow grease or some imaginative ideas. Yes, you can travel the world for free if you exchange your hard work and time for the cause. Here are some interesting ways to travel for free, so get planning and decide where you want to visit.

 

Points

Obviously if you travel a lot anyway for business or use your rewards credit card often you can redeem points or miles. This is probably the most popular way people travel for virtually free. Of course you need to accrue all these points or miles so necessarily this isn’t free. Plus we aren’t all lucky enough to travel for business or have the money in the first place to earn points. So let’s explore some more imaginative methods to financial freedom while traveling.

 

Contest Winner

Sure winning contests require a high amount of luck unless you play the odds. Enter as many contests that offer travel rewards as possible. I know people who consider this a part time job they enter so many contests but also travel for free all the time. Search the internet for contests and start entering. Most of them do it just for your information, so get an email account specifically for the contests and hopefully you can win something awesome.

 

Promote

Find companies that are looking for people to spread the word about them. These grassroots campaigns are gaining popularity and all they ask in return are blog posts or instagram pictures. Seek these companies out and offer up your services. Maybe a Cruise line wants you to go to retirement homes passing out flyers on weekends. This type of part time or seasonal employment can earn you free trips in return. I’d gladly give up a few hours here and there to earn a free cruise.

 

Couch Surf

It may not be glamorous but couch surfing is a recent phenomenon that is taking off. Websites like Couchsurfing.com offer the opportunity for like-minded people to open up their homes to travelers in exchange for the same in return. A large online community has continued to grow over the last few years, so check it out. This is a great way to stay for free while you are traveling. Now you just have to get there.

 

Shill for the company

Many travel companies will hook you up if you get a few other people to pay for their services. So if you sell vacation packages to a few co-workers, that company will give you a free trip in return. Sure, you’ll have to sell a little bit but the rewards are completely worth it. I guess nothing in life is truly free.

 

Go Fund Me

OK, I know this may be overused lately but Crowdsourcing platforms like GoFundMe.com or IndieGoGo.com allow people to start a fund for certain causes. Maybe your brother has a hard life and needs a vacation but you can’t afford it yourself, you create an account on one of these websites and ask people to each give a small amount. This can quickly snowball where 100 people each give $5; you suddenly have a significant amount of money.

 

So now you have ideas about how to travel for free, so get out there and start enjoying travel.

 

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