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Visiting U. S. National Parks For Free

The family road trip is a summer rite of passage for all Americans. The memories made when you pack up the car and stuff the whole family into it to take off on the open road are unforgettable. And there is no better destination than…

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The family road trip is a summer rite of passage for all Americans. The memories made when you pack up the car and stuff the whole family into it to take off on the open road are unforgettable. And there is no better destination than one of the many United States National Parks.

With over 50 National Parks in 27 states it isn’t hard to find one close to home. This year is a great year to visit one you haven’t been to yet because The National Parks Service has announced that in 2017 they will waive fees in all parks on 10 dates. 

On 10 days you will be able to visit, for free admission, any of the National Parks that regularly charge a fee. The dates for free admission are:

January 16 – MLK Jr Day

February 20 – Presidents Day

April 15 & 16 – National Park Week

April 22 & 23 – National Park Week

August 25 – National Parks Service Birthday

September 30 – National Public Lands Day

November 11 & 12 – Veterans Day Weekend

In addition to these free days, the National Parks Service offers other discounts year round. Admission is free year round for active duty military and citizens with a permanent disability. The “Every Kid In A Park” is a program for 4th grade students to get a free pass and U. S. Citizens 62 and older can apply for a $10 lifetime pass. Take advantage of these special offers, and take the family to a National Park you have never seen before. 

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Travel

5 Cities You Must See in the Winter

Winter Wonderlands  Wintertime brings out a certain beauty in cities that is much different than their summer counterparts. To truly appreciate a city’s beauty, one must see it in all four seasons. I believe that the cold harshness of winter unveils a beauty hardly seen by many travelers. Winter vacations are usually reserved for ski […]

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Winter Wonderlands 

Wintertime brings out a certain beauty in cities that is much different than their summer counterparts. To truly appreciate a city’s beauty, one must see it in all four seasons. I believe that the cold harshness of winter unveils a beauty hardly seen by many travelers.

Winter vacations are usually reserved for ski resorts and the complete opposite: warm beaches. I however can appreciate stripped down essence of cities in the winter. The gloom and cold highlight interesting aspects of a city’s brilliance.

Here are 5 of my favorite cities to visit in the winter and what makes each so unique.

 

New York City, NY, USA

New York, New York, what a magical city. Each season brings out the best in this majestic old city and winter doesn’t disappoint. My NYC highlights include Central Park and Rockefeller Center; visit these to see the quintessential New York experience. Try ice-skating at Rockefeller Center underneath the glow of the humongous Christmas tree or taking a hansom cab around central park at night. As snow blankets the city I recommend getting a bird’s eye view to truly take in the city’s massiveness.

Because of the cold and windy air, the visibility in the winter can be extraordinary.

 

Gothenburg, Sweden

The Swedish people do winter better than any other country and their high sense of fashion takes no season off. Gothenburg is a very cold destination but a spectacular city to enjoy the winter sights. A relatively cheap place to travel to in the winter, inexpensive airfare can be found easily. The traditional Christmas markets often reach critical mass and spill onto neighboring streets, creating a literal winter wonderland. In January and February make sure to check out the Gothenburg International Film Festival, a top-notch event.

 

Reykjavik, Iceland

No wintertime city top 5 can be complete without Reykjavik. Simply a stunning places to visit in the winter and possibly one of the most naturally beautiful places on earth. The Northern Lights are visible almost every night in the winter and are astonishing in person. Pictures and video do no justice to one of the natural wonders of the world.

A must visit place in Reykjavik is the Blue Lagoon Spa, where natural hot springs create the largest hot tub you’ll ever visit. The memory of the incredibly blue water will stick with you forever, as I personally have never seen such beauty.

The more adventurous traveler can venture out to the Solheimajokull Glacier and try Ice climbing.

 

Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen is the capital of Denmark and the quintessential old European city. The architecture and ambiance of Copenhagen is undeniable and remarkable. Wintertime just suits Copenhagen so well; it should be classified as a cold weather city.

Make sure to visit here in February so you can catch the Wondercool Festival, which is their answer to the dreary, chilly days.   This festival celebrates all that Copenhagen has to offer in the worlds of art, fashion and food.

My highlights are the tall wooden boats adorned with Christmas lights and looking as winter as a boat can. Remember, Copenhagen is a water city, fully embracing maritime life.

 

Budapest, Hungary

A beautiful wintertime city, full of life no matter what the season: Budapest has it all. One cannot visit Budapest in the winter without going to Szchenyi to try the thermal baths. The standout is the outdoors bath to enjoy a nice soak while in the elements and the city’s beautiful architecture. This old world city is also cheap and affordable all across the board.

Take in Budapest’s wonderful café culture and enjoy many fine meals in the tranquility of a winter’s evening.

I wouldn’t go to Budapest without stopping by the Museum of Fine arts, a favorite museum of mine.

Enjoy these winter wonderlands and remember to dress warm and take lots of pictures.

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Travel

Fly a Jetpack on Vacation

Ladies and gentleman, the future is now and it is amazing. We are living in a time when jetpacks and hoverboards are a reality and they are more accessible than ever.  I’m not talking about those cheesy little “hoverboards” that kids are riding nowadays, no I’m talking about the badass water powered jetpacks and flyboards. […]

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Ladies and gentleman, the future is now and it is amazing. We are living in a time when jetpacks and hoverboards are a reality and they are more accessible than ever.  I’m not talking about those cheesy little “hoverboards” that kids are riding nowadays, no I’m talking about the badass water powered jetpacks and flyboards.  The world has been fascinated with jetpacks ever since James Bond flew one in the movie Thunderball. Well, the time to just dream about them is over. I’m sure you all have seen these water jetpacks or flyboards and how insanely cool they are. The videos online are fantastic and make me so envious that I’m not soaring above a lake right now.

The first ever jetpack that was propelled by water was invented by Ray Li, in Ft. Lauderdale FL. In 2011, after many trial and errors, Li releases the first ever commercially available jetpack, the Jetlev R200. In 2012, Li’s competitor Zapata Racing releases the Flyboard, which is propelled by a standard jet ski.

Water Jetpack and Flyboard rentals are springing up all over the globe at vacation hotspots and major bodies of water. Whether you want to try and fly one of these bad boys or just be a spectator these extreme vehicles are revolutionizing aquatic sports.

The Jetpack and Flyboard uses a personal watercrafts’ motor to propel the rider up to 30 feet in the air or through the water at incredible speeds. They are touted as being safe for riders 16 and over, but some rental centers allow riders 14 and older.

 

The Jetpack actually rests on the rider’s back like a conventional backpack and has arm controls. The Flyboard however resembles oversized ski boots that are attached to each other via what looks like a fire hose. Of the two, riders say that the jetpack is easier to fly but the Flyboard gives you much more control to freestyle. Most brands of both have the same size restrictions; Riders should be between 5 feet and 6 feet 6 inches and between 100 and 350 pounds.

Don’t worry about safety; all of my recommendations have certified instructors to help you out the entire time.

Here are some great places to rent a water jetpack or Flyboard.  There are plenty of other rentals, these are recommendations from friends and colleagues.  Happy adventuring!

 

Naples, FL, USA

Captain CJ’s Jet Pack Adventures   

30 minute single flight is $169 USD during their winter sale.

They allow riders 14 and older and boast that they are the only providers in Florida that do so.

 

Farjado, Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico Vacation Helpers

Flyboard rental

30 minute single flight is $80 USD with video, $60 USD without

 

San Diego, CA and Las Vegas, NV, USA

Jetpack America    

30 minute single flight is $179 USD

 

Hilton Head, SC, USA

HHI Jetpack  

30 min single flight is $130 USD

 

East End, St. Croix, VI

Island Revel Luxury Sports   

30 minute single flight is $75 USD

These are just a few recommendations so hopefully this helps you check something off your bucket list. Once I saw these flying machines I knew I had to take flight. If you really want to do this, just book a flight to any of these destinations and take the first step.  Have fun out there, you never know when your ride ends, so enjoy every second of every day. 

 

 

 

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5 Trip Tips Every New Traveler Should Know

When I first set out on my maiden voyage, I was terrified and completely unprepared. If only I had a helpful blogger like well, myself, to guide me through the murky waters to the promise lands that awaits.  I wish someone gave me some helpful tips.   It is quite exhilarating to leave your home, […]

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When I first set out on my maiden voyage, I was terrified and completely unprepared. If only I had a helpful blogger like well, myself, to guide me through the murky waters to the promise lands that awaits.  I wish someone gave me some helpful tips.   It is quite exhilarating to leave your home, where you feel safe and are accustomed to your day-to-day life. This is why people travel, because it’s a life changing experience that you can only achieve by being adventurous. Life can become boring and humdrum but a little travel sprinkled into your life will no doubt jazz things up.

It’s time to spread your wings and see how much greener the grass is on the other side. Plan a trip, no matter how far, just do it. Book your ticket and the rest will fall into place, I promise. Once that flight, train or hot air balloon is booked, the trip will literally figure itself out. By reserving a ticket, you are making yourself book the rest of the trip. You will do research and find the perfect place to stay, things to see and adventures to go on.

Here are the five tips I wish someone told me before I went on my first backpacking trip across Europe. Hopefully they help you plan a fantastic and life changing journey.

Be Adventurous

Simple, take chances and don’t be afraid, because fear will ruin your adventurous side. If you don’t take a first step then you will never try anything new and that is what traveling is all about. Open yourself up to new things and broaden your horizon.   One thing to remember is that you are never alone when traveling, because there are thousands of people out there just like you and just knowing that may ease your fear.

Take your Time

Literally take time to smell the roses. Don’t rush through your trip because you want to see it all, you can never see everything. This will give you a great reason to return one day and see what you missed and revisit your favorite places. Go slow and truly take it in; you aren’t on vacation to run around like a chicken with its head cut off. Take a stroll through a park or eat a leisurely lunch at a cute little café.

http://www.myadventuresacrosstheworld.com/

Pack Light

For heaven’s sake, don’t go crazy and bring everything you own. Pack clothing that can be worn multiple times, leave your gadgets at home and make a pre packing list. I way over packed for my first European trip and I regretted it every day I put that heavy bag on my back. You will be with that bag more than you think, so pack smart. I advise you to get a smaller bag than you think you will need so you can’t possibly over pack.

Worldwide Phone

Either get a worldwide sim card for your phone or buy a cheap international burner phone; you’ll thank me later. Not having a phone makes you feel unsafe and naked, since we have become so dependant on our phones. Having this little lifeline to your world back home will help with homesickness and just day to day logistics.

Hide Your Money

LISTEN! Hide your dang money or someone will take it. Pick pocketing is serious business and in tourist destinations especially prevalent. Hide your wallet and purse when in public and also while in your hotel rooms. I even stash some cash in articles of clothing just in case, you never know. It’s better to be safe than sorry and no one wants to be penniless when you are so far from home.

Good luck fellow adventurer. May the wind always be at your back and the sun on your face.

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