Archive | August 2012

The Giant State of California

Big Sur, California

Big Sur, California (Photo credit: the_tahoe_guy)

As an outsider, when you sit down to plan a trip to California, you might not know what an extensive undertaking it truly is. You can think of just the major cities, Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco trips, but even those span a nine to ten hour drive being almost six hundred miles apart. That only takes you from the base of the state to about two-thirds the way up. That does not encompass the natural beauty of the coast and the famous highway 1 or the majesty of Easter Sierra Mountains with the tallest peak in the lower 48 states, Mt. Whitney. Couple that with Death Valley, Joshua Tree, Yosemite, the Redwood Forest and surfing on the beach and you best be spending a month when you start your California trip planning.

The best place to start while planning is to choose what region you want to be in. No matter if you want to be north or south, there are plenty of things to do and see. You can hit up the famous sites of San Francisco and still experience nature out in Berkley or across the ferry on Angel Island, an island where no cars are allowed.

If you want to be in the Los Angeles area, consider taking a day trip up to the San Gabriel Mountains. You can look down on the city while hiking high above. Or you can hike over the beach in Malibu Canyon and watch the surfers as you poke in and out of the woods.

If you are a total nature person, consider Mammoth Lakes just outside of Yosemite. You can enjoy the beauty of Half Dome and then spend a day charging down the mountain on a mountain bike or fishing at one of the pristine lakes. For the desert naturalist, the winter is the time to hit up Palm Springs for golf or Death Valley and a visit to Scotty’s castle. The geothermic activity all over the state offers plenty of natural hot tubs almost anywhere you go and is something everyone should experience at least once in a life time.

Rio, the Heart of Brazil

When you are setting out to plan a trip to Brazil, you may want to look beyond the main city of Rio de Janeiro, but truthfully you can spend an entire trip in the city and still have a wonderful time. If you are bound and determined to see more of Brazil, Rio is a great place to start and to end a Brazil trip, but you should consider staying in the heart for your first Brazilian excursion. It might be well worth it and you might just learn a ton about Brazilian culture and the people.

Soccer is a mainstay of the Brazilian sports scene. Even if you have never fancied yourself a soccer fan, or “football” fan if that is what you call it, you may want to take the time to go out and see a match. You might find yourself enveloped in football frenzy and finally understand what all the fuss is about. After the Olympics many people know this, but some still do not. volleyball is also a major sport of the country. You can head out and see a professional volleyball match that will have you gasping for breath as the athletes manage to keep that ball flying in the most extreme of circumstances.

Cristo Redentor do Rio de Janeiro

Cristo Redentor do Rio de Janeiro (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The sites of Rio de Janeiro are quite well documented. The most famous being the Jesus statue that seems to protect the city from high above. There are helicopter tours that can take you around this magnificent work of art or you can hike up there. It is an amazing place to see at both sunrise and sunset. There are bike tours and walking tours that can make this happen for you. It is a true religious experience, whether you are a believer or not. Just the beauty of it makes you appreciate the deep religious roots of the region.

Brazil is a hotspot of night activity as well. You would be remiss if you did not venture out to a club for at least one night. Even if you don’t think of yourself as a dancer, the beat will likely overtake your feet and you will find yourself out all night.

Thailand and the Beauty all around

Thailand trip planning is a complicated endeavor. It is one where you really have to look at what you want to get out of your trip in Thailand. While you can stay in luxurious hotels for pennies on the dollar, getting room service and kicking back, relaxing; you can also set out to have a true Thailand adventure. One that is full of hiking, swimming, diving and other outdoor adventures where you take advantage of the lush landscape and all that nature has to offer.

The beaches are one of the biggest draws. You can go to the beach and spend a month for what you would spend in just one week or less in an American hotel. The prices are low and you will be right on the water. Know that this tends to be a party central at night and you will likely find yourself drawn to the bonfire and the dancing. It might not be the most restful choice, but you will definitely have fun.

There are a number of surrounding islands and parks. It is one of the greenest places on earth. You can plan a camping excursion and head into the backcountry, camping your way through Thailand. The great part about this type of trip is as you hit little villages and towns you can stay in the finest hotels and still hardly spend any money. This means you get the beauty of the backcountry and you can feel totally rested and clean every once in awhile.

For the true city dweller, Bangkok is the place to be. You will never get over how much there is to do and buy in the city. It is a crowded place and it is advisable to leave your more pricey items secured in the hotel safe or hidden in your room. Pickpockets and other thieves are a problem as they like to target tourists. For this reason, keep your money close and you will be absolutely fine. You can find dance clubs, interesting food and even catch a local movie if it interests you. Plan a trip to Thailand and you will have a fantastic vacation guarantee!

thailand ko phi phi 02

thailand ko phi phi 02 (Photo credit: FriskoDude)

Road travel planner, that’s the answer!

Travel plans in Europe

Travel plans in Europe (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As a senior traveler, i found there are a lot of great web sites that can help me to plan a trip. its so brilliant that once i’m in the map, i can click on various sites and i can view the wiki-travel info or the Wikipedia site in order to discover what things you might be interested in seeing. This means that if for example your planning a family trip, you can involve everyone in the family in the travel process. You can even break down the street view or add various reviews to the road travel planner area in order to help future visitors come up with a good plan. You get a full view of the area and what it has to offer. This also gives you a chance to alter your plans before you begin.

From start to finish as i was using these planning sites, I felt as though I always had someone on my side when it came to making choices.  I accessed the information during our trip, made adjustments and even added new sites. A travel system that is interactive is much more useful than a hard copy book or a static planning trips guide that is complicated to adjust. Every place we went we had a chance to discover something new and interesting, it was much more fun than a book.

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