The area west and south of Rapid City is home to several national and state parks as well as the famous and frequently photographed Mount Rushmore. While Mount Rushmore draws a huge number of visitors every year, visiting this area and skipping the rest of the region would be like swinging through Paris to see the Eiffel Tower and visiting nothing else. The park areas around Mount Rushmore include large tracts of land where Bison roam freely, one of the largest caves in the world, unique geological landscapes not found anywhere else in the world, and fun cultural and historical attractions.
The first stop on our summer road trip was Chicago, and it didn’t disappoint. Since we were traveling with our three year old daughter, we wanted to make sure that we provided plenty of entertainment for her instead of just dragging her around to the major sights that most grown-ups would want to visit.
Known as “the marvelous city,” Rio de Janeiro is one of the hottest travel destinations in the world, and the most visited city in all of the southern hemisphere. Nature lovers and city slickers alike can find something to enjoy in the various terrains Rio has to offer, from its mountains and rain forests to the beaches and concrete playground of the city center. With the Summer Olympics quickly approaching, the costs to visit Rio de Janeiro are expected to skyrocket.
Despite the sense of wonder and adventure associated with a trek through the Himalayas, the journey does not have to be as rough as you would think. Surprisingly, trekking in Nepal does not have to involve any camping. Due to the frequency of small villages and “tea houses” along many popular hiking paths, most visitors and trekkers stay the night in small hotels or guest houses which provide a comfortable stay, meals, and even toilets.
So, if we’re not camping, then what do we need? Some basic outdoor equipment is necessary, as are good shoes and clothing for multiple climates. We’re talking about the Himalayas, where high altitudes can mean cold weather and rain (but not always). Food and water are also readily available, but a reusable water bottle and water purifiers can save you some cash along the way, too.
Summer vacation, at least for our family, is synonymous with road trips. We, Bryan and Laurie, the founders of Budget Your Trip, decided it was time to step away for a couple of weeks and take the newest member of the family (our four month old daughter) on a driving adventure from Boston to Nova Scotia. Yes, it’s quite a long drive. And yes, everyone says it’s a challenge to travel with a baby. But we went anyway, because traveling is in our blood, and also because we’re a little crazy. To add to the reasons, believe it or not, this was our first time in Canada. We’ve trekked through the Sahara and the Gobi, swam in the Mekong and the Nile, but we have never visited our friendly neighbors to the North. Well, it was time to fix that!
Beijing is a masterpiece of human culture. We spent about two weeks in the city, fell in love with it, and watched the old mix with the new. Residents bike up and down the hutong alleyways while new cars zip along the wide boulevards past rising skyscrapers. We’ve all heard that China is growing at a phenomenal pace, but you have to see it in person to fully understand the transformation.
Here are some photos from our recent travels in this amazing city.
This week we’re showing a few more photos from our adventure through Mongolia….
Here are a few photos of our most recent location in Pingyao, China. It’s truly an old and fascinating town, so check it out if you happen to be in the area.
So far on our trip to China and Mongolia, we’ve been to Beijing, Mount Huangshan, and some small Houzhou villages. Here are a few photos to tempt you until we can post more stories of our adventure.
Now that we’re about one week into our trip to China and Mongolia, we’ve ventured beyond Beijing, our first destination. For this two month trip, we’ve packed as lightly as possible. Instead of each of us taking our normal packs (around 80 liters in size) and also carrying additional smaller packs, we’re only carrying one medium sized pack (about 35 liters) and smaller backpacks. Also, one of the smaller bags is a camera/laptop bag.