It is time to pack your bags and get on a plane to Tropical North Queensland. This area of Australia is jam packed with stunning landscapes, heavenly islands, World Heritage-listed attractions and thrilling adventure activities.
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!
When I first heard about this new service I was very skeptical. How could you actually get a free rental car? Or, even more suspicious, how could you get a rental car for only a few dollars? Free might be easy to explain due to some sort of promotion, but how could a business operate by only charging a few dollars?
Well, it’s true, but there’s a catch. Transfercar, a New Zealand-based company, is moving into the U.S. market. The idea is simple, you visit their website, book a one-way car rental for a specified date, and only pay a few dollars or nothing at all. And they are starting on the west coast with big expansion plans for the rest of the country.
New Zealand has long been recognized as one of the most beautiful places on earth. With stunning fjords, lakes, rivers and mountains in vast wilderness areas, there is no shortage of amazing scenery to breathe in. One of the most rewarding ways to see New Zealand is by foot, so grab your backpack and your walking boots and hit one of the many walking and hiking trails that crisscross this beautiful land. There are thousands of miles of tracks, with options to suit all levels of fitness, experience and time available.
Did you know that Australia’s food and wine scene is bursting with creative chefs, skilled purveyors and exciting winemakers producing fresh and innovative flavors that are the envy of the world? With a rich and varied landscape capable of supporting a variety of fresh and tantalizing produce coupled with a long immigrant history, Australia’s fusion food really sets itself apart. Multicultural diversity influences each producer’s enthusiasm, passion and experimentation in a different fashion allowing for a uniquely Australian style to unfold.
The Aboriginal peoples of Australia are considered one of the world’s most ancient living cultures. With a history dating back more than 50,000 years, their culture is rich with spirituality and wonder. Their deep connection to the land is showcased through their rituals, art, dance, music and Dreamtime stories – the time when their ancestral spirits created the land and all life. A trip to Australia wouldn’t be complete without experiencing at least some of the cultural activities of the Indigenous peoples. Sure, Australia has beautiful beaches, the Great Barrier Reef, the Whitsunday Islands, and so on – but there’s a lot more to offer when you get a more cultural and historical perspective.
I asked a group of experienced travelers how to go about packing for a trip. When I reached out to this intrepid group of travelers for their advice, one key theme emerged: take only what you really need. Also, I asked them about the common concept of “packing light.” I asked these travelers if they pack light, and most said they do, but many still struggle with the concept. So how do we pack light and what does that really mean? What have these expert travelers learned over the years, and how can we benefit from their advice?
Sometimes you want to get off the beaten track, and sometimes you want comfort. Sometimes you want an adventure to escape “real life”, and sometimes you want a little peace and quiet to relax. Well, on a dude ranch, you can have everything. The noises of construction and sirens (and your boss) are left at home and replaced with the sounds of a gurgling stream, birds chirping, children laughing, and even silence. If you have ever fantasized about leaving your daily commute behind and replacing it with horses on the trail, or natural experiences all around, then a trip to an authentic working dude ranch may be just what you’ve been looking for.
I can’t fully explain why we wanted to go to Mongolia. Of all the places in the world, most people would rather visit another country. Many of our family members were amongst those that politely asked why, and our answer was something vague, such as “It just looks interesting.”
Our trip would take us on a two month journey through China and Mongolia, of which we spent almost three weeks in Mongolia. Most of that time was spent on a 15-day tour of the Mongolian countryside in an old beat-up Russian army van, now re-purposed to carry tourists across the rugged terrain. We would spend most of our journey in this old nearly broken-down van while camping in the countryside, eating very fresh meat, and meeting the locals.
You might not see your favorite traveler very often due to the very nature of travel – they are probably out in the world somewhere following their dreams. This holiday season, you can help them stock up on the best travel items they want and need to make the rest of their traveling year as adventurous as possible. We’ve curated our favorite and most used travel items to help you filter through the best new and consistently awesome travel products on the market. We like to travel, and we do it often, so we think this list is more than just fluff. The items here will keep you safe and comfortable while enjoying the amazing places at the far reaches of the globe.