6 Iconic Hikes You Should Do Before You Die

I’ve come to realize a long time ago that hiking from a fun and healthy hobby quickly transforms into a lifestyle and once you get into it, there’s no turning back. For many people, hiking seems like too much work, when in reality it helps you understand that our everyday lives seriously need a pause button from time to time and this is one of the best ways to hit it.

Throughout the years, as my passion for hiking and trekking grew, I found myself exploring new exciting trails all over the world and a bucket list started to form. I’ve had the pleasure to witness the wild beauty that numerous hikes around the planet have to offer but somehow, the list of places I want to see only grows. Here are six of the most memorable hikes that every formidable hiker should conquer if they get the chance to do it.

1.     Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA

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You’ve seen it everywhere – on posters, movies, and commercials, but still, witnessing the vastness of Grand Canyon isn’t something anyone can describe, you have to live it. Even if you’re quite new in the world of hiking, there are trails in the canyon you can try out without any fear you’ll overestimate yourself – Bright Angel Point Trail that only takes about half an hour is a good example. If you’re in for more of a challenge, then give Widforss Trail a shot and be prepared to be amazed at the variety of scenery you’ll come across. This round trip trail is 10 mi. long and it takes about six hours to explore it fully, but you will definitely have stories to tell after you come back. Don’t forget to bring your camera because one thing’s for certain – Grand Canyon has nothing if not mesmerizing views and you will definitely want to capture that.

2.     Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

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I strongly believe that traveling to Africa is a life-altering experience, not just because the culture and life are so different there, but because the spirit of this continent seeps into your bones. When you become confident enough and decide to get to the highest peak of Africa, know that you will need 7-9 days for the climb, depending on which route you take, as well as your stamina and fitness. While Kilimanjaro is known as a “walk-up mountain”, you still need plenty of time to get used to different climates and ecosystems you’ll go through on your way to Uhuru Peak. You will see everything from rainforests and moorland to cultivated land and snow as you reach the summit. Wild animals, never-ending skies and pilgrimage-like feeling of the hike will stay with you long after you return to civilization.

3.     Mount Fuji, Japan

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Here’s a mountain that has inspired artists from all over the world and today it remains an incredibly famous site only 60 miles from Tokyo. This mountain is made up of three active volcanoes and surrounded by five lakes, and as you approach it, you can’t help but feel the awe. If you’ve got thirst for Japanese culture and hiking, then taking on Fuji is the best “killing two birds with one stone” moment. You can climb this sacred mountain only during July and August every year unless you want to face harsh and unwelcoming weather conditions that can easily threaten your life. Don’t take this hike for granted though, as there are some quite demanding parts, no matter which course you take. Make sure to come prepared, with plenty of hiking food and equipment, though you’ll have plenty of stops along the way, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

4.     Mont Blanc in the Alps, France and Switzerland

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They say that Mont Blanc is one of the deadliest mountains in the world and many wholeheartedly agree with this notion. There’s an unyielding allure to places that are notorious for taking lives and King of the Alps is definitely one of those spots, which is why you need to be very, very prepared before you head out into this adventure. The weather is treacherous even during the hiking season from June to September, and you need to be prepared when it comes to hiking and climbing gear. Your fitness levels and agility will also be tested because the White Mountain with its peak at almost 16,000 feet will challenge you in every way possible, but the hikes that lead you through Italy, France and Switzerland will show you the sights and astonishing beauty that can’t be found anywhere else.

5.     Mount Elbrus, Russia

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The Russian Caucasus Mountains hide the highest peak of Europe in their little-explored areas and if you want to reach it, you have to hike and climb your way through Mount Elbrus first. This inactive volcano has been the dream of many ambitious hikers for decades, though more because of the glory of conquering the tallest mountain of the Old Continent. The hike in itself isn’t very difficult, especially because there’s a cable car system that works very well and will take you to 12,500 feet. From there you can take the Standard Route that is quickest and most secure and will take you to the southern slopes of Elbrus, all the way to the top. If you want to explore Elbrus and give it your best to get to the very top, going anytime from May to September is the wisest decision.

6.     Laugavegur Trail, Iceland

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Iceland has been tucked away on the edge of the world map for a very long time, but more and more tourists discover its unexpected and completely unique beauty all the time. Laugavegur Trail is one of the most popular things to in Iceland, which is why hikers from all over the world come here. This scenic trail has it all, including ice caves, hot springs and a lavish waterfall at the end of your hiking experience as a reward. Very few places on Earth have such astounding variety of landscapes on such a small distance, which is why Laugavegur is so attractive even to non-hikers. You can either camp out or book accommodation, which is quite affordable, but no matter what you decide, while you’re exploring Laugavegur Trail, you will feel like you’re in another world.

There are many other iconic hikes to talk about and only a book would suffice to write about them, but this list is a good start. Depending on your preferences and hiking experience, you can pick and choose where you want to go and make memories. The sky is not the limit, and that is never as clear as the moment you get to a mountain’s peak and reach for the clouds. – Tyler Michaelson

 

Tyler is a man of adventure. Loves spending time outside, and “luring” others to do so as well. Besides that, his main hobbies are writing, working out, photography and movie nights. He is also one of the main contributors to prosurvivalist.com.

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Travel Guide for Your Winter Holiday 2016

 

Winter is a great season and everyone looks for trips with loved ones, time off from work and the daily grind. Well, you too can certainly plan a sneak escape from it all this winter! Wish to beat those winter blues? How about a fantastic holiday! As the days are shorter and darker, taking a quick winter sun break becomes a must but choosing where to go for the sizzling winter sun is still an intimidating decision. Selecting a perfect warm destination to bid goodbye to dark days and chilling temperatures is the real big task. We’ve tried to take the efforts for you.

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Here’s a brief rundown of a few best destinations across the globe that could be just ideal for your winter vacation 2016!

  1. The Canary Islands, Cape Verde

This is quite like a secret paradise! The Canaries has 10 main islands which are scattered all along the coast of Senegal. Miles and miles of creamy white beaches definitely lure you. To add to the delight, you can simply enjoy a dip in the warm, clear emerald waters. Just sit back to relax on some beach, and gather plenty of sunshine!

  1. Sharm Al Sheikh, Egypt

Such an unusual destination! Right? Egypt has a magnificent historical and cultural background. But that’s not all this place has! It has more than historical treasures – miles of warm water beaches, excellent diving sites, fishing areas, and what not. Avoid summer crowds in sunny places and let the sun work out on your tan!

  1. Lapland, Arctic Circle

Lapland, fondly known as the Santa Claus’ homeland, is a lovely vacation destination during winter. Tucked away in the northernmost Finland and deep inside the Arctic Circle, Lapland is no less than a book stuffed with fairytales. Long stretched forests that are snow dusted and super cozy log cabins that seem too pretty make your holiday with your kids memorable. The best thing here in Lapland is that you’ll see more reindeer than people. You can be adventurous with some winter sports and be a part of a few exciting festive winter activities!

  1. The Exotic Caribbean

The Caribbean is the land of exotic beauty. It makes a perfect destination for a winter sun holiday and relaxation. The daytime temperature typically remains well above 200C so you can sit and relax under a palm tree in Antigua or cruise around Barbados. Reach the peak of pleasure and relaxation at a spa resort in St Lucia. Pristine beaches, serene sea waters, amazing tropical flora, charming holiday resorts, and beachfront royal boutique hotels make the Caribbean a blissful relaxing escape from the rest of the world.

  1. Dubai, UAE

Dubai is no doubt one of the top holiday spots in the world. This ultra-modern city is set upon miles of shining golden sand and offers the best of luxury to everyone who visits. Everything in Dubai is spectacular and luxurious including its skyscrapers, hotels, and shopping malls. In winter, the weather is just perfect for holidaying. Wander around the modern and the old city, eat at the best restaurants and street food joints, shop in huge malls as well as traditional souks, and visit the most desirable structures and mysterious museums! Apart from all this, there are a few must do things including the best desert safari in Dubai. Desert safaris, especially overnight camping is an unforgettable experience to cherish for the rest of your life.

  1. Abu Dhabi, UAE

Abu Dhabi, popular for its culture and more luxurious than Dubai, makes an ideal holiday destination in winter. Unlike Dubai, Abu Dhabi offers more true luxury and less of glitz & glam. The typical Middle East character of this city is worth admiring and it bridges between the Western and the Eastern worlds. Marvellous beaches, world class adventures sports, magnificent world-class museums, shopping malls, impeccable restaurants, and what not; Abu Dhabi is worth checking out!

  1. Florida

You’ve no doubt heard of Walt Disney World, Busch Gardens, and Universal Studios? Yes, Florida is the place! A superb destination stuffed with a plethora of natural and manmade attractions, Florida makes a wonderful vacation destination and has a lot more to offer its visitors – Orlando, the famous Seven Mile Bridge, fascinating amusement parks, lakes, waterways, stunning coastline, forests, fantastic hotels, great shopping spots, virgin beaches, gorgeous coral reefs, exciting water sports, rocking night life, and top notch tourist facilities.

  1. Reykjavík, Iceland

In spite of being one of the coldest spots across the Europe, Reykjavík in Iceland has plenty of natural hot water springs to warm you up! It’s a fantastic winter holiday place offering a plethora of winter sports, spectacular celebration festivals, geothermal swimming pools, and of course, those most sought after warm water springs.

  1. Prague, Czech Republic

If the both of you are seeking a super romantic, fairytale vacation this winter, Prague is that destination! Indulge in stunning architecture, pretty old town, snow-capped spires, and fascinating winding streets. The best thing about Prague is that it’s almost tourist free during the winter months. Wonderful restaurants and cozy cafes help you plan a few romantic evenings with the love of your life.

  1. Nagano, Japan

This former Winter Olympics host city is a lesser known vacation spot among tourists. Nagano is a fabulous base for adventure freaks who wish to explore ski resorts located nearby. After a hectic day on the snowy slopes, it’s quite worthwhile to enjoy in the natural hot water springs. A few of the sites you must cover include beautiful, snow-covered Buddhist temples and the Togakushi Minzoku-kan folklore museum where the ninjas were once trained.

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Here’s the checklist you should keep handy while planning a winter vacation!

  • Figure out what exactly you want from the vacation
  • Set a firm budget for the tour
  • Do your research properly – places to see, eat, and stay at
  • Sort out all your clothes that you must pack for the tour and confirm if it fits within the luggage allowance
  • Confirm your transportation
  • Check out what holiday extras you can manage well in advance
  • Get up-to-date with your passport and any visa that may be required

So, are you ready to fly somewhere sunny, hot, and too beautiful?

Book your favourite tour and start packing your bags!

The Best Airlines For In-Flight Entertainment

Long flights can be a drag, but there’s nothing better to make the time fly and take your mind off cramped economy quarters than a good inflight entertainment system. These airlines have taken pains to make sure that your journey is about more than getting you from Point A to Point B, and have stocked their systems with so many distractions that you’ll forget you’re in the air.

1. Virgin

Virgin Atlantic flights come equipped with seatback monitors chock full of recent releases, popular TV shows (including current Netflix and HBO faves), kids’ content, games, music, and even audiobooks. With a special platform dubbed Vera, you won’t be bored and can play whatever your heart desires even before and after take off. Meanwhile, sister airline Virgin America sports a similar seat-back system called Red, equipped with a very special extra feature: seat-to-seat chat, which allows you to make new friends or even anonymously send a glass of champagne to the cutie in 16C.

2. IcelandAir

IcelandAir takes its contribution to the island nation’s growing tourism industry seriously. A great selection of Iceland-centric content introduces visitors to the country’s unique culture through a seatback personal entertainment system. Learn about volcanic eruptions and culinary legacies through short episodic content, listen to music by various local artists (turns out there are many besides Björk), or watch movies directed by Icelanders or shot in the country’s rugged landscapes alongside Hollywood blockbusters and American television shows.

3. JetBlue

You’ll never have to curse your ill-timed flight again for causing you to miss a game—JetBlue streams DirecTV to every seat for free, allowing for appointment viewing and live channel surfing. With 36 channels on most planes and over 100 channels on A321s, it’s as good as a session on your couch. Actually, it’s even better, since you don’t even have to stand up to get your hands on some free chips and soft drinks. Add in free SiriusXM, $5 on-demand movies, and free Wi-Fi that supports on- and off-line access to media from such sources as Vice and the Wall Street Journal on your devices, and you’ve got yourself a winner.

4. Qantas

Consistently voted among the top ten airlines for inflight entertainment, Qantas makes the cut for the sheer scale of its offerings. International flights have between 300-1500 entertainment options for passengers to choose from depending on plane type. Movies, shows, music, games, radio, and a dedicated Kids Zone keep folks occupied, and a quick download of the PressReader app on your devices before you board gives you a twelve hour window of complimentary access to thousands of newspapers and magazines.

5. Qatar Airways

Qatar’s Oryx One system offers a whopping 2000 ways to distract yourself and boasts featured collections including the “Al Pacino Collection” and the complete set of films from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Content comes in a range of languages and also includes plenty that will introduce visitors to Qatari and Middle Eastern culture. Listen to a live concert recording of a Yemeni singer, then switch to a movie for a dose of Hulk smash… talk about eclectic.

6. Emirates

Emirates can boast that it’s won Best Inflight Entertainment from the Skytrax World Airline Awards for eleven years running, and basically combines everything that the aforementioned airlines offer into one crazy comprehensive package. The airline’s Ice system boasts digital widescreens in every seatback plus game controllers with their own miniature screens, 2000 channels organized by genre from which passengers can create custom playlists, email and texting capabilities, seat-to-seat chatting, and a feature that lets you see the view from cameras mounted on the plane’s exterior. Certain flights also offer live satellite TV. What more could any 21st century traveler possibly ask for?

This post was posted by The Hipmunk on Hipmunk’s Tailwind Blog on August 16, 2015