How to Pass Time on a Long Trip

image 1 (4)

Sometimes, while travelling for a long time, the hours just seem to drag by. If you get easily bored on a plane, bus or train, why not try some of these tricks to pass the time and arrive fresh and ready to explore? 

image 3 (1) - Copy

Catch some Zs

Travelling is a great way to get some extra sleep and pass the time. Although it can be a little uncomfortable for the legs, sleeping on a bus or a train accompanied by the rhythms and the sounds of traffic is hands down the best way to sleep. And don’t hesitate to splurge on a sleeping compartment when on the train. There you can stretch your legs and back, close your eyes and just relax as the train lulls you to sleep. If you have some valuables with you, such as a laptop, camera, phone and money, make sure to keep them close to you while sleeping.

image 4 - Copy

Shoot photos

All professional travellers always carry their camera with them, and so should you. You’ll get to shoot some beautiful nature scenes, cities, villages and people you don’t get to see every day. Your photos are actually one of the most valuable things you can take home from your adventures, and most people cherish them forever. So, have your camera at hand at all times and who knows what kind of masterpiece you’ll create.

image 5 - Copy

Watch movies

If you happen to fly, most of today’s flights are equipped with an entertainment system, so you can catch up with the movies you’ve missed in the cinema. However, if you’re travelling by bus, you can take your laptop or tablet and fill it with TV shows and movies to pass the time. They are also good airport companions, especially on long layover flights. 

image 6

Make new friends

Travelling alone is perfect for meeting new people and making new friends. Look for other solo travellers who look bored like you, or start a conversation with your seatmate. Who knows, you might meet some extraordinary people, your future BFF or even your soul mate. However, don’t be pushy, as some people just want to enjoy their trip in peace.

image 2 - Copy

Bring some cards

No matter if you’re travelling with your friends, family or alone, you should always make some extra space for a deck of cards. This way you can play a variety of games with people and even alone. Solitaire, anyone? Cards are also an amazing way to break the ice and start talking to other people. You can also get one of those travel chess boards with magnets and play a game or two.

Enjoy some music

One thing a traveller mustn’t forget to bring is an iPod or an mp3 player. When you’re down and exhausted, music will pick you up and give you the energy to push forward. It will also relax you and fix your mood. Music is also a great way to tune out conversations, crying babies and loud sounds of the plane or train. But if you just can’t ignore the noises in the background, you can get noise-cancelling headphones such as AKG headphones that will completely isolate you from the rest of the world.

image 7

Read a book

Before, it wasn’t so easy to carry two or three books with you at all times, but today, that’s not difficult at all. Even though you might be a fan of the “real deal”, e-books are much more practical for travelling and they can almost fit into your pocket. Any time is good for reading, but if you’re stuck on a plane or a train, it can really save your life. However, it’s not recommended for people who suffer from motion sickness. 

So, remember these, and next time you go on a trip, you won’t be bored or lonely. Bon voyage, traveller!

Advertisements

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

hikes1

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

hikes2

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

hikes3

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

hikes4

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

hikes5

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

hikes6

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.

hikes7

5 Places You MUST Eat When Visiting DC

DC is a foodie’s paradise. When you go to the capital of the United States, you may only think about its relevance in politics, history or the many Smithsonian museums throughout the city. But, DC is also home to a massive range of diverse cultures and a thriving restaurant environment. In fact, it’s thriving so well that it can almost be overwhelming the number of food options you have, from swanky restaurants to hole in the wall eateries that locals crave daily. For someone who’s never lived in or visited DC, it can be a harrowing experience, and making a decision as to where to eat can be difficult based on where you plan to stay or what you plan to do.

Thankfully, pretty much all of the best locations to eat in DC are easy to get to because of the extensive metro system. So easy in fact, the metro is the number one way to get around the city, and out into the suburbs of Maryland and Virginia. Take advantage and grab a bite to eat at these amazing restaurants DC has to offer!

1. Founding Farmers

14230941594_a60f1ad8ca_k

Image Source

A major DC favorite, located near George Washington University in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood, Founding Farmers is a beautiful restaurant that serves up amazing brunches, lunches and dinners. The restaurant is owned in a co-op style fashion, by the North Dakota Farmers Union (a collective of over 47,000 family farmers!). This means every ingredient, wine and liquor is made right in the US by hardworking families. FRESH. You can expect to eat true American comfort food here, with true American portions.

2. Le Diplomate

9035820358_7fd9879a02_k

Image Source

A local hotspot for french cuisine, Le Diplomate is a brasserie with authentic french baked goods and entrees. The restaurant interior is beautiful, and the outdoor patio is a fun place to enjoy good weather while eating and drinking. But really, the food is the best you could ask for. The extensive menu has all sorts of french favorites like fresh seafood, Beef Bourgignon, Steak Au Poivre and Lamb Navarin. If you’re not sure what some of these things are, it’s okay, I didn’t either but it was all delicious. Pair it with a nice french wine, and you’ve got yourself a great dinner to start off your night!

3. Old Ebbitt Grill

6862314168_0e2fb9105b_k

Image Source

Old Ebbitt Grill is one of the more famous DC restaurants. Not only is it just across the street from the White House, it’s also the oldest saloon in DC. Originally opened in 1856, this saloon has had many famous guests like President Roosevelt, Grant, Cleveland and Harding. To this day, it’s still a popular location for journalists, theatre goers, politicians and celebrities. The food is very American-oriented, popular and tasty. With such a large menu, it’ll be hard for anyone to not find something they’ll love!

4. Kinship

28735107386_00beecd7ba_b

Image Source

If you’re looking for a nice date night dinner spot, then you should absolutely visit Kinship near Mt. Vernon Square. Although relatively new, this restaurant has been making big waves in the DC culinary scene. The food here is very interesting and unique, with the menu arrangement based on themes like: craft, history, ingredients and indulgence. The chefs here use their traveling experiences to add new takes on American cuisine, and it definitely pays off.

5. Rose’s Luxury

15887177368_981fd2e9fd_k

Image Source

It would be a travesty not to add Rose’s Luxury to this list of DC must eats. Another dinner only restaurant, Rose’s Luxury has been a huge success since it’s conception in 2013. Ever since, you’ll find lines waiting outside the restaurant every evening waiting to reserve a space to eat at this incredible restaurant. At Rose’s, you’ll find contemporary and modern takes on American classics in small-plate tapas form, great for sharing and trying a little of everything. Paired with great drinks and good weather, it’s easy to see why they became such a huge success. Not only that, but they use that success to help feed children through the World Food Program. For every meal you eat at Rose’s, they donate money to the program to give a child a meal (they’ve already donated over $30,000 so far). So, eat up and feel good about it!

 

 

Author Byline: Kate Howard is a loving mother and wife who has lived in, and visited, DC for years. When she’s not teaching preschool, eating new food or looking up funny animal videos, she’s helping people plan their trip to DC through her and her husband’s website: www.hotelsneardcmetro.com.