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First Timers Travel Guide to Miami, Florida.

Miami is one of the biggest city in the U.S, and one of the most famous tourist cities as well. If you are planning your next trip to the States, then you have to stop by Miami, Florida and get to know the best of the sunshine state.

If you are all about tropical weather, beautiful beaches, sunny days and great places to visit alone or with your family, then Miami is the right city for you. There are so many things to do, you won’t ever get bored.

We are going to tell you everything you need to know about this tropical city. From places to stay, the best places to eat and of course, all the cool locations you need to visit while you’re there… Are you ready?

Getting to Miami, Florida.

Whether you are traveling from any other city within the United States, or if you are traveling overseas, there are two easiest way you can get to Florida, and then to the sunny city of Miami.

If you are coming overseas from any other country in the world, we’ve good news! The Miami International Airport is one of the most important airports in the country, which means most flights fly directly from any other city to there, so getting a plane ticket won’t be a trouble at all.

Now, if you are traveling from any other city within the United States, you can also get to Florida by driving (If you are up for a road trip!) However, catching a flight is also a cheap and faster way to getting to this beautiful city.

Best places to stay in Miami.

Depending on your budget, and how much you are willing to spend, there are many different places where you can stay in the city. From luxurious hotels, to more modest yet really incredible places, there are many places where you can stay!

  1. The Marriott Stanton South Beach Hotel.
    You can’t go wrong when it comes to the Marriott hotels, they are always the same: Big, with really great rooms, amazing facilities and really good prices.
    You can get a room for approximately $300 a night, although they do have special discounts always going up, you just need to search for them before getting a room. 
  2. Fontainebleau Miami Beach.
    If you are looking for a hotel and resort, then this one is the one for you. It’s a five star hotel located right in front of the beach, with multiple pools and luxurious rooms. Booking a room can cost you about $249 a night, depending on the type of room you choose. 
  3. Hotel Croydon.
    Although this one is cheaper than the others, it is still a really good hotel with beautiful interior decorations, big rooms, free WiFi and a great location. Booking a room can cost you up to $98 a night.

Keep in mind, these are only a very few of the many hotels and resorts you can find in Miami, there are still many great places like the Hilton Bentley, the Delano South Beach and the Metropolitan Miami beach hotel.

What to do in Miami.

Like we said before, Miami is the perfect city to visit if you’re all about sunny days, beautiful beaches and tropical weather! So of course, all the best things to do in the city involve one of three things: Outdoor spaces, the ocean, and family-friendly spaces!

  1. Visit South Beach.
    Probably Miami’s most famous beach, South Beach has clear blue water, white sand and amazing skies waiting for you all day, everyday. It’s the perfect beach to spend the whole day at.
    The South Beach area, however, is so much more than just a beach. People also travel all the way to there to go shopping in the famous Ocean Drive, and of course, to enjoy the vibrating nightlife. 
  2. Stroll around Ocean Drive.
    Like we just said, Ocean Drive, located in South Beach, Miami, is the most famous boulevard in Miami, and probably in the U.S. If you want to shopping and enjoy some delicious foods, while enjoying the nice view of the beach, this is the right place for you. 
  3. Visit Wynwood Art District.
    The walls of Miami are painted with the works of upcoming and famous artists to create the world famous Wynwood Art District, where you’ll find incredible paintings right there, on the walls! (And you will get to take some amazing pictures for your Instagram as well). 
  4. Visit the Museum of Ice Cream.
    This place has become extremely popular amongst young people, and for a good reason: It’s a whole museum dedicated to Ice Cream! and it isn’t like anything you’ve ever seen before. With incredible and interactive exhibitions and rooms that are meant for you to take photos in, this place is a must visit when in Miami. 
  5. Visit Jungle Island.
    If you’re all about adventure and outdoor activities then Jungle Island is the right place for you. It is located really close to South Beach and Downtown Miami and it is one of the biggest attraction in the city. You do have to pay to get in, and ticket prices can vary depending on the season, however, it is totally worth it the money. 
  6. Visit Little Havana.
    Delicious food, music and an overall great vibe wait for you in Little Havana, a small but unique district of Miami dedicated to Cuban and Latin culture. You can find anything from restaurants to little shops in here, and chances are there’s always Latin music playing all day long!

Get ready to travel to Miami, Florida.

As you can see, there are many things you can do in Miami (the ones we mentioned are just a few of the best things to do in the city!) However, if you are planning to visit the U.S you do need to check your VISA or ESTA status.

An ESTA is an electronic permission to enter the United States, given to those who are part of the visa waiver countries. If you are part of these countries, it means you benefit from the ESTA and can travel to the U.S without having to apply for VISA.

However, if you aren’t part of the visa waiver countries, you do have to apply for a tourist VISA in order to be able to enter the U.S. Once that’s done, you are ready to visit the beautiful city of Miami!

Outdoor Adventures To Try For First Timers Visiting Crete

Crete is a heaven for nature and adventure lovers. Hundreds and thousands of tourists arrive here to enjoy a variety of activities exploring nature. If you are an ardent outdoor adventurer, then just rent a villa in Crete and take advantage of those unique opportunities in nature and adventure. Create unforgettable experience as you go through multiple activities right in the heart of Greek nature. There are mountains, canyons, and the seas in the enchanted beauty of the Crete Island.  You name it, and Crete has it all – horse riding, caving, trekking, canyoning, climbing, scuba diving, hiking, canyoning, climbing, scuba diving, kite surf, parasailing, and windsurfing. Continue reading

Shipping An RV Which Was Used For Camping: A Complete Guide

It’s completely natural for people to feel a bit overwhelm when it comes to shipping an RV which was used for camping. Not to mention the obvious cost, there are a variety of important issues you need to take into account such as shipping regulation, distance, insurance and others. That being said, as long as you give yourself a sufficient amount of time to prepare properly, the task should be more or less manageable.  

In the case you simply have no idea about what needs to be done, you come to the right place. This article would provide you with a comprehensive, step by step guide on how to ship a standard recreational vehicle countrywide as well as worldwide. Read the information below carefully and you should see that the task of shipping a conventional RV is not harder than transporting a sizable truck.

What You Have To Think About

Money

As you already know, vehicle transportation is not cheap and RV shipping expense in particular could reach thousands of dollars. Fortunately, you could save yourself a headache and use online calculation tools in order get a cost estimate of an RV shipping operation. Many websites provide people with a wide range of shipping options so they could select the time and place that match their situation the most.

While it’s definitely not impossible for you to plan everything on your own, you should consider buying a shipping package from a credible carrier. All you have to do is to note down the characteristics of the vehicle (condition, dimension, weight, …), call the carrier and get a shipping quote. You could compare quotes from multiple places along with the quality of their service to see which carrier offer the best deal on the market.

Time

Generally speaking, it’s advised for you to arrange the vehicle transportation in advance of the move date to achieve a certain degree of flexibility. That should help you avoid getting stuck with a barely acceptable shipping service which is often the case in last minute planning. In some cases, you may find out that it’s going to be beneficial to adjust the move date so the day the vehicle leaves/arrives won’t interfere with your schedule.   

To make it easy for the customer, several carriers such as DAS have come up with a convenient drop-off/pickup option. You only need to give them a 24-hour notice before you could drop off your RV at one of their holding facilities. In the case you don’t really have the time to do that, contact the place, explain your situation and they should send someone to pick up your RV within 72 hours.

Method

There are a variety of methods available when it comes to shipping recreational vehicles, you just have to pick the one that suits your taste. For example, motorhomes are mobile so you could go to a carrier that offers drive-away and have them drive your RV to its destination. This method is pretty straightforward and you don’t have to go through a lot of document but it does lead to inevitable wear as well as increase the vehicle mileage.

Another popular shipping method is a flat rack container, its appearance is quite similar to an oversized flatbed truck. Your vehicle shall be loaded into the container and placed on a transport vessel. Since the shipping container could support up to 88,000 pounds, it should have no trouble handling standard RV. The method is most suitable for motorized vehicles but you could hire a towing service to take care of towable ones as well.

Standard Procedures Of RV Shipping

Step 1: Choose A RV Shipping Service

Take some time to look for a carrier that could match your requirement, don’t decide until you are certain that you have the best deal. To avoid leaving your vehicle in the hand of a shady company, you should consider taking a look at the place service record and its legitimacy. It’s also recommended not to choose a carrier with an abnormally cheap service price, low estimate usually suggest a lack of insurance and potential hidden fees.

In the case money is not a problem to you, you could simply contact freight brokers and let them take care of the rest. They would help you plan the shipping of your RV down to the last details for a price which saves you a lot of time and effort. Using a freight broker is very convenient when you have money to spare and don’t want to deal with all the hassle of shipping preparation. However, the employment of freight broker adds extra cost.

Step 2: Prepare Your Vehicle For Transport

In general, you must ascertain the state of your vehicle before you could ship it away to ensure its integrity and shipping safety. The process could be done with relative ease as long as you pay attention to what you are doing and obey conventional regulations. Consult your carrier and ask if they have other shipping requirements that you have to satisfy. For most of the time, the preparation of recreational vehicle for shipping is as follow:  

  • Remove all loose item as well as personal belongings
  • Secure the doors and windows of the vehicle  
  • Unplug/Disconnect all non-essential devices
  • Inspect the tires and wheels to ensure they are in good conditions
  • Exam the tow bar and the hitch to determine their status
  • Check the fluid level of the vehicle system (transmission, steering, brake, etc)
  • Prepare a set of key and a list of instruction in case something odd happens.  

Step 3: Re-confirm The Shipping Date/Time

In the last step, you should contact the carrier one last time to confirm all aspects of the shipping operation. You could use this opportunity to inquire the company about anything you don’t understand or want to make adjustments. If you have to drop-off your vehicle at the shipping service facility, remember to drive carefully. The carrier will not be held responsible for the damage caused by the customer so keep your eyes on the road.  

 

Become a Nomad by Living out of an RV

Who doesn’t love the idea of working anytime, anywhere, and anyplace? Living out of an RV provides you with the freedom you’ve never had at a standard 9-5 job. There is no need to settle with a cubicle, the world is your playground and an RV is your chariot.

In this day and age, everything is accessible online. Remote workers are quickly increasing in popularity, as they are flexible, accountable and productive. An RV offers everything you would need in a traditional office while letting the employee work wherever and however they see fit.

Living out of an RV provides a working citizen the freedom they often crave from a traditional workplace. It’s the best way to spontaneously see new places, try new hobbies, and meet interesting people.

Cost-effective

When transitioning to living out of an RV, your expenses will change. You will no longer be paying a mortgage or monthly rent. You will pay for campground fees, vehicle maintenance/repair fees, and gas.

Although these fees may seem exceptionally less than a traditional home, they will still add up. Living out of an RV isn’t free but it can be more cost-effective with a budget.

Set up a monthly budget. First starting with all the costs relating to the RV and then personal spending such as food, Wi-Fi, etc. Once you have your costs down, you’ll know exactly how much you have to work with.

Embrace the Outdoors

As a nomad, it is easy to get wrapped up in your work and forget to take a break. Being in an RV provides the perfect excuse to get some fresh air and reboot before heading back to work.

There is no better place to be one with nature than out in the open water, listening to all the wildlife, and the breeze surrounding you. Fishing is a calming activity that helps you forget the stress and be in the moment. Anyone can learn and it is a fantastic hobby to pick up as an RV’ing nomad.

Making Friends

Whether you are living out of an RV alone or with someone else, it’s important to get out and continue being social. The wilderness is a wonderful way to get away and meet all kinds of travelers at various RV campgrounds.

The RV’ing community is extremely diverse from families to young adults in there 20’s. There is not just one person who commonly lives in an RV making the people you meet all different and interesting.

You could also join an online nomad group where they are likely to conduct meetups in local cafés or co-working spaces. They will relate to a lot of the same issues that you face as a nomad or may be living out of an RV as well.

You don’t have to be an Expert

You don’t need any prior experience to commit to full-time RV’ing. It is common for first-timers to rent their first RV before buying to get a feel for the experience. Many take the opportunity to get rid of excess personal belongings and earn some extra cash for their things.

All you really need when it comes to operating the RV is the vehicle itself and the correct driver’s license. Check with your state on whether you need a specialized license, otherwise, a standard one may be sufficient.

It may be a good idea to invest in a GPS and other safety items such as fire extinguisher, CO detector, and smoke detector. This will ensure that you have directions and are prepared in case of an emergency.

Internet Is Everything

As an RV living nomad, you will no longer be faced with traffic and long meetings. It will most likely be you, your computer, and the freedom to make anything your backdrop.

There are a few options for Wi-Fi. Campgrounds offer it for free but it is slow and capped. Another option is to park your RV outside of a major city. In most cases, you will still be in the wilderness but close enough to walk or catch public transport to a cafe or library.

If you plan on RV’ing long term, you should consider investing in a hot spot or satellite. For additional security, definitely use a VPN to protect private company information.

 

10 Tips for Camping with Your Motorcycle

It’s almost Summer.

Almost time for the sun to shine and the warmth to come once again. It also means that camping season is at its height, including for the bikers out there among you.

If you’re a first-timer, or a seasoned camping biker, this one’s for you: we’ve got all the top tips for camping with your motorcycle that you could ever need.

So, sit back, read on and take note of this full-fat guide to camping on two wheels.

1. Pick a decent site

Everyone always puts scenery at the top of their list when it comes to finding a campsite. And why shouldn’t they? After all, you don’t want to be in an ugly middle of nowhere. However, it’s unwise to ignore other features of a campsite, especially if you’re with the motorcycle.

We recommend picking a campsite on higher ground with few rocks and no high grass. That’s the key to getting a strong view, comfortable shut-eye and insect avoidance combination. So take it on board.

2. Those non-motorcycle camping essentials are still essential 

Just because you’re taking the motorcycle doesn’t mean you need less of the camping essential as usual. Yes, packing light is a great choice, but you can’t forget the important stuff.

Make sure to add a pen knife, torch, waterproofs and a first aid kit (with an emergency blanket included) on your packing list. You won’t regret it.

3. Remember your cooking equipment

Depending on your type of camping trip, the cooking equipment you need will vary. We recommend heading to your nearest (and most reasonably priced) outdoors store and raiding their cooking equipment section.

Pots and pans do come in handy, but be clever about what you’re going to cook and see if you can cut out the need for such equipment altogether. Plates, bowls and cups can be bought, alongside cutlery which takes up no room at all in your bag.

4. Do pack a tent

Some motorcyclists don’t bother packing a tent when camping, and are happy to simply use some sheets or tarpaulin to cover them while on the move. But it’s entirely possible to take a tent with you when camping with your motorcycle – and advisable too.

You have extra security and protection from the elements by packing a tent. They come in all different styles and sizes, so you don’t need to panic about packing it all on the bike too much. In fact, you can even buy tents which are built with vestibules where you can tuck your motorcycle in nicely.

5. Stay protected against pesky insects

No matter what campsite you choose, there’s always a risk of being nibbled at by annoying insects when camping with your motorcycle. Pack some repellent, especially in warmer climates. We’d recommend DEET – a fantastic repellent which works wonders with those pesky winged creatures.

6. Solar chargers will definitely be your new favourite gadget

Especially handy if you’re on the move a lot when camping with the bike are solar chargers. As long as you’ve got the sunshine, you’ve got the juice –and it’s really a beautiful gift.

Pack a solar charger to boost the GPS of yours so that you’re not relying on reading a map. You’ll be able to have a stress-free journey to your next destination and can also take some pictures on that fully charged phone of yours.

7. Strategic packing works – so do it

It would be a lie to say you don’t have to think about your packing a great deal when camping with your motorcycle. You’ll need to organise efficiently and securely, seeing as you can’t control the weather and have a lot of stuff to put on one bike.

Pack some dry bags to ensure your valuables and motorcycle clothes are protected from any sudden storms (yes, even in the summer) and to also compartmentalise your items. If you do this, you’re organised and can save space, especially with multiple dry bags which you can slot together in a large bag.

8. Saddlebags are a necessity

One item you will definitely need when camping with your motorbike is a saddlebag. They are your new best friend, especially the throw-over ones.

Pack some of your heavy items on either side to balance the weight out, and also for extra places to store things. If you use saddlebags, you’ve got proportion on the bike and also a sensible option for camping with your motorcycle as you won’t look like a complete idiot with far too much stuff attached on the bike.

9. Pack the bike with care and thought

The best packing hack we’ve got is to put the heavy items at the lowest point possible on the motorcycle. Place them in front of the rear axle for maximum sensibility. The lighter packing should be placed higher and closer to the rear of the motorcycle in order to ensure the centre of gravity is as normal as possible with camping gear attached to it.

10. A test drive and then you’re good to go

Finally, we recommend packing your bike before you head off and go on a test drive. This way, you’re able to see what’s working and what’s not. After that, you’re good to go. Happy camping!

10 Of The Best Snacks To Keep You Going On A Camping Trip

Looking for snack ideas for a camping trip? Look no more! Below is a list of 10 of the best snacks to bring on a camping trip. They’re great whether you’re going solo or going with a group. Not only are they easy, but they’ll give you what you need to keep going and to keep things fun at camp!

#1 Granola Bars

Granola bars are an essential, especially if your camping trip involves high levels of activity like hiking or biking. It’s loaded with carbs, which is essential in giving you energy. There’s a lot of options out there, but if you want, you can make your own. 

Making your own granola is quite simple. You can find tons of recipes online. I personally love that I can customize it. You can add chocolate, dried fruit, nuts, or seeds - whatever you like! I love adding chia seeds, dried blueberries, and dessicated coconut in my granola bars.

#2 Chips and Dip

Chips are a great snack for camping. You can have them while lounging around or while telling stories around the campfire. They’re great for groups too! The downside is that they’re not so good if you’re backpacking or hiking.

If you have the luxury of bringing chips, make sure to match it with dip as well. You can buy ready-made, or if you’re like me, make you own dip! I usually like cheese dips or guacamole. You can even make your own nachos in camp! You just need tortilla chips and the best cheese for nachos. Again, you can personalize it as much as you want to!

#3 Beef Jerky

Beef jerky on a wooden board close-up

Beef jerky is another camping staple. They're especially great if you're backpacking, biking, paddling, or hiking because it's extremely compact and lightweight. More importantly, it’s gives a great balance of fat, protein, and carbs.

Like granola bars, you can find a lot of brands of beef jerky in stores. However, you can also make it yourself. It’s a lot easier than you think. It’ll also be cheaper too! Check this recipe out!

#4 Campfire Popcorn

Make your campfire conversations or stories more fun with some popcorn! Nowadays, you can find popcorn specifically packed for campfires. If not, you can do it yourself with a pot or disposable pie pan and foil. Click here to make your own campfire popcorn.

#5 Fresh Fruit

You can’t go wrong with fresh fruits! They’re healthy and tasty, and you can do fun things with them too. For instance, you can have fruit kebabs or fruit salad. You could also dip them in chocolate or cover them in peanut butter. If you have kids, that will certainly get them more interested. And let’s be honest, it’ll get us grown ups want to eat fruits too!

#6 Crudites and dip

It’s really not that difficult to eat healthy when you go camping. Crudites are easy to prepare - simply cut up the vegetables into the size you want. Pack them in zip locks or food containers and keep them in a cooler. Another great thing is that you can bring whatever dip you like - a sour cream dip, hummus, salsa, etc.

#7 Dehydrated Fruit

Dried fruit

In some cases, fresh fruit might not be practical to bring. In that case, bring some dehydrated fruit with you. If you’re looking for something sweet on your taste buds, this should do the trick. They’re also rich in nutrients, which is why they make a great hiking or backpacking snack.

If you buy commercially dried fruit, keep in mind that some may contain sugar additives, food coloring, preservatives, and other artificial stuff. Try to go for organic dried fruit if you want to keep things natural and healthy.

#8 Camping Cookies

Hot Coffee cups and cookies on wooden desk, near campfire. Morning light.

Cookies are a great snack for anything! Again, you can get them commercially or you can make your own. Either way, they’re easy to bring to camp and they’re great snacks! For me, I prefer to make my own cookies. My staple camping cookies would have to be oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. They’re great energizers for after a long activity and you can’t really go wrong with a classic!

 
If you want something new, try replacing the chocolate chips with some dried berries. You can add in some nuts and seeds too, if you like. If not cookies, you can even make energy balls. Many recipes don’t need baking, so that’s even much easier!

#9 Roasted Nuts

There’s not much to say about nuts. They’re a great snack but more importantly, they’re rich in protein. After a long day of activities at camp, munching on some nuts like almonds will give you the boost of protein that you need.

To make your nuts more exciting, add some flavor by adding cinnamon, vegetable oil, and agave nectar. Roast it for about 7 minutes at around 350 degrees, then add salt and pepper to taste. You can try other flavors too!

#10 S’mores

Smores Ingredients at a Beach Bonfire with Chocolate, Marshmellow, and Graham Crackers with Room for Copy

You didn’t think this list would end without s’mores, did you? They’re a must at camp! Kids and grown-ups alike enjoy this good ol’ camping classic. Pack some graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate. You know the drill!

There you have it

There you have it -  10 of the best snacks to keep you going on a camping trip! It’s hard to go wrong with these yummy treats! They’re delicious, convenient, easy to pack and they will give you the boost you need after some fun activities.

What are your favorite camping snacks? We’d love to hear about it! Share them using the comment section below!


9 Best Family-Friendly Destinations In Asia

Asia, the largest continent on the planet is also a home to a number of beautiful tourist destinations where you can have a good time not only with your loving friends, but your sweet family as well. From unique amusement parks to some of the most beautiful natural sites – this place has a lot to offer. Of course, to go to these countries you must also have a valid passport, click here to see detail passport renewal services.

Following are considered as the top nine family-friendly destinations in Asia:

1. Hong Kong

You can visit this metropolitan city with your family to have a beautiful time as this city has a number of leisure spots for your family. The Disneyland as well as the sea-themed Ocean Park is considered to be the most loved destinations of this city. However, there are many other beautiful spots that you must not fail to visit.

2. Tokyo

Tokyo is full of activities and your family is surely going to have a good time in this city. This city is also known as one of the finest cities of Asia. Visit the Hello Kitty theme park with your toddlers to give them a good time. You can also pay a visit to the beautiful National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation to learn a lot of things about science.

3. Ko Lanta, Thailand

If you are looking forward for a holiday that is relaxed and low-key then visit Ko Lanta situated in Thailand to fulfill all your relaxation needs. This place is located in the west coast of the country. There are beautiful resorts, pristine beaches as well as the waters of the tranquil Andaman Sea too.

4. Kanchanaburi, Thailand

This place is located closely to Bangkok and is mainly known for its seven national parks, majestic rivers, cavernous caves, waterfalls, lakes as well as temples. You can easily get into this city from Bangkok and can spend a beautiful time by exploring the beautiful places along with your family.

5. Ko Tonsay, Cambodia

Ko Tonsay is a beautiful place of Cambodia where you can spend a cheerful time with your family. What makes this place a good destination for a family trip is its remote and undeveloped atmosphere. Also known as the Rabbit Island, this place serves as the best spot if you wish to connect with the nature.

6. Bali, Indonesia

This place is a tropical paradise destination for your family where you can enjoy a number of family-friendly activities. If your family adore animals, you can indulge into the activity of riding elephant at the Bali Elephant Park. You can also feed monkeys, swim with the dolphins and enjoy a number of other fun loving activities along with your family.

7. Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

The Ha Long Bay situated in Vietnam is a place where you can escape with your family for a beautiful holiday. Take help of vietnamamazingtours.com to organize the tours especially for Ha Long Bay. This place is made up of 1,600 islands as well as limestone karst landforms in the Gulf of Tonkin. You can tour the beautiful islands for a wonderful experience. You can relax your hearts out at this beautiful destination. Don’t forget to explore the outdoors too.

8. Luang Prabang, Laos

One of the most popular destinations of Laos is Luang Prabang which is worth a visit with your family. This place is full of local villages, beautiful Buddhist temples, amazing caves as well as the blue lagoons. This place is a blend of culture as well as nature. This town has also been declared as the UNESCO World Heritage Site and thus your visit to this beautiful town is a must.

9. Singapore

Singapore is one of the best destinations for family vacations in Asia. Despite of being expensive in nature, this city is a perfect getaway for families as it has a lot to offer to them, especially to the children. This multicultural city is a perfect example of cleanliness as well as organized culture. Visit the Singapore Zoo as well as nearby Night Safari. Visit the beautiful Sentosa Island which is known as the favorite playground of Asia and enjoy with your family.
Now that you know the best countries to visit in Asia, it’s time to pack your bags and indulge in a beautiful getaway with your family.

Trekking to Machu Picchu: Inca and Alternative Routes

Towering above the Peruvian Andes since the 1450s, Machu Picchu is one of the most iconic ancient ruins in the world. Yet, its true purpose remains a mystery to the modern world. Trekking to Machu Picchu can be more than just following a trail depending on which route you take – to choose one, that’s the real challenge!

Inca Trail

The Inca Trail is the only route that takes you directly to the ancient royal Inca ruin. It more than likely is the route the Inca people would have taken as you climb directly from the Sacred Valley. In terms of culture, this trail is rich in it – even if it is the most popular with tourists.

Definitely the best route for photographs if nothing else, the Inca Trail usually lasts four days and three nights, but don’t let that give you an impression of ease. While there’s demand for 500 people per day to take part, it’s by no means easy. The starting altitude of 3,400 metres means you’ll need to train hard to beat that altitude sickness and physical pressure.

It’s not impossible, but you can’t just roll of the sofa and participate.

Salkantay Trek

If the Inca Trail just isn’t for you, it is best to look at other ways of conquering Machu Picchu. The Salkantay Trek allows you to witness the tall, snowy beauty of Nevada Salkantay – a 6,721 metre Andean peak that does take your breath away.

This trek is certainly more of an adventure than the Inca Trail, simply due to the different eco-systems you pass through. There’s a bit of the jungle and high-altitude zones with a bunch of others in between, making it a trek for those who want to push themselves.

Due to the many different terrains you’ll experience on the Salkantay Trek, it is one you will need to be prepared for. The climates of the jungle and even just the high altitude are a shock to the human system and so the level of difficulty for the Salkantay Trek is reasonably high.

Lares Trek

The Lares Trek is the one the culture-lovers among you have been waiting for. On this trek, you are passing through Andean communities where you’ll meet and interact with farmers and weavers making colourful traditional clothing. They are really wonderful people and meeting them is an honour not many people can say they have had.

In terms of difficulty, the Lares Trek is not as difficult as the Salkantay Trek or the Inca Trail, but it is still one you need to prepare for. The high altitude levels still hit you as you still summit at Machu Picchu, so the training needs to be put in.

Inca Jungle Trail

Don’t mistake this as the same as the Inca Trail – it isn’t. The Inca Jungle Trail is a variation of Machu Picchu’s most popular and scores a solid 10/10 for adventure.

A 60km downhill mountain biking experience mixed in with river rafting on Grade III and IV rapids as well as a challenging and enlightening jungle trek with a zip-line to top it all off is something that surely gets everyone excited. It is a masterpiece of adventure and fun, perfect for backpackers who are on a time limit too as this trail is short.

Although it seems like a hoot, you’re still going to have to be prepared. The Inca Jungle Trail is easier than the Inca Trail as there are fewer steps, but, once again, that altitude will get you if you aren’t careful.

Choquequiaro Trek

One of the most challenging treks in Cusco is the Choquequiaro Trek, mostly because it is the longest one. For adventure, it is perfect and it’s also pretty good for culture as you experience both the Inca sites of Choquequiaro and Machu Picchu.

With an altitude of 3,050 metres, this trek is hard work, but rewarding. The sight of two ancient Inca ruins is a privilege and the Choquequiaro Trek has become a hot site for archaeological nerds, as well as the seriously adventurous.

Happy trekking!

About Mila Whitman

After Cambridge University, Mila has begun travelling the world and publishing her scribbles on major travel sites. Thanks to her all-consuming passion for adventure travel she is an editor and author at Travel Belles, Everest Base Camp Trek, Machu Picchu Trek, Climb Kilimanjaro Guide, Ladies Trekking Club and Mountain IQ.

All you need to know about South Carlsbad State Beach Campground

For someone who loves to camp, to surf, and like anything with the beach, I think the South Carlsbad State Beach Campground is perfect. The city of Carlsbad is known as "The Village by the Sea." Because of its pretty incredible beaches, it does attract many tourists. The South Carlsbad State Beach Campground, in particular, is one of the most popular campgrounds in the area, especially during summer.

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How Much Firewood Do I Need? The Cold will not Bother You Now

How much firewood do I need? The answer to such question will depend on the dimension of your house, the frequency of your utilizing the fireplace, and other significant factors. In an area with mild winters, you may need to use your heating tool once in a while. On the other hand, in cold places, you need to have enough heat for everyday use.
If you are like me, you may want to store more firewood before the winter season comes. Other people even harvest their wood, while some start purchasing them from local stores. Either way, you have to compute the right amount of wood you'll need to fight the cold winter nights. This article will bring everything you should know about stocking up firewood. 

Wood Levels and Measurements

If you want to know the dimensions of the wood you need, you need to know all about cords. Just like many other things, firewood has its unique system to follow when it comes to measurement. In areas outside North America, people use the metric unit known as stere, which is equal to one cubic meter.

In the U.S., the measurement varies significantly. Just like other imperial measurements, it is not as easy as the metric system. The wood can be available in face cords and full cords. You cannot pinpoint the real logic behind the sizes of the wood. In most states in the U.S., the cord can have a definition of a state statute. But still, this varies from one place to another.

A full cord or bush cord may have a volume of exactly 128 cubic feet. The amount can also include the air, bark when you pile the firewood neatly, and even the wood itself. With that, the volume of the real wood in a bush cord may differ. But it can usually start from 80 cubic feet to 100 cubic feet. In some cases, each piece of wood maybe around 16 inches.

But, take note that a face cord is just equivalent to one-third of the full measurement. The stack is four by eight feet and comes with a volume of about 42.5 cubic feet. 

That’s why it’s hard to tell how much wood you’ll need to stock up to combat the winter season. It is true when you have to use the measurements that are arbitrary. Also, there’s the presence of bark and air that makes it challenging to predict how much firewood you are using. In spite of that, you can still utilize the cords to make estimations.

Basic Explanation of a Cord of Firewood

Someone has asked me: what is the equivalent of a cord of wood? Well, I am glad you have raised such question! A cord of firewood is about 128 cubic feet, which measures nearly measure to stacked wood. It also includes the air space between the fire log. So, a pile of timber may have a dimension of 4-feet tall, 4-feet wide, and 8-feet long of a cord. Then, the stack is 4-feet tall, 2-feet wide, and 16-feet long.
When you decide that you have purchase firewood, you have to negotiate with your supplier using the real cords. You may also use the percentage of true cords. But, of course, you can make the estimations using the examples indicated above and observe if it is worth the price. 

How Much Firewood Should You Burn During the Winter Season?

How Much Firewood Should You Burn During the Winter Season

The amount of wood you need for winter and the computation will naturally be dependent on the how often you use your heat source. For other homeowners on rural places, they need it almost every single day. That’s why it is crucial that they gather an adequate amount of firewood than people with indoor fireplaces that they use for heating and decorative purposes. But, remember that it is better to stock up too much firewood than having too little supply later on.

How Much Firewood do I Need?

While there's no assurance on methods to find out how much wood you should use to keep yourself warm during cold winters, you will use more than the usual. So, here are some guidelines you will need to have almost the right estimations:

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    Those who use wood primarily as a heat source can burn approximately 5 cords of firewood.
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    For homeowners who burned fuel as supplementation to other heating methods, they may use only over 2 cords of wood.
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    Lastly, for those who used wood only as they desire, they can gather up to less than a half of a cord

When to Gather or Purchase Firewood?

The wood may require about six months to season. So, during early spring, this is an excellent time to pile up and buy your wood. The insects you may notice beneath the bark are dormant, and they will most likely die before the fall season. The cost may go down, and the supplies are also high. That’s why you have to try purchasing the portion you can use for the rest of the year.

In fact, you may still have them for the next year. But, these wood may give off more smoke that the newly purchased wood. Also, it can most likely gather up insects.

Other landowners who log their properties may even welcome you if you ask them if you can keep the firewood. These loggers can leave up to 50 percent of wood for every tree. It may clutter your landscape, but it can provide you with enough wood. Moreover, with just using a firewood splitter, protective goggles, and chainsaw, you can cut your wood to any dimension you like to save more cash.

Final Thought

It doesn’t matter if you are using your fireplace for relaxation, romance, or warmth, you have to buy the right amount of firewood every spring while it is still season. If you have to supplement your heating system, you still need to gather enough wood to provide adequate heat in your house. If you want to keep your home cozy and warm during the winter, the amount of firewood may depend on the severity of the winter coldness.
So, don’t wait up until the cold season comes, stock up enough wood! Stay warm!

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