Great Lakes Adventure

Looking for a different cruise itinerary close to home this fall? How about a colorful “leaf-peeping” cruise on the Great Lakes, America’s own inland oceans, about one-fifth of the world’s fresh water?

On a voyage from Chicago to Toronto last fall, I looked forward to practicing my rusty German while taking in the breathtaking scenery: from the rolling dunes and grand vistas of Traverse City to Mackinac Island’s narrow cobblestone streets and Victorian houses to Canadian wilderness areas and thick-forested shorelines.

Though small by cruise-ship standards, the “3-Star plus” Columbus features a smart, contemporary design. Facilities include a swimming pool and a room with exercise machines facing the water, as well as hair stylists, massage therapists and a doctor. A large lounge features exceptionally good cabaret shows and the Happy Band’s bouncy dance music. The public sitting areas and cozy wine bar were particular favorites with passengers, who gathered there at every opportunity.

Each deck on the Columbus features a different bold color scheme, so it’s easy to find your way around. The 134 outside cabins, 63 inside cabins, and eight suites (with balconies) have plenty of storage space and fully tiled bathrooms with large shower stalls. Other amenities include a mini bar, telephone and TV.

On the downside, smoking is permitted in all the cabins. And, on our trip, a gentleman in a wheelchair was not very pleased with the handicapped facilities. Anyone who has limited mobility should definitely check on this.



Source by Judy Zimmerman

How to "Cook" Ramen Noodles With No Heat

Most people think that you need hot water to cook Ramen noodles. For years now, I have eaten Ramen noodles on camping trips, car trips, and many other times when I have been away from a heat source.

Ramen noodles normally take 3 minutes to cook. The directions say that you simply add the package of noodles into at least two cups of boiling water, and you will be ready to eat within 3 minutes.

For Ramen noodles to be “cooked”, they need to fully absorb the water until they are soft. Heat helps to expedite this process, but it is by no means absolutely necessary. Ramen noodles can absorb cold water just as easily as hot water. The main difference is that it takes longer. Here’s a short guide to help you cook your Ramen noodles with no heat:

1. Find a container that holds a minimum of 12 or 16 ounces of water.

2. Empty the packet of noodles into the container

3. Fill the container with cold water

4. Wait 30 minutes

5. Mix in the seasoning

6. Enjoy!

That’s it. Pretty simple, right? I have found that 30 minutes is a good amount of time for the noodles to become fully soft. Sometimes I might wait up to an hour. The length of time can vary depending on the temperature of the water. If it is extremely cold, it will take longer than if it is lukewarm. Just check on it from time to time if you are in a hurry.

Of course, this whole method presumes that you don’t mind eating cold noodles, but I have found that they are just as tasty when they are cold as when they are hot.



Source by Chris Pine

World Cruise – A Relaxing Experience

Have you ever thought what it would be like to just relax quietly under the sun and at sea-no hustling or bustling, far away from the madding crowds in a casual attire and in clean air and just a small group of likeminded people as company? You are on a World Cruise- around the world, Australia and New Zealand, the Orient, South America, South Pacific, Asia, Europe and the Mediterranean. The ships are equipped with spacious, well-furnished cabins with private facilities having a well-upholstered lounge, a library, good deck space and a small pool. The fares typically range from $70 to $130 a day and the world cruise is for duration from about four to ten weeks, but some are two to three weeks and some are longer.

With World Cruise, you cover 27 nations on five continents. You navigate through the French Polynesia, Great Barrier Reef of Australia, glacier carved fjords of New Zealand, enchanted China’s landscapes and the forbidden palaces. You pay a visit to bazaars in Hong Kong and the buddhas in Bangkok, the colonial and modern blend in Singapore. Enjoy exploring Delhi, Jaipur or the Taj Mahal at Agra and the tombs and temples under the ruling King times. The World Cruise even takes you to Antartica -the ultimate destination. It sure is a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience the grandeur of Rome, the glory of Rome through the warm waters of the equatorial Atlantic.

Taking the world cruise will be the most memorable vacation you have ever undertaken. You would cherish this experience for the rest of your life where you learn about history or diverse cultures the world over or simply unwind yourself. World cruises provide American customers a service of a lifetime-delicious meals, sightseeing, and entertainment combined with a relaxed friendly atmosphere-value for money as you may understand. Now you can sail in style and comfort- Volga river, Moscow canal, Volga/Baltic canal, the Svir River, the Rybinski Reservoir, Lake Ladoga, Lake Onega, and the Neva River. You will certainly be the envy of the Byzantine Emperors as you travel the legendary route between Scandinavia to Kiev and the Black Sea until you reach Dnieper River. Great works of art-‘the Panorama of the Sevastopal Battle’ and you can also visit the room where Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin signed the Yalta Treaty in 1945.

Age is no constraint to take the World Cruise-whether you are 79 or reaching 80, you are welcome aboard. Of course, if you are under 13 the insurance companies might restrict your entry into the cruise. A month prior to departure, you will receive the boarding information along with the ticket package. You may receive a mailing list with port agent addresses with your ticket package-so you can be in touch with your family and friends while sailing. The only change you can expect is the change in the boarding date. However, you may not know the actual time of boarding until the day before or day of boarding.

Do not forget to carry cash, US currency only. Personal checks, traveler checks and credit cards are unacceptable. For you to undertake the world cruise emergency medical/evacuation is necessary. This covers you medically in foreign ports and allows you to avail medical treatment in case of illness. Mostly if you are over 65 years, it is obligatory to have a medical certificate within ninety days of sailing. You need not worry about canceling your trip due to covered reasons as you are covered for it too under trip cancellation/interruption insurance.



Source by Colin Hartness

The Best of Adventure Destinations in India

The daily grind of life takes a toll on everyone. And each and every one of us despises this commonplace drudgery and constantly thinks of ways to overcome this overwhelming humdrum.

We all have our ideas of fun; some prefer the quietude of the mountains and for some, there’s nothing better than a solitude week at forsaken beaches and towns. And then there those dictated by the spirit of adventure.

Our beautiful country is endowed with numerous bounties and opportunities, completely friendly to tourists of all sorts; from vagabonds and families and hippies to adventure enthusiasts. From the sky-kissing Himalayas to rainforests to deserts to boundless coastlines, India offers everything to those who seek. Why not make the best of this opportunity?

Today, let’s check out some of the most popular Indian adventure destinations:

1. Bird Billing, Himachal Pradesh(Paragliding): Billing is a paradise for paragliding lovers. Encompassed by the ever so beautiful Dhauladhar range, Billing is the best Asian destination for paragliding. Also, it has the distinction of holding the first paragliding competition each year.

Apart from Paragliding, one can also to go for parasailing, hang gliding, trekking and camping.

2. Rishikesh, Uttarakhand: Although Rishikesh is a revered holy destination, it is also regarded as one of the best adventure destinations in India, simply for the sheer variety of adventure sports it offers. A magnet for adventure junkies, Rishikesh can be visited for white water rafting, cliff jumping, riverside camping, rappelling, rock climbing and bungee jumping. It has India’s highest bungee jumping podium with a height of 83 meters.

3. Manali, Himachal Pradesh: Another prominent destination in Himachal Pradesh, Manali is a wonderful hill station which is ideal for both nature lovers and those seeking adventure. Apart from the usual adventure activities like trekking and camping, Manali has one of the best trails for mountain biking.

4. Meghalaya: While not so common as compared to the rest of the sports, caving is as much thrilling as other sports mentioned in this list, if not any less. The state of Meghalaya is home to numerous caves, all of which are nestled among waterfalls for verdant forest trails.

5. Auli, Uttarakhand: High elevation and untouched beauty make Auli one of the best skiing destinations in India. Auli is perched in the higher reaches of Garhwal and lies about 250 km further of Rishikesh.

6. Goa: The party capital of India, Goa is among the most revered beach destinations in the world. Don’t tell me you’ve been to Goa and didn’t participate in any of the water sports. Offering water sports like jet-skiing, parasailing, and the newly launched flyboarding.

7. Mysore, Karnataka: Mysore is one of the only few places in India where one can choose to skydive. However, you aren’t allowed to dive alone, an instructor will accompany you.



Source by Mayank Kumar Saini

5 Ways to Cut Teen Summer Travel Costs

According to the National Consumers League, 70-80% of teens will have some type of job during their high school years. Of those, 50% will work more than 15 hours a week during the school year. After months of saving, many teens anticipating spending part of their summer traveling with friends. However, it's important for teens to plan trips as wisely as they save for them. Whether it's an overnight camping trip or a week on a coastal beach, smart planning is equally important to financial success.

1. Travel When Others Do not . Many teens like the idea of ​​a weekend flight, but according to Rick Seaney of the travel website FareCompare.com, one of the best day to fly is Wednesday. If your teen can avoid traveling on a Sunday, it could save them some major cash. Sunday fliers are often hit with a "peak air traveling surcharge," which can be up to an additional $ 30 each way.

2. Split the Cost . If your teen is planning on staying in a hotel, encourage them to room with friends. According to a recent Travelocity.com search of the popular Myrtle Beach destination, many hotels can accommodate from one to four occupants without major price fluctuations. If your teen does not mind bunking up, it could save them several hundred dollars.

3. Take the Bus . If you're concerned about your teen driving long hours, you're in luck. One of the newest and best kept traveling secrets is the MegaBus. Since 2006, MegaBus has offered lost cost travel with free Wi-Fi to all its passengers. According to megabus.com, a ticket from Ann Arbor to Chicago is $ 15 one way or $ 30 round trip.

4. Second Choice is not Second Rate . If there's a place your teen would love to visit, but it's just too expensive, try a nearby alternative that's less expensive (because it's not a tourist trap). Some of the best vacation destinations are the ones less traveled. Advise your teen to use the internet as a tool and do some homework with them on alternative destinations. Plus, any word of mouth recommendations from a reliable source could save you some money over a travel agent.

5. Set a Budget . As a parent who's traveled before, express the importance to your teen about setting a budget and sticking closely to it. Help them manage several expense categories including things such as supplies, food, accommodations and even souvenirs. Helping your teen set up an itinerary of what they are doing on what days can help budget planning go more smoothly.

Helping your teen plan their trip can be a challenge. However, with a little advice and guidance now, you are preparing them for a lifetime of smart financial traveling.

Copyright 5 Ways to Cut Teen Summer Travel Costs © 2011 FamilyMint. All rights reserved



Source by Mike Morland

Summer Family Road Trip Ideas on Budget

Summer is the classic family vacation time in America. It is the time to cram the vehicle, pack in the gear and snacks, prepare the kids, and pull onto the highway for a family road trip. There are so many things that you can do under the sun this time. Definitely, the pleasure becomes double if you can make extra savings on your trip. Check out these frugal ideas for family road trip this summer:

Take Trips to National Parks

Road trips to park are a common frugal family fun but national parks will give the highest value of your money. You will have a number of entertainment options in these parks like swimming, exploring, camping, hiking, and many more. For example, you can visit the ‘Acadia National Park’ that simultaneously offers superb panorama and ocean access. On the other hand, ‘Shenandoah National Park’, which locates near Washington, D.C., is another great place to chill out. The park is within a day’s drive for millions of Americans.

Opt for Scenic Drives

In spite of increasing gas prices, scenic drives can still be considered as one of the most thrifty family road trips. New Hampshire’s ‘Kancamagus Scenic Byway’ is one of the most suitable places to take such drives. You can just hang out with nature in general in this Byway entwined through the ‘White Mountain National Forest’. It offers you a number of stopovers with chances to hike and experience natural water slides. However, never head out for such family trips without planning beforehand. Make a proper plan and download some travel apps for the trip. It will help you to handle logistics emergencies with ease.

Join Tailgating Events

During summer, it is not very rare to catch up some tailgating events while you are on the way for some inexpensive concerts or for your kids’ sporting competitions. Such parties will offer opportunities for pre-game actions and recipe books galore. By bringing your own food to prepare, you can enjoy these events without spending much. To make the process of food preparation easier, you had better learn some awesome tailgate menus before going to the trip.

Waterfront Park Pavilions

Waterfront park pavilions are sources of unlimited fun and water activities. If you do not have a swimming pool nearby, take your kids to a waterfront park that offers rentable pavilions. Your kids will have as much splash, sand, and sun as they want. You can cut the renting cost half by teaming up with another family. Apart from passing quality family time, you can also use these pavilions for arranging your kid’s birthday party or a family reunion because these places are less costly than hotel rooms are.

The fresh and vibrant summer season sets the atmosphere for a great road trip. Whether you are visiting a tourist attraction or planning for a beach plunge, this season will let you to appreciate the complete scenery. The sunny and bright weather is also favorable for enjoying the trip to the fullest.



Source by Rehana Akter

Family Vacation Destinations To Visit On Your Next Getaway

For people around the world that have to deal with either a demanding work life or even just really awful weather, there is nothing they look forward to more than going on vacation. As the time gets closer to break out, you and your loved ones start putting together a list of potential family vacation destinations in the hopes that no matter where you actually go, everyone will find their own personal oasis.

The toughest part of choosing where to go on vacation with your family is narrowing it down to one location somewhere on the planet. Once you’ve gotten past the areas of the world that are either inhabitable or out of your budget, you still have whole areas of Earth to choose from. It can be a daunting task, and when you travel with family, there can be other considerations so that all parties involved in the trip are happy.

In the event that you’re looking to start your own family vacation planning, here are a few destinations to add to the mix:

Carson National Forest – Carson National Forest is one of five National Forests in New Mexico and covers over 1,000,000 acres and has its highest peak hit heights over 13,000 feet! The weather in the area allows for people to enjoy the entire year, which is great for those looking to vacation but aren’t sure if they can take time off during what would be nicer weather times of year. Visitors can enjoy great activities such as fishing, hunting, camping, hiking, and, of course, skiing and snowboarding.

Taos – One of the most interesting places in the United States, Taos has earned a reputation for being one of the greatest places to ski anywhere in the world, and that’s saying something! However, residents of Taos, as well as visitors, can tell you that there is more to see and experience than just skiing and snowboarding. You are, of course, able to explore the legendary Rocky Mountains, one of the many beautiful landscapes you will encounter. The town also boasts one of the most vibrant art scenes in the country. Taos is also an amazing place to explore for those interested in the original inhabitants of the area, the Pueblo tribes. An area as rich with culture as Taos is, it is no wonder that the area has one of the most impressive tourism statistic anywhere.

Angel Fire – If there is one thing to say about Angel Fire, it’s that there is actually something for everyone throughout the year. Given the usual reputation for Angel Fire to be more of a skiing destination, Angle Fire has made a place for itself during every season of the year. Temperate weather during both the colder and hotter times of the year, great sunshine and clear skies for stargazers, tremendous spring blooming, and an actual Autumn make for one of the nicest places to simply get away from it all. What’s nice is that while ski resorts are very much a part of life in the area, Angle Fire prides itself as being more small town than resort area, something that certainly bodes well visitors. With the Rockies surrounding the town with over 11,000 feet of mountain heights, you’ll really get a true sense of the word ‘getaway’.

Family vacation destinations should be about one thing – family. It can be really easy to get caught up in the minutiae of everyday life, and this is certainly the case when planning a getaway of any kind. It’s always important to never lose focus on spending time with each other & cherishing the little moments that make any family vacation memorable.



Source by Morris Raymond

5 Cool Things To Do At A Ski Lodge During Late Spring and Summer

When you hear the words ‘ski lodge’, you’re immediately swept away by images of fresh fallen snow, bright ski gear, snowboarding, and chair lifts. Well, while all of those images are well and good, what happens during the late spring and summer months? After all, the amount of snow falling will be drastically lower & what is on the ground may not be the most conducive to traditional “slope” activities.

The important thing is to not get discouraged. Traveling to a ski lodge during less-than-peak times doesn’t mean you’re out of luck in terms of the fun. In fact, you might be in store for some absolutely awesome times. Here are five things that will make your post-ski season ski lodge visit an absolute blast:

1. Hiking – This is an unsung activity that often gets touted as a “must do” in just about any environment. Keep in mind, though, that you’re in the mountains, and as such, the terrain is actually the birthplace of the hike. You’re also being greeted by an environment that has cool, temperate weather, elevations that test your physical fitness, and you can finally eat trail mix on a trail where you’re using a lot of energy!

2. Camping – Ski lodges have the fortunate nature of being in and around national forests. Not only are you greeted with pristine, unspoiled nature, you’re also given the chance to really enjoy the wild. Take advantage by taking a walk along a riverbank or just look up in the sky & see all of the stars that you aren’t afforded by living in the big city.

3. Fishing – It might be a hard sell to call fishing a ‘cool’ activity, but the fact remains that anglers and outdoorsman are part of the original “mountain folk” in this country, so in some respects, by casting a line into a mountain stream, you are connecting with a long line of pioneers. Plus, being able to fish is about as relaxed as you can get. The key is to remember that the fishing is the fun part, and you always have the catching to look forward to as well.

4. Horseback Riding – Luckily, many ski lodges and their surrounding towns offer horseback riding to visitors as a way to explore. Riding a horse is akin to connecting to a traditional way of life, and it’s also a great way for someone to gain an appreciation for the amazing animal we call the horse.

5. Off-Road Adventure – Now for something completely different! Many ski lodges are situated near off-road vehicle trails. What better way to hit the “back country” than by revving your ATV engine and letting nature know you’re there to explore. Many lodges can steer you in the right direction for ATV rental companies so you don’t have to supply your own vehicle.

Be adventurous & have an open mind, and you’ll be sure to find that a ski lodge can be so much more than just skiing.



Source by Morris Raymond

Top 5 Places in the World to Camp in Luxury

Gone are the days when camping mean roughing it. If you like the idea of ​​camping, but without leaving behind all the modern-day comforts of life, you'll be delighted at some of the luxury camping holidays that are available. Here are the Top 5 Places In The World To Camp.

1. Golden Triangle

Golden Triangle is famous for their Thailand luxury travel experience. Owned by the prestigious hotel chain Four Seasons, guests always leave satisfied. Whether it be the romantic river boat ride into the resort, the beautiful furnishings in the 15 exclusive tents or the tropical jungle back, there is something here to fall in love with. The tents, complete with an outdoor patio, are designed as light filled and open areas, with spectacular views out onto the Ruak River.

Travelers can book three or four night all-inclusive packages, which comprise elephant rides, hiking along beautiful mountain and jungle trails and a full spa treatment.

2. Clayoquot Wilderness Resort

Hiding away in the picturesque realms of British Columbia, Canada, a unique experience awaits. Clayoquot Wilderness Resort is located on Vancouver Island and open from May to September each year. Promising those who love to travel in style the opportunity to engage in an environmentally friendly indulgence, the resort is adorned with spacious, tastefully furnished tents surrounded by amazing woods and forest. Complete with a dining tent, 20 guest tents, and even a massage tent for ultimate pampering, this is truly camping in comfort.

Popular with couples, Clayoquot boasts gourmet cuisine and endless outdoor activities such as horse riding, kayaking and archery to name a few. Visitors can choose luxury travel deals for three, five or seven nights.

3. Wilson Island

Looking for an exclusive, unique and indulgent holiday, without the bother of a passport?

Look no further than this luxury resort on Wilson Island, located in the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland. With a maximum of 12 guests allowed at a time on this resort, you're guaranteed to enjoy your time away in peace, whether alone or with a loved one.

Wilson Island is reliably pure from the touch of man, and visitors will be amazed at the array of wildlife and natural scenery available. Tent accommodation includes raised wooden floors, a king size bed, furniture and daily house cleaning, so you can sit out on your deck porch in the twilight and marvel at the beautiful Australian flora and fauna, whilst enjoying all the little comforts that make life so much easier.

4. Longitude 131

If you think of the Australian desert as uncomfortable, hot and dusty, then Longitude 131 is going to make you think again. Bordering the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, this luxury travel site offers all the natural beauty of the desert along a pampered existence. Imagine lying in your king size bed as you watch the sun break over Uluru in the early morning, or dining underneath a vista of stars for your evening meal. Perhaps best of all is the reverse cycle air conditioning at your disposal, which keeps the dreaded heat away, and allows you to make the most of every experience.

With a policy allowing no children 12 years or under, Longitude 131 invokes a romantic, tranquil atmosphere, one you will remember long after leaving.

5. Sweetwaters Tented Camp

Complete with an ensuite, verandah and full room service, the tent accommodation at Sweetwater is amongst the world's best. Located in Kenya, Sweetwater is situated on a private gaming reserve, where guests can enjoy wild safari and seeing the sights of the beautiful African jungle by day, and return to their haven accommodation at night.

Five course meals every evening and valet parking means you will not need to sacrifice a thing to live amongst the great outdoors, as you enjoy your luxury holiday in Kenya. Also on offer are spa treatments, a swimming pool, secretarial services, internet access and guided bush walks.



Source by Karen Cooke

Camping Holidays – Advantages and Disadvantages

The advantages of camping holidays begin with adventure. A family can go wherever they want and camp there for as long as they have. From a camping base a family can go for walks out into the wild and see nature in its true habitat. They can also make their way over to huge lakes to fish or swim, and if they find an adventure park they can spend the day zip lining around the trees as fast as they can go, which is fun for everyone.

This is also where the disadvantages begin however, because some people like the routine they have and won’t want it disturbed by living in a tent for a week or two. Sometimes there are no shower facilities and people will need to use a solar shower, which isn’t a problem for most, but some people could feel self-conscious about their body when using one. Toilets are another big disadvantage if a camp site doesn’t have the facilities provided, as people will need to go and dig themselves a hole to use, or use a communal one, which many consider to be worse.

For others the freedom of being in the outdoors outweighs all disadvantages relating to homely comforts such as showering and using the toilet. They also enjoy not being able to use their mobile phones, as these are an invasion which can ruin a holiday if someone is using theirs constantly. Whilst camping, people will also be away from the thick smog of the city, something many consider to be unhealthy. The great outdoors has nothing but fresh air, and most people consider this a huge advantage of camping holidays.

To break it down to a list of the core advantages and disadvantages, this is what most people think of camping.

Advantages

1) Adventure

2) Seeing Wildlife

3) Clean Air

4) No Mobile Phones

5) No Internet

6) No Traffic

7) No Interruptions

Disadvantages

1) No Toilet

2) No Shower

3) No Food Provided For You

4) Living In A Tent

5) Bugs

6) Little Or No Electricity

7) Nothing Much To Do If You’re Not Adventurous

In conclusion, the advantages and disadvantages of camping seem to be entirely based on opinion. What people need to realise is that camping can be great fun as long as everyone is involved in enjoying themselves, because once someone isn’t having fun, the trip is ruined. If worst comes to worst, building a huge camp fire and staying up late into the night is something everyone enjoys doing.



Source by Emma Darling