Authors Posts by Kevin

Kevin

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Welcome back to Barcelona! The sun is still shining, and we still have so much left to do! Because there is only so much you can accomplish in 12hrs, we made you a second guide to the Catalonian capital. If you have more days here, just combine this guide with our first one. And if you only have 12hrs, just pick the one that suits you best.

This time, we have a local Barcelonian showing us around. Meet Nuria! The first time we saw her, she looked at us from a giant billboard in London. A big airline was advertising city trips, and Nuria was just the face they needed for their campaign. She’s a model, loves analog photography, and has one of the coolest Instagram feeds that we know of. Nuria also travels a lot, enjoys surfing and skating, and is vegan and generally just a really cool gal. She loves to hang out on the beach and to explore cities, and today, she is taking us with her. Here are 12hrs in Barcelona with Nuria.

Let’s get this day started! This time, we are staying at the Hotel Praktik Rambla. There are several hotels of this Barcelonian mini-chain all around the city, but the location of Praktik Rambla is just perfect for our day today. And it has everything we are looking for in a city hotel: A great location (in this case: right in the middle of the Eixample district of Barcelona), beautifully designed common spaces and rooms, free Wi-Fi and a price tag that won’t brake the bank.

Put on your trunks or your bikini, put some lotion on and grab your towel and skateboard. We’re heading to the beach!

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Hotel Praktik Rambla // Rambla de Cataluña 27 // website

Nuria loves to spend time on the many beaches of Barcelona, so that is where we start our day, too. If you can manage, wait an hour or so until our breakfast place of choice opens. Relax a bit in the sand instead.

One of the great things about Barcelona is its proximity to the ocean. There is just something special about big, cosmopolitan cities with access to the sea. We are at Barceloneta now, one of the most beautiful areas by the sea that lies just off the Ciutat Vella, the old town. Located in the traditional fishing district, this is one of Nuria’s (and the city’s!) best-loved beaches. It is thought to have inspired Miguel de Cervantes as the setting for the fight between Don Quixote and the Knight of the White Moon in his book 2 of Don Quixote. In the distance, you can spot the fancy W Hotel at the shore.

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Breakfast, finally! Surf House Barcelona just opened its doors, time to head over there and order some fresh juices and some snacks. Nuria loves to come here to grab a bite after a long day in the sun.

We just love the surfboard tables and the relaxed vibe in here, the healthy fast food and laid-back atmosphere. If you have time to spend a day at the beach, Surf House Barcelona organizes tons of fun outdoor activities such as paddle surfing, runs on the boardwalk and game nights. Have a look on their website to see the upcoming events.

After a hearty breakfast, take some more time at the beach until the midday sun gets too hot. Then, around 12.30h, let’s pack up our bags and take a stroll down the boardwalk. Passing the beautiful harbor, we make our way up to Montjuïc.

Yes, it’s a little walk, but really not a steep one. Plus, there is shade! And Montjuïc is definitely worth a wander. In summer, it is a few degrees cooler here than in the bustling city below, and its many parks and gardens are great places to soak up the view of the city.

There are also plenty of museums: the Fundació Joan Miró, for example, is as famous for its Corbusier-influenced building as its collection. You’ll find Barcelona’s botanical garden here, a castle, as well as lots of other amazing parks that are really worth the little hike. Don’t miss the Mies van der Rohe pavilion at the bottom of the hill. It was built for the world exhibition in 1929 and boasts some of the architects’ most famous trademarks. In it, you’ll see the now famous “Barcelona chairs” that van der Rohe built especially for the Spanish king and queen during the event.

Time to head back into the city to continue with Nuria’s tour of Barcelona. Take a metro, a rented bike, a bus or your skateboard, we meet back at La Rambla!

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Right next to Barcelona’s famous shopping mile La Rambla is La Virreina, one of Nuria’s favorite museums in the city. The changing exhibitions focus on photography and video art, and the contrast between these modern pieces and the old, baroque architecture of this city palace is really exciting to look at. Take your time to explore the museum and cool down a little. If you want to know what to expect, check La Virreina’s website in advance to see what their current exhibitions are. A nice bonus: admission is free!

Step outside and walk around the building for the next stop on our tour. Like many Mediterranean countries, Spain is famous for its colorful food markets. Barcelona boasts many of them, each one of them worthy of a visit. If you just have time to visit one of them, take Nuria’s advice and make it La Boqueria. It was voted one of the world’s top ten markets, and you can easily see why.

Take your time to wander around the stalls and soak up all the sights and smells. There are fresh fruit on display, fish and seafood fresh out of the ocean, meats and dried goods. If it’s a hot day, have a little pre-lunch treat. The homemade fruit popsicles here are a favorite of Nuria, and after trying them, of us, as well. They come in every color of the rainbow – and they’re healthy, too!

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After all that food we looked at, you’re probably hungry. Nuria recommends Juicy Jones for a quick, vegetarian (and even vegan) lunch around the corner. They have two restaurants in the city, head to the one on Carrer del Cardenal Casañas, it’s really close to the market.

The little restaurant offers different dishes everyday, check their Facebook page to see what’s on offer when you are there. As the name suggests, Juicy Jones is also big on juices and fruit smoothies, something that comes in handy when exploring a city in the Mediterranean sunshine.

Our next stop is the famous modern museum of Barcelona, known as the MACBA, the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona. Since its opening in 1995, the MACBA has become a power player in Barcelona’s art scene. Some of their exhibitions might not look too approachable at first, but definitely give it a try. The permanent exhibition showcases art of the second half of the 20th century, with a big emphasis on media art, sound performances and the works of experimentalists of the 1960s and 1970s, including Bruce Nauman, Joan Jonas and John Cage. Spanish and Catalan artists such as Antoni Muntadas, Antoni Tàpies and the Dau al Set group are well represented as well. If you’re lucky, you might be able to catch a free concert in the vast auditorium.

The square in front of the MACBA is where all the Barcelonian skaters hang out. So even if you decide not to go in, you’ll have plenty of tricks to look at.

Across the square you’ll find La Capella, a former medieval convent that now showcases works especially commissioned for the MACBA. Admission there is free.

A short, four-minute walk brings you to our next destination. Since we just left the museum, let’s finish our art excursion with some shopping. Loring Art is just the place for that. The shop might not look too big to you, but it is a giant in the world of art books.

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You’ll find volumes on every creative topic you can image here, from architecture to graphic design, and the extremely friendly staff lets you browse the stacks as long as you want to. They stock some rare editions here that are hard to find elsewhere, so take your time!

Before we finish our day with Nuria, let’s take a last stroll through the Barri Gòtic. The Gothic Quarter is one of Nuria’s favorite areas of town, and once you get there, you’ll agree with her. It’s the oldest part of Barcelona, many buildings here date back to medieval times. There is a lot to discover. Small alleys, hidden courtyards full of palm trees, and little bars full of locals. Explore the Barri Gòtic as long as you want to and until you have worked up an appetite. Our last stop of the day is coming up. Dinner!

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Nuria recommends En Ville Restaurant, and we can only agree. En Ville is one of Barcelona’s most beautiful eateries. Housed in a historic building with an exposed brick ceiling, big mirrors on one side of the room and a glass front at the other. In the summer months, these glass doors open up and make way for two cozy terraces full of plants and trees. Luckily, it’s not only the interior design that makes us love this place so much. The food is just as stunning! On the menu you’ll find a selection of dishes prepared with ingredients fresh from the markets, a few (really good!) Tapas, and fresh meats and fish. En Ville also has a big part of its menu devoted to vegetarian meals.

Sit back, order a glass of Cava and some great, local wine, and enjoy the dinner. If you want to go out later, visit one of the many bars in the streets around En Ville before you head back to the hotel. After all, you have a reason to celebrate! You just spent 12hrs in Barcelona with Nuria and us. Cheers!

 

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What are the most comfortable, driest, supportive and tractive all-round hiking boots for general outdoor activities? We tested the latest, greatest, affordable boots out there to find out what the best hiking boots for men for 2016 are.

These aren’t boots dedicated to mountaineering, heavyweight backpacking, ice climbing or trail running. Instead, we wanted to test all-purpose boots for hiking. The kind that most people wear outdoors and which can handle most men’s general needs. For the purposes of brevity, we limited our selection to above-the-ankle boots fitted with waterproof/breathable membranes and capped the price at $250. We also excluded classic, all-leather designs as those are more suited to casual activities. These are boots you can move in, over long distances. Boots we didn’t feel were up to snuff based on quality or performance also didn’t make the cut; availability of samples also influenced the included products.

We then set about testing the hell out of each boot over a period of several months. This included local circuit hikes, geology field study work, and even a few motorcycle rides for good measure. Terrain included relatively groomed trails, Mount Doom-levels of loose scree, boulder scrambles and even some light climbing. Each boot saw wet and dry conditions, and once we narrowed down our favorites, we focused our destructive efforts on them to test build quality and endurance.

Here’s what we found:

The Best All-Around Hiking Boot: Salomon Quest 4D 2 GTX

Salomon Men's Quest 4D 2 GTX Hiking BootWhat do you want from a hiking boot? It should fit well right out of the box, but offer enduring support, especially towards the end of the day when fatigue can result in missteps that can easily lead to tweaked ankles. It needs to be breathable, but truly waterproof. It needs to find grip reliably, lace securely, and handle abuse. And it’d be nice if it came in green. For $230, the Salomon Quest 4D 2 GTX nails the mission perfectly.

Despite being one of the heavier boots on test at 640 grams, the Salomons quickly became our favorite boot thanks to excellent fit and stability. The Quest provides a roomy floorboard that allows you to layer socks as needed and isn’t too wide or too narrow, with an open toebox that doesn’t cramp toes on descents. Despite the open feeling, the Quest’s “4d Chassis” provide good arch support, an issue for both primary testers in this review, and it uses a combination of rubber straps and reinforced heel and toe caps to grab hold of the foot securely. The lace system is also notable for providing an unusual locking middle eyelet, which allows the wearer to lock down lace tension for the lower half and leave the top half looser, or vice-versa. Wearing the Salomons, you feel like you can almost stop thinking about your foot placement entirely, trusting the boots to find grip and keep your ankle securely planted.

The sole features a nicely chunky tread pattern for the best grip of the bunch and showed negligible wear over the course of the test. The outer chassis uses both textile and full-grain leather, and likewise came through testing undamaged. Waterproofing comes courtesy of a fully-gusseted tongue and Gore-Tex membrane, for guaranteed dry-foot performance. Breathability was about as good as one could hope for with the heavy-duty chassis and high-top profile, so while they ran a bit warm, the Quests never gave us swampy feet.

The Salomons fit well, proved plenty durable and offered the most confidence while on trail. This is how you make a great boot, a worthy contestant for the best hiking boots for men for 2016-title.

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The Best Boot for Picky Feet: Ahnu Mendocino

Ahnu MendocinoIf your first (or only) concern is finding a hiking boot that is comfortable—especially if you have higher arches—stop reading now and buy a pair of Ahnus. The $160 Mendocino is one of the most comfortable things you can slip into since… well, you get the idea. Using a combination of multiple foam densities and assertively shaped ergonomic support, the Ahnus fit perfectly straight out of the box—minimal break-in, no blisters, with foot coddling comfort all day long. The insole’s great foot feel also gives the Mendocino very good control when climbing or scrambling, too.

Like the other high-quality boots on test, the Ahnus use a leather chassis, a gusseted tongue and a grippy sole. The downsides are minor, but they are there if you spend enough time looking. The eVent membrane breathes well and is really not very vulnerable to soak-through on wet hikes. The soft and comfortable feel does mean the Ahnus aren’t the stiffest and most supportive boots on test—but they still are very solid hiking partners.

But for sub-$200, we’d gladly recommend investing in a fresh pair more often just to enjoy the all-day foot comfort, especially on multiday hikes without a change of shoes in your bag.

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Best Boots for Scrambling: Mammut Magic GTX

Mammut Magic GTXMake no mistake, the Mammut Magic GTX Mountaineering Boot are top-spec boots, offering exceptional features and mountain-ready grip. Unfortunately, they had to get shuffled away from the top spot thanks to the very focused nature of their mission.

The Ridge Highs are built specifically for via ferrata, or “iron road” route climbing, a term I had to look up on Wikipedia, since I’m not much more than a glorified car camper. The Ridge Highs are built almost like reinforced rock climbing shoes, with an extremely narrow fit, tight arches, and compact toe box. This compact shape would likely make it easier to shove these boots into small cracks and such, but the Mammut’s other unique characteristic is far less helpful, as the heavily reinforced sole is built to stand on rebar-like rungs and climbing mounts with the ball of the foot. Under normal heel-first walking motion, the sole is too inflexible, and the boots force your ankles inward, which isn’t a recipe for comfort after more than a few hours. Hard-core hiker-climbers probably will love these, but recreational-minded folks will want to look elsewhere.

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Best Hybrid Hiking Boot/Walking Shoe: Adidas Outdoor Terrex Scope High GTX

Adidas Outdoor Terrex Scope High GTXBack in the real world and away from the steel cables draped across the Alps, soccer shoe giant Adidas offers one of the better lightweight hiking boots on test, the $200 Scope Highs. Although the Adidas Outdoor boot includes a Gore-Tex lining like a “proper” hiking boot, the outer chassis is a thinner and lighter combination of synthetic textile, with the entire top of the boot finished in a flexible neoprene-like material. The resulting boot is lighter and more breathable than many boots we had on test, and comfort is excellent thanks to how easier the boots’ uppers wrap themselves around your ankles.

Sole grip was very good, and we actually earned a few compliments while wearing the Adidas, so mark up a few extra points for styling, but support wasn’t up to the class leaders like the Salomons. Still, if you don’t necessarily need a stiffer boot but still want hiking boot protection and waterproofing, the Scope High GTXs are the way to go.

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Best Value: Keen Targhee II Mid

Keen Targhee II MidKeen makes a really nice boot, but there was nothing here that really shined. Fit is roomy, with a nicely protective rubberized toe box, and the sole provided reliable feel and traction. We didn’t get a chance to really push these boots through wet conditions on trail, but the Keen.Dry membrane breathed pretty well and performed admirably in our static (kitchen sink) testing.

Where the Keen Targhee IIs shined was in pure value, offering a great all-around hiking boot for only $135. Durability might not be as good as some of the more technical boots here, but at half the price of the Salomons, who cares if they require replacement a season earlier?

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Being an active person means spending some money on gear and since one of the all-time favorite activities is hiking, backpacks are highly appreciated. Going out in the nature can be relaxing but it can also be a nightmare without a reliable backpack that can carry all the extras because nobody wants to go on a trail without at least some food, water and other basic commodities. All these items cannot be carried by hand but backpack will surely fulfill this role. Out of all the models available only 10 made it to our list. Here are the top 10 best hiking backpacks in 2016.

5. Paladineer Hiking Backpack and Hiking Daypack

Paladineer-Hiking-Backpack-and-Hiking-DaypackThe Paladineer Hiking daypack and backpack is an excellent all-purpose model that offers plenty of storage space and functionality. It has a 40 liter capacity and a simple design that makes it rugged and durable. It has multiple pockets on the back and two water bottle mesh holders on the sides as well as an extra chest strap. It offers a comfortable experience even when fully loaded and it is quite affordable.

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4. Mozone Packable Hiking Daypack

Mozone-Packable-Hiking-DaypackThe Mozone hiking backpack is an excellent pick for the ones that need something ergonomic and practical. It is a 40 liter capacity model with a foldable design and a waterproof construction. The model comes with padded shoulder straps and several exterior pockets. Due to its design it manages to prevent the user from having a sweaty back and can accommodate all the required gear for a night out camping in the middle of the nature.

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3. Everest Hiking Pack

Everest-Hiking-PackEverest hiking backpack was designed for the ones that need something affordable and large enough to carry a heavy load. It is made of waterproof polyester that is highly resistive to abrasion and comes with padded shoulder straps. The model has two large side pockets and a large main compartment that offers more than enough space even for the ones that do not like to pack light.

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2. Naturehike Outdoor Hiking Backpack

Naturehike-Outdoor-Hiking-BackpackNaturehike hiking backpack is an affordable and compact model that offers modest storage space but comes with a convenient design that makes it feel comfortable even when fully loaded. It is extremely lightweight and uses padded shoulder straps for added comfort. The model has mesh material padding on the back o allow air to ventilate and it is made of a waterproof nylon fabric that will protect the items stored inside from getting wet.

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1. Teton Sports Scout 3400

Teton-Sports-Scout3400The Scout 3400 from Teton Sports is an excellent companion for serious hikers. It has a 55 liter capacity and comes with a solid construction with waterproof polyester and an internal frame that protects the items stored inside. The model comes with multiple external pockets and mesh water holders as well as padded shoulder straps and an additional chest strap.

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Choosing a hiking backpack means having a good idea of how much storage is needed. The capacity of hiking backpacks can vary a lot and it is not closely related to their price. All the models listed in our top 10 are considered of superior quality and come from all price range categories. Everyone should be able to find exactly what they are looking for in our top 10 hiking backpack list.

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As the capital of Denmark, the city of Copenhagen has a long and rich history. It was the center of the Danish empire for hundreds of years, and, as such, it is home to many palaces, historic buildings, and cultural relics. But modern Copenhagen is not a city steeped in the past — it is looking forward to the future. The classic architecture and canals are juxtaposed by modern infrastructure, new buildings, and a surprising amount of windmills. It’s one of my favorite cities in the world. I’ve been here countless times and I never get tired of it. It’s beautiful, clean, and the locals are great and always fun to hang out with. The high prices turn a lot of people off but I encourage you to visit Copenhagen. You won’t regret it.

Typical Costs

Hostel prices – Hostel dorms begin at 150 DDK per night but are more often than not around 250 DDK. Private double rooms with a shared bathroom cost 700-1400 DDK per night. Prices drop a lot during the winter time.

Budget hotel prices – Guesthouses and budget hotels are widespread throughout the city and their prices on par with a hostel’s private room. Furnished apartments cost 500-800 DDK per night. If you are just looking for a single room in someone’s apartment, check Airbnb, and you can find rooms for as little as 300 DDK.

Average cost of food – If you are going to eat out in a restaurant, be prepared to pay around 80 DDK for a cheap meal. You can find cheap outdoor hotdog and sandwich vendors for around 27-34 DDK. Groceries will cost around 340 DDK per week. In Denmark, it’s substantially cheaper to cook your own food than eat out.

Transportation costs – The train from the airport to city center is 40 DDK. Local trains and buses are around 24 DDK for a two-zone (regular) ticket.

Money Saving Tips

Go Orange  The Danish rail system offers cheap tickets via their online website called “Orange tickets.” They are only available via the website and you have to print out the ticket before you board the train. These tickets though offer cheap seats a third of the cost of what you can buy at the railway station.

Cook your meals – Eating out in Denmark is not cheap and since Danish food isn’t going to win any great culinary awards, you won’t miss much by cooking your own food.

Eat cheap on the street  Street stalls, such as hot dogs, sausages, and sandwiches, cost only 27-34 DDK and can save you a lot of money on food if you choose not to cook.

Eat at the buffet or during lunch  If you have to eat at a restaurant, do so during lunch when lunch specials (as well as buffets) are only about 68-102 DDK. It’s much cheaper than going for dinner when you’ll pay double the price.

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Top Things to See and Do in Copenhagen

Christinia This hippie enclave has been around since the 1970s. During that time, peace-loving hippies took over an abandoned army base and set up a commune on the base. Over the years, it has become a drug haven, with people coming to hang out and smoke the weed that is very, very openly sold here. In recent years, the government has cracked down on the area and won a series of legal victories against the area. Locals are in talks to try to save the place from demolition, but it may not be around much longer. If weed isn’t your thing, come anyway for the cool beer gardens, people watching, and colorful wall murals.

Take a boat tour The canals and harbor of Copenhagen are very scenic and much cleaner than those of Amsterdam. (You can actually see the bottom of the Copenhagen canals.) Take the hour-long boat tour here to learn a bit more about the city. The huge boats leave from Nyhavn and, while “touristy,” you will find a surprising amount of locals on them drinking a beer on a sunny day.

Tivoli Tivoli is an amusement park located in the center of the city. It’s not cheap to visit, and the ride tickets cost extra but this is a popular place to go for families, children, and kids on school holidays. While it may not be the most popular place for everyday travelers, I had a blast here, especially playing bumper cars with my friends and drinking beer. I love this place.

Experience the “Morning Bars” There’s actually more than one morning bar in Copenhagen. “Morning Bar” is a term for the late, late (early morning) bars that open after the clubs close. The Danes like to drink and tend to stay out at these bars until about 9am The most famous is Louise’s.

Experience the nightlife Copenhagen has a variety of pubs, lounges, and clubs. This city doesn’t start pumping until about 1 am and goes very late (see above morning bars). I would try to spend at least one night out.

Christiansborg Palace Ruins Underneath this palace in the middle of the city, you can see the ruins of Bishop Absalon’s fortress, which dates back to 1167. It’s dark and damp down there, giving it a very crypt-like and ancient feel. I was really impressed with the detailed information provided about the fortress and its path to the current palace.

Round tower Rundetaarn is the oldest functioning observatory in Europe. And through a long, tiring walk to the top, it provides a sweeping view of the old part of Copenhagen.

Church of Our Saviour Located near Christinia, this church is worth seeing for its giant spiraling bell tower. The interior of the church is basic and features a few interesting paintings, but the winding tower is what makes it worthwhile. It has always been regarded as something of a test of manhood to climb up and touch the globe on the summit, nearly 350 feet up in the air.

Hans Christian Andersen Museum While this is really “made for children” and features Disney-like displays and sets, I really liked this museum. Inside, you get to read all of Andersen’s children’s tales, which were a lot shorter and darker than I had thought.It was quite the eye-opener. Disney lied to me all these years.

The Historical Museum The national history museum has many exhibits relating to Danish history and Viking weapons. (Skip the Museum of Copenhagen, though. It was awful and didn’t cover much. The national museum is much better.)

Danish National Gallery The Danish National Gallery (free entry!) has great art from the likes of Rembrandt, Picasso, and Matisse. There are also a number of paintings by Danish artists from the “Golden Age.”

Little Mermaid – It may be small, but this statue makes for some excellent pictures. And, since it is near a park that is very much worth visiting, there’s no reason not to head over and snap a photo. Watch out for hordes of tourists trying to get into your shot, though.

Kastellet Park Kastellet used to be a fortress guarding the city, but is now a public park, a cultural-historical monument, and is also used for military purposes. The park has great gardens, trees, and ponds surrounding it. It’s right near the Little Mermaid and is a wonderful place to relax on a warm day.

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America’s tropical paradise, Hawaii is a group of islands, each with something special to offer a visitor. From the surfing on Oahu, to the wonders of Maui, to the beauty of Honolulu, to the hidden wonders on Lanai, Hawaii is the great tropical escape for those looking to stay within America. There are beautiful beaches, amazing jungles, monstrous waterfalls, excellent diving, and world-class waves. Hawaii is a great destination for honeymooners, surfers, and families. While not thought of as a budget destination, there are plenty of budget options for people to choose from once you leave those resorts on Waikiki beach!

Typical Costs

Accommodation – You can find hostel dorms for $30 USD a night. Regular pricing falls into the $75-100 USD per night range. There are many high-end places, with rooms starting at $175+ USD a night. The smaller, less touristy spots have double rooms as cheap as $60 USD per night.

Food – Since food has to be imported, the cost of food is slightly higher than on mainland USA. You can find lots of food option in the $7-12 USD range. This includes locally run restaurants that feature everything from local plate lunches, Mexican food, sandwiches, and the like. Oahu is starting to see food trucks that range from the $5-10 USD range. Fast food like McDonalds will cost you $6 USD per meal (unless you go after the dollar menu); restaurants like Applebee’s will cost around $10-15 USD per meal. However, most formal, sit down restaurants will cost you around $20 USD or more for an entree. There are a lot of buffets on the islands which around $25 USD.

Transportation – The best way to get around the islands is to rent a car. For a compact vehicle, it’s about $70 USD per day. To rent a jeep or convertible will run about $100-130 USD per day. Taxis start around $3 USD, with $3.20 USD for each mile traveled.

Activities: Scuba diving costs for a two tank dive about $100- $125 per person (equipment included). Surfboard and Stand Up Paddle board rentals start at about $25 USD for a half-day, and sailing and snorkeling excursions usually range from $70-150 USD for a half day or sunset cruise, gear rental included. Helicopter Tours usually range from about $150-250 USD. Zip lining is also available on the bigger islands, with rates of about $100 and up.

Money Saving Tips

Travel off season – Traveling during low seasons (mid-April to mid-June and mid-September to mid-December) will definitely save you money on lodging in Hawaii.

Visit the discount groceries – Discount stores such as Cost-U-Less (Big Island and Kauai), Don Quijote (Oahu) and Big Save (Kauai) offer inexpensive for food and alcohol.

Find discounts online – You can find some good discounts on social sites like Groupon or Living Social. The pamphlets at airports and local tourist offices also have some discounts for tours.

Top Things to See and Do in Hawaii

Visit the Island of Hawaii – Also referred to as ‘The Big Island’, Hawaii is nearly twice as large as all of the other islands combined. It is home to two of the Earth’s largest volcanoes, including the most active – Kilauea. Dive with the Pacific Manta Rays, scope out the black sand beaches of Waipi’o Valley, or exploring the historic downtown of Hilo.

Explore Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Big Island – The island of Hawaii is also home to two of the Earth’s largest volcanoes, including the most active – Kilauea. I highly recommend a visit to the Volcanoes National Park.

Stargaze at Mauna Kea – Also known as ‘White Mountain,’ this is Hawaii’s highest peak at a whopping 13,796ft. Along the summit, there are a number of observatory domes—the telescopes housed within them are considered to be the greatest collection of astronomical telescopes in the world. As you can imagine, this makes for excellent star gazing.

Go on a helicopter tour – For those of you that were sleeping on the flight in, or just can’t get enough aerial views, helicopter tours are one of the most amazing ways to see the islands in their entirety. Rides are usually an hour long and focus on one island. The O’ahu tour is one to consider, as it surveys the world’s largest architectural maze, the sacred falls, and Turtle Bay.

Explore Honolulu & Waikiki – Honolulu is a fascinating place, where Asian culture has blended with the Hawaiian culture, with hints of Americanism. There is an interesting blend of languages here and the food is absolutely delicious. There are a ton of cheap noodle joints, most of which offer fresh fish as well. Waikiki is more of an escape from the city scene but also the center of tourism and resorts.

Watch dancing at the Polynesian Cultural Center – This is one of Oahu’s most popular attractions. Interestingly, the center is divided up into eight ‘villages’, each showcasing the indigenous Polynesian cultures of different parts of the world. Catching a canoe ride here is a blast and the fire walkers and dancers are pretty awesome. There is a ton of interactive stuff to take part in plus food.

Attend a Kaanapali Sunset Luau – This is one of the many luau hotspot attractions in Maui. The traditional dance is beautiful and the women are captivating and exotic. Throughout the ceremony you get to feast on traditional Hawaiian buffet, most of which is cooked in an underground oven – the imu.

Whale-watch at Lahaina – This former whaling port is now a center for commercial activity and tourist attractions. There are a ton of interesting historical buildings and sites to explore. Many of the restaurants here are set up with balcony seating, ideal for sunset cocktails and the dinner hour. In a roadside area on the way to Ma’alea, there is a great winter whale-watching spot called Papawai Point.

Snorkel at the Maui Molokini Crater – Ask anyone and they will tell you, a trip to Hawaii is not complete without some snorkeling or SCUBA diving. This particular snorkeling tour is complete with several hours of underwater action, a barbecue lunch, diving, and a water trampoline. You are sure to see tons of sea creatures, while you swim about.

Head to Ninini Point – Located on the island of Kaua’i, this is a great place to escape from the crowds and enjoy some solitude. You basically have a 360-degree view of the sky and all of the jets zipping through it, to the crashing waves below. The lighthouse here is 100ft high and marks the northern entrance to Nawiliwili Bay. Shore access from the lighthouse is very easy.

Hike the Waimea Canyon and Napali Coast, Kauai – If you want to see why they call it the Garden Isle, take a hike along one of the many trails offered along the west side of the island. The trails are well marked and many offer spectacular views of the canyon and coast, as well as interesting tropical plants.

Visit Pearl Harbor – This is a major must-see. The attack on the American navy that occurred here during 1941 brought the United States into the Second World War. The memorial on Oahu has a memorial to the USS Arizona, which is reachable for visitors by boat. The exhibit straddles the wreckage of the ship. One of the biggest events in US history, you can’t miss this truly moving and heart wrenching place.

Check out the Bishop Museum – The Bishop Museum is a large Polynesian anthropological institute that showcases cultural art and artifacts. It has a world-class reputation, and will teach you a lot about the history of Hawaii. It is located on Oahu.

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The most important piece of equipment for an adventerous journey is a good pair of walking shoes. No matter where you, closeby or far away, into the wild or a citytrip, the most important piece of luggage are the best walking shoes for your individual feet. Daily walking has also been scientifically proven to improve several health functions including libido (yes yes), improve sleep, provide energy throughout the day and enhance your mood But for us travelers, shoes mainly have to provide comfort need that bit of extra quality to them.

Nathalie and myself checked on some shoes for our planned travel to Germany and Denmark, so we asked around to a lot of fellow travellers and more sporty friends. These came out as the best shoes for a decent price! Most of them are available online on well known webshops. You can chek the current prices by clicking on the images!

 

Asics Gel-Tech Walker Neo 4 Walking Shoes

The Gel-Tech Walker Neo 4 are available for both men and women. These shoes are perfect for people who choose walking over any other type of exercise. The basic colors and print keep things classy without looking as though they’re meant for an older crowd. Unlike other models that promote running, these are specifically created for lower impact activities. And it pays of in comfort.

Asics Men's GEL-Tech Walker Neo 4 Walking Shoe ASICS Women's GEL-Tech Neo 4 Walking Shoe

The mesh upper, which is unusual in a straightforward walking shoe, helps in both ventilation and comfort even if you’re walking all day. The Impact Guidance System makes it so that this shoe automatically adjusts to your personal gait. The well places gel cushioning systems in the heel and forefoot of the sole absorb shocks and reduce foot stress. They even have 3M reflective stripes for extra safety and security. For the price, these ASICS walkers are a true gem. Possibly the most comfortable walking shoe for a normal budget out there!

Skechers Shape Ups 2.0

Skechers-shape-ups-2-0Skechers Shape Ups 2.0 take comfort to a whole new level.The Shape Up technology have earned their place as an every comfort shoe that is ideal to take on any of your travels. These Skechers were specifically made for walking and other low impact fitnes. Thanks to to the breathable mesh that envelop the polyurethane cage, this shoe feels like walking on clouds. The Shape Ups 2.0 comes in an original design and many fun colors that will fit your style.

Skechers-Shape-Ups-2-0-Fashion-SneakerThe Skechers Shape Ups 2.0 are widely considered as one of the best walking shoes for 2016. The padded tongues, breathing mesh, and memory foam are what makes these Shape Ups a top contender for that title. The Skechers are also very useable for hiking and long nature walks. Because the Shape Ups have the rocker bottom design, it will provide you with that necessary boost of energy. The design will also take pressure of your back and the grip treading ensures you will be steady on your feet on any terrain.

 

Skechers Go Walk 3 Walking Shoe

Another top model from Skechers is the Skechers Go Walk 3 walking shoe. This shoe is a slip-on which is a bit unusual since we mostly identify good walking shoes with the traditional lace-ups. However, this design is so lightweight that it gives the impression with a comfy casual shoe with the comfort, and weatherproofing of a high end walking shoe. The shoe has a pull-on heel hoop so they are super easy to put on. The Skechers Go Walk 3 absorp impact thanks to it’s special goga pillar memory foam and the cushioned heel shows that this walking shoe can handle any type of walking, including on outdoors rugged terrain.

Skechers Performance Go Walk 3There are both male and female options available and a range of colors. Sizes don’t come in just the classic sizes but there are also wider sizes available. So for every foot there’s a perfectly fitting Skechers Go Walk 3. These shoes are available since 2015 but now in 2016 they are one of the best selling shoes on the market! Need to say more?

 

 

Rockport Men’s World Tour Classic Walking Shoe

The Rockport Men’s is a lot more classic than the Skechers, but it’s an all time classic still very popular with modern men who choose this footwear for it’s high quality. The model has many benefits still making it one of the best walking shoes available in 2016. The high quality leather is water resistant and is available in different classy colors. It also come with diffirent optional finishes like suede and pebbled leather.

Rockport Men’s World Tour Classic

These walking shoes work with casual wear but they are also useable for business and office attire. The shoe has well balanced cushioning and good shock absorption. The sole is extremely durable. Anyway, the Rockport Men’s World Tour Classic is a breeze to walk on. Perfect for business trips and city trips and easily one of the best walking shoes 2016.

 

Reebok Daily Cushion 3.0 Walking Shoe

Reebok’s Daily Cushion 3.0 is, as it’s name suggest, an improved version of the 2.0 which already was an excellent walking shoe. The Daily Cushion 3.0 however delivers the high expectations. The model comes in a womens and mens version and come in a sporty look. The shoe doesn’t work so well with casual gear but is perfect to use with more sporty attire.

Reebok Daily Cushion 3The Reebok Daily Cusion 3.0 comes in both white and black. The women and men are almost identicl but have a slightly different shape. However, the insame comfort of this walking shoe is it’s strongest point. The support and fit, half sizes are available, is the main reason buyer’s rank this shoe amongst the best of 2016. The low cut silhouette, padding and shock absorpation is so good that is even provides therapeutic arch support. Great stuff.

Travel and Visit likes to share you some information about the beautiful Koh Samui.

Ko Samui is one of the largest islands in the Gulf of Thailand. The picturesque island is renown its perfect beaches, mountainous rainforests, posh hotels and world class night clubs.

With so many things to do in Ko Samui it is nearly impossible to narrow it down to a simple top ten list but here goes!

Wat Plai Laem
This quaint temple is lined with colourful Buddhas and set on a Ko Samui’s loveliest lake. It’s a good place for a stroll and an introduction to Thai culture.

Angthong National Marine Park
When you are ready to get active, head to Angthong National Marine Park. From snorkelling to kayaking to trekking, there’s something for everyone. And, if you can make it to the top of the hill, you’ll get a breathtaking view of Emerald Lake.

Maenam Beach
For a quiet and calm place to get away from it all, go to Maenam Beach. Lounge in the sun for the afternoon then watch the sunset while you get a traditional Thai massage.

Mu Ko Ang Thong National Park
Take the slow boat out to this amazing national park. Trek up the hill and take photos of the tropical paradise that peaks out from every corner.

Big Buddha Temple
One of the best known landmarks in Ko Samui, The Big Buddha (as known as Wat Phra Yai) is a must-see. You can get a glimpse of this impressive shrine from a quite a distance but to really take in the full glory of it all, get up close and personal.

kahsamiu2Photo by guavaphotos.com

Chaweng Boxing Stadium
A staple of Thai culture, no visit to Thailand is complete without taking in a Thai boxing match. There is no better place around than the Chaweng Boxing Stadium. Spend an evening with the locals and get to know the fascinating culture surrounding Thai boxing.

Secret Buddha Garden
Head to the middle of Ko Samui island to take in this fascinating garden. Wander through the hundreds of sculptures that were handmade by one single man.

Na Muang Waterfall
A short distance from Nathon Bay, the Na Muang falls are one of the most stunning sights on Ko Samui island. Hike through the park until you reach the falls then splash around under the hot afternoon sun.

Aow Leuk Beach
This is one of the quietest beaches you’ll find in Ko Samui and you could easily pass a few afternoons here. Bring your snorkeling gear and grab a sumptuous seafood dinner after you have explored the water.

Grandmother and Grandfather Rocks
The Grandmother and Grandfather Rocks, also known as Hin Yai/Hin Ta, are the stuff of local legend. It’s well worth the trip just to get some classic silly pics.

 

Do you want to read more about Koh Samui? Read 10 other things to do in Koh Samui

Are you an avid globetrotter? Then the World map Wall Decal from Walldesign56 is perfect for you! With this decal you can easily create an original wall decal with that personal touch.

Original world map

Many travelers like to hang up a world map at their homes. It gives them the opportunity to reflect back to their travels and the places they visited, but it also helps them to get inspired by new locations. At Walldesign 56, you can buy your own original world map wall decal which is designed in just one color. There are no borders, cities, rivers or anything else printed on the decal which results in an austere design that is pleasing to the eye.

A wall decal in different colors

A nice addition is that the wall decal is available in five different colors: black, white, red, brown and gray. Thanks to the color options, you’ll always find one that fits in your interior. By choosing a color that contrasts well with the wall’s color or by painting the wall in a prominent color, the wall decal will become the eye catcher in the room!

wall-decal-world-map-pin-points

Use pinpoints to personalize your world map

The world map wall decal comes with a set of 40 pinpoint stickers which you can use to personalize your map. Use the pinpoints to show which place you have visited or which countries are on your bucket list. Thanks to the large format of the wall decal, it measures a large 170×90 centimeters, you’ll have all the room you need to pin down your pinpoints

Pinpoints in different colors

Not only the world map wall decal itself but the pinpoints too come in different colors so you can choose which of the 14 colors you think fit the map’s color best. Need more than 40 pinpoints? No problem, you can easily order an extra set! Or you can order a new set in a different color so you can show which cities you have already visited and which ones are next on your list.

Wall decal “travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer”

Looking for ways to further personalize your wall decal? Combine your world map with other wall decals, like the wall decal containing the quote “travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer”. With the wall decal made available by Walldesign 56 you can easily make your own personalized world map decal.

Want to place an order? Visit World map Wall Decal with Pins now!

Vietnam is a perfect destination to experience genuine cultural experience across Asia. With rich culture and active experiences, you will not forget your holiday in Vietnam for the entire lifetime. Lush mountains, friendly people and delicious food are some other reasons to visit Vietnam for your next vacation.

You can easily plan your Vietnam trip including bustling cities, ancient pagodas and still untouched countryside. Delicious food and local fruits are must have experiences when you are there. People in Vietnam are so friendly and they will welcome you to their country with warmth.

To have an exciting travel experience in Vietnam, we would like to introduce Viet Bamboo Travel. Established in 2009, Viet Bamboo Travel is a perfect place to arrange your Vietnam tours.

Why Viet Bamboo Travel?

Viet Bamboo Travel organizes Vietnam travel packages for travelers from around the world who love to have a pleasant experience in Vietnam. They are licensed as an International Tour Operator Company and you can assure to have a better and quality service in organizing your Vietnam tour.

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Services offered by Viet Bamboo Travel

Viet Bamboo Travel assures to give you an unforgettable travel experience while you are in Vietnam. This is a reason for return customers and recommendation to friends and family members by those who traveled. Below are some services and reasons for you to plan your Vietnam Tour with Viet Bamboo Travel.

Basically they provide below services through their Vietnam tour packages.

  • They arrange Small Group tours to all parts of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. These Private tour packages can be tailor made according to your preferences.
  • You can also experience unique cruises across Mekong River and view Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.
  • Vietnam Tour Packages and other packages come with carefully selected hotels and restaurants.
  • Guides are English speaking and with vast knowledge of the places you visit.
  • They also offer visa and passport consultation services
  • You can easily book train ticket, air ticket through them or even you can easily get their service for Car rental services.

So, why wait? Please have a look into www.vietnambambootravel.com and check the right Vietnam travel package for you.

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EVERYONE knows that you can’t turn a corner in Copenhagen without bumping into someone beautiful and cool – it’s de rigueur in the Scandinavian city. See who caught the camera lens at this season’s fashion week.

copenhagen fashion week

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