Middle Class Traveler

Adventures of the Middle Class

Tag: middleclass traveler

Western Canada Road Trip

This summer was spent travelling inside Canada. We did a Western Canada road trip and what a good time it was. I am making a series of blogs about my time out west and so far I have completed two. I thought I might as well outline the trip we went on city by city and as I write more blogs you will know what to look forward to. My first two blogs where about Stanley Park in Vancouver and Lake Louise, Alberta.   So we flew into Vancouver and back home from Edmonton. This was haw we went in between.

Vancouver.

Whistler.

Sydney.

Ucluelet/Tofino.

Hope. (Hells Gate)

Hope.

Kelowna.

Revelstoke

Lake Louise and Banff.

Hinton / Miette Hot Springs.

 

Edmonton.

 

 

Top 5 Bucket List Destinations in Canada

Canada is the most beautiful country in the world and from coast to coast to coast we have everything to offer. My list of the Top 5 Bucket List Destinations in Canada will be very authentic. If you ever want to travel to Canada this will give you a great start to where to go.

I have assembled this list and I hope you find it helpful. The Top 5 Bucket List Destinations in Canada:

  1. Signal Hill, St.John’s, Newfoundland – The most eastern point in North America, you will want to see this place. You can sit at the top of the hill and be the first in the western world to see the sun rise. This place is also home of iceberg alley. Should you come here at the right time of the year, you will see icebergs coming down from the arctic. You can read my recent trip to Signal Hill and St.John’s Newfoundland here.
  2. Rideau Canal, Ottawa, Ontario – Ottawa, Ontario which is the nations capital and is one of the nicest cities in the entire country. This place has a beautiful setting and borders Gatineau, Quebec. If you go to Ottawa in the winter the Rideau Canal is frozen over and people skate up and down the canal. The area which is steps from the Parliament Buildings is a great spot for tourist. Ottawa offers so much to do and is reasonably priced. The best Shawarma’s in Canada are at the Shawarma King on Rideau. You will not go wrong eating at this place. There is so much to do in Ottawa that I may have to write a separate blog on it all together. In the mean time check out this one. Check out the Rideau Canal tourism website here.
  3. Calgary, Alberta – Calgary Alberta is home to a number of beautiful attractions. Whether you are planning a winter getaway or a summer retreat Calgary has plenty to offer. I was recently in Calgary for the Stampede and wrote a number of blogs about it that can be found here. If you do go to the Stampede you will be pleasantly surprised buy the cost of everything. Unlike Toronto, in my opinion, you will find great prices on everything from beer to hotel rooms. If you like winter than this city has it all. They were the host of the 1988 winter Olympics so they have plenty of attractions for everyone. Calgary Tourism Website can help you discover tons of information right here.
  4. Banff, Alberta – Banff Alberta is a resort town and has tons of amazing things to do and see. If you love to ski or snowboard it will definitely be somewhere you want to go atlas once in your life. Banff National Park is Canada’s oldest park and has breathtaking scenery that will leave you speechless. Bow Lake, Peyto Lake and Lake Louise are just a few of the lakes you will want to view. Skiing and snowboarding at Lake Louise in Banff is spectacular and a must do for avid winter outdoors people. Check out Banff Travel and Tourism Website here.
  5. Victoria, British Columbia – Victoria is one of the most unique and wonderful places on the West Coast. Once you take the fairy to Victoria Island over from Vancouver, you will find loads of things to do. Victoria Island is home to numerous Craft Beer Breweries and festivals so if that is your thing you will love this place. Also Victoria has a number of Spas, Restaurants and festivals year round that will leave you ecstatic that you chose this as your next travel destination. Check out Victoria Travel and Tourism Website here for more information.

Taking a trip to any of these destinations will be nothing short of fantastic and you will love what all have to offer. Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter which will provide you with some of the most amazing travel deals out there.

Share and Like this post if you found it helpful! Cheers!

Horseshoe Ski Resort

Horseshoe Valley ski resort is located about 20 minutes north of Barrie, Ontario. We do not live in Barrie though so it was about a 3 hour drive for us. We decided to go to this resort because of the price compared to others such as Blue Mountain in Collingwood.

Skiing in Ontario, Canada is one of the greatest experiences you will have. The snow is plentiful and usually the weather is great. The snow belt which it is often called is located between Toronto, Ontario and Perry Sound, Ontario. The weather in this part is usually snowing and with the mild temperatures and mountainous terrane it makes for perfect ski weather.

 

The resort we stayed at was the Horseshoe Resort and the part of the resort we stayed in was the Slopeside Condos. We rented a 2 bedroom slope side condo for 5 days and it happened to be on the 3rd of 5 floors. The resort is very pet friendly and we brought our big black lab with us for the trip. I would say though that they should have more garbages located on the resort because there is only few places you can throw away your dogs poop.

The condos were very dated to 1990’s or even earlier but while we were there I enquired and they are renovating top to bottom the condos and are selling them at the end of this ski year. I would suspect the price to sky rocket after that. I was surprised about the skiing there though and considering the price of the condos.

While we were there we needed to get some stuff and there is a grocery store and beer/liquor store within a 5 minute drive up the road. So that isn’t to bad. What is on the resort is 2 restaurants and a cafeteria. The restaurants are great and not that pricey considering where you are. I would definitely recommend eating at the Crazy Horse Sports Bar. This place has an abundance of TV’s and has a very good atmosphere. if you like to eat a bit more of a fancy meal than I would recommend the Inn Steakhouse which is good but a little bit more formal.

 

The meals we had were all good and the fact we had our own condo makes these types of get aways even better because its a lot more convenient to wake up in the morning and brew your coffee, get your kid a bowl of cereal and make some bacon and eggs. If thats your thing than condos are the way to go!

Now for what we went for, the skiing and snow tubing! The Snow tubing was excellent and the hill appeared to be very high. The top was a little disorganized and you kinda just pick whatever line you want and hope for the best. to get to the top you take a conveyor belt so thats a bonus as you don’t have to do any walking. While we were there the price was great. The day we went it was $10 unlimited riding but the regular price is $4 a ride. That isn’t to bad because how many times are you really going to go down? Really?

On to the skiing at Horseshoe Resort. This hill is excellent for beginners. I haven’t skied in about 20 years so I didn’t know what to expect at all. When we arrived we ended up renting skis which was extremely costly. My wife and son both took lessons and for the 5 year old it was expensive but definitely worth it. He took group lessons which were pretty much 1 on 1 and they lasted 2 hours, we signed him up 2 days in a row. My wife on the other hand took one 2 hour lesson and learned a lot as well. She had never skied before and it was her first time so it was good for her to get a lesson in.

Now the hill is small but they do have or did have 4 chair lifts operational while we were there. I know when I say small that doesn’t sound like it but and it is bigger than some of the other hills in Ontario but if you have ever been to Mont Tremblant or skiing in British Columbia than you would know what I mean. Nonetheless this hill is perfect for beginners and the kids or bunny hill is amazing for the tykes with lots of room and its own chair lift. So when they try this one and get comfortable it should just be a progression over to the main ones.

Well this was the trip in a nutshell and you can visit my Facebook page, Twitter Account, Instagram or Pinterest to see more incredible journey’s! Follow my blog with Bloglovin

I Dreamed of Another World


A last glance at the Laguna Colorada in the early morning: this shallow salty lake has regained its serenity and lost its intense red color, but still offers striking reflections. We head toward the desert of Siloli in Southwestern Bolivia, a desert dominated by magnificent ocher colors and surrealist landscape. The Siloli desert features unusual natural sculptures. The most stunning rock formation is the must see Arbol del Piedra known as the stone tree. A fragile-looking geomorphological rock formation, it is an impressive 16 feet high. It marks the entrance to the Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve established in 1953 in Sur Lipez Province in the far Southwestern region of Bolivia. From there we begin our journey along the “Ruta de Las Joyas,” crossing successively several lagoons: Honda, Chiar Kota, Hedionda, and Cañapa.

Starbucks

In a landscape surrounded by volcanoes in the distance, Laguna Honda, whose name means “deep lake”, is in fact only 2 inches deep. But this shallow lagoon is particularly calm, and the bright blue sky is reflected in this true natural mirror. Laguna Cañapa is an endorheic salt lake with a surface area of 1.4 km2 is also surrounded by volcanoes and home to significant wildlife such as flamingos. It is a breathtaking sight, especially when the colonies of pink flamingos take flight… Two flamingos (speaking Walloon together), dress in pink, gently shake a leg and hobble in steps hushed by the water of the lagoon. They peck at salt larva, then evaporate in a few strokes of feathers… magical!

005_laguna-canapa

Following the Las Joyas road, we reach the Salar de Chiguana (415 km2), at over 11,810 feet above sea level. The railway line connecting Uyuni to the Chilean coast crosses the Salar de Chiguana. After the War of the Pacific in 1884 with Chile, Bolivia lost the Atacama Desert, thereby becoming a landlocked country. Under the peace treaty of 1904, Chile guaranteed freedom of transit for Bolivian commerce to the ports of Angofasta and built the Arica-La Paz Railroad, connecting the Bolivian capital to the coast. In the Salar de Chiguana there are small boron mineral deposits that were mined in the early 1990s and exported to Europe. This amazing landscape of salt stretches endlessly to the horizon with the giant volcano Ollagüe looming in the background. The volcano is situated at the border between Chile and Bolivia (height 19,252 feet). It is one of the most active volcanoes in the entire Cordillera Occidental. Although the landscape recalls the Southwestern of the United States, the Salar de Chiguana has a strange omnipresent succulent, the Yareta, which resembles moss stuck on large stones. In fact, the plant is as hard as a rock and grows concentrically extremely slowly for centuries. Locals in remote villages of the Altiplano used this succulent, full of resin, to heat their homes.

008_yareta

Turning to the villages, we arrive at San Juan Rosarion, usually called San Juan, a tiny place, but a semblance of a return to civilization where travelers can spend the night in hotels or, more commonly, shelters built entirely of salt. Walls are made of salt bricks as are tables, chairs, and beds. The floors are grains of salt.

Virgin Atlantic

Up very early for another highlight of the trip: the sunrise over the Salar de Uyuni. The “White Ténéré” at 4,086 square miles is the world’s largest salt flat and lies near the crest of the Andes at 11,995 feet. “I dreamed of another world / Who remain a mystery / A landless mundane / Yes, I wanted to jump into the air” (Free translation of the lyrics by the French singer Téléphone – Je rêvais d’un autre monde). All limits fall away in this other world of extreme climatic conditions. It is a timeless and spaceless journey to discover the Salar de Uyuni. As Alphonse Lamartine wrote, “O time Suspend your flight, and you, propitious hours, suspend your course: Let us savor the fleeting delights / The most beautiful today!” The desert plains, desperately flat and blindingly white, stretches out as far as our eyes can see. The Salar de Uyuni is a unique show, a landscape both lunar and solar, cold and sparkling. Only passengers on the space shuttles can see the whole desert.

010_salar-uyuni_lever-de-soleil
This natural marvel of the end of the world is, like Titicaca, one of the remains of a vast inland sea that stretched between two mountain ranges and then evaporated. A brief geological history of the Salar tells us that tens of thousand years ago Lake Minchin covered the area. Instead, now we have a desert of salt composed of billions of salt crystals. But there is another version of the story, a charming local legend about the formation of the Salar de Uyuni is linked to the dormant Tunupa Volcano on the Northern side of the Salar de Uyuni rising to 17,457 feet above sea level. Legend says that the Altiplano’s volcanoes could speak and move. Only Tunupa was female. One day Tunupa became pregnant, but the child’s father was unknown. Male volcanoes talked all night and took the decision to remove the small volcano from his mother. This decision infuriated the gods, and they withdrew the right to move, talk and meet from the volcanoes. Tunupa volcano wept so much that her tears mixed with her milk spread on the dry ground; thus was born the Salar de Uyuni.

013_volcan-tunupa

Amid this white area stands the Isla Incahuasi Quechua “the Inca house.” It is also called “Isla de los Pescadores” in reference to the neighboring island “Isla del Pescado” featuring giant cacti on an area of 61 acres and forming a hilly and rocky projection in the middle of the Salar – salt flat. There are walking trails allowing tourists to hike easily to the summit for a superb view of the vast white Salar with Tunapa in the distance. In addition to cactus in bloom, the island is also inhabited by the Bolivian vizcacha, Andean rabbits of the Chinchillidae family.


The Salar is composed of 10,000 billion tons of salt of which more than 25,000 tons are extracted annually. It is also rich in minerals, and its crust covers a pool of brine, exceptionally rich in lithium, an estimated 140 million tons and a large part of the world’s reserve. The depth of this salt flat is 460 feet. It consists of 11 distinct layers of salt whose thicknesses varies between 2 and 10 meters. To be in the middle of the Salar is like being in the midst of an infinite mirror; visual perceptions will surprise you. Fresh and salt water rivers underlie the surface of the Salar. This water, which passes under the salt crust, carries with it air that will find a way out. Ojos de Agua are round holes forming small eyes in the heart of the Salar where air and water well up from under the salt crust.

021_altiplano_lever-aux-aurores

The train graveyard, the “cimenterio de los trenes”, Uyuni, is the last stop on this Bolivian journey. It is located 2 miles outside the city of Ulyni. A legacy of the age of steam, dozens of old steam locomotives from the early years of the last century peacefully end their lives in the middle of the Salar. From the late 19th century to Mid-twenty century, Bolivia knew a golden age as a result of silver mining. When the silver era dried up, there was no need for a train network. Uyuni, in Southwestern Bolivia, was a transportation hub for trains carrying silver and other minerals from the surrounding mines to the Pacific Ocean. Another early departure at dawn to enjoy a Bolivian landscape like no other !
Hasta pronto

This blog post was written for www.middleclasstraveler.com by http://www.c-ludik.fr/en/

Across The Border



“Should we cross the border / Going Beyond / Without missteps / Discover what is behind…” (Donoré – Passer la Frontière). Let’s cross the border and discover the Bolivian Altiplano, seemingly “the region” to discover. The Altiplano or high plain is located in west-central South America, lying between Bolivia, Peru, Chile and Argentina. It is the second largest plateau in the world after the Tibetan plateau. The Bolivian Altiplano is beyond anyone’s imagination, at least, mine and probably yours: an endless, magnificent journey amidst surrealist scenery straight from another planet, and an arduous journey as well. A region with an arid climate where the mountain tops and Salars de Uyuni stretch to infinity. The scenery of the Bolivian Altiplano is among the most beautiful in the world!


Just after crossing into Southwestern Bolivia, the Laguna Verde, a salt lake with blue-green hues, appears at an elevation of 14,100 feet nestled at the foot of the magnificent volcano Licancabur, which rises to 19,252 feet. The lake offers a colorful panorama of breathtaking beauty. The magnificent colors result from a high concentration of lead carbonate, arsenic, calcium, and sulfur. You just want to jump right in. At daybreak, as the sediment in the lake is stirred by the wind, the lake’s colors can change from deep brown to emerald green in a second. Between noon and 2 P.M. green is the most striking color. The region is, during the day, constantly exposed to an icy wind, whipping the surface of the water into white caps. Next to Laguna Verde, across a narrow strip of land, is the Laguna Bianca. Like Laguna Verde, Laguna Bianca at an elevation of 14,270 feet on the Altiplano is named for color created by the high concentration of minerals in its waters. The play of colors and reflections on the lake waters is everything but wearisome.

002_laguna-bianca

The Bolivian Altiplano is characterized by a clear, deep blue sky, blinding, high-altitude sunshine, ultraviolet rays that burn the skin, and rarefied oxygen where the slightest movement requires great effort. In the colorful barren landscape stretching to infinity, only the snow-covered mountain peaks mountains shimmering at the horizon catch your eye. Here water boils at 158° Fahrenheit. In such scenery, the experienced Bolivian tour guides and drivers seem to have their itineraries engraved in their brains like road maps. Soon we cross the Dali Desert, also known as the Deli Valley in Southwestern Bolivia, located at an elevation of 15,584 feet. This is a surreal moon-like landscape. The minerals give the supernatural landscape colors that resemble the surrealist paintings by Salvador Dali. Rock formations eroded by strong wind could not be more surprising as if were sculpted by the artist himself!
In this desert, apparently hostile to all life, we find wild herds of hoofed vicuñas from camelid family— a kind of camel without a hump—and also their predator, Mister Fox. As Sting sang, “The Fox had done running / And the beast is at bay / He’d run them in circles / By the end of the day” (Sting – The End of the Game).

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

At the foot of Cerro Polques lies a small hot-spring pool, the “Thermas del Polques,” with a temperature reaching 86 °Fahrenheit, while outside temperatures are much lower… We are still at 14,108 above sea level! For fun, you can bathe or just dip your feet in the warm water rich in minerals while marveling at the landscape of the Laguna Salada.

009_sol-de-manana_solfatares

Fifty kilometers away at 15,978 feet above sea level lies Solfataras, a geothermal field in the Sol de Manana, “Morning Sun” in Spanish. It is an impressive two square kilometers of steam pools with bubbling mud and hellish fumaroles. The Sol de Manana has a splendid landscape of colors and sounds. Listen carefully: the area whistles, smokes, bubbles like a pressure cooker! Be careful where you put your feet because there is no protection. You need caution with every step. A thick smell of sulfur hovers over The Sol de Manana. As usual, we are warm inside, but cold outside! Remnants of winter surround the Sol de Manana, extraordinary peaks waiting for Spring’s final frost !

014_laguna-colorada

We arrive at the Laguna Colorada, a shallow salt lake in the Southwest of Bolivia’s Altiplano near the Chilean border, a moment we have been waiting for since the beginning of the trip. We are stunned and dazzled by the splendor. Even though I had previously seen a few photographs, the reality is quite different. The waters of the lake have a stunning bright reddish color resulting from the wind disturbing the red sediment and the pigmentation of some algae. This shallow lake, only about 3 feet deep, and surrounded by mountains, covers an area of 23 square miles at 14,035 feet. Algae and plankton thrive in the mineral-rich waters. The lagoon hosts numerous colonies of flamingos that proliferate because of a lack of predators. In the Andes, there are three endemic species of flamingos: the Chilean flamingo, distinguished by its grayish legs with pink joints and a white and black beak, is 43-51 inches high and feeds on crustaceans; the James’ flamingo, the smallest of the three, and the Andean flamingo, the largest with a pale yellow and black beak, and which, like the James’ Flamingo, feeds on algae. In addition, to the colonies of pink flamingos, lamas (small and large) graze peacefully on the edge of the lagoon. Dream or reality… we do not quite know where to look, it makes your head spin and hurt… the joys of high altitude!


This Blog was created by http://www.c-ludik.fr/en/ for www.middleclasstraveler.com. Please visit the above website for more exiting travels!

Picking Your First Camera for Travel Photography



Picking Your First Camera for Travel Photography

 

By Ryan Ellis

 

I hear it all the time from people looking to start out in the photography world:

“There are so many cameras out there! How does a first time buyer know how to make the right choice?”

 

Well if you are reading this article on Middle Class Traveler, chances are you are in the same boat and you are probably looking for something to do a little travel photography with. For a lot of people, it comes down to balancing some key ingredients:

 

  1. Cost
  2. Performance
  3. Size and weight
  4. Objective

 

Not necessarily in that order but a good chance that cost is going to be at or near the top of the list for those just starting out. Let’s quickly take a look at each of those and then I have a couple of suggestions that could be right for you!

 

Like what you are reading? Subscribe here!

 

Let’s work backwards and ask yourself “What is my objective here?” This question alone will lead you to exclude about half the field right off the bat. If your answer to this question doesn’t include professional wedding photography or publication in a major magazine or large format art gallery printing then you can and probably should exclude all the full format cameras.

 

But what is a full format camera? If at this stage in the game you don’t know, you probably don’t need one. It basically is a larger sensor to give you a larger frame similar to what 35 mm film would give you. Some cameras have a full frame sensor and other have a crop frame. This is a smaller frame size and is significantly cheaper, but that doesn’t mean it can’t produce some really fantastic images. An easy way to tell the difference is that full frame cameras will usually cost in the thousands of dollars. Crop frames cost in the hundreds. If by budget constrictions alone you have chosen the crop frame, you are in the right place!

 

Choosing a crop frame also takes care of size and weight because they are lighter and smaller. This is what you want if you are going to use it for travel. The last thing you need is to be trudging up the stairs of Cinque Terre lugging a 5 pound beast and all its accessories around.

 

Well we already have taken into account objective, cost, size and weight so let’s get to the meat of it. Performance. In the photography world, brand does matter. No two brands have dominated the space more than Nikon and Canon. You will find staunch supporters on both sides. I happen to shoot with Nikon. Usually whatever the brand you first purchase is, will be the brand you stick with out of these two forever.

 

Lately Sony has been making a big push with mirrorless cameras which can be even smaller and lighter than the DSLR cameras offered by Nikon and Canon. The mirrorless lack a view finder so everything is shot live off the screen. I am so used to shooting with a view finder I couldn’t imagine making the switch but you can’t argue with the results. They are really good.

 

Whatever brand you choose, you don’t have to shoot for the moon with your first purchase. I would argue that the right camera is only about 10 percent of the battle. Whatever brand you choose, your photography education is the most important thing that you can invest in to make your pictures look better. Throwing the camera into automatic and hitting the button isn’t going to get great results. Focus, ISO, shutter speed, aperature, lens type, and 1000 other things all matter more than the type of camera you are shooting with.

 

That being said here are the three cameras I think the travel photographer should first look into and all run in the $300-$400 range:

 

 

All of these will get you to where you want to be, with all the functions you will need. For now the kit lens will do just fine. I will outline the first lenses to buy in another post. If you have questions post them in the comments or email me at ryan@raleightraveler.com.

 

This article was written exclusively for Middle Class Traveler. You can find more of my work over at Raleigh Traveler or have more articles like this delivered to your inbox by signing up for our newsletter here!

Liebster Award 2016


Today I received a Facebook message from the travel blogger Mike Still at www.livetravelteach.com and he notified me that he has nominated me for the Liebster Award 2016! So what is the Liebster Award 2016 you may ask? Well, the Liebster award is an online award that is given to bloggers from other bloggers! The 2016 Liebster Award also only exists on the internet and by accepting this award I am required to nominate 5 other bloggers!

1. What was the first time you remember traveling and what made it memorable?

The first time I can remember travelling was when I was about 4 or 5 years old. We travelled to Orlando, Florida and went to Disney! I still have the little mouse hat around here somewhere, lol. As if Disney wasn’t memorable enough with the small world after all ride, the most memorable part of that trip was how my parents were able to delay the plane because my sister forgot her stuffed animal at the hotel. Could you imagine today? They would never delay a plane for something like that.

2. If you could travel with any celebrity as your travel partner who would it be and where would you go?

Which celebrity would I travel with and where would I go is a tough question to answer. I guess if I had to pick one celebrity it would have to be Dave Chapelle because he is the funniest person in the world in my books. So its just me and Chapelle travelling, where would we go? I’d have to say to Australia and thats because I want to go to Australia and to have Chapelle telling me jokes for the whole 30 hour plane ride would be the best.

3. What is one place that you could travel to over and over again?

Canada! I live here and the country is so large. I really recommend everyone to come and check it out. I do want to travel the world and have been to so many places more than once but every time I go somewhere there is no feeling like stepping back on Canadian Soil. It truly is the best country in the world.

4. If you suddenly got an unlimited travel budget but could only go to 1 destination, where would you go?

This is a tough question and their really is two places I’d love to go but since I’m going with Chapelle to Australia, right, I would have to say Russia. I’d love to check out Saint Petersburg and Moscow. Both destinations are really expensive to travel to so either one really.

5. What is your favorite travel memory?

I have some pretty good memories about travelling the world. If I wasn’t so young when I went to East Germany I would say that would be the best but I’d have to say my honeymoon in France. I didn’t necessarily like France so much but it was my honeymoon so cheers to that!

6. Do you prefer solo travel, group travel or traveling with a buddy?

I love travelling with my significant other. We both love traveling so its fun. I have only really travelled once alone and it was to Germany and it was kinda boring.

7. Where are you headed next and what are you most excited about going there?

Whoot Whoot we are going to Horseshoe Valley Resort in Barrie, Ontario to go skiing and have some fun over New Years!

8. Have you ever lived in a different country? If yes, where, what was the best part of it and would you do it again? If no, is there a reason you haven’t or a place that you want to live in?

I have never lived in another country and its very odd because I started my career right out of school and never had time to move. If I did move I have always wanted to move to California. The weather is perfect and I have family that lives on the golden coast!

9. What is your favorite way to pass the time on long buses, planes & trains?

Watch movies. I remember flying from Frankfurt to Toronto and watching The Hangover for the first time, maybe it was the wine but I laughed so hard that it made the flight one of the best I ever taken.

10. Do you have any travel horror stories? What happened?

Yes! I once booked a trip online piecemeal and we booked our hotel through hotwire and when we arrived to our hotel in Valencia, California the hotel didn’t have record of our reservations. It took 3 days to get it all sorted out but that was a complete stress that was uncalled for. They also never apologized and we almost got stuck with the bill twice. It wasn’t cool. I never booked a hotel through them again and will never do so.

11. Do you have any special travel routine for before, after or during a trip? If so, what is it?

Nah! Just pack the night before and getup and to the airport early. I like to get there early for some strange reason. I love the airport!

img_1158

I am now suppose to nominate 5 blogs for this award and the 5 I have chosen are:

  1. http://www.raleightraveler.com
  2. www.youngbrokeandwandering.wordpress.com
  3. www.traveldefinition.com
  4. http://lifeuntraveled.com
  5. http://www.snorkelstosnow.com

These 5 bloggers, if they accept, will have to nominate another 5 bloggers and answer the same questions as I had to! I was going to change the questions up a bit as my nominator did but the questions are great so I decided to keep them the same!

Expert Travel Tips



Expert Travel Tips To Help You Find More Fun

Traveling is a really fun hobby for many people. Even though travelling to new places is a lot of fun, it can really be very stressful when trying to make travel plans. The following article has many useful tips on planning for a successful trip.

If you have to wear a suit on an overnight trip make sure it’s the right one. A wool suit will arrive fresher than one made of any other fiber. Hang it up in the bathroom when you arrive, turn the shower on hot, and close the door; let it steam for a while and all the wrinkles will drop out. It will look as good as new.

Selecting an aisle seat will always keep your options open. While a window seat offers a view, an aisle seat allows you easy access to restrooms, overhead baggage and flight attendants; in addition, you do not have a person crowding you on one side.


If you are collecting frequent flier miles from your travels, pay attention to the terms of use for those miles. In many cases, the miles expire just twelve to eighteen months after they’ve been earned, or they can only be used on certain dates and to a limited set of locations. Before selecting an airline based on miles, know the restrictions.

If you are traveling overnight or into the early morning, get your doctor’s permission to take a sleeping pill after you board. Eat your breakfast and then drift off to dreamland, and you’ll sleep comfortably through the whole flight. Wait until you are airborne to take your pill though, in case your flight is delayed or must return to the gate.


Try using a racing belt to discourage pickpockets. Getting robbed can ruin your entire vacation. To lessen the chances of this happening, consider investing in the storage belts that we use to store our keys, money, and such. This will keep your valuables close to your body where they are less likely to be stolen.

If you are finding it difficult to pick a place to travel you can ask friends and family. The people closest to you should have some insight on the type of person you are and the the kind of destinations you should like. Wherever you go just remember to have an open mind and make the best of your trip.

If you want to attempt to get an empty seat, there are some tricks to try. Ask for a seat near the back end of the plane, because these generally fill up last. If you are not comfortable with that, ask for an exit row seat. These seats come with extra responsibility, that not many are willing to accept.

When going on a cruise, wear your room key around your neck, on a lanyard or similar item. Losing your room key on a cruise ship can cost you greatly, not only in money, but in lost time. Keeping your key with you wherever you go can insure that you, and your belongings, will be safe.

Many people love traveling to different destinations. However, not many people like planning trips, because making those plans can be a source of stress. Use what you’ve learned here to take the stress of of making travel arrangements, and you’ll enjoy your trip that much more.

This blog was written for www.middleclasstraveler.com and you can find more of my work at www.traveldefinition.com

Las Vegas

Visit Top Casinos In Las Vegas



Have you ever wanted to go to Las Vegas? If you ever have wanted to go but couldn’t figure out where to stay than this blog may just be for you. I will compile the top casinos in Las Vegas list but to be honest I haven’t attended all the casinos in Las Vegas. Also lets call this an introduction post because I am going to do a series of Las Vegas posts. I am not sure I could really justify writing a 30,000 word blog post on Las Vegas. LOL

poker

So, lets start off with this. When thinking about top casinos you need to know what you are going for. An example of this is are you going to play poker, maybe you are going for a buffet and lastly maybe you are going to go play low limit black jack? Therefore you need to know what you are going to be doing if you are going to travel to a casino. Personally here in this blog I will just generalize these casinos and probably give you a description of a positive for each one I list. I will be listing these casinos in no particular order so enjoy.

The Venetian

This hotel is all suites! You will find a beautiful entrance area and stunning murals on the ceilings and walls. The Casino has 2 parts, the Palazzo and the Venetian. If you want to play poker though the only one to do that at is The Venetian. In my humble opinion one of the best Poker Room in Vegas is at the Venetian. I was there for 5 days and only left the poker room to go eat at the Mirage buffet.

The Mirage

The Mirage which is located in a very convenient location in the middle of the strip. If you are staying at the Mirage you are located within walking distance to The Wynne, Ceasers Palace, The Bellagio, Paris and Ballies. So, why is this casino worth a mention on this blog? The Mirage has probably one of the best buffets in Vegas. When I go to Vegas I eat here every time. You have food from all over the world whether you want Chinese or Italian you can get it. Also the price, compared to other hotels in its class the price is cheap and the food is great!


Expedia.com

If you are going to The Mirage I would live to hear how your time was because I haven’t stayed there yet so I can’t say how the rooms are. One time I was able to check out the pool area because I was staying at The Bellagio and they allowed me to go to their pool. As for the gambling the poker room use to be booming back in the day but now I thought it was pretty slow. The last time I went they only had one table of 2-5NL and maybe a couple 1-2NL. That is significantly less than what it was a decade ago when I played 20-40 limit there and the room was packed.

The Bellagio

What can I say about The Bellagio? I have stayed here several times now and the rooms have a beautiful view of there iconic fountains. I haven’t stayed in any rooms yet that haven’t had a view so Im not sure if they are any different. The rooms are guarded by security which is awesome because only hotel guests can get up to the rooms. As for the inside of the rooms, if you love marble than its for you. I have also seen the suits and they are very very nice. I went to a wedding there about a decade ago and it was absolutely amazing.

Gambling at the Bellagio? I have played poker there and it is the hotel with the iconic Bobby’s Room so you will see people like Jennifer Tilley, Jackie Chan, Doyle Brunson and others. All in all put your name on the waiting list early and don’t worry about what type of game you want to play because they have it. The last time I was their I witnessed a pretty nice Chinese Poker game at 8:00 a.m.

I could go on and on about Vegas and probably will do more posts because I haven’t even touched the Freemont Street experience in old Vegas or even any of the newer casinos on the strip. I have been to Vegas many times and I will cover these topics and hotels much more in coming blogs! I hope you enjoyed this one though.

Where have you stayed? Have you had an experience like any of these? If you would like to join the conversation comment below and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter! Have a wonderful day but don’t forget to subscribe to this blog for amazing travel related opportunities!.










Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén

%d bloggers like this: