Middle Class Traveler

Adventures of the Middle Class

Tag: Vacation

Top Ski Accessories

Recently I had an amazing time going skiing and you can read all about it in my blog post Horseshoe Ski Resort. When we were there I thought how handy would a list of top ski accessories be right about now? When we were packing for the trip we packed everything or so we thought. So I am going to give you a list of the top ski accessories to bring next time you go skiing to a resort.

Top Ski Accessories

1) the most important thing to bring if you are a traveler and wanting to take amazing pictures while on the slopes is a camera. So this camera is one of the cameras I do suggest. I recently had a guest blogger recommend 3 cameras for travel phography. That blog post can be viewed here. One of those cameras which I read up on and recommend is this one.

The Sony 6000

 

2) Now you may be like me and not to keen on bringing a camera to the hill but you still want to take some pics. What I recommend is bringing your iPhone. So the problem with having an iPhone on the hill is the battery life gets severely limited due to the weather. For me it was -3 Celsius at the top of the hill so it was warm. Unfortunately my battery didn’t think so and my phone kept turning off. That’s why I recommend an external iPhone battery.

Anker Astro E1 5200mAh Candy bar-Sized Ultra Compact Portable Charger (External Battery Power Bank) with High-Speed Charging PowerIQ Technology (Black)

 

3) Now you will want to record some of those awesome slope runs or tricks in the freestyle park. To do that you will most definitely need a GoPro. When I was out on the slopes I had a Hero 3+ and it was suffiecent enough considering the price. You can view a complete run using the GoPro while in snow right here.

GoPro HERO3+: Silver Edition

 

4) You are going to want to mount your GoPro so you can get some great shots and not have to worry about losing it so I do recommend a head mount. I used a head mount and it works.

ProGear Adjustable Elastic Strap Head Mount With Anti-Slide For GoPro Hero 4/3+/3/2/1

 

5)When you are on the slopes the weather always plays a factor into the fun you will have so you are going to want a good set of goggles. Whether you are skiing or snowboarding goggles are a must!

Anon M1 Goggle, Black/Silver Solex, One Size

 

6) Lastly you are going to want a helmet. I know it doesn’t sound cool but everyone wears one and you will probably need to have one on if you want to go into the freestyle park. I remember back in my day we never wore them and never seen anyone with them but now they are everywhere.

Smith Holt Helmet Mens Sz M

 

This is is my list of must have ski or snowboarding accessories. They will make your day on the slopes more enjoyable and willing help provide memories to show your buddies for years to come. You can sign up for my newsletter at the bottom to receive amazing deals on travel. If you like check out my Instagram page, pinterest account, twitter account and like and share my Facebook page.

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

Great Travel Deals And Products For The New Year










As 2016 comes to an end I thought I’d throw up some great travel deals and products to get your year started off on the right foot. To celebrate the new year I will include some of the best deals on products and travel destinations. Have you thought about going to the Atlantis or a Sandals Resort? Now don’t look further.

Over the past year I have traveled to some very beautiful destinations but the one that stood out far above the others is our time at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas. You can read about that incredible destination here. Now if you are looking for a great vacation to the Bahamas with family or couples this place is ideal. Below are some really spectacular links you can take advantage of if you choose.

Reserve Ahora y Ahorre – Atlantis, Paradise Island, Bahamas

Warm up this Winter – Save up to 55% off nighty rates PLUS up to a $450 resort credit & Kids Eat Free! Book by January 31st.

One of the most beautiful resorts I have ever wanted to stay at was the Sandals Resorts. These resorts from what I hear are some of the most luxurious resorts on the planet. For people who work hard and want to enjoy some time in a very friendly atmosphere they may be perfect for you.

Save up to 55% at Sandals Grande St. Lucian Spa & Beach Resort

Save up 65% + Receive an Instant Air Credit of up to $1,000 At Sandals Resorts.

One of the best things I’ve ever done is travel to Las Vegas. I have been going there regularly for over a decade now. The first time I graced Vegas was in a motor home but the first time I went with a friend we stayed at the Flamingo. Like I said, I have been going for over a decade and I have stayed in numerous locations. Most recently I stayed at the Bellagio but I’ve also stayed at the Venetian, Ceasers Palace, Golden Nugget and hopefully one day soon I’ll be at the Wynne. I wrote a couple of blogs this year on Las Vegas. One I wrote was on Downtown Vegas and the other about the famous Las Vegas Strip. You can read either of those in my blog by clicking the highlighted links above. If you want superb Vegas deals I have them for you below. Take it from me, I love Vegas so I love these deals!

Cheap Flights to Las Vegas from $67 on Expedia!

Book a Las Vegas Package with Expedia.ca and Save up to 40% on Your Stay!

Now I told you I would provide you with some great deals for the new year and these are a great start if you are planning a vacation. These deals won’t last forever though so take advantage of them while you can.

Now what would traveling be without traveling in comfort? When you do hit the blue highway you may want take one of the most frequently sold items for travel that is out there. You may be wondering what that is? Well it’s the travel pillow. Below you can find some amazing deals on travel pillows!

Also if you are traveling you may want some earphones for the flight. I know when I travel I always use my Beats by Dre headphones but at the end of the day any noise cancelling headphones work for those loud flights.

Now that you have a few destinations and some great travel deals, not to mention some awesome accessories you are going to wanna get going. Hurry up and book that trip before these deals are gone.

Feel free to like and share this post on your social media platforms. Also like my Facebook page to see more travel deals and to read the journey myself and my family take across the world. Last but not least sign up for my newsletter which you will be updated with travel deals regularly! Cheers!

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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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/

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!

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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!

3 Must See Sights in Cornwall



Cornwall, the most southwest part of England is in one word, stunning. Often dubbed the Cornish Riviera, it is known for its beautiful beaches, picturesque countryside and seaside towns. I’ve decided to compile a list of my three must see spots when in Cornwall. If you only have a day to visit Cornwall, I highly recommend utilizing Plusbus tickets if traveling by train. It gives you unlimited use of the buses in either your departure or arrival town. I also suggest traveling by train because of the view. Traveling through Devon and Cornwall on a coastal route is probably one of the more picturesque train routes I’ve taken in the U.K. The journey itself is worth it!

Starbucks

 1. St. Micahel’s Mount in Marazion. St. Michael’s Mount is a massive castle, atop an island that sits across the water. There are no words or pictures that can adequately justify the beauty of this castle. The only way to reach it is to cross a causeway during low tide, or take a boat across the water to the castle during high tide. Be sure to check their website as there is a handy tool that lets you know when the tides are expected to be low so you can cross the causeway. The Castle closes one day a week, and turns out the day is a Saturday, so keep that in mind when taking a day trip. Due to its location on the Southern Coast, the Castle maintains a subtropical atmosphere and has many beautiful gardens year round. There is actually a sister castle directly across the way off the coast of France called Mont St. Michel. Definitely a must add for your next trip!

cornwall2

2. Minack Theater near the town of St. Levan, is an open air theater, oceanside. The theater looks like it was plucked from the past and plopped into our time. It costs £4.50 to enter the theater to view, and there is pretty much no getting around it as its quite impossible to see the theater from outside since it sits at the top of a cliff and is built into the cliffside. Regardless, it is worth the fee. How many people can say they’ve seen a show or band, oceanside on a cliff?! Note: the theatre closes at 4pm in the winter season.

cornwall3

3. Porthcurno Beach is directly below the Minack Theatre cliff and is absolutely breathtaking. Its hard to believe its a beach in England, as opposed to a warm Caribbean beach. The sand was soft and white, with clear and bright blue waters. Looking back on my photos it’s truly hard to believe that they aren’t paintings. Why not spend a day surfing or fishing? Pro tip: if hike halfway up to the Minack Theatre on the cliff – you get astonishing views of Porthcurno Beach.

cornwall4

Total Cost: £5.80

Minack Theatre: £4.50 , Plusbus Ticket: £1.30

 

 

For just £5.80 you could be seeing all these views as well! So what’s stopping you? Be sure to comment your favorite places in Cornwall! Cheers xx

 

 

This blog post was written for www.middleclasstraveler.com, and you can find more of my work at www.youngbrokeandwandering.wordpress.com.

 

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Downtown Vegas



Vegas Baby! So in my last blog I talked about a few Casinos I have been to on the strip in Las Vegas. Now everything changes and I will talk about downtown Vegas!

When you arrive in Vegas you will exit the airport and the chances are you will see a line-up of taxi’s and limo’s that will bring you to the hotel that you are staying at. To get from the airport to downtown Vegas is about 10-15 minutes and about $60 if you take a limo. I always take a limo from the airport because of its convenience. It also feels great pulling up to your hotel in a nice limo.

FREEMONT STREET EXPERIENCE 

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Now you are in downtown Vegas, what are the casinos here and what are they like you may ask. When you arrive in the downtown you will more than likely be at a casino that exits onto Freemont Street. You want to see the Freemont Street experience, that is one of the reasons to stay downtown.

What to do when you are in downtown Vegas? When you are here you will notice that compared to “the strip” you are going to have lower bet limits. When you walk through Freemont Street you will have the entrances to all the casinos on the strip and these casinos usually have half dressed women dealing cards or serving drinks to attract the people into the casino. The games are played a lot smaller and slower here as well.

So now you are in the Freemont area and you want to eat right? Where are you going to eat here? Well you could have a couple of places to eat and it all depends on what you want to eat. Back in 2009 I played the Binion’s Poker Classic Main Event and before I played I had to eat some breakfast, which I did at the Golden Nugget. I have eaten their a number of times now and its all good. I’ve had the steak and eggs and the bacon and eggs with hash browns so either is really good and portion sizes are great.

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If you are looking for a buffet downtown you will want to check out the buffet at the Freemont. This buffet is called the Paradise Buffet & Cafe, it is amazing. When you go there you will notice they have everything on there buffet. You will also not be disappointed in your selection or the price. This has to be one of the cheapest and best buffets I have ever been to.

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Now that we have talked about to of the Casinos to eat at you will probably want to go to the Binion’s Horseshoe Casino. This Casino is the poker holy grail and it has a number of restaurants in it as well. You can eat at the diner on the casino floor and that is fine but you may want some other types of food. When I was there a few years ago they had an all you can eat ribs option in one of there other restaurant and it was $12.99 so that is a pretty good option as well.

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The poker room at the Binion’s is great but the limits are small. It is pretty good to play there if you want to play something like 1-2 NL which you will probably find at least one table game. Now if you are looking for tournaments though you are going to like this place. Honestly I have to say they have the best run tournaments in Vegas. I have played here a number of times and every time I am never disappointed with anything. The blind levels increase and starting chips are ratio’d perfectly at this casino. I have also never had a problem with any of the dealers, they have all been great.

I hope you enjoy your stay or visit to downtown Vegas. If you want to here more about Vegas or any other destination check out one of my other blogs. Don’t forget to check out my Facebook Page and Twitter account.  Happy Travels!

Top Must Have Travel Products

Travel ProductsWhen I am on the road I alway bring certain travel products with me. It really doesn’t matter if I am flying or driving or taking The Chi-Cheemaun across Lake Huron but I usually bring the regular things. Below is a short list of my regular things I bring with me every time I travel.

When I’m flying I will always bring travel products such as earphones with me. There is nothing more annoying than sitting on a flight with those terrible ones they sell on the plane. The earphones that I like to bring are Beats By Dre. These earphones are the best ones I have ever had. I have had Sony noise cancelling earphones as well but having to find a AAA battery to get the noise cancelling to work is annoying. Personally when on a long hall I always have earphones they are my number one thing to bring on any trip.

Beats By Dre

Sony Noise Cancelling Headphones  –

The next thing I will bring with me is a GoPro. GoPro’s are awesome and self explanatory. I will always bring them with me from now on. Last summer while at Great Wolf Lodge I decided to bring mine but forgot the memory card so I couldn’t use it and that was a bummer but I guarantee if you are going anywhere tropical from now on you will want one with you. There are a couple of things you will want with the GoPro though and that is a bobber and a waterproof case. You will want these because when on the beach you can go in the water with these things and they take amazing underwater videos. While in the Bahamas over the March Break this year I went snorkelling with the fish and had my go pro the whole time. It made some pretty amazing videos.

GoPro HERO4 Silver (The one I have) –

GoPro Bobber w/ Adjustable Strap –

GoPro Waterproof Case  –

My next must have is a carry on suit case for a plane. I purchased a larger RipCurl one when I was in my mid 20’s but now I have a smaller one. The reason for this is you might want to pack very light and by doing so it makes it easier when going through the airports. The worst thing is getting off a plane and having to wait at the luggage terminal for your suitcase that is half empty when you can all ready be in a limo on your way to the hotel.

Carry on Luggage

 

When I am traveling I always bring sunglasses with me. I am a firm believer of not buying things I don’t need when on vacation. Kind of like the products above. You need them but don’t want to buy them because why wouldn’t you just bring them. So when I am travelling its always a nice pair of aviators and ready to go. Sometimes the sun gets in your eyes on the plane or you are in a hot climate and want shades on.

Sunglasses

 

The next must have is ear plugs. You can stick a couple pairs in your shaving case and be ready. Sometimes you may not be travelling with your spouse and you may be with a friend. Unfortunately that friend may snore like a banshee and in that case you will thank me for this.

Ear Plugs –

All in all for travel products to bring on a trip these are my must haves. I always bring these items with me. Bring these travel products with you on your next trip and thank me when you get home. Until next time I hope this helped and enjoy your vacation!

Cheers!

Mexico, Riviera Maya

El Dorado Royale, MexicoMexicoFlying from Sudbury, Ontario to Cancun, Mexico was a great experience. We left Sudbury the day after boxing day to go to the Maya Riviera and while we were there we stayed at the resort El Dorado Royale. This resort is an adults only resort and is very very nice, Gourmet Inclusive they call it. For me it was my first time in Mexico and actually my first time on an all inclusive vacation. Before then and ever since I have never been to an all inclusive resort.

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When arriving in Mexico we were one of the lucky randoms to have our bags checked. When you arrive you have to walk through a metal detector and press a button and if its green you go and red they check your stuff. I am not quite sure what they are looking for because what are you gonna bring into Mexico? Really?


FlightHub

The type of traveller I am when going to an all inclusive resort is to sit down and drink and eat but we decided to do some sight seeing. If you remember correctly I do believe there was a travel advisory at that time for Canadians in Mexico so I was a little nervous. I remember when we got on the tour bus from our resort in Playa Del Carmen and headed towards Tulum I thought we were going direct so for our tour bus to pull over in the middle of the highway and the driver to exit to go for a walk really freaked me out, LOL. Nonetheless we were waiting for another bus to catch up so we travelled together.

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On our day adventure we went snorkelling at a place called Xel Ha and it was a great time. While there it was extremely busy but at the end of the day it wasn’t that expensive and it was a good snorkelling experience. After that we boarded the bus and headed to Tulum to see the ruins. This was nice as architecture interests me and I would definitely recommend going to see it if you are ever in that part of the world.

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After our day out in Mexico when we returned to the resort we decided to go to Playa Del Carmen for the evening to do some shopping and whatever. We went down to the strip there and on the way I can remember all the check points we went through to get there. It is really something different to see as coming from Canada we don’t really see that… ever. I actually have never seen anything like that since. Nonetheless while in Playa Del Carmen there was some amazing bars and shops. The funniest thing that happened to us was we were sitting at our table having some authentic Mexican food when a truck pulls up and takes a hose about 6 inch diameter and runs it through the restaurant and starts pumping. Not sure if they were sucking out grease or something else! So that amused us for a while.

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Back at the Resort we had a swim up room. This was an amazing room where you open the patio door and you have a hammock area with some chairs then you step down into the water where its about a foot deep and then the lazy river is connected to that. If you ever go to a hotel with a swim up room I would definitely recommend it. It was great to walk out the room and hop in the lazy river and float/walk to the swim up bar to grab a drink.

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This resort was huge and had golf cart shuttle from everywhere on the resort. What we did was wait at a bus stop type and the servers would come around and pick you up and bring you where you needed to go. I do have to say this though being in our early 30’s we were by far the youngest at this resort as I do remember looking around and thinking its all older people here. The resort had a number of walk up bars, swim up bars, restaurants and a breakfast buffet. The one thing that I did love about the resort was the restaurants were all the type that you order off the menu. They call it Gourmet Inclusive and I can tell you it is Gourmet! When we were there in 2010-2011 the resort had 24 hour room service which was awesome and fast, the drinks were real and not watered down and the service was top notch.

El Dorado RoyaleMexico Beach

While on the beach there  we did rent a Sea-Doo for some of the time and that was fun and really not that expensive but you don’t have the sales people hounding you up and down the beach either so that was a good thing. While there the one thing we did do that I never do is go see the time share program. We didn’t buy into it but by going we got a nice message on the beach one of the night and that rocked! The pictures in this post are from a camera not a phone lol sorry!

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All and all this is an awesome resort for someone on a Middle Class budget who like to live the Luxury Life.

 

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