Archive for March, 2017

The Best Destinations for a Healthy Traveler on a Budget

We all love a good vacation. But between airfare, hotels, eating out, and spending money, going away isn’t always in in the budget. Fortunately, there are some places where you can enjoy a healthy and fun getaway without breaking the bank. Here are some top destinations for a healthy traveler on a budget.

Berlin, Germany

Affordable travel to BerlinGermany’s capital city and cultural epicenter, Berlin is consistently ranked one of the cheapest cities in Western Europe. Even better, it’s also one of the safest. You can easily experience Europe’s hub of creativity and rich German culture without hurting your wallet.

What to expect:

  • Currency: Euro (1€ = $ 1.08)*
  • Average Daily Cost: €93
  • Accommodation: €51 (per night/person)
  • Food: €15 (daily)
  • One-way local transport ticket: €2.30
  • Coffee: €2.40
  • Beer: €3

Side note: free walking tours are all the rage in Berlin, so you can literally see the city without spending a dime.

Santorini, Greece

Affordable travel to SantoriniSurprisingly, you can experience the “priceless” beauty of the Greek islands at a pretty affordable cost.  So why not spend your next vacation relaxing in the sun with killer views? Pro tip: If you want good weather without paying peak season prices, plan your trip for early June or late September!

What to expect:

  • Currency: Euro (1€ = $ 1.08)
  • Average Daily Cost: €98
  • Accommodation: €53 (per night/person)
  • Food: €30 (daily)
  • One-way local transport ticket: €2.00
  • Coffee: €3.30
  • Beer: €0.80

Montréal, Canada 

One of the safest and cleanest cities I’ve ever visited, Montréal can be very reasonable if done right.  Located right by the Canadian border, many Americans can drive there, meaning hundreds saved on airfare. The best part? There are a ton of cool restaurants where every item on the menu is five Canadian dollars (that’s just 3.75 U.S. dollars.)

What to expect:

  • Currency: Canadian Dollar ($ 1 CAD = $ 0.75 USD)
  • Average Daily Cost: $ 160 CAD
  • Accommodation: $ 90 CAD (per night/person)
  • Food: $ 30 CAD (daily)
  • One-way local transport ticket: $ 3.25 CAD
  • Coffee: $ 3.75 CAD
  • Beer: $ 6.00 CAD

Cork, Ireland

Affordable Travel to Cork, IrelandReferred to by locals as the “real capital of Ireland,” this youthful city offers plenty to do on a budget.  You’ll quickly feel comfortable in this friendly city where crime is virtually nonexistent. And don’t forget to wander a few miles out of the city to Blarney Castle, one of Ireland’s most famous tourist attractions.

What to expect:

  • Currency: Euro (1€ = $ 1.08)
  • Average Daily Cost: €80
  • Accommodation: €48 (per night/person)
  • Food: €20 (daily)
  • One-way local transport ticket: €2.15
  • Coffee: €2.50
  • Beer: €4.00

London, England

Affordable Travel to LondonThis one has to be a joke, right? Well, sort of. While still an expensive city, I’ve included London on this list because it’s quickly becoming more affordable for Americans. With Brexit weakening the British Pound, conversion rates are at a new low. As if that weren’t enough, a flight to the UK can also be much cheaper than one to mainland Europe. So maybe making a visit to Big Ben is more of a possibility than you thought.

What to expect:

  • Currency: British Pound (£1 = $ 1.24)
  • Average Daily Cost: £150
  • Accommodation: £90 (per night/person)
  • Food: £30 (daily)
  • One-way local transport ticket: £2.50
  • Coffee: £2.60
  • Beer: £4.50

* All currency exchange rates as of March 31, 2017

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Posted by Lustige Bilder - March 31, 2017 at 16:38

Categories: Travel   Tags: , , , ,

Healthy Recipe: Mexican Chipotle Adobo Chilaquiles

EPS_Mexican_Chilaquiles

EPS_Mexican_ChilaquilesThis lightened up version of a traditional Mexican recipe packs a touch of heat and a whole lot of flavor from chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Baking the chips rather than frying them brings the grease down significantly, and a side of vegetarian refried beans delivers a healthy dose of plant based protein and fiber. Often served for breakfast or brunch, Chilaquiles taste delicious with the addition of a fried egg on top, or some shredded chicken for a non-vegetarian version. Perfect for entertaining, you can easily double or triple this recipe for a crowd. Serve with extra adobo sauce on the side if you like it spicy!

Serves: 4

Total Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 8-10 corn tortillas, cut into eighths to give you wedges
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and diced, divided
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped, divided
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin, divided
  • 1 teaspoon ground oregano, divided
  • 1 8-oz. can low-fat vegetarian refried beans
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar or pepper jack cheese, divided
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced
  • Fresh cilantro, lime wedges, avocado, and sour cream, to serve (optional)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. On a sheet pan, spread the corn tortilla wedges in an even layer, and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Bake for 10-15 minutes, flipping the chips occasionally, until turning golden and crisp in places. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  2. In a sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add ½ the diced yellow onion, ½ the chopped garlic, and ½ the cumin and oregano, along with a pinch of salt. Cook for 4-6 minutes, until the onions turn golden brown and soften. Add the refried beans, and still well to combine. Add ½ the shredded cheddar cheese, and stir well to melt it into the beans. Squeeze in some fresh lime juice to taste, and set aside in a warm spot.
  3. In an oven safe sauté pan, heat the remaining tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add the remaining diced yellow onion, chopped garlic, cumin and oregano, along with a pinch of salt. Cook for 4-6 minutes, until the onions turn golden brown and soften. Add the tomato puree and the chipotle in adobo, and cook for 5-6 more minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper if needed.
  4. To bring everything together, transfer the chips to the pan with the sauce. Add the remaining cheese, and a bit of chopped cilantro, stirring well to combine. Spread in an even layer, and sprinkle with more cheese if desired. Put the whole pan in the oven for 2-3 minutes to melt the cheese.
  5. To serve, top the Chilaquiles with sour cream, sliced avocado, and chopped cilantro. Serve the refried beans alongside, and enjoy!

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Posted by Lustige Bilder - March 30, 2017 at 18:19

Categories: Travel   Tags: , , , , ,

The Zika Virus in 2017: Where Is It Safe to Travel?

Mosquito carrying Zika Virus

Since entering the public health spotlight during the 2016 Rio Olympics, the Zika virus has become a major concern for travelers everywhere. You’ve likely seen images of workers spraying pesticides and the devastating effects the virus can have on the youngest members of our society. But who’s at risk, where should you avoid traveling, and what precautions should you take? Whether you’re preparing for a senior week trip after graduation or booking your summer vacation, these are important questions to ask.

Here’s what you need to know about the Zika virus in 2017 to ensure your next trip, whether domestic or abroad, is a safe and healthy one.

What is the Zika Virus?

The Zika virus is an illness transmitted primarily through mosquito bites and sexual contact with an infected person. In healthy people, the symptoms of the infection are very mild and only last several days. You may have a fever, rash, or joint pain, but often those infected with Zika don’t show any symptoms at all.  For this reason, many people don’t even realize they’ve contracted the virus.

Though Zika’s effects are limited for most people, the virus can be extremely harmful to unborn babies. Pregnant women who contract the virus can pass it on to the fetus, leading to a condition called microcephaly and other severe birth defects. Infants with microcephaly have smaller-than-average heads and underdeveloped brains. They are likely to develop serious health problems, including seizures, developmental delay, hearing loss, and vision impairment.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), pregnant women should not travel to any area where Zika is present. Women who are trying to become pregnant should talk to their doctors before they or their partners travel to these areas, as Zika can also be sexually transmitted.

Locations Where the Zika Virus Has Been Found

Below you can find the latest list of places where you could be at risk of contracting the Zika virus. The CDC updates this list of areas affected by the Zika virus frequently, so be sure to check the latest reports before traveling.

North America

Mexico and the United States (Florida and Texas)

Central America

Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama

The Pacific Islands

American Samoa, Fiji, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga

South America

Currently includes: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Venezuela

Africa

Angola, Guinea-Bissau, Benin, Burkina-Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo (Congo-Brazzaville), Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo (Congo-Kinshasa), Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda

Asia

Bangladesh, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Maldives, Singapore

The Caribbean

Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, the Bahamas, Barbados, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Curaçao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Montserrat, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, a US territory, Saba, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Eustatius, Saint Maarten, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, US Virgin Islands

How to Protect Yourself from the Zika Virus

The best way to ensure you don’t contract the Zika virus is to avoid traveling to places where it’s been found. However, this may not always be possible. If you or a family member must travel to an affected area, do your best to prevent mosquito bites by using insect repellent and mosquito nets. Also wear clothing that covers your entire body. Since Zika can also be transmitted between couples, you should use protection during sex to reduce the risk of transmitting it.

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Posted by Lustige Bilder - March 24, 2017 at 15:21

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Healthy Travel Pinspiration: 6 Pinterest Boards You Should Follow Right Now

Pinterest Places to Visit Before You Die

They say that two heads are better than one when you’re thinking of new ideas. If that’s the case, then 150 million heads sharing creative insights and flashes of brilliance should be pretty powerful – and that’s exactly what you’ll find at Pinterest. Maybe you’ve used Pinterest to catalog home improvement ideas, your favorite new fashion trends or a killer new recipe you want to try. But have you used it for inspiration for your next healthy vacation? If not, stop what you’re doing now and check out the following Pinterest users and boards.

The Travel Tester

Want to get active on your next trip? Eat healthy while traveling? Learn something new at a faraway destination? There’s a board and a pin for that, and Nienke Krook has probably catalogued it at The Travel Tester. Nienke, along with her partner Nick Vullings, is on a mission to help people find happiness and purpose in life through travel. Follow The Travel Tester. 

Wanderlust

Jennifer Chong is a photographer from California who captures the places she’s been – and wants to go – in beautiful high definition. Just looking are her shots makes you feel like you’ve been there with her. You haven’t though, so generate some wanderlust of your own and choose your own destination from the hundreds she’s posted. Follow Wanderlust.

Vegan Recipes Around the World

If you’re a vegan traveler, you’ll love this board since it’s stocked with international recipes you can try at home. The best part? They’re full of flavor and none of them include meat, fish, dairy, honey or eggs. You may just be inspired to visit the homelands of these tasty dishes to try them in person on your next vacation. Follow Vegan Recipes Around the World.

Pinterest Vegan Recipes

Polkadot Passport

With “a camera glued to her hands and adventure glued to her feet,” 22-year-old Nicola Easterby invites you to join her at Polkadot Passport to follow her global travels. You’ll find travel tips and gear guides, and ideas for what to wear and how to plan your own adventure. Follow Polkadot Passport.

100 Places to Visit Before You Die

With so many possibilities, sometimes it’s hard to know where to begin when it comes to travel. This board, which includes ideas from a variety of different pinners, gives you a starting point (or hundred starting points). You’ll find pins about destinations near and far – from the best songs to play on your next U.S. road trip to the most popular street foods in South Korea. Follow 100 Places to Visit Before You Die.

Everyone’s Creative Travel Spot

This group board sources travel ideas and tips from travel enthusiasts around Pinterest. Pinners are encouraged to share inspiration from their personal favorite village, city, region or country or “wherever you have been in the Universe.” You’ll find a good mix of personal and professional photos to get your travel juices flowing. Follow Everyone’s Creative Travel Spot.

So before your next vacation, be sure to visit Pinterest, follow these pinners, and do a few searches of your own for some valuable “pinspiration.”

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Posted by Lustige Bilder - March 21, 2017 at 02:24

Categories: Travel   Tags: , , , , , , ,

Slight Turbulence

Rich People Watching Slight Turbulence is Healthy Travel Blog’s cartoon series, provided by Terry LaBan, illustrator for the popular strip, Edge City.

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Posted by Lustige Bilder -  at 01:18

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Antarctica: Vacationing in a White Desert of Snow and Ice

Zodiac in Antarctica

“I was sleep-deprived and I was malnourished, and I’d been in isolation and severe circumstances. There were days it was 100 below. I’d go weeks without seeing past my hands. It was white-out. It was really tough to navigate. A life unchallenged is one that is very bland… and the challenges need to be almost outside of your comfort zone.”

That’s how adventurer and entrepreneur Todd Carmichael recently described his world-record-setting 700-mile solo trek across Antarctica. Not everyone who visits Antarctica will experience such harsh conditions – in fact, unless you set your own world record it’s pretty much guaranteed you won’t – but you should be prepared for a land of extremes if you plan to visit.

Antarctica is a cold and unforgiving white desert of snow, ice and wind where some of the lowest temperatures on earth have been recorded. It’s also a dream vacation destination for a growing number of intrepid travelers, which may seem inexplicable to those among us who prefer to spend our two weeks’ vacation on a tropical beach.

But for people who catch the Antarctica bug, it can become the holy grail of trips. Maybe it’s the fact that Antarctica is still relatively unexplored. Or it could be the beauty of the land itself, where glaciers meet ice flows and the land and oceans teem with wildlife not found anywhere else on the planet.

If Antarctica is on your bucket list, you likely have a very personal and deeply held motivation driving you to go. The trip can be hard, the window to explore is short – but if you can make it happen, the rewards are incredible and unlike any other experience you’ll find in the world.

History of Antarctica Exploration

Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen led the first Antarctic expedition to reach the South Pole in 1911 – a little over one hundred years ago. For hundreds of years before that, people theorized about a landmass south of Australia, but there’s no evidence that any human saw Antarctica until the 19th century.

This is part of its appeal. In terms of human history, Antarctica is relatively “new” and unexplored, one of the last great frontiers on the planet. Even today Antarctica is one of the least populated places on earth, with about 5,000 temporary residents at various research stations during the peak of the summer season.

How Most People Get to Antarctica

If you’re planning a trip to Antarctica, you’ll have a lot of options for how you see the continent and several different ways to get there. Megan Jerrard, who documents her world travels at Mapping Megan, says that most commonly visitors make their way to the north western tip of Antarctica, known as Antarctic Peninsula, through Chile or Argentina.

“You can only visit by traveling with an organized tour, which generally means booking a cruise,” she says at Mapping Megan. “Cruises leave from Punta Arenas in Chile or Ushuaia in Argentina and set off for the South Shetland Islands, stopping at several research stations while sailing along the Antarctic Peninsula.  Some Antarctic cruises, however, also include the Falkland Islands.”

The toughest part of the trip for many tourists is crossing the Drake Passage, the body of water between South America and Antarctica. “Renowned for its tyrannous storms, one in three crossings can be challenging and sea sickness when the Drake is lumpy is common,” says John Newby of Swoop Antarctica. “Normally this sickness lasts a day or so, and then passengers are fine. Although crossing the Drake takes two days, thankfully once you’re in Antarctica further seasickness is quite unlikely. One thing which pretty much everyone agrees though is that it’s well worth the effort once you get to Antarctica.”

Grant Gegwich and his wife Elizabeth visited Antarctica late last year and cruised the same area, but took a slightly different route to get there. They flew from the East Coast of the United States to Punta Arenas, and then flew from Chile to the King George Islands off the coast of Antarctica.

“From the King George Islands, we boarded our ice breaker, which had 65 passengers and about 100 crew on it. The passengers, as well as the crew, came from all over the world – probably more than twenty different countries and only seven from the United States. English was spoken on the ship.”

Gegwich also warns that the trip isn’t for everyone, since it takes a really long time to get there before any of the chilly fun begins. He flew from Philadelphia to Miami, then from Miami to Santiago Chile before boarding another flight to Punta Arenas. They spent at night in Punta Arenas before flying to Antarctica the next morning. All told, flying time was over 17 hours not including layovers. Plan to dedicate at least a day for traveling there, depending on where you are in the world.

A good way to break up the long trip there is to spend some time in Chile or Argentina before the final leg to Antarctica. Here are some tips for healthy travel in South America for ideas on how to spend your time there.

What You’ll See While You’re There

Wildlife is one of the main draws for those traveling to Antarctica. You’ll see a variety of seals and whales almost as soon as you depart South America, and the impressive Antarctic penguin population will be one of the first animals to greet you upon arrival.

Antarctica Penguins Running

It’s not in spite of tourism or because of tourism that the wildlife numbers in Antarctica are growing, it’s because of the international protection Antarctica has been given. “Whale, penguin and seal numbers are all on the up, some from the brink of extinction,” says John Newby of Swoop Antarctica. Antarctica is a very special place, because of the protection it receives from Antarctica’s governing body, IAATO. Looking to the future, as tourist numbers increase, we would hope that treaties like IAATO can evolve fast enough to keep that protection in place. Antarctica and tourism is a real success story.”

The IAATO guidelines for travel to Antarctica provides a very straightforward framework for minimizing your impact. “In terms of protecting Antarctic wildlife, it’s important not to disturb native species in any way,” says Jerrard. “Don’t to feed or touch them, don’t handle birds or seals, or approach to photograph them in ways which alter their behavior.”

If you’re cruising, your daily routine will be similar but the sights you see will be vastly different from day to day. Gegwich and his wife traveled to a different part of the Antarctic coastline for two excursions per day – one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The ship would anchor, they’d hop into a zodiac and make their way to the coastline. “Our guides would take us on two-to-three-hour hiking and snowshoeing excursions,” Gegwich says. “They would educate us about the wildlife and the terrain.”

If they idea of hopping in a small, 10-foot long inflatable boat and zipping across frozen ocean waters is not exactly your speed, keep in mind that there are a variety of touring options in Antarctica.
Some cruise ships are more about sightseeing and travelers never step foot on land. Other tour operators can arrange to have you sleep overnight in a tent on the frozen tundra, so there’s something for everyone.

Gegwich’s tour operator provided ship passengers with the following checklist of potential wildlife you can spot during your trip. As you can see, it’s chock full of checks, so you’re likely to see your favorite Antarctic animal – from penguins to birds and seals to whales – if you keep your eyes open:

Antarctica Bird Checklist Antarctica Mammal Checklist

(Click to enlarge these checklists.)

How Cold Is It in Antarctica, Really?

They don’t call it Antarctica for nothing. The conditions are cold and harsh. So cold and harsh, in fact that the European Space Agency uses a research base on Antarctica to train people for a potential manned mission to Mars. In other words, the next closest place you’ll find conditions similar to Antarctica is in outer space. So it’s best to be prepared.

The window for traveling to Antarctica is small. You’ll typically only be able to go from about December to February – summertime in Antarctica – when average temperatures range between -18 to -20 degrees Celsius (or about -4 degrees Fahrenheit). For a little perspective, that’s colder than your freezer, which is somewhere between 0 and -15 degrees Celsius (or 5 to 32 degrees Fahrenheit).

You can find slightly “warmer” places to travel in Antarctica. If you stick close to the western tip of the continent, average temperatures can skyrocket to -1 degrees Celsius / 20 degrees Fahrenheit, which is about the temperatures Gegwich experienced on his trip.

“We were fortunate that it only snowed one or two days of our trip,” he said. “Remember that we were there during Antarctica’s summer and, while we did step foot on the continent, we were still 90 miles from the Antarctic Circle and many more miles to the South Pole.”

Your Antarctica Packing List

Knowing how to dress and what to bring to Antarctica is part art and part science. You want to be prepared, but most tourists actually over-pack in anticipation of the extreme conditions. Anything you can shed from your luggage will be a benefit since the long journey is an ordeal, and space on board an icebreaker is limited.

“Duct tape: you don’t need it. Crampons: you don’t need those either, unless you are heading deep into Antarctica’s interior. Drones: they aren’t allowed, and flip flops – well, please leave them at home, they can be hazardous on a moving vessel,” says John Newby of Swoop Antarctica. “What you should bring is curiosity and base layers.”

Seal in Antarctica

The best strategy is to rely on your tour company for their recommendations on what to bring. Gegwich put his faith in his tour guide, and it worked out well for him.

“When we would do our excursions, we would dress warmly in many layers, including long underwear, waterproof pants, ski jackets, hats, two pairs of gloves and UV-resistant sunglasses since the sun’s rays are very potent at the poles,” he says. “Our tour company provided us with great waterproof boots to wear. We did not pack an abundance of other clothes since dress on the ship was very casual.”

So, it’s best to leave your formal wear at home – leave the tuxedo-wearing for the penguins.

Experienced Antarctica travelers advise that the key to dressing is layers. You want to have a warm base layer (like a wicking long-sleeved shirt), a warm mid-layer (like a sweater) and waterproof outerwear, like ski pants and a ski jacket. You’ll also need waterproof gloves and glove liners, a hat, and sunglasses for the extreme glare that comes off the ice. Make sure you bring sunscreen with a high SPF since, as Gegwich pointed out, the sun’s rays are stronger at the poles. You’ll also need a good pair of boots for excursions.

Onboard dress is casual – similar to what you would wear indoors during wintertime. A few pairs of long pants, sweaters and comfortable shoes should be sufficient.

Experienced Antarctica traveler Carin Clevidence provides a very thorough Antarctica packing list. She suggests formal wear for the “Captain’s Welcome Dinner,” which some cruises have. Check with your tour operator, but you’ll likely be able to skip packing a suit or nice dress.

Life Onboard a Ship in Antarctica

If you’re visiting Antarctica, being onboard a ship is an inevitability. However, not all ships are the same and each has its own pros and cons. Many tour operators have different types of ships in their fleet for you to choose from. The most common ships touring Antarctica are:

  • Research Vessels: These ships were originally built for polar expeditions and repurposed for tourism. They generally offer more action-oriented tours and cater to younger clientele. The accommodations are simple and not luxurious.
  • Expedition Ships: Expedition ships focus on a more academic, educational experience. Some of the staff will have deep knowledge of the science and culture of Antarctica, so you’ll learn a lot when you explore the continent during day trips. Accommodations are comfortable and higher quality than what you’ll find on research vessels.
  • Luxury Expedition Ships: Luxury expedition ships are expedition ships with five-star dining and amenities. The focus on these ships is more about onboard life than exploring the harsh wilderness of Antarctica.
  • Icebreakers: As their name implies, these ships are designed to break sea ice. For that reason, icebreakers travel farther south to explore more remote areas of Antarctica. Onboard life is focused on cultural and scientific education. Accommodations are comfortable but typically not luxurious.

Antarctica ship

Grant Gegwich traveled on an icebreaker. “Our room was simple, comfortable and was similar to most cruise ships,” he says. “The only difference was that there were two single beds instead of a large queen or king bed. On the ship, there was a large lounge with bar, fitness center and library.”

While internet access is available on many ships, it’s typically extremely expensive. Gegwich decided to go without since it was a nice change of pace from everyday life. Food onboard ranges in quality depending on the type of ship. You’ll find everything from simple fuel that will keep you going to world-renowned haute cuisine.

Here’s How to Get Started with Your Antarctica Travel Plan

Traveling to Antarctica takes a little more planning than jetting off to your favorite beach. Give yourself a few months to research and plan out the logistics. Gegwich booked his trip about a year before stepping foot on Antarctic ice.

“We conducted our research almost entirely online, looking at sites of companies as well as reading reviews on objective travel sites like TripAdvisor,” he says. “One of the best ways to really plan your trip well is to speak with someone who has been there. Luckily, we had some friends and acquaintances who had been to Antarctica before.”

If you need a little extra inspiration to plan your own trip, keep in mind the immortal words of explorer Roald Amundsen: “The land looks like a fairytale.” With a little planning, a heavy winter coat, and the spirit of adventure, you too can have a vacation in Antarctica with its own storybook ending.

Images courtesy of Swoop Antarctica.

Checklists courtesy of Grant Gegwich.

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Posted by Lustige Bilder -  at 00:29

Categories: Travel   Tags: , , , ,

The Best Places to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day Around the World

St. Patric's Day Montserrat

St. Patrick’s Day immediately brings to mind several iconic celebrations: the million-plus people at the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the Chicago River running Kelly green on March 17, and the fun and debauchery that takes place in South Boston. But as they say, everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, and some of the best celebrations around the world take place outside of areas traditionally known for their Irish heritage. If you’re looking to don your green and grab a little luck of the Irish for yourself, you can’t beat the parties at these international destinations.

Montserrat

A tiny island in the Caribbean may not scream St. Patrick’s Day to you, but it’s the only place in the world outside of Ireland where March 17 is a public holiday. The holiday has a dual focus among the people of Montserrat. At its core is a celebration of a 17th-century slave revolt that led to Montserrat’s freedom from European rule. However, those same Europeans also brought Irish traditions and Catholicism with them to the island, which remain a key part of the culture on the island.

Munich, Germany

St. Patrick’s Day celebrations are a relatively new phenomenon in Germany. What started just over 20 years ago as a small party among friends has grown into a city-wide celebration in Munich. More than 15,000 people gather to celebrate in the streets over the three-day weekend that precedes March 17. The parade is one of the largest in Europe on St. Patrick’s Day and shuts down Leopoldstrasse, the major thoroughfare through the city. Bars forgo the standard German beers for the celebration, so grab a Guinness and join the fun.St. Patrick's Day Germany

Singapore

The parade in Singapore is the largest in Southeast Asia on St. Patrick’s Day. Perhaps as a tip of the hat to the celebration slightly farther west in Chicago, part of the Singapore River is dyed green for the festivities. You’ll find a mix of activities, from traditional bar crawls to healthier, family-friendly celebrations of Irish culture and dancing organized by the St. Patrick’s Day Society of Singapore.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Love the Boom Town Rats and front man Bob Geldof? Then you’re going to love the St. Patrick’s Day celebration in Dubai. Geldoff headlines a gig every year on St. Patrick’s Day at the Irish Village in Dubai. The three-day festival includes a family fun day with face painting, a petting zoo and a bouncy house. Keep in mind that drinking alcohol is public is illegal in Dubai unless you are in a licensed establishment such as a bar or restaurant.

St. Patrick's Day Dubai

Moscow, Russia

Muscovites really love St. Patrick’s Day, and embrace both the superficial trappings common in other cities as well as Irish culture. The centerpiece is Irish Week, which features the Moscow Irish Film Festival and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. After watching some classic, blockbuster and critically acclaimed Irish cinema, take to the streets for a parade replete with Cossack riders on horseback, marching bands and, of course, green beer.

Images:

Montserrat, courtesy of Caribbean Beat
Dubai, courtesy of Arabian Business.com
Singapore, courtesy of Asia One
Munich, courtesy of Mymuenchen.de

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Posted by Lustige Bilder - March 20, 2017 at 23:40

Categories: Travel   Tags: , , , , ,

Technology That Keeps You Healthy While You Travel

francesco-gallarotti-2756

francesco-gallarotti-2756Whether it’s for work or leisure, you can use technology to help you stay healthy while traveling.  From getting the proper rest, eating healthy, exercising and overall well-being, here are a handful of technologies that will work to your advantage during your next trip.

Sleep
When you travel for vacation, it’s usually a time you’ve set aside to relax. If you’re working while you travel, it can actually be extremely hard to relax and catch up an any sleep. Whatever the case may be, getting the rest you need is crucial to your health and being able to function properly both mentally and physically. To ensure enough sleep during your travels, pack a NightWave in the suitcase. It’s a pulsing blue LED light that guides you into a relaxed pre-sleep state, which helps you drift off into deep slumber. Science backs it too—its features are based on cognitive behavior therapy techniques for relaxation. So when you’ve been running around for a company conference and all you want to do is calm your overactive, adrenaline-pumped mind for some shut eye, rest assured this gadget will get you in the mood to snooze.

Nutrition
Maintaining good nutrition isn’t the easiest when you’re traveling. When you’re constantly on the move, you tend to grab whatever’s quick and easy. And when you’re trying to explore a different city or country’s specialty cuisine, the last thing you’re thinking about is how many calories you’re about to intake. The good news is that there’s an app to keep track of your diet while you travel. Download MyFitnessPal for easy nutritional tracking. All you have to do is put in a quick search of the type of food you’re eating and plug it in. The app does the rest for you by inputting the calorie count along with macro and micro nutritional content like fat, protein carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. This way you can prevent going overboard by maintaining awareness of what you’re eating and keep trim as you travel.

Exercise
Just because you’re traveling doesn’t mean your regular workouts need to dwindle. Make sure to pack some Jabra Sport Pulse earbuds next to those running shoes. These headphones have built-in trackers that monitor your activity and vitals. Your runs are recorded into its corresponding app and personalizes a guided workout based on heartrate and fitness goals. Further pair with those earbuds and your run with one of Tomtom’s GPS-enabled fitness watches, especially when you’re running in foreign territory. Not only is the technology connected to reliable satellites, keeping you informed of where you’re actually trailblazing too, it also tracks changes in body composition, like the body’s ratio of muscle to fat.

Well-Being
If you’re simply just trying to maintain overall well-being as you travel, there are numerous smartwatches that’ll keep track of your vitals. For retired folks vacationing 24/7, one of the best fitness trackers for seniors is GreatCall’s Lively Wearable. These senior fitness trackers offer multi-faceted features like tracking daily step count and encouraging mind exercise challenges, as well as a button that connects users to urgent response care and medical attention in case of emergencies. By wearing the Lively Wearable, users keep peace of mind that their well-being is being watched over even while they travel and are away from home.

When you uphold good health, good travel will follow. These aforementioned tech gadgets and apps will keep you in tip-top shape as you proceed with your time away from home.

Guest Author: Jennifer Thayer is a freelance writer who enjoys covering everything from the hottest tech gadgets to the latest industry news. Follow her on Twitter to see what tech coverage she shares next.

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Healthy Travel Blog

Posted by Lustige Bilder -  at 22:18

Categories: Travel   Tags: , , ,

Healthy Recipe: Australian Sunshine Salad

EPS_Australian Sunshine Salad

EPS_Australian Sunshine SaladThis salad looks, and tastes like pure sunshine- no surprise from a country bathed in sunshine much of the year! Australian cuisine celebrates seasonal, fresh, local produce, and this salad is a perfect expression of that mentality. Feel free to adapt the components accordingly based on what’s seasonal and local for you. Be sure to hit up your local farmer’s market for the freshest local produce, eggs, olive oil, and honey. And if you want to make like a real Australian, add some sliced bananas and oranges to your salad- an interesting but very traditional combination!

Serves: 2 (easily doubled)

Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 3 large handfuls fresh, local mixed greens
  • 1 handful cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 handful radishes, quartered
  • 2 small Kirby cucumbers, sliced into half moons
  • 2 local eggs, hardboiled and peeled and halved
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Wash and dry your greens and divide them between two bowls or plates. Arrange the tomatoes, cucumbers, and eggs around the greens.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, orange juice, mustard, honey, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Taste and add more acid or salt as needed.
  3. Add the sliced radishes to the dressing, and allow to marinate for at least 10 minutes and up to 1 hour.
  4. Divide the radishes between the plates, drizzle over the dressing, and add an extra squeeze of lemon juice over the eggs if desired. Toss everything together lightly, and enjoy!

 

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Healthy Travel Blog

Posted by Lustige Bilder -  at 21:18

Categories: Travel   Tags: , , , ,

3 Tips for Healthy Green Travel

healthy green travel

If you’re a health-conscious traveler, you think of all the ways your business trip or vacation will impact your physical and mental wellbeing. You probably know how to avoid jet lag during time changes, stay fit while you travel, and plan for sickness and medical emergencies when away from home.

You should also think about your impact on the environment when you travel too. It not only benefits the planet, but many of the same things you do to reduce your carbon footprint will also keep you healthy. These five tips will help you go green and stay healthy at the same time.

Tip 1: Rethink Your Transportation Options

If you’re traveling internationally, there’s not much you can to avoid flying in a plane. Just keep in mind that airplanes are one of the biggest emitters of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming. If you have to fly, choose a coach seat to reduce your carbon footprint, since first-class seats take up more space than those in coach, and choose the most direct flight.

Once you’re at your destination, consider how you will travel locally. If possible, do your sight-seeing on foot or travel by bicycle to lower your environmental impact and get some much-needed exercise. If you have to use a vehicle to get somewhere, busses and trains are more ecofriendly than cars.

Tip 2: Eat Organic and Sustainably

When choosing meals while away from home, your best bet is to seek out options that are organic and sustainable, which means they have a lower impact on the environment and pollution levels during production. In general, they’ll also be healthier options since they’re not farmed using a lot of chemicals and pesticides.

A few tips to keep in mind that will make it easier to eat this way:

  • Eat local, seasonal fruits and vegetables since they have traveled the shortest distance to your plate.
  • Reduce your consumption of meats and dairy, since they take a lot of resources to produce.
  • If you do eat meat and dairy, look for options that are grass-fed and hormone free.
  • Choose seafood that isn’t overfished using the Monterrey Bay Aquarium’s interactive list of sustainable seafood.

Tip 3: Keep Track of Your Packaging

Instead of buying snacks in the airport and bottles of water when you’re exploring a new city, bring reusable containers. A small Tupperware container for your tasty treats will help you reduce waste, save money – and it fits easily in your backpack or carryon. Assuming you’re going to a place where drinking the water is okay, a reusable water bottle reduces waste too, with the added healthy benefit of helping to keep you hydrated since it’s instantly available.

If you must buy something that’s prepackaged, make sure you recycle as much as possible.

Bonus Tip: Unplug Your Phone – and Your Brain

There’s a growing movement of using vacation time to unplug from the world – this means using your phone or texting for emergencies only and taking a break from email and social media. This allows you to leave your charger at home (or use it minimally), which helps to reduce your energy consumption and lower your environmental impact. It also gives you a nice little mental health break so you can recharge your own batteries and return from your trip refreshed and healthier.

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Healthy Travel Blog

Posted by Lustige Bilder -  at 20:22

Categories: Travel   Tags: , , ,

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