Category Archives: Destinations

Up in the Air While Hiking – 5 Great Destinations

Some of the best hiking destinations are up in the air, in the mountains. They all offer plenty of fresh air, great exercise and amazing scenery from their lofty vantage points. These five hiking destinations get progressively higher in attitude although it depends on the actual trails you chose for your own up in the air experience.

Five great mountain hiking destinations:

Haystacks – Lake District, England
Starting from the town of Gatesgarth you have a steep climb of 1,775 feet (541 meters) with some easy scrambling to Haystacks, one of the most popular hikes in the northern Lake District and final resting place of famed English author Alfred Wainwright. While you are up in the air you have a commanding view of the picturesque Buttermere Valley and lake. There is a great pub in the town to enjoy after your hike.

Sulphur Skyline – Canadian Rockies
This trail is located in Jasper National Park with 2,296 feet (700 meters) of steady climbing. Close to the top and above the tree line the trail become very steep with a path of loose stones. Up in the air from the top the view is spectacular with the valley of the Fiddle River below and the Miette Mountain range is the distance. The area is known for afternoon thunderstorms and bears (we saw one during our visit).

The Eiger – Swiss Bernese Alps
Start from Grindelwald and hike up the mountain for 1,027 meters (3,369 feet) to Mannlichen, located at the top of a ridge with views of the valleys in both directions. Then continue along the ridge to Kleine Scheiedgg as it provides excellent views of the Eiger in distance. Continue up the well maintained path for an additional 259 meters (849 feet) to Eigergletscher station. Your up in the air experience offers views of the Swiss Alps and Grindelwald deep in the valley below. Use the mountain railway for the return.

Machu Picchu – Peru
The Inca Trail will take you 3 or 4 days starting near Cuzco 3,352 meters (11,000 feet) above sea level. Dead Women’s Pass is the highest on the trail and you continue through gateway of the sun before arriving in Machu Picchu. The ruins of this former Inca city sit up in the air mountainside with views of the mountains and a tributary of the Amazon in the jungle below.

Everest Base Camp – Nepal
A strenuous climb of 2,700 meters (8,858 feet) which takes several days. This is the ultimate up in the air experience with incredible scenery, small Himalayan villages surrounded by terraced rice fields.

Any of these five up in the air mountain hikes will all be worth the effort for the views.

Destinations for College Cruise Vacations

Going on a cruise is a fun adventure, especially for college students on break from school. Some prefer to go during the summertime, while others like to travel on Spring Break. Some trips are planned among friends, while others are organized through the college. Cruise vacations can encompass a wide variety of destinations. Deciding on where to go and how long to travel are usually determined by availability of preferred sailing dates and exciting destinations. Depending on when the trip is booked, prices can vary. Booking early or late often brings the best pricing, although a last-minute decision may limit destination choices and preferred cabin availability. Here are just a few of the popular choices among students.

Traveling to the Mediterranean Sea is exciting, especially for those who have never been outside of the United States. These cruises involve taking a plane to a European destination and departing from a port of call in the Mediterranean, such as Barcelona, Spain or Toulon France. Some of the stops on these 7- to 12-night cruises may include historic cities such as Venice, Italy; Rhodes, Greece; and, Palma de Mallorca, Spain. Other exotic destination ports are Istanbul, Turkey; Capri, Italy; Haifa, Israel; Cairo, Egypt; and, Dubrovnik, Croatia. These Mediterranean cities have both historical and cultural value for student cruise vacationers.

Although Mexico is a neighboring country, many US students have never been there. Taking a cruise laden with Mexican ports of call is one way of visiting a foreign country without going so far from home that family and friends will worry about their safety. The weather and diverse activities make Mexico a cruiser’s Mecca, with spectacular sunsets and a festive atmosphere to boot. With many destinations made popular by the TV show “The Love Boat” in the late 1970s to mid-1980s, the reputations of Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, Acapulco and Puerto Vallarta continue to woo young adult travelers even today.

Costa Rica
Cruising from Costa Rica about the Caribbean Sea can take from 6 to 11 nights, depending on which cruise trip is chosen. Well-known for its warm weather and relaxing beaches, the ports of call include Aruba, St. Lucia, St. Barts and the British Virgin Islands. One exciting portion of the adventure is to traverse the Panama Canal. This is an opportunity for students on vacation to learn not only about the construction of the canal, but also the rare culture and different languages spoken throughout the islands on the cruise itinerary.