Jan 31 2020
“Hey, You know how when you’re buying a plane ticket online there’s always that step in the check out process asking you if you want to protect your trip? Be honest, have you ever even considered clicking on “yes, protect my trip” when given the option?
If you haven’t, you’re not alone. Only 7% of people regularly purchase travel insurance when going on a trip. And while a quick weekend jaunt to visit your parents a state or two away probably doesn’t warrant the added expense of a travel insurance policy, your expensive once-in-a-lifetime trip to some remote corner of the world probably does.
Because a lot can happen when you leave the safety of your home and hit the open road. From lost luggage, to broken arms, to flight delays, travel is full of risks. Simply put, insurance acts as a hedge against risks and travel insurance is no exception. When considering whether or not to purchase travel insurance, the question you need to be asking yourself is “how much risk am I willing to accept?”
If the answer is “quite a lot, actually,” then travel insurance isn’t for you. If you can afford to have a trip cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances or can pay for emergency medical care in another country, good for you. But if losing out on a $5,000 trip or even a $500 trip is too much of a financial burden for you, the cost of travel insurance (typically 4-10% of the full cost of the trip) is probably a good idea.
However, for the most part, travel insurance doesn’t cover every eventuality. Most policies will cover a range of events, and often only to a certain dollar amount. If, for instance, you purchase insurance that covers medical–but not dental–emergencies, the tooth you chipped biting into an unpitted date on the Nile Delta will not be covered. Similarly, if you lose $1,000 worth of luggage, but are only insured up to $500, well… you know where this is going.
Because so many crazy things can go wrong out there, travel insurance comes in a wide range of options. It’s worth looking into them to know what works before for you.
In a perfect world, there’d be no need for insurance of any kind, but unfortunately, that’s not the world we live in. Ultimately, travel insurance is a lot like an umbrella–it may be annoying to carry one around with you when it doesn’t end up raining, but you sure are happy to have one when it unexpectedly does. Travel insurance is recommended to make sure if something does happen, you are protected.
Oct 25 2019
“Hey, wanna go on adventure?”
“Heck yeah! I’m down!”
Ever get this? Sometimes it’s great when your friends actually pull through, but when they say they will do the adventure, then bail, it can put a damper on your trip and wallet. Everyone has been here before. You ask your friends, they say yes, you book the trip…then they bail and leave you high and dry on the adventure. Now you have to pay for the whole trip and will be traveling solo!
One way to solve this problem is to have your travel advisor bill your friends individually. Another is to travel solo and not worry about it at all. When you travel solo, you are the author of your own adventure. You decide what you want to do and when you want to do it.
You may not be comfortable traveling solo yet, but I do recommend you try it. If you are one of these people, pick a spot where you have a friend or two and surprise them! This will most likely be a win for both parties. Just try to casually find out their plans in advance without giving away the surprise.
Our Dad just had knee surgery and our uncle came out to surprise him and our Mom. This was a huge win for everyone! Bernie (our uncle) was happy because he had an excuse to travel, and he hasn’t seen Mom or Dad in years! Also, once he got to his destination, he had his own personal travel guide and friends to adventure with at the same time!
Next time you think your friends might bail on you, either have your travel advisor bill their portion seperately, feel them out ahead of time, or if it’s a repeated habit of theirs, leave them out on this one and take a solo adventure. Find a friend in a destination you think might be cool to check out and go. You won’t regret it.
Sep 20 2019
How do you define success? Just like adventure, everyone seems to define it differently. Everyone has their own definition of adventure, and the same goes for success.
Many people will say success is to have a lot of money, big house, fancy cars, yachts, even planes. If you ask someone else it may simply be – freedom.
Now-a-days everyone seems to be caught up in what everyone else thinks about him or her. If freedom is what you are looking for you can’t think like this. Freedom is living the life YOU want to live, and not how someone else wants you to live based on judgement. Cut those people out of your life that are judging you and making you feel this way. These peole and their mindset will hold you back from following your dreams. If you don’t want to cut them out completely, limit your time with them, and learn to have selective hearing.
If you live your whole life searching for other people’s approval, you are not living for yourself, you are living for other people. Freedom is the ability to live the exact life that you wish to live. You can be living out of a van traveling the world, or living in a mansion working your butt off every day. Both can be considered success.
Do What Makes YOU Feel Good!
85% of people hate their job! – Gallop Poll
This number is appalling! Most of the population spends an average of one third of their adult life at work. Why would someone spend close to half of their lives doing something they hate? Sure, everyone has to make money to pay bills, take care of family, mortgage, etc., but you can find a way to make money doing something you like! Find what sparks your fire.
If you want to be successful, do exactly what you love to do; that is success! Money will follow. If you believe in something that makes you happy and fulfilled, DO IT! Don’t let anyone stand in your way even if it’s family. If your dream is to quit your job and ride your bicycle across the country, DO IT! Maybe vlog your journey along the way, and that can be how the money follows.
Success is not an item, success is of the beholder. Follow your heart and your dreams. Then, you will have success.
Jul 18 2019
South Africa is one of the most unique places to visit. With so much ground to cover, it is a good idea to plan for a longer stay than normal… or pack a bike to help you cover it. Home to Greg Minnaarmultiple, multiple world time mountain bike champion, and Pietermaritzburg’s finest. South Africa clearly offers some gnarly trails that are a must visit.
Given South Africa’s bountiful and diverse outdoor environments, as well as the excellent weather, it is probably not surprising that MTB has exploded in the country! While for young and old, singles and families, it may just be a great healthy past time, but MTB has also developed as a significant sport, and South Africa has become a serious destination for enthusiasts. South Africa’s most challenging mountain bike race, the Cape Epic, is internationally unrivaled as a pinnacle mountain bike event.
Today, the South African MTB calendar is packed with diverse events across a wide range of locations that draw elite professional riders from around the world, as well as many amateur enthusiasts. With more than 400 mountain biking trails, some of which are hailed as amongst the best in the world, it’s no wonder that South Africa has become a sought-after mountain bike destination. In 2018, Stellenbosch again hosted The UCI Mountain Bike World Cup for another great year.
Sabie is arguably the best mountain biking destination in South Africa – is the ideal springboard for both novice and accomplished mountain bikers to practice this sport in a secure environment amidst breathtaking scenery. Sabie offers both the competitive and the casual mountain biker a wide range of well-marked, self-guided mountain bike trails.
With purpose-built MTB trails from a decade of cross-country racing in one of South Africa’s most beautiful settings, what you experience here will motivate many happy returns. You can literally do a different ride every day of the week. The many trails are in existence thanks to the efforts of a small but dedicated group of locals, namely the Sabie Chain-Gang Club and the Mpumalanga MTB Association (MAMBA). Working closely with major forestry corporations like SAPPI, MONDI, SAFCOL, and Global Forestry Products, as well as stakeholders in the local tourism industry, they have gained and maintained land access for off-road cycling on private forestry property surrounding Sabie. Consequently, this has become a prime recreational and racing mecca for mountain-biking enthusiasts all over the country.
Sabie is the perfect hub for an off-road cycling vacation, from competitive riders consolidating their training to families with little fledgling cyclists. Road cyclists too will revel in mile upon mile of challenging mountain rides along quiet, wide tarred roads. Mountain bike trails through the bushveld near Olifants Rest Camp in Kruger National Park are one of a kind! You’ll have to be a confident shredder for these trails though.
The tours are something like a cross between a game drive and a game walk. You’ll have a game drive to begin with to get to the starting location. Once you hop on your bikes, you’ll cover more distance and have tons more fun than on a game walk, but just like a game walk, you’ll be powered by your own legs!
Mountain biking in Kruger National Park is a unique experience. The only rest camp offering it is Olifants, which is about halfway up the park on the eastern side.
There are two trails on offer:
- The Hardekool Draai Trail, which follows the Letaba River, goes for 21.4km (13.3 miles). The ride lasts about 4 hours.
- The Olifants/Letaba River Confluence Trailgoes for 12.2km (7.6 miles). The ride goes for 3 hours, andyou need to be an expert mountain biker to do it. It’s a tough one!
If you ask any off-road cyclist in the Western Cape where the best mountain biking routes are, Tokai Forestis sure to be included in their answer. The steep slopes that characterize the Constantiabergand the Silvermine Nature Reservemake it ideal for mountain biking. With accumulated ascent for the day of 1,200 meters, there will be plenty of hard work to do.
There are some excellent vantage points along the route, with terrific views of the Constantia Vineyards, Hout Bay, Noordhoek Valley, and Table Mountain. Bring your camera along as you may see some baboons!
While Table Mountain basks in the warm light of dawn with the amber glow of the early morning sun slanting through tall trees and bushes, we are fortunate to be riding in the midst of such beauty.
For those who want to see “the best of the Cape”in one day, this carefully planned mountain bike ride through the Table Mountain National Parkand the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, made up of fast flowing gravel jeep trails, lung-busting climbs, and single tracks, will plant a huge smile on your face!
Apart from the beautiful mountain towering over this historic and unique little town, the variety of activities and natural treasures located within 30-60 minutes’ drive from Swellendam is this destination’s biggest draw-card. In 2007, when the Absa Cape Epic still traveled from Knysna to Stellenbosch (with Swellendam as one of the stopovers), people used to say that it was one of the only races where you could experience anything from single track to rolling hills, epic climbs to fast flats, forest to Klein Karoo – because it traveled such a long distance. The effort of setting up a race village in a new town each day and the cost involved was one of the reasons that the Absa Cape Epic stopped traveling in a straight line from Knysna and opted for the Clover-system. The Clover-system is where you start and finish at least two days of racing from the same venue. When staying in Swellendam you will have the comfort of choosing between single track, rolling hills, forests, Klein Karoo, through a pass, to the ocean, over a ferry – while enjoying the comfort of staying in one place!
In Knysna, you will cycle through mystical indigenous forests and, just 15km out of Knysna, you will find the Homtini Mountain Bike Trailin the Farleigh State Forest. The entire town surrounds a large saltwater estuary called the Knysna Lagoon. Therefore, besides the nitty-gritty of South African mountain biking fun, you can also enjoy numerous recreational activities, such as boating, fishing, swimming and lots of adventuring.
The Hakerville Cycle Routesare situated in the Hakerville Forest between Knysna and Plettenberg Bay. There are four routes catering for the beginner to the more advanced mountain biker.
The routes are color-coded and are as follows:
- Yellow Route: This route is 13km in length and follow gravel forest service roads and will be the only route open when the others are closed due to wet ground conditions.
- Blue Route: Covering a distance of 11km, this route follows gravel service roads and also along the Beukespad, a forest slip-path, through moist high forest. On returning you pass by some huge Coastal Redwoods planted in 1927.
- Green Route: This 14km route takes the rider along the Grooteilandpad and onto the Waterpad where there is a refreshing swimming hole, great for taking a break. There is an optional loop that will along which you will have breathtaking views of the Hakkerville coastline. on the return, the route follows the Kleineilandpad and then onto the Perdekoppad where you can enjoy an exciting section of single-track.
- Red Route: This is the longest and hardest of the routes and is said to be one of the most scenic routes in the country. This route takes you through deep indigenous forest, fynbos, and incredible coastal views along the way. 22km in length and more than 10km of single track, this route is definitely the most exhilarating.
Jun 20 2019
I bet Everest has always been on your mind. It’s one of those things that many want to accomplish. There is something about challenging the human body and mind that thrills us.
Why would anybody want to endure the struggle in such brutal conditions and temperatures? Why do they do it?… Why not?
If you never challenge yourself to do something you’re unsure of, you will always be unsure. As Tony Robins said – “the biggest risk in life is not taking one at all.”
Located in the Himalayas in Asia, Mt. Everest is the highest mountain in the world, which makes it the ultimate check off on most everyone’s bucket list. Is it feasible? Is it easy?…yes, and no.
You know that saying, “if it was easy, everyone would do it?” That’s why it’s such a big deal to climb Everest — because it’s not easy.
Since 1977 this mountain claims at least one life per year, so don’t take this climb lightly. If you want to do something, do it, just make sure you have the proper training for it.
Live the life you want, what ever that may be. If you’re body is telling you to take a risk, listen. This is a life goal for many. If you are serious about this, make sure you are properly trained.
The worlds highest mountain isn’t going to be an easy climb, but with the proper training and gear, it is doable.
Picture yourself at 29,029 ft. Now, is it worth it? The negative temperatures, steep climbs, high altitudes, and brutal weather is no joke, but is the view and the satisfaction worth it? If you make a commitment to yourself, you gotta make it happen. You won’t know if you never do it.
If you’re serious about taking on the biggest baddest mountain in the world, call on Inclusive Excursions to guide you.
May 31 2019
Everyone needs to work and do their part to afford a life, but it is important to have a work/life balance. They say if you live to 75, and work an average work week of 8 hour days, that you spend 1/3 of your life working. Another 1/3 gets devoted to sleep. That’s a lot of time!
This being said, make sure whatever you do that it is something you enjoy, and even more important, make sure to take time for yourself. Ever hear the saying, “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy?” This goes for everyone, not just Jack.
In recent studies, it’s been proven that traveling decreases stress and can actually boost your health! Lots of people travel to gain new experiences, which is great! Sometimes though, travel is the perfect remedy for past experiences that may be holding you back. If you travel somewhere you’ve always wanted to go, it is easier to forget about the bad experiences that might be hard to get past along the way. If you remove yourself from the environment that is causing you stress, and send off on an adventure, nine times out of ten, the stress will not follow!
Take that ski trip with your buddies from back in the day, go on that one month backpacking trip in the Andes, or take off work and drive wherever the roads take you. This is your life! Don’t let anyone else think they own you or your decisions. It doesn’t matter if it’s your wife, husband, boss, friends, or kids. If they don’t want to join you and instead hold you back, see ya!
It’s a good idea not to burn your bridges with anyone, but if they are holding you back in your own life, you may want to rethink who you are spending your time with. You become who you hang around. If you spend time with someone who is super fun and adventurous, you will be the same way! If you hang around someone who is always negative, puts people down, and is never up for your adventures, you will eventually, and unfortunately, become like that too.
Which path sounds better? How will you choose to live your life? We all know that life sometimes gets in the way, but beyond that make time for your dreams. Travel.
Mar 07 2019
Dreaming of whitewater rafting, rock climbing or other adventure sport but don’t know where to start? Located in Charlotte, North Carolina, the USNWC has created an environment where you can safely learn and practice skills in outdoor recreation before actually going into the wilds.
Dedicated to promoting an outdoor lifestyle, with 1,300 acres, the US National Whitewater Center has artistically designed the land to meet the needs of a range of enthusiasts. Along with whitewater rafting, guests may enjoy kayaking, flatwater kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, rock climbing, ropes courses, canopy tours, team building activities and mountain biking. Mountain bikers have an option of 40+ wooded trails to explore, while other sports are contained to a carefully maintained and organized setting where safety is always a priority.
The USNWC not only offers a wide range of outdoor sports, but also provides opportunities to learn and practice skills. Along with techniques, leadership and communication skills are also encouraged and implemented with specialized adventure instruction for all ages and levels. The Whitewater Race Series held at the USNWC also encourages competition for many sports from mountain biking, kayaking to triathlons.
A family-oriented environment wouldn’t be complete without relaxation and play. Outdoor festivals are held throughout the year with music, food and vendors. Also the Whitewater Race Series holds competition for many sports from mountain biking, kayaking to triathlons.
A great place to learn a new skill or to spend the day, the USNWC is a terrific destination in Charlotte, North Carolina. As they say on their site, “ the USNWC empowers the guests to play, relax and learn outside.” Highly recommended, this is a must-do experience. Visit HERE for some inside details of one of the events held last season.
Photo Credits @USNWC
Feb 27 2019
How To Start Rock Climbing For Beginners…
If you are wondering how to start rock climbing and “Go Outside And Play,” as Blue Ridge Outdoors would say, then this could be a great starting point for you.
Rock climbing involves mental and physical fitness, trust in your climbing partners, natural adrenaline, and most importantly FUN! If you love the outdoors and are looking to pick up a new hobby this season, this could be the one for you. Not sure where or how to start? Let us tell you!
From the early 1900s, rock climbing was seen as a necessity to reach the summit of a mountain. Today though, we see it as a recreational sport…Sport Climbing.
If you are looking to get into sport climbing, there are a few steps you can take to make sure your journey there is safe and fun.
How To Get Started Rock Climbing?
- Try an indoor climbing gym to make sure you like it before emptying out your wallet on the equipment.
- Make sure when you do buy equipment that it is QUALITY.
- Hire an experienced coach or go with an experienced partner.
Where Do I Start?
When taking on a new sport, especially rock climbing, it is important to learn the basics before jumping right into something that could be potentially dangerous. DO YOUR RESEARCH! Make sure you know exactly what you are getting yourself, and whoever you take with you into. Make sure to never climb alone. Climbing buddies are a total essential to this sport.
If you don’t have any climbing buddies yet, that is A-Okay! With this sport growing at such high volumes, more and more climbing gyms are opening every day. Find one near you to start practicing, and there you can meet your potential climbing buddies.
How Do I Know What Equipment To Buy?
When you are on the hunt for your climbing gear, you want to make sure what you are buying will last you. You know that old saying, “you get what you pay for”? That basically sums it up. If you are serious about this sport you may want to spend the extra couple of bucks to make sure it will serve you when you most need it. The last thing you want is an equipment failure when you are hanging off the edge of a cliff.
Support your economy and do your shopping local. You can check out your local outdoor stores and speak with one of the sales reps on the topic of starting your climbing journey. Just ask how to start rock climbing. He or she should be able to point you in the right direction of where to start and what to buy. They may even be able to give you tips and tricks to the local climbing areas.
How Do I Find A Climbing Buddy?
This is one of the most critical pieces to your climbing journey. Rule number one: always climb with a buddy. If your friends are more of the TV watcher and less of the adventurous type, try starting your search in your local climbing gym. Here you will find other newbies who are on the same mission as you… (to learn how to climb and find a climbing buddy.) Make new friends, and experience this journey with other people who have the same interest as you.
Remember, the best views come after the toughest climbs.
Your Question of “how to start rock climbing” should go a long way. Keep an open mind and always ask for advice. You will get there!
Learn more about Adventure Travel HERE!
Feb 15 2019
Boots, gloves, goggles…check. All packed and ready to go–off for Steamboat. After a mild winter in North Carolina, we were finally headed for quality family time in the Colorado snow.
Steamboat Springs is known for its Champagne Powder®, which we have learned makes the best snow for skiing. Unlike ski resorts in the east, this snow is so light and powdery that snowballs don’t stick. Skis and snowboards seemed to glide effortlessly down the 165 trails on the mountain and the out of bound glades. Steamboat was the perfect ski destination for our family who range from intermediate to expert, but even beginner skiers or boarders will find comfortable trails throughout. Raised in the east with plenty of ice skiing, Champagne Powder® was a delight–a joy–for all of us.
It’s hard not to compare this resort to mountains in the east, but knowing the difference makes one appreciate the experience even more. Not only were trails free from ice, but they were free from crowds as well. Most times the trails felt as though they were our own. What a sense of freedom we enjoyed! No ice, no crowds–just free flowing, silent trails of powder and fun.
Blessed with two days of blue skies and the rest of the days getting blasted with snow. We had the best of both, and it truly was a winter wonderland. Riding the gondola gave the opportunity to soak in the landscape. Mountain homes topped with several feet of sparkling white powder, layered snow-covered Rockies in the distance, and the small western town of Steamboat resting below all added to the beauty. Aspens rustled in the breeze and pines held tight to the snow…what a peaceful sight.
We highly recommend Steamboat Springs for anyone looking for the total snow experience.
Jan 18 2019
Just north of Vancouver, British Columbia, lies Whistler–home of the 2010 Olympics and one of the largest ski resorts in North America. Often called a Winter Wonderland, Whistler adventurers enjoy pow-filled fun with skiing, snowboarding, ziplining, snowshoeing, heli-skiing/boarding, nordic skiing and more. With 8,100 acres of slopes, 200+ marked trails, 16 alpine bowls, 3 glaciers, not to mention the world class terrain parks, Whistler is a certainly a “skiers dream destination.”
Activities abound for skiers and non-skiers alike in this family-friendly resort. The Peak 2 Peak Gondola offers sightseeing reaching a 360º breathtaking view of Whistler Blackcomb. Take a break and dine on the rooftop before heading back to base. For an adrenaline ride, try the glass bottom gondola! After the ride, explore Whistler Village. Easy to access, this Chalet-style village creates a unique atmosphere to enjoy shopping, dining, art and culture.
For a once in a lifetime experience, consider a helicopter tour to explore forests, rivers, summits, peaks and glaciers. Stopping at a glacial ice cave is an awe-inspiring destination where ice illuminates, where it is said that “time bends and minutes dissolve.” Along with helicopter tours, guided snowmobiling trips are another popular way to explore the backcountry. Ice climbing is yet one more way to adventure in Whistler. Even beginners may experience the excitement of ice climbing with classes available for all.
Activities in Whistler are year ‘round. The slopes remain open through the end of May. In spring, summer and fall, biking, hiking, paddling, and ziplining are plentiful. In summer, along with helicopter excursions, golfing, swimming, floatplaning and sightseeing are popular.
Whistler Mountain Bike Park provides trails for all levels and abilities. Lift access is available for the ultimate downhill experience with jump trails and more. For more adrenaline rush, try the two-hour Whistler Sky Walk. Clip into a cable and explore Whistler Mountain and brave the suspension bridges. Another exhilarating experience, said to be a Canadian tradition, is the 4×4 off-road tour which explores a network of old roads and logging trails.