Adventure starts here.

Trails

  • Does the Corona Virus Affect Travel?

    Is Covid-19 affecting travel?

    The answer is yes. Covid-19 is affecting just about everyone and everything in some way, shape, or form.

    At this point, I’m sure you noticed this already. Up to date, (04/02/2020) there are a total of 1,014,673 cases world wide and counting. The good news though, about 4x the people recovered compared to the number who had unfortunately passed. Over 210,000 people recovered from the Covid-19 virus, and just under 53,000 people have passed away. Corona is spread through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or through objects that the infected person has touched.

    covid-19

    If you’re like me and can’t sit still, especially inside, try to get back to the basics and go for a hike. (if you can) When I get stressed out from being cooped up I go for a hike or mountain bike ride with my dog “Adventure Buddy”. After our ride or hike, no matter how bad or good things really may be, it always seem to lean more towards the good side of things. Most of us have a mandated “stay at home” order, and others may be volunteering to stay at home. While a lot of businesses are forced to close their doors and tempirarily lay off employees, this makes for a good time to get back to your roots.

    Spend time to build yourself and self reflect. What are you doing in your life that makes you happy? What are you doing that could use more practice? Are you eating well and exercising enough? Although this isn’t the best time for everyone, maybe it can be. With every negative comes a positive, and the positives can easily outweigh the negatives. It all depends on the view you choose to look at what is presented to you.

    Have you had time to step back from work or life in general and audit yourself? Maybe you have been working too much and this virus is giving you the opportunity to spend more time getting closer to your loved ones or even yourself. Sometimes life gives you opportunities that at first glance look like a negative. You have to look closely and put the pieces of the puzzle together to understand the positives that life is presenting to you. This is simply the way of the universe.

    covid-19

    Precautions:

    • Obviously, washing your hands is always a good idea to prevent bad germs. During this time it’s an even better idea. If you can find hand sanitizer in a whole in the wall shop that hasn’t been scavenged, grab a bottle. Just please remember to be courteous and only take what you need. Don’t be that guy or gal to empty the shelf.
    • Wipe down any surfaces that are being touched often in your workplace or home with disinfectant.
    • Social distancing and self-isolation is important. This doesn’t mean lock yourself in a closet and hide, it just means to be mindful of keeping a safe distance. The new target is to stay at least 6′ away from another person to prevent the spread.
    • Some people may consider this an extremem measure, but better safe than sorry. Wear a face mask and gloves. I’m sure you have seen this popping up more and more. It almost feels like we are in an apocalypse movie, but the more precautions

      we take, the faster we can get back to living our normal lives.

    • You should be doing this anyway, but cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. Some germs can travel up to 10′ on a single cough or sneeze.

    covid-19

    Will airlines refund tickets due to Corona-virus?

    What many airlines are doing is allowing travelers to cancel their flights and basically set aside that money to be used on a flight at a later date—and thankfully, you don’t have to book that flight now (wh

    ich is good because it’s hard to know exactly h

    ow this pandemic is going to play out at this point). The main U.S. carriers (United, American, and Delta) are currently offering that flexibility for flights that were scheduled to depart through the end May.

    When it comes to actual refunds, the policies vary by airline.

    American Airlines: Flights booked on American prior to March 1, 2020, for travel through May 31, 2020, can be rebooked without change fees; flights booked during the month of March for travel through January 30, 2021, can also be canceled and changed without a change fee.

    The airline is encouraging those who don’t plan to travel anytime soon to simply cancel their flight online, and then rebook at a later date as it is currently swamped with requests. When you’re ready to rebook, call the reservations department and be prepared to give them your 13-digit ticket number and 6-character confirmation number.

    If a flight was canceled by American Airlines (either due to new travel restrictions or capacity reductions), American said it will send affected passengers an email and they can either rebook the trip or request a refund for the remaining ticket value and any optional fees.

    United Airlines: If you booked a flight with United between March 3 and March 31, 2020, you can change it for free—one time—for travel that takes place within the next year. Any flights bo

    oked prior to March 3 (regardless of whether they are domestic or international) with original travel dates through May 31, 2020, can be canceled and rebooked later with no change fees.

    With regards to flight cancellations that have resulted from the numerous travel bans and restrictions that have been put in place due to Corona-virus, United said that any customers (including residents from other countries), whose international travel has been disrupted by more than six hours, or if the flight was canceled due to government restrictions, will get a travel credit equal to the value of their ticket that is good for up to 12 months from the time of purchase (not from the time the flight was canceled). If the customer chooses not to use the credit, they will receive a cash refund at the end of that 12-month period.

    Delta Air Lines: Any De

    lta ticket for domestic or international travel in March,

     April or May can be canceled and rebooked without a fee for travel that takes place up until December 31, 2020. For flights canceled by Delta, the airline has said it will contact passengers with additional information. We haven’t been able to find out much beyond that.

    JetBlue: Customers who were due to travel with JetBlue through April 30, 2020, can cancel and bank the funds for a future flight up to one year from the date the future flight credit was issued.

    Southwest Airlines: Southwest hasn’t changed its policy and that’s because its policy was already pretty lenient. The carrier has tier fares that include refunds (Business Select and Anytime) and a tier fare (Wanna Get Away) that doesn’t include refunds. Those remain the same. But regardless of the type of ticket purchased, it can be canceled sans fee for a future travel credit for up to a year from the original date of purchase.

    Alaska Airlines: Similar to other U.S. carriers, Alaska flights purchased on or before February 26, 2020, for travel that was originally scheduled to take place through the end of May can be canceled, the money set aside in an Alaska account and the flight rescheduled for anytime until February 28, 2021. Any tickets purchased between February 27 and March 30, 2020, for travel anytime through February 28, 2020, can also be changed with no fee.

    British Airways: The U.K. carrier is allowing customers who have booked or who book new flights between March 3 and May 31, 2020, to change those flights for free—and any existing bookings for departures through May 31, 2020, can be changed without a fee as well.

    Air France: The French airline is offering a travel voucher for flights that were scheduled to depart through May 31, 2020, which will be valid for one year on any Air France, KLM, Delta Air Lines, and Vir

    gin Atlantic flights.

     

    How are Inclusive Excursions, Expedia, Priceline, and other online agencies handling Corona-virus refunds?

    Online travel agencies such as Inclusive Excursions, Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, and Priceline serve as “middlemen” between travelers and travel suppliers. They have different working relationships with all the suppliers on their sites, which can complicate things a bit.

    For instance, Inclusive Excursions, Expedia, Orbitz, and Travelocity can help change or cancel reservations for some of the air carriers they sell tickets for, but not all of them. For the ones with which they lack that ability, customers will have to work directly with the airline. But the bottom line is: The airline’s policy will be the policy that customers of Expedia, Orbitz and Travelocity will have to work with.

    Priceline advises its customers that “if your airline does not allow you to cancel or change your flight, we are not able to help you at this time.” The travel booking site offers a very comprehensive contact list, including websites and phone numbers, for all its partner airlines.

    On the hotels front, Expedia, Travelocity, and Orbitz have stated that for hotels booked in the following destinations by people who are not a resident of these countries, they are eligible for a full refund: China, Hong Kong, Macau; South Korea; Israel; Marshall Islands; El Salvador; Denmark and Slovakia; Czech Republic, Oman and India; Poland; Cyprus; Ukraine; and Italy. They advise customers to “check back often as destinations are continually [being] added based on changing restrictions.”

    Corona-virus refunds for hotels and vacation rentals

    Hotels have always been pretty flexible when it comes to cha

    nging and canceling reservations, but in the wake of the Corona-virus pandemic, they are being even more so.

    Marriott International: Marriott is allowing all guests at all of its more than 7,300 properties around the world with existing reservations, for any upcoming stay regardless of the date and regardless of whether the original rate had some restrictions, to change or cancel without a charge up to 24 hours prior to arrival—here’s the important thing to note—as long as the change or cancellation is made by April 30, 2020. For those who make new reservations now through April 30, 2020, they will be allowed to change or cancel at no charge up to 24 hours before arrival, regardless of the date of stay.

    Hilton: For guests who have booked stays that were scheduled to begin prior to April 30 at any of Hilton’s more than 6,100 global properties, the change fee is being waived and the company is offering full refunds for all existin

    g reservations (including those described as “non-cancellable”) for stays scheduled to begin prior to April 30, 2020, up to 24 hours before arrival. New reservations booked between now and April 30, 2020 for any future arrival date, can be changed or canceled at no charge up to 24 hours before arrival.

    Accor: The 5,000-hotel Accor hasn’t offered too much detail on its Corona-virus-related change and cancellation policies other than to say that it has advised all of its hotels to adopt flexible change and cancellation conditions for travelers with new or existing bookings through April 30, 2020.

    Intercontinental Hotel Group: IHG has waived cancellation fees for existing and new bookings at all of its hotels the world over for stays between March 9 and April 30, 2020. It is handling groups and meeting bookings on a case-by-case basis. For stays beyond April 30, the company reminds customers that there is flexibility already built into some of its rates—in other words, if ever there was a time to book the slightly higher rate with more options, now would be the time to do so.

    Airbnb: Vacation rental powerhouse Airbnb recently issued an upda

    ted global change and cancellation policy. Reservations for stays and experiences made on or before March 14, 2020, with a check-in date between March 14, 2020 and April 14, 2020, can be canceled for a full refund by guests, and hosts can cancel without a charge or impact to their Superhost status (and Airbnb will refund all service fees). Reservations made on or before March 14 with a check-in date after April 14 as well as any reservations made after March 14, 2020, will not be covered unless the guest or host has contracted COVID-19. Otherwise, the host’s standard cancellation policy will apply.

    Similar to the airlines, hotels are being gracious about bookings through the end of April. Beyond that it’s not clear how generous they will be.

    What are tour operators’ policies for Corona-virus changes and refunds?

    Given the global health crisis that the Corona-virus pandemic presents, most reputable tour operators have gone ahead and proactively canceled a good portion of their upcoming itineraries (similar to w

    hat the cruise lines did—see below). Here are some examples.

    Tauck: Long-time tour provider Tauck has canceled its scheduled tours and cruises from March 17, 2020, through April 14, 2020—and for those tours it will refund the affected guests. For tours that were scheduled to take place between April 14, 2020 and June 30, 2020, guests can cancel and received a future travel credit for any tour in 2020 or 2021 (but airline change fees will not be covered).

    Abercrombie & Kent: Luxury tour operator Abercrombie & Kent has temporarily suspended ground operations globally from March 17 to April 30, 2020 (with the exception of May trips to China, which remain canceled). A&K is offering guests on those journeys a future tour credit (that will include a 10 percent discount) for any trip to be used within 12 months of the original departure date.

    Intrepid Travel: Global tour company Intrepid Tr

    avel has also suspended its tours from March 16 to April 30, 2020. For those tours, travelers will receive a 110 percent future tour credit that they can put towards any itinerary up until April 30, 2022. For tours departing May 1, 2020, and beyond, Intrepid said they are continuing as planned at this point, but that if customers choose to cancel they can do so and receive a credit for whatever they had paid to be used by April 30, 2022.

    What about cruises?

    On March 14, the majority of the world’s cruise lines agreed to suspend cruise ship operations from U.S. ports for 30 days in response to the global coronavirus pandemic.

    Affected customers are being offered anywhere between a 100 percent and 200 percent future cruise credit.

    How travel advisors can help

    During a complicated and overwhelming global crisis such as the Corona-virus pandemic, a travel advisor can serve as a great ally. While travel advisors can’t force travel suppliers to refund their clients, they typically have stronger relationships with suppliers and thus more sway. They will be better able to help you navigate through the options for changing your trip plans. And as a travel professional (who likely has dealt with numerous crises in the past), they can offer their advice and the insights from their myriad of contacts in the industry and from their own personal experience.

    Can travel insurance help you get a refund?

    With regards to the current Corona-virus crisis, travel insurance providers consider it to be a known event as of January 21, 2020 (or thereabouts, the date can change slightly depending on the provider, but usually falls sometime between January 21 and January 27, 2020). Travel insurance purchased before that date will cover disruptions resulting from the outbreak, but any travel insurance purchased after that date will not.

    An exception to that is Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) cove

    rage, an optional upgrade to a travel insurance policy that covers cancellations for reasons not otherwise covered by a standard travel insurance “such as fear of traveling due to Corona-virus or simply not wanting to travel to a country that may be affected,” said Megan Moncrief, chief marketing officer for travel insurance search and review site Squaremouth.

    There are some limitations, however. The CFAR upgrade has to be purchased within 14 to 21 days of making the initial trip deposit and it will reimburse travelers for up to 75 percent of their trip cost—for a price. Cancel For Any Reason coverage typically costs between 5 and 10 percent of the total trip cost.

    -Info courtesy of AFAR. By Michelle Baran

    03.23.20

    What are the latest Cornoa-virus numbers?

    covid-19

    04/02/2020
    Location Confirmed Recovered Deaths

    Worldwide

    Worldwide
    1,076,017
    225,335
    58,004

    United States

    United States
    265,001
    11,983
    6,766

    Italy

    Italy
    119,827
    19,758
    14,681

    Spain

    Spain
    117,710
    30,513
    11,009

    Germany

    Germany
    89,126
    13,597
    1,198

    China

    China
    81,620
    76,571
    3,322

    France

    France
    58,417
    10,935
    5,377

    Iran

    Iran
    53,183
    17,935
    3,294

    United Kingdom

    United Kingdom
    38,168
    191
    3,605

    Turkey

    Turkey
    20,921
    484
    425

    Switzerland

    Switzerland
    19,702
    5,657
    604

    Belgium

    Belgium
    16,770
    2,872
    1,143

    Netherlands

    Netherlands
    15,723
    1,487

    Canada

    Canada
    12,360
    2,177
    178

    Austria

    Austria
    11,464
    2,022
    168

    South Korea

    South Korea
    10,062
    6,021
    174

    Portugal

    Portugal
    9,886
    68
    246

    Brazil

    Brazil
    8,066
    127
    327

    Israel

    Israel
    7,428
    403
    39

    Sweden

    Sweden
    6,122
    106
    351

    Australia

    Australia
    5,358
    636
    28

    Norway

    Norway
    5,296
    54

    Ireland

    Ireland
    4,273
    10
    120

    Russia

    Russia
    4,149
    281
    34

    Czechia

    Czechia
    4,091
    72
    53

    Denmark

    Denmark
    3,757
    1,093
    139

    Chile

    Chile
    3,737
    427
    22

    Ecuador

    Ecuador
    3,368
    65
    145

    Malaysia

    Malaysia
    3,333
    827
    53

    Poland

    Poland
    3,266
    56
    65

    Romania

    Romania
    3,183
    283
    133

    Philippines

    Philippines
    3,018
    52
    136

    Japan

    Japan
    2,617
    472
    63

    Luxembourg

    Luxembourg
    2,612
    80
    31

    India

    India
    2,547
    163
    62

    Pakistan

    Pakistan
    2,458
    126
    35

    Saudi Arabia

    Saudi Arabia
    2,039
    351
    25

    Indonesia

    Indonesia
    1,986
    134
    181

    Thailand

    Thailand
    1,978
    581
    19

    Greece

    Greece
    1,613
    53
    59

    Finland

    Finland
    1,608
    19

    Mexico

    Mexico
    1,510
    634
    50

    South Africa

    South Africa
    1,505
    31
    9

    Dominican Republic

    Dominican Republic
    1,488
    16
    68

    Panama

    Panama
    1,475
    10
    37

    Peru

    Peru
    1,414
    537
    55

    Iceland

    Iceland
    1,364
    336
    4

    Argentina

    Argentina
    1,265
    248
    36

    Algeria

    Algeria
    1,171
    62
    105

    Serbia

    Serbia
    1,171
    54
    31

    Colombia

    Colombia
    1,161
    55
    19

    Singapore

    Singapore
    1,114
    282
    5

    Croatia

    Croatia
    1,079
    92
    8

    Qatar

    Qatar
    1,075
    93
    3

    United Arab Emirates

    United Arab Emirates
    1,024
    96
    8

    Egypt

    Egypt
    986
    216
    66

    Estonia

    Estonia
    961
    48
    12

    Ukraine

    Ukraine
    942
    19
    23

    Slovenia

    Slovenia
    934
    10
    20

    Hong Kong

    Hong Kong
    846
    172
    4

    Iraq

    Iraq
    820
    226
    54

    New Zealand

    New Zealand
    772
    103
    1

    Morocco

    Morocco
    761
    56
    47

    Armenia

    Armenia
    736
    43
    7

    Lithuania

    Lithuania
    696
    7
    9

    Bahrain

    Bahrain
    672
    382
    4

    Hungary

    Hungary
    623
    43
    26

    Moldova

    Moldova
    591
    26
    8

    Bosnia and Herzegovina

    Bosnia and Herzegovina
    575
    27
    17

    Lebanon

    Lebanon
    508
    50
    17

    Tunisia

    Tunisia
    495
    5
    18

    Latvia

    Latvia
    493
    1
    1

    Bulgaria

    Bulgaria
    485
    30
    14

    Kazakhstan

    Kazakhstan
    464
    29
    3

    Slovakia

    Slovakia
    450
    7
    1

    Azerbaijan

    Azerbaijan
    443
    32
    5

    Andorra

    Andorra
    439
    16
    16

    North Macedonia

    North Macedonia
    430
    20
    12

    Kuwait

    Kuwait
    417
    82
    0

    Costa Rica

    Costa Rica
    396
    6
    2

    Cyprus

    Cyprus
    391
    18
    10

    Uruguay

    Uruguay
    369
    68
    4

    Belarus

    Belarus
    351
    46
    4

    Taiwan

    Taiwan
    348
    50
    5
    Réunion
    321
    40
    0

    Jordan

    Jordan
    310
    58
    5

    Cameroon

    Cameroon
    306
    10
    8

    Albania

    Albania
    304
    89
    16

    Burkina Faso

    Burkina Faso
    302
    50
    16

    Afghanistan

    Afghanistan
    273
    10
    6

    Cuba

    Cuba
    267
    13
    6

    Oman

    Oman
    252
    57
    1

    San Marino

    San Marino
    251
    26
    32

    Vietnam

    Vietnam
    237
    85
    0

    Honduras

    Honduras
    222
    3
    15

    Uzbekistan

    Uzbekistan
    221
    25
    2

    Senegal

    Senegal
    207
    66
    1

    Ghana

    Ghana
    205
    31
    5

    Malta

    Malta
    202
    2
    0

    Côte d'Ivoire

    Côte d’Ivoire
    194
    9
    1

    Palestine

    Palestine
    193
    21
    1

    Nigeria

    Nigeria
    190
    20
    2

    Mauritius

    Mauritius
    186
    0
    7

    Faroe Islands

    Faroe Islands
    179
    91
    0

    Montenegro

    Montenegro
    160
    0
    2

    Sri Lanka

    Sri Lanka
    159
    24
    4

    Georgia

    Georgia
    155
    27
    0

    Venezuela

    Venezuela
    146
    43
    5

    Martinique

    Martinique
    138
    27
    3

    Brunei

    Brunei
    134
    65
    1

    Democratic Republic of the Congo

    Democratic Republic of the Congo
    134
    3
    13

    Bolivia

    Bolivia
    132
    1
    9

    Guadeloupe

    Guadeloupe
    130
    29
    7

    Kyrgyzstan

    Kyrgyzstan
    130
    5
    1

    Mayotte

    Mayotte
    128
    10
    2

    Kosovo

    Kosovo
    125
    10
    1

    Kenya

    Kenya
    122
    4
    4

    Jersey

    Jersey
    118
    2

    Cambodia

    Cambodia
    114
    35
    0

    Guernsey

    Guernsey
    114
    13
    2
    Isle of Man
    114
    1

    Trinidad and Tobago

    Trinidad and Tobago
    96
    1
    6

    Paraguay

    Paraguay
    92
    4
    3

    Rwanda

    Rwanda
    89
    0
    0

    Gibraltar

    Gibraltar
    88
    46
    0
    Northern Cyprus
    77
    29
    2

    Niger

    Niger
    74
    0
    5

    Guinea

    Guinea
    73
    0
    0

    Liechtenstein

    Liechtenstein
    72
    0
    0

    Madagascar

    Madagascar
    70
    0
    0

    Bangladesh

    Bangladesh
    61
    26
    6

    Aruba

    Aruba
    60
    1
    0

    Monaco

    Monaco
    55
    2
    1

    French Guiana

    French Guiana
    51
    0
    0

    Jamaica

    Jamaica
    47
    2
    3

    Barbados

    Barbados
    46
    0
    0

    Guatemala

    Guatemala
    46
    12
    1

    Uganda

    Uganda
    45
    0
    0

    Macao

    Macao
    42
    10
    0

    El Salvador

    El Salvador
    41
    0
    2

    Djibouti

    Djibouti
    40
    0
    0

    Togo

    Togo
    40
    17
    3

    Mali

    Mali
    39
    0
    3

    Zambia

    Zambia
    39
    1
    1

    French Polynesia

    French Polynesia
    37
    1
    0

    Bermuda

    Bermuda
    35
    11
    0

    Ethiopia

    Ethiopia
    35
    3
    0

    Cayman Islands

    Cayman Islands
    28
    1

    The Bahamas

    The Bahamas
    24
    0
    1
    Sint Maarten
    23
    3
    2

    Eritrea

    Eritrea
    22
    0
    0

    Republic of the Congo

    Republic of the Congo
    22
    0
    2
    Saint Martin
    22
    2
    2

    Myanmar (Burma)

    Myanmar (Burma)
    20
    0
    1

    Tanzania

    Tanzania
    20
    2
    1

    Guyana

    Guyana
    19
    0
    4

    Maldives

    Maldives
    19
    13
    0

    Gabon

    Gabon
    18
    0
    1

    New Caledonia

    New Caledonia
    18
    1
    0

    Benin

    Benin
    16
    2
    0

    Equatorial Guinea

    Equatorial Guinea
    16
    1
    0

    Syria

    Syria
    16
    0
    2

    Haiti

    Haiti
    15
    0
    0

    Mongolia

    Mongolia
    14
    2
    0

    Namibia

    Namibia
    14
    2
    0

    Saint Lucia

    Saint Lucia
    13
    0
    0

    Dominica

    Dominica
    12
    0
    0
    Curaçao
    11
    2
    1

    Greenland

    Greenland
    10
    3
    0

    Grenada

    Grenada
    10
    0
    0

    Laos

    Laos
    10
    0
    0

    Libya

    Libya
    10
    1
    0

    Mozambique

    Mozambique
    10
    0
    0

    Seychelles

    Seychelles
    10
    0
    0

    Sudan

    Sudan
    10
    2
    2

    Suriname

    Suriname
    10
    0
    0

    Antigua and Barbuda

    Antigua and Barbuda
    9
    0
    0

    Eswatini

    Eswatini
    9
    0
    0

    Guinea-Bissau

    Guinea-Bissau
    9
    0
    0

    Zimbabwe

    Zimbabwe
    9
    0
    1

    Angola

    Angola
    8
    1
    2

    Central African Republic

    Central African Republic
    8
    0
    0

    Saint Kitts and Nevis

    Saint Kitts and Nevis
    8
    0
    0
    Åland Islands
    8
    0
    0

    Chad

    Chad
    7
    0
    0

    Fiji

    Fiji
    7
    0
    0

    Liberia

    Liberia
    7
    0
    0

    Somalia

    Somalia
    7
    1
    0

    Vatican City

    Vatican City
    7
    0

    Cape Verde

    Cape Verde
    6
    0
    1

    Mauritania

    Mauritania
    6
    2
    1

    Nepal

    Nepal
    6
    1
    0
    Saint Barthélemy
    6
    1
    0

    Bhutan

    Bhutan
    5
    0
    0

    Montserrat

    Montserrat
    5
    0
    0
    Turks and Caicos Islands
    5
    0
    0

    Botswana

    Botswana
    4
    0
    1

    Nicaragua

    Nicaragua
    4
    0
    1

    The Gambia

    The Gambia
    4
    0
    1

    Anguilla

    Anguilla
    3
    0
    0

    Belize

    Belize
    3
    0
    0
    British Virgin Islands
    3
    0
    0

    Burundi

    Burundi
    3
    0
    0

    Malawi

    Malawi
    3
    0
    0

    Sierra Leone

    Sierra Leone
    2
    0
    0

    Papua New Guinea

    Papua New Guinea
    1
    0
    0

    Timor-Leste

    Timor-Leste
    1
    1
    0

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • Top 5 Mountain Bike Trails In Slovenia?

    Slovenia is a land full of adventure.  “Green is more than a colour in Slovenia.  It is ‘Slovene green‘ that expresses the balance between calmness of nature and diligence of the Slovene people.  It stands for intact nature and our focus to keep it that way, for lifestyle equilibrium and an orientation towards nature.” – National Branding.  Slovenia has more forest than you will know what to do with.  Offering diverse terrain suitable for expert riders, Slovenia offers less technical terrain for beginners as well. If you know how to ride though, this is a place to check out.

    The Slovenian Coast offers some of the most beautiful trails in the world.  Each region offerse diverse terrain from rolling hills to cloud poking mountains, appreciate spectacular views from just about anywhere.  For the enthusiasts seeking a more advanced challenge, check out the northwest region of Slovenia. Here, you can pedal through the Alpine Valleys with views breathtaking views of the Julian Alps.

    Here are the top 5 biking tours in Slovenia…

    1. Vremščica With A View Of The Ocean

    mountain-bike-slovenia

    Cycle to the top of Vremščica. This trail starts near the world-famous Skocjan Caves and rides along the karstic Reka River. On this trail you will experience views of the largest underground canyon. The views open to the hamlets – (a group of houses or small village) located above the cliffs, and this is where you can first see the start of the trail to the top of Vremščica.

    These trails lead across meadows and hiking paths to the summit of Vremščica. The last ascent is the steepest to get to the top. At the summit, you will have a chance to embrace the views of the Slovenian coast with the Adriatic Sea.

    This tour is not as physically demanding as others, so it is also suitable for beginners. The descent is a bit more technical below the railway at Famlje village. If you are more experienced, you can also ride down to the lower part of the canyon at this point of the trail.

    2. Zasavska Sveta Gora Crossing The Sava River

    mountain-bike-slovenia

    Zasavska Sveta gora, also known as Zasavje Holy mountain, is one of the more popular viewing points in central Slovenia. It is located up on a ridge that slopes down to the Sava River valley as well as the narrow Kandršica valley. Because of the diverse terrain and sights of cultural heritage, this is one of our favorite mountain bike trails in Slovenia.

    These MTB routes lead you on the macadam, asphalt and forest tracks. This bikingtour lasts about 1.5 hours and cover roughly 17 kilometers, or 10.5 miles. This trail is recommended for more experienced cyclists with lots of steep ascents. Your journey will start in the town of Litija and continue across the Sava River to the Panovič Castle. From here, you will cycle across the valley of the brook Vidrnica, where the trail starts to ascend to the Castle Ljubek. At Vače, turn for Klenik onto a cart track that slopes to the top of Zasavska Gora.

    3. Mt. Matajur And The Soča River Valley

    Zasavska Sveta gora or the Zasavje Holy mountain is one of the most popular locations in central Slovenia. It is located on up on the ridge and slopes down to The Sava River valley into the narrow Kandršica valley.  Because of the diverse terrain and lots of cultural heritage, this is one of our favorite mountain bike trails in Slovenia.

    These MTB routes ride through macadam to asphalt and wooded trails.  This biking tour lasts about 1.5 hours and is roughly 17 kilometers, or 10.5 miles.  This route is better suited for more experienced riders with more endurance for steeper climbs.  Your journey starts in the town of Litija and continues across the Sava River to the Panovič Castle.  From here you will cycle across the valley of the brook Vidrnica.  This is where the trail starts to ascend towards the Castle Ljubek.  At Vače, turn for Klenik onto a cart track that slopes to the top of Zasavska Gora.

    4. From Lake Bled to Kranjska Gora

    This trail runs from Lake Bled to Kranjska Goraand amazing Lake Jasna where you cycle through the alpine countryside. Experience theUpper Radovna River Valley with views of the highest peaks of the Julian Alpsthat take you through the valley in the south side. This trail offerseasyascents and descentsthat alternate throughout the trip.

    A distance away from the villages of Spodnje, Zgornje Gorje, and Krnica hamlet, you will follow theriverbed of Radovna River.  Once you get close to the end of the valley, it leads you to the Krnica Valley with smaller Lake Jasna.  Here you can cool off and go for a swim in the warmer seasons.  In the winter though, Kranjska Gora ski resort is only 2 kilometers away from the lake.

    5. Triglav National Park with Radovna Valley

    mountain-bike-slovenia

    This trip through Triglav National Park  the heart of the Triglav National Park.

    This tour tour takes about 2 to 3 hours and totals roughly 16 to 18 kilometers, or  10-12 miles. The start of this trail is more enduring than the rest climbing to Krnica hamlet. Once you reach the summit and take in the views, it’s time for the descent. Ride the downhill to the alpine valley, followed by easy ascents and descents on the forest and gravel paths.

    AOn your ride there, you will appreciate the views of the tallest peaks of the Julian Alps.  Triglav National Park mountain bike trail includes great sights such as Napoleon Stone, Pocar homestead and the old Psnak sawmill. A guided biking trip will lead you to Lake Kreda where you can cool off or kick back while taking in the memorizing colors of Lake Kreda.

  • Do I need Travel Insurance?

    “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?

    unattended black luggage inside airport

    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?”people performing first aid medical care to an injured man

    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.

     

     

  • Travel To Your Adventure Friends

    “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.

    Adventure-Friends

    *Pic is just for example* (Brad is still adventurous)

    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.

     

     

  • How To Be Successful

    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.

    Happiness

    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.

    Happiness

    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.

     

  • How To Train A Trail Dog…

    Do you have a Trail Buddy? Not necessarily another rider but a dog! Having a trail dog is one of the coolest part of our adventures. They say a dog is man’s best friend. Now take your best friend and have him chase you through the trails. It puts a great big smile on his face, your face, and your other riding buddies’ faces.

    Kayak Dog

    Adventure Buddy is an avid camper hiker, rock climber, kayaker, SUP boarder, dirt bike rider, motorcycle rider, beach goer, and best friend. Make sure you and your furry buddy always come prepared. Bring a life jacket for you and him when boating.

    Some people wonder how he is so good, and wish their dog could be like Buddy without running off. Truth be told, I am no dog trainer. The most important piece to the puzzle is trust. This goes for dogs and children. If you keep your dog on a leash his or her whole life, the second you take them off they are going to bolt. They want to explore while they have the chance! Most trainers would disagree with me, but as I am writing this, I am in a park on a peninsula. Buddy is swimming, exploring, and saying hi to others, all while checking in with me every ten minutes or so.

    Adventure Dog

    Buddy is rarely ever leashed, and it’s been this way since he was a pup. Now he is three. There was a little bit of a rebel stage in his teen years, or around 1.5 years old. That took a bit more due-diligence to pay attention to him. It is important to let him know if he’s been a bad boy and reward him when he’s a good boy. I found it very helpful to keep treats with me so if he was off adventuring, I would call him. When he came, I would give him a treat. He liked this and learned to come when I called him. If he didn’t come I would make him sit and go nose to nose with him without saying a thing. I would stare into his eyes feeding him my disappointed energy. He knew what he did was bad. Now, if I give him “that look,” he doesn’t sit or wait for me to even get close to him. He comes to my feet, then rolls over with his arms and legs in the air waiting for me to say it’s okay.

    Trail Dog

    If you trust your dog or child to make their own decisions to an extent, they will be more respectful to your orders because it will be their choice to follow them. I learned this from my parents growing up. This is how they trained me. They gave me a long enough leash to explore life on my own while still keeping a close enough eye on me. This allowed me to learn self-dependence and understand why I should or shouldn’t do something. 

    Here is an example: 

    If you baby your child all through high school and don’t let him off your leash, that energy and curiosity will be kept inside waiting to explode. The second he has a chance to be off the leash, things can get bad. Like everything, drinking is okay in moderation, but if your leashed children never experience that, as soon as they go away to college or to the real world, they might party too hard to catch up on all the years they missed. This could lead to a downhill spiral towards alcoholism, mischief, or even drug abuse. This theory goes for your adventure dog too. Trust is key.

    I personally take my Riding Buddy with me every ride we do. He’s a trooper and switches on beast mode for our rides. He’s a little thirty pound Beagle / Border Collie mix and he not only hangs with us, but usually ends up running past and waiting on us. On the downhills though, he is in hot pursuit.

    You can say Buddy is a competitive rider. He doesn’t like being in the back of the pack. He likes to battle with us through the single track, both of us skimming trees in the process. On the downhills when he realizes his little legs can’t quite keep up with the RPMs of our bike wheels, he gets a little frustrated. 

    Bark! Bark! aaahoooooooo! Barking and howling at us to wait up for him, he chases us as fast as his legs will take him until we get to the next uphill as he dashes past us to take the lead again. He will sit at the top of the hill with his tongue out patiently waiting until we reach the summit, then he takes off again. Buddy is a well trained trail dog…unless he catches a scent of something. Then off he goes barking and howling again, but this time not at us rather another animal. Usually, we will keep on riding at a slower pace until he hops back on the trail farther down the line without skipping a beat. 

    Adventure Dog

    No matter what the adventure is, Buddy will be there with us for the excitement. Having Buddy with us makes our adventure complete.

  • Tuck Fest 2019

    In March, we wrote to you about North Carolina’s US National Whitewater Center.  Knowing how the Tuck Fest event turned out last year, we had to get this information out to you. It was an amazing time for everyone involved. If you are in the Charlotte, North Carolina area, plan ahead because this event is one that you don’t want to miss.

    Tuck Fest

    Located in Charlotte North Carolina, the creatively designed USNWC ignites a love for outdoor adventure for both family as well as competitive sport enthusiasts.  This weekend, the USNWC will be hosting its annual Tuck Fest. From April 25-28, 2019, guests may observe or participate in competitions or clinics. Vendors will line the walkway surrounding the whitewater events while excitement fills the air.  The Tuck Fest celebrates the joy of the outdoors in this four-day, fun-filled event.

    Tuck Fest

    Be sure to plan ahead as the schedule of events is complete.  From marathon and mountain bike races to kayak and raft races, opportunities to challenge your skills are plenty.  As many will be attending, all athletes are encouraged to register early online. If clinics are your interest, the list abounds for learning as well.  Rock climbing, belaying, kayak polo and fishing, trail running, yoga and more are scheduled for clinics. There will even be a class on Wildlife Rescue! Each day packs a full schedule of events.  

    Visitors don’t need to participate in competitions or clinics to enjoy the experience.  The atmosphere created at Tuck Fest alone with music, food, family and friends is a win-win for all.

    Tuck Fest

    Inclusive Excursions will be one of the many outdoor industry vendors featured at Tuck Fest.  Keep your eye out for our tent and stop by. We are looking forward to meeting you all. We ar also raffling off a Strider Bike so the little ones can start riding early! All proceeds will be donated to the Altivas Canas Children’s Project in Peru. Mentionthis blog and get a 10% discount on apparel!Come out and enjoy the event.

    Thursday Line-up

    9PM

    The latest album from The Suitcase Junket, Mean Dog, Trampoline is populated by characters in various states of reverie: leaning on jukeboxes, loitering on dance floors, lying on the bottoms of empty swimming pools in the sun. Despite being deeply attuned to the chaos of the world, singer/songwriter/ multi-instrumentalist Matt Lorenz imbues those moments with joyful wonder, an endless infatuation with life’s most subtle mysteries. And as its songs alight on everything from Joan Jett to moonshine to runaway kites, Mean Dog, Trampoline makes an undeniable case for infinite curiosity as a potent antidote to jadedness and despair.

    7PM

    Friday Line-Up

    Heading into Destroyers of the Soft Life, the fourth LP by J. Roddy Walston and The Business, JRWATB pursued a brighter, more nuanced sound that teased out the band’s latent pop sensibilities without skimping on energy or attitude. As you press play on the opening track “You Know Me Better”, anthemic guitars scream out of buoyant, hooky lyrics as Walston’s chugging piano supplies a persistent heartbeat. The “bar band” sound of the past has been replaced by an aspirational, booming cacophony that could fill stadiums.

    Instead of the raucous bombast JRWATB manifested on their breakout hit album Essential Tremors, the band’s leader had certain rules he was determined to follow on Destroyers of the Soft Life. One was:“Speak/sing clearly, no hiding behind mumbles.” Another was, “D.I.Y. but hi-fi —record ourselves as much as possible but have it sound amazing and full.” The final, most important, rule was, “Nostalgia is a cancer —acknowledge that you are in the present.”

    9PM

    Marcus King has been writing songs, performing onstage for half his lifetime, and fronting his own groups for nearly a decade. Since he was a teenager, he’s been trading licks with famous fans and mentors, Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks, whenever their paths have crossed. Haynes was so blown away by the then-19-year-old’s artistic precocity that he signed King to his Evil Teen label, released the band’s debut album, Soul Insight, in 2015 and produced the band’s self-titled follow-up a year later.

    “Forgive me for I have sinned,” Marcus King implores, on the gorgeous, contemplative “Confessions,” an essential track from The Marcus King Band’s third full-length album, Carolina Confessions. “The pain that I put you through is killing me inside/Thought if I could make you leave/Then you would see/I ain’t worth a damn anyway.” This highly revealing moment from the multi-talented, confident 22-year old artist gets to the heart of the album’s fundamental themes, guilt and the quest for absolution. Carolina Confessions is confirmation of a preternaturally mature artist coming into his own; it’s a sprawling, scintillating work that affirms King as one of today’s most engaging, singular songwriters. He may be young, but King’s eloquent songs, expressive guitar playing, and ecstatically soulful singing mark this gifted, thoughtful young prodigy as a force to be reckoned with.

    7PM

    Sarah Shook & the Disarmers have moved from getting people’s attention to commanding it. Years–with its sharpened songwriting, unique perspective, deepened sound and roll-up-your-sleeves attitude–will grab you by the collar and put a defiant finger to your chest. It is resolute, blunt, and unflinching. Inspired by artists such as the Sex Pistols, Elliott Smith and Hank Williams, Sarah sings with confidence, control, and, at times, a hint of menace. The Disarmers match her on every track, coloring the tales of resilience and empathy with as much urgency as ever as well as a broader sonic sweep.

    5PM

    Saturday Line-Up

    Like many great Southern storytellers, singer-songwriter Tyler Childers has fallen in love with a place. The people, landmarks and legendary moments from his childhood home of Lawrence County, Kentucky, populate the 10 songs in his formidable debut, Purgatory, an album that’s simultaneously modern and as ancient as the Appalachian Mountains in which events unfold. “I was writing an album about being in the mountains,” Childers said. “I wanted it to have that gritty mountain sound. But at the same time, I wanted a more modern version of it that a younger generation can listen to — the people I grew up with, something I’d want to listen to.”

    9PM

    Caamp is a folk trio from Ohio, making beautiful noise. Started by boyhood friends Evan Westfall and Taylor Meier, Caamp came to life in Athens, Ohio. Taylor began penning and playing original songs at coffee shops around Athens in 2013. Evan moved down a couple of years later and together in a hazy attic, enjoying light beers, they would find the heartfelt sound that became Caamp. Since independently releasing their self-titled first record in 2016, they have climbed Spotify charts, headlined the US, purchased denim jackets and added a bass-playing buddy, Matt Vinson – who also enjoys light beers and denim. With their sophomore album Boys on the horizon, the Ohioan folk trio have high hopes and no reservations.

    7PM

    With gritty vocals over rock riffs and horns, The Commonheart delivers an emotion-packed, soulful sound that lights up any stage. Frontman Clinton Clegg is a powerhouse who commands full attention with his limitless onstage energy and vocal range. The new album Grown is a remarkable display of each member’s talent interlacing heavy blues, soul, and gospel influence across trumpet, saxophone, keys, guitar, and singers. The Commonheart’s sound is a true testament to the past while completely holding its own as one of today’s most promising acts.

    5PM

    Known for their progressive song writing and energetic live performances, Mo Lowda & The Humble’s beginnings were in the beer-soaked basements of Philadelphia. Following the release of their first full length album in 2013, the trio, consisting of Jordan Caiola, Shane Woods, and Nate Matulis began playing venues throughout the city. After experiencing the high of multiple sold out hometown shows, Mo Lowda took their act on the road and began consistently touring the country. Their 2016 sophomore release, Act Accordingly, was a short and sweet embodiment of the band’s natural progression; refining their already formidable sound. Following that release, Jeff Lucci stepped in as the new bassist, bringing his unique songwriting and tasteful use of effects pedals into the mix.

    3PM

    A grassroots following, now hundreds of thousands deep, has turned to Sean for a kind of musical exploration for almost 20 years. Tim McGraw, Martina McBride, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts, Meat Loaf, Jake Owen, Brothers Osborne, Christina Aguilera, Buddy Miller and more have all recorded his songs––a dizzying list that spans not just styles, but generations. Success shows no sign of slowing: Sean earned his first no. 1 single on country charts in early 2018 with breakout artist Brett Young’s delivery of “Mercy,” which the two co-wrote. As a performer, Sean packs listening rooms and quiets unruly bar crowds. His sound––a warm tenor painting vivid stories over acoustic guitar often cushioned by keys or other strings––has prompted a diverse range of music scenes from the storied Boston folk community to Texas’s defiantly self-sovereign camp to warmly claim Sean as one of their own.

    “My payoff is just making the music,” Sean says, then smiles. “Everything else is bonus.”

    At 34 year-old, Sean has the catalog of artists twice his age. He released his first album at just 15, and until his acclaimed eponymous record in 2015, he did it all independently. “Bootstrapping your own career, you get to build at an organic pace that allows you to grow with your music,” he says. “It teaches you how most musicians do it. Overnight success is not the rule––it’s the exception. Most of us are doing it the other way.”

    1PM

    Sunday Line-Up

    The Milk Carton Kids’ All the Things That I Did and All the Things That I Didn’t Do waltzes into disaster and its aftermath. Though they didn’t approach the new album conceptually, a theme of shattered realities began to emerge out of the songs that sparked to life. Recent events provided a bruising background for the record, yet the project is somehow bigger than any personal grief. Two-part harmonies ride acoustic guitars high above the haunting landscape created by the presence of the band, as if Americana went searching for a lost America.

    5PM

    Souvenirs. Drew Holcomb has collected many of them. A road warrior for more than a decade, he’s spent his adulthood onstage and on the road, traveling from place to place with a catalog of vibrant, honest songs that explore the full range of American roots music. He turned a new corner with 2017’s Souvenir, a highly-collaborative album that finds Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors focusing on the things that truly stick with you — including family and friends, music and memories, people and places — in a fast-moving world.

    3PM

    “It started with golf clubs and country clubs, but now it’s all rock clubs”, Liz says, giggling. She spent the majority of her life developing her golf skills, only to drop her college scholarship to move to Nashville and pursue music. “Writing songs and playing the guitar came as naturally to me as golf did. But music tickled my brain in a way nothing else ever could.”

    But, Liz didn’t know a soul in Nashville when she moved. So, she went and got a job at a familiar place: a country club. “Liz may not have known anyone when she moved here,” says the Stampede low-end provider Grant. “But now, I feel like she knows pretty much every person she walks past. She just doesn’t stop smiling, and people don’t stop smiling back.” Coincidentally — or not so coincidentally cuz, well, Nashville — some fellow co-workers at the country club also had a band. They called themselves Future Thieves, and they offered to record Liz’s first EP, Monsters. After that, Liz began writing songs as frequently as she smiles. She formed a band with Ky Baker on drums and Grant Prettyman on the weird long guitar, and they recorded the Live at the Silent Planet EP. And now, there’s enough new songs to record a full-length album. “The record we’re working on now is a combination of Liz’s darkly-lit, reclusive songwriting habits, and Grant and I’s Rolling Rock induced rock and roll” chimes Ky. “It’s about bringing our different styles together to create something that makes us all question what kind of music we even like anyways.”

    1PM

     

     

    For more information about daily schedules, race registration or to purchase tickets, go to www.tuckfest.usnwc.org.

     

  • Hiking Hawaii

    Hiking in a tropical paradise with panoramic views, breathtaking waterfalls and volcanic landscapes is on the bucket list of many, especially when considering the island of Hawaii.  With trails ranging from family-oriented or easy to skilled or expert,this chain of volcanic islands offers opportunities to explore unlike any other place on Earth.

    Hawaii

    One of the most famous hikes is the Kalalau Trail.  This 22-mile round trip hike located on Kauai, traverses through five valleys and across cliffs.  Here you will find epic views on the NaPall Coast. It leads to Kalalau Beach, which is only accessible via this hike.  It is a tropical paradise where you will enjoy panoramic views, turquoise water and white sand. However, please beware.  Trails are narrow and quickly flood. Falling rocks make for unsafe swimming. Always remain cautious, but what an experience!  It’s an outstanding hike.

    Hawaii

    Kaena Point is another popular destination. This is an easier hike with some folklore attached.  It is said to be the place where souls go after death to leap into the otherworld. This wraps around Kaena Point on the western tip of Oahu where a lighthouse oversees a serene beach.  Here there are natural tidepools, stone arches and stunning views. Often monk seals can be seen lounging in the tidepools. Little shade can be found on this hike, so remember to pack plenty of water and sunblock.

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    Diamond Head Trail is another easier hike on Oahu on the edge of Waikiki Coast. This three-mile round trip hike has a 500’ elevation gain with two sets of steep stairs, which can be strenuous, but it’s worth it.  It winds inside an extinct crater where volcanic rock covers 450 acres. At the summit you will reach the Diamond Head State Monument where on a clear day you will see a spectacular view of Oahu’s popular south shore.

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    Another great hike is the Koko Head Crater Trail, which is also on Oahu.  Depending on your ability, this hike will be thirty minutes to an hour, but it is one of the best.  Be sure to take breaks as you climb the 1,000 steep stairs. This trail can be a grueling workout, but the panoramic views of Diamond Head and lava rock beaches are most rewarding!

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    The easy to moderate Manoa Falls Trail traverses through lush vegetation with spectacular scenery.  Much wildlife may be observed including many varieties of birds. Please take extra care in the rain as trails may quickly become slippery.  Also keep in mind that while the falls are quite a sight to experience, swimming may be hazardous and is not recommended.

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    Also known as the Kaiwa Ridge Trail, the Lanikai Pillbox Hike winds along the Kaiwa Ridge on Oahu.  It leads to a stunning view of Lanikai Beach and the Mokulua Islands. Its nickname “pillboxes” come from the boxes scattered along the trail.  This hike is especially recommended for beautiful coastline sunrise views. If hiking with the sunrise in mind, begin early and bring a flashlight.  

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    One of the more dangerous or adventurous hikes is the Olomana Three Peaks Trail on Oahu. Caution is especially advised here as there is no room for error.  It is very steep with many drop-offs. Do not attempt this hike if you have any fear of heights. Dry days are the best to plan this hike. Peak One is strenuous with drops on both sides.  Peak Two is less challenging with stunning views. Peak Three is only for the most experienced mountaineers. This trail is popular with mountain bikers and rock climbers alike.

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    Before undertaking any hiking trip in Hawaii, there are a few unofficial rules for all hikers as even the easiest hike may be dangerous. Preparation is key to success.  Always tell someone where you are going! Proper footwear is a must. No sandals. Considerations for changeable weather is on the list. Flash flooding remains a constant threat, so beware of that possibility.  Pay attention to ground conditions as slippery mud can be treacherous especially on steep slopes. Be sure to pack enough water for each hiker (½ liter per mile) and include plenty of snacks as well as sunblock.  Also, there are many areas that are sacred to locals, so treat all areas with respect. Always make note of trail difficulties and only traverse those you know you can handle. Some hikes include dangerous cliff walks, where fatalities have occurred.  Personal safety needs to be a priority. One last thought, beware of the temptation for the ultimate selfie. Use care when planning your photos.

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    Choices for hiking seem endless in Hawaii, so before you leave for your trip, be sure to research.  Only a few hikes are summarized here, but there are many. When planning, in order to make the most of your trip, know your strengths and consider carefully. Most of all enjoy this spectacular experience!