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Posts Tagged ‘road trip’

Isn’t it every traveller’s dream to take to the open road and make a huge road trip from coast to coast across the great North American continent? It’s certainly been mine for years now and it’s always been on the back-burner. Well that’s all going to change this year, all-American road trip here I come!

First thing is first though, how to plan one. Making a trip like this abroad needs time to plan, that’s for sure. From the research I’ve done so far, it’ll be no easy task so here are a couple pointers that I’ve picked up along with my planning.

  • Give yourself time, at least two weeks to do the trip so that you don’t feel rushed. Plan well in advance (working on this now) making sure you can get time off work and other responsibilities at home for that period. Once you book your flights to the USA, give yourself some days to adjust to the time difference before hitting the road.
  • Make your itinerary, but leave room to move. The spontaneous style of road trips is almost their entire charm. Select some major cities and sights to see and then leave the rest open for new discoveries.
  • Ditch the GPS and pick up state road maps instead. These electronic navigation systems are good but are nothing compared to maps which will tell you the name of that mountain you passed 30 miles back, where the next campground is, how long until the next junction, etc. For free maps, scour the visitor information centres.
  • When planning your route, try to avoid making the whole trip using the interstate. Take the scenic rural highways instead. It will take you longer but you’re more likely to find something interesting on the way.
  • Don’t drive too much in one day, this’ll tire you out. Make the trip with a fellow driver so you two can switch, travelling only for a couple hours each day to be able to enjoy what you see along the road.
  • One last tip, make sure you don’t forget to apply for an international driver’s permit. It’s very important if you plan to drive in the USA to have this paper.

Have you ever taken a real road trip? Any tips to share with us?

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Have you ever noticed how fascinated we are with lists? Especially “Top 10’s”? Sometimes I wonder how these things ever started… in any case these lists don’t just tell you what to read, listen to or eat but what you should see as well when you travel. We’re all familiar with the seven wonders of the world, and the seven natural wonders and the seven ancient wonders… so I’m just going to break it down for you and let’s take a look at Canada’s, just one country to keep it simple, seven wonders.

If you’ve never been to this huge country then you have only one obligation after reading this post: go and book some cheap flights to Canada! You won’t regret it. This place is not only stunning for its wilderness that goes on for thousands (literally) of kilometres, but it’s modern and cultural cities as well.

Can I get a holla from all the moose and beaver lovers out there?!

So let’s get started: Canada’s Seven Wonders

1. Niagara Falls

Until someone turns the tap off on the Niagar River, this baby is going to keep on flowing. Forever dividing the USA and Canada, the iconic falls are the second largest in the world. Take a ride on the Maid of the Mist to the foot of the falls (remember a raincoat because it’s mighty wet down there) and check out the other local attractions which include hiking along the gorge, going wine tasting in Niagara-on-the-Lake and taking the cable car across the river.

2. Sleeping Giant Provincial Park

The Sleeping Giant refers to the thin peninsula near Thunder Bay (northern Ontario) that protects it from the winds sweeping across Lake Superior. From a distance it looks like a person laying flat on their back with arms crossed on its chest. Local Ojibway folklore says that Nanna Bijou was turned to stone when one of his tribesmen was tricked into sharing the location of the silver mine. The park is famous for its hiking trails and wildlife.

3. Hopewell Rocks

During low tide in the Bay of Fundy on the east coast in New Brunswick, you can walk out and explore these sand pillars, formed naturally over time.

4. Jasper National Park

The Rockies on the west coast are perfect for camping, hiking, skiing in winter and spotting mountain goats. Surrounded by lakes with crystal blue waters, this place will definitely impress. Climb a glacier, hang out with the caribou or swim in the turquoise waters… Lake Louise is a favourite.

5. Badlands

Where T-Rex made it’s home… Alberta is home to thousands of dinosaur bones, especially in Drumheller. There is a dinosaur museum and you can even join a dig to check out bones that are begin excavated. The Hood Doos and the Royal Tyrrell Museum shouldn’t be missed either.

6. Confederation Bridge

One of Canada’s provinces lies out on its own in the Atlantic Ocean, Prince Edward Island. It’s connected to the mainland though by bridge, the longest in Canada, spanning 8 miles (13 km). It’s an incredible drive and an engineering feat.

7. Cabot Trail

If you think you can’t get much further east in Canada, you can’t. The Cabot Trail is the end of the line on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia. It’s only 300km long but circles the island and is one of the most picturesque places to visit on the way. Stop for a whale watching cruise, try your hand at fishing from the docks, get lost in the lilacs growing all summer and watch the tide come and go. It’s a place that is mystical yet magical… one of the first places where European’s landed with strong Irish and Celtic roots.

Ever been to Canada? I would love to hear about your trip!

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