In part 1, I showed you how we’ll be getting from Los Angeles to the South American hub city of Santiago, Chile. We managed to save nearly $4,000 on those tickets! In part 2, I’ll examine how we used Delta Skymiles to get from Santiago to several spots in Patagonia, including the lake district beauty of Bariloche and the wilds of El Calafate and Southern Patagonia. Continue reading
A while back, a good friend of mine expressed the desire to see the summer solstice from the ends of both the northern and southern hemispheres. I said I’d like to be a part of such a cool concept, and agreed to head to the southern hemisphere for a December 21st date with the longest day of the year. Nearly a year on, and still 300 days from our departure, I’m happy to say our tickets are booked and we’re going to Patagonia!
Getting to the southern tip of Argentina and Chile, I’ve learned, is an adventure all by itself, and required me to dig deep into my award miles playbook to come up with a way to get us there on the cheap. As it turns out, three strategic credit-card signups is all we needed to get the job done. This post will show how we used two of those cards to get to Santiago, the capital of Chile, one of two major gateway cities for those seeking flights into the wilds of Patagonia. Continue reading
So you know you want to visit Zion National Park by now, having read the first three parts of this series. Now it’s time to figure out where to stay and how to fuel your adventures. Continue reading
Here’s the link to a post I just wrote for http://www.BestBikeRentalsandRoutes.com. It’s about Eurovelo, Europe’s international bicycle route network organization.
Originally posted on Best Bike Rentals & Routes:
Eurovelo.org is a great resource for anyone considering a bicycle trip in Europe. With 14 inter-European routes to choose from and a stated goal of 70,000 kilometers of signed routing, the Eurovelo organization is a touring cyclists dream. Here is an excerpt from Eurovelo on what their organization hopes to provide:
- promotes economically, environmentally and socially sustainable travel;
- improves the quality of EuroVelo routes in all participating European countries;
- promotes the uniform signing of EuroVelo routes in accordance with published standards;
- provides Europe-wide information on EuroVelo routes and national cycle routes;
- supports the development of national coordination centres for EuroVelo route and national routes; and
- fosters exchange of experience and best practice between European states and regions, stimulating high quality cycle strategies and infrastructure.
I have been aware of this organization since I first planned to bicycle tour through Europe after graduating from college (for various reasons I ended up riding the California coast) and it’s great to see the Eurovelo making progress. While it is somewhat lacking in detailed maps and information, their new site now provides first-hand experiences and more details about the routes than has been available in the past. Here is the general map:
For those of you who don’t know, Airbnb is a vacation rental company that leverages reviews and verifications to ensure owners get well-behaved renters and renters receive honest information from owners about the rental properties. Fees are comparatively low, often resulting in better prices than vacation rental giants like Homeaway and FlipKey, and the Airbnb site is very user-friendly.
Planning a trip sometime in the next few months? If you’ve been considering giving Airbnb a shot, now may be the time to pull the trigger. Here are the details of Airbnb’s incredible “Be Our Guest” offer:
- Book any property on Airbnb for two nights or more and receive one of those nights for free
- Reservations must be made between January 13-17 to qualify
- Offer good on rentals to be completed by March 31
- Person who makes reservation must be new to Airbnb
- Discount value limit is $300 and applies only to the rental rate
- Use the promotion code ONENIGHT
For those of you already partaking in the Airbnb revolution, there are still ways to take advantage of this offer. Vacation rentals are often booked because they provide a better value to groups traveling together, so one solution is just to find someone else in the group who hasn’t signed up yet. If you’re looking for that romantic Valentine’s Day getaway with your partner, chances are probably good that even if the two of you have used Airbnb before, only one of you has done the booking, meaning the other partner is still eligible.
Here are some examples of what’s possible for Valentine’s Day weekend in the California market:
And here are some group examples for a Spring Break Weekend in the California market:
Still not sure about the whole Airbnb vacation rental thing? Check out this post to see what Airbnb was like for my wife and I while traveling in Colombia.
Hiking in Zion National Park
Zion has much to offer in the way of hiking, it’s leading activity, so that’s where most people start. From the short stroll up to the Weeping Rock, to the several-mile loop of Emerald Pools, and on to longer hikes like Angel’s Landing, there is something for everyone. Continue reading
Seasons in Zion National Park
Having visited Zion in three seasons now, I can attest that there is something worth seeing in the park at almost any time of year:
Winters are cold and marked with significant reductions in trail access due to snow and ice, but provide a chance to see the great canyon walls without the hum of shuttle buses and fellow travelers. Be prepared for limited services in the nearby town of Springdale and within the park itself. Spring is characterized by variable, though generally pleasant weather. Though I have not been in summer, I know this is considered the busy season and temperatures can also get quite hot outside the shadows of the canyons. On the plus side, warmer weather makes hiking along and into the slot canyon at the far end of the park more manageable and the locals are on top of their service game for the influx of tourists. During the fall season, some of the parks trees shed their leaves, resulting in some interesting colors and then a sort of stark but pleasant gray and white appearance against the red background of the canyons. Continue reading