The 5 Lightweight Items We Can’t Travel Without

Packing lighter is no news to backpackers and trekkers who want to ease sprains and strains on their weary muscles. But the ultralight packing trend that the outdoor industry is embracing can be applied to travelers as well – even if your end destination is a resort instead of a tent under the trees. If you have a big trip coming up but are fed up with lugging around those 2 exactly-50-lb suitcases, this article is for you! Not only will international transfers be a breeze, but you also don’t have to break your back stuffing it into the back of a taxi, shuttle, or longtail-boat-transfer-to-tiny-island-resort. Win-win! Leave the packing tips to us, embrace the minimalism, and focus on all the R&R you could want on your actual vacation. Continue reading

Columbia River Gorge: Eagle Creek Trail

Treacherous icicles

Don’t move!

Part 2 of our Columbia River Gorge winter hikes feature is the Eagle Creek trail! This is one of the most popular trails in the gorge due to its close proximity to downtown Portland and relative easiness. The trail gently slopes and you can pick how far you want to go – if you only make it to Punchbowl Falls, you’ll log 3.8 miles round trip. The furthest people tend to hike in a single day trip is Tunnel Falls, which would be a solid 12 miles round trip. You can go a total of 26.5 miles to Wattum lake, which people tend to turn into a multi-day backpacking trip to make it more doable. Any way you slice it, the Eagle Creek trail is a crowd-pleaser with a lot of options. But that being said…it should be noted that you’re not going to get very far on this trail in the dead of winter. Or at least, we didn’t.  Continue reading

Safest Airlines in the World: 2016

Qantas Arlines

Qantas Airlines took the top slot for the third consecutive year.

For the third consecutive year, AirlineRatings.com has released its annual list for the world’s safest airlines. They base the ratings off of factors like certifications, audits, fatality records, and incident records. And for the third year in a row, Qantas Airlines was the top pick for safest airline! The company remains completely fatality-free, which got praise from the editors as “extraordinary.”

The entire list of top 20 airlines, alphabetically arranged, are as follows:

  • Air New Zealand
  • Alaska Airlines
  • All Nippon Airlines
  • American Airlines
  • Cathay Pacific Airways
  • Emirates
  • Etihad Airways
  • EVA Air
  • Finnair
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • Japan Airlines
  • KLM
  • Lufthansa
  • Scandinavian Airline System
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Swiss
  • United Airlines
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Virgin Australia

…and on the other end of the spectrum, they also rated the 10 worst airlines (womp womp):

  • Batik Air
  • Bluewing Airlines
  • Citilink
  • Kal-Star aviation
  • Lion Air
  • Sriwijaya Air
  • TransNusa
  • Trigana Air Service
  • Wings Air
  • Xpress Air

They all happen to be from Indonesia, Nepal, and Surinam. C’mon, guys!

For more info about this year’s winners (and losers), head over to their full review.

Cheers!

Mia

P.S. featured image courtesy of TechDrive.

Columbia River Gorge: Cape Horn Trail

the view from a lookout along the Cape Horn Trail in the Columbia River Gorge.

the view from a lookout along the Cape Horn Trail in the Columbia River Gorge.

This is part 1 of 3 of our favorite winter hikes in the Columbia River Gorge! This post covers the Cape Horn Trail. As far as PNW beauty goes, it’s hard to beat. The trail is a loop that runs a hair over 7 miles long with an elevation gain of 1350 ft. – moderate, but totally doable. It’s a newer trail with a lot of varied views, from deep woods to great lookout points to waterfalls to even some black sheep on the way back! Enjoy: Continue reading

The 10 Types of Travelers

Travelers are all individuals. Most come complete with delightful quirks and idiosyncrasies. That being said, having founded and run a travel business in the Galapagos Islands for 10 years, I’ve come to recognize some definitive traveler types. Here are my top 10 – which category do you fall into?

Giant Tortoise and boy, San Cristobal

A Giant Tortoise and boy in San Cristobal.

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How To Never Miss a Flight

Missed Flight

Don’t let this be you.

Show of hands from seasoned travelers…you may think you’re pretty savvy because you know your way around an airport, but can you say that you’ve never missed a flight? Dave Hamamura, professional wanderer and airport pro, lays claim to this feat. (We want proof, Dave.) Lucky for us, he’s shelled out his best tips for speeding through airports on his travel blog Dave Wanders. And yes, sometimes you just have to sprint to your connecting flight in another terminal, dignity be damned. (Just pray to the good lord that it’s not at Charles De Gaulle, or you better start cardio training ASAP.) Continue reading

Travelers Rejoice! New Backpack Design Keeps Valuables Safe

The RiutBag, courtesy of their Kickstarter page.

The RiutBag.

If you’re well-traveled, chances are you’ve either been the victim of pickpocketing or heard one too many horror stories of people losing valuables like laptops, cash, phones, and cameras with priceless pictures on them – memories impossible to recover.

Thankfully, one brilliant Kickstarter campaign is looking to change all of that – by redesigning one of the key features of a backpack. The RiutBag (pronounced “riot bag”) was designed specifically with travelers in mind, with all zippers strategically placed facing the wearer’s back, rendering them inaccessible to pickpockets. Continue reading