Adventure Travel From Grand Canyon Rafting to Base Jumping

Some people believe a break from work should involve more than just a holiday: it should be an adventure! Which is why adventure travel is becoming so popular. It doesn’t have to mean climbing Everest, attempting K2, or crossing a desert on the back of a camel: but it can, though it can just as easily mean a guided rafting trip in the Grand Canyon, seeing the desert from the basket of a balloon, a bungee jump like James Bond (off Switzerland’s Verzasca Dam) or a road trip somewhere literally *off the beaten track*.

Trekking in Nepal or paddling the Grand Canyon are the classic adventure travel options, and for most adventure travellers involve a bit of travel to get to, but there are travel adventure options in every country — you ‘d be surprised to see the list of where all the best paragliding destinations are, and paragliding definitely qualifies as adventure travel if it’s done right. Ice climbing, cave diving, shark diving, paddling between scenic islands, trekking overland, base jumping, or even heli-biking or heli-skiing can elevate your travels to adventure travels, and these kinds of adventure travel options can be found in some very unlikely destinations.

But the classic adventure options are still the best: New Zealand, for all the cycling and paddling options, as well as the extreme sports, is one of the best places for adventure travel, and Chile and Patagonia are popular for the same kinds of adventure travel attractions. Canada has the winter-y wilderness, and offers adventure travellers the chance to get back to nature and meet some exotic animals, while Borneo and the Galapagos, offer adventure travellers both untouched wilderness, unique animals and sunshine. Just in case you prefer your adventure travels without the adventurous weather.

Not all of us get the chance to have a real travel adventure. However, ‘adventure holidays’ are becoming ever more popular, and accessible, and not just among the young. As baby boomers mature they find they are fitter, and generally richer, than their parents were – so your 50s and 60s is a great time to take that travel adventure you never had time or money to do. Lots of adventure travel is within the realms of possibility for most people — you don’t have to be an elite athlete to cross the Sahara with a camel train, just relatively healthy and the owner of an adventurous spirit. Some adventure travel tour operators even run adventure tour options for younger explorers, and there are some gentle routes along even some of the most exciting of white water rivers, and child size mountains still worth conquering. And while once people thought of some adventure travel options as being the adventure of a life time, now a lifetime can have many travelling adventures.

Adventure Travel Inspiration and How to Find It

All travellers know the feeling, “I want to travel, I want to experience new things and I want to do something completely different to what I am doing now.” The corresponding feeling is usually along the lines of, “But what? Where? And how?”

This is actually made harder with the vast selection of trips currently available, especially to adventure travellers. Below are three ways to make inspiration a little easier for those of you reading with travel on your mind.

Travel Reviews

One of the best ways to find adventure travel inspiration is by reading about other peoples’ experiences. This is easily done by looking at travel reviews. These travel reviews provide an insight, not only into the service and value of adventure travel providers, but also the experiences that people have had. Adventurers are drawn to places of interest, especially ones that not many have been. Never underestimate an adventure traveller’s need for that feeling of exploration.

Travel reviews also provide inspiration through density. For example, the crowds may congregate in Kenya for a Safari or in Peru to hike Machu Picchu, both areas would then receive a high number of reviews. With this knowledge, an adventure traveller can easily pick his or her ideal experience, based on how crowded they want their trip to be.

Adventure News

Read adventure news and updates. One of the most useful sources of inspiration comes from adventure travel industry news. Details of current adventure vacation offers, new destinations available and new activities to try will really get your imagination going. It’s also helpful when you’re on a tight budget – discovering new adventures on your doorstep is the latest travel trend.

How do you find the best deals in the market? Just keep a watchful eye on the best adventure news. Finding fresh adventures is one of the fundamental reasons that the adventure travel market continues to grow (even in spite of economic/political challenges). Travellers are always on the lookout for the next destination or activity and one of the most fruitful sources for inspiration is blogs from explorers and adventures on the cutting edge. New routes through jungles, new epic cycle journeys or a new way to use a helicopter to launch your adventure, these blogs have the answers.

Adventure Travel Market Overview

Finally, finding inspiration can be a simple as looking at the adventure travel market as a whole – what can I do and where?

This might be browsing through an atlas and pointing at the topographic point of interest or looking at a list of adventures on a provider’s site. An easier option still is to utilize some of the powerful adventure travel search sites out there. Simply click on an activity or country and see where or what you can do.

So, if you need adventure travel inspiration remember these three points:

1. Read travel reviews
2. Keep an eye on adventure news and
3. Look out for global adventure travel search sites.

Good luck in discovering your next adventure.

5 Things Everyone Needs To Know About Their Home Air Conditioning Bills

It is said that nearly half of our energy use goes to heating and cooling our homes. If this statistic sounds like you, you might be wondering if there is a way to be more mindful of your electric bill while still keeping your home at a comfortable temperature. Indeed, reducing the amount of energy you use to keep cool can equate to savings on your bill. Below are 5 things you need to know about your home air conditioning bills to help keep your pockets full while summer temperatures soar.

1. Energy efficiency saves big.

If you have an out-of-date HVAC system or an older home, you may not be as energy-efficient as you could be! To check, schedule an audit of your home’s energy usage. An auditor will survey your house in order to tell you exactly where cool air is escaping due to under-insulation or improperly sealed windows and doors. Some energy providers will offer free or discounted audits to any new customers, so be sure to ask when you contact.

Installing a programmable thermostat can help with your home’s energy efficiency as well. These devices allow you to set controls to change your thermostat’s temperature while you’re away – that way you’re not cooling an empty house. You can even schedule a temperature change into your programmable thermostat, so your home is nice and cool by the time you get home without wasting hours of cooling energy throughout the day.

2. Simple changes add up.

Plugging any leaks around door and window frames can help keep cool air inside, and it’s a simple DIY. Check around your doors and windows for any damage and erosion, and then re-caulk them.

Set up some outdoor shade near windows to prevent direct sunlight from entering your home. This may seem like a small task, but it can equate to big savings on your home air conditioning bills. Erect a pop-up shade or plant some tall trees near your windows, and you’ll be sure to notice how much cooler your interior remains.

3. Updates are worth it.

While they carry a sometimes hefty up-front cost, updates to your home can save big when it comes to your monthly energy costs. If your HVAC system was installed before the early 2000s, you may want to consider upgrading to an energy-efficient system.

Also, installing energy-efficient windows can make a huge difference in your monthly payments! The latest double- and triple-paned windows are comprised of multiple panes of durable glass with clear gas between the panes. The gas works as insulation to keep heat out while the clear windows let sunshine through, keeping your home cooler and brighter at the same time.

4. Details are important.

Draw your shades to keep the sun out. Simply closing your blinds during the sun’s peak hours can have a significant impact on inside temperatures.

If you have indoor fans, turn them on! Using a ceiling fan, a whole house fan, or even a portable oscillating or desk fan will help to keep the air circulating inside your home. The more air circulates, the cooler the indoor temperature feels. This way you can keep your thermostat set a bit higher and still keep cool.

You can also close vents in unused rooms and keep the doors inside your home closed. This way you don’t use energy to cool rooms that are not regularly used.

5. You can use the power of the sun.

Installing solar panels on your roof is a major cost-cutting tool. Switching to a solar power system is easier than you might think, and the long-term savings are more than worth the up front investment! If you’re interested, call for a quote.

Interested but don’t think you can make the commitment to solar energy? Paint your roof white. A white roof will reflect sunlight, while typical black or grey roof tiles actually absorb heat.

5 Tips To Help You Find The Best Heating and Air Conditioning Company

There are not many things worse for a homeowner than having the air conditioning and heating unit suddenly stop functioning. If you are in the middle of a hot summer or freezing winter, the effects can be catastrophic not only for your comfort, but for your home. When you need a new HVAC unit or maintenance on your existing unit, you likely want to call in the best company you can find. With so many options available and so much at stake, how can you make sure to make the best decision? Here are 5 tips to help you find the best heating and air conditioning company.

1. Select a reputable contractor

There is no reason to be completely flabbergasted by a horrible experience when we can simply go online and find testimonies and previous customer experiences to draw from. Doing some research upfront can save you many hassles in the long run. Before you make your decision, do some searches for reputable companies in your area with excellent reviews, preferably a company who is local and well established in your community.

2. Make sure they are properly certified

While you may get some amazingly cheap offers from contractors and businesses offering services, they may not always be officially certified. If you find yourself getting a very low bid for a replacement or repair, it could be an independent contractor who lacks certification masquerading as a certified professional. Without the proper training your warranty could be voided or the damages could be made worse by an improper job. Find a company that is certified and has experience with your unit’s brand.

3. Find a company that sells, installs, and repairs units.

If possible, choose a business that is certified to complete repairs as well as complete brand new unit installations. Companies that handle repairs have an extra incentive to complete quality jobs the first time around. Skilled technicians cross trained to do both will have the extra knowledge and insight into the inner workings of your unit and will be able to spot potential issues before they turn into serious problems.

4. Do they offer maintenance programs?

When a company is certified and even contracted to install and repair your brand of HVAC unit, you not only reap the rewards of extra knowledge, but you can participate in a maintenance program. Maintenance programs provide regularly scheduled service calls to keep your units running at their optimal. They offer a simple solution for those looking to avoid problems in the first place.

5. A company should offer a guarantee and honor warranties.

A quality company will honor all the warranties of your unit and will even be contracted by the big brands to be an approved repair and installation contractor. By selecting a company that offers you a warranty, you can feel confident that your money is being well spent and that a quality repair or installation job will be completed.

Follow these tips when selecting your next HVAC company and ensure a quality job at a fair price.

5 Signs Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality Isn’t Exactly Healthy

Itchy and watery eyes, scratchy throat, and uncontrollable coughing are all symptoms of colds, allergies, and air pollution. But, many people suffering from these signs simply expect their symptoms to worsen at certain times of the season without giving any thought to the quality of air inside their residences. In fact, many unfavorable symptoms are a result of low air quality inside the home rather than pollutants or allergens related to seasonal allergies. Here are 5 signs your home’s indoor air quality is not healthy.

1. Allergy symptoms

As mentioned above, allergy symptoms are synonymous with illnesses and sensitivities to allergens. Many people simply feel that their issues are related to seasonal allergies. They seek medical advice and medications to alleviate their symptoms but fail to check their air filtration and HVAC units for contamination. While many allergens worsen during high allergy seasons, the amount of allergens in the air is largely determined by the condition of your air and heating unit and air ducts.

2. Dryness and Irritation

Are you waking up with extra dry eyes or getting excessive bloody noses. While the latter may be a sign of a serious medical condition, it can also be a sign of dirt and dust in the air absorbing extra moisture. If your skin is also unnecessarily dry, you may have too much dirt in your vents and your air filter may no longer be working at its optimal state.

3. Dirt around vents and fan blades.

Can you visually spot large clumps of dirt and dust around vents and fan blades? Unclean ducts allow excess dirt and allergens to flow through your HVAC unit and back into the air you are breathing unnoticed. However, visual signs will appear around vents and fan blades- the spots where air flows the most.

4. Guests and friends cough and sneeze

The body can do amazing things. Even with dirty air, you may adapt and find yourself clueless to how contaminated your air may be. If you invite company over and they immediate begin to sneeze or cough, there may be allergens and dust in the air that you have grown accustomed to.

5. Layers of dust on flat surfaces

Are there layers of dust the settle on your window sills, tables, and other flat surfaces shortly after dusting? If you find yourself dusting all the time and never making any progress, you have an issue with your air filtration. The air filter may be clogged which no longer allows for the air filtration needed to prevent dust from being blown around your home.

If you have any of these signs you can benefit from a ventilation duct cleaning, change in air filter, or overall heating and ac unit inspection. Don’t hesitate to contact an HVAC specialist immediately so you can live with healthy clean air in your home.