Why adventure travel can be risky

 

One of the booming segments of the tourism industry is what we call adventure tourism. These travelers like taking risks (either real or perceived) and sometimes venture on the other side of the planet for their expeditions.

An important component of adventure travel is planning. Gone are the days when explorers jumped in a truck with a map and hoped for the best. We’ve made a list with some of the risks associated with adventure travel to help you plan better and have a fabulous experience.

 

Malaria, Dengue fever and other similar diseases

Travelers that yearn for adventures like jungle trekking or cave exploring in remote tropical areas are especially prone to contracting certain diseases which can sometimes be life threatening or at least do some serious long-term damage to their health. So before embarking on your next adventure, first check the health recommendations.

Are there any epidemics in that region? Is there any way to prevent you from contracting that specific disease (like a vaccine or pills taken preventively)? Are the hospitals any good if worst comes to worst? Is your health insurance going to cover the medical bills if something happens?

Ask yourself all these questions before leaving home and don’t take the chance if the risk for your health seems too high.

The weather

Obviously, nobody can predict the weather with perfect accuracy, but there are weather patterns which can help you decide when it’s the best time to go on your adventure trip.

River rafting can be exciting and safe enough during dry season, but very dangerous during the rainy season. There are countries where the rainy season comes with landslides and floods nearly every year.

You won’t be able to enjoy your adventure if you get stuck in a place because of the closed roads and deluges or worse. Not to mention it can get really nasty, depending on where you are on the planet. So do your research and see what time of the year is best for your adventurous escapade.

 

The political situation

There is serious political unrest in some parts of the world. And, coincidence or not, many of these places are good destinations for the thrill seeking travelers.

Clearly the political factor is a macro risk, one that is out of your control, that’s why you have to be very well informed before deciding where to go on your next adventure.

Read a lot about what’s going on, ask the locals if you can, or people you know that have been there recently. If you choose to venture out with a tour agency, don’t hesitate to ask questions until you are completely satisfied with their answers.

 

The right clothes and shoes

There are some factors you can’t control, social unrest or natural disasters like tsunamis and earthquakes, just to name a few.  However, you can and must control what you pack in terms of clothes and shoes.

It isn’t just a matter of “dress for the weather”, although that is very important. When it comes to adventure traveling, it’s more like “dress for the activity”. If you’re going volcano trekking wearing flip flops, you might end up with an injury caused by the sharp volcanic rocks you have to step on.

For an experienced adventure traveler this might sound ridiculous, but for a novice it is vital to be careful even if it’s about trivial things like shoes and clothes.

The equipment

This is probably the first question people ask when they hear about adventure travel “what kind of gear do I need for this?” The right equipment can make your trip more enjoyable and it can save your life if it comes to it.

Be careful, however, not to pack things you don’t need: a 2-person backpacking tent when you only need one for a person would just add unnecessary weight to your luggage.

If your chosen tour operator provides the equipment for you, don’t be afraid to ask questions about the quality of the gear. Moreover, take time to do some reading — check other people’s reviews and double check the company’s credentials.

There are some countries out there where tour operators get away with not making safety a priority for their customers so make sure you choose a reliable, reputable company.

 

 

The most dangerous scenic roads in Romania

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Romania is a beautiful country that offers tourists stunning views of its landscapes. Much of the country’s nature can also be admired traveling by car.

However, sometimes with high reward comes high risk and some of the most scenic Romanian roads may prove to be more than just a Sunday drive for those who venture onto them. Here are 5 Romanian roads that delight drivers’ eyes but also get their adrenaline pumping.

Transalpina Road (DN67C)

The Transalpina Road is a Romanian national road that runs across the Parâng Mountains, in the Meridional Carpathians. It’s the highest road in Romania, reaching its peak at Pasul Urdele at 2145 m (7037 ft) above sea level. The road connects the city of Novaci from Gorj County with the city of Sebeș from Alba County.

Transalpina crosses four counties along its way (Gorj, Vâlcea, Sibiu and Alba), passing over the Parâng Mountains from South to North. The road has its highest altitude on a 20 km (12.4 miles) section in the county of Vâlcea, passing close by the following mountaintops: Dengheru, Păpușa, Urdele, Iezer and Muntinu.

Its total length is 146 km (90.7 miles). It was paved in the year 2009 and since then it has become an attraction for tourists due to its serpentine turns, twists and sheer drops that can be seen on one side of the road. It has multiple names such as “The King’s Road”, “The Royal Road” or “The Devil’s Path”.

Besides the usual dangers that drivers encounter on a high mountain road, you should also keep an eye out for donkeys, which are used by shepherds to transport various equipment up and down the mountain.

The donkeys often get on the road, especially on the road sections that are not protected with barriers and pose a potential hazard to drivers. Moreover, some tourists stop their vehicles in the middle of the lane to take photos of the animals which further elevates the danger level of this road.

The road is closed in winter and during the months when snow covers it, so don’t plan a trip without getting informed in advance about the road conditions.

 

Transfăgărășan Road (DN7C)

The Transfăgărăşan Road is considered to be the most beautiful and dramatic road of Romania and for good reason. Lots of tight hair pinned turns, non-barriered sections, dark tunnels and stunning views over the Romanian mountains will make a driver’s heart pump.

It links Arfeu, from Argeș county, to Cârțișoara, from Sibiu county. At its highest point (Pasul Bâlea) the road is at 2042 m (6699 ft) above sea level. Initially designed as a 90 km (56 miles) strategic military road, the Transfăgărăşan runs north to south through the Southern Carpathians’ highest parts. On this road, you can pass by sheer drops of over 300 m (1000 ft).

 

Transbucegi Road (DJ713)

The Transbucegi Road is a high elevation Romanian road. It was inaugurated in the year 2013 and after Transalpina and Transfăgărășan it occupies the 3rd place as the highest Romanian road. It reaches its highest point at 1925 m (6315 ft) and has its lowest point at 760 m (2495 ft) above sea level. Transbucegi has a length of 39 km (24 miles).

The road connects Sinaia with the Bucegi Mountains Plateau taking you through the Bucegi Natural Park, a place where you will enjoy spectacular scenery and fresh mountain air without even leaving your vehicle. The road is paved with asphalt so your car will not be subjected to much strain.

Another name that locals have for Transbucegi is “Drumul Babelor”, which means “The Road to the Old Dames”. It offers those who travel it miles of amazing landscapes and sharp hairpin turns with a high elevation. It is a very exciting drive, even more so when you go past unsecured sections of the road.

The Bicaz Gorge (DN12C)

The road passing the Bicaz Gorge can be found in the north-eastern part of Romania. This gorge winds its way steeply for a distance of 5 km (3,1 miles) and seems like it is piercing through sheer walls of rock made out of limestone that reach heights of 300 m (984 ft).

The Bicaz Gorge and the road through it connect the two historical regions Transylvania and Moldavia. While driving on this road through the ravines, you can almost feel the 200 m (656 ft) walls closing in on you; it is not a pleasant feeling if you are claustrophobic.

There is a certain point where the road passes underneath a huge overhanging rock. This point is called “Gâtul Iadului”, which means “The Neck of Hell”. Although the road is asphalted it is uncomfortably narrow at times.

On those sections, only one car can pass between a sheer wall of rock on one side and a drop into the Bicaz river on the other. This undoubtedly offers one of the most thrilling feelings you can have on a scenic Romanian road.

 

DJ112G

In the Southern Romanian Carpathians, there is a 10 km (6.2 miles) challenging mountain road. It can be found in the proximity of the Piatra Craiului Mountains. This mountain road, known only after its official name (DJ112G) links Zărnești from Brașov County with Peștera.

This road is only partially asphalted, most of it being covered with gravel. It is an uneven drive that rocks you up and down all the way between these two villages. There are holes and portions of the road that are literally washed away, especially after the cold months of winter pass and the snow starts to melt away.

As most of the high mountain roads, this one is tightly hair pinned with blind curves, but also bumped. Moreover, DJ112G is not protected, it’s narrow and the elevation is high. If you add in the unpredictable weather conditions, you got yourself a serious adventure on your hands.

This mountain road can be often closed due to the above mentioned weather conditions, so in order to drive on it, you should check in advance what the weather will be like. If it is covered by snow, there is no chance of being traveled.

Although you do not necessarily need an SUV to drive on this road, it is obvious that vehicles with low clearance have little to no chance of crossing the more difficult sections. If you do have the means of driving on this road, you will be amazed by the scenery. You will witness nature at its finest while enjoying an off-road-like experience.

 

 

5 Tips for traveling to dangerous countries

 

Our changing perception of what makes a place seem utterly dangerous is shaped by many factors. One of them is the dramatic media, always thirsty for a juicy story and not telling the truth. However, there’s an ounce of truth in every rumor, so it might not be a bad idea to prepare yourself before traveling to a seemingly dangerous destination. While common sense is the golden rule no matter where you roam, down below, you have few other unique tips to help you stay safe.

 

Check your facts

Before getting on board, you should sit down, have some tea, and make a quick inventory. Create a list of the worst things you’ve heard about the country you are about to visit and then double check them. One tip is to check out travel boards and Facebook groups.

Those places have many honest opinions from both locals and people who have traveled there before and have a real view of the area that is not influenced by the media. You can also try and ask a trusted tourism agency, to see if they sent tourists to your destination and if those came back in one piece.

Read travel warnings

By all means, we encourage you to visit the State Department’s poorly made website and review current travel warnings if you really must. But don’t rely just on that info, as sometimes governments can put them there just to mess with certain countries.

It might be a smart idea to learn your destination’s history, politics, and present state so you can get a feeling of what it is going to be like when you land. Check out blogs, local newspapers if you speak their language, and even travel magazines. Speak with a native if you can. Locals have a much different and more valuable perspective of themselves and their socio-political climate than outsiders.

 

Let people know about your plans

This sounds a bit fatalistic, but telling trusted people in your group of friends what your plans are, will make sure you are tracked down if something horrible happens to you. For example, if traveling alone, send an email to your mom or partner to say what your plans for the day are.

Make it a simple message. Some people also use things like Whatsapp and Facebook to send their GPS location every few hours, which is super handy. Technology is reliable in these situations, but we’re hoping you’ll never have to experience this on your own. Also, some high-tech health monitors also have built-in GPS, usually for those moments when you have an emergency in a remote area.

Keep an emergency contact card nearby

Most of the time, the passport and the driver’s license are useless for letting people know who to contact if something bad happens. Write a small card on a piece of paper in English and in the language of the country you are about to visit by using Google Translate.

Some smart things to write down are your name, your blood type, a relative’s phone number with the country code in front of it and, most importantly, write down if you have any allergies. If you already have one of those, make sure all the info is updated.

 

Use authorized taxi services

The last advice might seem like a no-brainer, but people are prone to ignore it. But it’s worth following, especially in countries like Thailand, where ghost taxies can charge a lot more and even rob you. It is a rather simple thing to do, but it makes all the difference. An alternative is to invest in high-quality shoes with wheels, so you can avoid getting a taxi altogether.

 

 

5 Dangerous Travel Activities That Can Get You Killed

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There are multiple benefits to traveling, from improving our understanding of other cultures to allowing us to try those amazing foods we’ve heard so much about. For many of us, travel equals adventure, and we want to take part in certain activities that will manage to raise our adrenaline level.

While this can be very fun, and no one doubts it, sometimes, it can turn out to be very dangerous and some of these activities can even lead to death. If you were planning your next vacation and had in mind some thrill-seeking activities you wanted to try, make sure they are not among the ones below because they can get you killed.

 

Cliff diving

You will hear many people using “tombstoning” instead of cliff diving, and it is easy to imagine why. It is considered one of the most dangerous extreme sports. Among the injuries that cliff divers experience, we can remember bruises, dislocated joints, broken bones, compressed spine, injured discs, paralysis, and death.

In Acapulco, Mexico there is a group of professional divers called La Quebrada Cliff Divers which have been throwing themselves off Acapulco’s 148-foot cliffs since 1934. These divers have trained for years in order to be able to avoid any injuries and deaths, but even so, accidents happen sometimes. Maybe it is a good idea to leave cliff diving to professionals and try to find an activity less dangerous, but which will still offer you some adrenaline.

Bolivia’s death road

The name itself tells you what you need to know about this road. In order to avoid further accidents from happening on the Yungas Road in Bolivia, the so-called “Death Road”, an alternative road has been built. Now, motorists traveling from La Paz to Coroico have the option to choose a different road, without being afraid that the journey might be their last one.  

This 64-km (40-mile) winding road is left mostly to local workers and those bike-riding daredevils who ignore the dangers this experience can have. It’s estimated that 200 to 300 people were killed yearly along Yungas road and as late as 1994 there were cars falling over the edge at a rate of one every two weeks.

 

Running of the bulls

Pamplona’s San Fermin Festival is meant for all those people around the world who want to live a unique experience – that of the running of the bulls. It is a 400-year-old tradition that takes place in Pamplona in northern Spain, every morning over eight days.

Even if deaths are not very common (records show only 13 people dying in the last 100 years), serious injuries do occur. If you feel brave enough, you can participate in this festival, although you should know that, every year, plenty of tourists are hospitalized after being chased by bulls or walked over by other participants.

 

BASE jumping

Leaping from buildings, antennas, bridges, high cliffs or mountain tops is what BASE jumping involves. Even if it looks and sounds fun, this sport is considered to be extremely dangerous, and there have been numerous accidents (some fatal) over the years.

Even if it seems very similar to skydiving, it is not; it is much more dangerous, base jumpers having a fatality rate 43 times higher than skydivers.

 

A ski trip

Skiing is so much fun and such a great way to spend your vacation, but you have to bear in mind that it can be very dangerous. Lots of accidents can happen which can lead to serious injuries like sprains, strains, breakages and sometimes, even deaths.

Make sure you take some extra lessons on how to stop, and very important is to pay maximum attention to the trail markings.  

 

 

Top 5 things you should never do in Paris

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Also known as “The City of Lights” or “The City of Love,” Paris is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, with over 80 million people visiting it each year. According to most of them, the best time to visit Paris would be in spring or early autumn to still enjoy the warm weather and avoid crowded streets covered in trollers, selfie sticks, and mesmerized looks.

And, although there are thousands of things you can do here to celebrate love, most people who visit the city for the first time fall into the tourist traps and end up spending more than they have planned. Sure, Sacre Coeur, the famous Moulin Rouge, and the Eiffel Tower are a must, but there are countless other magical places touched by the Parisian simplicity that are worthy of your attention.

You can discover them on your own or ask a local to join you on a city tour. Meanwhile, make sure to avoid doing these things.

 

 

Never assume all people speak English

Yes, Paris is the capital, and yes, Paris is the most popular tourist place in the world, but this doesn’t mean everyone speaks English. Although you will get along with people in hotels, restaurants, bars, and museums, asking locals for directions in English is not always a good idea.

Because most Parisians are fed up with tourists, some of them will refuse to speak English. Others, especially the elders, won’t know more English than you do French. So, polish your bilingual skills and try to strike a conversation in the local language. If everything else fails, rely on dictionaries and translation apps.

 

Don’t go shopping on the Champs-Elysees

Unless you are a millionaire, the famous luxury stores on Champs-Elysees are way out of your reach. The boulevard is crowded with people day and night so finding an empty spot at a cafe or a restaurant is uncommon. And even if you are lucky enough to enjoy a chocolate croissant on a fancy local boulangerie, your pocket will not be pleased.

Expect high prices for relatively basic products and rude waiters who are fed up with tourists. You can still strike a pose or gaze at the luxurious shop windows if this is what you wish for.

 

Don’t pay for the Eiffel Tower sight from your hotel room

Most hotels, hostels, and apartments for rent in Paris will try to attract tourists with their fantastic view of the Eiffel Tower. And who can resist waking up in the morning with such a spectacular sight in front of their eyes?

However, even though the Eiffel Tower is visible from a considerable distance, more often than not you’ll only catch a glimpse of the famous construction, usually blocked by poles, windows, and other buildings. So, unless you can afford to stay at a luxurious hotel where you’ll have your own facial steamer and complimentary drinks, paying for the sight won’t actually get you the view you were hoping for.

 

 

Don’t eat or shop in tourist-trap areas

The tourist-trap areas usually include the surroundings of Paris’ most famous attractions such as Sacre Coeur, Champs-Elysees, the Notre-Dame Cathedral, Montmartre or the Louvre. These places are costly and are not worth your time. Souvenir shops are packed with overpriced, tacky, and kitschy Parisian gifts too.

If you want to bring back home a memorable souvenir, try flea markets, perfumeries, bookstores or artisanal shops. These products cost more, but they are also authentic and high-quality.

 

Don’t book a city tour

Last but not least, if you are not pressured by time, Paris is best known by foot. City tours cost a fortune, and the guides won’t be too keen in providing you more than the information you can already read by yourself online and in books.

If you spend at least a few days in Paris, try knowing the city on your own. It is the only way you will discover hidden gems, wander on the small, traditional streets, and get to learn the real Parisian culture.

 

 

5 things not to do in Moscow

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Traveling to Russia isn’t all that dangerous, but you might want to be aware of some things that no foreigner should ever do in the capital of this country. Here are five of some of the most important pieces of advice we can give you.

 

Don’t take unregistered cabs

In general, it’s unwise to get in a taxi that doesn’t seem to be registered. When they see you’re a stranger, taxi drivers will usually ask you to pay more. Whether you have the money to pay for it or not, you shouldn’t accept that.

Instead, get an Uber. Although you might wait longer for one, it’s certainly worth it. You can also ask someone that knows some Russian to call you a taxi, and that way, it’s safer. Even more important, don’t take a taxi from the ones waiting right outside the airport. Just walk past them and ignore their “cheap” fares and new cars.

Don’t go out alone without knowing Cyrillic

One major aspect that tourists need to consider when visiting Moscow is knowing Cyrillic or at least understanding the alphabet. Fortunately, learning it is a lot easier than it first seems and it will certainly be rewarding.

Although Moscow tries to be friendly to English speakers by introducing more and more signs in English, you will need to learn how to read their alphabet so you can have a clue of what’s going on around you. Bring a friend that knows some Russian with you or at least try to learn enough so you can read all the names of the stations where you want to get off.

 

Don’t argue with the authorities

Probably one of the most important things to avoid, whether you’re just visiting Moscow or you’re a local, is to question the authorities. Everyone that has a bit of power, from the person that lets you into a club to the immigration officer, will exercise his or her authority without question.

If they tell you to do something, especially the police, although it might not be correct or you might think otherwise, it is advisable to do as they say, or you will face more serious consequences. Going against what they say is, unfortunately, useless.

You shouldn’t assume it’s always cold

Russia is not as cold as you might think. Moscow at least. You should always find out how the time will be there before leaving your home, and while in Moscow, also check the weather for each day.

Russians are used to this, and you should get accustomed to it, too – the weather there can change quite quickly. One day, you might need to wear a fur coat to protect you from the blizzard and on the next one, you might need to wear sunglasses because it’s too bright outside.

Depending on what period of the year you’re going there, keep in mind that there are four seasons in Moscow and each of them is quite different. Summers can get very hot, so make sure you pack some thin clothes with you.

 

Don’t go out for nightlife too early

Americans tend to have the problem that they go out too early, expecting the clubs to be full of people. And that doesn’t really happen in Moscow until midnight. You can begin your evening with a dinner around 9 PM and then you will have plenty of time to ease your way into the night.

There are some places that serve as restaurants during the day and clubs at night. So you won’t even have to change the location. Between 10 PM and 12 AM is the worst time to go out because nobody really turns up in the clubs at that time. The real party starts around 2 AM, so Moscow works pretty much like Spain in this aspect.

Nightlife can go on until the sun goes up in the morning. But you should know that wherever you go, whatever club you choose, you should be dressed as well as possible. Some clubs won’t even accept you in if you’re not in your best attire.

 

 

5 things not to do in Los Angeles

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Los Angeles is one of the favorite destinations of tourists across the world and The United States, too. We put together a list of five things you might want to avoid doing while in town, though, just to make sure you do not offend anyone and remain safe at all times.

 

Don’t get too close to the Hollywood sign

Although it might be tempting to try and drive to possibly the most famous sing on a hill, you shouldn’t do that. Furthermore, it’s illegal to be too close to it and this is because the authorities have made an effort in keeping it clear from vandalism and they also try to make it safe. The surroundings are hilly and you can injure yourself.

The locals are also pretty annoyed by the tourists that stop in the middle of the road to take pictures of the sign. There are parking restrictions in the area for this reason. Of course, don’t try to climb the fence either. You can see it closer if you hike behind it but there is also a fence there.

Don’t assume everyone speaks English

Los Angeles is a place where lots of people like to come and visit. Some of them also want to make a life there. That’s how you can find people from all around the world making a living there. Yelling at vendors or valets won’t help too much. Instead, try to use a simple vocabulary and sign gestures.

If you are polite enough, people will go the extra mile and try to please you even if they don’t speak the language. Of course, not every vendor has language issues so it’s possible that you won’t have a difficult time.

 

You shouldn’t smoke in public

You should know that Southern California cities have some of the most restrictive smoking bans, and if you don’t pay attention to that you will be having trouble with the police. Los Angeles doesn’t allow smoking on beaches, in parks, around entrances to public buildings, or pretty much in every intensely populated area.

Make sure to stay at a hotel that allows you to smoke if you do and also, if needed, rent a car from a company that allows that. Those will probably be the only places where you can smoke freely. The locals will surely not enjoy it if you light your cigarette up in front of their eyes.

Don’t use taxis or public transportation

You might be wondering — just how are you supposed to go around if you can’t use taxis or public transportation? The simplest answer to that is Uber or Lyft. Buses don’t work as well as they do in other cities, in the sense that it takes them an hour to do a 12-mile trip. That’s really time-consuming.

Alternative taxi services such as Uber or Lyft will be faster and they will cost you 20 to 30 percent less than a regular taxi. Another option would be to rent a vehicle and use that to visit the city.

You can choose to catch the train if you prefer public transport, but if you do so, make sure to stay alert and pay attention to your surroundings.

 

Don’t skip on tipping

It’s known that hospitality service jobs don’t pay very well and when you’re in Los Angeles you will face a lot of people that work as restaurant servers, hotel staff, concierges or tour guides. They rely a lot on the tips to cover their costs and make a decent living for themselves.

That is why it’s nice for you to tip them when you feel that they deserve it. And if you’re visiting the same place more than once and you are welcomed by the same person, you will surely be remembered as a nice customer and your services will probably be better.

You can offer $1-$2 to a valet that parks your car or to the doorman that calls your cab, so for some small services, and you should keep in mind that a tip between 10 and 20 percent of the bill is appreciated.

 

 

Top 5 dangerous sports to avoid when traveling

 

Although you might enjoy traveling because you get the chance to experience the thrills of hazardous sports, there are some activities that you should simply avoid while visiting new cities and/or countries.

The reason for this has to do with the fact that you might put your life in danger and that most travel insurances do not cover the price of adventure-related medical issues. With this in mind, below, we have put together a list of sports that you should not practice while traveling.

 

High altitude climbing

Although climbing is something that you should not dismiss while enjoying a holiday abroad, high altitude climbing is definitely something that you should say no to. Therefore, if you have no experience in hiking or climbing, or if you are not equipped with the right type of gear, this is not an activity that you should consider.

Usually, high mountain peaks are dangerous to climb because those who attempt to conquer high altitudes have to deal with a lack of oxygen, moving-restricting injuries, and the cold temperatures. Even more so, if something happens to you, rescue teams usually find it difficult to locate those missing. In fact, as the specialists have pointed out, this sport has high fatality rates.

 

Lawn Bowls

As you might know, lawn bowls is a very old sport that still has many enthusiast players today. However, you might not know that this game is currently considered one of the deadliest out there. In fact, many of its players end up suffering from bruises, broken hips, and even bone fractures.

On top of that, because this sport is highly stressful, some of those who play it experience heart attacks. All in all, no matter if this game might appeal to you because it looks rather simple and effortless to play, we recommend that you stay away from it next time you go on a holiday.

Water Rafting

Another activity that you should abstain from trying while traveling is white water rafting. This sport is hazardous as it exposes the rafter to many medical issues that require medical attention such as hypothermia or drowning. Also, rafting can cause sunburns, and injuries caused by gear failing.

Rafting is even more dangerous if you do not know how to swim and if you are not in good health. Rafting is life-threatening if you do not use the right type of equipment and you are prone to getting panic attacks. Given all these pieces of info, it is safe to say that this sport is a big no-no while traveling.

 

Cave Diving

If you like water and diving, you would probably love the chance of enjoying some cave diving. However, this sport is also one that implies numerous risks that you should not subject yourself to.

When cave diving, one usually dives into darkness in unfamiliar territory. What is more, this sport is highly challenging because visibility might vary and strong water currents might affect one’s ability to exit a cave.

Those who do not have a lot of experience when it comes to diving are likely to panic. Additionally, this sport should only be practiced after one has undergone specialized training. Furthermore, proper equipment is also a must.

Snowboarding

Although a very popular winter sport, snowboarding is also quite dangerous, as it involves the risk of severe injuries. Most of those who practice it sustain ankle and wrist fractures. What is more, those who do not use protective equipment can actually end up hurting their major organs.  Still, the mortality rates associated with this sport are low.

Moreover, snowboarding is dangerous especially if you are not experienced and you snowboard in locations that have not been prepared to be used for such an activity. Nevertheless, those who practice this sport should wear waterproof equipment, and they should not use alcohol or drugs. Formal training is also a must before you decide to try this sport.

To conclude, we are confident that, if you follow our suggestions, you will be able to have a safe holiday. However, before traveling, be sure to acquire a special insurance policy so that you are protected in case of an unhappy accident.

 

 

Top 5 dangerous adventure activities

 

There’s a sense of power in doing a dangerous activity. While most of us live boring lives, tied to a desk and with 9 to 5 jobs, others do extreme sports for the adrenaline rush and because they want to feel like they are alive. They dare, which is the main difference between an adventurer and a normal person.

It is also true that these things are perceived as dangerous and reckless. And for a good reason, because you can easily get injured and even possibly die if you don’t use the right equipment, or if you don’t pay attention. So if you are tired of dreaming about doing something unusual and off the charts, here are some of the most dangerous activities in the world that you can try, although we don’t suggest you do that.

The first thing on our list is free solo climbing. Some consider it to be the purest form of rock climbing, which should tell you something about its risk and popularity. The purity part means you can’t use any kind of safety equipment or protective gear – just your hands and the strength of your muscles.

Now, this might sound insane since climbing is dangerous as it is, but the ones that practice it say this sport is the most intense form of joy. You’re not even allowed to use harnesses or ropes. It can be deadly, as accidents have happened in the past. But somehow that doesn’t stop people from enjoying it.

Climbers reach heights that exceed thirty feet, and if they fall, let’s just say it’s not going to be pretty. Some countries have banned this activity, and people caught doing it will be fined consistently. Nevertheless, we can’t deny that the ones who do free solo climbing are amazing and brave. We have to give credit when it’s due.

The following crazy thing that some people practice is base jumping. It is one of the more underground forms of parachuting, and it’s not an uncommon thing among adrenaline seekers. Base jumping is thought of as being very intense and fast-paced because it leaves you no room for mistakes or wiggling room to take decisions. Your brain must work very fast when doing this activity.

Moreover, practitioners don’t carry a backup parachute most of the time, as you have no room to deploy it in case the main one malfunctions. The word base is actually an acronym. It means buildings, antennas, spans, and earth, and before getting excited about this sport, you should know it is illegal in most states.

No wonder as to why, because the number of fatal incidents related to this form of parachuting is very high. There is a thrill associated with base jumping, and there even were people who jumped off the Eiffel Tower.

At number three, we have bull running. Originally, it was a Spanish tradition which comprised of driving bulls from corrals, through the streets, and into specially designed bullrings. There, as most people know, they would have to fight with Matadors. This festivity still takes place annually.

However, animal-rights activists are fighting hard to make it illegal, as both humans and animals are killed, and not as rare as some might think. If you are faint of heart and hate the sight of blood, maybe you should stay away from this activity.

Next up is the ever so famous scuba diving. It offers you incredible sights, as ocean life is both diverse and outlandish, but it comes with many risks, most of which are lethal. Recreational scuba diving, done after proper training and at suitable depths, is fun. It even has minimal chances of a severe injury.

However, people are not satisfied with what they perceive as average, and they go much further than the indicated depth, especially when they want to explore shipwrecks, and that comes with dangers of its own. Some people even go inside war wrecks, which are known for carrying explosives that could be triggered at any moment.

And lastly, we have big wave surfing. Our fifth pick is impressive when looked at from the side. Doing it is even more so. There’s hardly any other activity that makes you feel more invincible or like you’re on top of the world. But surfing has many risks, and that’s why you need to get surfing lessons before adventuring into the ocean. Some waves exceed fifty feet, and if you are not trained, they can easily kill you. We recommend you also invest in some premium surfing equipment after carefully reading a guide on the topic.

 

 

Top 5 things you shouldn’t do overseas

 

Travelling is all fun and games until you realize you are breaking the law. Unfortunately, the downside of visiting the world is that each country or region comes with its own rules and customs, which means there is a slight chance to do something considered illegal or rude.

Thus, you should take your time and read about the place you’re about to visit, and, most importantly, see if it abides by the same rules you already know and follow. So here are some things you should avoid doing overseas, regardless of the customs in that country.

 

Don’t eat near major tourist sites

Whether it’s Rome, Paris or Sydney, the areas around major tourist attractions are usually crowded with cafes, bars, and restaurants. However, often enough the prices are extremely high, the service is not always good, and there isn’t too much variety either.

Most of these premium locations exclusively lean on hoards of tourists who are seeking a place to relax with a nice view. In addition, these restaurants and cafes know the tourists won’t come back again, so they don’t pay too much attention to the quality of the foods or snacks they’re serving.

Don’t exchange money at the airport

Local currencies can become a total pain, especially if you have to constantly make conversions in your head and keep track of how much you spend. Unfortunately, exchanging money at the airport is the worst idea since you’ll always get bad rates.

Instead, you should try using ATMs or pay with your credit card as much as possible. Depending on the country you’re in, you won’t be charged too much when you withdraw money from local ATMs or banks.

It is always best to travel with small amounts of cash on you and keep a low profile to avoid robbers or pickpockets. However, keeping some cash with you is required, especially since not all vendors accept credit card payments.

You should probably establish a daily budget for small shopping and souvenirs and never carry more than the required amount of cash on you.

 

Don’t avoid travel alternatives

Staying in hotels is not a great idea, especially if you plan on traveling for more than a few weeks. Luckily, there are plenty of other options that allow you to stay and live like a local for free or for reasonable prices.

So, instead of spending all your money on fancy resorts and 5-star services, you could opt for alternative hospitality networks.

Couchsurfing is the coolest concept developed in the past few years that allows you to stay for free at whoever is willing to take you in. You’ll have your own bed (or couch) or even an entire guest room in the house of a local to help you live your abroad experience to the fullest.

The best thing of all that you? You get to meet the locals, listen to their stories, and share your experiences.

 

To tip or not to tip?

Keep in mind that we live in a very complex world with each country having its own rules and customs. And, what might seem legit or even mandatory back home may not apply to other destinations. For instance, tipping is a very sensitive matter around the globe.

While tipping might be mandatory in some parts of the US, in other countries like Turkey or Greece, it’s already taken from your final bill.

The amount also differs depending on the country – if in the US it’s usually around 15-20% of the bill, other countries like Germany accept as low as 5%. And then there’s Japan. If you happen to travel there anytime soon, keep in mind that tipping the waiter is considered disrespectful.

So, in order to get things right, we always suggest you do some research about your traveling destination and read about the local customs, especially about gestures that might be considered rude.

Don’t drink too much

Let’s face it – you’re always prone to do silly things after one too many glasses of alcohol, especially if you are on vacations. So, in order to avoid awkward and risky situations, it would be best to make sure you don’t drink too much when you’re in unfamiliar places.

If you really need to drink, do it in your own apartment or hotel room or at least the hotel’s lobby.