Koko Crater Railway Trail
The Koko Crater Railway Trail is an excellent hike to check out while on Oahu. Don’t be alarmed by the sound of shooting when you arrive to the trail-head, it is right beside a gun range, this is America after all. Although a steep hike up and an excellent workout, it is a relatively short hike that takes about 30 minutes to an hour. The trail follows an old railway track and is 1048 steps to the top. Hiking up all those steps are sure to make you break a sweat, but don’t worry because once you reach the top the breeze will feel like cool AC. The top also boasts Gorgeous panoramic views of Koko Bay, Hanauma Bay, and Sandy beach. There were no concessions at the entrance to the trail so be sure to pack water and snacks.
Manoa Falls – Aihualama Trail
This was one of the first hikes that we did on Oahu, it is relatively accessible from Waikiki. We were a bit disappointed on the way up how many tourists were there. It was like walking in a single file line the entire hike. Although When we got to Manoa falls it was well worth it. There were signs telling you that you couldn’t go into the falls but maybe people crossed the chain and frolicked in the water anyways. Also worth checking out a side trail that is a steep left just before you reach the falls. It went on for about 5 miles and there were relatively few people on that trail. It is a spectacular trek through a bamboo forest and the first turn off the trail takes you to a epic lookout spot. When we got back down to Manoa falls a few hours later most of the tourists were gone and we were able to get a few good shots. This trail also has a small shop and cafe just in case you forgot to bring something.
Another super touristy hike just outside Waikiki, but the views are definitely worth it. There is a tunnel right before the entrance, and they charge you $1 walking in as a pedestrian or $5 for 1 vehicle. Once you get in there is a small tourist shop and a Shaved Ice truck if you are looking for snacks or souvenirs. After a relatively easy start on a paved path we hiked on the side of a mountain, through tunnels and up a few sets of stairs. When we got to the top after about 30 minutes I was amazed with what I saw. Lush green mountains on one side and on the other a bright blue ocean on the shoreline of Honolulu. I remember not wanting to go back down and the only reason I did was because it was so crowded.
Wa’ahila Ridge Trail
I love this hike because of the remoteness, the entrance is tucked away at the end of a street and seemed to only be visited by locals. There were wild chickens running around everywhere and although it was a quick drive from Waikiki, you seemed to be in the middle of nowhere. The trail is a bit lengthy and mostly follows a ridge, once you get to the top the views of Manoa Valley and Palolo Valley are epic. Once you reach kolowalu trail you should turn back unless you are an advanced hiker. Apparently It becomes quite treacherous and has a few rope sections, so I turned around just to be safe.
Stairway to Heaven
I never actually did this hike because it is illegal and heard from many people that security wait at the trail entrance and call police if you enter. The fine is $1000 and I did not have that kind of money to pay if I got caught so I decided to play it safe and stay away. What would this list be without stairway to heaven on it though. Everyone on all the islands and even people on my Facebook were talking about it. If you decide to take the chance it’s three to four hours up and one to two hours down and I hear well worth it. Good luck.
So while getting so caught up my current travel plans I have kind of gotten a little bit behind on my blog. The excitement is starting to overcome me and I am so amazed at all the resources that are available online if you just take the time to look. Recently I stumbled upon a blog where this couple has travelled the world via House-Sitting. There are few major sites which I will list below that allow you to search through hundreds of property’s all around the world in turn that you take care of their pets, water their garden or sometimes both. These sites do have a fee of course, like with everything in life, but the fee is less than $100 a year. In some major cities a decent hotel room could end up costing you more than that per night. So if you are planning on travelling for longer periods of time and are pretty location flexible these online services could be for you, as I hope it works out for me.
Top 3 House Sitting Websites
Just so you know, I am not being paid by any of these sites and everything here is just my opinion. So the three I listed above are some of the main house sitting websites, but there are probably many others so do your research if you are really interested in trying this out. The only one I have tried out so far is Trusted House sitters, it allows you to create a free account in order to browse through some available houses, but will not allow you to contact the owner until you pay the site registration fees.
Tip to Save Money: I signed up for the free account through trusted house sitters a few months ago and recently got an email saying I will receive 20% off if I registered as a paid user. So if you don’t need to use it right away you could wait a little while until you also hopefully receive a discounted offer.
Many of the houses available are in great vacation destinations all around the world. Australia had many postings and there were also quite a few throughout the United Kingdom. Many of the houses I seen were beautiful and some even had pools. If you have put your possessions in storage and sold your house or ended your lease for your apartment you could potentially get a house sit in your home town when you return. Saving you money on rent and helping you out till you can save more money. I am really hoping that I will have success with this as it would make long term travel possible for me. Let me know what you think or if you have tried out any of these websites before.
Last summer my boyfriend’s mother invited the two of us and his sister on a camping trip to Algonquin Park. Both my boyfriend and his mother had told me numerous stories of them camping when my boyfriend and his sister were younger but I didn’t think they would still be so into camping. Growing up camping just wasn’t something that my family did so I did not know much about it. I had gone camping once before with a friend and her family in high school but I got pretty sick and I remember sleeping most of the trip. It took quite a bit of convincing but I finally gave in and decided to give camping a try one more time.
From where we live it was about a four hour drive which seems like nothing after driving 30 hours straight to Florida a few summers ago. We stayed at The Lake of Two Rivers Campground which was perfect because they had electricity at the site and clean water. The only downfall was that when you stay in the provincial parks it’s mostly families so you kind of have to be quiet most of the time.
There was a beach at our campsite and on the warmer days we went at the beach. One of the beach days we blew up our inflatable boat and paddled our way out to a very small island where we ran around barefoot and swam at the shore. We enjoyed the beach and the island very much but the last couple days that we spent there were just too cold. On the colder days we went for bike rides around the area, went hiking and even spotted a few black bears. Algonquin was so beautiful; there was vast wildlife and many hiking trails. One of the trails we hiked had the most amazing lookout spot to watch the sunset.
This camping trip was so enjoyable and despite the always unpredictable Canadian weather I now enjoy camping and hope to go many more times! If you don’t think camping is for you at least give it a try and maybe you will change your mind.
Where was your first plane ride to?
My first plane ride was to Florida when I was a very young, ended up getting chicken pox while in Florida and my family had to fly back earlty.
Where is somewhere you traveled to that you would love to visit again?
My favourite place I travelled to was Costa Rica and I honestly can’t wait to go back as it was so breath taking.
Preferred travel method: plane, train, or car?
Plane for speed, but if it was somewhere I could travel by train I wouldn’t mind.
You’re leaving tomorrow; money is no object where are you going?
If money was no object I would definitely choose Australia because I really want to travel there and its pretty expensive to travel there, so that would be pretty amazing!
What is your favourite travel website?
Right now my favourite site would be AirBNB.com, it’s a site to find cheap and local accommodations that I just recently discovered and its pretty cool.
Where would you go just to eat the food?
Italy. Hands down Italian cuisine is the best in the entire world.
Is there a place you would never go again?
I have enjoyed all my travels but one place that I don’t feel I will ever go back to is Dominican Republic for many reasons that I will make a post about later.
Can you recite your passport number from memory if asked?
I can barely remember my own phone number haha.
Do you prefer aisle or window seat?
Window seat for sure, I love to take pictures and look and the earth from up high.
What do you do to pass the time on the air plane?
Mostly I play games on my iPod and then when it dies I do word searches or sleep.
Feel free to use this tag!
The first thing that you need to do when you decide that you want to travel is to start saving your money. There are plenty of simple yet efficient ways to cut back on your basic expenses. You may have to give up some stuff now, but this is essential for making enough money to travel. Below I will show you different options for lowering your expenses and how to put more money aside for travel.
Where I live you can rent a basic 1 bedroom apartment for a minimum of $700 CDN per month or you could rent out a single room for a minimum of $300 CDN per month.
1 Bedroom Apartment for 1 year $700 x 12 = $8400
1 Bedroom for 1 year $300 x 12 = $3600
Living with parents/Relatives for 1 year = Normally Free
So if you have the option to live with family or other relatives for free take the opportunity now. Although it may not be exactly what you want right now it will be worth it in the end when you get to experience everything that travelling has to offer. If you don’t have the option to live with relatives maybe the option of downgrading to a room would help you out saving you almost $5000 per year.
Utilities and Extras
You should always look for places that have all inclusive utilities and things like internet and cable included because these extra bills monthly can really add up
Average price of internet and cable package $100 x 12 = $1200 per year
Also if you don’t have internet you can head to your local Starbucks, Tim Horton’s or McDonalds which all offer free Wi-Fi and many are open 24/7.
Apparently here in Canada we pay the most for our cell phone bills. If you are with Rogers, Bell, Telus or Fido expect to pay top dollar. I recently just switched to RBC Talk & Save and I will show you below what i am saving. Other cheap companies are also available to switch to such as Wind, Kodoo and Mobilicity.
Rogers phone bill $90 per month x 12 = $1080
RBC Talk & Save $30 per month for first 3 months $60 per month after $30 x 3 + $60 x 9 = $630
I’m saving $450 per year by switching phone companies and I actually get more included in my plan.
Car Insurance and Maintenance
Okay so my actual suggestion on this one would be to get rid of your car entirely and I will show you why. Also if you must drive, drive cautiously because it’s not worth it to get in an accident, it’s expensive, and on top of that your insurance goes up which is ridiculous. Also tickets that you can for get speeding or parking or whatever, they add up.
This is going to be for the first year of having a car, luckily our insurance went down now, and there are even cheaper places I found but we cannot switch midway through a policy.
Car insurance $537 per month x 12 = $6444 per year (OKAY THIS NUMBER ALONE WOW)
Gas roughly $200 per month x 12 = $2400 per year (AGAIN WOW)
Parking at school 4 per day x 260 days a year (i went to summer school) $1040
Winter and summer tire switch twice per year @ $50 = $100
Oil Change @ $20 3 times per year $60
Total cost for first year = $10044
Monthly Bus Pass $118 x 12 = $1416
Total Savings = $8628
Conclusion…. Should have taken the bus
I left this one for last because it is the most important. There have recently been study’s done that have shown that people are more happy from spending their money on experiences rather than spending money on material possessions. Yes I’m sure that cute new dress will make you happy for a little while, but a real life experience will make you happier and keep the feeling lasting longer. It will be especially challenging because once you cut back your expenses you will have more money to spend, but remember what that money is for. Also getting rid of material possessions you already own is a great way to earn extra money to travel and to not feel so held back by belongings.
Okay so i re-watched this movie for this post because to be honest i was 7 when i seen it and pretty much only remember how dreamy Leonardo DiCaprio was. The movie takes place in Thailand and starts off kind of creepy with lots of blood and scary nightmares but then the gorgeous Leo finds a map and sets off to find this island that he believes to be a tropical paradise. Him and his friends finally find the island but not without avoiding some danger first. Then Leo steals his friends girl and then loses her when she finds out he cheated on her, its a must watch!
Lizzie McGuire Movie
In this movie Lizzie McGuire goes on a school trip to Rome! She ends up being mistaken for a very famous Italian pop singer and her trip becomes much more exciting. In the end she ends up performing on stage in front of thousands of people plus all of her friends and family. This movie is like a modern day fairy and I thought this movie was a really good ending to the show.
This movie is one of my favourite movies of all time. It’s about a young reporter William who travels all across the United States on a tour with the band Stillwater in order to get an interview with the band. On this journey William enters in a whole new world of partying and rock stars that he has never seen before as he is only 15 years old. He also becomes really close with one of the groupies Penny Lane who helps him to finally get his interview with the band.
I love Britney Spears so naturally when she starred in her first movie I loved it. This movie is about 3 young girls who go on a road trip together with a guy they barely know. Lucy who is played by Britney wants to go to L.A. for a record contract audition and also to see her mother who left when she was young. During this trip the 3 young girls rekindle their friendship and Lucy falls in love with Ben, the guy who gave them a ride.
Three friends, two of which happen to be my favourite people (Leighton Meester & Selena Gomez) quit their jobs and travel together to Paris. When they arrive to Paris they are not pleased with their accommodations and nothing is meeting their expectations. Lucky for them one of the girls is mistaken as a socialite and the three girls end up spending the next few days living in luxury, that is until the real socialite turned up!