The Big Island creates some big memories.
On our first night on Hawaii's Big Island, the waves directly below our hotel room crashed against the rocks with such force, I was certain the huge, foamy spray was going to soak our balcony. So THIS is what they meant by "ocean front"! It was my first introduction to travel splurging, Hawaiian style, and just one of the many memories that make Hawaii a favourite travel destination.
That gorgeous room cost a bit more than our average lodgings, and that's not a bad thing. When people ask me what I write about, I always say "where to save and when to splurge". I know I cover the savings side of things - A LOT. (Case in point: Check out this piece on how I make Hawaii a truly affordable destination). But I really believe a well timed splurge is just as important. After all, what's the fun in being frugal all the time if you can't let loose every now and then? And Hawaii's Big Island is the perfect place to splurge! Here's what you should not miss.
This is our old stomping grounds.... literally! And we think the best hiking trails in Ontario are sprinkled throughout the Northeast. It's time to start planning an epic Ontario hiking trip.
If you ask anyone around the world what they envision when they think of “Canada”, there’s a good chance they’ll unknowingly describe Northeastern Ontario. The region’s incredible lush landscapes, including expansive fields, craggy rocks, brilliant lakes, and vibrant colors, create the classic image of Canadiana. Happily, it’s all real and it’s all accessible to visitors. And even better, it’s all value travel friendly, making this area one of Canada’s best when it comes to bang for your buck. And we think it's home to Ontario's best hiking trails.
Ryan and I know the area well. Ryan’s family is from the area and we’ve spent a lot of time here. Our favourite time to visit is during the fall, when the mosquitos are scarce and the autumn colors are incredible, but with a little planning you can enjoy these special hiking routes nearly year round (some even have winter accessibility for snow shoeing!) Here are our top choices:
Are hostel showers gross? No! Or, at the very least, usually not. This is what you need to know about showering in hostels.
I dare any traveler to come up with a better spa treatment than what I experienced in Italy. The country's polished marbles had nothing on my skin after a beautiful, yet breezy day at the beach in Finale Ligure. The salt spray, the repetitive layers of sunscreen and blown sand, finished with a hearty dose of sweat from climbing the 300 plus stairs up the hillside to my hostel made for the world's most powerful exfoliate. The hostel showers may have been humble that day but my skin has never felt so good!
I get why the issue of bathrooms and showers is a sensitive one to so many travelers. It's not just about being hygienic. It's also about the ritual of refreshment and relaxation that helps start and conclude a day. It can wash away a horrible day or, like my case in Italy, make a good day even better. And it just feels darn nice.
And that's probably why so many of my readers who want to try staying in hostels or budget accommodations for the first time (or are interested in giving them another shot after a long hiatus) are sheepishly and nervously asking...."Um..... How do I shower in a hostel?"
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