Highlights From Our Spectacular Portugal Road Trip

Highlights From Our Spectacular Portugal Road Trip

  We will never forget our honeymoon road trip across the USA, cruising around Costa Rica with the top down on our Jeep, winery hopping in Chianti region of France or gawking at the Fjords in Western Norway, having your own set of wheels adds a whole new sense of freedom while traveling. And Portugal was no exception.     While it is possible to reach some of the main cities by train, we much prefer the freedom of being able to go where you want, when you want, and there are plenty of spectacular destinations to explore throughout Portugal that would have been virtually impossible to get to without a car. We got fun little hatchback from economybookings.com which had more than enough umph to get us everywhere we needed to go. We’ll be diving into more depth about how to see and do the highlights in each of these locations yourself so stay tuned. Highlights From Our Spectacular Portugal Road Trip   Lisbon   Unfortunately, due to a mix up of our airline carrier, we arrived in Lisbon 36 hours later than we had planned. This gave us only about 3 hours to explore the country’s biggest city. So we headed straight for the best of the best, Belem, to see the Monument Of Discoveries, the enormous Monastery of Jeronimos and the Belem Tower. But not before a healthy serving of delicious Pasties de Belem.     Coimbra   Our next stop was for one purpose only, to eat at Ze Manel dos Ossos which turned out to be one of our favorite meals of the entire...
8 Things You Need To Know Before You Plan A Europe Road Trip

8 Things You Need To Know Before You Plan A Europe Road Trip

  We’re gearing up for our next adventure – a road trip through Portugal! We’ll be heading from Lisbon through the Douro Valley up to Ponte de Lima, and we couldn’t be more excited. This will be the start of our six weeks in Europe, so be sure you’re following us on Facebook and Instagram for live updates along the way. ;) Road trips are one of our favorite ways to explore a destination. While it’s undeniably easy to get around much of Europe with public transportation, having four wheels offers another level of freedom and flexibility, while also making off-the-beaten-track gems much more accessible. Portugal marks our fourth Europe road trip. While of course we’re not experts on what it’s like to drive through every country on the continent, we have picked up some essential tips and tricks from our various (mis)adventures on the road.     Don’t be like us and end up with an expensive ticket in Italy or a potential fine in Finland. Before you jump behind the wheel, here are a few handy tips you’ll want to keep in mind for your Europe road trip:   8 Tips For An Epic Europe Road Trip   1. Find The Right Car     Obviously, the first step to a Europe road trip is finding the right vehicle! When renting a car, keep in mind that most Europeans drive manual. If you’re not comfortable with a manual, be prepared to pay a bit more for an automatic. For our last two road trips, we partnered with Economy Bookings. They’ve got some of the most affordable rates...
5 of China’s Most Scenic Highways to Travel

5 of China’s Most Scenic Highways to Travel

    Today we’re excited to feature a guest post from China expert Josh Summers. Enjoy! 5 of China’s Most Scenic Highways to Travel   China is home to some of the most beautiful scenic landscapes in all the world and one of the best ways to view them is on China’s most scenic highways. Unfortunately, the majority of travelers tend to pass by this scenery from 30,000 feet or from the dirty window of a fast-moving train. While on the open highway, it’s hard not to stop and admire the view. Mind you, this doesn’t mean the highway is easy to travel! Some are full of potholes while others have switchbacks that could make even the most seasoned of travelers get sick. Regardless, these are far and away 5 of China’s most scenic highways of them all.     #1 The “Over Water” Highway in Hebei     For almost 7 kilometers, this highway follows the curves of the Xingshan valley in China’s Hubei province. A journey that used to take over an hour along steep cliffs and narrow passages now takes less than 20 minutes. The highway is part of a system that connects two of China’s largest cities – Shanghai on the east coast with Chengdu in the southwest. Originally engineers had thought about blasting holes through the mountains to create tunnels but instead decided to build over the water. The result is an engineering feat with unbelievably scenic views.     #2 Henan Mountain-Carved Highway     The Guoliang Tunnel in China’s Henan province is only 1.2 kilometers long, but what it lacks in length...
The Ultimate Way to See New Zealand: A Camper Van Road Trip

The Ultimate Way to See New Zealand: A Camper Van Road Trip

I was studying in Australia when some friends and I decided to take a 10-day trip around the south island of New Zealand. We had never taken a trip together and all had different ideas about what we wanted to do and see. But once we started researching all the amazing experiences New Zealand has to offer, we knew there was only one way to see it. We were going to embark an epic road trip.   Our journey started in Christchurch when our plane arrived after dark. We hired a campervan with DriveNow and stopped for the night on the side of the road. The convenience of New Zealand is that there is plenty of wild and open space; you are unlikely to be bothered if you hunker down on the side of the road outside of town for the night. With no tour group to follow and no hard-pressed itinerary, we had the freedom to go just about wherever we wanted, whenever we wanted. Here are some of the highlights from our road trip around New Zealand.   McArthur’s Pass The trip started a bit bleary. On our first day we drove through a blanket of fog. My mind kept going back to the photos I had drooled over before our trip began. I had seen the pictures (and Lord of the Rings), but unfortunately, all I could see now was mist. But then, all of the sudden, it was as if the sky decided to open a curtain. The fog gave way and we immediately stopped the car. What we were viewing was unbelievably gorgeous. California’s...

Pittsburgh: Road Trip Closes, Airport Gates Open

If you read any of our posts about San Diego, Napa Valley, or Portland and Seattle, it was probably pretty obvious that we were having a splendid time exploring the West Coast. But there is one thing all those great places lack, and that’s family :-) Our last few stops of the road trip were spent visiting all our relatives dotting the East Coast before finally touching down in the Peak of Good Living, otherwise known as Apex, North Carolina. The first of these family-stops was Pittsburgh, which will always hold a special place in my heart. When I was in seventh grade my Aunt and Uncle, Dan and Patsy, flew me up to their home and took great care of me for a week. It was my first time on a plane, and I’m pretty sure that it sparked some of the travel bug I’m so infected with now. For years I was telling people that Pittsburgh was my favorite city in the whole world. Of course, this was before I had really been to any great cities anywhere in the world, but that was completely irrelevant at the time. Luckily, this visit to Pittsburgh did not disappoint, due largely in part to the great hospitality Dan and Patsy showed us. Our first stop in Pittsburgh was the classic Duquesne Incline. Voted by USA Today as one of the top ten sites in the world for viewing a cityscape, the incline offers a magnificent birds-eye view of Downtown and The Point, where the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers converge to form the Ohio River. With such an astonishing view comes...