Hans Christian Andersen once wrote, “to travel is to live”. He could not have been more correct as travel opens your world to all new experiences, places, and people.
Travel has changed over the last 20 years as Millennials have got older and effected the industry.
Travel is no longer about going to a destination and staying in a hotel and sightseeing. Today, travel is about experiencing a destination and becoming a part of it. Luckily, there are some amazing, too die for travel experiences to be a part of at least once in your lifetime.
Heli-skiing in Alaska
Do you love the rush of cold air and snow as you slalom down ski slopes? Have you ever tried skiing fresh powder after jumping out of a helicopter? Well, what are you waiting for?
Heli-skiing has been labeled as a life changing experience and who are we to argue with. Alaska’s Girdwood offers up an ultimate heli-skiing experience for anyone bold enough to try it. The Western Chugach Mountains overlook the Pacific Ocean and are a beautiful sight to slalom towards once leaping out of a helicopter.
The gigantic mountains and steep slopes will get the heart pumping and adrenaline flowing. Cascade down the fresh powder and navigate the mountains’ unique terrain. Heli-skiing in Alaska is certainly one extreme travel experience you will never forget.
Girdwood heli-skiing trips start at $1,375 for a full-day of excitement for the 2020 ski season. There are a variety of packages travelers can purchase to experience the mountains.
Cruise down the Pacific Coast Highway
The Pacific Coast Highway runs the length of California from north to south and overlooks the Pacific Ocean with some of the most breathtaking views in the world. The highway winds around coastal bends, through hills and valleys, and provides stop-offs at quaint California towns.
It takes 15 hours to complete the Pacific Coast Highway route from end to end. But why would you want to drive through it non-stop? The 590-mile route begins in San Francisco and ends in San Diego, two of California’s most unique and charming cities. Big Sur, Los Angeles, and Santa Barbara are just three of the cities you will pass through on the drive.
Some of the most popular attractions along the Pacific Coast Highway are the wineries and vineyards that have grown up around it. Travelers often stop at the wineries to take tours, sample locally produced wine, and stay at the bed and breakfast establishments that welcome tourists from all over the globe.
Once you reach your final destination, whether it be San Francisco or San Diego, you will find some of the best shopping and dining in the world in one place.
Norwegian Fjord Cruise
There are around 1,190 fjords in Norway and many of these inlets surrounded by steep cliffs can be experienced via cruise. Norway is a beautiful country that is known for being one of the most remote in Europe. The country’s natural scenery is breathtaking and it attracts visitors from all over the world each year looking to sample its outdoors.
A fjord cruise allows you to experience Norway’s natural beauty first hand. From a luxury cruise ship, you will see quaint villages, lush forests, and waterfalls. Fjord cruises also take in the local mountains and glaciers that surround the waterways.
Depending on the time of year you cruise, you may also experience the Aurora Borealis during a Norwegian fjord adventure. The Northern Lights are one of the most sought-after travel experiences for visitors who go to Scandinavia in winter time. There aren’t many experiences more romantic than watching the Aurora Borealis while cruising through a Norwegian fjord.
The Glacier Express is known as the slowest express train in the world. In fact, there is nothing speedy about this scenic train that takes you through the center of the Swiss Alps. The Glacier Express connects the Zermatt and St. Moritz Resorts in Switzerland and takes travelers through mountain tunnels and over fear inducing bridges.
The journey takes up to eight hours to complete but that is fine as you will be able to sit in your seat ($153 for a second-class ticket one-way, $268 for a first-class ticket one-way) and take in the views. The Glacier Express travels over 291 bridges. Each bridge spans across a gorge hundreds of feet below.
There are 91 tunnels that allow the train to barrel through toward its final destination at one of the two resorts. One of the most impressive points on the Glacier Express route is the Oberalp Pass. It is ideal for pictures to post on your Instagram page.
Hike Mount Kilimanjaro
Mount Everest made headlines around the world in 2019 for the long lines of people trying to climb it. While many adventure seekers eye Mount Everest as the ultimate climbing experience, Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro offers its own challenges to climbers.
Mount Kilimanjaro sees around 30,000 climbers attempt to summit it each year. Just because the number of climbers is higher than Mount Everest’s figure of 1,000 per year, it doesn’t mean the African mountain is any less dangerous. Ten climbers per year die trying to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.
Climbers can choose from seven main routes on Mount Kilimanjaro. The number of options means there is less likely to be long lines and congestion going up the mountain like Mount Everest experienced this year.
Routes can take five days to two weeks to complete. Each route is more of a hike and traditional rock climbing isn’t needed to summit Mount Kilimanjaro. Explorers will need to have good physical fitness if they expect to complete one of the routes to reach the top of the mountain.
There are a number of companies offering Mount Kilimanjaro climbs with varying prices. One of the best recommendations is to shop around to find a tour company that has plenty of experience summiting the mountain.
Journalist and author. Contributor