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The Fun and Easy Way to Travel – E-Bikes



Traveling by bike has always been one of the best ways to get around. Whether you are traveling locally or visiting a different country, biking enables you to cover more ground and see as many sights in a short amount of time. The concept of biking has often eluded many people because there is an idea that it requires a certain level of physical fitness. However, this is all about to change with the advent of e-bikes, or electric bikes.

What are E-Bikes?

E-bikes are short for electric bikes, which is equipped with a battery-powered assist that is activated when you pedal. This product has grown in popularity over recent years such that many cyclists have adopted its use (versus traditional bikes). The presence of a battery-powered assist feature is partly the reason for its growth in popularity. This makes it easy to handle especially when you are ascending on a hill or if you are tired from biking. Once activated, the battery-powered assist will spring the bike into action so you can continue moving even with little to no effort on the biker’s part.

This transportation tool has provided an excellent solution for holidaymakers or those who simply want to travel via bike. It offers the benefits of regular cycling but without the need to exert a tremendous amount of effort. This is made possible by the introduction of new technology that makes your biking experience easier and more convenient. And yet, it will be hard to tell the difference between an e-bike versus a traditional bike, except for the slight humming that the former produces when you are riding it.

Benefits of Traveling with E-Bikes

There are plenty of transportation options available when you travel. But why is choosing to travel with e-bikes a great idea? The following are some of the reasons that will explain that and will convince you to choose this mode of transportation, as well.

  • Assisted Pedal – Manually pedaling a bike is fun when you are traveling for a short distance. However, it can be challenging when you have to travel for a longer distance or at varying terrains. The assisted biking feature of e-bikes makes it suitable for individuals who are not so fit, or for older individuals that lack the strength or endurance. The battery-powered pedal assist is integrated into the design of the bike so you can get a boost when pedaling. People of all ages and fitness levels can bike for an extended period of time, thanks to this technology!
  • Increase Physical Activity – Due to the assisted biking capabilities, the use of e-bikes encourages more physical activity. Cycling is more enjoyable. And as such, you are more likely to cycle as a result of that! It is a fun yet easy way to integrate more physical activity into your daily routine, or even when you are traveling.
  • Eco-Friendly – If you are an eco-conscious traveler or want to do so more sustainably, then traveling with e-bikes is one way to do that. Climate change and global warming are hot topics that had been plaguing the environment for many years now. Small acts you do can contribute towards that cause. For eco-conscious travelers, e-bikes is definitely the number one choice of transportation.
  • Widely Available – As e-bikes are becoming more common, it is easy to find e-bike rentals wherever you are in the world. In fact, e-bikes have become the standard for travel in many European countries. When you go on holiday, you can easily find tour options that provide e-bikes as an alternative option for traveling. But it will only become a matter of time until they are no longer viewed as an alternative but rather the primary way to get around.
  • Highly Efficient – Instead of renting a car when you travel, e-bikes provide a highly efficient way to get around and see as many sights as possible. Looking for parking spots can be troublesome and paying for parking fees can easily add up your travel cost. But when you opt for an e-bike, it is easy to find a parking spot and you no longer have to cover the cost of parking fees.

Activities and Ideas with E-Bikes

Cycling holidays are a niche in the travel and tourism industry that is slowly but surely gaining traction. Indeed, there are many fun ideas and tour activities that you can explore using e-bikes as the primary mode of transportation. It first started out in Europe but it is only a matter of time until e-bike tours become the norm in other parts of the world, as well.

Touring with e-bikes include a variety of activities such as sightseeing through plains and the countryside, visiting vineyards, and checking out historical sights. You can use it to go on food tours to try out regional cuisine. Traveling with an e-bike lets you travel at your own pace and enjoy the views for longer.

The post The Fun and Easy Way to Travel – E-Bikes appeared first on Travel Experta – Family Travel Blog.

By: Marina Villatoro
Title: The Fun and Easy Way to Travel – E-Bikes
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Published Date: Thu, 10 Sep 2020 18:01:55 +0000

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Would you dare baptism in the Devil’s Bathtub?




Close my eyes and count to three as I anticipate to dive into the deep, ice cold pool of water – The Devil’s Bathtub, located in Southwest Virginia. Jumping in is not recommended for the faint of heart. I stare into the aquamarine abyss and question the life choices that led me to this.

Deciding if I have the courage to jump into the Devil’s Bathtub. Photo by Maddie Luchsinger.

The Devil’s Bathtub is a place that no person can stay for very long – it is wicked in the way its cold can take the breath away of the people who dare to jump in. It is the type of cold that sucks the breath right out of your lungs and frightens every skin cell of your body. It is a bathtub-sized pool that is, perhaps, 25 feet deep, full of the fresh spring water falling off the mountains. You’ve hiked 2.5 miles up a mountains, crossing a river 17 times. Your muscles are sore. So jump into the Devil’s Bathtub and find out what happens when you dunk them in ice.

After I was baptized by the Devil in southwest Virginia, I felt cold for days. It was a deeply guttural coldness, like I was thawing slowly from the inside out.

Swimming in the Devil's BathtubPhoto by Maddie Luchsinger

In all the time I’ve spent exploring the world, there are only one of a handful of times I can remember being this cold – in the middle of the night, camping in the desert in North Central Mexico. I was there on a church trip, to build houses in the slums of Tijuana. This was something the church of my youth did a lot in the 1990s/2000s – took groups to do manual labor rural parts of Mexico. That year, in the desert of Baja California, El Nino brought on exceptional rains that flooded our campsite and soaked my belongings. The temperatures at night would reach just above freezing, and the lumber that kept our campfires roaring was wet and ineffective. I have this memory of huddling around the dwindling embers of a dying campfire, desperate to get warm, under a deep sea of stars. I remember feeling like I would never feel warm again.

The second time I’ve felt that cold was whitewater rafting the Upper Youghegheny River in Upper Pennsylvania in the early spring. My group spent the entire weekend camping in a pouring rainstorm, on 50 degree days, and then rafted a flood-stage river of class IV-V rapids. I fell out twice, and swam down a class IV+ rapid called the Meat Cleaver. I remember feeling cold for days after, and vowing to never go whitewater rafting again.

When I jumped into the Devil’s Bathtub, these were the memories that came flooding in. This was a uniquely painful kind of cold. And the thing that was so devilish about it – it was an enjoyable pain.

Maybe I’ve cursed myself, jumping into the Devil’s Bathtub. but in 2020, who can tell the difference?


Devil's Bathtub Trailhead Duffield VAPhoto by Maddie Luchsinger

How to find the Devil’s Bathtub

At the end of Highway 619 just outside of Duffield, Virginia. Duffield is located less than 2 hours from Knoxville, about an hour North of Kingston, Tennessee.

This is a popular hike with an established parking lot at the trailhead. Hikers can choose to go left when the trailhead splits for a 4 mile roundtrip journey to the Devil’s Bathtub, or take a right for a 7-mile loop through the mountains. The trail is clearly marked with a yellow square tag.

Plan for the trail to take an hour per mile, and wear shoes that can get wet. You have to hike across a river 17 times, and you are almost certain to get wet. There are a few areas of treacherous terrain and sharp drops, so keep an eye on young children and dogs at all times.

The hike can be found near Duffield, Virginia, about an hour north of Kingston, TN. I recommend camping at Natural Tunnel State Park, less than an hour away. NTSP has a well maintained and safe campground, good for car campers or RV tows.

Natural Tunnel is a rock formation that has naturally formed in the mountains, created a naturally carved train tunnel. The park offers a fun chairlift to the bottom, a fun activity for families or tired hikers.

Title: Would you dare baptism in the Devil’s Bathtub?
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Published Date: Wed, 23 Sep 2020 16:15:00 +0000

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Rediscover the San Juan Islands: Adventure-seekers will love this Northwest destination.




The journey starts with either a ferry or a floatplane—there are no bridges to the San Juans Islands. Leave stress behind as you board in Anacortes and set sail on the marine segment of the San Juan Islands Scenic Byway. You can relax, you’re on island time now.

The San Juan archipelago in Washington State is nestled between three great cities for visitors – Seattle, Vancouver B.C., and Victoria B.C., surrounded by the Salish Sea. Of the 172 named islands in the San Juans, three of them – Lopez, Orcas, and San Juan – have accommodations, attractions, and amenities for visitors.

The archipelago is blessed with a temperate marine climate and life in the “rain shadow” of the Olympic Mountains means an average of 247 days with sunshine annually and about half the rainfall of the Seattle area. San Juan County has more than 400 miles of shoreline punctuated by rocks, bluffs and beaches.

The arts, historic preservation and environmental stewardship flourish in the Islands. San Juan County is considered an “Arts Hot Spot” by the Washington State Arts Commission for the number of artists and galleries in the islands. It is also the first county in the USA to be designated a voluntary “Leave No Trace” area. Friday Harbor on San Juan Island, the archipelago’s only incorporated town, was named a Destination of Distinction by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

No matter your style of vacation, you’re bound to find it in the San Juan Islands. For nature enthusiasts, there’s world-class wildlife watching including orcas, humpback whales, bald eagles, Steller sea lions, and red foxes. And there’s a variety of ways to see it: along a network of waterfront hiking trails, from shoreline parks, from tour boats and private vessels.

For adventure seekers, beautiful landscapes and a calm inland sea make the San Juans a prime sea kayaking spot. Paddle your own kayak or set out with one of the many knowledgeable kayaking outfitters on San Juan, Orcas, or Lopez Island for three-hour to three-day tours.

For foodies, find quality local products, and experience the sense of community shared by island chefs, growers, winemakers, distillers, brewers, and other agricultural artisans. Some local farms even offer stays for guests who want to get up close and personal to the islands’ bounty.

If art’s your thing, you’ll find a gem in the San Juan Islands Museum of Art, with three to four first class exhibitions a year. The San Juan Islands Sculpture Park at 20-acres is one of the largest outdoor sculpture parks in the Pacific Northwest.

Humpback calf ‘Slate’ breaching by Jeff Friedman

Find variety, beauty, serenity … day after amazing day.

As we navigate the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, we are following the guidelines set by the Washington State Department of Health and Governor Inslee’s office. San Juan County is currently in a modified Phase 2 of Inslee’s “Safe Start” plan. Accommodations are open at 100%, and restaurants vary between curbside pickup, delivery, and limited indoor and outdoor seating. Face coverings are required to enter all businesses and public spaces.

Editor’s Note: we are working with local tourism boards to highlight destinations that are ready for tourists. Given the ever-evolving situation on COVID-19, please make sure you check the tourism website for the most up-to-date planning information.

From Nature to Nurture the San Juan Islands provide inspiration for the senses (

Title: Rediscover the San Juan Islands: Adventure-seekers will love this Northwest destination.
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Published Date: Tue, 22 Sep 2020 15:18:00 +0000

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This interactive map shows where you can (or can’t) travel in the US




In an effort to make traveling easier, United Airlines has developed an interactive map tool that allows customers to filter and view destinations’ COVID-19-related travel restrictions in the US. The Destination Travel Guide provides a color-coded map to highlight if a destination is closed, partially open or fully open for travel, and notes if tests or self-quarantining are required for travel.

The guide currently highlights travel restrictions and leisure offerings in the US by state, and will expand to include all international destinations the airline serves in the coming weeks. Users can click on each state to view local regulations and travel guidances, and there is also the option to filter the map by state to view specific information on each destination. This information includes the medical certificate needed, such as a negative COVID-19 test, physical distancing measures and whether wearing a mask in public is required. It also outlines the visitor accommodation, restaurants, bars and cafés, museum and heritage sites and non-essential shops that are open.

The interactive map tool that allows customers to filter and view destinations © United Airlines

“We know it’s a challenge to keep up with the ever-changing list of travel restrictions, policies and regulations so we are offering a simple, easy tool that helps customers decide where to travel next,” said Linda Jojo, executive vice president for technology and chief digital officer. “By providing the most up-to-date information on the destinations we serve, customers can compare and shop for travel with greater confidence and help them find the destinations that best fit their preferences.

Check out the new interactive map tool on here or on the United mobile app.

Lockdowns are easing globally as the planet adjusts to a new normal. Find out how COVID-19 is changing travel.

Title: This interactive map shows where you can (or can’t) travel in the US
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Published Date: Thu, 10 Sep 2020 15:36:58 +0000

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