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Stay Injury Free on Your Next Adventure

You’ve been looking forward to your next adventure for quite some time, and the last thing you want is for something to get in the way of your enjoying it fully. So, here are a few tips to make sure you get the most out of your active trip, feeling fit throughout and staying injury free.

  1. Start a training program before you depart
  • If you’ve been a bit slack with the good ol’ cardio, and strength training lately, it’s a good idea to start getting some regular exercise before you head off. Ideally give yourself at least 2 months before you leave to feel the most benefits.
  • If you’re dealing with aches and pains or old injures, perhaps contact a personal trainer for specialized advice and they can also help to encourage you along while building the perfect training program for your fitness level.
  • Also, remember to train for your specific trip. If you’re going on a biking trip, get biking! If you’re going hiking, get hiking! If you want to get better at an activity, the more practice you you have at it, the better. Our bodies adapt to the demand we put on them. So, start challenging yourself!
  1. Warm Up
  • Before you head off on any activity, it’s a good idea to warm up your muscles and joints and prepare your body for the activity ahead.
  • A dynamic warm up is best as it will will increase blood flow to your muscles, tendons and ligaments, and enhance elasticity of these tissues to reduce the risk of injury.
  • Ideally, spend 5-10 minutes warming up. A great warm up would including going for a short walk to feel your heart rate rise slightly. Then, add some dynamic stretching where you prepare your whole body for movement. Good examples would be doing arms circles and torso rotations, leg swings back to front and side to side, walking with high knees and butt kicks, body weighted squats and lunges, and jumping jacks.
  1. Hydrate and Fuel
  • Water is your best friend. Make sure you drink enough water throughout the day.  Remember that at the time you feel thirsty you’re body is already a little hydrated so sip on your water throughout the day.
  • Pack an “emergency” energy bar for your day’s activities, to avoid dehydrations, cramp, low blood sugar, and dizziness, and to as a way to keep your energy up.
  • Even when your activity is finished, keep rehydrating, as this will set you up for the following day.
  1. Stretch
  • Stretching is an integral part to staying fit, healthy and injury free. Spending just 5-10 minutes stretching after a full day of activities can help relieve post-exercise aches and pains, and decrease muscle stiffness.
  • With flexible muscles you’ll have greater range of motion in your joints, and you’re less likely to become injured.

Stretch your US Dollar Further in these Destinations

It always feels great when your dollar goes far while on vacation. So, here’s our hand-picked list of places to consider for your  next vacation. With a strengthening US dollar against these local currencies, it has never been a better time to plan your next adventure.  


Brazil Adventure Tour

Brazil is becoming a bargain leading up to the Rio 2016 Olympics. 
It’s never been a better time to make your plans to visit Rio de Janiero, or anywhere in Brazil for that matter. 

Brazil’s currency, the Real, has been significantly losing value against the US dollar over the last year. That means places like Rio and Sao Paulo are cheaper than ever to visit right now.

As of mid September 2015, 1 USD converted at 1USD : 3.92 BRL compared to to 1 USD : 2.32 BRL mid September 2014. 

That’s a 67% increase in the value of the US dollar in Brazil over the last 12 months.

However, you may want to start thinking about booking Brazil now, while you can lock in the best rates, as prices are likely to begin soaring again by springtime when everyone starts booking their Summer 2016 Olympics travel.



Europe travel is providing surprising value again these days, especially in Greece. However, other countries worth noting are Ireland, Croatia and Macedonia. These countries offer travellers exceptional landscapes, culture and cuisine while allowing your dollar to go quite far each day. 

The Euro (Greece and Ireland) has been losing value against the US dollar over the last year. As of mid September 2015, 1 USD converted at 1USD : 0.88 EUR compared to 1 USD : 0.78 EUR mid September 2014. That’s a 13% increase in the value of the US dollar against the Euro over the last 12 months.

The Croatian Kuna has also lost value to the US dollar. As of mid September 2015, 1 USD converted at 1USD : 6.7 HRK compared to 1 USD : 5.93 MKD mid September 2014. That’s a 13% increase in the value of the US dollar against the Denar over the last 12 months.

The Macedonian Denar has also lost value to the US dollar. As of mid September 2015, 1 USD converted at 1USD : 54 MKD compared to 1 USD : 47 MKD mid September 2014. That’s a 15% increase in the value of the US dollar against the Denar over the last 12 months.

So, now is a good time to start planning your Europe vacation for next spring or summer while you can lock in such great deals with a strong US dollar!


vietnam adventure travel

Southeast Asia travel has always provided great value, but with a strong US dollar these already affordable destinations make it an even better time to explore the landscapes, culture and cuisine Southeast Asia has to offer!

As of mid September 2015, 1 USD converted at 1USD : 22,500 VND compared to 1 USD : 21,180 VND mid September 2014. That’s a 6% increase in the value of the US dollar in Vietnam over the last 12 months.

Countries such as Vietnam offer an internationally acceptable high standard of accommodation, some of which are even quite luxurious by North American standards, and this country is also great destinations for shopping. In fact, many people go to Hanoi for its beautiful tailors and designers where you can buy exceptional, custom designed clothing for a great price.

Morocco, a lesson in disconnecting to connect

It’s incredible how disconnected we can become in our everyday lives, despite our obsession with “staying connected.” How many times today have you looked around you — at home, on the metro, out for dinner — only to find everyone around fixated on the glowing screen of smart devices? The answer is rather scary, isn’t it? 
We were chatting about this point around the BikeHike office the other day, and we started to ask ourselves when was the last time we felt disconnected from all our devices and when, if ever, we have found any refuge from all that technological “noise.” It took a while for us to come up with a moment. We’re all as guilty as the next person of being a bit too reliant on, and attached to, our devices.


Meghan, BikeHike’s Operations Manager  spoke about her time on BikeHike’s Walking Safari with the Nomads trip in Morocco a few years ago. On that tour, she spent an entire week living with a nomadic Ait Atta (Berber) family, following along with them on their semi-annual migration. With their vast herd of animals, the family moves up into the cooler Atlas Mountains every spring and then down into the Sahara during the winter months. She explained that this group of people — the Ait Atta — had beautifully simple life priorities. Despite being constantly on the move, the tribe’s lifestyle is built on a very solid foundation — of spending quality time with one another and sharing as a family. Each day began with the herd’s beautiful cacophony — sheep, goats, camels and donkeys — signalling that the sun was rising. Before disassembling the camp and herding the flock onward, the family enjoyed breakfast together. By around noon each day, the family would gather together again around another meal before tending to any chores related to setting up camp. Later that night, after some time to relax, the family came together once again for a three-course meal, enjoying each other’s smiles, laughter and company as the sun set on the day. In the evenings after dinner, the whole group would gather together around the fire. As Meghan sat around the fire with the family, snacking on almonds and spicy tagines, everyone took turns telling stories about life. Imagine that: spending time actually connecting with the people around, and hearing stories every night rather than solitarily reading headlines or status updates. In those jovial moments around the crackling fire in Morocco, the only glow in sight was that of the fire and the moon.

Meghan describes that Berber family as one of the happiest, warmest and strongest families she has ever had the pleasure of meeting. It seems they survive quite nicely away from technology, as did Meghan during her week with them.

Trish, BikeHike’s Founder/Director, recalls a similar time in Morocco when she disconnected from the rate race for a few days. One thing she doesn’t like to disconnect from for too long though is getting in the saddle and riding her bike. So, not so surprisingly, her memories of Morocco are from her time spent on the  Biking the High Atlas to the Sahara tour.  And despite having had a myriad of wonderful experiences on that trip, her most luxurious memory of the trip was her overall feeling of being happily disconnected from the technology grind.

So, we hope you found a little bit of inspiration in these stories from Morocco, a destination we find offers a number of experiences that are simply unparalleled.

5 Ways to Experience Dubrovnik Like a Local

What better way to get to know a destination than as a local?
Next time you’re in Dubrovnik, here are a few ways you can get off the tourist trail to authentically meet more of the locals.

Dubrovnik Old City

1. Enjoy the Local Outdoor Markets

Gundulic Square has a thriving morning market filled with fruits, vegetables, flowers, crafts and more. This is not a tourist’s market. This is very much a local’s market. And who knows, in this friendly setting, you may even make friends with a few locals who can tell you even more about their city.

2. People Watch at Luza Square

Luza Square is the local meeting spot for locals and tourists alike. The square is bustling with people day and night as historic Sponza Palace, St Blaise Church, and city Bell Tower are all central to the square. Find a bench to sit on or a patch of a wall to lean against, and you’ll blend right in with the local scene as you let the streets scenes pass you by. People-watching truly seems to be a favorite local pastime here as well.

3. Hike Mount Srd & Picnic Overlooking Dubrovnik

Rather than piling into a high priced touristy restaurant, why not pack a picnic lunch by stocking up on fruits and cheeses at the local market and head out for a picnic lunch. There are a number of small supermarkets around the main square where you can pick up any other items you may need to round out your meal. You can take your picnic with you to the top of Mount Srd. At 413 meters above the city, it offers the most spectacular panorama view over Dubrovnik. The hike to the top takes about 90 minutes so you’ll have earned your picnic lunch by the time you get to the top. To get back down, you can opt to take the newly restored communist-era cable car, for small fee.

4. Embrace the Coastal Life in a Kayak

Many Croatians living on the coast maintain an active outdoor lifestyle that includes regularly kayaking out to the local islands. A typical kayak trip out to Lokrum Island involves paddling past cliff caves as well as Dubrovnik’s stunning city walls.

5. Spend a Day at the Beach

If you’d rather just laze around in the sun, Banje Beach is where Dubrovnik’s beach culture lives. It’s a bit like Sydney’s Bondi Beach, minus the surfing. So this is where you’ll find as many locals as you will tourists bathing in the Adriatic’s sparkling waters or bask in the Dalmatian sun. This beach is located right next to the old town, so it’s very central, and there’s also a bar and restaurant directly at the beach.


If you love travel as much as we do here, you likely want to find ways to be able to do more of it while also making the most of every single trip. And so many of us have been gravitating towards travel rewards credit cards to help us do just that. From earning rewards to be used toward more travel to offering trip protection with travel cancellation, interruption and medical insurance, many of these cards propose they can do it all for us.

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Flickr: frankieleon

Through the years since these cards first appeared, travel rewards cards have become so common though that every bank and airline out there seems to be offering one…and it’s often difficult to know precisely which one to choose.

Our experience has taught us that the best travel credit card is the one that best covers all of your bases, giving you the best points for your use on your particular area of travel interest while protecting you wherever, and for however long, you need travel insurance protection. So, the best travel card for me may not be the same as what may be best for you. The key is to investigate the card’s precise coverage and compare it to your precise needs.

Here’s the low-down of the areas we consider important when evaluating the usefulness of a travel reward credit card.


If you are picking a card based on points, there’s a plethora of options out there for every type of travel reward imaginable. So, it really depends on how you want to use your points…

We tend to spend our points on flight tickets or airline upgrades, which in our experience have been the best two ways to use travel points. So, with that in mind, here are a few of the most rewarding travel credit cards that seem to accrue airline points at a favourable rate. These cards generally allow travellers to collect points that can be used to book travel not only with the same airline but also with airlines within the same airline alliance. When you are picking a card for its flight ticket rewards, pick a card that most favourably rewards you for the airline flights within the precise region you travel most. So, ask yourself where you would want to be spending those points on tickets and calculate how quickly you’ll accrue the points needed to get that reward ticket.  

Another very important point to consider if you are a frequent international traveller is whether or not the card charges a foreign transaction fee. This fee is charged whenever you use your card abroad, and the amounts can really add up. So, the cards we’ve listed here to not have foreign transactions fees (based on our research).

(There are certainly many more travel card options than just those cards listed here. These are simply a few of the top cards we’ve noticed as having some really good options.)

For Americans:

United Airlines Mileage Plus Visa (Chase)
AAdvantage Executive Credit Card  (American Airlines)

Delta Reserve Credit Card

For Canadians:

TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card


If you are like most people, you’ve likely only given your credit card’s insurance policy a cursory glance… But, if you are relying on a card for its travel insurance coverage, remember to read the fine print and thoroughly investigate what it covers.

Here are some of the areas to investigate throughly when choosing a travel reward credit card for its travel insurance:

1) Most credit card policies include multiple exclusions for what the travel insurance will cover. In fact, a number of activities and sports may not be covered by the card issuer’s travel insurance policy, so before planning any travel vacation make sure ALL of your planned activities are covered before you rely on your credit card’s insurance policy.

2) If you have any pre-existing medical conditions, be sure to check your card’s policy for coverage details in this area. Many cards are strict about coverage for events related to any pre-existing or chronic conditions. So, this is an area to investigate thoroughly before relying on your card’s policy before any trip.

3) The insured trip duration varies from card to card. The average is usually 15 days, but this is another point you want to confirm before relying on the coverage. Also, for major international trips such as treks and safaris you want to make sure that the entire time you are away from home is covered. Many times, travellers going on trips to places such a Kilimanjaro, Nepal or Peru are out of the country longer than 15 days when you factor in the actual travel days. Fortunately, many cards allow you to upgrade the number of days covered, but again, this is something you want to diligently confirm with your card issuer.

4) If you are relying on your card’s travel insurance for cancellation protection or any coverage related to travel delays, you usually have to have actually booked the trip with that credit card, including any booking deposits that you may have placed on a trip. This is a point we’ve noticed some people forget. So, again, make sure you check your coverage before and while planning a trip so that you ensure you are covered for everything for which you want to be covered.