A scenic hour and a half drive to the west of Calgary leads one to the most popular national park in the world. Banff National Park is one of Canada’s oldest national park, and was established as a national park in 1887, and occupies 2,564 square miles along the east side of the Rocky Mountains. The park is composed of mountainous terrain, complete with glaciers, alpine meadows, emerald lakes and a dense coniferous forest. Everywhere you look is like looking at a picture-perfect postcard. Aside from the towns of Banff and Lake Louise, it is about 93% untouched wilderness.
A visit to Banff National Park means an exploration of the grandeur of the Canadian Rockies and its pristine white surroundings. It also offers experiences in winter adventure, wildlife and a true mountain lifestyle
.The Canadian Rockies are unarguably one of the most extravagantly beautiful mountain ranges on Earth. The mountains and the vast stretches of wilderness that make up the birthplace of Canada’s first national park offer stunning sceneries of glaciers, lakes, valleys, and snow-capped mountain peaks. Animals such as deer and elk can be observed at all seasons.
Just some of the things to do here: a diverse mountain terrain in Banff National Park is the perfect backdrop for hiking, biking & strolling. Once you get tired from all these outdoor physical activities, you can relax and dip yourself into the soothing natural waters of its outdoor hot springs. You can choose from its 1,600 kilometers of glorious alpine trails for hikes amongst beautiful alpine meadows, the most famous of which is the Sunshine Meadow. You can cruise Lake Minnewanka or canoe yourself to the far shores of Lake Louise.
Noted for its beauty, diversity of its plant and animal wildlife, and ongoing geological processes, the Banff National Park became part of the UNESCO World Heritage site in 1984.
Are you travelling solo but on the look out to meeting new friends along the way? You don’t have to go through it alone, you know. There are many ways to meet people to enrich the travel experience. For many backpackers, meeting fellow travelers is one of the highlights of the travel adventure. While you may have to share a bathroom with complete strangers, the benefits that comes with it are priceless, starting with the opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals on the road.
Here are some tips to meet new people while travelling:
Book into a hostel, not a hotel. Why book a dorm bed in a hostel when you can have a nice private room just for yourself? Because doing so encourages you to talk to people, for one. You get a chance to know the other guests in the hostel. At the very least, ask your fellow travelers where they are from and where they’re going. Sometimes, before you know it, you will end up traveling together after chatting for a few minutes. It’s something that naturally happens in a hostel.
Go local. Book a room in a house or a bed-and-breakfast through Airbnb. Staying in someone else’s house allows you to connect with another person beyond ‘here are your keys’ and ‘checkout time is at 12noon’. Another great site is couchsurfing as a budget-friendly option. Backpackers can stay in couches or spare rooms offered by their local hosts for free, in exchange for gifts, a cooked meal, or friendly conversations.
Connect online. For the adventurous and the extroverts, you can get a start and post your travel itinerary on TravBuddy. This social site allows you to connect with fellow travelers, and do a little bit of research on your destination.
Be open. Making new friends on the road requires openness. When you’re in an international environment, there’s really no place for judgment. It broadens your mind and allows you to interact with other people without biases.
Carrying a lot of luggage when travelling is impractical these days. After all, airlines charge hefty fees for each bag checked in on a domestic flight, ranging from $15 to $100. Gone are the days when you pack every item of clothing that you own for your vacation. A lot of people have come up with ways on how to pack light, and the ideal bag is one that has a combined length, width and depth of 60 inches; this is what most airlines will allow for carry-ons, which you stow in the overhead storage bin. So how do you pack it all in in one bag? Here are a couple of tips:
Have a small pack of detergent with you and spare 10 minutes each night to wash your socks, underwear, and shirts in your hotel room, in order to save up a lot of space. Wash your personal stuff in the shower, roll it into a towel, and then squeeze out the excess water before hanging it to dry.
Pick out clothes that can serve double or triple duty. The skinny black jeans that you wear on day hikes can easily pass as dress slacks for dinner, when paired with a nice sweater or blazer. For women, a wrap dress is an all-purpose, fool-proof get-up for both casual and formal occasions. An oversized T-shirt can double as a nightgown and a beach cover-up. Make sure that everything in your travel wardrobe matches everything else, to increase the number of mix-and-match options.
Think miniature. Don’t waste precious space in your toiletries bag with full-sized containers of shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste and lotions. You can use sample sizes of your favorites, or decant some of them into a set of small bottles. If you need to take along a computer, leave your laptop at home and travel with a lightweight notebook or tablet instead.