6 reasons to road trip in the off-season

As we make our way South in our 71’ VW Van from Minnesota to conquer 2,700 miles of the Great River Road along the Mississippi to Louisiana, one thing remains very evident. We are very alone. Perhaps we won some sort of road trip lottery where we get to be ushered through as VIP road trippers, but we’re starting to become accustomed to it and felt the need to share the wealth.

1. The weather is actually on your side.

I’m not going to sugar coat it. It’s not that ‘top down’ convertible epic road trip type of season. We’ve been lucky to have a few days where we’ve rolled our windows down a few inches just to air out the van.

However, the weather is the absolute magical time for making bonfires after you have reached your destination, sitting back and remembering what it was like to have a conversation. A real one. No interruptions. Just gazing into the flames of the fire and talking about the day, life…. Heck, I have been married to my road trip partner for 14 years and still find out things I have never known about him when we just sit around the ‘bonfire.’

2. Camping perks.

Not only is it discounted in Spring/Fall season, but you have your pick of pretty much any spot. Take all the time you need on that dump toilet. You’re welcome.

In fact, this has been almost a luxurious commodity as we have been camping down the Great River Road in our VW Van. We only plan out our itinerary day by day, so to be able to turn up into a primitive camp space or campground that night and know that we will have our pick of the acreage is not only a bonus, it’s given us more time to concentrate on our journey. They say that’s what it’s really all about, anyway — right?

3. The people you’ll meet.

Did you know that a ‘Tom’ means a Turkey? Well, we do now.

All the way down the Great River Road there is someone hunting something. We are waking up to goose calls on the river and going to bed with gun shots in the forest. It’s become almost like a lullaby to us. We must admit, we’ve come to find a friendship with these ‘huntsmen’ that we camp alongside each night. They even gave us wild duck for our dinner the other day. We may not be camo people, but they still accept us and our red lipstick VW Van.

4. Uninterrupted photography moments.

Just think about it. No photo bombers, no selfies, no school group trips. Go ahead, have that special date with your lens. Be your ‘creative self.’ Now — not that it ever stopped us before — I just suppose we don’t feel like we are offending anyone with our shenanigans every time we set our self-timer with all this space to play. National Parks, Museums, Scenic Stops.. OH MY.

5. Celebrity treatment.

The open hours of attractions may shrink back in the off-season, but that means far fewer tourists will be there. And these businesses need you. If you can be savvy and time your trips right, you will be welcomed with open arms.

We stopped at a local vineyard and did a wine tasting one afternoon. There were no other customers around and we ended up being able to taste some of the more high-end wine selections and they offered it all to us for free. Basically, no crowds will equal some of the most incredible experiences and fabulous 1:1 treatment.

6. Open roads

Quite literally.

So pretend to cleverly look at your map, then hit that button that says ‘avoid all major highways,’ roll down your window an inch and crank up your heat… Then hit that gas and go. What are you waiting for?

6 Reasons To Road-Trip In South Australia This Winter

Road tripping in South Australia during winter is one of the most exciting times of the year. It’s a chance to connect to the elements, to see and experience things that only come out to play in winter, and you’ll remember for a lifetime.

When do the glow-in-the-dark Ghost Mushrooms grow? When is the Milk Way visible in the Southern Hemisphere and when do the world’s largest cuttlefish migrate and spawn in their thousands? You guessed it! They all happen to happen in winter, so grab your maps, beanies and keys, we’re going on a winter’s road trip. Here are our 6 reasons to road trip in South Australia this winter.

1.Outdoor winter adventures

Road trippers will know that hibernating in winter will mean missing out on some of the most remarkable and memorable moments of a lifetime. Battling the elements is often rewarded with once-in-a-lifetime memories often shared by no other tourist – just you! Hiking to the ends of the earth to see pods of dolphins and double rainbows over the ocean, seeing the golden light slide behind outback landscapes with a silhouette of boxing kangaroos or delving to the depths of a magical, hidden sinkhole with water clearer than the misty mornings. Winter adventures reward only those courageous and intrepid enough to seek them out. So, switch off Netflix and binge on these best once-in-a-lifetime outdoor winter adventures in South Australia.

2. Winter wildlife watching

Whales, birds, cuttlefish, joeys and (very large) female great white sharks are all best seen in winter when they are abundant and most active. From May through to August descend below the waters of Whyalla to swim among the incredible annual migration of the Australian Giant Cuttlefish. Weighing up to 10kg, these giant chameleons of the sea appear in their thousands to spawn, and it’s only a four-hour road trip from Adelaide. Further afield, and a few playlists later, there are few sights as awe-inspiring as the annual migration of the Southern Right Whale. Fowlers Bay in the Eyre Peninsula is arguably the best place in Australia for whale watching. From the cliffs above, spectate as whales raise their calves in the protected nursery between June and September. Once the migratory birds head north in winter, take to twitching as South Australia’s resident birds flock to and flourish in the bush, along the coastline, atop craggy mountain peaks and along the waterways of the Murray River. Spot oystercatchers, red capped plovers, wattlebirds, robins, honeyeaters, and thornbills on a hike in one of the many conservation parks around the State.

3. The Milky Way is visible in the Southern Hemisphere

No matter where you decide to road trip in South Australia, on a clear night, you’ll be able to gaze up and spot satellites, shooting stars and planets. But it’s only in winter that the Milky Way takes centre stage, and boy, is it a showstopper! From June to September, we have the best view of the Milky Way as the centre of it passes overhead. It’s best seen in the early hours of a winter’s evening sky, so set up camp, throw down your swag and gaze up to a spectacle around Sagittarius and Scorpius. And did you know what you are gazing up at is actually four years and fourth months old? Yep, space is mind bending! Here’s our guide to stargazing in South Australia.

As the thermometer drops, South Australia’s regions charm us into finding a secluded little sanctuary nestled somewhere in nature. From cosy cottages dotted among the fairy-tale towns of the Adelaide Hills to coastal cabins overlooking the thunderous Southern Ocean on Kangaroo Island, every corner in South Australia has the perfect patch of paradise to bunker down after a long day on the road. From a luxurious bubble bath, soak-in the views of vineyards, native bushland or epic mountainous ranges with our guide to the best bathtub views that will make you warm this winter. And don’t forget to bring some board games, a deck of cards and stock up on the local produce to enjoy cooking a winter’s feast by the roaring fire. Here’s our guide to some cosy nature retreats in South Australia or cosy hideaways perfect for winter.

5. Glow-in-the-dark Mushrooms

In the complete opposite direction to the night sky, there’s another exclusive light show that happens every winter – glow in the dark mushrooms! As a result of a chemical reaction between fungal enzymes and oxygen, Ghost Mushrooms typically emerge after late autumn rains with the glow in the dark phenomena lasting for only a few magical weeks a year during May and June. Head off on the Southern Ocean Drive road trip and set your coordinates to Ghost Mushroom Lane with our guide to hunting Ghost Mushrooms. Due to the current Coronavirus situation, Ghost Mushroom Lane in Mount Gambier is closed for the 2020 season. For keen fungi hunters, ghost mushrooms can still be spotted around South Australia’s national parks, particularly around the Adelaide Hills, so rug up, grab your torch and start exploring. If you’re in the Adelaide Hills, keen eyes might be lucky enough to spot their ghostly glow at Mark Oliphant Conservation Park, a popular bush walking spot near Adelaide, less than half an hour from the city.

There’s something really magical about foraging for fresh, wild food and with an abundance of mushrooms growing in winter your road trip just became a little Bear Grylls-inspired! Across the damp forest floors of South Australia, foraging adventures are a family-friendly activity that can become a little competitive pretty quickly. Go foraging for puffball, porcini, scotch bonnet and honey fungus mushrooms in the Fleurieu Peninsula, Adelaide Hills and Limestone Coast. Just do your research before your adventures and pick only what’s safe to eat.

ROAD TRIPs, maps, GUIDES and resources

There are six official road trips in South Australia that cover nearly every corner of the border. From Adelaide to Melbourne, Perth or Darwin and everything in between, no matter which path you choose to take, you’ll be able to do any number of these 7 reasons to road trip in South Australia during winter. Use our guides, maps and resources when you explore the various road trips in South Australia. Happy travels road trippers!

Six Reasons to Travel Off Season in Vietnam

No doubts, the autumn period – August to October and spring, February to April are good times to visit Vietnam, as you would experience the ancient city in all of its splendour. It is also widely assumed that the months between April to September are the off seasons in Vietnam, because they are not the exactly what the average tourists wants to see – unfavorable weather, few traditional festivals, and the sudden pale of beautiful scenes.

Well, we can tell you from authority and experience that choosing to visit Vietnam in the off season is one of the smartest choices you can make as a tourist. You may wonder, why anyone would want to spend their money planning a visit at a time that may not seem the most beautiful.

It’s an easy pick. Among other reasons, during the off season, travelling procedures are easier and cost of living while on tour drops drastically. In this post, we examine six other reasons why we think going to Vietnam in the off season could be worth it.

1. Sweet Summer Weather
One of the first things the average tourist checks out for before booking their tickets to any country is the climate and weather condition of their destination. This is because it is the most crucial determinant of whether they would enjoy their stay at their host country or not. If the weather is bad, you may have to stay indoors all day long and that would ultimately defeat the purpose of the tour.

The good news is that the climate of Vietnam in the off season is actually very encouraging. Whether you are travelling in June or July, you would get to experience the best of Vietnam weather all year round. Although, Southern Vietnam may experience a few heavy rainfalls, subsequently, the clouds get clear and the rays of light catches everyone’s retina. In most parts of the North of Vietnam however, the weather is moderately hot with a little of mist.

Tropical summer in Vietnam is every hiker’s dream – blistering and muggy, and a little shower to keep warmth and provide with a brief break during a hike. To put it simply, Vietnam maintains its unique climate magnificence during the off season, and the chance to see how it balances this well is one of the reasons you should visit Vietnam away from the peak period.

2. Ease of travel access
You may have experienced the nasty feeling that comes with being rejected severally when you have to make reservations and bookings in Vietnam during the peak season. When you decide to travel during the off season, you remove a very big percentage of that happening.

Visiting Vietnam during the off season will give you comfortable and easy access to destinations and places you would normally have to make bookings ahead, before granting travelling tickets.

In fact, we think it is almost needless to make reservations when travelling to Vietnam off season. This is because, during the off season, there are not too many visitors, therefore, less clusters of people around tourist centers.

Not only that, your tour would be more interesting than an average one, with fewer people, there are no frustrating long queues, overload of few service agents, restriction of visitors to certain areas and so on.

While the off season may afford you the opportunity to cross the road without thinking or looking twice, it is also important for you to note that bikes and vehicles tend to move faster at this time, because they believe the roads are deserted.

3. Cheap Prices Everywhere
Another important reason you should consider travelling to Vietnam in the off season is because you would get the best and most attractive goods and services at the most ridiculous prices.

The truth is that price rates drop drastically as request for travel services, accommodation, reservations, and all the likes become low. Stores and stalls also often give out their best offers at this time of the year, so they can sell out their stock.

This is good news to prudent tourists who only have to spend a little to get the best value for their money. If you are planning to buy goods in bulk and on a low budget in Vietnam, then without a doubt, the off season is when you should visit.

4. Colourful Environment
During this off season, there is a short period of rain which doesn’t usually affect tourists and daily activities. Interestingly, the rains come with a rebirth of the lush lawns and replenishing of the landscape – everywhere looks radiant, vibrant and colorful again.

The terraces become green and beautiful and is what most tourists are looking for. There are also open spaces for travelers to take photoshoots with lovely vegetations. If you are also good with handling the lenses, you may switch sides and become a photographer, and who knows, you can earn a few cash to cover up some of your basic expenses, or barter in exchange of some other services.

5. Sea foods are readily available
With the short period of rainfall around February, sea foods become relatively cheap. The ponds and lakes are filled with water and these further projects the beauty of the ancient Vietnam compared as against how the dry season. The off season is also a good time to explore islands because it is even more fun.

6. Abundant Water
While you do not want to drink the tap water in Vietnam, there are many other advantages that come with the fact that water is everywhere during the off season. One of such is that in the off season, water-based activities in Vietnam and the surrounding regions become a lot more impressive. There is the potential to cruise faster when compared with the possibilities in the dry season.

Apparently, these are not all the benefits of visiting Vietnam in the off season. You would have access to even lot more when you make the smart choice of reaching a VivuTravel Agent to help you plan an off season tour.

2. Discover photo opportunities

Photo by Tom Wang / Shutterstock.com

When boarding a plane, the cliché snapshot is to capture the wing of the plane. When traveling by road in the U.S., you’ll be overwhelmed by all the photo opportunities. Numerous lookout points, panoramic views, sunrises, sunsets, interesting people, and notable landmarks will clamor for your attention. You may even discover beautiful hidden sites you didn’t even know were there. It’ll be hard to put your camera down.

6 Reasons to Visit the Grand Canyon in Winter

Winter storms lend new color and dimension to an already-amazing landscape.

Consider it the Grand Canyon’s secret season. The dead of winter — December through February — is surprisingly lively at the canyon’s South Rim, which is open year round. Even if you’ve visited in summer, it’s worth considering a trip in the off-season for a wholly different perspective on this world wonder.

Here are six things to love about winter at the canyon:

Watch the video: Driving u0026 Off-Roading in a Truck Camper, Thoughts After 6 Months On The Road. Go North Explore More

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