How to Successfully (Not) Plan Your Campervan Trip in New Zealand, Plus Our 3-week “Itinerary”

How to Successfully NOT Plan Your Campervan Trip in New Zealand on northtosouth.us

We’ve learned from experience that creating a definitive schedule for a road trip is pretty silly, and since camping without planning is an easy thing do in New Zealand, we approached our 3-week campervan trip with no campground reservations and vague plans to explore the country from north to south. With the assistance of the Camping NZ App and recommendations from several local contacts, we decided what to do and where to stay as we went.

In the three weeks we spent in New Zealand, we drove entirely around both the North and South Island, experiencing some of the best New Zealand has to offer — without receiving a single infringement along the way. Here we share our guidelines for an unplanned, yet well prepared, campervan trip in New Zealand. And at the bottom of this post, you’ll find our “un-itinerary” — the unscheduled list of places we stayed and things we discovered along the way. Continue reading

Taking the Stairs: 10 Breathtaking Views to Hike to in Europe (part 2)

Taking the Stairs: 10 Breathtaking Viewpoints to Hike to in Europe on North to South

If you enjoyed the five epic views in Europe we shared last week, there’s more where that came from. Find the second half of our favorite European viewpoints to hike to below!
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Taking the Stairs: 10 Breathtaking Views to Hike to in Europe

Taking the Stairs: 10 Breathtaking Views to Hike to in Europe on North to South

At the very beginning of our two-month Europe trip, Ian and I made a deal. Any time stairs were an option, we’d take them. Stairs up the Eiffel Tower? Why not? Hike to the top of the Rock of Gibraltar? Sign us up! It turned out to be the best decision we made all trip. Not only did we take in some truly awesome sights, but we got loads of exercise and saved money, too!

Ready to get your heart pumping? Put on your walking shoes. Here we share our top ten viewpoints to hike to in Europe, with directions for how to reach them!  Continue reading

Our Hiking Gear

Our Hiking Gear (and why we love it) | North to South

Hiking is one of our favorite outdoor activities. It always offers up something amazing: spectacular views, wildlife encounters, a breath of fresh air… Plus it’s a hobby that requires little money — Yay! — after a small initial investment.

From basics like boots to specialty items like bear mace, if you want to know what gear we use (and recommend) for hiking, find out right here!  Continue reading

North to South’s Quick Guide to Niagara Falls (New York, USA)

A Quick Guide to Niagara Falls: things to do, when to go, where to park, and more!

Planning your first visit to Niagara Falls? You’re in for a treat! Niagara Falls is one of the most fun, unique places we’ve ever visited in the U.S.

Want to plan an amazing afternoon at Niagara Falls U.S.? Get our insider tips here!  Continue reading

Escape Campervans Review: Los Angeles to Death Valley (and why we don’t recommend Escape Campervans)

Escape Campervans Review and Our Trip to Death Valley

Let’s visit a popular U.S. National Park in peak season at the last minute! Yeah, that sounds like our travel style. And that’s how our conversation started two weeks back when we decided we had to see the Death Valley Superbloom.

All advance reservations for park accommodations were full. We could try our luck at a first-come first-served campsite, but we didn’t really feel up to tent camping this trip. So we decided to try something new: the rental campervan.

Despite paying more than we should have (no thanks to Escape), we had a good time on our trip. Want to know what the campervan life is like? Keep reading to find out! (More on why we don’t recommend Escape Campervans, too.) Continue reading

The Superbloom of Death Valley National Park: A Photo Journal (California, USA)

Death Valley Superbloom Spring 2016 on North to South: a Photo Journal

After receiving substantially more rain than typical in the 2015-2016 winter season, Death Valley National Park is experiencing a rare “superbloom” of wildflowers. The last superbloom event was 11 years ago, in 2005.  Since missing this year’s superbloom could mean waiting another decade or more before it happens again, we knew we had to go see this rare event.
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Big Island Diving with Kona Diving Company (Kona, Hawaii, USA)

Diving on Hawaii's Big Island with Kona Diving Company

If you’re a diver or if you’ve ever looked into getting certified, then you’re well aware that diving is an expensive hobby.

And since we’d been on a strict budget for a year after quitting our jobs to travel, we hadn’t been diving in two whole years! This being my first visit to Hawaii’s Big Island, I was absolutely dying to do the manta ray night dive. But first, it was time for a refresher.  Continue reading

Cliff Jumping at South Point (Big Island, Hawaii, USA)

Cliff jumping at the southernmost point in the U.S. -- South Point, Hawaii's Big Island

I’m afraid of heights, so when we started talking about visiting South Point, I didn’t think I’d be jumping off any cliffs. I just wanted to see the southernmost point of the U.S.

But one thing led to another, and the next thing I knew I was splashing into the water. It was absolutely terrifying. But also exhilarating. And I don’t regret it one bit!

Thinking of trying cliff jumping yourself? Find out what you’re in for here!

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Snorkeling at “Two Steps” in Honaunau Bay (Big Island, Hawaii, USA)

Snorkeling at 'Two Steps' in Honaunau Bay, Hawaii's Big Island

Fancy a snorkel in one of the Hawaii’s best snorkeling locales? If you’re staying on the Big Island, you don’t want to miss “Two Steps.” It’s a laid-back beach snorkel destination with abundant sea life less than 40 minutes south of Kailua-Kona. And it’s free!

Continue reading for more info on snorkeling at Two Steps, plus a video from our visit.
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