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Adventure Travel Twitter Chat on Wednesday, October 16th

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Whether you’re jumping out of a plane, hiking Machu Picchu, or searching for the big five on a Zambian safari, the best part about adventure travel is the journey and endeavor itself. 

Join our live Twitter chat on Adventure Travel sponsored by Victorinox this Wednesday, October 16th from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. EDT. Our panel of experts will share up-and-coming adventure travel destinations, the best adventure tour operators and guides, the most useful gadgets for travelers, and more.

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Take Your Dream Trip for Free

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Dream of visiting far-flung destinations like Croatia (pictured), the Galapagos, Zion National Park, Botswana, Australia, the Everest region of Nepal, or Antarctica?

To celebrate their newly released 2014 trips, leading adventure travel company, REI Adventures, is giving away seven trips to their most popular destinations around the world.

If you can’t decide on a continent to visit, don’t worry—you can enter to win once every 24 hours until October 31.

Find out more information and entry requirements here

Gabrielle Blitz is the Associate Social Media Editor at Travel + Leisure.

Photo courtesy of REI Adventures

T+L Trips with Sponsor Cox & Kings: China; Russia

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Welcome to the fifth installment of T+L's promotional partnership with luxury adventure operator Cox & Kings, where booking a trip to a destination featured in T+L is easier than ever. Here's how it works:

• Every month, T+L editors work with Cox & Kings to develop two trips inspired by destinations we love.
• Each itinerary is designed to offer insider access and unique experiences—whether it's a stay at an exclusive hotel, a behind-the-scenes tour, or dinner in a private residence.
• For a limited time, T+L readers can take advantage of exclusive savings on this month's featured trips.

October Specials

China
The Highlights: Sail in a traditional sampan boat along the fishing harbor of Aberdeen, in Hong Kong; visit punti dwellings along Hong Kong’s Ping Shan Heritage Trail; browse fresh produce at Tai Po’s local market; base yourself at the venerable Mandarin Oriental Hotel Hong Kong.
The Details: 4 days and 3 nights, from $3,490 per person**

Optional Extension: Hangzhou
The Highlights: Feast on lotus-wrapped chicken at Louwailou restaurant; shop at the city’s silk market; visit the Lingyin Temple, where Buddhist monks still live and pray.
The Details: 4 days and 3 nights, from $3,295 per person**

Optional Extension: Vietnam
The Highlights: A one-night cruise through the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ha Long Bay; whip up regional dishes at the Red Bridge Cooking School in Hoi An.
The Details: 7 days and 6 nights, from $3,285 per person**

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Cruise the Amazon with Your Family on an Aqua Expeditions

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Ever since my kids watched a TV show about Piranhas, they've been obsessed with the Amazon. “It's the biggest river in the world, full of scary fishes!” Sebastian told me one day. For any parent who's dreamed of traveling down this exotic waterway with family in tow, now is the perfect time to do it: Luxury cruise line Aqua Expeditions is offering free sailings on its ultra-luxe Aqua Amazon or Aria Amazon for kids under 12, through November 2014. Along the way, you'll spot sloths, caimans, pink dolphins (maybe a piranha), and more. It's the ultimate adventure for a family of wildlife lovers.

Clara Sedlak


Clara Sedlak is a mother of two and Special Projects Editor at
Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @csedlak1.

Photo courtesy of Aqua Expeditions

T+L Trips with Sponsor Cox & Kings: Uruguay; Jordan

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Welcome to the fourth installment of T+L's promotional partnership with luxury adventure operator Cox & Kings, where booking a trip to a destination featured in T+L is easier than ever. Here's how it works:

• Every month, T+L editors work with Cox & Kings to develop two trips inspired by destinations we love.
• Each itinerary is designed to offer insider access and unique experiences—whether it's a stay at an exclusive hotel, a behind-the-scenes tour, or dinner in a private residence.
• For a limited time, T+L readers can take advantage of exclusive savings on this month's featured trips.

September Specials

Uruguay
The Highlights: Lunch with chef Julián Olivares at Mesón de la Plaza, one of Uruguay's finest restaurants; a private polo lesson in Carmelo; a curator-led tour of the museum Casapueblo (pictured, top), the former home of Uruguayan artist Carlos Páez Vilaró; a visit to the olive plantation Colina de Garzón followed by a traditional barbecue with local gauchos.
The Details: 7 days and 6 nights, from $4,955 per person**

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Confessions of a Nature Guide

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A Montana-based backcountry tour leader spills the dirt.

“In Yellowstone, I was asked: ‘Where do they keep the animals at night?’” And in the Grand Tetons: “‘What is that white stuff up there?’ Um, snow.”

People think we’re babysitters. One couple asked me if their child could sleep in the group van, so they could have some privacy!”

“There’s always a braggart. If we’re looking at a bear, someone will inevitably say, ‘I once saw an elephant in Africa.’ Sigh.”

Photo by © JLImages / Alamy

Family Friday: Dallas Adventure Garden

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Why do kids get to have all the fun?  The Rory Meyers Adventure Garden is set to open in Dallas at the end of September—and it might just be the coolest interactive play space I’ve ever seen. Spread out over 8 acres, the park is a massive science learning center with 17 outdoor and indoor galleries, each themed around a particular subject. Some highlights: exploring wetlands, walking on boardwalks through grass tunnels, and hiking under a rushing waterfall. Oh, and almost everything is giant-sized, from the flowers and trees to the rabbits, spiders, and butterflies.

Clara O. Sedlak is a mother of two and Special Projects Editor at Travel + Leisure.

Photo Courtesy of Dallas Arboretum

Coming Soon: New Trail Set To Trace Historic Explorer's Route from South Sudan to Uganda

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Fans of the T+L Hiking Guide who've already completed the Appalachian Trail, the pilgrimage to Santiago, or the climb to Machu Picchu will soon have another path to traverse: The Sir Samuel and Lady Florence Baker Historical Trail, covering nearly 360 miles in South Sudan* and Uganda.

The route is the same one that Samuel Baker, a British officer, took with his wife in the 1860s. Traveling south from present-day South Sudan, the couple became the first Europeans to see what they would name Lake Albert, which marks the terminus of the new trail.

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T+L Trips with Sponsor Cox & Kings: Kenya; Ukraine

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Welcome to the third installment of T+L's promotional partnership with luxury adventure operator Cox & Kings, where booking a trip to a destination featured in T+L is easier than ever. Here's how it works:

• Every month, T+L editors work with Cox & Kings to develop two trips inspired by destinations we love.
• Each itinerary is designed to offer insider access and unique experiences—whether it's a stay at an exclusive hotel, a behind-the-scenes tour, or dinner in a private residence.
• For a limited time, T+L readers can take advantage of exclusive savings on this month's featured trips.

August Specials

Kenya
The Highlights: Enjoy intimate, luxurious camps and wildlife viewing at Kenya's best private concessions; personalize each day with game drives, walking safaris, bush meals, and cultural visits to Masai villages; witness the Samburu warrior tradition of the singing wells near Sarara Camp; interact with baby elephants at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.
The Details:11 days and 10 nights, from $12,990 per person—including internal airfare**

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The Best New Hiking Backpack for Your Next Adventure

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Since we’ve been talking a good bit about hiking around here lately, here’s the one accessory you should plan to pick up before your next adventure. Known more for their tech-friendly messenger bags than for their outdoor gear, Timbuk2 has just launched a new collection of urban-inspired camping backpacks, which are rugged enough to survive your toughest mountain climbs but designed to convert into a rolling suitcase for less elemental pursuits. The Aviator Travel Pack (from $179) is smartly designed with carbon ballistic nylon for durability, padded straps and a hip belt that stow away when not needed, and a water-resistant rain shedding pack cover that tucks into its own dedicated pocket. But what really does it for me are cleverly placed compartments that store (and protect) a 17” laptop, important-to-reach items like your phone and wallet, and separate spill-protecting toiletry panels. If only we could custom-order them in pretty colors and patters, like Timbuk2’s flagship messenger line.

Nikki Ekstein is an Editorial Assistant at Travel + Leisure and part of the Trip Doctor news team. Find her at on Twitter at @nikkiekstein.

Photo courtesy of Timbuk2

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