Thursday, December 22, 2011

Polar bears: icons of the Arctic

A symbol of the North Pole, polar bears are the world’s largest land predator and biggest member of the bear family. With heavy fur, blubber up to four inches thick and black skin that absorbs heat from the sun, polar bears are amazingly well adapted to the Arctic climate.

Interestingly, a polar bear’s fur is transparent. The long, coarse, guard hairs that protect the plush thick undercoat are hollow and transparent. The thinner hair of the undercoat is not hollow but they, like the guard hairs, are colorless.

Want to watch polar bears at play in their own environment? Join Discovery Student Adventures for an amazing 16 day journey to the Arctic!

What’s your favorite Arctic animal? Polar bears? Walruses? Beluga whales? Something else?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Majestic sea turtles struggle for survival

From leatherbacks to loggerheads, 6 of the world’s 7 species of sea turtles are threatened or endangered at the hand of humans. Sadly, they face many dangers as they travel the seas—including accidental capture and entanglement in fishing gear, the loss of nesting and feeding sites to coastal development, and ocean pollution.

Discovery Student Adventures is proud to do its part to help save these incredible creatures. From relocating the nests of loggerhead sea turtles laid in unsafe areas on the Grecian coast, to working with wildlife biologists and volunteers to rehabilitate giant leatherback sea turtles in Costa Rica. It’s all part of our mission to give back to the communities we visit.

Have you ever seen a sea turtle outside of captivity?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Rip-roaring adrenaline rush soaring on a zip line

Want to fly but not fearless enough for hang gliding or bungee jumping? Fear not.

Ziplining is a fun, safe alternative. With lines that range from 100 feet to more than a mile, locations around the world offer an incredible variety of great opportunities to fly like a bird at speeds up to 100 mph over rivers and mountains, past volcanoes and above rainforest canopies.

Discovery Student Adventures offers some of the most exhilarating zip lining on the planet in Costa Rica and Ecuador. In Costa Rica, you can take in magnificent views of Arenal volcano and its lush surroundings as you fly above the jungle on a series of 8 zip lines. Our Ecuadorian travelers can explore the Cloud Forest and encounter exotic residents such as tanagers, flycatchers, toucans, and hummingbirds.

Monday, December 19, 2011

The many lists of worldly wonders

Our planet is full of dazzling and awe-inspiring places. When it comes to naming wonders of the world, there is no shortage of places to marvel over.

From Natural Wonders to Ancient Wonders to New Wonders, and even Strange Wonders. Check out the many wonders of our world, and see which ones you can experience with Discovery Student Adventures.

The Original Seven Wonders of the World
  • The Colossus of Rhodes
  • The Great Pyramid of Giza
  • The Hanging Gardens of Babylon
  • The Lighthouse of Alexandria
  • The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus
  • The Statue of Zeus at Olympia
  • The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus

The Seven Wonders of the Modern World
  • Channel Tunnel
  • CN Tower
  • Empire State Building
  • Golden Gate Bridge
  • Itaipu Dam
  • Netherlands North Sea Protection Works
  • Panama Canal

The Natural Wonders of the World
  • Grand Canyon
  • The Great Barrier Reef
  • The Harbor at Rio de Janeiro
  • Mt. Everest
  • Northern Lights
  • Paricutin Volcano
  • Victoria Falls

Strange Wonders of the World
  • Split Apple Rock, New Zealand
  • Mud Volcanoes of Azerbaijan, Eurasia
  • Great Blue Hole, Belize
  • Devils Tower, Wyoming
  • Crystal Caves, Mexico
  • Chocolate Hills, Philippines
  • Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah

Are there any wonders you'd add to the list?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Gaudy gifts: World's tackiest souvenirs

We all like to come back from a trip with something to remind us and our friends of what a wonderful time we had. For Discovery Student Adventure travelers, that might include hand-painted pottery from Italy, fancy chopsticks from China, or Washington Monument paperweight from the nation’s capital. Cool stuff. Unfortunately, not all souvenirs are created equal. We searched the world over for some of the tackiest gifts around. Here’s what made our list:

1. President Obama footwear. A pair of flip-flops that feature toe straps brimming with the beaming likeness of our commander and chief fashioned out of plastic.

2. London nail clippers. Finally, you can combine two of your favorite activities: clipping your toenails and loving London!

3. Winter Down Under. Enjoy this typical Australian scene with kangaroos bouncing along in a blizzard underneath the desert sun.

4. Bermuda socks. You don’t want to wear one of those in-your-face, look-at-me-I’ve-been-to-Bermuda T-shirts. You have to be more subtle about it.

5. Canned fog from San Francisco. Crack open a can of SF fog and let the same magical silver cloud that shrouds the Golden Gate Bridge help with all your vital fogging needs.

What's the tackiest souvenir you've ever purchased or received?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Festive fundraising ideas for our travelers

Holidays are the perfect time to raise funds for the ultimate gift: An educational adventure of a lifetime. To aid our students in their fundraising endeavors, we’ve created new tools to ease their efforts.

E-cards make it simple for family and friends to give the gift of travel. Students can email as many E-cards as they like and customize their message to share fundraising goals and highlight the amazing destination they’ll be visiting. The email recipients can easily make a donation directly to the student’s trip account.

A fundraising calendar provides great inspiration and can help maintain momentum through the year. Planning is key to meeting your fundraising goals and what could be better than a tried and true idea for every month? December is a great month to hold an event. Caroling, bake sales, Christmas trees, oh my!

Packing lists are chock-full of good gifts. Don’t have a pair of waterproof, closed-toe shoes for that night hike through the rainforest? Check off the items you have and note what you need. Sometimes, it’s more meaningful for friends and family to give a gift that’s tangible and useful instead of money. Travel gifts can be used long after the gift wrap is torn away.

Enrolled students have access to these great tools in their Travel Center.

What kind of travel gift would you like?

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