*When you're abroad, it's tough to know how to get the best bang for your buck. These three hub cities won't disappoint when it comes to efficient traveling. * The world is a big, big place and traveling is costly. That's why the adventurous and obsessive among us have the travel itch: a desire to cram the most beauty and new experiences in a limited time. If you've got this desire to travel while you travel, we've picked the three best hub cities for gorgeous international traveling.
World's Best Trekking Hub: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Halfway between these epic Southeast Asian treks sits the high-tech wonderland of Kuala Lumpur. You will certainly feel like stretching your legs after 20 hours on the plane. Make KL your hub so you can discover the latest travel secrets from the professional trekkers who gather at the long bar of the Royal Selangor Club. You know what helps when you're feeling antsy? Take a walk outside. Way outside. Like a three day trek up an Indonesian island volcano kind of outside. Work out your jitters with a hike up Mount Rinjani on the island of Lombok to the sacred lake in the crater called Child of the Sea. Put all your worries in perspective with a walking adventure with the Lahu and Akha Hill Tribes of Thailand.
World's Best Flying Hub: Reykjavik, Iceland
Americans can't understand Europe because they just don't spend enough time there. Bus tours covering 10 cities in seven days won't teach you anything except how much you miss sleeping in. To really get to know Europe, you need to set up a base of operations for a month or more, then make strategic trips to capture the lesser-known European capitals at their best. Rent an affordable house in Reykjavik, Iceland. Living expenses are more reasonable and Iceland Air has decent rates into Europe's most underrated cities, like St. Petersburg, Barcelona, Brussels and Geneva. As an added bonus, you can take an easy drive to the restorative waters of the Blue Lagoon or refreshing air of the World's Best Hike over Fimmvörðuháls Pass. After crossing 20 waterfalls in the first seven miles you'll be ready to take on the world. By setting up shop in Iceland, you will be close enough to get there quickly and far enough to get perspective. This gives you the ability to appreciate the magnificent art and architecture on the continent like a true European.
World's Best Camel Hub – Marrakesh, Morrocco
In Marrakesh, the Sahara is known "The Ocean of Sand" and camels as "Ships of the Desert." After your first day of rocking back and forth on top a camel, you will be able to boast that you have finally earned your "sand-legs." From your home base, you can then take camel treks into Merzouga, Imlil Valley, and the Atlas mountains. Marrakesh makes an ideal hub as the closest major African city to the US. That means you will spend less time getting there and more time laying about beneath swaying palms, dining on dates and couscous in the Jamaa el Fna market square — daydreaming of the desert. By learning how to perch on top of your own camel, you add the thrill of travel to the practicality of gaining a valuable skill. As you discover the beauty and the awe of a desert trek on camelback, you will watch all of your worry evaporate like a mirage. No matter if you found yourself on camelback, hiking up mountains or exploring a unique city, expect to feel one step closer to seeing it all. Photo: Trekking Rinjani, zabdiel, PughPugh, El Mostrito via Flickr.