Tag: Travel Tips

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The Only 5 Tips You Need for Stress-Free Thanksgiving Travel

November 24, 2014 at 10:12 AM | by | Comments (0)

The Weather Channel's headline of "Wind, Snow, East Coast Storm May Frustrate Fliers and Drivers" isn't what travelers want to read before heading out for a stressful holiday trip. And yet that's exactly what much of the United States will do this week for the Thanksgiving holiday.

To prevent entering the five emotional stages of a flight delay, and keep your cool so you reach your destination as close to on-time as possible, take our tried and true airport survival tips to heart:

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The Lowdown on Getting Around Burma by Taxi

Where: Myanmar
November 21, 2014 at 1:39 PM | by | Comments (0)

It seems like everyone and their moms are going to Burma. Or is it Myanmar? (For the answer, see here.) Thanks to political and humanitarian reforms of the last several years, this Southeast Asian country is more open than ever to tourism. Over the next week or so, Jaunted's Julia Buckley will be sharing her tips and experiences as a traveler in Burma without a tour group and without memorizing a guidebook, but with common sense and open eyes on a Burma Field Trip.

This week in Burma we’ve been concentrating on how to get around, and while it’s the most expensive (and bourgeois) option, hiring a taxi or a private driver is certainly the easiest. It’s also more affordable than you might imagine.

Private cars are good for longer journeys, obviously, but they’re also the best way to spend a day sightseeing. You may (as we were) be expecting Burma to be a land of tuktuks; it isn’t. And Burmese cities are big, with the main sights spread all over the place. If you’re looking for a day of sightseeing, your best option is to hire a driver (motorcycles could be another option—we were offered one in Mandalay—but it’s pretty hot, so you’ll almost certainly want a car).

We found rates varied by city, and also by driver (we were told $50-80 was the going rate in Yangon, for example our driver quoted $50). Also, you’ll be pleased to know, the vast majority of people aren’t out to fleece you; we only had one driver, in a pickup truck in Bagan, who tried to overcharge us. Everyone else was entirely reasonable.

Here’s a list of rough rates we found, as well as drivers we recommend. This doesn’t mean they’re the only reliable drivers, of course – but we met all these, they had good cars, and they themselves were great.

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How to Travel by Train in Burma (If You Must)

Where: Myanmar
November 19, 2014 at 6:15 PM | by | Comments (0)

A typical view

It seems like everyone and their moms are going to Burma. Or is it Myanmar? (For the answer, see here.) Thanks to political and humanitarian reforms of the last several years, this Southeast Asian country is more open than ever to tourism. Over the next week or so, Jaunted's Julia Buckley will be sharing her tips and experiences as a traveler in Burma without a tour group and without memorizing a guidebook, but with common sense and open eyes on a Burma Field Trip.

Yesterday we talked about how to get around Burma. You may have already decided, as so many people have done before you, that flying internally in Myanmar is dangerous, but the overnight train is intrepid and romantic.

You would be wrong.

Certain sections of the internet are aglow with fond accounts of train travel in Burma. It’s the only way to travel like a local, they say. Making the 16hr journey to Mandalay is the way to see the country and its people. Sure, it rocks and rolls a bit, on its tiny ancient narrow gauge railway, but that’s part of the fun.

They’re right on the first two. They’re wrong on the second. It doesn’t just rock and roll. It lurches, which isn’t so bad, it shrieks and screeches, which is atmospheric, but then it jumps. As in, actually jumps off the rails and bounces around. If you’re in a seat, then it’s just incredibly, worryingly painful. But if you’re in a sleeper—which most tourists are advised to take—you will find yourself, no exaggeration, airborne.

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What to Eat in Vienna: 19 Foods That'll Rock Your World

Where: Vienna, Austria
November 19, 2014 at 1:06 PM | by | Comments (0)

Vienna is so much more than Schnitzel.

It's also more than opera, Mozart, Empress Sisi, and Edelweiss on a mountainside. Vienna, Austria is a world capital of good eating, a fact that doesn't get nearly enough play. We'd almost rank it above Paris in terms of excellent culinary adventures, and we simply cannot narrow down our favorite Viennese flavors to a list of 5 or 10 items; nope, we have 19 must-try Vienna food and drinks to share with you.

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From Unknown Airlines to Rickety Trains: How to Get Around Burma

Where: Myanmar
November 18, 2014 at 1:28 PM | by | Comments (0)

It seems like everyone and their moms are going to Burma. Or is it Myanmar? (For the answer, see here.) Thanks to political and humanitarian reforms of the last several years, this Southeast Asian country is more open than ever to tourism. Over the next week or so, Jaunted's Julia Buckley will be sharing her tips and experiences as a traveler in Burma without a tour group and without memorizing a guidebook, but with common sense and open eyes on a Burma Field Trip.

So you’ve debunked your myths, got your e-visa and you’re ready to go to Burma. Great! What’s next?

Working out how to get around.

This is a pain. Burma is a big country, much bigger than you thought. Most people fly into Yangon/Rangoon RGN Airport, and, from there, visit the temples of Bagan, Lake Inle and (if they have time) Mandalay. But Yangon to Bagan is 400 miles. Bagan to Inle is a mountainous 250 miles. Which doesn’t sound much, but it takes forever. Yangon to Bagan 8-9 hours, for example, and that’s in a taxi.

Luckily, there are several ways of traveling in Myanmar. Which should you pick?

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The 101 on Travel to Burma: 10 Myanmar Myths Debunked

Where: Myanmar
November 17, 2014 at 1:32 PM | by | Comment (1)

It seems like everyone and their moms are going to Burma. Or is it Myanmar? Thanks to political and humanitarian reforms of the last several years, this Southeast Asian country is more open than ever to tourism. Over the next week or so, Jaunted's Julia Buckley will be sharing her tips and experiences as a traveler in Burma without a tour group and without memorizing a guidebook, but with common sense and open eyes on a Burma Field Trip.

Every tourist arriving in Burma for the first time does so with their head full of expectations, stereotypes, or misconceptions (or all three). Much of the common intelligence on travel in the country is sadly out of date or simply not true. It's time to explode some myths; here's the Jaunted 101 on travel myths in Burma.

“It's Myanmar, not Burma.”

False. Most people assume that Burma is the colonial name and Myanmar is therefore right-on. But it’s not that easy. ”Myanmar” was coined in 1988 after pro-democracy movements ended in bloodshed, so pro-democracy people, like Aung San Suu Kyi, prefer Burma. The US and UK governments say Burma – ditto Rangoon instead of Yangon. Having said that, once you’re there, and all the locals are calling it Myanmar, it seems disrespectful not to. Basically – make your own mind up or, as we do, vacillate.

“Getting a visa is a headache.”

False. An e-visa costs $50, you do everything online, with no need to surrender your passport, and it takes no time to arrive (mine came in two days, they promise within a week). Apply here. What’s more, you can now enter via Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw airports, as well as Yangon, with the e-visa.

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That Expat Life: Countries Where Americans May Easily Emigrate

November 14, 2014 at 9:25 AM | by | Comments (0)

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you choose?

Would you enjoy the sunsets on a beach in Phuket? Maybe you’d prefer a diet of pasta and Chianti in a Tuscan village? For those wanting to experience life in another country, it can be difficult on pesky 30- or 90-day tourist visas. Do you really feel as if you experienced life in another city, or even country, based on these limited days? That’s not even enough time to learn how to properly order two Big Macs—one without tomato and one easy on the dressing—in a new language.

Operating outside of these visas can be difficult. Stay beyond those days and you risk deportation and the possibility of never returning to that beloved country. So, for those itching to get out of America, here are some spots where obtaining an extended visa is quite easy.

Oh, and we’re not talking about student visas or the like. If that were the case, you could easily relocate to Vietnam as an English teacher. These countries allow Americans to easily uproot and emigrate.

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What Not to Do in Vienna: The Top 5 Tourist Mistakes

Where: Vienna, Austria
November 12, 2014 at 1:51 PM | by | Comments (0)

We're tempted to describe Vienna as Europe's other Paris, but that would definitely fall under the "what not to do" title since Vienna is wholly itself—a wondrous city built with a heady mix of majesty and cultural creativity. Thinking Vienna can be seen with a quick trip of 3 or 4 days while en route to Prague or Budapest is a common mistake, but visitors put themselves at risk of permanent infatuation with any length visit.

As with any world capital, there are time- and money-saving tricks as well as special nuances of etiquette to help you best enjoy your stay. So without further ado, here is the Jaunted guide of What Not To Do In Vienna: The Top 5 Tourist Mistakes.

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Why You Should Check Your Frequent Flyer Accounts Right Now

November 6, 2014 at 4:46 PM | by | Comments (0)

Among frequent flyers, the months of November and December are lovingly known as Mileage Run season. What's a Mileage Run, you might ask? Simply put, it's a trip booked and flown with the sole goal of adding more miles or points to the traveler's frequent flyer account. A Mileage Run can be a very circuitous route (such as JFK-DFW-ORD-DEN-LAX instead of flying nonstop JFK-LAX) or an expensive one (such as flying in Business or First rather than Economy, for the extra points or qualifying dollars).

While most statuses are good through February of the next year, the way to earn status depends on the miles you fly/money you spend in a calendar year. Under this rule, travelers have until December 31, 2014 to ensure they've either flown or spent enough to earn or retain status for 2015.

Now's the time to:

· Log in to your frequent flyer accounts and check the balances for your flying in 2014, then cross reference with the requirements for status on that airline. You could be on the edge of status and not realize it!
· Organize your frequent flyer account information—email addresses used for account, member numbers, passwords—for smoother travel miles tracking.
· Consider any last-minute 2014 flights to hit desired status.

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The Best Way to Navigate Brisbane is by Boat

November 6, 2014 at 12:40 PM | by | Comments (2)

View of the Brisbane skyline from the city water taxi

A gateway and launching pad to explore the Gold and Sunshine Coasts, much of Brisbane's vibe and appeal revolves around the water. It's right there on the Pacific Ocean, and the river snakes its way through the city in every sense of the word.

Last week, while spending a one-day layover in the city, we set out from our hotel in Hamilton (chosen for its proximity to the airport) and discovered that, despite the extensive bus and rail lines, water taxis were the most convenient way to explore the city.

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How to Send a Package to Madagascar (or Other Far Away Lands)

Where: Madagascar
October 27, 2014 at 9:56 AM | by | Comments (2)

Jaunted contributor TipsyTraveler recently faced a conundrum more complex than carry-on or checked baggage; he just wanted to ship a box overseas. Here is his story.

My best friend recently uprooted her glamorous life as a hip and happening 20-something, wide-eyed publicist in a major city built on entertainment and celebrities and bright lights and excess.

Why? Madagascar.

Despite popular belief, Madagascar is more than an animated film. It’s actually a real live place you can spot on a map with inhabitants and vegetation and whatnot. Nobly, she joined the Peace Corps, something I could never imagine doing because 1) air conditioning, 2) easy access to clean water and 3) I think my heart might be black?

When I dabble in charity—which, as much as I jest, I do often—it’s usually in the form of a gift. Donating money, donating time, donating clothing, etc. For my friend who is now a zebra in Africa for all I know, I tried to send a care package.

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How to Kiss in France

Where: France
October 23, 2014 at 1:15 PM | by | Comments (0)

Even tombstones get multiple kisses in France.

Every country, and culture, has its customs. The Japanese consider tipping after meals an insult. And in Germany, you should never—ever!—jaywalk, even if it’s 4:00 a.m. and there’s no traffic.

Meanwhile, in France, the cheek—or cheek-to-cheek or cheek-to-cheek-to-cheek—kiss is a sort of cultural delicacy, like fine wine. For example, you wouldn't order a Lyon wine in the heart of Burgundy, just in the same way you might want to be cautious when you kiss only two cheeks in Burgundy, when, typically, you should kiss four.

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