Tag: Travel Tips

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Guys, Don't Let Manliness Get in the Way of a Good Travel Massage

June 5, 2014 at 12:57 PM | by | Comments (0)

Okay, big confession coming: Before today, this male travel writer always, always requested a female masseuse. Nine times out of ten, my scheduled therapist was female anyway, but on the rare chance I showed up and it was a man, I’d politely ask if there was a female that could take care of me.

Each and every time, the male masseuse was understanding, and made the switch right away. It’s clear they know the deal. For centuries, heterosexual men have had this thing about being touched by another man, something that simply doesn’t exist for heterosexual women. In 1991, this phobia was humorously captured by our good friends at Seinfeld, and it remains part of our culture today.

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One Weird Trick for Staying Alert While Driving on Long Summer Road Trips

June 3, 2014 at 4:15 PM | by | Comments (0)

Classic candy is quickly coming back into style. The return of Sugar Daddies, Pop Rocks, Bazooka Bubble Gum and Ring Pops means an old fashioned sugar high never really goes out of style, but we're most interested in that last one: the Ring Pop. We've recently discovered that enjoying one of these treat gems can be handy for keeping alert and awake during long drives.

For example, we drove from Palm Springs, CA to Tucson, AZ in spring, and entertained ourselves on the 4-hour desert drive with a Ring Pop and some loud music. It wasn't until this last weekend that we discovered the true power of the Ring Pop, however, as we faced 9 hours of solo road tripping across the Northeast, into the Midwest. After loud music failed to keep our focus on the road and drowsiness (combined with the monotony of middle of Pennsylvania scenery) threatened, we reached for a Ring Pop.

Beyond the addition of sugar into our system, the act of enjoying a Ring Pop engages another sense (taste) into activity. It goes without saying that, if you're truly tired, it's time to stop at a motel for the night. A Ring Pop is no substitute for a good sleep, but it has its uses.

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Something We Wish We Would Have Known Before Eating in St. Gallen

May 30, 2014 at 4:48 PM | by | Comments (0)

You know you need to eat an Olma bratwurst, but here's an even better tip to ensure you eat well in St. Gallen: Seek out restaurants that are located on the 2nd floor of a building (or in European terms, the 1st floor). One of the fun facts of the town is that, in the past, all restaurants were built one floor up from ground level, and are today known as traditional "First Floor Restaurants."

Back in the day, when the town was just beginning in the seventh century, things were not as they are today. Roads were dusty, the ground damp, and trash collection was not yet a weekly service. It wasn't the most ideal situation to build living quarters and kitchens, and so the Swiss brought their residential dwellings and, eventually, their restaurants, up one floor off the ground. In the Old Town of St. Gallen, up the stairs is where you'll find the town's traditional restaurants.

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In Search of Perfect Weather: When to Travel to the Great Barrier Reef

Where: Australia
May 29, 2014 at 4:59 PM | by | Comment (1)

The world's largest coral system sits just off the northeastern coast of Australia, an area synonymous with perfectly tropical weather. And while the Great Barrier Reef does boast warm water, skin diving, and a seemingly endless amount of sunshine, there are better times than others to visit.

Even though the reef can be seen from space, viewing it up close and in-person is a lifetime must-do. In general, right this second is the perfect time to do just that. Should you require a bit more advance notice—for much of the world's travelers, a trip to Australia is hardly a quick jaunt—so it's important to be mindful of weather.

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Bill Murray Gives the Best Advice

May 28, 2014 at 1:39 PM | by | Comments (0)

It's a well-known fact that actor Bill Murray can turn up anywhere, at anytime, inject your life with a dash of sage-like wisdom, and then disappear back into the world like some kind of burly fairy godmother. Events like these happen with such delightful randomness and frequency that there's a website devoted to tales of Bill Murray encounters.

One such appearance occurred this week, at a bachelor party in Charleston, WV. Murray is caught on video (posted on Deadspin) sharing his tip for deciding whether or not marriage is the right choice in a relationship. As you can guess from the fact we're talking about it, Bill's focus is on travel companionship.

You can watch the video above to get it straight from Murray's mouth, or see the quote below.

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Six Tips for Getting into Berlin's Best Nightclubs

May 20, 2014 at 2:30 PM | by | Comment (1)

Berlin's Berghain nightclub, set in an old power plant

Berlin is known for its hedonistic nightclubs, but along with that reputation comes a no-mercy admittance policy. The bouncers run the show as they do in North America, but they aren't shy about turning you away if they don't like the looks of you in Berlin. The Internet is filled with frustrating tales of people who have waited hours to get in, only to be turned away at the door for no apparent reason.

Local advice in hand, we got into a line at Ritter Butzke at 1 a.m. on a Sunday morning, gained entrance at 4 a.m., and didn't leave until 10:30 a.m. As the stories of others (both locals and tourists) will tell you, there's not much you can do to guarantee you get in, but you can certainly help your chances. Below, we dish our advice for passing the eye test at the door:

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One Piece of Advice When Walking Across the Brooklyn Bridge

May 19, 2014 at 12:31 PM | by | Comments (0)

With the weather in the low 70s in New York City last weekend, this travel writer had an excellent idea: Stroll the streets of midtown and make my way downtown to the Brooklyn Bridge, cross over, and spend an afternoon checking out DUMBO and the up and coming Red Hook neighborhood. It was a great idea…if only a thousand other people had not thought of it.

As you can see from the photo below, the bridge was absolutely stacked, a pack of penguins waddling in unison. Bikers screamed and yelled for walkers to clear the bike lane, and logjams occurred as people stopped to take photos of the Manhattan skyline they were leaving behind. I could feel the impatience growing in people all around me at times, especially the aforementioned bikers and the other local runners and commuters. My patience was tested, too, as I weaved in and out of the crowd in an attempt to be on time to meet my friends on the other side in Brooklyn.

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6 Things to Know Before Taking the Subway in Seoul

Where: Seoul, Korea
May 13, 2014 at 4:00 PM | by | Comments (0)

Even if you’re a subway/metro/underground pro, you'll have to recognize that every city has a slightly different approach to public transit. Subways in Asia get a well-deserved rep for being clean and efficient, and Seoul may be the best of the bunch.

So, here are a couple of things to know on the metro, which will have you looking like you know what you're doing:

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7 Tips for Making Friends When Traveling Solo

May 7, 2014 at 10:57 AM | by | Comments (2)

Whether you're a frequent flyer or an armchair traveler, there are certain details it's nice to review before making plans for that next big trip. Every week, we'll squeeze our mindgrapes and share tips to make sure you're the best informed flyer in seat 1A...or 38K.

This Week: 7 Tips for Making Friends While Traveling Solo

It takes a certain kind of person to travel through a foreign country by themselves, one who believes in his or her ability to make friends along the way. One of the longest-running strategies is to stay in hostels, where solo travelers from all over the world bunk up together. This is a tried and true approach, for sure, but the one caveat is that while hostels allow you to make friends with people from all over the world, it still doesn’t get you any closer to the people who live there, the locals.

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Why the US Department of State is Taking Travel Tips to Google Plus

Where: Brazil
May 6, 2014 at 12:24 PM | by | Comments (0)

Wow—Google+ may actually be useful for something! Tomorrow (Wednesday, May 7) at 3:30pm EST, the US Department of State will host a Google+ Hangout on the topic of World Cup Travel to Brazil. As you're likely aware, the World Cup soccer championships begin June 12 and last an entire month, drawing millions of international fans to one country.

Brazil is the host for 2014, and already over 150,000 Americans hold tickets to the games. For most this will be a first visit to Brazil, and perhaps even South America in general, and news headlines from these destinations haven't always inspired confidence. With this in mind, the Department of State is calling upon experts to quell fears and appropriately prep travelers for the energetic adventure to come:

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The 6 Tiny Things Every Traveler Should Always Pack

April 22, 2014 at 10:15 AM | by | Comments (2)

Whether you're a frequent flyer or an armchair traveler, there are certain details it's nice to review before making plans for that next big trip. Every week, we'll squeeze our mindgrapes and share tips to make sure you're the best informed flyer in seat 1A...or 38K.

This Week: The 6 Tiny Things You May Never Have Thought to Pack

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Three New Travel Apps to Add to Your Homescreen

April 16, 2014 at 1:25 PM | by | Comments (0)

Every so often, smartphones need a good app update and refresh, and this goes doubly so for travelers who rely on discovery and informational help from apps while in a new city. Here, three apps we've recently added to our own homescreen for travel purposes:

AroundMe

Recommended by our own Max Graham, the app is simple, straightforward, and otherwise everything you need when you've got limited time and patience. We'd like to think of it as a stripped-down Foursquare but, in Max's words, AroundMe has "no recommendations, just where stuff is."

Click a category, pick a location, and be immediately shown that location on a map including address, distance from you, and relevant contact information. Most useful in a pinch would probably be the ATM, Parking, and Gas Stations categories, although you'll likely need everything in AroundMe at some point or another during your travels.

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