Tag: Travel Tips

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Board this Boat to Save Money on Water Taxis in Bangkok

June 30, 2014 at 10:58 AM | by | Comments (0)

When you visit Bangkok, you'll quickly realize that public transportation is pretty cheap. When using a metered taxi, rates starts at 35 baht (just over a dollar) for the first two kilometers and increase by about 2 baht for each kilometer after. This means that to jump from neighborhood to neighborhood is only a couple of bucks, and if you're in no rush, fares on the subway (MRT) and skytrain (BTS) are under 60 baht ($2) for all one-way trips.

If you're staying along the river and are looking to visit a destination up or downstream, such as the Grand Palace, taking a water taxi is a very good option both in terms of convenience and ambiance. Just as you should never take a taxi that's not metered in Bangkok, you also have to be careful of water shuttles that could cost you more.

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Brazil or Bust: The Words to Know in Salvador da Bahia

June 26, 2014 at 4:34 PM | by | Comments (0)

Brazil is so hot right now. Actually, Brazil is one of those perpetually hot places, topping travel bucketlists for decades, but especially so now with both the World Cup and Summer Olympics on the calendar. Thanks to TAM Airlines and Brazil Nuts tours, we journey south to see why.

"Capital of Happiness" is quite the boast for a city, but there's no doubt Brazil's third largest city, Salvador da Bahia, turns frowns upside-down. Whether you call it "Salvador" to keep it simple, or "Salvador da Bahia" to differentiate it from the many, many other Salvadors of the world, the vibrant, Afro-Brazilian metropolis of 3.5 million will be on your lips as Brazil's cultural hotspot (so much for Rio as the end-all be-all).

Here are the words to help you on your way in Salvador da Bahia:

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Before You Go: What to Pack to Hike the Grand Canyon and Havasupai Falls

June 25, 2014 at 6:04 PM | by | Comments (0)

Our crew crossing the Havasu River in the Grand Canyon

When you're out in the Arizona wilderness, the right gear can make all the difference. And it's not just about the heat. In an environment like the Grand Canyon, the mix of the elements is what threatens your comfort. Aside from the extremely obvious camping gear and necessities like a tent, sunscreen, water bladders, and a hat, there are other ways to equip yourself so your trip to Havasupai Falls actually feels like a vacation.

Here are a few suggestions based on the gear we used for our recent trip:

Zipperless Backpack

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A Lesson in Mapmaking for All You Globetrotters Out There

June 18, 2014 at 10:32 AM | by | Comments (0)

One of the benefits of travel is the firsthand experience you get with geography, including a better understanding of the shape, size, and scope of the world's countries, their borders, and their place within the big picture of our planet. It's not uncommon for travel junkies to have maps hanging on their bedroom walls, or to engage in games that test their knowledge of the globe.

We know that maps created in the past were always taken with a grain of salt due to limited technology, but problems still exist today when it comes to defining borders and labeling landscapes. Technology is obviously no longer a problem, but politics are as influencing as they ever were.

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Happy Pride Month! Book a Trip with These Gay-Friendly Travel Websites

June 12, 2014 at 10:04 AM | by | Comments (0)

It's already nearly mid-June and thus well into the season for donning some rainbow hues and head out in the the "wild pink yonder" to Gay Pride festivals all over the country. Even if the parades, floats, and glitter are not your thing, it's important to recognize that now is also the time travel companies market extra hard for your dollar.

Sure, it's simple to book a regular flight, train trip, or even cruise without having to proclaim your sexuality, but it's good to have options.

Here's your one-stop reference for websites of airlines, trains, and cruise lines specifically dedicated for the gay traveler:

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Brazil or Bust: The Words to Know in Rio de Janeiro

June 11, 2014 at 12:11 PM | by | Comments (0)

Brazil is so hot right now. Actually, Brazil is one of those perpetually hot places, topping travel bucketlists for decades, but especially so now with both the World Cup and Summer Olympics on the calendar. Thanks to TAM Airlines and Brazil Nuts tours, we journey south to see why.

Just as travel expands horizons, so it also does vocabulary. Even without a trip to Brazil, you'll have heard of at least a few words that matter, like "Copacabana," "Caipirinha" and "Capoeira," but Rio de Janeiro requires fewer inhibitions and more twists of the tongue.

Here are the words to help you on your way in Rio:

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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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