Tag: Travel Tips

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Out to Sea But Not Off the Grid: How to Save on Cruise Ship WiFi

July 29, 2014 at 2:22 PM | by | Comments (3)

At-sea WiFI is a beautiful thing, but this beauty doesn’t come without a price tag. Cruise ships around the world have offered connectivity from sea to shining sea for several years thanks to Inmarsat’s satellites buzzing about in space, and yet the cost of using even one hour of internet is shocking and, dare we say it, turning travelers away from oceangoing vacations.

There is hope, however; onboard a recent transatlantic voyage of Cunard’s Queen Mary 2, we hooked onto an internet signal every day, at all hours, from all over the ship, despite our location of “somewhere in the North Atlantic Ocean,” and came away with scores of ideas on how to keep those WiFi costs down while still logging on:

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A Complete Survival Guide to Diagon Alley at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

July 16, 2014 at 4:10 PM | by | Comments (0)

Magic is seriously in the air this month, as we've been in Orlando for an early preview of the newest addition to Universal Orlando: Diagon Alley at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Last week was the official Grand Opening, but here you'll find all the juiciest tips for enjoying the most exciting amusement park debut of the year.

Thinking of heading to the new Diagon Alley at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter park at Universal Studios Orlando? You better be ready to sweat, wait in long lines, and yet enjoy it all along. But still, it's a good idea to do your homework for something like this, which will see record visitors for the next few months (at least!) and which will try your spending power to the max.

Jaunted's Quick and Dirty Survival Guide for Diagon Alley:

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Five Exercises for Staying Fit on Arrival

July 11, 2014 at 2:20 PM | by | Comments (0)

Last week, we highlighted some of our favorite exercises to get in both before boarding your plane and during your flight. If you're really looking to round out your travel wellness, however, fit in a few exercises after you touch down at your destination.

From altitude to humidity and posture to activity levels, our bodies are subject to different stresses than when we're on land. Even in a lie-flat seat, the body is slightly abused through saltier food, the possibility of free flowing alcohol, and time spent sedentary, so we offer you our picks for the best exercises and stretches to do while waiting for your luggage:

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Five Things to Have in Your Pocket for a Trip to Southeast Asia

July 10, 2014 at 11:33 AM | by | Comments (0)

Ngoc Son Temple at Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi

It's a long trip from North America to Southeast Asia, so when you make the journey, you'll want to be as prepared as possible. For this travel writer, a few pocket-size things make all the difference, the value of most learned via baptism by fire. Stick these in your suitcase to make life easier next time you find yourself across the Pacific:

Pocket Poncho

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This is the Easiest Way to Get a Visa For a Visit to Vietnam

Where: Vietnam
July 1, 2014 at 12:45 PM | by | Comment (1)

Americans visiting Vietnam need a visa to enter the country, and there are two ways you can go about obtaining one. The most basic is to get one before you leave American soil by sending your passport and application off to the Vietnam Embassy in the States, but that process can take two weeks while at the same time putting your passport at risk of getting lost in the mail.

The other option is to get a visa on arrival, but it's not as simple as just showing up. While you technically receive it upon arrival, you need to have a letter of written approval in hand. We tested out this process on our recent journey, and found it to be the easiest process and much less stress than mailing off our passport.

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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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