Tag: Travel TipsView All Tags
Cambodia Travel / Phnom Penh Travel / Travel Tips / PNH / Lists / What Not To Do In / Tourism / → All Tags
This whole week we're highlighting our time in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, complete with recommendations on what to do. Today, however, the focus is on what not to do, as we spied some big tourist no-nos while in town, ones to avoid while on a trip to Cambodia's capital.
Here's our top 5 tips on what not to do while exploring Phnom Penh:
Travel Tips / Summer Travel / Passports / Lists / → All Tags
Sort out the food in your fridge
When you're about to leave for a big trip but find it hard to gobble down all the perishable food in your fridge and pantry, donate it to a local organization who'll feed it to people who aren't fortunate enough to be off on a big trip.
In big cities, Food Banks will happily accept individual donations while, in small cities, you'll have to give your local soup kitchen a call. In New York City, where residents are constantly impulse-buying yummies at Duane Reade without remembering that they're jetting off on a business trip the next day, the Food Bank of NYC has clearly outlined rules for such donations:
Spring it springing and your mind is likely on summer vacation..or even heading out far sooner than that, let's hope! Thus, it's once again time to think about keeping your passport nice. These things are valid for ten years. Ten years. That means that at no point in ten years can you spill coffee or especially Kool-Aid all over it.
Our three tips for passport care:
· Don't underestimate the power of a passport cover
Maybe this is common sense, but you'd be surprised how often we see travelers carrying their passports willy-nilly while walking through the airport. Get a passport cover...for several reasons. The "duh" reason is that it helps prolong the life of your passport, saving it from minor spills and whatnot. Other reasons for getting a cover include easy spotting it in your bag, keeping entry documents together, and not being obvious about your nationality. Just do know that you will have to remove your passport from the cover for inspection at immigration, customs, etc.
We have several passport cases, from basic and clear to leather and filled with pockets. Still, we've never found anything more easy to use than a larger wallet, where we stick the passport in the slot once used for a checkbook.
Sounds kind of like a given to ensure your travel documents are in order before handing over your boarding pass, but take it from us that you should always have another look on that tourist visa or itinerary. It's easy to overlook little misspellings or transcribed numbers, so it is even more important to have someone else look it over to give it the thumbs up.
Here is our story; any American traveler wanting to enter Vietnam needs to obtain a visa. This is not an e-visa that can be purchased online and electronically attached to your passport number. This is one of those old-fashioned, visit-a-consulate or mail-away-your-passport to the nearest embassy situations. While it's a bit of a hassle, a side perk is that you do get a pretty colorful sticker in your passport to show all your friends.
Thailand Travel / Chiang Mai Travel / Festival Travel / Songkran / New Year's Travel / Travel Tips / → All Tags
Our travel plans will soon bring us to Thailand and not just to sample various noodle recipes or tour some temples. While all that's on the plan, the real focus for travel to Thailand during this time of the year is the celebration of one of the most festive times of year in Thailand: Songkran, Thai New Year.
Chiang Mai is on our itinerary since we've heard it's the epicenter for all things Songkran. Traditionally, throwing water on friends, family and passers-by is considered the best part of the festivities. Originally done to cleanse Buddha statues, the drenchings during the holiday require some advance preparation for travelers.
Everybody does it. There's no need to be ashamed to talk about it. After all, it's an important part of adulthood.
We're speaking, of course, about renewing a passport, which can often be quite the stressful occasion if you travel with any regularity.
When renewing your US passport (assuming you already have oneif not get one now), there's a few steps to be completed, whether you opt for a regular or expedited turnaround time. You take a passport photo, you pay the $110 passport fee and you submit the completed forms with your previous passport. But wait just a second!
Travel Gear / Travel Tech / Technology / Apple / iPhone / iPad / Travel Tips / → All Tags
Note: This story pertains to users of Apple MacBooks, iPads and iPhones.
You know the distinctive white MacBook power cord? It has a name. It's called the "MagSafe Adapter" and that white block portion does more than plug into the wall to charge your laptop; it also works with different voltages to allow travelers to safely plug their MacBooks into the 110-volt electricity of the US, or the 220-240 volts of almost everywhere else (without need for a clunky power converter).
That said, the plug shape still needs to change to fit foreign power outlets, and that's where our new favorite thing comes into play.
It's the Apple World Travel Adapter Kit, it's $39, and it's saved our work life during three months of heavy international travel. We've only had it since Christmas (a gift from a family member) and already we can't imagine living/traveling without it.
Hong Kong in April. Victoria Harbour.
All this week we'll be answering the Who, What, Where, When, Whys and Hows of Hong Kong. Of course the answer to "WHO should go to Hong Kong" is YOU. Whether you've never been or you're a regular through Chek Lap Kok, this no-visa-required peninsula hanging off of China should absolutely your next stop.
Thinking of taking the leap and a long flight to visit Hong Kong? Excellent idea, but you should know that it is a destination with weather mood swings.
Hong Kong sits in the Northern Hemisphere, so the summer and winter coincide with that of New York or Europe. Still, when NY or London are being battered with below-freezing temps and blustery winds, HK is enjoying ideal weather with maybe a light jacket needed at night. To make sure you book that dream trip and have the best possible time, we've got some recommendations for when.
Texas Travel / Austin Travel / SXSW / SXSW 2013 / Lists / Donuts / Food Travel / Travel TIps / → All Tags
We believe there is a saying perfect for SXSW: "Man cannot live on (free) bread alone." Though the festival of music, film and tech loves to see its attendees gorging on complimentary nibbles at events all over Austin, sometimes one must sit down to a full, honest meal.
Whether you're looking for a restaurant to treat a potential business partner or just hankering for a Texas-sized donut, here's our highest recommendations:*
In just the last year, America has made some great strides in LGBT communities with the advancement of multiple states' marriage equality laws and the 'Big O' announcing his support for all gay Americans. Now it's the State Department's turn to get in on the gay ol' fun.
When it comes to gay rights, there are places way better at it than the USwe're looking at you Tel Avivand on the flip side, there are nations who fail miserably. The folks we elected into office have opened up an info portal for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender travelers to visit, to ensure that international travels are smooth.
A few days ago we let you in on the little secret that we're currently traveling with someone who has never really traveled before. As in, she'd never left three US states and now she's in Turkey. We thought teaching her how to pack a carryon only for a week abroad would be the extent of our tutorship, but it's been so much more.
As we're down to our last 48 hours away, we're dealing with an amateur traveler's whining about having to leave and go home. This is inevitable, but frequent travelers are aces at dealing with it; there's a positive attitude of "well, I'll be back someday for sure," whether or not you know if that's true. In any case, the rest of the world is waiting.
While our friend comes to grips with returning to the USA, we're jotting down more answers given in response to her innocent questions. Check 'em out:
· We're not going to dinner at 6pm. No way. I don't care about jet lag. There's a such thing as an aperitif hour and then real dining doesn't happen until 9pm at the earliest in many countries.
· Simplify your questions. If you know someone doesn't have the best grasp of English and you're asking a question in English, don't use segues or long explanations. Just ask the question. Example: "And while I'm thinking of it, I had meant to ask you for your recommendation on the best dessert." (WRONG) "What is the best dessert?" (RIGHT).
Confession: I'm far, far away in Turkey right now. It's a country that's new to me and new to one of my good friends. There's more. This friend arrived to America as a young child and, ever since, hasn't ventured outside the confines of three US states. Now she's in Turkey with her first passport stamp. Watching her learn and interact I can practically see little lightbulbs go on above her head as realizations about the worldthe one outside her worldstrike.
She's not stupid. Far from it. She's just completely new to travel, having been kept grounded by passport obtainment issues and then higher and higher education.
Sometimes I really must step back and assess the tidbits of knowledge and international etiquette I myself have absorbed simply by stepping into a variety of airplanes, airports, continents. What now comes naturally to me is still quite daunting to the amateur traveler. I'm answering her questions and I'm learning as well. So I'm keeping a list of these answers. Here's some: