Travel Tip Tuesday!


Need some inspiration for your next adventure? Try following this Hollywood hunk’s footsteps from South America to the Middle East and visit some of the sites from the films! Check out what Gadling writes about these adventure-packed destinations: Peru, Nepal, Egypt, China, India, and Jordan. Don’t forget your passport!

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Travel Tip Tuesday!

Travel, be it a family vacation, business trip or RTW adventure, has gone digital. Between the internet cafés (which are quickly becoming a thing of the past), 4G and matchbook-sized travel devices, there are plenty of gizmos to keep you constantly connected to the rest of the world on the other side of cyberspace. Mobile apps like Facebook and Instagram are some of the most common – seriously, who doesn’t use them? But have you heard of some of these others? Below is a [truncated] list of the “Ultimate Travel Apps” – a list compiled by CNNGo. I’ve summarized 5 apps that I’d splurge on. To view the whole list, click here.

1) UNESCO World Heritage Location Guide – Over 900 sites all over the world to browse from, this is a great app for those travelers looking for something on the road less traveled. (Don’t worry, all the famous sites are on there, too.)


2) mTrip – Great for big cities in Asia (i.e.: Bangkok, Hong Kong… all my faves). It tells you what places you’d enjoy visiting (based on preferences you enter once downloaded) and even lets you send virtual postcards to friends and family! I am a sucker for postcards – physical or digital – so I think this one is perfect.


3) Trip Advisor – As small business owners, Trip Advisor is some of the best word-of-mouth advertising we could ask for. Whenever we go on trips (even if it’s just a of couple hours away), we’ll hit up this site for activities, things to do and hotel recommendations. NOTE: In my experience, this site has only been beneficial for places in the U.S. (If you want to check out our business on Trip Advisor, just click here!)


4) Tripline – This app lets you document your trip with pictures, notes and a mapped timeline of everywhere you’ve been. You can check in at various places on your journey just by snapping a photo! Then return home and replay your adventures at your next family function.

5) EveryTrail – Perfect for nature freaks and hiking junkies, this app lets you find trips and trails nearest you, allows you to map your route with the phone’s GPS and even find other hikers in your area. You can view stats (like elevation and distance), see pictures of what’s around the bend and search tons of other trips that fellow nature nuts have taken.

Last tip: Make sure you’ll actually be able to use your smartphone or mobile device where you’re traveling. Just because you have lightning-speed service doesn’t mean you’ll be able to catch a signal in all corners of the globe.

Safe travels!

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Travel Tip Tuesday!

We’re back! After a brief hiatus to handle a family emergency, we’re back in Florida.

This week’s Travel Tip Tuesday is all about how to save money WHILE TRAVELING. So you’ve already hit the road, you’re on an adventure and you want to be sure you stay within your budget. The tips below will help effectively budget your money and not go broke while traveling.

How to save money while traveling:

Forego fancy restaurants – Utilize the local markets and vendors to make your own food or eat the street food (which is MUCH cheaper than restaurants, usually). That being said, you’ll want to navigate street foods carefully and have anti-diarrhea pills handy.

Save the souvenirs – My first trip to China, I bought 3 tea sets (I’m an impulse buyer) without factoring in that China was only the first stop on my itinerary. The lesson: Buy souvenirs and ship them home or stick to smaller items that you can easily put it your pack and carry with you (jewelry, magnets, etc.)

Tipping – An easy way to save money while you’re traveling is researching local customs to see if tipping is necessary. In the U.S., we tip for everything but in some cities in China, it’s rude to tip. Do the research and you may be able to save a chunk of change.

Taxi Troubles – If you can get around without using a taxi, do it. If you can’t, try to negotiate the fare before getting in. (If you’re a woman, fight hard. There are many countries that will try to take advantage of you if you’re a foreign woman).

Exchanging Money – Exchange money for the currency you want BEFORE you get to that country. Don’t exchange at the airport and if you use a kiosk, don’t forget there are fees. I like to use ATM’s… but watch out… there are international and bank fees that apply to ATM’s, too.

Tours and Tickets – This is my weakness. It’s so tempting to book every boat charter, snorkeling trip, zip line and caving tour out there but these activities will drain your bank. Set a budget and stick to it. Or investigate what the tours do (where they go, how they get there, what’s included) and do some of the same activities on your own.

For more tips and tricks to saving money while overseas, check out AirTreks Travel Blog.

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New way of looking at the world

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Coffee Guide – Day 5

Well folks, this is the 5th and final day of my coffee adventures around the world… just in time for the weekend! To read the whole article from MSNBC Itineraries, click here.

United StatesFrappuccino
It’s funny to see what people (in this case MSNBC Itineraries) thinks is the quintessential all-American coffee drink. Starbucks, yes. But a frap? Weird. For anyone who doesn’t know (or any non-coffee drinkers out there), a frappuccino is a coffee-meets-milkshake concoction. Usually high in calories and not as much caffeine as your classic black cup of Joe, a frappuccino can be especially tasty on hot days in the summer.

Netherlands: Bakkie Troost
This my type of morning brew: black coffee served with a cookie!

Brazil: Cafezinho
Very sweet and very strong. Did you know that Brazil produces 1/3 of the world’s coffee beans?! Awesome!

Poland: Kawa Parzona
Ground coffee beans and water mixed right in your cup. No filter. I feel like this would be like drinking sandy water. Hmmm.

Japan: Kan Kohi
Two words: canned coffee. Usually from one of the 6 million vending machines in the country that will dispense a cold brew in the summer and hot brew in the winter.

Photo by Alberto Pizzoli - MSNBCtravels

Categories: Adventure, Around the World, Asia, Coffee, Europe, Explore, Food, Globetrotting, Japan, Photography, Pinterest, South America, Top Knotch Gear, Travel, Travel Tips | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Around the World for $100,000

The Chinese are generally known to be frugal and modest, so it’s quite a surprise to hear that a 66-day luxury trip around the world sold out in just 13 SECONDS! The trip costs [a mere] RMB 660,000 – over $100,000 USD. The 11-person tour is organized by Ctrip – a Chinese travel agency conglomerate. (Tip: book airline tickets through them when you’re in China – they’re much cheaper than the usual travel agencies/airlines).

The “world tour”, China claims, is the “ultimate travel experience.” The itinerary looks something like this:

Australia + 24 days in South America + a cruise to Antarctica + North Africa + Europe + a 10-day cruise through the Med + Paris + Finland + Dubai + India + Hong Kong.

They’re flying first-class to all of their destinations, staying at the most high-end and posh hotels, and only participating in luxury-related activities. Read the article at CNN Go here.

I think this type of “tour” is an embarrassment for China. Not only is it ridiculously expensive given that the price tag is 8-10x that of the average annual Chinese salary, but I think it’s extremely homogenous, limited, and narrow-minded. Don’t get me wrong, people are absolutely free to travel however they please and by whatever means they desire but don’t call this the “ultimate travel experience” globetrotting tour of of the world when you’re only going to a fraction of it. (These are my personal thoughts only and do not reflect those of CNN Go or Ctrip.)

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Coffee Guide – Day 4

Here’s to day 3 of my coffee guide around the world! Read MSNBC Itineraries’ article here.

Spain: Café Bombon
Espresso & condensed milk – usually in layers. Sounds pretty to look at but not my cup of tea…or coffee, rather.

Morocco: Café des Épices
Coffee mixed with a variety of Moroccan spices! Everything from cardamom to black pepper is mixed into the coffee, depending on the occasion (or mood of the brewer.)

France: Café au Lait
Coffee with LOTS of warm milk – usually for dunking baguettes. (I’d be more interested in the baguettes and breakfast pastries than the French coffee, but that’s just me.)

Pieces of reindeer- or cow-milk cheese in a cup of black coffee.  Who would have thought that coffee and reindeer cheese go well together?

Ireland: Irish Coffee
Yes, just like we know it here in the states: hot coffee, sugar, Irish whiskey and whipped cream – the morning pick-me-up for college students!

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Plug this into your GPS…

Categories: Adventure, Asia, Australia, Backpacking, Circumnavigation, Europe, Explore, Globetrotting, Hiking, Nature, Outdoors, Pinterest, South America, Top Knotch Gear, Tourist Site, Trails, Transportation, Travel, Travel Tips, Trek | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Caffeine Guide to the World – Day 1

This week, I’m posting a series of “guides” each day to various coffee drinks and caffeinated beverages around the world. If you’re addicted to that morning jolt (I totally am) and to travel, this series will feature a handful of countries each day and a profile on their signature red-eye concoctions.

My favorite refreshments are water, beer and coffee. When traveling, clean water can usually be found (or made) one way or another and beer is always an enjoyable thirst-quencher – a great way to understand local culture. But coffee, good coffee, is not always easy to come by. Each country has a different interpretation of caffeine but below is a great article from’s Itineraries called A Caffeine Addict’s Guide to the World. Here’s the skinny for today:

Italy: Espresso
It should have a thick crema layer on top and you should drink it like a shot of vodka – one gulp… while standing, of course. You have to get the full experience.

Austria: Melange
Just like a cappuccino (espresso, milk, foam and whipped cream) and served with water so you cleanse your palette in between sips.

Ethiopia: Buna
This is where coffee was “invented” and true to its roots, it’s served with salt and butter instead of sugar and milk.

Mexico: Café de Olla
This is a pre-sweetened beverage brewed with spices – cinnamon sticks and dark brown sugar.

Saudi Arabia: Kahwa
In traditional coffee shops (where women aren’t allowed – don’t get me started), you’ll find this bitter brew, infused with cardamom and served with sweet snacks. Ladies, if you want to enjoy this jolt, you’ll likely have to go to an upscale hotel in the capital.

Categories: Adventure, Africa, Backpacking, Coffee, Drink, Europe, Food, News, Top Knotch Gear, Travel, Travel Tips, Vegetarian | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s no wonder that most of these places are in Europe – a very expensive continent as a whole. But don’t forget that staying in hostels (compared to mid-average hotels) can really cut accommodation costs!



It’s no wonder that most of these places are in Europe – a very expensive continent as a whole. But don’t forget that staying in hostels (compared to mid-average hotels) can really cut accommodation costs!

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Categories: Adventure, Backpacking, Europe, Norway, Photography, Switzerland, Top Knotch Gear, Tourist Site, Travel, Travel Photography, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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