Showing posts with label Travel tips. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Travel tips. Show all posts

Statue of liberty close up walking tour new york_by_Laurence Norah

We’ve been lucky enough to travel a fair bit in the United States, and one of the questions that we’re always asked is – how much does it cost to travel in the USA? Particularly on the kind of trips we do, which tend to be self-drive road trips.

Well, today I’m going to see if I can help you figure that out, so you can budget for your own trip accordingly.

How Much Does It Cost To Travel In The USA?

Statue of liberty close up walking tour new york_by_Laurence Norah

We’ve been lucky enough to travel a fair bit in the United States, and one of the questions that we’re always asked is – how much does it cost to travel in the USA? Particularly on the kind of trips we do, which tend to be self-drive road trips.

Well, today I’m going to see if I can help you figure that out, so you can budget for your own trip accordingly.

Read More

Charing Cross from above_by_Laurence Norah

I recently wrote a post about the best ways to get around London. That’s all well and good, but it’s missing a key component – the most cost effective way to actually pay for transport in London.

You’d think this would be a fairly obvious answer, but unfortunately it’s a little bit more complicated than you might imagine. Fear not though, this post will guide you through the options and help you decide which payment option is best for using London’s public transport system!

Oyster Card vs Contactless: The Best Way to Pay for Public Transport in London

Charing Cross from above_by_Laurence Norah

I recently wrote a post about the best ways to get around London. That’s all well and good, but it’s missing a key component – the most cost effective way to actually pay for transport in London.

You’d think this would be a fairly obvious answer, but unfortunately it’s a little bit more complicated than you might imagine. Fear not though, this post will guide you through the options and help you decide which payment option is best for using London’s public transport system!

Read More
Tips for driving in the USA

Exploring the USA by road is definitely one of the best ways to experience everything this incredible country has to offer. From exploring a state like California, to taking a classic road trip like Route 66, or just thoroughly exploring a section of the Pacific Coast Highway – hitting the open road in the US is a thoroughly rewarding experience.

It’s by far my favourite way to explore the country, and we’ve done thousands of miles of driving in the US, including Route 66, the Oregon Trail, and the Deep South.

I also love driving in the US. It’s a really car friendly country, with big, well maintained roads, clear signage, and no shortage of places to visit.

Tips for Driving in the USA

Tips for driving in the USA

Exploring the USA by road is definitely one of the best ways to experience everything this incredible country has to offer. From exploring a state like California, to taking a classic road trip like Route 66, or just thoroughly exploring a section of the Pacific Coast Highway – hitting the open road in the US is a thoroughly rewarding experience.

It’s by far my favourite way to explore the country, and we’ve done thousands of miles of driving in the US, including Route 66, the Oregon Trail, and the Deep South.

I also love driving in the US. It’s a really car friendly country, with big, well maintained roads, clear signage, and no shortage of places to visit.
Read More

Guide to Public Transport Options in London

So you’ve decided to visit London! Fantastic idea, it’s an excellent city, with enough activities to keep you busy for however long you choose to stay. For more inspiration, check out my London must-do’s, my guide to what to do for two days in London, and the best photography locations in London.

Then, if you’re looking to save money on sight-seeing, check out Jess’s fantastic review of the London Pass.

Guide to Public Transport Options in London

Guide to Public Transport Options in London

So you’ve decided to visit London! Fantastic idea, it’s an excellent city, with enough activities to keep you busy for however long you choose to stay. For more inspiration, check out my London must-do’s, my guide to what to do for two days in London, and the best photography locations in London.

Then, if you’re looking to save money on sight-seeing, check out Jess’s fantastic review of the London Pass.

Read More

Sunset New Orleans Canal St

We had the pleasure of undertaking a fantastic roadtrip in early 2016, starting in Charleston, South Carolina, winding our way through four states, and ultimately ending up in New Orleans, with stops in Savannah, Birmingham, Baton Rouge, and many more along the route.

Visiting New Orleans During Mardi Gras

Sunset New Orleans Canal St

We had the pleasure of undertaking a fantastic roadtrip in early 2016, starting in Charleston, South Carolina, winding our way through four states, and ultimately ending up in New Orleans, with stops in Savannah, Birmingham, Baton Rouge, and many more along the route.

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Airbnb alternatives: Manhattan skyline from the sea

I’m not going to lie, we love AirBnB. It’s a wonderful way to find accommodation all around the world in lodgings that range from quirky to palatial, from budget to princely. If you’re new to the world of peer to peer accommodation, take a look at Jess’s post about AirBnB, which will answer all your questions.

The thing is, AirBnB has become a bit popular of late. There’s plenty of choice, but prices have definitely started to creep up. At busy times, properties can book out a long time in advance. In some cases, it’s also become quite the industry, losing the personal touch as landlords cash in, meaning the only human interaction you get is when you get your keys at the beginning of your stay.

The Best AirBnB Alternatives

Airbnb alternatives: Manhattan skyline from the sea

I’m not going to lie, we love AirBnB. It’s a wonderful way to find accommodation all around the world in lodgings that range from quirky to palatial, from budget to princely. If you’re new to the world of peer to peer accommodation, take a look at Jess’s post about AirBnB, which will answer all your questions.

The thing is, AirBnB has become a bit popular of late. There’s plenty of choice, but prices have definitely started to creep up. At busy times, properties can book out a long time in advance. In some cases, it’s also become quite the industry, losing the personal touch as landlords cash in, meaning the only human interaction you get is when you get your keys at the beginning of your stay.

Read More

Options for keeping your data backed up when travelling

When we travel, we often rely very heavily on technology to help us preserve the memories of the trip we are taking.

From photos to diary entries, trip notes to budget tracking, technology pops its head up all over the place to help us out.

But what happens when things go wrong? What if our laptop or camera is stolen, or the hard drive fails, or we get some kind of virus that wipes it all out?

Here are some ideas for how you can keep everything safe, should the unthinkable happen, ensuring that all you lose are some physical items rather than your precious memories.

This is based on both my personal experience travelling across multiple countries with hundreds of gigabytes of data to keep safe, as well as nearly ten years of IT experience.

The Best Backup Solutions for Travel

Options for keeping your data backed up when travelling

When we travel, we often rely very heavily on technology to help us preserve the memories of the trip we are taking.

From photos to diary entries, trip notes to budget tracking, technology pops its head up all over the place to help us out.

But what happens when things go wrong? What if our laptop or camera is stolen, or the hard drive fails, or we get some kind of virus that wipes it all out?

Here are some ideas for how you can keep everything safe, should the unthinkable happen, ensuring that all you lose are some physical items rather than your precious memories.

This is based on both my personal experience travelling across multiple countries with hundreds of gigabytes of data to keep safe, as well as nearly ten years of IT experience.

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Besalu Bridge Costa Brava

I am quite excited because the title rhymes. Most things that rhyme are pretty good, right? Apart from that, you probably don’t have the faintest idea where the heck Besalú is, but guess what: that already makes you smarter than me, because I had in fact been there two years ago and the name still didn’t ring a bell when we went back this summer.

‘What a memorable place this Besalú must be!’, you might be thinking to yourselves now, unaware of my incompetence when it comes to remembering names. Also, when I say that I had already been there, I by that mean: arrived, jumped out of the bus, had half an hour to take pictures of a bridge, jumped back on the bus, off we went.

What to do in Besalú

Besalu Bridge Costa Brava

I am quite excited because the title rhymes. Most things that rhyme are pretty good, right? Apart from that, you probably don’t have the faintest idea where the heck Besalú is, but guess what: that already makes you smarter than me, because I had in fact been there two years ago and the name still didn’t ring a bell when we went back this summer.

‘What a memorable place this Besalú must be!’, you might be thinking to yourselves now, unaware of my incompetence when it comes to remembering names. Also, when I say that I had already been there, I by that mean: arrived, jumped out of the bus, had half an hour to take pictures of a bridge, jumped back on the bus, off we went.

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Naturaki Can Martinot Costa Brava loft bedroom wooden

When I lived in the UK, friends and I would often band together and go on holidays to giant houses in remote parts of the country, including the Scottish Highlands or the Lake District.

We usually hired extravagantly huge houses for these adventures. I remember one on a 10,000 acre estate which came complete with its own Scottish Loch (prehistoric monster as an optional add-on).

Beyond the optional monster, that one had a 10 mile, hour-long, tremendously bumpy drive between the entrance gate and the actual building, more rooms than I can remember, and an entirely disturbing collection of dead animals on the wall.

How to stay in a Villa for less than the price of a Hostel

Naturaki Can Martinot Costa Brava loft bedroom wooden

When I lived in the UK, friends and I would often band together and go on holidays to giant houses in remote parts of the country, including the Scottish Highlands or the Lake District.

We usually hired extravagantly huge houses for these adventures. I remember one on a 10,000 acre estate which came complete with its own Scottish Loch (prehistoric monster as an optional add-on).

Beyond the optional monster, that one had a 10 mile, hour-long, tremendously bumpy drive between the entrance gate and the actual building, more rooms than I can remember, and an entirely disturbing collection of dead animals on the wall.

Read More

Paris Scams Notre Dame from behind

It had been a while since I had been to Paris, so when Loz and his friend Dan’s photo-workshop was announced to take place in the city of love, I foraged the vast plains of the Internet to find advice and inspiration as in what to do and see.

It didn’t take long for me to get slightly irritated. Every single Paris post I read had a reference to scams in it. At one point I was convinced that there are as many posts about the scams of Paris than there are posts about the sights of Paris. Probably not a good sign. I can’t deny it put a bit of a damper on my anticipation. Who is looking forward to going to a beautiful city only to have to constantly be aware of scam artists?

Tips for Surviving The Scams of Paris – A Little Case Study

Paris Scams Notre Dame from behind

It had been a while since I had been to Paris, so when Loz and his friend Dan’s photo-workshop was announced to take place in the city of love, I foraged the vast plains of the Internet to find advice and inspiration as in what to do and see.

It didn’t take long for me to get slightly irritated. Every single Paris post I read had a reference to scams in it. At one point I was convinced that there are as many posts about the scams of Paris than there are posts about the sights of Paris. Probably not a good sign. I can’t deny it put a bit of a damper on my anticipation. Who is looking forward to going to a beautiful city only to have to constantly be aware of scam artists?

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Quilotoa volcano crater and rainbow Ecuador

Having spent three months in Ecuador, we thought we’d share some tips and information that we accumulated while travelling throughout the country. Maybe not everything will apply for you on your travels – after all, there are differences between the various regions and the way they do things, differences between the cities and the country-side, differences between budget and fancier travelling-, but I’m sure there’s something useful for you in it.

Handy things to know before going to Ecuador

Quilotoa volcano crater and rainbow Ecuador

Having spent three months in Ecuador, we thought we’d share some tips and information that we accumulated while travelling throughout the country. Maybe not everything will apply for you on your travels – after all, there are differences between the various regions and the way they do things, differences between the cities and the country-side, differences between budget and fancier travelling-, but I’m sure there’s something useful for you in it.

Read More

Road to mount cook 2

Packing! It can be the most difficult part of travel. Deciding what to take, what to leave behind, what to wish you’d brought with you. With this in mind we’ve put together our ultimate list for travel packing, based around our experiences from years of adventure. We’ve also sprinkled some photos in from our travels, to help inspire you to go beyond just making the list!

This list is aimed at folks travelling for a little longer, and hoping to do some work from the road. Hence the snappy title. It should act as a great master list though, from which you can pick and choose based on your destination and specific trip type.

List updated January 2017 with latest products and recommendations, as well as the latest discount codes where I’ve been able to source them! 

Now, let’s get started with:

The Ultimate Digital Nomad Packing List for Travel

Road to mount cook 2

Packing! It can be the most difficult part of travel. Deciding what to take, what to leave behind, what to wish you’d brought with you. With this in mind we’ve put together our ultimate list for travel packing, based around our experiences from years of adventure. We’ve also sprinkled some photos in from our travels, to help inspire you to go beyond just making the list!

This list is aimed at folks travelling for a little longer, and hoping to do some work from the road. Hence the snappy title. It should act as a great master list though, from which you can pick and choose based on your destination and specific trip type.

List updated January 2017 with latest products and recommendations, as well as the latest discount codes where I’ve been able to source them! 

Now, let’s get started with:

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sleeping baby sea lion

The Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador are the kind of place you are thrilled to get to visit once in your life, like we were, over Christmas and New Year of 2013/14.

Visiting once means you want to get it right in terms of what you take with you, the kind of trip you do, and what to expect when you arrive.

Preparing and Planning for a Galapagos Trip

sleeping baby sea lion

The Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador are the kind of place you are thrilled to get to visit once in your life, like we were, over Christmas and New Year of 2013/14.

Visiting once means you want to get it right in terms of what you take with you, the kind of trip you do, and what to expect when you arrive.

Read More

Sunset street dog

When we were in Thailand, more than once I thought: “By the power of Greyskull, I’m really glad I don’t have a problem with dogs…”. Because they are everywhere! Small ones, big ones. Young ones, old ones. Lying, sleeping, trotting, running. Together or alone. In the streets, around the temples or on the beaches.

Maybe they have an owner, maybe they don’t. They are an accepted part of life over there, and I never witnessed anyone shouting at them or abusing them. Instead there were little plates and bowls with scraps or dog biscuits randomly dispersed throughout the streets.

Who let the dogs out–10 tips for dealing with street dogs

Sunset street dog

When we were in Thailand, more than once I thought: “By the power of Greyskull, I’m really glad I don’t have a problem with dogs…”. Because they are everywhere! Small ones, big ones. Young ones, old ones. Lying, sleeping, trotting, running. Together or alone. In the streets, around the temples or on the beaches.

Maybe they have an owner, maybe they don’t. They are an accepted part of life over there, and I never witnessed anyone shouting at them or abusing them. Instead there were little plates and bowls with scraps or dog biscuits randomly dispersed throughout the streets.

Read More

Road to mount cook 2

Road trips! What’s not to love? The stereo blaring, scenery rolling by mile after mile, the freedom to just pull over and gawp at whatever takes your fancy.

As you can probably tell, I do enjoy a good road trip, and today I’m going to share four of my absolute favourites from my travels that, if you happen to have the chance, you should totally get on and do. If you’ve got favourites from your travels – shout them out in the comments at the end!

Four spectacular road trips you need to do

Road to mount cook 2

Road trips! What’s not to love? The stereo blaring, scenery rolling by mile after mile, the freedom to just pull over and gawp at whatever takes your fancy.

As you can probably tell, I do enjoy a good road trip, and today I’m going to share four of my absolute favourites from my travels that, if you happen to have the chance, you should totally get on and do. If you’ve got favourites from your travels – shout them out in the comments at the end!

Read More

The sands of time

There’s an often ignored malady that I suspect many of us have succumbed to when travelling, maybe without even realising it. It’s particularly easy to get struck down by this one, and it can really ruin at least a few days of your trip. I am of course talking about dehydration.

I’ve met quite a few people on various travels who have been convinced they were suffering from all kinds of things, from the flu through to food poisoning. I also grew up on a small tropical island where visitors would often be struck down with this malady.

I thought therefore that a post offering tips for noticing and avoiding this common traveller’s pitfall would be handy. We’ll start with:

Know the signs and avoid dehydration when travelling

The sands of time

There’s an often ignored malady that I suspect many of us have succumbed to when travelling, maybe without even realising it. It’s particularly easy to get struck down by this one, and it can really ruin at least a few days of your trip. I am of course talking about dehydration.

I’ve met quite a few people on various travels who have been convinced they were suffering from all kinds of things, from the flu through to food poisoning. I also grew up on a small tropical island where visitors would often be struck down with this malady.

I thought therefore that a post offering tips for noticing and avoiding this common traveller’s pitfall would be handy. We’ll start with:

Read More

tilt shift from Colombo Statue barcelona 2

Europe. It’s jam packed with incredible places to visit, and the cities are no exception to this rule. From the gondola clad waterways of Venice, to the Gaudi wackiness in Barcelona, to the romance that is Paris – there is truly something for everyone.

The problem with this mass appeal is that the masses are appealed. And in the height of the summer months, these cities can become, quite frankly, a bit of a nightmare to visit. Crowded attractions, price hikes, long queues and oppressive heat (unless you’ve visiting the UK, in which case that is less likely to be a problem) – the trip of a lifetime can very quickly become the trip from hell. So what to do?

Top tips for surviving a European city in summer

tilt shift from Colombo Statue barcelona 2

Europe. It’s jam packed with incredible places to visit, and the cities are no exception to this rule. From the gondola clad waterways of Venice, to the Gaudi wackiness in Barcelona, to the romance that is Paris – there is truly something for everyone.

The problem with this mass appeal is that the masses are appealed. And in the height of the summer months, these cities can become, quite frankly, a bit of a nightmare to visit. Crowded attractions, price hikes, long queues and oppressive heat (unless you’ve visiting the UK, in which case that is less likely to be a problem) – the trip of a lifetime can very quickly become the trip from hell. So what to do?

Read More

Toilets. Better than Glastonbury.

Dear fellow travellers! It's me again, Vera, and today I am going to talk to you about finding public toilets.

A task that is somewhat essential to a smooth travel experience, yet hardly addressed – until now. 

There is of course a chance of the odd TMI happening, so brace yourselves! However, we have to be courageous here, because not finding a public toilet when you need one can seriously cast a dark shadow over your otherwise delightful travels. Or over your pants. Right.

Luckily Loz already did a post about scenic toilets, and possesses a multitude of loo-pictures, hence you are not going to lack the eye candy (I heard that sigh of relief!).

A wee problem (or A guide to finding public toilets)

Toilets. Better than Glastonbury.

Dear fellow travellers! It's me again, Vera, and today I am going to talk to you about finding public toilets.

A task that is somewhat essential to a smooth travel experience, yet hardly addressed – until now. 

There is of course a chance of the odd TMI happening, so brace yourselves! However, we have to be courageous here, because not finding a public toilet when you need one can seriously cast a dark shadow over your otherwise delightful travels. Or over your pants. Right.

Luckily Loz already did a post about scenic toilets, and possesses a multitude of loo-pictures, hence you are not going to lack the eye candy (I heard that sigh of relief!).

Read More

Phone box australian outback 2

You can’t beat a good one-on-one with friends and family. In fact, one of the main downsides of travel is being far away from and out of touch with all those loved ones (well, mostly).

When I’m travelling, I find the sound of a voice is the best way to connect with friends and loved ones. There are other options of course, from the ancient art of the letter, through to the wondrous time sink that is facebook, but I find that quality time really needs to stimulate aurally.

If you’re reading this in the future, where teleportation has been invented, you can skip this post and use the teleportation option. For the rest of us, here are the various options you have for calling home when you are on the road. If you’ve got any more to share, or general opinions on staying in touch, do feel free to hit up the comments at the end!

Staying in touch with home when travelling

Phone box australian outback 2

You can’t beat a good one-on-one with friends and family. In fact, one of the main downsides of travel is being far away from and out of touch with all those loved ones (well, mostly).

When I’m travelling, I find the sound of a voice is the best way to connect with friends and loved ones. There are other options of course, from the ancient art of the letter, through to the wondrous time sink that is facebook, but I find that quality time really needs to stimulate aurally.

If you’re reading this in the future, where teleportation has been invented, you can skip this post and use the teleportation option. For the rest of us, here are the various options you have for calling home when you are on the road. If you’ve got any more to share, or general opinions on staying in touch, do feel free to hit up the comments at the end!

Read More

800px-Bed_bug_nymph,_Cimex_lectularius

As a traveller, one thing that is certain is that you are going to be sleeping in many different places. With this comes risk, one of which is to wake up one morning covered in tracks of red bites.

The initial thought may be that you’ve been the victim of a highly trained vicious mosquito squadron. But look a little closer – because you may have been the victim of something else entirely, something that is going to get fellow travellers all terribly excitable and probably freak you out too – the fearsomely savage and much feared bed bug.

Dealing with bed bugs when travelling

800px-Bed_bug_nymph,_Cimex_lectularius

As a traveller, one thing that is certain is that you are going to be sleeping in many different places. With this comes risk, one of which is to wake up one morning covered in tracks of red bites.

The initial thought may be that you’ve been the victim of a highly trained vicious mosquito squadron. But look a little closer – because you may have been the victim of something else entirely, something that is going to get fellow travellers all terribly excitable and probably freak you out too – the fearsomely savage and much feared bed bug.

Read More