GlobetrotterGirls - Ask The Experts - Travel, Foodie, LGBT, Solo Travel, Wanderlust, Lesbian - Pepo - Jan 25 2017, 10.19.15 AM UTC

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***Travel Tip New York City: Best Ice skating in NYC***

It's ice skating season in New York City!

Winter's not quite here yet but almost all of the city's ice rinks are already open!

If you're planning a winter trip to New York, ice skating should be an essential part of your itinerary.. it is so much fun to skate in Central Park or with Manhattan's skyscrapers towering high above you.

Here are the four best ice skating rinks in NYC, plus a detailed guide with opening times and admission fees:

1. Bryant Park
The quintessential Manhattan ice skating experience, and the cheapest one. Combine it with a visit to Bryant Park's Winter Village.

Admission: FREE!
Skate rental: $20, or bring your own
Other costs: $10 for a padlock to lock your belongings in a locker. Free when you bring your own lock!
Opening times: Open daily 8am-10pm, October 28 through March 4

2. Central Park
The most popular ice rink in New York. Everyone seems to want to skate in the city's most iconic park. The high rises adjacent to the park make for a gorgeous backdrop though, I can't deny it.

Admission: Monday - Thursday: $12; Friday - Sunday: $19
Skate rentals: $9
Other costs:
Lock rentals: $5 (bring your own!)
Spectators: $5
Opening Times: Monday & Tuesday: 10am - 2.30pm; Wednesday & Thursday: 10am - 10pm; Friday & Saturday: 10am - 11pm; Sunday: 10am - 9pm
October - April


3. The Rink in Battery Park
Officially called the Rink at Brookfield Place, for me it's the Downtown Rink, close to the Freedom Tower and the Financial District. It's reasonably priced and not as busy as the midtown rinks.

Admission: $15 (for a 90 min session)
Skate rental: $5
Opening times:
Monday - Friday
1:00pm - 2:30pm
3:00pm - 4:30pm
5:00pm - 6:30pm
7:00pm - 8:30pm

Saturday, Sunday & Holidays
10:15am -11:45am
12:00pm -1:30pm
2:00pm - 3:30pm
4:00pm - 5:30pm
6:00pm - 7:30pm
8:00pm - 9:30pm

4. Rockefeller Center
Another classic that many people have on their NYC holiday trip wishlist, but I find the rink is often too crowded and too small. It's a bucket list item though - make sure to reserve a slot early, because the small ice rink has space for only 150 skaters.

Admission: $25 standard; $32 peak (holidays & weekends)
Opening times: 8.30am - Midnight, but you have to book a time slot in advance.
Skate rental: $12
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***Europe Travel Tip: Train Travel***

I recently read an article about Eurail passes and how they help travelers to save money when traveling in Europe. I thought about that statement for a while and as much as I love the convenience of a Eurail pass, I had to disagree with the saving money statement.

Let's take a look at Eurail passes, the cost, and your alternatives:

What is a Eurail pass?
A Eurail pass is the principal railpass range that is offered to overseas visitors by 28 European national train operators working together.
You can choose a Eurail pass with unlimited travel for various periods of time on the national rail networks of 1, 2, 3, 4 or all 28 participating countries (these are: Austria, Belgium, Bosnia Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey (Liechtenstein and Monaco are considered part of Austria and France respectively).)

15 or 22 travel days, or 1, 2 or 3 travel months; or a flexi pass offering 5 or 7 travel days of travel within a 1 month period or 10 or 15 travel days to be used within a 2-month period,

Unlimited travel really means unlimited - you can use 1 train or 20 trains a day, going 50 kilometers or 800 kilometers, it doesn't matter.

You can buy a Eurail pass if you live outside Europe, for example in the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Asia or Africa. It is important to know that you have to purchase the Eurail pass before you get to Europe - you cannot get it if you are already there.

What does a Eurail pass cost?
There are different pricing options, depending on the number of countries you want to include and the number of days you're planning to use it for. The unlimited global pass is the most popular one (around €1,400 for unlimited travel within three months).

Here are some other examples:
€466 for 5 travel days within one month
€699 for 10 travel days within two months
€917 for 17 travel days within two months

If you are visiting less countries, there is a number of considerably cheaper passes that cover only 2, 3 or 4 countries, or you can even get a pass for just one country.

Eurail passes vs regular train tickets
Of course you don't have to use a Eurail pass when visiting Europe - you can simply buy regular train tickets.
Train ticket pricing in Europe works similar to budget airline pricing: the earlier you book, the cheaper the ticket.
Luckily, you don't have to visit each individual train line's website anymore to find out how much a ticket for the journey of your choice on your preferred date is - it used to be much more complicated, but these days, websites like GoEuro.com and Rome2Rio act as search aggregators that find you the cheapest fares and let you book the ticket directly through their website - usually cheaper than on the actual train line's website. (Trust me, I've cross referenced & double checked many times).

So what's better - Eurail or regular train tickets?

Here's what I recommend you do:

Once you start planning your trip, map out your exact route. Write down all the train rides you're planning to take. And then compare prices. Use Goeuro.com for example to see the prices for each train ride (if you don't know the exact dates yet, choose an approximate date), and and add them up. Compare the total to the total of a Eurail pass that would allow you a comparable number of trips. Then make your decision for/ against a Eurail pass based on that.

One thing to consider:
When you calculate your trip this way, keep in mind that the prices you use are saver tickets, i.e. non-refundable and you have to take the train you choose. There's no changing train times at the very last minute. The Eurail pass on the other hand gives you flexibility in that respect. No pre-booked trains.

Conclusion
The Eurail trip is worth it if your priority is convenience over saving money. If traveling on a budget isn't that important to you, you'll love the convenience that the Eurail pass offers you.

A Eurail pass is only worth buying though if you are planning to take a number of long-distance train rides, Rome to Munich for example or Vienna to Prague. If you're looking to take mostly shorter routes like Amsterdam - Paris or Rome - Florence, you'll find that independent tickets - WHEN BOOKED IN ADVANCE - are the cheaper options. Keep in mind though that just showing up at the station is super expensive.

For example: A saver ticket, booked in advance, from Berlin to Amsterdam is €39. If you want to buy the same ticket on the spot, it costs €132, three times as much as a saver ticket!
I love the message of this article:

"Life is short! It really doesn’t matter if someone else thinks your trip is silly or frivolous or a waste of time and money. If it makes you laugh or smile or feel content in some way, well, you do you.

Go see Lady Gaga in concert in Mexico. Fly to London to try nitrogen ice cream. Travel to Australia to do The Color Run. Go to Los Angeles cause one time in the back of a magazine you read about a cool bar there. Head to Colombia because you saw a Buzzfeed video about a hostel over the water. Go to Berlin because you want to take a picture of a wall you saw on Instagram. Whatever."

What is a travel dream that you have that other people might find silly?

https://www.alexinwanderland.com/2017/11/15/follow-stupid-travel-dreams-trip-seven-magic-mountains/
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***Travel Tip Singapore***

If you love street art, make sure not to miss the Kampong Glam neighborhood when visiting Singapore. The former Arab /Muslim quarter has turned in the city's hipster quarter, lined with cool cafes and trendy boutiques - and some fantastic murals!
I am wondering if any of my luxury hotels enthusiasts have stayed at this hotel, Marina Bay Sands in Singapore ❓

I would love to stay there one day, only for the infinity pool on the roof, which is the most spectacular one I the world..

Some fun facts on this iconic structure:
*It cost $8 billion to build it (more than any other standalone resort in the world)
*the hotel has 2,561 rooms across 55 floors
*the rooftop swimming pool is the highest in the world (at 200 meters)
*the Skypark on top is longer than the Eiffel Tower is tall!😲
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***Tavel Accessories***
After sharing my scarf with a hidden pocket yesterday, I wanted to share another 'hidden pocket item' that I love: this belt, which has a little pocket hidden on the inside to hide money:
http://shop.eaglecreek.com/all-terrain-money-belt/d/1573C3471?CategoryId=312

Do you hide your money & valuables when you travel? If so, what are your favorite hiding spots?
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Let me tell you about one of my favorite travel accessories... 🤗
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Are you not just an avid traveler, but also an avid runner? 🏃‍♀️

Why not plan your next trip around a destination race? That way you get to combine your two favorite things – win win 😃

Here are five marathons / half marathons in 2018 that are absolutely worth traveling for!

Kilimanjaro Marathon & Half Marathon, Tanzania 🇹🇿

When? 4 March 2018
Why? The route passes through small farms, coffee and banana plantations, sections of Moshi town, farms and patches of forest – all while Mount Kilimanjaro as a magnificent backdrop!

Inca Trail Marathon, Peru 🇵🇪

When? 2 June to 10 June 2018; 4 August to 12 August 2018
Why? Why walk to Machu Picchu when you can run there?? This is an epic, yet challenging race, with 3,000 meters of elevation gain, 3,300 meters of descent and a high point of 4,215 meters. Racing to the legendary “Lost city of the Incas” is definitely one for the books.

Great Wall Of China Marathon 🇨🇳

When? 19 May 2018
Why? Not only one of the most challenging races in the world, but also one of the most scenic ones. Running along one of the most remarkable monuments in the entire world is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and it’s also an elite one: tickets are limited to 2,500. Runners travel from over 50 nations to participate in this race.

St George’s Marathon, Utah 🇺🇸

When? 6 October 2018
Why? This race was voted as one of the 10 most scenic marathons in the world – need I say more? It starts in the strikingly beautiful Pine Valley Moutains before descending nearly 800 meters through southwestern Utah, one of the most picturesque parts of the U.S.A. Runners pass through Diamond and Dammeron Valley and Snow Canyon – make sure you’ve got your camera ready!

Patagonia International Marathon, Chile 🇨🇱

When? 8 September 2018
Why? Running along the stunning mountains of Patagonia is an extraordinary experience for sure. The race takes place in Torres del Paine National Park, which is famous for its soaring mountains, bright blue icebergs that cleave from glaciers and golden pampas (grasslands) that shelter rare wildlife such as llama-like guanacos. You’ll always have the majestic snow-covered Patagonian peaks towering over you – no city marathon can compare to that!

***‼️EXTRA‼️***

North Pole Marathon 🇳🇴

When? 6 – 11 April 2018

Why? If you want to run the coolest marathon in the world (pun intended!), bundle up and head to Northern Norway for a one-of-a-kind race: the North Pole Marathon. Due to the unique weather conditions there, runners have to wear snow suits and boots instead of sneakers and tank tops. This is a truly elitist race with only around 50 participants!

However, this race is not cheap: €16,000 is the entry fee for this race – but it includes return flights from Svalbard to the North Pole camp and helicopter tours.
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***INSIDER TIP: CELTIC CULTURE IN GALICIA***

When you think of the Celtic people, which countries are you thinking of? Ireland? Scotland? Well, what about Spain? Most people do not associate Spain with Celtic culture, but in the region of Galicia in Northern Spain, Celtic culture is abundant! The northwest of Spain is in fact considered the 7th of the original Celtic nations (the others are Eire (Ireland), Cymru (Wales), Kernow (Cornwall), Mannin (Isle of Mann), Breizh (Brittany) and Alba (Scotland)).

Why’s that? More than 1,000 years ago, a Celtic tribe known as the Gallaeci settled in this area, which is now known as Galicia. The Galician language has a significant amount of Celtic words, there are Celtic festivals and rituals in the region, some of the cuisine is of Celtic origin, and then there’s Celtic architecture, in particular the pallozas, which are round stone huts with thatched roofs. And bagpipes play a big role in the cultural life in Galicia - another hint at the region’s distinctive Celtic heritage.

Where can you experience Celtic culture in Spain?

In Galicia: Castro do Rei (some 30 kilometres from the city of Lugo). The castros of Baroña and Elvira, less than 65 kilometres from Santiago de Compostela (A Coruña), San Cibrán de Lás and Castromao, just over 25 kilometres from Ourense.

In Asturias there are also some Celtic settlements: Castro de Coaña, situated 25 kilometres from Luarca. Very close (10 mins by car) you will find Castro de Mohías and Castro de Pendía. And less than 50 kilometres from the village of Pendía you find the castros of San Isidro and Chao Samartín.
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***TRAVEL TIP: PREPARING FOR A LONG FLIGHT*** ✈️✈️✈️

This month is the month of long flights for me - after flying from Europe to the US last week, next week I'll be jetting off to Asia. This flight will be my longest flight ever: 21 hours and 35 mins! 😱 A flight of that length, halfway around the globe, does take some preparation, and so I wanted to share a few key travel tips and hacks with you:

1. If you get the middle seat (yes that happens..) it really helps to have a travel pillow. Without one, it is nearly impossible to sleep.

If you are traveling with your partner, you can take turns, and you may also be lucky enough to be able to sleep on his/her shoulder.

2. Take melatonin - it really helps your body adjust quickly to the change in timezones and reduces jetlag.

3. Bring an portable charger, and make sure it's charged. And have all your electronics charged, especially if you download some TV shows to watch for the long flight. Even though more and more airlines have power outlets, there are still hundreds of planes without any.

4. Bring snacks! Especially on long flights, plane food portions are usually small and often mediocre - the last thing you'd want on a flight that long is to be starving.

5. Get noise cancelling headphones - they're worth it and you will not regret it, especially if you happen to sit next to a screaming baby.

6. Stay hydrated and stay awake from alcohol. A glass of wine may help you fall asleep, but it also can give you the worst hangover of your life, since your body is already busy getting used to the big time zone change.

7. Dress comfortably. Tight jeans on a long flight are a terrible idea.

8. Make sure to wear nice and comfy socks because you'll want to take your shoes off.
Looking for a place to have a drink with a view of Manhattan? Head to Westlight in Brooklyn, the rooftop bar on top of the William Vale Hotel in Williamsburg.

The hotel itself is also worth bookmarking if you're planning a visit to NYC but would like to stay outside of Manhattan for a change.
Let's talk about airlines - do you have a favorite one? If so which one and why?

I recently flew Air India for the first time and was pleasantly surprised... here's what I loved about flying with them:

1. They are using Dreamliners. Great, modern plane, very good entertainment system, large windows AND:
2. USB AND power outlets‼️ For someone like me who works on their laptop on long flights, that's amazing. But also if you want to use your tablet and charge your phone. I hate it when I get on a plane and they don't have any power outlets.
3. The food!! Indian vegetarian food - need I say more ? 😍 Nom nom nom..
4. They are so generous with booze and food! I ordered a glass of wine and they gave me TWO bottles! And other people asked for refills which they got, without any weird looks. They guy next to me asked if he could get a second meal, and yep, no problem at all.

Happy passenger 😊✈️😊
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***London Travel Tip: Best Free Museums To Visit In London***

Most people think that a visit to London is expensive, but it is actually possible to visit London almost for free! Yes, you still have to pay for food and accommodation, but there are some great Airbnb deals as well as cheap hostels, and I found a B&B that charged around EUR50 a night.

As for attractions, there are some that you need to pay for, such as the Tower Of London, Buckingham Palace and St Paul’s Cathedral, but I guess it really depends on how eager you are to visit them – if you only want to see Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge and the Tower – that’s completely free! Most of the iconic places in London, such as Piccadilly Circus, Notting Hill, Hyde Park, Brick Lane, Primrose Hill, the Changing Of The Guards, Kensington Gardens, Soho – all free to visit!

And my personal favorite thing about London? Almost all of the museums are free! Which is particularly great at this time of year when it can get quite cold, grey and rainy.

Here are the ten best free museums in London –
1 The British Museum
A massive museum with artifacts from the Rosetta Stone to the Elgin Marbles. Must-visit!

2 The National Gallery
Amazing collection housing works from masters like Cézanne and Van Gogh. Can’t be missed if you love art.

3 National Portrait Gallery
More art - famous Brits in history up close, and usually there are some temporary exhibits as well. Worth a visit.

4 The Tate Modern
Huge collection of modern art situated in a former power plant right on the Thames. Opened a new, attached building last year – always impressive exhibits.

5 The Tate Britain
Mostly British art, ranging from 16th-century pieces to contemporary works.

6 The Science Museum
Awesome interactive exhibits and historic collections. Fantastic museum!

7 The Natural History Museum
Earth science hub with modern, hands-on exhibits and millions of specimens. Entertaining even if you’re not a big science geek.

8 Grant Museum of Zoology and Comparative Anatomy

a natural history museum that is part of University College London

9 Victoria and Albert Museum
The world’s biggest museum for design and decorative arts. Fashionistas can’t miss this!

10 The Geffrey Musem
Showcases living rooms highlighting furniture, textiles, and decorative arts. For design fans.

11 The Bank of England Museum
The story of the country’s main financial institution since 1694.

12 Imperial War Museum
Everything about the British wartime experience from World War I to present day.

13 The National Maritime Museum
The world’s biggest collection dedicated to seafaring objects. If you love ships and oceans, don’t miss it. Great location in Greenwich.

14 Museum of London
The entire timeline of the city – for true history geeks.

15 Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology
Exhibiting 80,000 ancient artifacts from the Nile Valley – a must for Egyptophiles!

16 The Royal Airforce Museum London
Displaying over 100 military aircraft from historic to modern. War & history buffs will enjoy this.

17 The Library and Museum of Freemasonry

Everything to do with the Freemasons: Pottery, prints and regalia, plus free tours, exhibitions and a reference-only library.

18 Sir John Soane's Museum

A house museum that was the home of the neo-classical architect John Soane. It holds many drawings and models of Soane's projects and the collections of paintings, drawings and antiquities that he assembled. For architecture fans.

19 The National Army Museum

The British Army's central museum. Many interactive exhibits, newly refurbished.

20 Burgh House & The Hampstead Museum
A small local history museum set in the Grade I-listed Burgh House built during the reign of Queen Anne in 1704, in the Hampstead neighborhood, close to the beautiful Hampstead Heath park. Worth a stroll if you enjoy historic homes.

There are even more museums in London than just those, but I think 20 are enough to get you started, and there should be something in there for everyone!
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***London Travel Tip: The Cheapest And Fastest Way To Get Around***

If you’re visiting London, don’t hesitate to use public transportation to get around the city.

The subway and bus system is fantastic - clean, fast, safe and efficient, and if you buy a travel card or Oyster Card, it includes overground trains and the Dockland Light Rail as well.

There are two options to pay for public transporation, and they are priced differently. You can either buy single tickets, a day travel card, or an Oyster Card. If you buy an Oyster card in London you pay a deposit of £5 which is refunded when you return the Oyster card.
When does it make sense to load a 7-day travelcard on your Oystercard?

It usually pays off if you are spending 5 days in London. A weekly card for zone 1 & 2, where 90% of London’s attractions are located, is £33. That comes to about £6.50 a day if you are spending five days in London, or £4.80 per day if you are staying a full week. There’s no cheaper way than this.

If you spend less days in London, you can also simply load money onto your Oystercard, and there is a daily cap of £6.60 (Zone 1 & 2) – that means, even if you take ten trips in one day, as soon as you reach £6.60, you won’t be charged any more.

What if you don’t want to invest in an Oystercard?
If you don’t want to buy an Oystercard and load money on it, you will be charged £4.90 for a single ride. A single ride on an Oystercard is £2.40! That’s a huge difference.

Good to know:
Taking the bus is the very cheapest option to get around London, by the way. One ride is only £1.50! And daily rides are capped at £4.50. Going around London on the iconic red double decker buses is definitely the most scenic way to get around London.

Plan your trips around London
The best way to plan your trips around London?
Use the TFL app! https://tfl.gov.uk/fares-and-payments/ways-to-pay/tfl-oyster-app It has a great route planner.
If you find yourself in London and you are a street art lover, make sure to visit the Shoreditch / Hackney / Dalston area in East London! Just walking around you'll see plenty of cool pieces, but if you are looking for a more structured walk that brings you to some of the best pieces, I recommend following this excellent self-guided walk: https://www.tripsavvy.com/london-street-art-walking-tour-1583754 If a self-guided walk is not enough for you and you want to learn more about the art and the artists behind it, opt for a group Street art walk - Free Tours By Foot has a great East London street art and graffiti walking tour on a name-your-own-price basis: http://www.freetoursbyfoot.com/london-tours/walking-tours/london-graffiti-and-street-art-tour/
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You love cereal AND themed restaurants? Then make sure to drop by the Cereal Killer restaurant next time you're in London! They have over 120 kinds of cereal from all over the world, and you can choose from a selection of milk and toppings. It's a quirky restaurant in retro style (make sure to check out the downstairs seating area ‼️) and if you don't like cereal, have a pop tart instead 😄
***L.A. Travel Tip: Hike To The Hollywood Sign***

Hiking up Runyon Canyon is the most popular hike in Los Angeles, but did you know that you can hike up to the Hollywood Sign? You can’t get to the sign by car, the only way to get up, close and personal with these giant white letters that have become an American icon, is on foot or by horse, and you can’t get in front of the letters, only above them.

It used to be a bit tricky to get up to the sign until a few years ago, unless you were a local and knew your way around. The Trust For Public Land, that is in charge of protecting the sign and the surrounding lands, has made it much easier now to find the right paths and not get lost in the relatively remote and rugged southern side of Mount Lee, on which the sign is located. There are now several hiking routes: the Mt Hollywood Trail (short and moderately difficult), the Canyon Drive Trail (longest route), and the Cahuenga Peak Trail (the shortest, but most challenging). We took a shorter version of the Mt Hollywood Trail, which can be started at the Griffith Observatory (3.5 miles round trip) or at Sunset Ranch at the northern end of N Beachwood Drive. The ranch offers guided horse rides up the sign, by the way.

The hike is pleasant, with sweeping views over parts of L.A., Glendale and The Valley from various viewpoints along the way – but the star of the show, the sign itself, stays out of sight for the most part. I started the hike at Sunset Ranch, but next time I’d start at the Griffith Observatory for a longer hike and better views of the sign itself.

When you get to the sign, the most astonishing thing is seeing how big these letters actually are: each letter is 45 feet tall (14 meters) and all of them next to each other are 350 feet (110 meters) long! My height compared to it: 5.8 feet.

If you’re thinking about climbing the security fences that fence off the sign, be warned: the charges are no joke. Trespassers face a $1000 fine, restitution to the City agencies involved in the trespasser’s arrest, a one-year probation period and 20 days on a Cal Trans highway crew.

My advice is to hike up there in the late afternoon – seeing the mountains bathed in the warm ‘golden hour’ light is beautiful, and you’ll get to see the sunset from the Hollywood sign. The views from over LA from up there are stunning! If you hike up for sunset, make sure to bring a flashlight though: the hike back down will be pitch black, since there are no lights.

Fun fact: The sign didn’t have any association with the movie industry when it was put up in 1923. Instead, it was supposed to promote local real estate during a time when the Hollywood Hills weren’t the prime real estate location that they are today. Back then it still read Hollywoodland. After years of deterioration, Hugh Hefner started a fundraiser to save the sign, and $250,000 were raised to restore the sign that had fallen into disrepair.

You can find more information on the hikes to the Hollywood sign here: https://hollywoodsign.org/hiking-to-the-sign/
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***TRAVEL ADVICE FOR SOLO FEMALE TRAVELERS***

Being a solo female traveler is in some aspects not much different from traveling as a male, but in some aspects, it differs drastically. Especially in terms of staying safe and protecting ourselves, as women we have to be more cautious, better prepared, sometimes even more suspect. To make sure your female solo trip goes without a glitch, here are twelve rules you should always follow:


1 Always trust your instincts. If your gut tells you something is off, it probably is.

2 Pay attention to your surroundings. Scan the scene around you with your eyes, keep track of people who keep showing up near you. If you notice someone following you or someone who just gives you a bad vibe, leave the situation, or duck into a café until they’re gone.

3 Never flash your valuables. You’re making yourself a target that way. Especially in countries or cities that are known to be pickpocket hot spots, such as Barcelona or Buenos Aires.

4 Read up on the place you’re visiting. Wikitravel is a great resource, especially the ‘Safety’ section on each town. Thanks to that, I knew about a double rape and murder of two Argentinian girls in a beach town in Ecuador earlier that year that is famous for its parties, but because of this incident, I was much more vigilant and made sure not to leave my drink out of my sight.

5 Cover up where it is appropriate. Make sure you are familiar with dress codes, especially in Muslim countries and other conservative regions of the world. Try to blend in as much as possible – the less you look like a tourist, the less of a target you are.

6 Bring a padlock to lock up your luggage. Some solo female travelers bring a door stopper, but I haven’t really used the one I’ve got. A whistle is also practical to have, and if you get anxious easily, also consider carrying mace or a small can of hair spray (as a substitute) with you. To prevent theft, I also like pickpocket proof clothes (T-shirt or scarf).

7 Make sure to always tell someone where you are going that day and when you’re expecting to get back. Since almost everyone is traveling with their smartphone these days, it’s easy to stay in touch with family and friends back home via WhatsApp and Facebook, for example.

8 Take a business card of your hostel / hotel with you when you leave to explore. Or write down the address. If you get lost, you can show a cab driver the exact address and get a ride home, or ask a local for help. In addition, I always save the hostel’s location on GoogleMaps with a star. This way I can see where it is in relation to where I am on the map, because the GPS and the ‘saved locations’ feature work even when you’re offline or don’t have a SIM card.

9 Do whatever makes you comfortable. I for example don’t mind taking night buses in Mexico and Colombia, but if that makes you nervous, plan all your travel days so that you arrive in daylight.

10 Keep your alcohol intake at a minimum. Getting wasted in a country you’re unfamiliar with is never a good idea.

11 Learn a little bit of the local language. There are some great resources out there for language learning – including free ones. Apps like DuoLingo make it super easy to pick up at least the most common phrases. It also helps to have the Google Translate app on your phone.

12 Don’t let fear consume you. Yes, be vigilant, and yes, be careful. But don’t let fear consume you! Be open to meet new people, talk to strangers, make friends. Travel is often about the people you meet along the way.
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***TRAVEL TIP: EMERGENCY CONTACT FOR SOLO TRAVELERS***

When you’re traveling solo, do you have an emergency contact written down somewhere? Do you know who people should call in an emergency? Do you know that person’s number? I know nobody really wants to think about tragic stuff that can happen while you’re on a trip, but you simply have to assume that something could go wrong.

If you haven’t thought about writing down an emergency contact yet, why not do it now while you’re reading this on your phone? If you have an iPhone, you can store your emergency contact right inside the Apple Health app? This app is already downloaded on every iPhone, it’s the one with the red heart. And what most people don’t know: It can be accessed when your phone is locked!

Here’s how: When you tap the ‘Home’ button, the phone will ask you to enter the passcode, or in the bottom left corner you can press ‘Emergency’. Press ‘Emergency’ and it’ll give you the option to make an emergency call or, again in the bottom left corner, it says Medical ID. Press on it and it’ll tell you whose phone you’re holding in your hands, and the person’s emergency contact, i.e. a person close to them.

This is also a great way to find out who the owner of a phone is, in case you ever happen to find an iPhone and want to return it to the owner.
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***TRAVEL TIP: MAKE SURE YOUR PASSPORT IS STILL VALID‼️***

Are you planning a trip? Maybe even already looking for plane tickets?

Before hitting the ‘Buy’ button, make sure that you still have at least six months validity in your passport!!

There are 38 countries that require your passport to be valid for at least six months beyond your stay! I’ve heard stories from people whose passport was valid for another 5.5 months, and they were denied entry to the country they were traveling to.

- These countries include (six months valid after departure): Brazil, Cambodia, Chile, China, Cuba, Dubai, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Myanmar, Nepal, Oman, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam
- 3 months valid after departure: Chile, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, New Zealand, Spain
- 1 month valid after departure: Hong Kong, South Africa

Another thing to take into consideration is how many free pages you’ve still got left in your passport. Some countries require an entire free page to add their visa, and want an additional one or two pages to be still free. It’s not a bad idea to look up passport requirements before you leave on your trip.
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***INSIDER TIP SEATTLE: SPECIALTY COFFEE ☕️***

Seattle is known to be one of the most coffee-loving cities in the U.S. – Seattlelites take their coffee seriously! Yes, and of course it is the birthplace of Starbucks. But despite there being over 400 (!!) Starbucks cafes in Seattle, there’s still plenty of room for independent coffee shops. If you are a coffee-holic, you can’t miss these five coffee shops on a visit to Seattle:

1. Storyville Café
2. Espresso Vivace
3. Milstead and Co
4. La Marzocco
5. Craftworks Coffee
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Do you use trip planning apps?

If you don’t, but you’re looking for a good one, check out TripIt.com . The app combines all of your travel confirmations, itineraries, tickets, hotel bookings, rental car reservations, and the rest in one simple view. That view then becomes the central hub for all of your travel needs—no more fishing for a confirmation email to get your reservation number, or wondering what flight number you're on before you check in; it's all right there, and it's all incredibly handy. It'll even let you know if there's a better seat on your flight so you can switch to it – amazing!!

It's also easy to share trip plans with people who may need to know where you are, like friends in town or loved ones picking you up from the airport, so they know what flight you're on and when you'll arrive, or where you're staying and when. Sync it with your Google Calendar, set up a few mail rules to push your travel confirmations to TripIt, and you have a custom built itinerary, automatically, every time you travel.

I know that there are other trip planning apps out there, like TripCase, but I personally haven’t used that one yet. If you have a favorite trip planning app, I’d love to hear which one is your fav!
So, London was just voted 'Best City in the world to spend a weekend'... (see my precious post).. so guess where I'm headed next weekend!!

It's been a while since I lived in London, so I'm sure there are plenty of new places now - bars, restaurants, coffee shops..

What should I do when I visit London next week? Would love your recommendations for cool spots to check out!
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Honey de G 1 month ago
Yaaaaay! Hope to bump into you!
Honey that'd be amazing 😃
The weekenGO app has released a study revealing the top 100 best cities to spend the weekend. The results give an overall score for each city, but also indicate which destinations are best for three different types of travellers; millennials, families and baby boomers.

Some interesting results (see picture for the full list and scores)

· London, United Kingdom ranks as the best city to spend the weekend overall, coming out top for concerts, theatre and cinema, and ranking highly for museums, accommodation options and LGBT friendliness.
· Berlin, Germany ranks as the top recommended destination for millennials, Vienna, Austria for families and Zurich, Switzerland for baby boomers.
· New York City, USA ranks number 7 in the top 100
· Madrid is the only city that got a 100/100 for LGBT friendliness!
• Hamburg, Germany made the list! Who would've thought!

❓❓❓Is your favorite city to spend a weekend on the list? Which cities do you feel are missing❓❓❓
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Ignas Pečiūra 1 month ago
❤️ Berlin ❤️
Two Bad Tourists 1 month ago
Go Madrid! 🇪🇸🇪🇸
***Insider Tip Mexico 🇲🇽 ***
A Caribbean dream beach off the tourist trail

Have you heard of Mahahual❓
Probably not!

Even though this gorgeous white-sand, palm tree fringed beach on Mexico's Caribbean coast is only a couple of hours of tourist hot spot Tulum, not a lot of tourists make their way down here.

If you're looking for a getaway without the tourist crowds of Cancun and Playa del Carmen, I highly recommend a vacation in Mahahual instead. There's no Señor Frogs or Margaritaville down here, no skyscraper hotels, no US prices.

Instead you'll find a quaint Mexican village right on the beach, fishermen who go out to catch fresh fish every day, and charming little guest houses. Rent a car so that you can visit nearby Cenotes, Maya ruins (Coba and Tulum), and the Lake of the Seven Colors in Bacalar.

I let the pictures speak for themselves 😊
***INSIDER TIP: Camino De Vino***

"You walk in the mornings, and you drink wine in the afternoons."

This was how the Camino de Santiago had been described to one of my fellow pilgrims, and she didn’t have to think long about if she wanted to do it.

30 to 35 days of walking and wine drinking? If you’re a wine lover, the popular pilgrims route from Saint-Jean-Pied-du-Port in the French Pyrenees to Santiago de Compostela in the northwest of Spain might be for you, too!

Because the Camino passes no less than nine wine regions as it winds its way through northern Spain! You can sample wine in each region – bottles are as little as 5 Euros, and a glass of wine is usually around €1.30.

There is even a free wine fountain along the Camino!

Some of the wines you’ll have to try along the way:

-Bierzo Wines: Bierzo is a rural and remote ancient region in the north-western corner of Spain, or Castilla y León which until recently was one of Spain’s best kept secrets. El Bierzo wine counts as one of the country’s up and coming stars within the wine industry!
-Rioja: Made from grapes grown in the autonomous communities of La Rioja and Navarre, and the Basque province of Álava
-Tempranillo: A popular a medium- to full-bodied wine with red fruit characteristics, which is grown in Castile and León.

…and plenty of other, lesser known, but incredibly tasty wines along the way!
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***Travel Tip Iceland: Drive the Ring Road***

If you want to visit Iceland, I highly recommend driving the Ring Road. The Ring Road is a 828 mile (1332 km) long road that encircles the entire island, and driving it is the most convenient way to see as much of Iceland as possible. Not only does the Ring Road go around the entire country, but it also lets you see all of the things that you’d want to see on a trip to Iceland: geysers, glaciers, volcanoes, fjords, waterfalls, lava fields, Icelandic horses, hot springs, and of course, the dramatic landscapes Iceland is famous for.

Here’s my suggested itinerary for the Ring Road. It’s a lot of driving, but you’ll pass spectacular landscapes and natural wonders every single day.

· Day 1 Reykjavik & Golden Circle (the Golden Circle is a 190 miles/300 km route off of the Ring Road that is famous for its massive waterfalls including the most popular one, Gulfoss, geyser fields and Kerið volcanic crater)

· Day 2 Reykjavik – Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon – Vik (Black Sand Beach)

· Day 3 Vik – Hornafjordur (Fjords!)

· Day 4 Hornafjordur – Eskifjörður

· Day 5 Eskifjörður – Laugar (Moon-like landscape)

· Day 6 Laugar (Spend an extra night there because there’s so much to explore in this area: Husavik for whale watching, Asbyrgi Canyon, Lake Myvatn and the Myvatn Nature Baths (recommended!), Dimmuborgir lava field, Hverir geothermal fields, Godafoss and Dettifoss waterfalls)

· Day 7 Laugar – Hunafloi (stop in Akureyri)

· Day 8 Hunafloi – Snæfellsnes Peninsula (gorgeous scenery and an active volcano)

· Day 9 Snæfellsnes - Reykjavik

· Day 10 Reykjavik (Spend the day sightseeing in Reykjavik)
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What's your favorite Spanish food / tapa / pintxo? Mine is hands down Tortilla Española , or Spanish omelette. A simple and yet incredibly delicious dish made of eggs, potatoes, and sometimes onions. Served hot or cold and also as a sandwich filling all over Spain 🇪🇸

I just had it every day for a month and I'm still not tired of it.. I think I'm officially addicted 😂
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TRAVEL TECH 📲

These are all the tech gadgets I take on each and every trip:
- laptop with mouse and external hard drive 💻
- international adapter
- Kindle Fire
- Sony A6000 + two 16GB SD cards 📸
- USB stick
- USB flashlight 🔦
- GlocalMe or Skyroam Wifi hotspot
- Small portable charger (PowerBank)
- large portable charger (which in addition to my phone can charge my camera, my Kindle and my Wifi hotspot)
- remote shutter
- smartphone 📱
- charger cables

***
❓Which gadgets do you take with you on a trip❓
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Ignas Pečiūra 1 month ago
Haha, I thought I am travelling light, but I did realise I take a lot of gadgets :) Still thinking about bringing my film camera to my next trip 🎞️
Ignas Oh how can you not!! This was my first trip without my dSLR. I felt weird not taking it, after nearly eight years with it, but the camera plus zoom lens and /or wide angle lens was just too heavy & bulky 😳
What’s your favorite thing about fall?

Mine: Halloween, the fall foliage and pumpkin spiced craft beers 😊
And pumpkin patches are pretty awesome too - hundreds of bright orange pumpkin in different shapes and sizes. Also fun? A corn maze! If you've got no plans for a weekend in October, look up corn mazes near you.

I also love fall foods like any kind of soup or reading a book in a café with a fireplace while sipping a steaming Chai Latte 😍
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🇲🇽 TRAVEL TIP MEXICO CITY 🇲🇽

Have you heard of Xochimilco, a suburb of Mexico City? The town is not only worth a visit because of its tranquil, charming vibe, but it makes for a relaxing day trip out of Mexico City because of its main draw: The trajineras!

These are colorful covered punting boats, and you can hop aboard a Trajinera for a relaxing ride along one of the 224 canals that remain from the ancient Lake Xochimilco – simply find one of the town’s embarcaderos (docks). A ride through the canals is an absolute must. Although often lazily compared to Venice, the canals of this small Mexican town are a completely unique adventure.

Trips last from an hour to three, or even longer, and while some Mexicans bring food and drinks on board, it is also possible to purchase from floating vendors everything from ‘street food’ like elote, tacos or full meals to Coronas, Micheladas, sodas and water. Also floating through the canal are Mariachi and Marimba bands who will serenade you for less than US $10!

A private ride on a Trajinera costs anywhere from $350 to $500 Mexican Pesos ($20-$28 US, try to bargain), but on Sundays there are ‘colectivos’, or public rides, which cost only $15 pesos per person (around $0.85 per person). The sign there states $350 MXP per hour. This is the TOTAL cost for the boat per hour NOT the charge per person per hour. The boat promotors will try to convince you into believing it is the cost per person, but that’s not true, so don’t let them fool you!

How to get there:
It’s an easy 90 minute trip from the city center using public transportation. Take Metro Line 2 (the blue line) to the end - station Tasqueña. Exit the train platform through the turnstiles and head through the doors straight ahead of you to get to the Tren Ligero (light rail). The light rail accepts the same reloadable card you use for the metro but doesn't accept Metro tickets. You can buy a CDMX re-loadable card for $10 MXP (you can share one card between multiple people) and load it with $3 MXP per-person one-way at the booth just outside the train turnstiles. Having a CDMX metro card will make getting around Mexico City much easier for you anyway.

Take the light rail to Xochimilco, the last station on the light rail line. The embarcaderos are only a 10 minute walk through the village: follow the small blue signs on the street with arrows that will lead to the embarcadero, or just follow the crowd. There are several entrances to find a trajinera.
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Travel Quiz:

Who knows at which famous body of water these photos were taken❓❓❓
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Jacob Proper 2 weeks ago
Iceland
Cruise ships 🚢 - yay or nay⁉️

A few years ago, I went on my first ever cruise. For a week we cruised around the Mediterranean, stopping in different ports in Spain, France and Italy. I wasn’t sure if cruise vacations were for me, but surprisingly, I loved the cruise. Since then, I’ve gone on another cruise – around the Galapagos Islands. And again: the cruise was absolutely amazing. I am now eyeing cruises around Alaska and the Caribbean, and I am sure it won’t be long until I find myself on a cruise ship again. There are many reasons why I love cruises, but let me share my top five reasons why I think you should go on a cruise vacation:

1 Great value for money

Cruises are great value for money! If you check discount cruise websites, you will notice that cruises are very inexpensive, and you can often find deals that are almost too good to be true. A 7-day cruise around the Mediterranean can be found for as little as $399 – and that doesn’t mean the quality isn’t that great, because that is exactly what I paid for my Med cruise, and I loved the ship and its amenities. And just think about what’s included in this price: Everything from accommodation to transportation to food for an entire week!

2 A Great Way To Get A Teaser Of Various Countries In A Short Time

While the short amount of time you get to spend in each place was a turn-off for me initially, I liked that it gave me a teaser of each place I visited – and still enough time to see a lot. When the boat docked in Livorno, for example, we still had enough time to drive around the hills of Tuscany all day, stopping in picturesque towns along the way, enjoying local wines and meals. When we docked on the French island of Corsica, a day was by far not enough to explore the entire island, but it whetted my appetite and made me vow that I’d return for a week-long vacation one day. And that’s precisely why I’d really like to go on a Caribbean cruise: to get a teaser of several Caribbean islands and then decide which ones are worth a longer visit.

3 No travel planning

For someone like me, who is constantly on the move, not having to worry about any travel planning is a major plus. You basically just have to check in on the boat and enjoy the ride, leaving the route planning to someone else. Booking hotels? Nope! Even though you’re visiting several countries, you’ll sleep in the same bed every night. And that’s another plus for me: the convenience of it:

4 It’s easy

Not only are you spared the travel planning, but the entire trip itself is very uncomplicated. You enjoy the ship’s facilities on cruise days, and whenever you dock somewhere, you can decide if you want to head out independently, or if you’d like to take an organized tour of a place. And while I enjoy exploring cities on my own, instead of following a tour leader around a busy city as part of a group, I enjoyed the organized snorkeling trips on my last cruise, and would definitely sign up for a snorkeling tour in the Caribbean, tour.

5 The food

Yes, I love food, and I loved the food on both cruises I went on. And after talking about cruises with other people who have taken cruise vacations, I know that my cruises were no exception: the food on cruise ships is fantastic. No matter if you go for the buffet option or if you opt for fine dining – you won’t be disappointed. I’ve found the range of food on the cruises I’ve taken to be large, the produce fresh and tasty, and most importantly for me: vegetarian friendly! I had to force myself to work out every day on the cruises I was on to compensate for all the cake I was eating (dessert buffets are dangerous, but may also be the best thing ever!)

❓❓❓what do you say: Cruise ships yay or nay ❓❓❓
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Dani Globetrottergirls 2 months ago
Ignas if you go on one I'd love to hear what you thought of it 😊
Ignas Pečiūra 2 months ago
Dani definitely 👍