Category Archives: Travel Advice

All your Essential Travel Photography Questions Answered by Photographer Laurence Norah

travel photography tips

Laurence is a professional award-winning travel photographer (and my husband!) and today he is going to answer some of those essential travel photography questions that we are often asked. If you have ever looked at other people’s photographs of a travel spot you’ve been to and wondered why their photographs were so much better that yours, this post will give you some helpful tips as well as point you to further resources if you are interested in taking your photography to the next level. This Q & A post is designed to share some of the basics on travel photography, including things like how a camera works, advice on camera gear, how to protect your gear while traveling, the essential basics of composition you should know, tips for mobile photography, best photography editing software, and even tips on how to take a better selfie! Laurence has been traveling as a Read the Rest…

A High Quality Wireless Router: Netgear Nighthawk X4 Review

Netgear Nighthawk X4 router review best wireless Internet route

As an ambassador for Netgear, I recently was sent the Netgear Nighthawk X4 wireless router to review. It was perfect timing as Laurence and I had just moved into our new apartment in Scotland and just had the previous owners’ very basic wireless router that was not designed for multiple devices or working for home on a daily basis as we do as travel bloggers. The Netgear Nighthawk X4 AC2350 WiFi Router is a 1.4GHz dual core processor router designed for people who want to use their wireless connections for high-speed gaming, streaming videos and music, and/or connecting multiple devices, as well as those who want to maximize their Wi-Fi signal in large homes. It is also well-designed for those who want simple access to their network storage. This high-end wireless router also comes with features such as security protection, Dynamic QoS, and USB ports. Also, the device has a Read the Rest…

Guide to Planning a Route 66 Road Trip

Route 66 road trip

A Route 66 road trip is a driving adventure along what is probably the most famous road in the world. Historic Route 66 spans over 2,400 miles and crosses 8 states, starting in Chicago, Illinois and terminating at the Pacific Coast in Santa Monica, California. Given its “66” designation in 1926, it became a well-traveled highway, bringing together people from all walks of life. John Steinbeck would refer to Route 66 as “the mother road, the road of flight” for those trying to escape the Dust Bowl and ravages of the Great Depression in the 1930’s. Later it would support a countless number of vacationing families from the Midwest heading to the Grand Canyon or Disneyland. As more Americans took to the highway, a roadside culture would spring up along Route 66—motels, diners, gas stations, tourist attractions—to cater to a population that was increasingly mobile. Today it is that classic road Read the Rest…

Wedding at Sea: Our Cunard Queen Mary 2 Wedding

Cunard Queen Mary 2 wedding at sea cruise

I have been wanting to write a post about our Queen Mary 2 wedding at sea for a few months. In August, Laurence and I got married at sea aboard the Cunard Queen Mary 2 ship as we sailed from New York City to England. We had struggled for a few months to decide on a wedding location given that we have different nationalities, residences, and family and friends spread out across the world. We already wanted to do a transatlantic cruise aboard the RMS Queen Mary 2 as a way to get to the UK and once we booked this, we decided to also hold our wedding here. We were married by the ship’s captain, Captain Kevin Oprey, about halfway between the United States and England while sailing on the high seas of the Atlantic Ocean. It was a wonderful experience for us, but a wedding at sea is not for Read the Rest…

Secret Sweater Shawl & Travel Blanket: A Review

Secret Sweater shawl and travel blanket review

The Secret Sweater shawl and travel blanket is the newest in a line of travel-worthy fashion products by San Francisco native Katherine Noyes Arnemann. This new product doubles as both a full-sized shawl and a travel blanket but is compact enough to fold up and store in a purse or backpack. The great thing is that the travel pouch is attached within the neckline area of the sweater so it folds up into itself! The shawl helps add an extra layer of warmth while also being stylish and versatile, and works well whether you are watching a sporting event, walking around an air-conditioned art museum, watching the sunset from a beach, or having a drink at a trendy bar. I loved the original Secret Sweater cardigan and was very excited to try out this new product. I’ll share my experiences of wearing the shawl over the past couple of months Read the Rest…

Internet while Traveling: A Review of the Netgear Trek Travel Router

Netgear Trek N300 Travel Router and Range Extender

Update 2017 – Netgear no longer make the Trek router and as far as we can tell, have not replaced it with a similar product. If you are looking for a travel focused wireless router / range extender with similar features and functionality, we recommend instead the TP-Link N300 Nano Travel Router.  This offers very similar functionality at an excellent price. We’ll keep the below post up as many of the features and capabilities are similar between the devices so we feel it is still of value. Netgear sent us their Netgear Trek N300 Travel Router and Range Extender for us to try out on our travels. These days most travelers want to be able to get online regularly while traveling to check email, get directions, check hotel and restaurant reviews, upload photos, update social media, and stay in touch with those back home. It is definitely easier to stay connected as Read the Rest…

12 Tips for Attending your First Travel Blogger Conference

travel blogger conference tips advise preparing for first conference

Ethan and I are busy getting ready for our very first official travel blogger conference! We were selected among the top 100 travel bloggers to be hosted to attend Travel Bloggers Destination-Italy (TBDI) that will take place in Rimini, Italy next month in conjunction with Italy’s leading travel exhibition event TTG Incontri. Actually, I will be heading off to Italy alone as TBDI only hosts one blogger from each blog, so sadly I’ll be leaving Ethan at home to watch over the kitties while I spend a week in Italy. I have been thinking about how I can put my best foot forward as I head off to meet other bloggers, sit through presentations by travel industry experts, meet travel industry exhibitors, and explore a little of Italy on a post-conference blog tour. While we have not officially attended a travel blogger conference before, we have attended some travel and tourism shows and I Read the Rest…

Fashionable Camera Straps from iMo

fashionable camera strap imo fashion vanity dslr camera strap

Ethan and I just invested in our first DSLR camera this summer in preparation for our trip to Africa, and I loved having the opportunity to accessorize it with a fashionable camera strap from iMo. This Hong Kong based company sells cotton tape, neoprene, jacquard, and leather camera straps that can be used for a variety of cameras, including mirrorless cameras and DSLR cameras. The most unique aspect of the company is the large variety of available camera strap designs offered at affordable prices. Far from the boring logo-imprinted black and brown nylon straps that accompany most camera purchases, these straps are colorful, bold, fun, and unique. Interested in a new camera strap that fits your personality? Read on for our review of our iMO camera strap that was field-tested on the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, in the back of a Land Cruiser traversing the rough dirt roads of the Serengeti, Read the Rest…

Dreaming of Turkey: Colorful Turkish Hammam Towels from sorbet ltd

sorbet ltd Turkish hammam towels The Beach Towel Clip review

These colorful handwoven Turkish hammam towels from sorbet ltd have us dreaming of Turkey! Ethan and I have been thinking about visiting Turkey within the next year and we were very delighted to have the opportunity to review a set of sorbet-colored hammam towel hand-woven in rural Turkey. These towels, also called peshtemal towels, have a long and important history in Turkish social life and have been worn as clothing, used in ceremonial bathing of brides to be, and today are mainly associated with their use in traditional Turkish baths or hammams. Recently, Turkish hammam towels have also been popping up on beaches, pool lounge chairs, yachts, and in travelers’ suitcases as these towels are not only beautiful but lightweight, quick-drying, and made of natural absorbent fibers. We’ve used ours mainly as beach towels, but one of the problems we have with all beach towels is them blowing away in the Read the Rest…

Travel Advice: A Guide to Passport Photos and Visa Photos

visa photos cheap passport photos

Recently we’ve been needing to apply for several international visas for travel in Asia and Africa, which means we’ve been filling out application paperwork for each country and obtaining a lot of visa photos. Even though biometric passport and visa photos are just simple digital photos, most people have them taken professionally because they need to meet the country-specific requirements of the destination and in the case of passport photos, may be accompanying a person for a full 10 years. Ethan and I have each needed almost a dozen visa photos over the past several months, and we became very frustrated with the cost of passport and visa photos at our local drugstores. After paying almost $50 for 8 photos (ridiculous!), we started researching the various places where we could get visa photos taken and exploring the do-it-yourself options where you can take and print your own photos. After our research, we have Read the Rest…

Enjoy your Beach Vacation in Style with UjENA Swimwear Swimsuits

UjENA Swimwear review one piece swimsuit travel swimwear traveling bathing suits

Like many women, I have struggled to find a swimsuit that fits me well. Several years ago, I spent one entire summer going through stores’ swimwear racks trying to find a one-piece swimsuit that would fit me. I finally gave up as they were all too long for me or just didn’t fit my body properly. However, when packing for our recent trip to Southeast Asia, I wanted to have a swimsuit that would allow me to move around a bit more and would be more conservative than my bikini. So I decided to give my search for a one-piece swimsuit another try, but I started my search online this time. An online search brought me to UjENA Swimwear. UjENA offers a large array of swimwear, including custom swimsuits and an exclusive size assurance policy. The family-owned brand sells and ships swimwear internationally, but all swimwear is manufactured in the Read the Rest…

indeegear: Unique Collectible Travel Accessories

indeegear travel sleeves travel accessories review

Looking for a unique travel accessory? I was really excited when I first heard about the indeegear luggage belt sleeves on Twitter, and am pleased to now have the opportunity to review these unique travel accessories. The sleeves provide an innovative and creative way to not only make your luggage stand out, but they can also serve as fun collectible souvenirs of your travels. The travel sleeves remind me of a fabulous mix between charm bracelets and those old-fashioned travel labels that are evocative of luxurious steam ship and train travel from the Golden Age of Travel. Adding these individually designed embroidered sleeves to your suitcase, camera case, laptop bag, or backpack is a great way to make a statement and express your individuality. Keep reading for our full review of indeegear luggage belt sleeves, an exclusive reader-only discount code, and even the chance to win a travel sleeve yourself! Read the Rest…

Travel Blogging with a Purpose: A Need to Give Back

travel blogging with a purpose charity travel volunteer travel climb for sight

For those of you lucky enough to be able to travel frequently, do you ever feel a need to give back? We enjoy travel blogging and our blog is mainly focused on dispensing travel tips, advice, and stores from our travels around the world. However, we also feel a need to try to give back to the world. I just realized this week that while we have posted a page about our upcoming charity travel efforts and mentioned them in a couple of guest posts, we have not really discussed them in any of our own blog posts. So I thought we’d take the opportunity to share our upcoming summer plans to help support a charity and test our fitness by climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. While we are heading to Asia (S. Korea, Cambodia, & Vietnam) for the first time in four weeks; our planning has been slow as Read the Rest…

Lettr: The New Digital Way to Send Custom Postcards

Lettr digital postcard custom postcard sending postcards modern customized postcards postcard mailing service

As frequent travelers, we love buying and sending postcards and we were very excited to hear about a new service called Lettr. Lettr allows you to create custom postcards online that are then mailed to anyone worldwide. While traveling, we love sending postcards from awesome locations with short notes to people back home to let them know we are thinking about them. But as much as we love the perfect photos on the front of postcards, we have wished before that postcards could be a bit more personalized. Lettr is a new online service that solves this issue by allowing you to take and use your own photo for the postcard. So instead of sending your mom a postcard of the Eiffel Tower, you can send your mom a custom postcard with you in front of the Eiffel Tower! While you customize the postcard online, a printed postcard is still Read the Rest…