Category Archives: Travel Planning

London Itinerary: 6 Days in London

Tower Bridge 6 days in London itinerary

London is one of the world’s most famous capital cities and England’s largest city, offering an endless number of attractions, museums, historical buildings, and entertainment options. London can be an overwhelming city for many travelers, especially those visiting for the first time. We’ve put together a recommended 6 day London itinerary that will help you see the highlights if you have at least 6 days in London. It includes all the major attractions (e.g., Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, and the National Gallery), but also includes several lesser known sites and encourages you to explore several of London’s diverse neighborhoods including Westminster, Greenwich, Kensington, and Camden. We suggest using this itinerary as a starting point for planning your 6 days in London, not as a definitive itinerary, and you can edit it to put together your own personal itinerary that reflects your own needs and interests. In addition to the 6 Read the Rest…

Barcelona Discount Passes: Barcelona Card vs. Barcelona Pass vs. Barcelona Museum Pass

Barcelona Card versus Barcelona Pass vs. Articket Museum Pass Barcelona discount cards comparison

There are several discount Barcelona cards and passes that can help you save money in Barcelona Spain. However, it can be difficult to decide which one, if any, may help you save money and time on your trip. We’ll provide information about and compare three of the most popular Barcelona passes: the Barcelona Card, the Barcelona Pass, and the Articket Barcelona Museum Pass to help you determine which may be a good fit for you. We’ll also provide a handy comparison chart so you can check which features the Barcelona Card has versus the Barcelona Pass and Articket Museum Pass. We’ll also provide some additional resources about a few other Barcelona cards and transport passes that you might consider in order to help you save the most money on your trip to Barcelona. Most of the sites and attractions that charge an admission fee in Barcelona are covered by at Read the Rest…

Tips on Using & Buying the Barcelona Pass: Is it Worth It?

buying The Barcelona Pass tips advice worth it

If you are planning a trip to Barcelona and want to admire Gaudí’s architecture, take sightseeing tours, and visit some of Barcelona’s top attractions, you may be able to save money and time by purchasing the Barcelona Pass. The Barcelona Pass not only provides free admission to over 20 of the top attractions in Barcelona (i.e., Casa Batlló, Casa Milá, FC Barcelona Stadium Tour, walking tours), but it also allows you to skip the long entrance lines at several of these attractions and includes a 1-day free Hop on Hop Off Bus Tour ticket. In many cases, the Barcelona Pass is a good value and can save you money; however, in other cases, the Barcelona Pass may not be a good deal for you, depending on what you plan to see in the city. We’ll help provide all the information you need to know to decide if the Barcelona Pass Read the Rest…

Visiting Iceland in Winter: A 7 Day Iceland Itinerary by Car

Diamond Beach 7 day Iceland itinerary by car one week road trip

If you are planning a trip to Iceland, our 7 day Iceland itinerary will help you plan the perfect Iceland road trip. If you have 7 days in Iceland you have time to explore the capital city of Reykjavík, the west coast, the famous Golden Circle, and the south coast of the country. Our itinerary includes cultural highlights, waterfalls, glaciers, national parks, Icelandic horses, fishing villages, black sand beaches, lava fields, and loads of scenic views. It covers some of the most famous and iconic places in Iceland as well as some lesser known spots. This itinerary is perfect any time of the year, including in winter where many places in Iceland become inaccessible or close for the winter. We visited all these places ourselves this last winter on a self-drive trip with Iceland Travel. Although you certainly can’t explore all the wonderful places Iceland has to offer, you can see a Read the Rest…

Ski Holidays for Non-Skiers: 25 Things to Do at a Ski Resort if you Don’t Ski

Ski Holidays for Non-Skiers Things to Do at a Ski Resort if you Don't Ski

Ski holidays for non-skiers? Sure, there are lots of things to do at a ski resort if you don’t ski. I personally don’t ski but have spent time at a number of ski resorts and winter holiday destinations around the world. I know I am not alone, and wanted to share some tips on how to enjoy a ski holiday as a non-skier. Often there is at least one member of a family, couple, or group that doesn’t ski but that doesn’t mean they have to just sit in the hotel room when everyone else wants to ski. There are a lot of fun winter snow activities that don’t involve skiing or snowboarding such as sledding, snow tubing, ice fishing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and sleigh rides. There are also tons of other fun winter activities that non-skiers can seek out from exploring Christmas markets to relaxing in a thermal bath. One Read the Rest…

Where to Book Apartments Online: 24 Websites Like Airbnb

websites like AirBnB alternatives booking apartments vacation rentals online

Looking for websites like Airbnb? Here is our guide to booking apartments online that provides a list of over 20 websites where you can search and book apartments and vacation rentals online. Getting a great place to stay is key to a good travel experience and if you are looking beyond hotels and hostels, renting an apartment, a house, or a private room can be a great alternative. Staying at an apartment versus a hotel can be great way to save money, have more autonomy, and connect with the local people. Most of these apartment booking websites also allow you to list your own property so that you can earn money while you travel or rent out a spare room or second home. Airbnb may be the best known vacation rental website, but there are a lot of Airbnb alternatives out there, and many have been on the scene for a Read the Rest…

One Week Sri Lanka Itinerary for Couples: Luxury, Wildlife, & Tea

1 week Sri Lanka itinerary for couples romantic honeymoon

We wanted to share a one week Sri Lanka itinerary that we think is perfect for couples, which focuses on wildlife, romance, luxury, and tea. Specifically it includes staying at the top luxury resort in Sri Lanka, soaking up the beautiful scenery of Sri Lanka’s hilly Tea Country, exploring ancient sites, admiring waterfalls, staying in a luxury tented camp, and searching for leopards on safari. We were in Sri Lanka last summer speaking at a conference and afterwards we decided to head off on our own on a short trip around Sri Lanka. Laurence had already been to Sri Lanka twice so wasn’t interested in many of the main tourist spots and I wanted a short luxury trip that focused on tea and leopards. We checked out a number of tour companies and found Jetwing Eco Holidays who helps plan and execute customized and tailor-made trips. We’ll share a one week Read the Rest…

Tips on Using & Buying the London Pass: Is it Worth It?

buying The London Pass tips advice

If you are planning a trip to London and want to spend some time admiring great artwork and visiting grand royal palaces, you’ll likely save money and time by purchasing the London Pass. The London Pass not only allows for free admission to over 60 of the top-visited attractions in London (i.e., Windsor Castle, Tower of London, Westminster Abbey), but it also allows you to skip the long entrance lines at several of these attractions and includes a 1-day free Hop on Hop Off Bus Tour ticket. In many cases, the London Pass is a good value and will save you money; however, in some cases, the London Pass may not be a good deal for you, especially if this is not your first visit to London or you have very limited time in the city. We’ll help provide all the information you need to know to decide if the 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…

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…

Travel Research: How Much Travel Stress Do People Experience on Vacation?

Most people plan trips and take vacations to get away from the stress of home and work; however, very few people take travel stress into consideration. While traveling can indeed be an escape or break from the day-to-day routine, planning and taking a trip can also be quite stressful. Where should I go? How do I get a visa? Do I have enough vacation time at work? Do I want to dip into my savings to stay in a nice hotel or find a hostel? How am I going to manage public transportation? How are the children going to handle two weeks of traveling to new places?  Can I survive a week in the car with my parents? Not to mention potential travel hiccups along the way such as bad weather, traffic jams, strikes, cancelled flights, language-related miscommunications, and illness. Some people can plan and take a trip with very Read the Rest…

How to Use Airbnb to Save Money on Accommodations and Meet Locals

Italy websites like AirBnB alternatives booking apartments vacation rentals online

Using Airbnb to book accommodations during your travels can not only help save you money, but it can also help you meet people and bring you closer to the local culture. While hotels and even hostels can offer more services than most Airbnb hosts, the chance to stay in someone’s house or apartment can lead to some wonderful conversations and experiences. We have found that it can also help us save a lot of money when compared to booking a hotel room in the same location. Sometimes it can even be cheaper than booking a hostel! While Airbnb is not for every traveler, we’ll provide a review of Airbnb that can help you decide if it is right for you. In this article, we’ll cover the basics of what is Airbnb, our personal experiences of using Airbnb (including how much we’ve paid for various accommodations), and provide a list of Read the Rest…