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Cheap International Travel Secrets

October 10, 2018 in Blog

What is the real secret to cheap international travel? It’s the same as the secret to doing anything for less. Learn to be an opportunist. Opportunistic travelers get to travel more, see more and do more. Of course, you can ignore this advice if you have unlimited currency.

I went to Ecuador because the budget tours were cheap. Honestly, are not there plenty of interesting places in this world? The other places will be there in the future, and you may have an opportunity to go to those places cheaply at some point.

Ecuador is my favorite international location. You can still get a decent meal for twelve dollars. U.S. dollars, by the way, since that is conveniently the official currency of Ecuador now. From the beautiful snow-capped Andes mountains, to the Galapagos Islands, you’ll seldom run out of places to explore in Ecuador. Travel there is safe and not so expensive.

Cheap Countries

South America in general is inexpensive, and the most affordable countries are, in my opinion, the most beautiful. These are the countries along the Andes mountains. Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia are relatively cheap places for travelers as well.

In Central America, it costs little to travel and holiday in both Nicaragua & Guatemala. Nicaragua, in particular, has become more stable and safe for travelers in recent years.

In Asia, Vietnam is still low-cost, if you stay in the numerous hostels and boarding houses. Laos and Nepal are also relatively cheap. With all international destinations, the plane tickets will be your single biggest travel expense. This is true with the asian countries. Being there is cheap, but getting there may not be.

Cheap International Travel Tips

Wherever you go, there are things you can do to keep it cheap. Eat where locals eat, for example, instead of at the tourist restaurants. To keep it cheap, eat fruit from street markets (wash it well) and packaged snacks from grocery stores.

Visit the free and cheap attractions first. It’s possible you’ll have so much fun that you’ll seldom get around to doing the expensive things. A higher price means better quality with travel bags, but not with travel experiences.

For cheap accommodations find out where local visitors from within the country stay. Negotiating room charges is common in some areas. In Banos, Ecuador, we negotiated our room to nearly half of the original price, by paying for several nights in advance. Consider hostels, if you don’t mind sharing a room. they are much more common overseas.

Busses are cheaper than taxis in any country, but be careful of crowded city busses, where pickpockets hang out. jogging is even cheaper, and it’s a great way to learn about a city. ask the locals where the dangerous parts are before you wander far.

Top Ten Travel Destinations – Part 2

October 4, 2018 in Blog

The destinations listed all have the advantages of unparalleled scenery, a developed economy geared towards tourists, and the advantages of careful exploitation, tempered by the fact that they are usually adjacent to more popular destinations in terms of volume. Here are the final five in the list of the best places to travel to.

6) Rocky Mountain parks, Canada: There are four National Parks in a row in the Rocky Mountain range of Canada, running through the two provinces of Alberta and British Columbia. Combined, these parks offer some of the best adventure and recreational sport travel opportunities in the world, along with unique scenery and incredible biodiversity. Banff and Jasper are perhaps the best known of the parks, with Banff being a mere hour drive from the city of Calgary. Yoho and Revelstoke also offer great opportunities for skiers and hikers.

7) Scottish Highlands, United Kingdom: This site has it all in terms of cultural appeal and natural beauty. The towering mountains offer all the recreational choices of young fold ranges. For the sightseer, there are various opportunities. Natural attractions include the Corrieshaloch Gorge and the fabled Loch Ness, while heritage also factors high with the area many castles and ancient cairns. The area offers opportunities at all times of the year, from spring alpine blooms to fall foliage.

8) Kruger National Park, South Africa: Surprisingly, this park located along the border with Mozambique is the only African safari destination in the top ten. This could be due to its historical origins as one of the first protected areas in Africa, and also with its well-developed and natural tourist opportunities. Kruger encompasses two ecosystems, dry savanna in the north and open grassland in the south. There is a huge array of wildlife in the area, including all of the African Big Five (rhino, elephant, leopard, lion, and Cape Buffalo), antelope, giraffe, wild dog, and many other species of wildlife. The Park is also located in one of the more politically stable regions of Africa, unaffected by the high crime that embroils the rest of the country.

9) Kyoto historic district, Japan: Anyone who has watched the recently released Memoirs of a Geisha can imagine the appeal of this area, ninth on the list. Ancient Buddhist temples, wooden townhouses, and geisha houses bound in a modern day reflection of ancient Japanese glory. The area is abundant with detailed Japanese xeriscape and architecture, from gardens to bridges, nobility houses and public works buildings.

10) Quebec City historic city center, Canada: Quebec City is the French cultural heart of Canada, and the City center is representative of all that the francophone culture includes. This is the only city in North America that has preserved its colonial ramparts and also incorporates all of the old trappings of fortresses, such as bastions and towers. The area is also considered to be a World Heritage Centre.

Philippine Travel: Ongpin Aka Chinatown

September 21, 2018 in Blog

If your Asia tour includes a long stay in the Philippines, we suggest that you add in a visit to Ongpin or Chinatown, which is how most people call it as well, as part of your travel program, especially if you’ll in Manila the capital city of the country for a while yet.

Ongpin or Chinatown may not be as popular as other places in the Philippines but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be part of your travel schedule. Not only is a visit to Ongpin guaranteed to be delightful in more ways than one, it also won’t cost you much because prices in Ongpin are more affordable than what you’d find in other cities like Makati or even Quezon City.

Ongpin is also mainly a residential town so it’s easier to tour the place rather than other cities, which would require you to take on huge buses and six-wheeler trucks just to cross the street.

Because Ongpin is not that big a town, the streets are mostly narrow, winding and filled with people. If you’re planning to drive your own car to Ongpin, you might be forced then to park somewhere and walk for the rest of the time you’ll be spending in Binondo. But that’s not really much of a punishment except for your feet, if you’re wearing high heels! because a lot of people really prefer to wander around Ongpin by foot.

Food Shopping

Fruits: Almost all kinds of fruits are sold in the streets of Ongpin and if you’re feeling a bit adventurous, you could try out some of the exotic fruits being offered by street vendors such as the mangosteen or the huge apple-mango. Highly popular with the Filipino Chinese residents of Ongpin are rambutan, longgans, lanzones and chicos. When you get to Ongpin, be sure that you do try all those fruits and more since one can never get fat with fruits, anyway.

Delicacies: When you get to Ongpin, do be sure that you’ll be able to make a pit stop at any of the Chinese food stores of Ongpin. One of the most popular stores of this type is Eng Bee Tin. There, you’ll be able to find all sorts of Chinese delicacies that people back home would surely be delighted with.

Main Dishes: Tired after walking nonstop for an hour or so? If that’s the case, we suggest that you try relaxing your feet on any of the restaurants located in Ongpin. Try out popular Chinese dishes and the exotic ones as well so your trip to Ongpin will be truly memorable.

Travel Asia: Festivities and Fun

September 18, 2018 in Blog

Are you planning to travel to Asia within the next year, and are looking for some fun festivities to attend? Well, look no further – we have researched a quantity of the more incredible Asian festivals for you to check out during your travels.

Travel Asia: Pulilan Carabao Festival

You’ll probably never see a water buffalo adorned like this! If you travel to Pulilan in the second week of May, you’ll witness the homage to the patron saint of farmers, San Isidro Labrador in the Phillipines. Families take their prized water buffalos, scrape away the dirt, shave them, anoint them in oils, and then parade them around the city square dressed as kings. The priests of the Asian city then kneel & ask the buffalos to bless them, promising health and lovely wishes for the upcoming year to all, including visiting travelers.

Travel Asia: Parade of the God of Medicine

On the 15th day of the third lunar month, the city of Taiwan is taken over by this world-renowned Asian festivity – a must for travelers in the area because of its spectacular parade. At the nucleus of the 160 temple celebration are Pao Sheng in Taipei and the Temple of Ching Tzu in Hseuhchia. Spearheaded by a group called the Centipedes, worshippers attending the city-wide parade throw themselves on the ground to be stepped upon, as a symbolic exorcising of their demons.

Travel Asia: Yasothon Rocket Festival

In the middle of May, things get noisy for Asian travelers to the Phaya Thaen Park in Thailand. Historically, the festival started as an offering to the gods of the sky, exploding gorgeous rockets to encourage rainfall for rice crop growth. Nowadays, event has become something more of a sport, with competitions to see whose rocket can fly the farthest, and whose explodes the most.

Travel Asia: Asakusa Samba

Toyko’s version of the Rio Carnaval happens every August, in the Asakusa district. Travelers to Asia and natives alike are amazed by the colorful sequined costumes and feathers of the dancing Samba girls, along with their full bands marching down the street alongside them.

Travel Asia: The Festival of the Hungry Ghosts

Hong Kong hosts this unusual yearly event, held on the 14th day of the seventh moon (sometime in August, during a full moon). Legend says that the gates of Hades were opened on this day, & the dead who can’t rest were left to run the streets mischievously. The Yue Lan Festival, as it is known in Chinese, has natives of the city putting up odd paper monuments all over the streets, which are then ceremoniously burned on the last day.

Travel Asia: The Monkey God Festival

The Monkey God first appeared in Chinese literature during the Ming Dynasty in the book, “Pilgrims to the West”. Since then, this deity has been celebrated during the month of September at Kowloon’s Sau Mau Ping Temple, by recreating a bizarre attempted execution by other the other gods – which includes such things as a ladder of knives, and charcoal set on fire. Travelers to this strange Asian celebration want not be concerned, though – the Monkey God lived, and so do the participants in this celebration.

Top Ten Travel Destinations – Part 1

September 17, 2018 in Blog

The top ten destination list was based on aesthetic appeal, cultural integrity, environmental conditions, condition of historic structures and tourism management. Here is the list along with some general information about each and why you might want to consider the area for your next travel vacation.

1) Norwegian Fjords: One of the great wonders of the world, the tall peaks of Norway plunge down into watery canals that are one of the trademarks of Norway. There is no other scenery like it on earth, and combined with the Old World rustic appeal of the country there is no better vacation destination. Tourists can explore the region themselves and plan their own trip, which can include every single activity you could imagine, from fishing to hiking, sailing to sight-seeing. You could also take advantage of one of the many travel agencies both local and international who offer planned trips to this region, which includes cruise options as well as land based opportunities.

2) Cape Breton Island, Canada: Cape Breton Island is in Eastern Canada, just off the coast of Nova Scotia. The island offers a unique blend of Gaelic, French, and English cultures. The area is famous for its folk music and cheap, fresh seafood as well as turn of the century style and beautiful scenery. Explore the Island yourself or go through an established travel agency!

3) South Island, New Zealand: The South Island of New Zealand offers highly diversified opportunities for the traditional and eco-tourist alike. The Island encompasses a wide range of ecosystems, from ocean to mountains and everything in between. The landscape offers incredible diversity in vacation opportunities, including kayaking, surfing, caving, and other recreational activities. The Island is separated form the rest of New Zealand by the spectacular Southern Alps, and the isolation has allowed the culture to evolve in relative isolation, bringing a unique blend into the modern day with the right touch of polite hospitality.

4) Torres del Paine, Chile: Another unique blend of mountain and coast, the Torres Del Paine offers a huge amount of diversity to the traveler. The area includes several National Parks, and tourists can have once-in-a-lifetime experiences in watching the yearly migration of the humpback whale in the oceans bordering the area. The are is devoted to tourism, and there are several nationally developed services that specialize in accommodating foreigners with maximum convenience and comfort.

5) Tasmania, Australia: Another island vacation, the remote province of Tasmania offers incredibly and unique vacation experience, which is really saying something when you consider it is a part of one of the most uniquely biodiverse countries in the world. Tasmania offers every type of tourist attraction possible, and its ecological niche is even more specialized than the Australian mainland. If you are on an extended travel vacation, the province is only a short ferry ride away from the rest of the country.

Best Travel Tips for Movers and Shakers

September 13, 2018 in Blog

Deciding where and how to travel can pose a few difficult questions and problems, even to the most savvy international traveler. This article describes a few sure-fire ways to book accommodations, plan trips, conduct business meetings on the road, and generally make the most of your sojourns outside the country.

A savvy travel tip everyone can use is to seek out restaurants that are popular with local residents, rather than selecting eateries that cater to tourists. By dining where the natives dine, you will gain greater cultural exposure, eat better food, and have a far more authentic experience than a tourist trap restaurant could ever offer.

When traveling to a new location, consider packing old clothing that you no longer care about. If you can discard old clothing along the way, you will have more room in your luggage for new clothes or souvenirs that you buy while on your travels. Also, travel is hard on clothes and can wreck new ones.

When you are traveling, invest in money containers that you can wear inside your clothing or sew simple pockets into the inside of your waist band. If you can not sew, ask someone who can to do it for you or bring it to a tailor or seamstress, and request they sew an inside pocket for you. This keeps your valuables, identification and money safe and you need not worry about someone stealing your travel bag or wallet.

Listen to audio books while taking a long car trip. Listening to books will help give you have a change of pace while traveling. The audio books will give you something to do, and help keep the boredom away. You can often check out audio books at your local library.

If you find yourself traveling for work on a regular basis, make sure that your carry on bag contains all of your toiletries, a change of underwear, and a set of clothing. By having the absolute essentials with you in the cabin, you will be prepared in case your checked luggage goes missing.

If you are going to be traveling by car and the distance is while sizeable it may be to your benefit to rent a car rather than drive your own. The abuse your car will take on the trip will certainly devalue it whereas if you rent a car your car will not lose value.

Exchange your money at your bank before you leave for your trip. Large financial institutions often have the best exchange rates, and changing your money before you arrive ensures you can avoid long lines at the airport currency exchange or even worse, being left at the mercy of less-scrupulous exchanges which prey on travelers who need local currency fast.

By adopting the foregoing strategies, you can make sure that your trips never disappoint. Whether you find yourself worrying about airline rates, ground transportation, hotel fees or any array of other complications, this article can guide you into making the right choices for your particular trip. Have fun, be safe and remember these tips.