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Narratives & experiences from our trips

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Review of over 175 travel apps for iOS

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Hostel Review: Tuko’s La Casa Real, Potosi, Bolivia

July 19, 2013
Tuko's La Casa Real, Potosi, Bolivia

Value
Location
Cleanliness
Rooms
Service
Breakfast included: Yes

Address: Calle Hoyos, Potosi, Bolivia
Phone: +59122119024
Website: –

This grandeur hotel is located in the heart of Potosi and walking distance from the main square. Most of the sights in Potosi are located around Calle Ayacucho and Tuko’s La Casa Real is located on Calle Hoyos, which is an extension to Calle Ayacucho. We call it grandeur because of its huge courtyard which is open three levels up. Located about 15 minutes by taxi from the Nuevo bus station (located at northern corner of the city), this is a great, cheap and peaceful place for accommodation.

This hotel is family-run and one of the front-desk “attendants” speaks English, which is very helpful for booking mine tours. The rooms are cozy, large enough to move around and come with bathroom that has hot water. I stayed in room #2 which had working power-sockets right next to the bed, which is not the case in most hostels across Bolivia. Single bedroom with bathroom costs about $30 a night.

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Nicaragua launches free emergency helpline for travelers

July 19, 2013

Nicaragua launches emergency helplineBeing one of the safest countries in Central America, Nicaragua has taken security of tourists a step further by launching a free emergency number to provide assistance to travelers. The Nicaraguan Tourism Board informed that dialing “101” will help tourists in case of accidents, loss of travel documents or any other situation that requires immediate response.

The 101 number is available 24 hours a day and will be answered by a bilingual touristic police officer who will assess the situation. The traveler’s details will then be forwarded to the Nicaraguan Tourism Board and local police department.



Simple, stress-free yoga for travel

July 19, 2013

Yoga on the flySummer travel is already here for all of us living in the Northern Hemisphere and lengthy travel times in flights, trains or cars can be uncomfortable, while leading to Deep Vein Thrombosis. A little mobility and yoga goes a long way to avoid the stress. Yoga for travel is one of the best options to help you breathe easier, get rid of cramps and make you feel better overall.

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Travel tip: How to access offline Google Maps on iOS

July 19, 2013

Google Maps OfflineWe always recommend getting lost in a city or town rather than using maps, which is another reason to talk to locals asking for directions or for that amazing restaurant. But if you’re searching for something specific, then maps help. Most travelers don’t have data connectivity while on the road in international destinations and sometimes wi-fi is not an option. There are some smartphone apps like PocketGuide that allow you to view offline maps, but nothing beats Google Maps.

So how do you save maps in offline mode?

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Hostel Review: Loki Hostel, La Paz, Bolivia

July 17, 2013
Loki Hostel, La Paz, Bolivia

Value
Location
Cleanliness
Rooms
Service
Breakfast included: Yes

Address: Calle Loayza #420, La Paz, Bolivia
Phone: +59122119024
Website: www.lokihostel.com/la-paz

Looking for a hostel to party? Then this is your place. Located in the heart of the city, minutes away from Prado (main street in La Paz), Loki Hostel is the perfect combination of fiesta and siesta. Secured entrance and English-speaking staff gives them additional points, but don’t rely on the airport pickup service they offer!

Having reached La Paz airport at 5:30am, we had setup the hostel for a pick up for 70 Bs (~$10). No one showed up at the airport with our name tags and no one answered the phone call!

The hostel has a reception lobby at the ground level, rooms on first and second level and a huge bar/dining area on the first level. This is where they play loud, blaring music until wee-hours in the morning. The second level has posters at every corner saying “Shh after 10pm”, but who is enforcing that? No one!

Rooms are good sized, with no bathrooms attached. Each floor has about 4-5 common bathrooms for use, that has hot showers. Beds are comfortable and the hostel serves free breakfast. Although mentioned on their website that towels are included in the rooms, they are not!



WhatsApp goes free on iOS, but with a catch

July 17, 2013

WhatsApp goes free for iOSThere are a lot of free messaging apps for smartphones that allow you to stay in touch with your family & friends while you’re traveling to all the exotic places around the world. Our favorite has been WhatsApp which up until now cost 99 cents – is now free on iOS!

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Wi-Fi on airlines – who offers, for how much

July 16, 2013

International Wi-Fi on United AirlinesA lot of airlines worldwide come with Wi-Fi access nowadays on either their entire fleet or certain planes or routes. There are apps and websites tell you if that flight offers Wi-Fi on that route or the airplane during your booking process. Earlier this year, we told you that United Airlines started offering wi-fi on their international flights becoming the first of its kind. Most U.S.-based airlines offer connectivity in the air for flights over U.S. territory only.

So which airlines offer wi-fi and how much does it cost? Here’s a list of some of them:

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Hostel Review: Hotel Utama, Copacabana, Bolivia

July 16, 2013
Hotel Utama, Copacabana, Bolivia

Value
Location
Cleanliness
Rooms
Service
Breakfast included: Yes

Address: Calle Michell Perez, Copacabana, Bolivia
Phone: +59128622013
Website: www.utamahotel.com

Great hotel with a lot of rooms (24 of them), some of which face Lake Titicaca. When you book this hotel through Booking.com, make sure to place a request for a room facing the lake as they get filled in real fast. Rooms 101-102, 111-112, 201-202 & 211-212 don’t have any windows and are the worst in terms of space and amenities. You get double beds or two single beds and each room has its own bathroom. The hotel provides towels and hot water (not available between 10pm and 6am).

Breakfast is available between 7:15am-9:30am and is a hearty one with toasts (butter & jam), eggs, one slice of bacon & one slice of cheese, cereal, yogurt, coffee/tea, that will fill you up for the day.

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Travel photo: Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

July 12, 2013

Salar de Uyuni

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Caution: Virus converting tigers into man-eaters at Sunderban

June 28, 2013

tiger-attackConservation of the tigers has always been an area of major concern in India. Earlier it was the loss of habitat and poachers’ attack that threatened the conservationists, but now a virus is giving a tough time to the communities working for the welfare of wildlife.

CDV, Canine Distemper Virus is reported to be a lethal reason for the depleting number of tigers in countries like Indonesia and Russia. This virus is common in cattle, especially dogs. The report of CDV killing the tigers at neighboring countries is bothering the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA). NTCA has asked the respective state authorities of different tiger reserves to take preventive actions to fight the peril.

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Urs Fischer’s art at MOCA, Los Angeles

June 27, 2013

Urs Fischer at MOCA, Los AngelesSpread across MOCA Grand Avenue and The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art), Los Angeles, the first survey in the United States of the Swiss-born artist Urs Fischer weaves together some of his most memorable and iconic sculptural, and the pleasure that we derive from his sculpture and painting is based on our attraction to and simultaneous repulsion by the dreamlike appearances that he constructs.

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Top 9 travel nightmares in infographic

June 27, 2013

Travel NightmaresWhat are your travel nightmares? Losing your bags? Flight delays? Identity theft? HotSpotShield came up with this infographic that lists the top 9 travel nightmares with some statistics & numbers.

And did you know that over 200 deaths are caused by hippos, while over 2000 are by crocodiles?

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Reusable electronic bag tags may help your bags arrive

June 27, 2013

BA_PBT_02_240613_tnFlying can make some people anxious, moreover to do with their bags reaching the destination safely. All airlines use paper tags and they are prone to being worn-out or tearing apart. You’re stuck with no bags in that case.

Qantas Airlines has been using the ‘Q Bag Tag‘ for a while now and costs about $30, and now British Airways has teamed up with DreamWorks to develop a “highly innovative electronic Bag Tag”.

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Airports of the world plotted as a map

June 27, 2013

GcIrbYl_tnYou have seen the paper maps and you have seen the online digital maps using cartography methods, but James Davenport created a world map using just airports, runways and helicopter pads.

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Travel photo: ‘Stop AIDS’ sign in San Francisco, California

June 25, 2013

Welcome to San Francisco, Please fuck safely.

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