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Do's, don'ts, advice, how-to's

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Review of over 195 travel apps for iOS

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Travel tip: Angle laptop to avoid neck hunch on a flight

July 26, 2013

AngleLaptopSeat space, hence leg space, is getting smaller on planes and no one gives a rat’s ass about ergonomics. So if you plan to use a laptop while flying, get one of those laptop stands and keep your laptop at an angle to avoid hunching and hurt your back.

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Ghost town 1: Kolmanskop, Namibia

July 23, 2013

KolmanskopKolmanskop is a ghost town in the Namib desert in southern Namibia, a few kilometers inland from the port town of Lüderitz. It was named after a transport driver named Jani Kolman who, during a sand storm, abandoned his ox wagon on a small incline opposite the settlement. Once a small but very rich mining village, it is now a popular tourist destination run by the joint firm NamDeb (Namibia-De Beers), who arranges for permits with relative ease. Kolmanskop is the most popular excursion from Lüderitz and has been partially restored as a tourist attraction where the sights of decrepit buildings being invaded by dunes is simply too surreal to describe.

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Travel Photo: Newport, Rhode Island

July 22, 2013

Newport, Rhode Island



From dreams to reality – Adventure spots to get thrilled!

July 22, 2013

LadakhAn intellectual rightly said (though not in these exact words) that dreams are meant for open eyes if they are to be accomplished and a dream most adventurous individuals cannot stay away from is traveling to places ‘normal’ being can dare to dream. And so the journey begins- hunting for some of the greatest spots for some of the coolest extreme fun, which not surprisingly takes to some places which never cease to throw challenges. How about white water rafting in Ladakh, trekking in Sikkim Himalayas and motor biking in Darjeeling, and this is just a speck of the ‘big thing’!

Here we go dreaming up a trip from North to North East with nothing except adventure buzzing in mind and adrenaline pumping in veins.

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The big pictures: Cusco & Machu Picchu, Peru

July 22, 2013

Cusco & Machu Picchu, Peru

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Travel photo: “Africa Rock”, Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

July 19, 2013

Flower Rock, Salar de Uyuni, BoliviaAlthough this rock seems like a flower, one of my fellow travelers pointed out that from this angle she saw it as the map of Africa continent. So we named it “Africa Rock”.

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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!

 
Also see:

CopacabanaCathedralBolivia – Thirteen day itinerary
Thirteen days in Bolivia – Things to do, how much did it cost, how to get there and places to see – La Paz, Lake Titicaca & Copacabana, Isla del Sol, Potosi, Sucre, Uyuni & Colchani, Salar de Uyuni (San Cristobal).

 



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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