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Currecni – iOS app review

March 5, 2015

currenciLink: iTunes
Cost: Free

Bang for buck: It’s free!
Ease of use:
The looks:

There are a tons of currency converter apps for iOS, and Currenci is another one in the list. But this app stands out in its easy-to-use user interface and clean, modern looks.

The default screen shows USD and EUR, but you can add currencies by simply swiping up. Remove any currency from the list by swiping left and swiping down will refresh the data. Swiping right will add that to your favorites list.

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Turks & Caicos Islands will change time zone on March 8, 2015

March 4, 2015

Some countries rely heavily on tourism for their economy, and they make changes to their systems based on neighboring countries that drive their economy. For example, Samoa changed their driving direction in 2011 to align itself with Australia, with whom it conducts most of its business. And then they changed their time zone to align with Australia, jumping 21 hours ahead in the same year, losing a whole day.

Image by Flickr

Image by Flickr

Now the tiny nation of Turks and Caicos Islands in the Caribbean sea is jumping one hour ahead to align itself with other eastern Caribbean islands like Barbados, Guadalupe and Puerto Rico, that has Atlantic Standard Time all-year round and do not observe Daylight Savings.

The British Caribbean territory has historically followed Eastern Standard Time along with eastern U.S. states. Considering the fact that the sun sets at around 5pm in winter which happens to be their prime tourism season, Turks & Caicos will be able to provide more day light to its visitors.

Zipline takes you from one country to another and one hour back in time

February 27, 2015


Sanlucar de Guadiana, in Spain and Alcoutim, in Portugal reside across from the river Rio Guadiana. And the countries are one hour apart in timezone, which means that Spain in one hour ahead of Portugal.

Limite Zero, a new zipline connects Sanlucar de Guadiana to Alcoutim. A privately funded passion project of Englishman David Jarman, the 2,362-foot-long zipline (called “la tirolina” in Spain) crosses the Guadiana River at 50 feet above sea level.

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Australian day trips for sailors

February 25, 2015


If applied maritime exploration rocks your boat, this day and age comes with more possibilities than a single sailor could possibly visit in a lifetime. Still, in order to arrange an itinerary of connected destinations, island-based and mainland coastal, one does not have to travel far from Australia. The entire geographic region is spattered with some of the most breathtaking and unique sites in the entire world, and one should not miss an opportunity to visit them.

Setting sail
What better way to visit these islands than in your own boat. Contacting the right shipwright will set you on the right track and bring you one step closer to your dream. Create and organize your own journey, stay where you want, for as long as you want and, like the explorers of old, pick your own trails and courses. On the other hand, if owning your own Australian boat is simply out of the question, then do not forget that the majority of this country’s population live near the coast, and marine transportation network is a widespread deal. It is easy to find and rent or charter boats for any occasion and budget.

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Guide to Iceland offers organized, cheap tours to the island nation

February 24, 2015


Planning a trip to Iceland? And don’t want to create an itinerary? Then head over to Guide to Iceland where you have licensed tour guides offering various trips from a one-day trip in Reykjavik to a 15-days trip around the island nation.

The website lists accommodation, which is not exhaustive around the country; and car rentals. They help you plan your trip by categorizing the tours offered by companies and locals, such as self-drive tours, nature tours, adventure tours and cheap bus tours. You can even select a city like Reykjavik or Akureyri and look at the tours starting from that city.

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42 of the important travel don’ts around the world

February 10, 2015


There are so many things most of us would do just out of habit while traveling abroad that could easily be misconstrued and perhaps cause problems.

If you’re curious about the unspoken rules and regulations of other countries, then check out this compilation of the important Travel Don’ts around the world created by

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Vamo makes it super-easy to build your entire trip itinerary

February 4, 2015


Planning a trip can be daunting – You need to book flights, hotels, research whether to take public transportation or taxi, costs, etc. How do you know what places to visit? When to visit? All these questions can discourage a lot of people, but Vamo makes it easier.

Just enter the cities or places you’d like to visit and the site picks the best flights (in terms of price, time in transit, and layovers) to get you to each city; the best mid-range hotels (based on price, TripAdvisor rating, star rating, and location) and the number of days to spend in each city and in which order.

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Plan your international trips with Kayak’s Travel Hacker

February 3, 2015

There are a lot of websites that tell you when is the best time to book flights for your next exotic destination. All of these are predictions based on their data and one should always take these tips with a pinch of salt.

Apart from all the preparations you need to do in terms of documents, packing and booking stuff, there’s the flying and commute too. To make things easier, Kayak has released a travel guide that shows you the how far in advance you must book your flights, what are the best days to arrive and depart, and the median airfare for each continent.

Kayak Travel Hack

With over a billion searches for flights in a year, Kayak has put together the data it has collected that can be a helpful guide to plan the initial stages of your trip. Arrival and departure day results from the day of the week with the lowest airfare for each and the timeline for when you should book is based on data for the booking window with the lowest airfare.

As we mentioned, you should take all this information with a pinch of salt and do your research.

The top 20 safest cities are…

January 30, 2015

Based on the factors like digital security, health security, infrastructure and personal safety, Safe Cities Index 2015 has ranked Tokyo as the safest city in the world.

With an estimated 38 million people living in Tokyo, it is also the most populous city on Earth. Just following Tokyo are Singapore, Osaka, Stockholm and Amsterdam.

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10 countries to visit, if you are seeking genuine experiences

January 27, 2015

What are the top 3 countries you recommend to travelers and why?
I have been asked some variant of this question often. Earlier I used to be uncomfortable answering this as I felt I had not seen enough. With 63 countries traveled in – on average twice to each of them – I can now present a worthy list. Note that these are not necessarily my favorites and/or countries I wish to live in – that list may have some overlap with this but not much. Also, this is directed more towards backpackers and travelers who are willing to go to a place without doing any research and bothering about travel advisories.


So three would be too incomplete a list, hence I will name 10 to get a nicer and more just number. The reasons to visit are meant to be quirky & not the usual ones you see in lists in travel magazines & guidebooks.

The ordering isn’t significant. I suggest spending around a month in each of them, motorbiking or hitchhiking where you can. Don’t make a list of all the spots to visit in them, but when you go to one, linger and take it all in, slowly.

Here I go:

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Travel app review: Am I Going Down?

January 27, 2015

downLink: iTunes
Cost: $0.99

Bang for buck:
Ease of use:
The looks:

With the recent events of planes getting lost and crashing, some people are paranoid and may want to know if their flight is of any risk? This is where “Am I Going Down?” wants to ease nervous flyers with logic by calculating just how unlikely it is that a plane will crash.

Based on real flight statistics, if you’re flying from Los Angeles to Cancun on Airbus A340 operated by Ethiopian Airlines then there are 1 in 2,761,193 chance that your flight will ‘go down,’ or crash in transit. That’s one huge number which will stop making you worried!

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What should be your best transportation option? – Part 2 – Survival

January 23, 2015

Taking public transportation is the best way to conserve energy (read gas/petrol), save money and travel with the locals. But taking public transport in a foreign country can be daunting in terms of how to use, when to use, what to use, costs, rules, etc.


Read up, ask your friends on social media, visit transportation websites – do your research to understand how the public transportation system works at your destination. So here are some tips on what you must do:

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What should be your best transportation option? – Part 1 – Bus or airline

January 21, 2015


That’s always the question for a lot of travelers. Whether to take an bus or fly between cities with long distances between them? While traveling by bus is cheaper than flying, it can take up to about 10 times the time. Also, some countries may have airlines offering cheap flights, whereas some may have companies offering comfortable buses as opposed to a chicken bus.

For example, during our trip to Colombia last month, we decided to fly from Bogota to Armenia, taking one hour via Avianca airlines. And we took a bus from Medellin to Cartagena taking 13 hours on Brasilia. So what factors help you make those decisions?

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Tour review: Red Planet Expedition, Uyuni, Bolivia

January 15, 2015
Red Planet Expedition


Address: Calle Sucre, between Ave Ferroviaria & Ave Potosi, Uyuni, Bolivia

This experience is from our trip to Bolivia in July 2013

Firstly, there are a lot of tour companies in Uyuni offering the same tour(s) around Salar de Uyuni. So shop around; contact various companies for rates and tour plans, before deciding on any one company. Having said that, I decided on Red Planet Expeditions after reading multiple reviews online that were more positive than negative.

Many travelers have rates guide Gonzalo as a terrible, so beware of that. I was lucky enough to have Oscar as our guide because he was kind, funny, helpful, friendly and spoke perfect English.

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Hotel review: La Casa Azul, Cali, Colombia

January 15, 2015
La Casa Azul, Cali, Colombia

Breakfast included: Yes

Address: Av 4aN # 5N – 09, Barrio Centenario, Cali, Colombia

The first impression of walking in to the courtyard of this homely hotel was a ‘wow!’; and with it’s blue-white walls and large, spacious rooms anyone would be amazed at how low-priced this place is. Located in the heart of northern Cali, close to the old city, this is a great place to stay (read below for more!) with restaurants and cafes just walking distance from the hotel. The front gate is always locked which ensures safety of the guests.

Breakfast of eggs, bread/jam/butter, coffee and orange juice is served everyday and included in the price. Being there on Christmas night in 2014, we had an opportunity to share a home-cooked meal prepared by the owner of the hotel, that included a three course dinner and wine for COP 25,000 per person (approx USD 10).

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