December, 2017

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Posted by: | Posted on: December 24, 2017

My Trip to Italy

Of all the countries I visited, Italy was my favorite. Or, at least it’s just at the top of my list. The other would be France or Greece. These are all European countries with thousands of years of history. Foods, music, and culture have been finely tuned over all of this time. Italy was ready for a visit. And it was incredible.

I arrived in Italy by seaport. Specifically, I believe my first city I visited was Naples. What was the first food I tried? I believe it was pizza! I’m a pizza lover and I’ve been so my entire life. The pizza in Italy was not as I expected. That’s not a good thing or a bad thing. It was just different! It was still delicious though. In Italy, they do not put too much cheese on top, to my surprise. Instead, they rely on the taste of the bread crust and the sauce. Both of these were great! But the pizza wasn’t all that I tasted when I was there. I also enjoyed the pasta! Who would go to Italy and not try the pasta? It was also awesome.

I took the train from Naples to Rome. The thing about trains in Europe is that they are better than the ones here in America. I’m not sure why that is. After all, we are essentially the richest country in the world. At the same time, the citizens of European countries pay more in taxes than we do. I’m happy with that. I’d rather better trains elsewhere if it means that I get to keep more of my own money. And I do! That’s part of the American dream. If someone works hard, they can play hard, because they keep more of what they earn. Lower taxes equals more freedom. That being said, the trains in Italy are very nice!

Posted by: | Posted on: December 16, 2017

Hawaiian Life

Life on Hawaii is different than the life elsewhere. I knew this to be true even before I went there. Hawaii is a chain of islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Many people don’t know this, but Hawaii is very volcanic. By this, I mean that, deep down under the islands, there is magma. Hawaii currently has three active volcanoes. I hope they never erupt! The problem with volcanic eruptions, however, is that no one can really tell for sure when they will erupt.

The airport was small when I arrived. I remember it being very beautiful outside. It was nice every day I was there. I was excited at the possibilities as to what I can do. What types of activities are there here? I immediately thought about surfing.

I had never surfed in my life. However, Hawaii is known to be a great place for surfing. So I rented a board and surfed! The waves were not too large. I think the waves are a bit smaller during the summer. During the fall and winter seasons, the waves are higher. The size of my board was surprising. Perhaps I’m used to the size of a snowboard. With a snowboard, the length of the board is supposed to be at high as my chin. With a surfboard, the board was about a foot higher than me.

Hawaii has great nightlife. After all, people go there for vacations. Where I stayed, in downtown Waikiki, many people walked around at night. There are artists on street corners, small tourist shops, and plenty of alcoholic drinks to go around. I was there in early July and was able to watch the fireworks show at night in celebration of Independence Day. I highly recommend all travelers to make a stop in Hawaii. You won’t be disappointed!

Posted by: | Posted on: December 7, 2017

Young, Wild, and Free

That’s a phrase that many teens use. The phrase speaks for itself. Teens use it because they are young. Teens use it because they are wild (or perhaps more often to be, as an age group). And teens use it because they are free. Being free to teens means they have less responsibility. Most of them don’t have careers. Most of them aren’t married. Most of them aren’t “tied down”. This factors, taken as a whole, means that teens have a great opportunity to travel.

To travel, one needs money. Teens aren’t rich. But their parents might be! Well, one doesn’t really need “rich” parents to afford to go on a trip or traveling far away. For example, there are plenty of study abroad opportunities for students. I don’t regret much in my life. But I think I would have had a great time studying abroad. I didn’t even think much of it until I began writing this article. That being said, I’ll probably forget about it soon enough. After all, if I want to vacation in any far away place, I’ll do just that!

Traveling doesn’t need to be expensive, either. Teens can go on road trips. They can go camping. They can go pretty much wherever they want with friends. They can go with family also. Yes, but I think they’d feel more “free” if they went with their friends.

When people are young they have a perfect opportunity to explore life. In my opinion, there are two times to explore. One is during youth when responsibilities are minimal. The other time is in retirement. But who wants to wait until retirement? No matter where one is in life, they can make travel happen. So make the choice and do it! Just plan, save some money and being the journey.

Posted by: | Posted on: December 4, 2017

5 ways to get cheaper hotel rates while traveling

Hotel booking is the biggest expense in most travel budgets. Even relatively less expensive hotels cost a lot of money, and everyone likes to live in a good hotel at an affordable rate. So, everyone wants to know how to save money on hotel bookings.

 

Because of my experiences of traveling, I have learned some nice tricks that can help you book hotel at a cheaper rate. Here are the top five ways to save money on booking a hotel.

 

 

Meta Search Hotels

 

There are hotel search engines or hotel booking sites like Expedia, Priceline, and Orbitz. But you’ll find the best prices when you go to metasearch engines like Trivago, Tripadvisor, Kayak, or Room77. Metasearch engines for hotels are quite popular and for good reasons.

 

These sites allow you to search inside multiple hotel booking websites at once and find the absolute best price and the widest range of hotels possible.

 

Make a Call

 

If you have decided on a particular hotel, call them directly to get better rates. This may not work every time, but you should try it. Hotels generally pay twenty to thirty percent commissions to hotel booking sites. This is why most hotels will probably give you a good discount if you book directly.

 

Another reason for this is that the staff of the hotel much more aware of the actual rates which may not be same as those advertised on the internet. Also, make sure that you actually call the hotel and not their 800 number which may direct you to someone who isn’t working directly in the hotel.

 

Book Refundable Rates

 

Booking hotel at a nonrefundable rate is generally a mistake. First, it will cost you in case you need to cancel your booking. Second, rates of room generally fluctuate every hour because of changes in hotel’s inventory. The advantage of booking at refundable rates is that you can easily cancel your booking if you find a cheaper or better room.

 

One thing you need to make sure is that the booking is actually cancellable. Take some time to read up the fine print and make sure you will actually get your money back when you cancel your booking. If a particular website does not offer refundable rates, try a different booking website.

 

Last Minute Discounts

 

This is only recommended for shorter or impromptu trips. If you are flexible with timing and do a little bit of research, you can find some pretty good last minute discounts on your hotel booking. You can use online booking site like HotelTonight which offers a good discount on unsold rooms for last minute. Calling the hotel directly is also a good option here.

 

Use Credit Card

 

A credit card is the best way to pay for your hotel booking. Credit cards offer a lot of benefits for airline miles, cash-backs, free night stays, etc. More importantly, most credit also provides services like fraud protection and refunds on accidental charges. You won’t get these services if you pay via debit card or cash.