Tag Archives: tourist

It ain’t cheap or easy.

We all know it. Travel isn’t cheap and it definitely isn’t easy. Because of that, planning is a super important part of any new adventure.

I’m a pretty avid BuzzFeed reader and they always post stuff about travel. Which works our pretty well for me.

This post is talking about apps and how they can make travel easier. And we all know we could use the help. Some of the apps are a little useless for abroad travel (outside the US) and are location specific but the others are great!

My first favorite has to be Travel Math. It’s pretty cool and will literally tell you anything about your trip that has to do with numbers. And numbers definitely aren’t my strong suit. I try to avoid math at all times so I’m probably going to download this app ASAP.

The next is Pack Point. You put in the location, the app will tell you what you need to pack. This is genius. I’ve needed this app for my entire life. I am constantly packing for the wrong weather or forgetting that I’m going somewhere fancy. I’ve actually forgotten pajamas more than once. This is the app I’ve been searching for.

Jet Lag Rooster is a pretty smart idea. The app tells you how to shift you sleeping schedule around a few days before you trip so you’re not a zombie the first day there. If you’re paying a stupid amount of money to be there, who would want to waste a day being jet lagged? Not me!

My TSA is another genius app. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve searched the Internet looking to see what I can and cannot bring on a plane, how to store certain things and what is considered a carry on. It also tells you how long the wait lines for security are so you can plan you arrival at the airport accordingly.

I’m always talking about getting the “locals experience” and Vayable will help you do that. The app gives you unique experiences for your destination offered by the locals themselves. How awesome! This is another app I need to download ASAP.


Don’t get me wrong there are some other great apps on the BuzzFeed list but these five I think would be the most useful to me and they are the smartest. There are some weird apps on the list also that don’t have much to do with travel, like LogMeIn, Dude Where’s My Car? (which I need for home not travel) and WiFi Finder, but they could be useful to someone who wants to stayed plugged into their home world. I, on the other hand, love the idea of using my phone strictly for pictures and staying off the grid.


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Flying South for the Weekend

“Thank you for flying United Airlines. We have now arrived at South Carolina’s Charleston International Airport.” came through the intercom just as the wheels hit the ground of the tarmac.


All of this started when my sister told me she was going to South Carolina in May. I was pretty jealous and mad she didn’t invite me so I made some snarky remark of “Why didn’t you invite me jerk?”. This prompted her to ask if I really wanted to come.

Then last week, she texted me to ask if I was still interested in going and that she convinced mom to pay for the flight as a graduation present (I was so down for someone else paying). I obviously agreed to take my mom up on that offer and my tickets were booked the next day.

So two weeks after I become a legitimate adult (scary thought), I will be flying to Charleston, SC and frolicking around the city with my sister and her friend. My first trip of the year!

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I got 99 problems and money is all of them.

Yes, I just made a Jay-Z reference but whatever, that title is nothing but the truth. I love the thought of traveling near and far but the thought of spending the money I work my butt off for is terrifying.

So here I am to teach myself and maybe some of you guys the best ways to save money for and during vacations.

Saving money kind of sucks. Especially for someone like myself. I like to splurge on myself every once in a while. I guess I could consider a vacation a splurge but that’s a HUGE one. I found this blog that talks about how to cut some things out and save money for traveling. I love the ideas he has, like cutting out Starbucks and clipping coupons, but there is no way you’ll get me to ditch my beloved iPhone. Never happening. I’d rather sell all of my furniture then get rid of my phone. Plus it’s useful overseas. Has he heard of Viber?

And now the planning process. The best part (not). This list gives “smart” tricks for saving money. I’m using the term smart only because they did. The first tip. Buy another seat next to yours. I can hardly afford the first seat, what makes you think I can buy another? All for more leg room. No thanks, I’ll take the cramped seat next to a crying baby before shelling out another few hundred. Their only useful piece of advice is to eat in.

What’s one thing you never think about before traveling? Scams? Yeah, me either. Thrillist came up with the most common travel scams. I had no idea most of these existed. Scary stuff. The craziest is probably the fake Red Cross credentials! Are people really that into stealing money that they would go that far into detail? Apparently people are getting really creative when it comes to scamming tourists. Watch out!

Let’s talk about free stuff being the best stuff. Again, Thrillist came out with a list. This time of FREE things to do around the world. The coolest of all of them. Ruin Bars in Budapest. I would totally do every single thing on this list and it’s not just because they’re free. The couch surfing may be the hardest for me to build up the courage to do but let’s go. Now.

Back to my iPhone, I’m always looking at the apps they have for travelers. Budget Travel complied the 10 best apps to save time and money. Not all of them are free but it’s only a few bucks at most. Aside from Evernote, the apps are all travel-based. I’ve never used any of them, so I can’t really give any opinion but I’ll definitely test them out when I actually start traveling.

So I learned a lot more than I thought I was going to reading all this stuff, especially the scams article. Hopefully you and I will take all this awesome information and do some traveling with it. I know I will be. Maybe not anytime soon but I’m planning, don’t worry.

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Time is always of the essence.

Our lives are constantly pressured by time. Deadlines, schedules, itineraries. We are given a certain amount of time and we are supposed to make the most of it. Especially when traveling. It’s one of the hardest deadlines we have. We are only given a set amount of days in a foreign territory and we have to explore it all. Every sight must be seen and all the food must be tried. We have the briefest of times to become one with this new culture we are thrown into. Then, as soon as it began, it’s over. We’re boarding the flight back home and back to reality. More deadlines. More schedules. But we will always go back as a whole new person.

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Fitness for Travel

I love that Ellie keeps us updated on her progress for getting in shape.
Ellie, I really enjoy how honest you are. You are not afraid to admit that you bought Weight Watchers cake and proceeded to eat three out of five of the cakes.


Keep up the awesome posts and don’t forget to keep on working towards your goals!

Thanks for the funny and real posts about fitness!

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Nature’s Fireworks

Aurora Borealis


Aurora Borealis.

The Sun’s radiation reacting with the Earth’s magnetic field, to put it in a scientific way.

Beautifully dancing lights illuminating the northern skies, to a person like me.


This is definitely one of my destinations. And it’s honestly not too far from New England. I’d love to go to Iceland but Nova Scotia will work for me. Anywhere I can get my eyes on it will work. I just need to see it. And soon.


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An Virtual Travel Buddy

I just recently started following this blog and did very little back tracking to find out why exactly I did. She is the type of girl I want to help plan my travels. The post that stuck out to me was “Six ways to see the world”. She just gets it. The fact that there is not enough time to see the world but you can definitely try.

Ellie, I just have a few questions.

When you worked abroad, how did you deal with your life at home? Your family? Your living situation?

I’m super close with my family and I don’t think I would be able to work abroad. It feels a little too permanent to me.

What would you suggest for an American who can’t really go on city breaks?

I wish America was like Europe where you could take a weekend off and go to a different country. I take a weekend off and hardly leave the state I’m in.


Thank you Ellie for your great writing and help!

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And the destination becomes the adventure.

Local. Tourist. Companion. Backpack. Destination. Adventure.

You’re a human. I know this. I also know you’ve heard each and every one of those words in your life.

You may or may not have travelled before. If you have all of those words have a different and special meaning to you.

You think of the locals versus the tourists. When you’re out and about in a different country, you want to feel, think, eat, drink and every thing else like those locals. We don’t have the saying “When in Rome, do as the Romans” for no reason. You are the tourist attempting to be a local even if it’s just for the day.

Your companion at home may be your spouse or partner or maybe even your dog. While traveling, your companion is the one person you can do all and see all with. That person may still be your partner or spouse but it could also be your sister, your cousin, a coworker or even a stranger that you met on the way.

The ever loved backpack. From preschool to college, we have that bag on more than off. It carries our books, pens and pencils, and on the occasional weekend, our sleepover gear. For travelers, the backpack can be a saving grace. Luggage gets lost all the time but if you’re smart, you packed some clothes and essentials in your backpack. It can also be the only thing you use to pack.

Backpack can also be a way of getting around. It’s the typical post-graduation dream of every college student. The chance to backpack around Europe, spending nights in sketchy hostels and hardly showering. In Asia and South America, backpacking is the best way to see the landmarks.

Each destination provides the opportunity for a new adventure. We plan every last detail of our journey and wait until the day finally comes where we arrive at our destination. And once again that new adventure begins.

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Ugly No More

Most, if not all, Americans will not argue with you when you say America is an amazing country. We are a proud bunch of people who love to promote our country and we don’t mind boasting about our victories. Some of us also love to travel the world and see how other countries are proud. More often than not, these two characteristics will clash.

Think of a tourist. They’re typically not hard to spot, with fancy new sneakers, backpacks, and a camera around their neck. Being from Boston, we have this fun little game called “spot the tourist”. Over the summer it’s too easy to find those lost looking tourist dressed like fools.

Throughout Europe and other popular travel destinations, we have become know as the “Ugly American”. We are loud, casually dressed complainers whose culture is represented by pop icons such as Britney Spears and the Kardashians. Even Americans have named themselves as the worst tourists, and admit to stealing hotel towels.

Travelers have resorted to tell locals that they are Canadians, because they are known as nice and polite. They will avoid, at all the costs, the signs of being an “Ugly American”. They attempt to dress similarly and blend into the country. Bloggers and reporters have even started giving tips to help avoid the stereotypes.

Good news for Americans though! We are finally starting to actually blend into the other countries because of other tourists. And those tips are helping. We are conscientiously trying to not come off as the “Ugly Americans”. We have also given up that desire to take America with us on our travels. We are opening up and trying new things.

Americans can rejoice and say that the “Ugly American” is a dying breed.

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The Perfect Travel

Who would have thought that websites would affect your travels?

A traveler should be able to surround themselves in the culture of their destination. They should be able to disconnect from their cell phones, computers and work life to have the greatest experience while traveling. Most people do, or at least hope that they can, disconnect from their world and connect to a new one. Of course people plan to use websites to plan their travels but most try to avoid them while they’re there. But there are always those people who need help creating the perfect vacation. There are countless books and travel tips published by others but websites are those easy to access and “easy to pack” items that can make or break a vacation. Yes you may not be able to unplug completely but it can’t hurt to get advice from locals and find those off the beaten path adventures.

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