Updated in 2022! Discover the secrets of the centuries-old Charles Bridge in the timeless city of Prague.
We've adapted a new mantra when we're asked for travel advice these days and it goes something like this. When people say that they want to visit Paris, we always pause and ask if they're sure they don't mean Prague. It's no slight against Paris, but I think when it comes to European beauty, charm, romance, and cobblestones, most would-be visitors are craving Prague (and they don't even know it!)
The city is home to fine bakeries, delightful public squares, and, of course, is no stranger to beautiful bridges. Plan your trip to Paris all the same. Just consider adding Prague onto that itinerary! We were fortunate to spend 4 days in the heart of the city, next to the legendary Charles Bridge, and we found reason after reason to starting recommending "The Golden City" along with "The City of Lights".
If you're looking for things to do in Zagreb in one day - or less! - we have some spook-tacular suggestions.
Legend has it that it's bad luck for a black cat to cross your path. I've never put much stock in this old fable - especially since black cats are my favourite! But when a ghostly white cat appeared on our path moments after we concluded the Zagreb Ghosts and Dragons tour, I started to ponder the legend once more. What was the significance of a white cat? And why was it looking at me so curiously as it followed us down the path? What misfortune was lurking around the corner for us in Zagreb? If you're wondering what to see in Zagreb in one day (or even less), we have some spook-tacular suggestions, starting with this fantastic tour.
We found real value in one of the toniest spots in the United States.
Cape Cod is a tiny spit off Massachusetts, just an hour from Boston, where everything seems endless and open and large. There are massive beaches, gorgeous mansions, endless expanses of blue sky. And the friendliness is larger than life too!
I met my new friend Kelly, a former Cape Cod resident, at a cooking class in Prague. We bonded over a mutual appreciation of all things dumplings and goulash and she gave me invaluable advice for exploring Cape Cod. Thanks to her sage insider's perspective we had an unforgettable trip - plus a long list of activities to consider for next time.
In the spirit of travel friendships, I feel it's only appropriate to pass along our favourite (affordable) Cape Cod recommendations - and I can't wait to hear if you have any to add to the list!
Are hostel showers gross? No! Or, at the very least, usually not. This is what you need to know about showering in hostels.
I dare any traveler to come up with a better spa treatment than what I experienced in Italy. The country's polished marbles had nothing on my skin after a beautiful, yet breezy day at the beach in Finale Ligure. The salt spray, the repetitive layers of sunscreen and blown sand, finished with a hearty dose of sweat from climbing the 300 plus stairs up the hillside to my hostel made for the world's most powerful exfoliate. The hostel showers may have been humble that day but my skin has never felt so good!
I get why the issue of bathrooms and showers is a sensitive one to so many travelers. It's not just about being hygienic. It's also about the ritual of refreshment and relaxation that helps start and conclude a day. It can wash away a horrible day or, like my case in Italy, make a good day even better. And it just feels darn nice.
And that's probably why so many of my readers who want to try staying in hostels or budget accommodations for the first time (or are interested in giving them another shot after a long hiatus) are sheepishly and nervously asking...."Um..... How do I shower in a hostel?"
Looking for a hotel in Athens? Or maybe you're looking to hostel, Athens style? We've got some great recommendations! And we asked top travel writers to weigh in with their picks too.
Athens is one of the world's great cities and you'll want to make the most of your time here. Finding the right accommodations is a big part of that. You'll want a comfortable, clean, centrally located property where you can enjoy a good rest - and maybe even a great view. And you'll probably want to get a great deal too! Maybe you're searching for one of Athens' affordable hotels. Or perhaps you're keep finding the best hostel Athens has to offer. Either way - we're here to help!
We were thrilled with the property we stayed at, the Athinais Hotel, and would highly recommend it to others. But we wanted to include plenty of options in this post, so no matter your travel style or budget, you can find accommodations that are perfect for you. Thank you to the talented travel writers who weighed in with their opinions! I think you'll enjoy their reviews as much we did.
Istanbul's Hotel HHK is a heck of a deal - no matter how you get there!
Have you ever seen a series of funny TV ads that shows travelers coming to the end of an arduous journey, finally seeing their amazing resort and incredible hotel suite? The catch line is that they 'booking' got it right. Of course, "booking" is a sub in for another, less family friendly word (hint: it begins with "f") and the ads are promoting the hotel website... I bet you can guess which one.
They're cute ads and I can relate to that 'booking yeah' feeling. I had my own "booking" moment in Istanbul. Nope, it had nothing to do with Booking.com! (In fact, we actually booked through Expedia - here's a direct link to the hotel) but all the other components were in place, from the crazy journey to the gorgeous hotel.
HHK Hotel (aka Hayriye Hanim Konagi Hotel) in Istanbul is one property we absolutely got 'booking' right and, best of all, we got it for an absolute steal! Here's why we loved it, how we got such a sweet deal, and why we were so darn happy to finally arrive at their doorstep.
We broke some basic travel rules and learned our lesson the expensive way. Here's what we wish we had known about booking Calgary Airport hotels with shuttles. Don't worry - there's a happy ending!
Say hello to the Four Points by Sheraton hotel by the Calgary airport! This was our home for less than seven hours when we were cobbling together a series of inexpensive flights to make our way across Canada and eventually to Hawaii. Without enough time to visit friends or see the city, we nevertheless embraced our short stopover as an opportunity to get some much needed sleep on what was a very long voyage.
A quick look at a map told us that were many Calgary Airport hotel with shuttles that were so close to the airport, they were practically touching it and, even better, there were dozens of properties to chose from. That gave us an advantage when it came to online booking. We knew we were spoiled for choice and the Four Points won thanks to a combination of its price (under $100!) and its star rating (it was less expensive than some adjacent three star properties.) This was a chance for us to treat ourselves to some sweet stop-over sleep and we were very smug for being such savvy spenders.
Little did we realize we were about to make a big, BIG mistake!
Update: Sadly, this business is now closed.
Have you ever liked a place so much you felt a bit reluctant to share the details because you don't want anyone else to go there? It's selfish, I know, but sometimes I can't help but feel protective about some of my favourite travel discoveries. What will happen when the word gets out and suddenly my secret hideaways are inundated with people?
One of those places is Palm Trees and Polar Bears Bed and Breakfast in Port Rowan, Ontario. Port Rowan is a small community on the shores of Lake Erie in southern Ontario. The region is famous for its provincial parks, beautiful beaches, and bird watching. I got to know the area first by camping at nearby Long Point Provincial Park, and then again on a repeat visit for kayaking. Year round camping isn't a possibility here - and for a lot of people I know, it's definitely not a summer option either! And for those who enjoy some creature-comforts when they explore nature, a B&B is a decidedly civilized option and Palm Trees and Polar Bears is definitely one of the best I've ever enjoyed.
We found a great place to stay just outside Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii.
Value travelers will be familiar with this struggle. Sometimes it feels like there aren't many options between the realm of luxury hotels and bare-bones campgrounds, especially if you're searching for a property that comes with a bit of character, as well as great value. But when Ryan and I were exploring one of the 'hottest' spots in Hawaii, we discovered an inn that's decidedly cool. Kilauea Lodge, in the village of Volcano on Hawaii's Big Island, is a beautiful property but that's not why we enjoyed it so much. We found some cool things here that you just don't discover every day.
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