While in Botswana, safari camping was at the top of our travel list. But it wasn't without challenges, like how to stay clean.
This picture of me, taken after one day of Botswana safari camping, says it all. I'm wide-eyed and smiling but you can see the worry in my eyes. You can also see plenty of sweaty hair and a cooling, wet handkerchief draped around my neck. And that was my northern Botswana and Chobe safari experience in a nutshell: awe-inspiring, monumental, a bit overwhelming, and really, REALLY sweaty.
In so many ways, I was ill-prepared for the rigors of Botswana wilderness safaris. I had done exhaustive research. I had been camping dozens of times. Heck, I had even lived in southeast Africa before. But the heat, sand, dirt, and sweat hit me like a ton of bricks. It wasn't that I was unhygienic, per se. I was just out of my element in so many ways and feeling cruddy sure didn't help.
Ryan, I suspect, was absolutely in his element. But I was at the outer limits of my comfort zone. And, trust me, life does NOT begin there, no matter what the philosophers say! This is the blog post about keeping clean on camping safaris I wish I could have read before my trip.
Changi Airport's free Singapore tour is famous. But is it more trouble than it's worth? Here's what you need to know before you go.
I love layovers and I love great deals - and everyone knows it! As such, the free Singapore tour out of Changi Airport has been on my radar for a long time. During our first visit to Singapore in 2013, our lengthy overnight layover of nearly 24 hours called for a hotel and some independent time exploring. But during our recent 2018 trip, our layover was closer to 12 hours - just the right amount of time to enjoy the free Singapore tour and explore the city a bit. What could be better?
Turns out, there's a catch to this story. Or rather, there are several. We soon learned the hard way that there are a lot of important rules that are rarely mentioned. If you're planning a layover in Singapore and keen to take in the free Singapore sightseeing tour, here's what you should know before you finalize your plans.
Readers always ask us "Which country has the best food?" and "Where's the best place you've ever eaten?" Here are the most delicious and undeniably amazing meals we've had around the world.
Our meal at Black Tartan was sponsored by Ontario's Highlands Tourism Organization and we thank them for their support.
Some links within this blog post are affiliate links, which means we are paid a small commission should you make a purchase .
Do you remember the time we feasted on desserts across Budapest, including some showstopping plates at a Michelin star'd restaurant? Or that time when we had an incredible meal at a near empty Parisian restaurant after a late night river cruise? We sure do! We love eating our away around the world and our list of good meals, restaurants, and experiences is endlessly long.
But what about GREAT meals and restaurants? No, not just great. How about the absolute best? People ask us all the time about the best meal we've ever had or the best restaurant we've ever visited and we always struggle to answer. I've realized it's not just that food enjoyment is subjective. For us, it's also about having our expectations surpassed, about being overjoyed to discover that a meal we anticipated would be merely satisfactory is actually sensational. Sometimes it's been an order from room service that blew us away so much that we are STILL talking about how perfectly creamy the sauce was. Other times, it's an unassuming country bistro, the last place we expected to find a cheese lover's heaven. In every case, the food isn't just good - it's surprisingly, unexpectedly fantastic.
After much debate, we've finally narrowed down our list of the best meals we've had around the world, using the criteria above. None of those incredible restaurants in Budapest or Paris made the list. They were wonderful - but we expected them to be wonderful. An element of joyous astonishment just wasn't there. We also eliminated any experiences that we enjoyed solo - this list is all about the places that Ryan and I have enjoyed together and have the same reaction to. Looking back on all our delicious destinations has been a fun trip down memory lane, but also a sad one. Should we go back? Would things be just as great a second time round or are our expectations now skewed? It's a good reminder to always savor the moment as much as the food!
I should have been on vacation but I couldn't stop thinking about the next big thing to share with you. If you've dreamed about a travel scarf with pockets, you're going to love this post!
What does summer vacation look like for a travel blogger? Probably a lot like it looks for everyone else! First, there are plenty of indulgent snack foods (hello there, poutine, ice cream, and popsicles). Next, there's a lot of laziness and lounging about in the sun, enjoying the breeze and watching the leaves ripple on the trees. There's even a good amount of time hanging out by the shore, collecting feathers and shells, and generally being thrilled to put social media on snooze.
Of course, there's also the unexpected rain - but we'll get to that in a moment!
This year, our summer vacation brought us to Craigleith Provincial Park for four nights of southern Ontario camping. Ryan and I stuffed our car with camping gear, beer, extra beach towels (but no pillows.... not our finest moment), a backpack brimming with books, magazines, and board games - and, of course, our dog, Oliver! Aside from the pillows, just one thing was missing and this one was intentional. My laptop was left at home and I couldn't have been happier!
But while I had officially banished work, I couldn't turn off the blogging side of my brain. Case in point: while camping, I was able to try out an incredible travel scarf with pockets, something I've been enamored with ever since I first heard about it. And I couldn't wait to tell you all about it! An infinity scarf with pocket features has been on my travel wish list for a while now. Originally I had visions of cuddling around the campfire in a chic scarf, looking glamorous while keeping my phone and keys safe, but Mother Nature delivered a heck of a rain storm that really let me put things to the test.
Check out our video showing just how gorgeous Ontario camping at Craigleith Provincial Park really is - on clear days and stormy ones alike! Then read on to learn more about my new favourite travel scarf (and enter to win one for yourself....)
Traveling with dogs can be a lot of fun - until you start stressing about what to pack for them. These are our essential items for canine adventure (and Oliver's too.)
We all love vacation, and we love it even more when we get to bring our best doggy friends along. Travelling with your dog is great, but it does call for some extra planning. Dog travel supplies are just as important as human supplies, after all! While looking into pet friendly accommodation and transportation may be your top priority for arranging a trip with your canine companion, there are definitely some other factors to consider. So for the sake of making everything easier and for keeping your dog safe and happy, here are five items no traveler should leave home without - and our pampered pup, Oliver, wouldn't leave home without them either!
Planning a Canadian road trip? Here's a roundup of our top travel recommendations for New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland.
The period when late spring turns into early summer is one of my favourite times of year and it's not only because of the great weather and the chance to dig in the garden after a long, cold winter. It's also the time when people ask me a lot of questions about traveling to the Canadian Maritime provinces. Longtime readers know that I grew up in Nova Scotia and that Ryan and I make frequent trips to Canada's east coast to visit family and sneak in a little travel of our own. It's always exciting to see that other people are planning their own trips and we're only too happy to help with the process.
While I hope you peruse all of our Maritime posts at a leisurely pace, I thought it would help you fine folks if I did a round up of some of our favourite destinations, routes, foodie experiences, and Maritime roadtrip tips and tricks. And I've also included links to some inspiring pieces written by other bloggers to help fuel your great Canadian travel adventure!
Whether you're in Halifax for a weekend conference or taking the trip of a lifetime and spending an entire season on the road, I hope you'll come back to dip into this post again and again!
Bon Appetit! Cooking classes around the world offer great meals and great memories. Here's what we look for to make sure we get great value as well.
We were sticky, sweaty, and we smelled distinctly of onions. Our feet were coated in a layer of fine dust and we had mysterious red splotches all over our shirts. We needed showers, we needed rest, and -truth be told - we probably needed to drink something other than wine. But we had the best morning imaginable!
We weren't participating in some kind of strange obstacle course or adventure excursion. No, Ryan and I were fresh from spending the morning at an incredible cooking class in Prague. The onion odor and red stains were the result of carefully (... or not so carefully....) stirring the base for a goulash and the dusty feet were courtesy of a market tour. And the wine, well...All in a day's work!
Cooking classes around the world are our new favourite travel activity and we're not alone. Classes for non-chefs and travelers are popping up everywhere. We've never had a class we didn't absolutely love nor a meal that didn't leave us groaning with happy, overfull bellies. To ensure that your experience is just as great as ours, here's what you should look for in an overseas cooking class.
Can you take bath bombs on an airplane? What about packing bath bombs in carry on luggage? Our readers ask the BEST questions about TSA carry on rules and we can't wait to help!
I absolutely love it when readers send in their travel questions - and often those questions focus on packing, specifically packing and carry on luggage. And this month's question is an especially good one: Can you take a bath bomb on an airplane? The answer is yes. But I know you don't come to me for short answers! You want details! You demand explanations!
As a lover of relaxing baths AND easy to pack luggage, I am only too happy to dig a bit deeper into this particular query regarding toiletries and TSA carry on rules.
I love to chat about money and travel... but penguins usually aren't included in the conversation!
Have you ever traveled to see penguins? And, if so, did they teach you any financial lessons? It's a strange question! You see, a recent conversation about these cute birds unexpectedly shed some light on money and my travel decision making process. Let me explain....
I was chatting with friends about how there are some things I'll happily pay a lot of money for when I travel, yet I get really annoyed at some minor travel expenses. Why was it so easy to assign value to one activity yet be so aggravated with another? That's when a friend piped up and said that in her circle of friends, they summarize this quandary with one quirky phrase: "penguins or no penguins".
She told me about some acquaintances - known for being rather frugal - who had saved up for the trip of a lifetime. They cruised to Antarctica, truly an incredible voyage, and a trip that easily cost thousands of dollars. And while they were there, they had the chance to pay an extra $20 each to leave the cruise ship and board a Zodiac boat that would take them closer to the penguins. But they refused! They must have spent over $10,000 on their trip - but they drew the line at an extra $40 in travel expenses. And thus, the phrase "penguins or no penguins" was born.
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