Two trips for the price of one? It's not a scam! It's a layover and mastering layover logistics is how we see the world.
Istanbul, New York, Singapore, San Francisco, Stockholm. We've seen all these cities (and more!) for free, thanks figuring out layover logistics when we travel. Layovers happen when a plane touches down for less than 24 hours in one city while on route to another and embracing them has become a key part of our value travel philosophy.
Layovers allow us to explore new cities without spending any extra money to get there. In fact, sometimes we even save money! Most travelers avoid long layovers and indirect routes like the plague and thus these undesirable flights are often less expensive. Seeing more and playing less? We'll chose that option every time!
If you're ready to fall in love with layovers like we have, here are some practical considerations for getting the most from the experience.
Should you pre-purchase gas with your next car rental? Do you have to fill up a rental car? We weigh out the pros and cons to help you understand car rentals with gas "included".
It may seem silly to worry about something as small as rental car gas prices when you're on the trip of a lifetime. Why sweat the small stuff when you can be out there enjoying yourself? And do you HAVE to fill up a rental car before you return it or just let it go? But small steps can add up to huge saving - savings you can use to make your trip even more unforgettable.
Savvy travelers know that their trip budget needs to take into account more than just base prices. Hotel rooms require taxes and tips. Flight costs don't include luggage fees and airport meals. And if you're calculating how much does it cost to rent a car, remember that car rental costs are more than just an automobile's base price. There are taxes and fees, insurance options, upgrade possibilities, and even add on features like GPS rentals. And of course you need something to get around town - you need gas!
The next time you rent a vehicle, you will probably be encouraged to "pre-pay" for your final tank of gas. This promises to be not only a convenient choice but an economical one as well. But is it all too good to be true? Readers want to know what the most frugal choice is and I am all to pleased to do the research and run the math on all your rental car gas options!
Here are some things to consider when it comes to car hire fuel policy matters.
"Warmly welcome and take care of tourist" - this is the train ride of a lifetime! Read all about our experience on the overnight train from Bagan to Yangon in Myanmar.
Less than 12 hours after enjoying the BEST travel experience of our lives, we were off to catch the overnight train from Bagan to Yangon. An overnight train seemed to an efficient and economical way to get across the country without losing a precious day of sightseeing to transit and we were excited to try something new.
Our expectations for the train were very modest. We had done considerable research, learning a lot from The Man in Seat 61 and Lesley Leep Phoography We had watched Anthony Bourdain’s Burmese train trip on the Parts Unknown series and had taken to heart a passage from Lonely Planet, in which a local resident advises that the train is “not as bad as you think, not as good as you hope”.
Traveling by boat from Mandalay to Bagan is one of the nicest ways to get around Myanmar. And the most memorable! Join us as we talk about our journey sailing down the Irrawaddy on the Mandalay to Bagan boat. (Updated 2021).
Thousands of travelers stream into Myanmar every year, anxious to catch of glimpse of the ancient temples and famous hospitality that for so long have been kept in isolation. Unfortunately, transportation routes have not kept pace with the flow of visitors and it still takes considerable time to travel between cities that are quite close to one another. This was the transportation dilemma we faced as we debated whether to include the Mandalay to Bagan boat in our plans.
We needed to go from Mandalay to Bagan, but the expense of flying was out of the question and neither the lengthy bus nor ancient train offered a comfortable or efficient option (as we would find out later in the trip!) That left the Irrawaddy River. As such we decided to travel from Mandalay to Bagan by boat and it made for a decidedly slow but relatively pleasant commute.
There's nothing like seeing the sunrise over the ancient temples of Bagan in a hot air balloon.
I try to never lose track of how fortunate I am to travel and I always remind myself how lucky I am that my work as a travel writer introduces me to extraordinary locations, experiences, and people. Never has this been more in focus than during my hot air balloon ride over the spectacular ancient temples of Bagan, Myanmar. Without a doubt it stands alone as the most incredible, breathtaking travel experience of my life and I'm so happy to share my memories with you here.
Turns out I can sleep on an airplane afterall!
Today is a bland, boring day of transit and that’s okay by us! It's nearly 9 hours to fly from Istanbul to Bangkok, plus several hours hanging around airports, combined with a big time change – it’s going to be a long day!
We leave Istanbul at 1:00 am and we land in Bangkok at 3:00 pm. We’re only in Bangkok for the night, as we depart for Myanmar bright and early the next day. We’ll be flying into one Bangkok airport and out of another, so as soon as we land we’ll be making our way across town for the glamour the second airport’s hotel. We’re anticipating some serious exhaustion and want to make the next morning’s departure as smooth as possible.
Looking for information on the Air Asia shuttle bus to Mandalay? See our update below. We have all the information you need on getting from Mandalay Airport to city center Mandalay.
Few countries are changing as rapidly as Myanmar. This gorgeous nation, with its warm citizens and spectacular temples, is popping up on every list of must-see destinations. After so many decades of seclusion, travelers are flocking to Myanmar's beautiful countryside, vibrant cities, and moving spiritual sites. But first you have to get from the airport to your main destination! As we flew in to Mandalay, we thought it would be helpful to share all our best tips for getting from Mandalay Airport to city center Mandalay.
It's important to note that this information is always evolving. By the time you read this, you may find that prices have changed significantly, transportation routes have altered, new hotels and restaurants have emerged seemingly overnight. I'm happy to share my experiences from our recent trip in hopes that I can help with practical information, as well as inspire others to visit this incredibly special country.
PS - If you're interested in learning more about the Air Asia shuttle bus, read on to see our latest update towards the bottom of the post.
Our cross-Ontario train trip with Via Rail
The expression "the wrong side of the tracks" surely wasn't coined in Canada. The sun is slowly setting as I make my way from Montreal to Toronto on Via Rail, bathing the track-side backyards in a rosy glow. I catch glimpses of everyday life, with flashes of swimming pools, swing sets, huge trees that must be hundreds of years old, and all kinds of gardens - big and small, wild and prim, wild tangles of tomatoes and obedient stalks of Swiss chard. Between it all are tantalizing glimpses of Lake Ontario, looking like the Atlantic Ocean, an endless swath of blue.
I spot an elderly man expertly reclining in an old-fashioned rocking chair that seems older than he is. He delivers a cheerful wave. He's content. Clearly train watching is a hobby of his, maybe even a calling. It's evident there's nothing he'd rather do than watch the world and the trains roll by. This is a Canada that many people might imagine no longer exists, but it does, and it thrives, thanks to Via Rail.
There is nothing like the bonus free legroom that comes with the exit row.
Exit Row Seats
With nearly as much leg room as first class, the row of seats corresponding with the wing exits in economy are always a great value. Depending on the configuration of the airline, you might find that the exit row not only offers extensive legroom, but it might also only have 2 seats in the row compared to the standard 3. If you deeply desire the window seat but still like to move around and stretch your legs, this is the row for you!
Meet one of our travel value all stars! No matter where you go, what you do, or why you travel, these features, attractions, or amenities will always offer you tremendous value; an excellent experience for your limited time and money.
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