Travel & Drinking Etiquette

by Jessica on August 30th, 2011    |    1 Comment »
Posted in Travel Tips

Smells and tastes are powerful memory triggers, and you don’t have to be a lush to have fond memories of drinks from around the world.

From drinking Champagne in the region of the same name in France to sipping Shiraz in Australia to sampling a Mai Tai in Hawaii, there are many quintessential experiences that involve imbibing in the local liquor. Unlike what you might expect, however, we’re not talking about traveling simply to get plastered in as many countries as possible. You may want to do that, and if that’s how you’d like to spend your holidays that’s your business, but there’s more to drinking than getting drunk.

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Travel with Training Wheels

by Jessica on August 17th, 2011    |    Comments Off
Posted in Jessie

Unlike many of the intrepid travelers I’m privileged to know these days, my first forays into international travel were quite un-intrepid (if that’s even a word). I’d been shuttled back and forth across the United States three times in cross-country moves with my family, but it wasn’t until my sophomore year of college that I went overseas – with 43 of my closest friends.

It wasn’t quite “one time, at band camp,” but it was close – I was on a choir tour to Australia and New Zealand.

My alma mater prides itself on encouraging its students to travel, and January terms were a popular time to do that. Every few years, the concert choir of 40-some-odd students would go on a month-long trip somewhere, and during my tenure it was to be Australia and New Zealand. I’d never been out of the U.S., I’d never traveled without my family, and I’d never even contemplated preparing for a trip. To this day, it sort of shocks me that in all the months leading up to the trip it never occurred to me to even buy a guidebook to either country.

Back then, travel details were handled by someone else. I was along for the ride. Six months later, I was on my way to a semester studying in Nottingham, England. Again, I was with a group – albeit a much smaller one – of fellow students from my college. I’d gotten a copy of “Let’s Go! England” before this trip, but hadn’t read much of it. I was content to follow my cohorts around for the first couple of weeks.

Then I got my first taste of solo travel, when I went to visit relatives in Paris.
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Saving Money in the Most Expensive Places

by Katie Hammel on August 3rd, 2011    |    Comments Off
Posted in Travel Tips

Many travelers – particularly those among us who want to travel as much as possible on the smallest budget – know that by sticking to cheaper countries to visit so we can stretch our travel budgets further. We also know that, while there are money saving tips and tricks that can help lower the cost of traveling in any country (couchsurfing, eating at markets, renting an apartment), some countries are just more costly than others.

But what if you’re dreaming of one of these uber-expensive countries? There’s no need to cross that country off your list of resign yourself to waiting to visit until you’ve won the lottery. While it won’t be easy and it will still be expensive, there are ways to decrease the cost of visiting the world’s most expensive countries.

On BootsnAll, we’ve rounded up some of these notoriously expensive countries – like Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland – and offered up real tips you can use to save money. From how to find a cheap hotel in Singapore to how to get around cheaply in Japan, these ideas will help you make the most of your budget when visiting these pricey places. They still might not be categorized as cheap destinations, but sometimes the experience is worth a little more expense.

Photo by tantek

RTW Travel & the Importance of Community

by Jessica on July 26th, 2011    |    Comments Off

You may have noted that BootsnAll is the Portland host for this year’s Meet, Plan, Go! event in October. We’re very excited to be a part of MPG, partly because its founders are such great people to work with, and especially because it aligns so perfectly with what BootsnAll has been about from the very beginning – long-term, independent travel.

>> Are you considering a career break? Going on a RTW trip? Then be sure to register for the Portland MPG event on October 18, 2011!

Since BootsnAll started in 1998, we’ve constantly been adding to and refining our collection of RTW trip planning resources, including an incredibly detailed RTW FAQ and a trip planner with a map that will suck you into its vortex (in a good way) and have you dreaming up itineraries for hours. Our goal is to walk you through each step of the RTW planning process so that you can spend more time focusing on the fun parts of planning rather than the drudgery of figuring out what travel insurance you need or how to create a budget – and it’s this same sort of community support that we appreciate so much about what Meet, Plan, Go! is doing.
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Searching for “Strange” When Traveling

by Jessica on July 21st, 2011    |    2 Comments »
Posted in Jessie

There are plenty of reasons to get off the couch and hop on a plane. Perhaps you want to do a tour of New York’s hot dog carts. Maybe you imagine spotting a new species on a bird-watching trip. You might be on a mission to climb the tallest peak in every country. Or maybe all you want to do is get a photo of yourself holding up the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Hey, whatever floats your boat. We’re not here to judge, man.

No matter what motivates you to travel, our conversations with travelers over the years tell us that many trips end up being quests of one kind or another (see the aforementioned hot dog cart tour) – even if that’s not what got you out the door in the first place. Personally, I’ve made something of a habit of seeking out bone churches (AKA ossuaries) in many cities. It’s never the thing that drew me there, but it provides an odd sort of continuity to many destinations that otherwise have nothing in common.
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Learning to Travel Greener

by Jessica on June 21st, 2011    |    Comments Off
Posted in Travel Tips

For most travel enthusiasts, the high of buying a plane ticket or getting a passport stamp overshadows all other feelings, so it’s not surprising that even the people who go out of their way to recycle at home momentarily forget about being green when they travel. In fact, depending on where you’re going, traveling green can be a challenge. Recycling isn’t exactly a universal concept – and that’s just the stuff we can see.

The good news is that minimizing your impact while traveling is easier than most people think it’s going to be. Traveling in an eco-friendly way doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t take a flight somewhere. Sure, there are ways to travel that require less fuel, but you can do things like buy carbon offsets from reputable companies and rely on things like light rail or bicycling when you’re in your destination.
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Getting to Know Italy

by Jessica on June 2nd, 2011    |    1 Comment »
Posted in Jessie

An Italian vacation is the stuff of dreams – it’s the kind of trip people discuss in “once in a lifetime” terms, although many make multiple trips over the years. Even if you do end up going back, you want your first trip to Italy to be the sort of experience that will, years later, make you swoon at the memory.

Unfortunately, that sort of experience doesn’t happen by itself.

We hear about Italy so much it’s tempting to assume that having a storybook holiday there would be almost second nature. It’s true that there are far more difficult places to visit in the world, and that if you stick to the relatively popular path you’ll find a tourism infrastructure that does make it easier, but there are still things you should know about Italy before you hop on a plane. Here are just a few.
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Getting Geared Up for TBEX in Vancouver

by Jessica on May 26th, 2011    |    Comments Off
Posted in Out & About

I’m not one to turn down an opportunity to travel, whether it’s for work or otherwise, and I’ve found fun things to do in places that didn’t seem all that exciting – but when a conference I know I’ll be going to gets scheduled for an exceptionally cool city like Vancouver, BC, I’m even happier.

The fact that it can be tough at times to find cheap tickets to Canada is certainly one thing that might keep us from venturing north of the border more frequently, but the fact is that from Portland it’s a relatively easy drive up to Vancouver. You wouldn’t want to make a day trip of it, of course, but it’s not so far away that you couldn’t consider it a good spot for a 4-5 day trip.
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Visting Rottnest Island in Australia

by Katie Hammel on May 11th, 2011    |    1 Comment »
Posted in Travel Tips

One of the must-see attractions in Western Australia., the tiny island of Rottnest sites 19 kilometers off the coast near Fremantle. Attracting tourists and locals, Rottnest is know for its beautiful, clean and secluded beaches. Book your airfare to Australia into Perth, and you can easily visit  Rottnest as a great day trip.

A 25 minute ferry whisks passengers from Fremantle to Rottnest, or you can take the 90 minute ferry from Perth (just be sure to bring a cure for motion sickness if you are prone to it!). Small charter flights and helicopter flights also depart from Perth but are a much more expensive option.  Once on the island, you can easily get around on bikes or opt for an all hop on and hop off bus pass for just $13, adult.

On Rottnest Island you can do as much or as little as you like: lay on one of the island’s 63 beaches, go snorkeling, fishing or get in a round of golf. Accommodation runs the gamut as well, from hostels and campgrounds to villas and hotels, so you can spend as much or as little as you like. For more, just check out our Rottnest Island travel guide.

Photo by vtveen

Catch a Show in London this Summer

by Hydro on April 28th, 2011    |    Comments Off
Posted in Travel News

This is a guest post from Just London Theatre Breaks.

With summer approaching, the one thing that seems to be on everyone’s minds right now is how to celebrate the joys of the best season of the year. Indeed the regular things pop into mind; relaxing in the park with a bottle of wine and a cute little picnic, spending a few weeks in an even hotter destination than the one you are currently in soaking up the rays and sipping on exotic cocktails, having a BBQ in the garden and inviting around the whole family. Whist these things are great to do, why not make this summer a little more special and venture to London to experience the delights of the British capital.

London has a lot of things to entertain during the summer. London Zoo is great to visit during the sunny days, as are the many parks such as Primrose Hill. Museums are plentiful and a great way to spend a relaxing, carefree day.

London is famous for the West End, hence the great London show and hotel deals that have been made available in recent years. There are many theatres that grace Theatreland, the collective term for the region that includes Shaftesbury Avenue, Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus.

The high quality shows range in genre. For families a Lion King theatre break is a great way to spend a weekend from home. For groups of friends shows such as Legally Blonde provide perfect evening entertainment. Couples can enjoy the thrills of Chicago or Les Miserables.

London is certainly the place to head this summer, and it provides a welcome change from usual summer routines.

About Just London Theatre Breaks:
Just London Theatre Breaks specialises in cheap London theatre breaks. They provide the best central hotels and a choice of seats to a large variety of shows at the best possible prices.

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BootBlog is the company blog of the BootsnAll Travel Network, a company that has been connecting travellers since 1998. Our goal is to inspire, educate and cultivate an organic community of independent travellers. But what does that mean? Well, we love to travel and we love to connect other travellers who have the desire to get out and see this great world of ours. BootBlog will showcase what is going on around the office, around the company and within our community of travellers.

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