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Travel Tips: Finding Wi-Fi and Power Outlets - as part of the expert series by GeoBeats.
If you are on the road and you need to find a Wi-Fi connection for your electronics or need to make sure that you have a plug-in to power up, my best advice is Mc Donalds, actually. Anywhere in the world, well and we all know Mc Donalds are all over the world. So most places, wherever you are going to find the Mc Donalds, they have free Wi-Fi which is really a fabulous feature. And sometimes they have really good air conditioning too which is a bonus.
So basically if you just go into any Mc Donalds you will be able to pick up normally a free Wi-Fi signal and you can sit there and, you know, work on your phone or your netbook or whatever.
Other ways that I find connections is really I carry an I-phone with me and so, basically anytime I stop at a coffee place or maybe I am walking by some place and I think I want to stop at and sit for a while, all I will have to do is just to take out my phone and see if there is a Wi-Fi signal around and see if there is anything I can quick hop on. So without having a like get out a whole laptop and set up and everything, I just quick check with my phone. And if there is a signal that is good and I can get on there then maybe I will stay longer and do some other internet work.
As far as charging things, keeping things charged on the road, I do have a lot of electronics that I am charging all the time. Certainly if you have limited plugs, which many times you do in more budget accommodations and in different parts of the world. I would say, I just plug-in through my USB ports on on my laptop and charge like my phone and things like that through there.
Obviously my laptop I just charge in the wall and same with camera batteries in still on. You just have to be kind of vigilant about it I would say because we have to remember every time you check into a hotel plug in your electronics, because there will be a time when you will forget and you have a dead battery and be very unhappy.
Travel Tips: Finding Local Restaurants and Attractions - as part of the expert series by GeoBeats.
My favorite thing to do when I travel is to really get off the beaten path and interact with locals and try to really dig in to a culture. And the ways that I go about that is really using my social media connections many times.
If I put out on twitter that I am going to be in Barcelona and do, you know, I will ask people for suggestions and things like that. It is amazing! You will meet people who live in Barcelona. That will be very very helpful and will either give you information or maybe even agree to meet up with you.
Another resource you can use is the Couchsurfing community. So couchsurfing**** the website is not only for, you know, finding places to stay overnight but it is also a really really great way to meet locals.
Many of the locations, many of the big cities on Couchsurfing have like local meetup groups or people that just say 'Hey, if you are in town we will meet for coffee!' or 'I will walk you around the city and do a little personal tour'. So those are some really great ways to get local.
Another way to go local when you are traveling is consider volunteering because quiet frankly volunteering is probably the most in depth you will get into a culture and community. You will learn the most, you will make the closest friends and things like that. So lots of time what I would do is combine a volunteering trip with another trip so that maybe you go in and you do the volunteering first, you make some connections, etc., and then you will get a lot of good advice on where to go and what to do.
And then, you know, the last half of your trip is maybe more typical travels for you are doing more sight seeing and things like that. But you have really got advice from the locals and who knows, they may be giving you free places to stay or anything like that too. So options are endless.
Travel Tips: Air Travel with Children - as part of the expert series by GeoBeats.
When flying with kids I really like to use the acronym BEST. B is for bathrooms. Always make sure you use the bathroom before the flight and during the flight, whenever seat belts sign is off. E is for entertainment. Always bring the children something to keep them occupied throughout the flight. A DVD player, a hand-held video game, coloring pages, anything. Anything that will keep their attention.
S is for seats. If you are traveling with your infant or toddler, be sure to buy their own seat. Not only for your safety but for your sanity. T is for treats. Any kind of snack is wonderful. Travel mix is a wonderful example. But just try and stay away from the sugar that might make them bounce off the walls. There is no way to run their energy off on flight.
Travel Tip: Finding Affordable Restaurants - as part of the expert series by GeoBeats.
My name is Leslie Koch of DowntownTraveler****. Whenever I travel, I seek out local restaurants. And it’s easy to find them, especially when you have a smart phone. My iPhone is the best tool I use when I’m traveling to a new city. I use an app like Yelp to find local restaurants with high ratings that are in the area. So for example, I don’t have to look in advance anymore with a guidebook, and really search for different restaurants in the area. I don’t have to plan at all, I can just do it on the go.
Travel Tip: How to Lower Stress While Flying - as part of the expert series by GeoBeats.
Leslie Koch: Flying can be really stressful, but you can take a few steps to reduce your fear. For example, always get to the gate early so you have plenty of time to relax and aren’t rushed. Second, make sure you pack light. Not only will you skip those outrageous baggage fees, but you won’t have to worry about overhead space. Third, make sure to bring your headphones, and perhaps a bottle of Benadryl, because you want to be as relaxed as possible during the flight.
Travel Tip: Packing for Camping - as part of the expert series by GeoBeats.
When you go camping, it’s important to pack the right gear. So if you’re just going for a weekend retreat to the beach, or perhaps a more upscale destination, then you only need the basics: clothes, water, sunscreen, a hat; and of course your camping supplies: a tent, your sleeping bag. However, if you’re going on more of an expedition, then you really need to give thought to some extra supplies. You might want a Swiss Army knife, or a space blanket, or some other tools. So it’s important to look online, look up the destination where you’re going, and make sure you’re adequately prepared.
Travel Tip: Packing for Urban Destination - as part of the expert series by GeoBeats.
It’s important, when you’re traveling to an urban destination, that you pack appropriately. If you’re going to a sophisticated city like Buenos Aires or New York City, you don’t want to look out of place in hiking boots, walking around town. So make sure you have a pair of nice jeans that you can wear with a t-shirt during the day, and dress up in the evening. Also, make sure you have at least one nice pair of shoes. For the ladies, maybe a nice pair of high heels, and for the guys, dressy shoes. ‘Cause if you want to go to a cool club or bar, they’re not going to let you in in sneakers. Just make sure to remember your destination, and you’ll be okay.
Travel Tip: 3 Mistakes to Avoid on Round the World Trips - as part of the expert series by GeoBeats.
Leslie Koch: It’s easy to stress out when planning an around the world trip, and I know because I went on one for a year. And in hindsight, there are a few mistakes I made that I would like to share with you so you’ll avoid them. The first one is don’t worry about every single detail of the trip and your itinerary, because chances are, once you start traveling, you’ll change your mind, you’ll want to stay somewhere a bit longer, or you’ll add a new destination to the itinerary. Second of all, don’t worry about pinching every penny. And that’s something a lot of travelers get caught up in when you’re on a long term trip. Personally, I wish I did a few more experiences that cost a bit more. For example, a snorkeling excursion. Don’t pinch those pennies because you’ll regret it later. Third, I’d recommend packing light for the trip. There’s a tendency to want to bring too much stuff, and you might end up throwing a lot of it away. You want the lightest pack possible, so just bring the bare essentials.
Travel Tip: 5 Off the Beaten Path Honeymoon Destinations - as part of the expert series by GeoBeats.
Leslie Koch: I would recommend for anyone planning their honeymoon to consider destinations that are a little outside of the box. You don’t have to go to Europe, you don’t have to go to the Caribbean. Try South America. For example, for Fernando de Noronha in Brazil is possibly the most romantic destination I’ve ever been to. It has beautiful beaches, snorkeling with sea turtles, and it’s something you’ll never regret. Second, I would recommend the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Taking a cruise and snorkeling in the deep sea is just an amazing and romantic experience. Third, I would recommend the islands of Southern Thailand, like Koh Lanta. They’re relaxed. There’s plenty of sunshine. It’s basically an ideal beach vacation without the package tourists. Fourth, I would recommend a camping destination, which might seem a little unusual, but I actually spent my honeymoon camping in Yellowstone National Park. The views are majestic. The opportunities for adventure are great, and you won’t regret it. Finally, check out a local destination in the U. S. Maybe even just book a nice hotel room in your hometown. It will save you a ton of money, and it will definitely be memorable.