Monthly Archives: June 2016

Tips to Trip In Hawai

Hawaii is on nearly everyone’s travel bucket list, but every island has different, unique attractions. Not sure how to decide? Check out our favorite places throughout the islands and start planning your trip. Aloha!

BLACK ROCK ON KA’ANAPALI BEACH (MAUI)

If you’re a fan of anything fun, you need to go to Black Rock. Cliff diving, scuba, and snorkeling with tropical fish are just the beginning – sea turtles are usually spotted here and the stunning scenery is a photographers paradise. Every night the Sheraton Hotelhas a symbolic torch lighting/diving ceremony that symbolizes the site’s ancient legend that spirits jump off these rocks as a final passing. The torches at sunset are gorgeous, so make this a full day excursion.

WAIPIʻO VALLEY (HAWAII, THE BIG ISLAND)

Home of Hawaii’s tallest waterfall, the secluded Waipiʻo Valley is full of hidden gems not accessible to the public. Because it is private property you must book a tour to gain access to it all; although we recommend KapohoKine Adventures, there are tour companies who offer horseback riding or ATV tours as well.

SHIPWRECK BEACH (KAUAI)

Although the real shipwreck for which it’s named for has long disappeared, Shipwreck Beach has awesome views and is a favorite for local surfers.  Swimming is only recommended for strong swimmers due to rough waters, but experienced surfers and boogie boarders may be up for the challenge! Hiking the Maha’ulepu Heritage Trail is well worth it, and the golden sand beaches are perfect for sunbathing.

The Grand Hyatt Resort & Spa is a gorgeous property that sits right on Shipwreck Beach and comes highly recommended by other travelers looking for a luxurious getaway on Kauai.

ROAD TO HANA (MAUI)

Time to rent a Jeep, pack a bag, and hit the road! The drive to Hana takes about 2 to 3 hours (depending on where you’re departing from), but that’s with no stops – and trust us, you will want to stop. Plan for a few days to really take in all of the sights of Hana has to offer and book a hotel reservation in Hana Town! Dining, waterfalls, beaches, and trails are scattered along Hana Highway, so take your time and pick some places that seem to interest you most. This interactive map may help you plan your trip.

NA PALI COAST (KAUAI)

The magical 17-mile shoreline of the Na Pali Coast is so unique, in part due its remote location. The only way to access this area is by water, helicopter, or your own two feet. Take a swim in the Open Ceiling Sea Cave and check out the Waiahuakua stream, which ends tumbling off the mountain through the roof of a sea cave. Talk about amazing photo op!

If you are looking to spend some time on the north shore, (which I highly recommend!) the St. Regis Princeville is very close to the main trails on the Na Pali Coast and this resort is beyond stunning.

PAPOHAKU BEACH (MOLOKAI)

One of the largest white sand beaches in Hawaii is also one of the quietest, so if you’re looking to get away from the crowds for a while this is the place to go. You can soak in views of Oahu from the shore but getting in the waters is fairly dangerous and highly discouraged.

MANELE BAY (LANA’I)

Another quiet getaway! Swim at Hulopoe Beach, golf at the gorgeous Four Seasons Resort, or explore marine life at the tide pools. This family-friendly spot has picnic areas and gentle waters perfect for swimming; hula lessons and lei-making classes are offered by the Four Seasons for those looking for an authentic Hawaiian cultural experience.

KALAUPAPA (MOLOKAI)

Although the famous Molokai mule rides are currently unavailable, this sacred Molokai village has a distinctly unique settlement history that will likely be fascinating to curious visitors. The beautiful St. Philomena Church founded by a beloved Father Damien can be visited by booking a Damien tour, which also visit the final resting place of Father Damien himself. Research Kalaupapa’s history beforehand and prepare yourself for a spiritual, breathtaking journey.

POLOLU VALLEY (HAWAII, THE BIG ISLAND)

The black sand beaches and black lava rock make for a gorgeous landscape, and the short (but steep) hike is very rewarding – bring lots of water and shoes with good traction, as the trail can be slippery. Stop by the small town of Hawi on your way for lunch and homemade fudge!

Staying on the Kohala Coast is a must during your trip to the Big Island of Hawaii.Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel has one of the few swimming beaches on this side of the island and it even has a few resident turtles to keep you company while snorkeling. I stayed here for three nights and did not want to leave

HAWAII VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK (HAWAII, THE BIG ISLAND)

For those outdoorsy types, this national park will be a must-see. Deserts and lush rain forests make for an awesome hiking and biking experience, and that’s just during the day! Go at night to see the glow from molten lava, and take in the view from above by helicopter with Paradise Helicopters tours in Hilo. They even offer extreme no-door tours for you adrenaline junkies!

PACKING ESSENTIALS FOR HAWAII

Photo Equipment – I highly recommend bringing a GoPro for underwater photos (and a selfie stick!) and a nice camera for land activities. (See our complete travel camera buying guide here.)

Clothing – Sandals or flip flops (I love Rainbow sandals), a couple of swimsuits,sunglasses, and a sun hat are must-haves any time of year. I also highly recommend bringing water shoes.

Rash Guard – I always pack my long-sleeve rash guard on island trips. It protects you from the sun when snorkeling and provides a little warmth if the water is chilly.

Snorkel Equipment – You’ll save a ton of money by bringing your own and you won’t be stuck with old equipment. We brought this mask and these travel size fins.

Reusable Water Bottle – Refilling your water bottle not only saves money, but it’s so much better for the environment! We use this CamelBak water bottle at home, but if you want something more compact, this collapsible water bottle is perfect for travel days and hiking.

Finding the Best Flight Deals

unduhan-5In the last couple of years we’ve been enjoying some fairly low priced airfare, but taking a few minutes and putting in a little extra effort could potentially save you even more onyour next flight. With these few hacks, you can look forward to savings of up to hundreds of dollars

HOPPER

Using Hopper, the popular fare predictor app, should be your first step before searching for flights. Hopper’s prices are MUCH higher than almost every other app or website so I would never recommend actually buying your tickets here, but their calendar showing which days are the cheapest (and most expensive) to fly can be very helpful in planning your trip.

THE FLIGHT DEAL

The Flight Deal does not have an app, but if you’re willing to navigate their website you’ll find it’s definitely worth it. Flight Deal finds amazing ‘mistake’ airfare deals that often slip by unnoticed by airlines for a day or two, so you can find some great steals if you’re willing to pull the trigger on buying tickets immediately.

This is a great option if you don’t have a particular place you’re looking to go, given most of the departing airports and destinations – domestic and international – are pretty random. There are a few cons: there are almost always blackout dates, you generally have to buy more than two weeks in advance, and these deals only last 1-3 days; however, roundtrip flights for as low as $70 (taxes and fees included!) are hard to pass up!

KAYAK FLIGHT PREDICTOR

Although you should aim to book tickets 54 days before a flight when prices are at their lowest, listen to KAYAK’s ‘farecasting’ advice if it tells you to wait. Frequent flyers have experimented in the past and found that they were more likely to save money using the ‘wait’ or ‘buy’ feature, so double check the fare predictor before booking.

KAYAK also has an Explore feature that lets you limit your airfare budget and gives you destination options that are within your price range. It’s a fun visual tool that makes planning budget travel easy!

SKIPLAGGED

Another great option for those spontaneous travelers, Skiplagged only requires a departing airport and travel dates to give you an inexpensive getaway. This is the only travel app/website I’ve found that lets you choose “Anywhere” as your destination, so take advantage of three-day weekend and jet off somewhere unexpected!

The catch? Skiplagged uses “throwaway” tickets, where your destination is a layover en route to a cheaper airport, and you get off on this layover rather than continuing your flight. Because the final destination on your plane ticket is NOT where you will be staying, you cannot check bags.

The practice of using throwaway tickets is frowned upon by airlines, so only bring carry-on luggage and don’t let on that you ultimately will not be continuing the flight. If saving money is your ultimate goal, then take advantage of this loophole and bend the rules!

DISCOUNT AIRLINES

Most airline search and comparison sites don’t include discount airlines, so don’t forget to check their prices yourself. Southwest offers awesome prices on popular domestic flights, but don’t forget about Allegiant; they travel to and from many smaller airports (nonstop) for a fraction of the cost of standard economy-class flights. Keep in mind that many of the discount airlines have hidden fees, so read the fine print before booking!

If you’re traveling internationally, check to see which airlines use that country as their hub or which discount airlines fly there. Iceland’s WOW Air offers up some serious deals on international flights all over Europe, some with stopovers in Iceland – giving you to the opportunity to explore another country on your trip.

Tips to Travel Britain Cheap After Brexit

As the whole world is now well aware, Britain has voted to secede from the European Union and Europe has gone into a frenzy. Great Britain’s economy is tanking by the second, Prime Minister David Cameron has resigned, and the value of the British pound has dropped $0.12 USD in value overnight – that’s lower than it’s been in over three decades.

This, of course, is terrible news for the Brits but wonderful news for tourists. Here’s how to take full advantage of Brexit and finally plan your dream vacay to the UK.

CHOOSE YOUR LOCALE

Contrary to popular belief, Great Britain consists not only of England, but Scotland and Wales as well. Between these destinations there’s a wide variety of places to go and things to see, so choose your country based on the type of trip you want to have. Are you craving the hustle and bustle of London, or a quieter stay along the picturesquePembrokeshire Coast in Wales? Does island hopping in the Scottish islands sound like a fun getaway? Do a little research, and go from there.

BOOK AIRFARE NOW

We’ve been enjoying low-cost airfare for a while now, but that may change just like the UK’s economy has. It seems the British are putting a halt to traveling to the U.S, so airlines (particularly British Airways) are scrambling to fill seats; by booking now, you may avoid steep price increases later on.

EXCHANGE YOUR CURRENCY

The value of the British pound sterling has plummeted, and it’s currently the lowest it’s been since 1985. Once you’ve planned your vacation, trade in those dollars for pounds before terms are settled between Britain and the EU and the Pound’s value stabilizes.

TRAVEL NOW, AVOID COMPLICATIONS LATER

It’s said that it could take several months for Britain to officially secede the EU, but when it does, traveling between countries may become more difficult. The “Open Skies” policy between the EU and United States has allowed airlines to fly and land anywhere with American and European Union territories – Brexit has caused no immediate change in this arrangement, but could possibly do so in the near future.

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF LOW ROAMING CHARGES

Roaming charges for tourists in the EU have been on the decline and are even predicted to be abolished next year, but with its newly struggling economy Britain is unlikely to implement such a luxury. By traveling now, you’ll be dodging these fees.

BE SAFE

Just a few weeks ago, the State Department issued a warning to U.S. citizens traveling to Europe due to the recent increase in international terrorism, and unfortunately Brexit will likely only add to the chaos. Thankfully, the Tour de France is the main reason of concern so travel destinations within Britain (with the exception of London) are not predicted to be particular targets. Be safe and have fun!

If you can’t plan a trip now, don’t worry! Britain may be the first to exit the EU, but there’s talk that other countries – including Sweden, Denmark, and even possibly the Netherlands – may move to make their exit in the next few months as well.

How for Summer Travel

To help prepare for your upcoming travels, Raid® has asked us to share our best tips for bug protection. They’ve recently launched a new product, the new Raid® Bed bug Detector & Trap, to expose evidence of bed bugs before an infestation occurs.

As frequent travelers, bed bugs are a huge concern for us. Whether we’re temporarily renting an apartment or staying at a hotel, it’s something we definitely think about. We’re happy to see the Raid® bug experts have provided consumers with tools that can help prevent a more costly bed bug infestation.

Here are some tips to protect yourself from bed bugs, mosquitoes, and ticks during your upcoming travels.

Unfortunately, not all insects live outside. Bed bugs can live in any climate and urban travel-hotspots are particularly susceptible to spreading them. Checking into a hotel with bed bugs can ruin a summer vacation; even hard-to-spot bed bug larvae can cause itching and welts, as bed bugs must bite their hosts at every stage of growth. Worse, it’s tough to perform thorough inspections on the go. According to a recent Raid® survey, most Millennial travelers know to check the mattress, but only 37% check the headboard!

To keep from being eaten and bringing home unwanted guests, use an early detection device from Raid®. The Bed Bug Detector & Trap can be placed anywhere bed bugs hide—under the mattress, behind the headboard, and in corners of the bed frame, to name a few.

The partially enclosed trap is designed to keep bed bugs trapped inside and the see-through window allows you to easily identify any trapped bugs. With the early detection, you can spend your vacation well-rested and bring home only enjoyable souvenirs!

For more information on the new Raid® Bed bug Detector & Trap, visit their website, ask them a question on Twitter, or check out their YouTube videos.

MOSQUITOES

Mosquitoes breed naturally from still water, so you should expect to find them pretty much everywhere. Lakes, ponds, even puddles that will stay long enough: all create the ideal environment for mosquitoes. Mosquitoes don’t just bite at dawn and dusk. To get the most out of all outdoor activities, be sure to apply DEET-based mosquito repellent across all exposed body parts.

Luckily, using mosquito repellent has long been a proven method of keeping yourself protected from mosquitoes, so make sure you pack a bottle. Hang bug netting around your sleeping area at night for extra protection.

TICKS

Ticks are an even more insidious bloodsucking pest than mosquitoes. Not only can they carry Lyme disease, they will burrow down into your skin and become hard to find. Even pulling them out can be difficult, as tugging with tweezers can leave their head behind!

To protect yourself, make sure to wear sleeves, light-colored socks and long pants while hiking, especially in long grass. Ticks will crawl upwards until they find exposed skin, so tuck pants into your socks or boots. Tick repellents can also help, but won’t remove the need for full-body tick checks—don’t forget your hair!

If you do find a tick, grab the tick firmly as close to where it is attached as possible and then gently pull until the tick releases. Watch the spot for a few days and, in case of rash or skin irritation, consult a doctor.