Affordable safaris in Kenya & Tanzania: Tips from a pro

Baby-ElephantElephants crossing a seemingly endless savannah, leopards relaxing in a balboa tree or hippos rolling in the mud can be seen in the wild in very few places. It’s the reason that an East African Safari is on the “bucket list” for so many of us.

National Parks and game reserves in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania are teeming with wildlife often found nowhere else in the world, and each park has unique landscapes that can differ quite widely, even from each other.

In Swahili, one of the official languages in Tanzania, safari means “journey or trip” and was adopted as the universal term for excursions into National Parks to see wildlife in Africa.

The downside to the magical trip is the cost. There’s no doubt about it, safaris are expensive. But, for the amazing experience that can’t be duplicated anywhere else in the world, the price is worth it for many travellers and nature lovers. Click to read more

Quito, Ecuador: What to do and budget tips for visitors

QuitoViewQuito is Ecuador’s capital but it’s unlike many big cities in that it’s not too fast paced and the people are quite friendly. The central area is in the middle of a valley surrounded by volcanoes, making it a great base point for hiking day trips in the countryside.

Quito is at 2,850m in altitude so it’ll take you a few days to adjust when you arrive. You might experience a shortness of breath and it’s important to drink lots of fluids so you don’t get dehydrated.

The weather is consistent all year round thanks to the altitude, maintaining an average of about 66°F/18°C each day. Click to read more

Oahu: Itineraries and getting the most out of your visit

Out of all of the Hawaiian islands, Oahu is certainly the most talked about and the most visited. From snorkeling to hiking, from watching surfers catch their best wave to shopping in Waikiki, from picnics on the beach to 5 star eateries, visitors can see and do it all. With long sunny days coupled with average temperatures in the 70′s and low 80′s, Oahu provides a great climate for just about any island activity you can imagine.

But with so much going on, how does one get the most out of their visit? The key is to plan ahead and learn when and where the crowds will be. Here’s a bit of starter information to help you plan the best Oahu vacation possible. Click to read more

Rome for students: Discounts, advice, and strategies

AncientRomeTraveling as a student has both of its benefits and its downsides. One of the good things is that you can often find some better deals and some promotions that are specifically geared toward your age group.

However, knowing which one of these promotions to accept can be hard — especially in a large city like Rome where there is so much to do and see.

Here are some ways you can most take advantage of the Eternal City as a student and even for non-student backpackers trying to get the most out of a visit on a low budget. Click to read more

Cheapest cruise lines for Caribbean cruises – 13 lines ranked by price

Miami PortThe Caribbean is by far the most popular part of the world for cruises, and thanks to a surge in popularity of the activity, it can now be explored by those in almost every budget category. Considering it’s mostly an all-inclusive holiday and the departure ports are generally near cheap and popular airports, a Caribbean cruise can be done so inexpensively that it might be shocking.

However, unlike airlines that are basically interchangeable, cruise lines each tend to fit into a price category and have a personality of their own. There are 13 different cruise companies (including a few small-ship luxury outfits) that cover the Caribbean, and a scan of the information below should help you narrow your best options down to only one or two of the lines. Click to read more

Is the Go Chicago Card worth it? Go Chicago Card review 2014

Welcome to the Windy City. Chicago is a melting pot of people from around the US and a great place to find culture, great food and a bit of science. Home to great attractions including the Shedd Aquarium and the SkyDeck, Chicago provides many different attractions that are suitable for all ages.

But as with any type of city travel, high costs are everywhere. One solution is the Go Chicago Card. This card is available for several different day amounts and helps to keep costs down by providing a flat rate to 25 Chicago attractions. But is it right for you? We’ll answer that question and more below. Click to read more

Prices on a cruise ship: Drinks, internet, spa, excursions and more

MSCDivinaAs cruising has become more popular around the world, most people are now aware that it can be a fantastic bargain because your meals and much of the entertainment on board are all included in the base price. It’s still true, but like in so many other industries, cruise ships have started to charge extra for almost everything they can.

It’s not that everything used to be included and now many things have separate fees, it’s more that each new thing added seems to come with a la carte pricing. You can still stuff yourself at the buffet for no additional cost, it’s just the new “specialty restaurants” that are available as premium alternatives for guests who choose them. Of course, internet, spa services, and shore excursions aren’t free either, nor are alcoholic drinks and some other extras. Click to read more

18 Cheap destinations in 2014 with great weather in October

It shouldn’t be too surprising that October is quite a transitionary month in much of the world for weather, with some cities changing quite a bit as the month goes on. There are many fine choices in all regions of the world in October though, so it’s just a matter of zeroing in on the places that should be nice for the whole month.

The south of Europe has ideal conditions for anyone with some time off, and there are still several places with beach weather for resort types. Asia is a bit spotty, however, since October is very rainy through most of the popular and cheap cities in Southeast Asia. Click to read more

Best credit cards for travel: Miles, points, and no foreign fees

VisaWalletPreparing for yet another long overseas trip, I decided it was time to check my wallet and figure out which credit card was best for travel. On my last trip I spent a small fortune on foreign transaction fees, so finding one that doesn’t charge for international spending was critical. But that was just the beginning.

Finding the best credit card for travel is a minefield of confusion until you really learn about which factors are most important and which aren’t. My airline-specific card now feels almost useless because it’s increasingly hard to earn points and increasingly hard to spend them. So a “rewards card” makes more sense because you can earn points in more ways and spend them more freely as well. You also have to factor in interest rates and sign-up bonuses, depending on your credit score and if you plan on running an ongoing balance. Click to read more

Seeing the Nazca Lines, and more Peru, on a budget

Nazca-Spider-by-funkzHeading for Peru and Machu Picchu? It is fantastic. Even though it needs to be experienced through gasping under-oxygenated lungs, and it can be a budget buster. Then what? It’s a hard travel act to follow. But there is another massive attraction just a quick hop to the south that most travelers haven’t seen yet.

In the driest desert in the world lay the mysteries and history of the Nazca Lines and the archaeology of the inhabiitants for more than 14,000 years. The Nazca Lines are famous because the figures were only discovered in 1927 from a plane. Until recently they were hard to get to and there was little tourist infrastructure to be able to fly over them for a good view. But that has changed in the last few years. Click to read more