Thursday, February 28, 2013

Nomadic Matt's Travel Site: February’s Reader Video Q&A

Nomadic Matt's Travel Site: February’s Reader Video Q&A


February’s Reader Video Q&A

Posted: 28 Feb 2013 08:48 AM PST

Last month, I kicked off my new reader Q&A series. Every month, I’ll be making a short video answering questions you submit. This month we had a number of good questions and I think I was a little better in front of the camera. I’ll get better at it each month so bear with me. This month’s video came in a bit longer than I wanted but hey, it’s good information so grab some popcorn, sit back, and enjoy!

Show Notes

Here are links to all the things I mention in the video:

Why I Will Never Go Back to Vietnam
How to Build a Blog
How to Make Money with Your Blog
Dave’s ESL Cafe
How to Teach English Overseas
Paris Sewer Tour

Are you attending SXSW next week or are just in the Austin area? I’ll be hosting an event at Conjunctured on March 7th at 7pm. If you are in town, get your butt there, hang out, talk travel, meet amazing people, and have a great time! Here is the Facebook event page with more information!

February’s Reader Video Q&A is a post from: Nomadic Matt's Travel Site

The post February’s Reader Video Q&A appeared first on Nomadic Matt's Travel Site.

Latest Post from Travel Wonders of the World

Latest Post from Travel Wonders of the World


Why Travel to Myanmar When I Can Just Go to Burma?

Posted: 27 Feb 2013 12:56 PM PST

guest post by Bennett Stevens As President Obama's high profile visit to Myanmar late last year helped to illustrate, the country has undergone major democratic reforms and emerged from a half century of isolation. With the hardline military junta dissolved; General turned President Thein Sein trading in his army uniform for Hugo Boss, and Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi freely elected...

Read the full story at http://www.travel-wonders.com.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Latest Post from Travel Wonders of the World

Latest Post from Travel Wonders of the World


Insiders Guide to Melbourne (Australia)

Posted: 26 Feb 2013 12:29 PM PST

My friends at Cheap Flights recently asked me to write a short guide on one of my favourite Australian cities, Melbourne – a place I’ve been to numerous times. It covers some ideas for good food (and Melbourne has superb eating options), unusual, funky bars and interesting museums and galleries. Please check out my insiders guide to Melbourne. Melbourne Vacations

Read the full story at http://www.travel-wonders.com.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Summer Events in London: itravelnet.com Travel Blog plus 2 more

Summer Events in London: itravelnet.com Travel Blog plus 2 more

Link to itravelnet.com Travel Blog

Summer Events in London

Posted: 26 Feb 2013 11:20 PM PST

London is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world so you can be sure that there is always big events going on, especially during summer time. In this article, there are some events that you should enjoy with your family this summer.

Coronation Festival at Buckingham Palace

This event will be held from July 11th to July 14th, 2013. During this time, all gardens in the Buckingham Palace will be opened to public. This is going the be a unique festival for celebrating the 60th anniversary for the Queen’s coronation celebration. There are more than two hundred companies that will join this Royal Family’s Festival. You are able to see many different foods, drinks, technologies, home accessories, gardens, and many more. The palace garden is going to host the Coronation Gala night starring some UK dance and music talents.

Hampton Court Palace Flower Show

This is another great event that you should visit this summer. This event is going to be held from July 9th to July 14th, 2013. This show is the world’s biggest annual flower show. There are a lot of amazing floral displays that will be displayed during this show. You are able to learn some tips on growing your fruits and vegetables. There are a lot of stores selling gardening products during this show. You will enjoy more than fifty amazing display gardens that include the rose marquee, tranquil water garden, and many other conceptual gardens. This event is perfect for everyone who loves flowers.

Notting Hill Carnival

This is the biggest street festival in Europe. This event will be held from August 25th to August 26th, 2013. There will be many people who are willing to join this festival. This event is considered as the best annual event in London. This year, the Carnival will have Caribbean theme. There are many exciting activities in this event. You can see many tempting food stalls. Your kids will enjoy the beautiful Calypso music in this wonderful event. The main event in this festival is the parade. There are a lot of communities that will join this big event.

Horse Racing, The Royal Ascot

This horse racing is going to be held from June 18th to June 22nd, 2013. You should visit this Ascot Racecourse in order to see this beautiful horse racing show. This is the best and most famous horse racing in the world. If you love sports, you will love this attractive sport. The highlights of this Royal Ascot horse racing include the Gold Cup and the Golden Jubilee Stakes. The total price for this show is going to be millions of pounds. Many people are going to visit and watch this show. You should bring your family along while watching this thrilling show.

Those are the best summer events in London. If you are planning to visit London this summer, you should book your accommodation in advance. There are many hotels in London that offer great deals for people who book in advance. You should reserve your room in your favorite hotel in this city as soon as possible in order to get low price available.

Summer Events in London is a post from: itravelnet.com - Travel Directory

Cruiseline Style and Elegance – What To Pack For Your Voyage!

Posted: 26 Feb 2013 04:15 AM PST

Cruise Style

A cruise is a unique kind of holiday as it can incorporate a whole range of experiences, from sophisticated dinners to hot and dusty on shore sightseeing trips. If you want to make sure that you're ready for every occasion then you need to give some thought to your cruise wardrobe before you go. Here are a few tips on how to pack for a stylish and elegant cruise ship trip.

Don't neglect that basics. It's all very well packing lots of incredible accessories, over the top eveningwear and shoes to die for, but without the basics covered achieving any kind of stylish look can be a real challenge. Make sure you pack plenty of underwear – enough for the entire trip unless you want to be washing and rewashing – as well as socks, tights, a robe to wear in the cabin, nightshirt and special smalls for every occasion, from a backless evening dress to a bandeau sun dress. Remember also to take appropriate clothing for the activities you want to get involved in – trainers, a swimming costume and shorts and T-shirt will cover most bases.

Keep it simple. The key to achieving an elegant look on a cruise is to pack a suitcase where everything goes with everything else. Choose your staple colours – such as black, nude, white or navy blue – and then opt for two accents, such as yellow, orange or red and make sure that everything you pack stays within your colour scheme. That way you're unlikely to have an off day as virtually everything in your case will work together with everything else.

Cruise Elegance

Make a statement. When you don't have a huge amount of room to take your entire wardrobe, the easiest way to make your outfits stand out is with accessories. Shoes and jewellery are by far the easiest to coordinate – take some statement gems for evening and something simple, such as strands of beads or a selection of cuffs or bangles, for daytime. Pack at least one pair of dressy shoes that you can use to take a plain outfit up a notch or finish off something more spectacular.

Be practical. There's probably nothing less elegant then trying to hobble around in six-inch heels and then falling flat on your face! Remember that you're going to be on a boat so make sure that most of your shoes have a small-mid heel or are flats (other than that statement pair) and take comfortable shoes for sightseeing. Include a hat in your packing so you don't end up with sunstroke (not particularly elegant either) and don't forget the sunglasses.

Get into the spirit. Think about where your cruise is taking you and try and take clothing selections that will work well for that destination. Bright tropical prints look great against a backdrop of the Caribbean and fur trimmed hoods and cosy parkas are ideal for the Arctic. You might even think about incorporating some nautical stripes into your outfits, given your method of travel…

Packing for a cruise is an exciting time and there can be a temptation to just throw everything into your case. However, with these tips you can make sure that you have the perfect capsule wardrobe ready to go, so you can sail into the sunset in style.

Post contributed by Amy a fashion writer from Style in View – a UK fashion search engine and blog.

Cruiseline Style and Elegance – What To Pack For Your Voyage! is a post from: itravelnet.com - Travel Directory

An Art Lover’s Tour of Amsterdam

Posted: 25 Feb 2013 03:24 PM PST

Rijksmuseum

Rijksmuseum

The Netherlands has always been a pioneer of fine arts and with the likes of Rembrandt and Van Gogh hailing from this part of the world it's no surprise that art is well represented here. In addition, thanks to the reopening of the Stedelijk Museum and numerous fairs and exhibitions around the city, modern art is now very much on the agenda too. Those who are visiting Amsterdam for its art will be well rewarded with numerous art galleries and museums, as well as some very modern visual experiences – here are some of the highlights:

Amsterdam's art galleries play a key role in its cultural landscape and there is such a huge variety that there is pretty much something for everyone. The Walls Gallery, for example, has a youthful vibe and focuses on new, young artists from the Netherlands, with a program of artistic diversity that puts an emphasis on painting and photography. At the other end of the scale is the Rijksmuseum, which is the state museum and one of the largest in the city – currently on show is 'The Masterpieces,' which is essentially all the best pieces from the museum's collection whilst renovations are carried out in some of the museum buildings.

Van Gogh

Portret van Van Gogh, zonnebloemen schilderend

At the Van Gogh Museum you can uncover one of the greatest collections by one of the world's most renowned painters. Some of Van Gogh's best known pieces are shown here, including The Potato Eaters, Sunflowers, The Yellow House and Skull of a Skeleton with Burning Cigarette, and the museum also displays the work of some of Van Gogh's Impressionist and post-Impressionist contemporaries, including Vincent van Gogh Painting Sunflowers by Paul Gauguin.

The Stedelijk Museum is another of Amsterdam's famous institutions where you can see pre-war works by Cézanne, Picasso, Matisse and Chagall, as well as much more modern pieces by the likes of Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. The Stedelijk Bureau has a taste for the subversive and is a great place to include on a tour of Amsterdam for those who are looking for something a bit different, such as the sperm paintings of Arnoud Holleman. It is located in the Jordan district of the city, which is where many of the best art galleries are to be found, as well as being just across the canal from Anne Frank's House.

Jordan has more than 40 specialist galleries that are cosseted away in homes or shops and some of the more secretive side of the Amsterdam art scene. Torch, for example, is a great place to visit for those looking for edgier art of the likes of Jake & Dino Chapman and Anton Corbijn. In the same area is Galerie Fons Welters, which is committed to uncovering new local talent and Curator Diana Stigter is one for those who like the strange paintings of Maaike Schoorel. As well as the official art galleries of Amsterdam, a tour of its art scene must also include the impressive amount of street art here. Expertly applied graffiti, stencil art and sculpture is around every corner with galleries such as Studio Apart having attempted to bring it into a more traditional setting.

Andaz Amsterdam

Andaz Amsterdam

For modern art connoisseurs there's only one place to stay in Amsterdam where the love of art meets 5 star service – the new Andaz boutique hotel in Prinsengracht with its walls adorned throughout with video art designed by Marcel Wanders who has been dubbed the Lady Gaga of design!

Whatever kind of art you love, Amsterdam is a city for art lovers. The diverse and exciting range of painting, graffiti, photography and sculpture makes this undoubtedly one of Europe's most thrilling art hot spots.

An Art Lover’s Tour of Amsterdam is a post from: itravelnet.com - Travel Directory

Nomadic Matt's Travel Site: How to Be a High Roller in Vegas on a Low Roller Budget

Nomadic Matt's Travel Site: How to Be a High Roller in Vegas on a Low Roller Budget


How to Be a High Roller in Vegas on a Low Roller Budget

Posted: 26 Feb 2013 08:00 AM PST

the las vegas stripI love Las Vegas. I avoided going for years because I like to gamble but when I finally went, I found the city offered a lot more than just ways to lose money. Many people think Vegas is expensive but it doesn’t have to be. There are plenty of ways to experience Vegas without breaking the bank. Today, I’ve enlisted my friend Abby Tegnelia, editor of Vegas Magazine and all-around Vegas guru to show us how to have a first class Vegas vacation without going home broke.

In recent years, the Las Vegas Strip has exploded with five-star dining, A-list shows, and world-famous nightclubs. But not everyone can afford to pay top dollar for a Hangover-worthy weekend or a food-fest that belongs in the pages of Gourmet. While it's easy to blow the bank the second you land in Vegas, the gambling mecca has also made it easier to experience its newly-diversified entertainment offerings at a fraction of full price.

First and foremost, to be treated like a VIP, you must act like a VIP. Do not drink out of a yardstick. Don't slam that last cocktail after dinner, on the way out of the club, or even at brunch, as your group is waiting to leave. Leave half-empty glasses; it means you're not worried about where the next drink is coming from. Acting like you own the place will help you get treated as such.

How to Eat Five-Star Food on a One-Star Budget

portland, oregon at night
Prime-time seating at the Strip's five-star restaurants is between 8-10 pm, but these hot spots like to be full all the time so most have both happy hour and pre-show menus to kick off their evenings between 4 and 7 pm. (Details can vary between restaurants, so be sure to call first.) Belly up to the bar if you don't want to commit to a full table seating but are still hungry to try some famous food at low prices. Or sit down in the early evening for a pre-theater meal. (You don't have to produce a theater ticket to keep the reservation.)

Here are just a few of Vegas's gourmet restaurants where the cost of a meal under normal conditions could reach into the hundreds of dollars – but you can use this tip to enjoy a five-star meal for between $40 and $80 (wine pairings might be more):

  • L’atelier Joel Robuchon, MGM Grand
  • Milos, Cosmopolitan
  • Jean-Georges Steakhouse, Aria
  • Carnevino, Palazzo
  • Michael Mina, Bellagio
  • Eiffel Tower, Paris
  • American Fish, Aria

Reverse Happy Hour
an amazing plate of Italian food in Siro
Most Vegas restaurants stop serving food by 10:30pm, but there are so many performers finishing up about that time that the Strip has a tradition of the post-10 (or 11, depending on the place) "reverse happy hour" with food and drinks starting as low as $3.

Best reverse happy hours:

  • Firefly (two blocks off-Strip)
  • Bootlegger Bistro (old-school Italian, five-minutes from Mandalay Bay, "graveyard specials")
  • Holstein's, Cosmopolitan
  • Blue Ribbon Sushi, Cosmopolitan
  • Red Square, Mandalay Bay
  • Stripburger, Fashion Show Mall
  • Ra Sushi, Fashion Show Mall

Brunch
portland, oregon at night
Whether you're pulling off a hair of the dog or are simply looking for a daytime gossip fest with the girls, a boozy brunch is a Sin City staple. And in Vegas, the best ones come with unlimited food and drinks on the weekends. (I order my mimosas bottomless and tell them to "hold the juice.")

Best brunches

  • Simon, Palms Place: most popular with the nightlife crowd. It boasts an all-you-can-eat sushi and bagel bar, plus a full a la carte menu, in addition to an all-you-can-eat menu for $40. Don't forget to check out the $21 all-you-can-drink champagne or mimosas or $17 Bloody Marys.
  • Border Grill, Mandalay Bay: Enjoy all-you-can-eat five-star Mexican small plates, both sweet and savory, for $30, plus $6 bottomless mimosas or $10 bottomless Bloody Marys. (Locals can ask for a frequent diner card for 15 percent off.)
  • La Cave, Wynn: On Sundays only, one of the Strip's fanciest resorts offers a $40 all-you-can-eat brunch with mouth-watering dishes such as truffled grits, Canadian bacon and French toast, plus $20 all-you-can-drink mimosas, caipirinhas or mojitos.

How to Enjoy the Nightlife like a Celebrity

portland, oregon at night
To many, the holy grail of a weekend in Vegas seems to be getting into the Strip's world-famous nightclubs. The good news? Unlike other club-centric destinations such as South Beach and LA, Vegas is somewhat of a democracy. If you patiently stand in line and follow the dress code, you will eventually get in.

If you don't have an expensive table reservation or know someone at the door, you are committed to arriving early if it's a busy night. I recommend being there by 10pm.

Being a group of guys is hard, so be prepared to shell out full price for entry. Clubs prefer a 2:1 girl-guy ratio. If at all possible, guys should try to meet some girls earlier in the evening and go to the line with them. There is a good chance that you won't go to the end of the line; instead, you could be put in one of the "half-way" lines. You still might have to pay full price, but there's a chance you won't, and at least you won't have to stand in line as long.

If you meet one of the VIP hosts and aren't sure if you'll go to the club, know that the lists close at 9 pm. Try to call or text by about 7 or 8 to confirm your place on the list to beat the rush. Know your assets: if you are a group of young, pretty girls, ask your host to let you know if any of his tables of guys are looking for girls to hang out with them. Tip: Many of the nightclub workers also have drink tickets for free cocktails, so it never hurts to ask them to share!

Girls, do stop and talk to the promoters handing out flyers. Their job is to get as many ladies into the club as possible, so you can easily get free entry with those flyers. Sorry, guys, but you're out of luck there.

portland, oregon at night

There is a separate line at every club for hotel guests, so make sure to bring your room key. Depending on the night, you may also get a discounted rate.

If you're not staying at the hotel whose club you're trying to get into, you can also make a dinner reservation at the associated restaurant if it has one. Dining at Tao or Lavo will get you into their clubs that night, and noshing at Andrea's at Encore will garner a hand stamp for Surrender.

If a local puts you on a list through someone high-level at the club, make sure to mention that name at the door. Otherwise, you might be stuck in a longer line than you need to be.

All bets are off after about 2am, when the hosts have seated most of their big clients, and the lines of people trying to get in have waned. If you manage to reach your VIP host via text, he will probably be finished with those paying customers. He can, therefore, run down to get you outside to let you in and might be more generous with his drink tickets or finding you a place to sit. That said, if he's partying too hard, he might not get your text to begin with.

Matt’s tip: To cut down on expensive drinks at the clubs, drink on the casino floor. The drinks are free as long as you are playing one of the games. Sit down at a penny slot machine, play slow, and drink fast. You can have 10 drinks for the price of one at the club! Just make sure you tip the waitress.

Vegas Shows without the Vegas Price

portland, oregon at night
My favorite part about living near the Strip is getting to see so many shows. Similar to the discount booths in Manhattan for Broadway shows, Tix 4 Tonight has booths at Fashion Show Mall, Circus Circus, Town Square, Four Queens downtown, and various other locations around town. There you can find tickets for shows that night for 50 percent off. The booths open at 10am and accept both major credit cards and cash. Get there early! Avoid the location in front of the giant Coke bottle and M&M store – it is notorious for having the longest line.

Also make sure to grab a Vegas2Go, which is a coupon and listings book for shows and some food specials. They are in kiosks all over the Strip, or ask the concierge at your hotel. Also check Vegas.com daily. It offers rotating deals on various shows.

Car Rentals: A Final Note

Here's where I would save your money. Unless you're planning on some off-Strip activities on your own, there's no need to rent a car. The airport is 10 minutes from any hotel, so a cab is easiest. And even if you do decide to go off-roading or to the Hoover Dam, there are plenty of shuttle options when you make your reservations.

Many people tell me they arrive in Vegas feeling overwhelmed by everything there is to do.  Las Vegas can cause sensory overload and leave you unsure where to begin. By knowing a few tips and tricks, your trip to Vegas can be a wonderful time where you are treated like a VIP but without having to spend the money to do so.

Abby Tegnelia started a travel blog, The Jungle Princess, while living in Costa Rica. She has since moved back to Las Vegas, where she tears it up on the Strip as editor-in-chief of Vegas Magazine.

How to Be a High Roller in Vegas on a Low Roller Budget is a post from: Nomadic Matt's Travel Site