Travel Links of the Week

12 Nov

Breathtaking photo? From geoftheref

Travel Insurance: 4 questions to ask before you buy

10 Nov

After my escapades in Nicaragua, I’m a huge fan of travel insurance. I used to think nothing bad could happen to me, but now I realize that if you travel enough, it’s only a matter of time before lose your bag, end up in the hospital, or have your flight canceled by an erupting volcano.

However, insurance polices are never as straightforward as they seem, and before buying one for your trip, it’s a good idea to read through the fine print and ask yourself the following four questions: Continue reading

Flan de naranjas (that’s orange flan to you)

5 Nov

Culinary fiascoes are embarrassing, but even more so when you’re charged with feeding thirty people who’ve just walked 16 miles and are expecting a decent meal. I found myself in that unenviable position while working in a hostel along the Camino de Santiago, a pilgrimage trail in Northern Spain. Continue reading

Tripadvisor reviews that will make your skin crawl

27 Oct

Poor Tripadvisor! A few dozen hotel owners, who don’t understand how travelers actually use Tripadvisor, plan to sue the site over some less-than-flattering reviews left by Tripadvisor users.

I, for one, am grateful for the service Tripadvisor provides. How else would we know that the Heritage Marina Hotel in San Francisco is the dirtiest hotel in America? Or that staying at the Desert Lodge in Palm Desert is “like sleeping on the streets of Calcutta“? And you know a hotel is bad when 89% of travelers recommend against it.

What’s your worst hotel experience?

(The eeiry photo above is of the “salt hotel” in Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia. Incidentally, it got pretty good reviews on tripadvisor.com. Photo Credit: wili_hybrid)

Honeymoon in the Hospital, Part 2

21 Oct

Previously, from Honeymoon in the Hospital, Part 1: I needed medical care, but the resources on Little Corn Island were very limited, just a single nurse who seemed ill-equipped for the emergency. We had already missed the last water taxi off the island. It was the only way back to the mainland of Nicaragua, so we were stuck on Little Corn until morning. But as the hours passed, my situation became more and more serious. I soon lost all feeling in my arms and legs, and I could feel my lower body start to go numb. Would I make it? Would I even be able to travel the next day?  My husband wasn’t sure. It looked like our honeymoon in Nicaragua might end in tragedy. Continue reading

Honeymoon in the Hospital, Part 1

12 Oct

I should’ve known right away that our Nicaragua honeymoon was doomed when we missed our flight. We showed up at the airport just before 12am on what was technically Monday, and only then realized that I had actually booked the tickets for 12am the night before. It took another $200, 12 hours, two planes, and two boats to travel to Little Corn Island, off the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua. Continue reading

Travel alert? Stick to small cities

7 Oct

I’m a few days late in posting on the new US travel alerts for Europe, but I think the safety tips in this article are worth pointing out. Some are no-brainers (“Don’t look American”) and other might be a bit over the top (“Contract a security firm”), but even in the absence of a travel advisory, I would definitely think twice before staying in high profile hotel or using public transportation during rush hour. Continue reading