Ready, Set, Go: How to Prepare for Your First Solo Trip

Hey there! Today I have a great post by Michelle Laury, an aspiring writer who enjoys cycling, fitness, researching healthy life choices and trying to implement them. She loves spending time in the fresh air, in Hogwarts and the Shire, daydreaming about  faraway places and, most of all, visiting them. You can reach her via Twitter and Facebook.

Michelle has some great tips for preparing for your first solo trip – read on to make sure you’re on point! Read more

Quick Tips for Great Mobile Travel Photography

Hi all – today I’ve got a great guest post from Kavita Goyal, a blogger at Sense or Nosense. She’s got some great tips on mobile photography, which I know I myself need to improve and I’m sure you can use some advice too.


Travel has always been about soaking in the local sights, local food and experience the adventure in the variety. Within it, there are broadly three types of photographers – one that pose in front of monuments and show the world that they’ve been there, done that. The other kind capture a glimpse of local sights from a foreign perspective to give others a world view.  The third typically end up only clicking photos and forget to take a moment to live the place and enjoy. Read more

Why Airlines Are Making Major Changes to Loyalty Programs

This post was originally posted by TheHipmunk on Hipmunk’s Tailwind Blog on January 7, 2016.

One by one, major American airlines have been changing their loyalty program policies from a distance-based system to a price-based system, causing some angst among frequent travelers. After announcements from Delta and United last year, American Airlines was the final hold out until November 18, when they announced changes to AAdvantage. At all three of these airlines, frequent flier miles will now be determined by the price of the ticket rather than by the distance flown, as it was in the past. Here’s an in-depth look at what exactly has shifted — and what this means for travelers across the board. Read more

First Class Cabins Bigger than Your Apartment

This post was originally posted by TheHipmunk on Hipmunk’s Tailwind Blog on January 18, 2016.


Airplane cabins aren’t always known for being roomy, comfy, or luxurious, but the newest crop of first class suites are stunning travelers with their size and opulence. New Yorkers who get by in tiny 100 square foot apartments and Londoners who would pay $145,000 for a shoe box next to Harrod’s may consider moving in when they see how gorgeous and extravagantly large the new cabins seem by comparison. Here’s a roundup of the best and biggest first class cabins that money (or airline miles) can buy.

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Photo: Wikimedia Commons via Travelarz

Etihad Airways: The Residence

In December 2014, Etihad Airways introduced The Residence on its Airbus A380 planes. The three room suite is a whopping 125 square feet and can be occupied by up to two people traveling together. It includes a living room, a private bathroom, and a bedroom with a bed large enough to share. Etihad hasn’t skimped on the amenities either: It comes with a 32-inch television, a cabinet for chilled drinks, and Christian Lacroix pajamas. The leather on the seats is made by Poltrona Frau, which also makes leather seats for Ferrari and Maserati.

The suite also comes with exceptional service. It includes a luxury chauffeur for transportation to and from the airport, and a Savoy Academy-trained personal butlerto meet you and the airport and anticipate your every need. The Residence is available on A380 planes between London and Abu Dhabi, and soon to New York andSydney, Australia as well. A ticket in The Residence can cost about $20,000 one way. If you’ve always wondered what it would be like to travel like an oil magnate or a Russian oligarch, this is the way to go.

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Photo: Wikimedia Commons via Altair78

Singapore Airlines: Suite Class

The Singapore Airlines Suites may only feature one room rather than three, but it’s certainly not much of a step down. Running about $18,000 each way, the Suites were introduced in 2007 and are available only on the Airbus A380. Flights are offered from Singapore to 14 destinations, including New York, London, and Hong Kong, so there’s plenty of opportunity to experience the best of Singapore Airlines.

The cabins are the work of luxury yacht designer Jean-Jacques Coste, and feature a 35-inch wide bed and a 78-inch long bed with cabin doors that can be shut completely. When your partner is in the adjacent cabin, the wall removes so that a double bed can be folded down for some in-flight pillow talk. Each Suite also features a 23-inch LCD screen, Bose headphones, a Ferragamo amenity kit, and Givenchy sleepwear. To complete the perfect in-flight experience, the Book the Cook service allows passengers to order their meals before the flight and choose between Michelin-starred chefs Georges Blanc and Carlo Cracco, among others.

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Photo: Wikimedia Commons via Altair78

Emirates Airlines: First Class Suites

At around $13,000 one way, the Emirates First Class suites are a bargain compared to the options above, and their most famous feature will seem like a dream come true: an in-flight shower. In a huge improvement on showering over a toilet in your London apartment, each Suites passenger gets 30 minutes in the spa suite with five minutes of hot water conveniently monitored by a light timer. There are two shower spas for the 14 privates suites on each Airbus A380 flight, and the bathrooms also featuresheated floors and designer towels and toiletries. Imagine being able to freshen up at the end of a long flight, enjoy a shave or a steam, and arrive at your final destination feeling impossibly calm and collected. Now that’s luxurious.

Of course, the cabins in First Class Suites are lovely as well. The seats, which are tablet-operated, fold down to 79-inch beds, and there’s an on-board bar where passengers can mingle with business class passengers over a drink. The cabins also have remote-controlled sliding doors and 23 inch LCD screens for entertainment. Emirates offers chauffeur service to and from the airports in over 70 cities, and flights on the A380 available to over 35 destinations. Maybe it’s time to let go of your leaseand take to the skies for luxury and comfort next year.

Turkey: FREE things to do in Istanbul

Today I’ve got a guest post by Vivian from Miss Happy Feet! She’s got some great tips for those looking to visit Istanbul on a budget, or better yet – free! Check her out online:

Twitter: @Vivianleewx

1. Watch the Dondurma trick.

Although it is considered impolite to laugh out loud at helpless tourists trying to get their Turkish Ice Cream, do spend some time watching these people get pranked. The Turkish dondurma ice cream contains orchid root extract, making it extremely chewy and stringy. That explains why sellers are able to pull off all those tricks and stunts on their innocent customers!  Read more

Oh, Canada! Hipmunk’s Guide to The Great White North

This post was originally posted by The Hipmunk on Hipmunk’s Tailwind Blog on March 3, 2016.


From the famed ski slopes of Whistler to the roaring majesty of Niagara Falls, some the world’s greatest travel destinations are just north of the border, in Canada.

With an overload of Canada travel options, which of these destinations are most popular among travelers? Hipmunk analyzed its travel data from 2015 to find out.

The 25 cities below make up 80 percent of all hotel accommodations in Canada. We also included their average hotel and Airbnb booking prices, as well as average airfare (if flying from the US or within Canada) to each city. Note: all prices are in US dollars. Read more

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