Need Tips For Egypt!

I am headed to Egypt next week and I am SO excited.  I’ve read a few blog posts about the area and we’ll be on tours most of the time, but if anyone here has been to Egypt or can refer me to some good blog posts I will be so thankful!

I’ll be dressing modestly and will be careful of my surroundings. I also don’t think I will be riding any camels due to the overall treatment of the animals. But any other tips about the culture or just things I should really know would be great. Any restaurant suggestions, local shops, etc. I’m just open to any suggestions! 🙂 We will be in Cairo for most of the time.

Thanks in advance for any help! xoxo

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Photo by David McEachan on Pexels.com

The Nervous Traveler

I’m pretty much always convinced something is going to go wrong when I travel. I get to the airport early, print out all my receipts, and check my luggage about 50 times to make sure I have everything.

Yet, I always get nervous. Even though nothing has ever drastically gone wrong, I always think that it will all go downhill for me.

I think this mostly stems from how much money I put into travel with very little insurance. What if I miss my flight? That costs money. What if the Uber’s are upcharging when we need a ride? That costs money. What if I forget something really important? That costs money.

Like clockwork, every time I have a trip the hours leading up to it include a nervous stomach and a migraine. My only tips for someone traveling with a nervous travel is to constantly assure them.

My boyfriend and I travel together a lot and I do 90% of the planning, when he assures me nothing will go wrong I have a hard time believing him because I planned it so I know the possibilities. But that’s his job, I plan and he makes sure I don’t go nuts.

But in the end, the travel is always worth it.

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How I Afford Traveling

I put off writing this post because:

  1. I think every person who has traveled ever has written it
  2. My advice really isn’t that groundbreaking

But I’m going to tell you anyway. I probably go on a trip every two months, usually only two big/expensive trips a year and a bunch of little trips scattered in between. To many, it seems like I travel a lot. To me, it’s never enough. But I do get asked a lot how I afford to travel.

The kind of trips I take play a big part in affordability. We use Groupon to book our big and out of country trips. The hotel and flight are usually bundled with some other perk and the savings are amazing. We only do these trips once, maybe twice a year, and it’s always during winter. Last year we went to Iceland and this year we went to Portugal. If we do another big trip it will only be because I’m tagging along on one of my boyfriend’s work trips.

I don’t do a lot on the weekends that will cost me money. I know some people enjoy going to the bar with their friends on the weekends, but that’s not exactly my idea of a great time which is where I save money. Instead of dropping $50 on drinks every weekend, that money is saved and put into tiny weekend trips every month or every other month. Traveling is what I enjoy so I choose to stay in most times. The only fun activity I ever really splurge on are concert tickets.

I have a cash back card. I get 1% back on purchases and 1% back when I pay. I take the money I earn from that and use it as spending cash when I’m actually on my trip.

I have two savings accounts. I put money away every month. One savings account is for the future – for a new car, new home, in case of extreme emergencies. The other savings account is for trips, things I want to buy in the future, and extra cash for my checking account which I use to pay my rent, bills, etc.

How I can afford to travel isn’t all that glamorous. I don’t make a lot of money, I don’t have a fancy book of budgeting, I don’t have a top secret website that scores me the best deals. I prioritize what I want to spend money on in my life and then I plan to get the best price – but it works for me so maybe it will work for you too!

5 Don’ts For When You’re Traveling

1. Don’t forget a back up plan

Even trips where you’re winging it require some kind of plan. You never know when the bus you bought tickets for will get delayed and leave you with no ride to the airport (cough, cough, Greyhound).

2. Don’t overpack

Carry ons are really all you need. I usually bring a few pieces I can swap around and create new outfits out of.

3. Don’t forget the do not disturb sign

I don’t know about you guys, but the one thing I hate about hotels is always being intruded on – which is why I prefer airbnb’s. Someone is always knocking to clean or calling to ask something and I just want to be alone!

4. Don’t glue yourself to your phone

My favorite part about going out of the country is only having wifi when I’m chilling in the hotel. I don’t really preach putting your phone down often, but it’s nice when you’re on vacation to enjoy the moment and the people you’re with.

5. Don’t take pictures of everything

Yes, everything is amazing and DO take photos. I have a pretty bad memory so I can usually look back at one photo and get an amazing reminder of a whole day. But you don’t want to travel through a lens. There are plenty of things to do that aren’t instagram worthy or that you can just keep for yourself.

Let me know your tips below!

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Photo by: https://www.flickr.com/photos/grapefruitbrains/

My Trip To The Azores!

I’m back and ready to tell you about my trip to Terceira Island, which is part of the Azores. The Azores are a group of islands off of Portugal and belong to Portugal. I’m sure in Europe they are widely known, but most people from America that I’ve spoken to had never heard about the islands.

To be honest, we hadn’t either when we booked it! We book most of our big trips through Groupon and get great deals, this specific trip went through Groupon to Azores Getaways who helped us plan our transportation, tours, and basically helped us communicate with the hotel and such since we don’t speak Portuguese.

Mostly everyone on the island spoke English and it was extremely easy to get around. Everything was also veryyyy inexpensive. They pay in Euros and their main dishes include fish and beef. It’s an island so lots of fish and they also have a ton of cows. I got a tuna steak with potatoes and veggies for only $13. It was crazy good and crazy cheap.

Things we did:

  1. Bus tour around the island where we got to go to the best view points and explore the other city.
  2. Walking tour of the city we were staying in, Angra Do Heroismo.
  3. Tour of the volcanoes and walking through the lava tubes.
  4. Whale watching – we saw a lot of dolphins and a lot of sea sick people!

Places we ate:

  1. Most notably (and the most referred to us) – Beira Mar had the best seafood and we tried barnacles here!

My favorite parts:

  1. Terceira is green all year round due to the humidity!
  2. The cows are everywhere and soooo cute.
  3. The seafood couldn’t be beat.
  4. Our hotel, Terceira Mar, had an ocean view from every room.
  5. The buildings are so colorful, they’re all works of art.

The Azores are becoming a more and more popular tourist destination, a lot like Iceland. I suggest you try to go to one of the islands in the next few years while you can still enjoy the local flavor! 🙂

You can see some more photos on my Instagram. Have you ever been to any islands in the Azores?

6 Of My Favorite Things from 6 Trips

Every trip I take usually holds one little gem that I remember forever. When I think of a place, my mind will automatically wander to that gem whether it be food, people, sights, or just the experience itself! Below is a list of my favorite things from places I’ve traveled – inspired by a post from dreamsvoyager.

  1. Montreal
    My favorite thing was the food! And the pub crawl we went on, we met some really cool people.
  2. Iceland
    The blue lagoon was my favorite part, but I’ll never forget the way I felt after we hiked to see a glacier.
  3. Nashville
    Being with my best friends and finding cool wall murals!
  4. Toronto
    The people in Toronto are amazing, they made the whole trip great! Toronto is a place I’d love to call home.
  5. Washington D.C.
    The history! Duh.
  6. Portland, Maine
    Seafood and lobster rolls, yummmm.

Let me know some of your favorite things from the places you’ve traveled in the comments!

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My Trip To Montreal!

Over Memorial Day Weekend, I took the 7 hour drive up through the border to Montreal. Last year, I did the same thing but went to Toronto. Both times were for an early birthday celebration and both times didn’t disappoint!

We were sort of in Montreal during the off season, so some places weren’t serving brunch yet and the Olympic Tower was closed. But the city was beautiful and there were still plenty of things to do!

Things we did:

  1. Mount Royal – ummmmmm no one told me this was a legitimate uphill hike so we attempted it the first day and then just drove to the top on the last day because I was not having it lol. The view of the city from the top is totally worth it though.
  2. Olympic Park and the Biodome – the park was kind of empty and creepy, but I had never been to a biodome before and thought it was awesome.
  3. Bonseccours Market – didn’t think this was super impressive, just an indoor market.
  4. Visited the Port – which is in the coolest and most European looking part of the city, the views were beautiful!
  5. Notre Dame Basilica – very beautiful! One of the coolest things about Montreal is that there will be an amazing cathedral and sky scraper next to each other.
  6. Underground city – which is just a mall really.

Places we ate (I would recommend all of them!):

  1. Thursday’s
  2. Deville Diner – omg the food and drinks here are amazing
  3. Allo Mon Coco
  4. 3 Amigos
  5. Tim Horton’s for coffee and a donut because duh!
  6. Le Bistro Magasin General du VIeux-Montreal – yummiest brunch and cronuts!!

Tours we went on:

  1. We went on a very low key bar crawl, but met some awesome people and had a great time: click here for the tour.

Where we stayed:

  1. AirBnB in downtown

Montreal was really cool because you could get every aspect of a city. There’s a Times Square/shopping NYC feel on St. Catherine’s Street, a Central Park kind of feel on Mont Royal, and then you can be transported into Rome where there are cobble stone streets and bistros on every corner!

Seriously, you can see an amazing sky scraper and right next door will be a historic cathedral. It’s amazing!

The primary language is French, but everyone speaks English. And money-wise, using my American credit card was the best bet but we had some American money and Canadian money in our pockets just in case. Montreal was a great little getaway, I would highly recommend going if you are looking for a little bit of history, fun, Europe, Canada, and modern city all rolled into one! 🙂