How to survive a 17 hour flight

I love Asia. Ever since my first time to Thailand, I knew that Asia was always going to be a favorite of mine. Everything is so different, it’s challenging, it’s unique, it’s fun, it’s not like anything you’ve seen before.

The only problem is that it takes FOREVER to get there from the States. If you’re lucky, you find a stellar flight deal that is nonstop and then you just have to figure out what you’re going to do with yourself for SEVENTEEN hours on a plane. 

I recently took the flight from LAX to Singapore (because it was $424 from Austin all the way to Singapore!) Some people much prefer to stop, get off the plane, and reset. However, I prefer just to get it over with and get there as fast as possible. If you choose fast and furious, here are my tips to hopefully increase your enjoyment on your long journey.

Make a plan. The day you’re going to fly out, plan to sleep in. If you can sleep until 10am or so, then you won’t immediately be tired on the plane. If you CAN, I recommend staying awake until 8pm on the timezone you’re traveling to. For example, I added Singapore time  to my world clock on my iphone and watched movies until it was time to go to sleep on Singapore time. This way, you are so tired that you actually sleep but also, you wake up for breakfast on the plane and hopefully avoid significant jetlag. 

Buy this connector. Some planes don’t have the regular headphones port. You’ll end up having to use their less than awesome headphones if you aren’t prepared.

Try these - Homeopathic Jet Lag tabs, take them every 2-3 hours with lots of water (water will help you feel better as well

SOCKS, Jacket - even if you’re going somewhere super hot. The plane WILL be freezing. It’s inevitable on a flight that long

THIS PILLOW. I’ve tried 5 different neck pillows and I hate them all. This one is pure perfection. It’s inflatable, it’s soft, it’s tested by me and several of my avid traveling buds.

Pick the right seat. Everyone has their preference on window vs aisle however what most people don’t consider is the food service and the bathrooms. I personally will always pay extra for the bulk head. I love the window for sleeping and the bulk head has so much room in front that you can properly stretch out AND get up for the bathroom without disturbing anyone on your row. In addition, the further you sit towards the back, the less likely you’ll get a choice between the chicken or the beef. If you are passionate about your plane food, sit as close to the front as possible. You’ll be the first to be served food AND drinks. Double bonus. Also, the closer you are to the bathroom, the easier it is for you to see when there’s a long line before you bug your neighbor to let you out of the row.

There are plenty of other little tips and tricks, if you have any specific questions, email us at questions@legittrips.com

There's something about Havana

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As a frequent traveler, I find that I don’t usually like to return to a place I’ve already been, because, frankly, there are so many more places to see. However, every time I return to Cuba, I remember why I keep coming back. It is one of those special places where the people have everything to do with why you go. The incredible food, nightlife, coffee, dancing, and art are also top reasons to visit this beautiful country.

There is a misconception among Americans that Cuba is new to tourism because we haven’t been able to go in the past and it is still quite restricted. However, Europeans, Canadians, and pretty much everyone else in the world have known about this culture time capsule and have been enjoying it for years. 

One incredibly important thing you have to face before you go is that you will MOST LIKELY be completely off the grid. No matter what anyone tells you or what you’re able to read on the internet, the Cuban internet is one entity. There’s only one company and it’s extremely inconsistent. You can buy wifi cards and some hotels, specifically Malecon 663, provides wifi for all guests as long as it’s available to them. Most US cell phone companies do not have service here or if they do, they charge you $10 per MB or $5 per minute for a phone call. If you want to escape to a place where your friends won’t be looking at their phones all day, this is the place for you. It’s actually one of my favorite things about Cuba. We recommend downloading google translate and the Spanish dictionary in advance as well as maps.me which is a free offline gps app. Cubans are incredibly friendly so it’s easy to ask for directions and get help with whatever you need.

For dinner, our favorites are Dona Eutimia, La Guarida, Tierra at FAC, La Esperanza and a little gem called Cafe Laurent. Most places need reservations and some require sleeves. Cubans pride themselves on attire so there are dress codes a few places but it mostly relates to no tank tops or shorts for men. 

If you like cocktails, we love SiaKara specifically for the live music and performers as well as the unique vibe and delicious libations. O’Reilly 304/El del Frente is also perfect for rooftop drinks and also happens to be one of the hottest spots in the Havana foodie scene. If you’re looking for an upbeat jazz bar, EFE is the perfect spot in Vedado. And of course, the Cuban Art Factory (Fabrica de Arta) is one of our favorite spots for just about everything - drinking, eating, art, music, and dancing.

Dancing is like breathing for Cubans. Not only are they great at it but everyone is always doing it. If you’re looking to get in on the action Casa de la Musica is  one of my personal favorites as well as King Bar. Other options include: Hotel La Florida, El Turquino, El Sauce, Don Cangrejo, Sarao, Fantaxy, and so much more. Just ask your hotel or Airbnb host for the best place to go dancing on whatever day it is and they’ll have at least two choices for you!

I could go on forever but on a final note, Cuba is incredibly safe. With the exception of very kind people trying to sell you things to make a living, no one will bother you. In fact, if someone is talking to you, they’re most likely trying to help. I’ve never met such genuine, happy, incredible people.

If you have any specific questions or anything you’re interested in knowing more about, reach out to us at adventure@legittrips.com.

Working while traveling. Everyone thinks it’s the dream.  And it can be, if you’re prepared.

If you’re serious about getting real work done and not missing a beat in your job responsibilities while on the road, there can be some real challenges, do some prep work in advance to make things go smoothly!

Here are my top tips for productive work while traveling:

  1. Cell coverage- I’m a TMobile user and super fan.  I love that everywhere I go, my phone just works when I turn it off airplane mode.  TMobile offers the best international coverage map because of the way it’s networked with carriers worldwide.  They also offer free unlimited text and data in most countries. And if you’re crazy like me, you can add-on the international upgrade for any length of time at $25/mo.  This gives you unlimited cell phone calling at 15 cents a minute in most countries (Free in Mexico and Canada). I always hit up my local TMobile store before traveling just to check the coverage map and see what I’m getting myself in to.
     

  2. WiFi connectivity- do your research!  Make sure that wherever you’re staying has solid wifi, ask about it, don’t just assume it’s solid if it says they have wifi.  Also have a back up plan, ask your hotel or host where the best coffee shop wifi is nearby so you have a quick exit strategy if you have a webinar breathing down your neck and the hotel wifi cuts out.  Grab you go bag and run!

    3. Time Zones- determine what time zone you will be in at your destination, look ahead at your work calendar and reschedule any meetings necessary to work well within the time zone.  It’s easy to forget about a meeting when it’s at a very odd hour when you’re traveling. Also, I use the ‘world clock’ feature on my Iphone almost every day. What time zone am I in, what time zone are my staff in, etc.  I try to always schedule meetings in the other person’s local time. Then I can adjust based on wherever I am. I suggest using google calendar, which will update your calendar view based on the time zone wherever you are located.  And I highly recommend setting the notifications in google calendar to go off at 1 hour and 10 minutes, and make sure those are synched up to your phone as well. That way you get a 1 hour notice to get back to your desk if you maybe got carried away with your morning beach adventure :)

    4. Having What You Need-

  1. Go completely paperless, all the time.  If you’re used to working 100% paperless, it’s less jarring to go on the road and be paperless.  You’ll have everything you need, everything you’re used to having if you go this route.

  2. Keep an awesome packing list and check it off every single time you travel.  If you forget your computer cord, you are out of business. There are some essentials that you MUST not forget in order to not ruin your trip and your work.  Cell phone, cell charger, extra battery pack, headphones, computer, computer cord, any electrical adapters. And just as a creature comfort I like to travel with my mouse too.

I’ve been working remote, full-time since 2005.  And it took me quite a few years to feel comfortable enough to take my work on the road with me.  But for at least the past 8 years I’ve been maintaining full time job duties while traveling around the world for at least 12 weeks a year.  You find all the ways, you hit a groove, eventually it’s just as normal as working from home.

Our Favorite Tiny Island in Belize

Caye Caulker.  La Isla Bonita’s little sister, just south of the popular Ambergris Caye, off the coast of Belize City.  It’s often passed-by and overlooked by travelers going to Ambergris, and we kind of like it that way.

Caye Caulker has no cars (just bicycles and golf carts!), no traffic lights, and shirts & shoes are NEVER required.  The island’s motto is “Go Slow” and the locals will literally tell you to slow down if you look like you’re in a hurry.

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We’ll let you in on the magic of this little place, but please don’t tell too many of your friends, we like it just the way it is.

After a 45 minute ferry ride from Belize City, you land on our favorite tiny island.  You will likely walk along the beach to find your accommodations (all pretty basic, but comfortable and affordable). Then depending on the time of day you’ll want to eat, drink or dance!  And Caye Caulker has at least 1 option for each of these things! Just kidding, well, kind of--

Lazy Lizard at the Split is the perfect afternoon through sunset hang out spot on the water! It gets pretty rowdy on weekend afternoons, especially that Sunday Funday crowd.

If you’re looking for a quieter port for sunset, check out the new beach and bar at Iguana Reef hotel on the backside of the island.  They even have a seahorse sanctuary beside their dock!

Sports Bar is THE place to be every night from 7pm-midnight.  They host open mic, karaoke, trivia, all the things. This is the unofficial daily gathering spot on the island, you’re bound to run in to a friend you made earlier.

I&I Reggae Bar is the late night hang out and dance floor!  Go there after 11pm, they’re open LATE ( way too late ). And while you’re there, try the food window across the street, it’s super cheap, open late, and delicious!

Street food is really where it’s at on Caye Caulker.  The options change throughout the day and you can find everything from hot dogs to lobster!  There’s even a local lady that just bakes cakes!

We’ve been to Caye Caulker dozens of times, if you’re heading to Belize or Caye Caulker and would like some free travel consultation, we’d be more than happy to advise!

Contact us fun@legittrips.com  Enjoy! & Remember to Go Slow

Best Amazon Prime Day Travel Buys

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In case you got locked out earlier today and are now scrolling through Facebook posts trying to decide what to buy, we've made a quick list for you! Here are the best travel accessories that are ACTUALLY on sale. 

1) If you've ever been on a plane for more than 4 hours, you know how absolutely necessary noise canceling headphones are. We personally love the Bose brand. Even if you don't want to listen to anything, the noise canceling mechanism drowns out a baby crying instantly. These are 58% off right now so snag yourself a pair and have a way better flight the next time around!

2) One of the most important things you need while traveling is power. We've tried several different battery packs and this is our newest fave! The same brand we always use but they've outdone themselves with having a direct plug-in to the wall in order to charge. Save yourself $7 and get this so that your iphone doesn't die while you're trying to map to an awesome bar in Madrid.

3) The Lifestraw speaks for itself. Traveling to a third world country and don't want to waste money and plastic with tons of plastic water bottles? Take one of these with you! It removes 99.99% of waterborne bacteria and parasites.

4) Looking for some new suitcases? This awesome set of Samsonite hardside spinners are 64% off! 

5) One of our favorite secret weapons for staying youthful and taking care of our skin on vacation is the Foreo Luna. Besides feeling great on your face, it removes up to 99.5% of dirt and oil. Plus it's tiny, perfect for taking on the go!

If you need recommendations for any other type of products, please feel free to reach out! We keep an updated page with our favorite products on our site at all times as well! Check it out!

Buenos Aires, Argentina

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Although I've traveled around the world quite a bit, somehow I have managed to not spend very much time in South America. After the Galapagos last year, I realized that this HAD to change. Immediately. Through my travel agent connections, I found a company called Grabr. Lots of my friends were signed up to work with them so I jumped on board and took my first comped flight last weekend. (Side note - if you're interested in traveling to South America for free, click on the Grabr link above for more info!)

I did a bit of advanced reading on the best things to do in Buenos Aires but I found a lot of them a little uneventful. Most of the suggestions were to leave the city and see Uruguay, Mendoza, and other places nearby. Since I only had three days, I decided to check out the recommended sights and a few friend recs as well. I'll start with my favorites.

We stayed in Palermo which is about a $30 Uber ride from the airport. I'd recommend PRE-booking a transfer service because ubers are incredibly hard to get from the airport and we waited over an hour in the hot sun. My favorite part of BA was staying in Palermo. Although it was far from a lot of the tourist spots, it felt like somewhere I'd want to live. Locals are walking around buying fresh produce from a tiny hole in the wall market. Trendy coffee shops are around every corner boasting the best coffee I've ever had paired with an assortment of gourmet breakfast options for less than $5 USD. The neighborhood is full of artists with brightly colored walls lining the streets. Music filled the air no matter what hour we were walking. It was my kind of place.

We didn't spend a lot of time in San Telmo, but it seems to be the other most popular area to live and enjoy. Lots of patio drinking and socializing in big parks around the area. When I return, I plan to stay here and report back. 

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My favorite tourist spot is La Boca. It's a brightly colored neighborhood that features local dancing, lots of drinking and dining, as well as a ton of tourist shopping. It was incredibly difficult to get an uber to and from here so take cash and be prepared to negotiate with a cab. It's touristy but GREAT for photos and is a fun place to have a drink and grab some gifts for your friends back home.

If you don't have much time, I recommend a bike tour and a trip to the Tigre Delta

Be sure and drink lots of Malbec, as much red meat as possible, and hang with the locals! If you want any specific restaurant/bar recommendations, send me an email at Lundy@legittrips.com

Check out the video I made of our trip! https://quik.gopro.com/v/gxHCfOudb1/

Don't listen to TLC, DEFINITELY go chasing waterfalls!

And the best place to do it is definitely Iceland. Most people are dying to see the Northern Lights which, to be completely honest, I've never seen myself. However, I HATE being freezing cold and those two things pretty much go hand in hand. So instead, I went to Iceland for all of the other amazing natural beauty the country has to offer! Here are our top recommendations for a weekend visit!

First up, waterfalls, pretty much everywhere you turn. Svartifoss (or black waterfall) was by far my favorite but they all are breathtaking. WARNING: Iceland will RUIN you for all other waterfalls.

Must See Waterfalls: Seljalandsfoss, Skógafoss, Gullfoss, and Kirkjufellsfoss.

Other Must Do Things in Iceland:

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1) Westmann Islands was one of the TOP things we did on our trip. However, be sure and check that the ferry is running when you're visiting because it doesn't run all year. 

2) If you're dying to see a puffin, then we recommend you HOLD one. Lots of people don't ever see one on their visit but our little secret gift to you is to visit the library on the island, there is an injured one that can't return to the wild and he's so hilarious and cute!

You can also learn all about them on an island tour and learn how the island people swing from the side of cliffs to gather their eggs! 

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3) Jökulsárlón Lagoon is a GREAT place to stop on a road trip for photos and to have a cup of hot chocolate. However, we would recommend skipping the boat tour in the water around the glaciers. Getting to eat REALLY old ice was about the highlight of the tour.

 

 

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4) IF you visit in the winter, we highly recommend not missing the Ice Caves/Glacier Hike. The window is rather short, from November to March and you absolutely HAVE to go with a guide. Vatnajökull is one of the most famous ones but there are plenty to see. Reach out to us for the best guides and travel companies or for help booking a tour!

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5) Scuba Dive between two continents! Although we don't necessarily suggest the snorkel, the scuba diving in Silfra is a unique experience to dive a crack between the North American and Eurasian continents, meaning that you dive or snorkel right where the continental plates meet and drift apart about 2cm per year. Gotta go now while you have the chance! Be advised you do have to wear a dry suit and it IS freezing. The price you pay for a once in a lifetime opportunity.

 

 

 

 

For more info on the best places to stay, hotels, or tours, reach out to Lundy@legittrips.com

Bubbles are ALL the rage

For obvious reasons, I follow just about every travel company on Facebook. With the accessibility of travel these days, it seems that the options for our bucket list are rapidly expanding and especially in the form of bubbles. When are we going?!

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1) Northern Ireland. If Ireland wasn't beautiful enough, now you can sleep outside without being bothered by actual nature. Finn Lough is an incredible lakeside resort with luxurious accommodation in their Forest Domes. All bubbles come with ensuite bathrooms, coffee machines, transparent walls, and unbelievable views. Price range - $275-$500 euros per night

2) Iceland. There’s no better way to experience the Northern Lights in Iceland than by staying at Buubble, aka The 5 Million Star Hotel. About 1.5 – 2 hours from Reykjavik, the hotel offers a variety of bubbles, all equipped with comfy beds and heaters. Our only complaint about this aurora borealis dream is that you HAVE to book a tour along with the hotel. They don't allow the option to just go there, stay the night, and stare at the stars. Price range is $500-$600 per person per night.

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3) South of France. Luxury meets outdoor living at ATTRAP’RÊVES, a unique bubble hotel tucked away in the countryside of Marseille. There are three different locations in the South of France that are all unique. This location invites you to sleep beneath the stars in inflatable plastic bubbles created by French designer Pierre-Stephane Dumas and furnished with king-sized beds. Price range is $109-$150 euro per night.

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4. Spain. In the Northeastern UNESCO region of Spain, Aire de Bardenas hotel has tastefully decorated bubble rooms with endless views of the Bardenas Reales Natural Park. The hotel rooms are all connected by bubble tunnels and come with bathrooms, electricity, Wi-Fi, and a minibar.

 

Reach out to Lundy@legittrips.com for more info or to book one of these amazing bubbles!

2017 Black Friday and Cyber Monday Flight Deals

Skip the mall and book a trip instead. The past few years, airlines have been getting in on the Friday frenzy and we've been able to book awesome trips and flights for great prices during Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend. This year should be no different. Here are the best deals we found below.

Coming to Iceland with Legit Trips?! Check out Icelandic Wow Air, the ultra-budget transatlantic airline, they're unloading another batch of $99 fares to London, Amsterdam, Dublin, and Reykjavik as part of a "Purple Friday" sale, available now through December 13.

Not to be outdone in the low-cost carrier competition, Norwegian has launched its own Black Friday sale that continues through the end of Cyber Monday with one-way tickets to Barcelona (BCN) from New York/Newark (EWR) for just $139.90, Los Angeles (LAX) to Paris (CDG) for only $149.90 one-way and Ft. Lauderdale (FLL) to London/Gatwick (LGW) at just $159.90 one-way, among many others. Many of these deals do not require a round-trip purchase, though if you do book a return, you’ll find the price on the way back to be significantly higher. So it could be a good chance to use points or miles for the return trip to get the best deal.

How about our group trip to Vietnam or Thailand?! Singapore Airlines Flight Deals - Reduced round-trip airfare for travel to Asia from Houston (IAH), Los Angeles (LAX), New York City (JFK) and San Francisco (SFO). Book by November 27, and travel from January 15 - June 30, 2018.

Delta Air Lines Flight Deals - Visit the Azores archipelago in Portugal for a hefty discount from cities across the U.S. Book by November 28 and travel May 24-September 3, 2018.

Qatar, one of the best airlines in the world, has a "Thank You" sale on routes all over the world. There are some especially good fares on offer, like economy round-trips from Washington, D.C. to Bali for $680 and Houston to Beirut for $675.

Alaska Airlines is promising Black Friday deals and if the past years are any indication, the fares will be consistent with their frequent sales: decent, reliable, not that flashy—like the airline itself.

TAP Portugal Flight Deals - Double the savings on all flights to Europe with Miles&GO. Available from November 24th - 27th. Book Now!

Hawaiian Flight Deals - Enjoy reduced fares on flights to the Hawaiian islands. Sample round-trip fares include San Jose to Maui from $357; San Francisco to Maui from $377; and Los Angeles to Kauai from $457. Book by November 26, 2017, and travel from January 10 - March 7, 2018.

Traveling within the USA? United Airlines has special domestic fares

Galapagos

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I think every living, breathing human as once had the Galapagos on their bucketlist, if they don't still. I always thought it would be a cool place to go but I didn't know enough about it to be actively pursuing a visit. Luckily, a good friend of mine was booking a trip and convinced me to come along. 

Leaving out company names, it was my first time to purchase a group trip that was not a Legit Trip. I thought it would be the perfect experience to see what it's like on the other side, as a customer. Well, long story short, I learned a lot, and realized we're doing a REALLY good job on our trips compared to some other companies. 

More importantly, the Galapagos were incredible. Sea lions were like puppies, covering every inch of the shoreline. Their babies are particularly adorable, always playing with each other or splashing around in the water. Everywhere you turned in the water, there was a turtle, almost as big as I am, just swimming near you or most likely scarfing down some underwater plants. Then there were sharks. All of my life I've had an irrational fear of sharks yet somehow, when they were swimming below me IN REAL LIFE, I had the urge to swim down to see them better! Hammerheads just cruising below us that would swim away from us as we got closer. Turns out, they wanted nothing to do with us. I could go on and on, the sea life was overwhelming. 

If you love the ocean, turtles, sharks, or pretty much anything that lives in water, the Galapagos are for you. We've cultivated the best possible trip for April, cutting out the things we felt weren't worth your time and adding extra days in the best places. Also, we've optimized the days and accommodations to provide the best value for the lowest price we could find! There are a few spots left, join us in April! https://www.legittrips.com/bookyourtrip/2018galapagos

MUST DOs:
Kicker Rock
Darwin Center
Tortuga Beach
Highlands Center
 

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Flight Hacks

Having trouble finding the flight you want?! We've can help! Here are our favorite flight websites/email subscriptions/companies to follow!

1) Google Flights: You can put in your departure airport and type in the country you want to go to, or even the continent. It will show you a list of the best possible countries or cities to fly in to for the cheapest price. ALSO you can see alternative dates to see what dates are cheaper and click TRACK. Then it emails you every time the flight decreases or increases. We use this for EVERY trip and are happy to help you track a flight if you need!

2) Exit Fares. I prefer ExitFares Austin but you should obviously subscribe to whatever city you live in or near. They have a facebook page now too that posts top deals as they have them. I see $300 RT to Asia ALL of the time and have to practice a lot of self control.

3) Scott's Cheap Flights. It's a paid email subscription. I have a friend who forwards it to me for free but I think it's less than $20 a year. DEFINITELY worth it. Subscribe.

4) Travel Pirates: If you're flexible, they have CRAZY deals all of the time. You have to just book it RIGHT then. I've seen flights RT to Paris from Texas for $200. It's insane.

5) Hopper: the phone app. You put in where you want to go and when, it alerts you when it thinks is the best time to buy or if you should keep waiting.

For the love of Cuba

This past week I was fortunate enough to spend an amazing week in Cuba. There is so much going on in the country and there is so much confusion over how and IF you can visit. Well, I'm here to tell you to run, not walk, to your nearest travel agent (ME!) and get your trip booked. 

 view from my room at Malecon 663

view from my room at Malecon 663

Although Cuba has received some tourists from Europe and Canada, the numbers are low, especially now. When you're walking around the streets, you see a few tourists here and there but nothing like everywhere else in the world. It's hard to explain how much of an effect Cuba had on me. I learned so much about the government, the way of life for the Cuban people, the struggles and the surprisingly good free healthcare and education. I was impressed to learn that Cuba has a HIGHER literacy rate than the USA. 

However, despite their hardships or repression, everyone I met was absolutely charming. I'd say that at least half of my experience was made by spending time with so many different Cubans learning about art, music, their culture and history, and just laughing, ALL the time. By the end of the week, I felt like I had a new group of best friends. They're such welcoming, happy people, with smiles and good attitudes every single day. THIS is something we can all learn from. I find that Americans who tend to have way more than they realize, are always complaining about something or focusing on the wrong thing. The Cuban people reminded me that it's a great day just to be alive. EVERY DAY!

I could go on and on about the ocean, the mountains, the kilometers of untouched green farmland, beauty at every turn. Go see for yourself and come back being thankful for the fact that you can drink water from your sink, access free wifi just about anywhere in your city, buy milk or red meat whenever you want, and own a private home or business. All things that are not freedoms for the Cuban people but things we don't even take the time to blink at.

Today I am grateful. Every time I think about my new friends, I'll remember to smile more, laugh more, and be thankful. Hugs to Alian, Aymee, Yuniel, and Osmany!

Here's more info on the newest CUBA TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS

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Vienna

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 Cities like this in Europe are my favorite. I love all of the history and the fact that they've kept so many of the old buildings in tact. We didn't do a ton of research leading up to this trip so it was really fun to be surprised at every turn.

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Our absolute favorite surprise was Prater. We thought we were just searching for this old time ferris wheel that has the best views of Vienna. Fortunately, we decided to adventure on the tram and found ourselves in this incredible sports park/carnival/water park/green space. We were in AWE. It turned out to be Wurstelprater, the oldest amusement park in the WORLD. It's open 24 hours day, 7 days a week and is FREE of charge for entry. Prater also includes a sports stadium as well as a large public park and several restaurants. We could've gotten lost in there for days and not seen anything else in Vienna and been perfectly happy. It was so peaceful compared to the more touristy spots we'd been visiting.

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My second favorite thing in Vienna was Naschmarkt. Sadly, it's only open on Saturdays from 7am until 6pm but it's incredible! It ranges from fresh meat, cheeses, and fruits to garage sale type items like clothes and antiques as well as souvenirs. Nashmarkt is a great place to eat breakfast or lunch, grab some fresh produce, or go home with some cool vintage jewelry. The market was alive with locals and tourists alike, some drinking wine at 10am and others tasting every type of candy that was available. It is also located in the middle of some beautifully painted buildings so the entire experience is extremely photo-worthy.

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Other top recommendations include:
Schonbrunn Palace ** The FREE gardens are the BEST part. Walk to the very top for an awesome view of Vienna

The Danube: A day trip to Bratislava via the Twin City Liner, walk along the river bank to admire all of the graffiti, OR Strandbar Hermann (if it's sunny, this is a super fun BEACH bar on the river!) There are also lots of 2-3 hour river cruises available as well.

 Hundertwasser Village

Hundertwasser Village

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Hundertwasser Village
Coffee at Alt Wien
St. Stephen's Cathedral
ANY Rooftop: Cafe Bar Bloom, Rooftop restaurant of Sofitel Vienna, Sky Bar Roof Terrace
Eat: Griechenbeisl, Albertina Passage, Cafe Central
Drink: Bockshorn Irish Pub (the smallest and oldest pub in Vienna), Loos American Bar, Kleinod

Prague

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When in ANY city in Europe, I highly recommend bike tours, ice cream everyday, and afternoon naps. Obviously drinking at local watering holes and eating the regional cuisine are a no brainer as well.

The best thing about a bike tour is that if you do it on the first or second day you arrive, then you've got a tiny glimpse of everything in the city. They are often fast and you normally don't get to stop for pictures everywhere you'd like but then you can go back the next day and spend more time at the things you liked most. In Prague, I took a tour with Praha Bikes. I was SUPER surprised that our tour guide was a 21 year old guy from Austin, Texas. I proceeded to make all kinds of fun of him and undermine his credibility to be giving us a tour of Prague but alas, it was pretty good. 

My favorite touristy spots were Old Town Square and the John Lennon Wall. I stayed in Old Town so I walked around there everyday and it's just quintessential Europe. Super busy, lots of street performers, beautiful buildings, and again, ICE CREAM. It has officially become one of my favorite cities in Europe.

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The John Lennon Wall is the only place in Prague where graffiti is legal. Because of that, the art changes daily. In addition, there is a street performer playing live Beatles songs in front of the wall. I could've stayed there for hours. 

I also recommend spending some time near the bridges and water. Either taking a cruise or just enjoying a coffee. The Charles Bridge is definitely impressive. 

However, my favorite part of Prague was definitely the cocktail bars. Originally we set out on a speakeasy bar crawl but it turns out that speakeasies, where the door is hidden or there is a password, is far more popular in the states than anywhere else. Fortunately though, we happened upon three really great cocktail bars in the process. Anonymous Bar and Black Angels Bar are both in Old Town, they had completely different vibes but both unique with delicious drinks. Hemingway Bar is a little more on the outskirts of Old Town but the staff were so much fun and the drinks were extra playful. I could've stayed there for days. 

All in all, the sun doesn't set until almost 10pm in the summer so needless to say there is SO much to do and also SO much daylight. Walk around and enjoy!

Mountains and Beach, what more could you want!

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After a whirlwind tour of South Africa, I can say with certainty that Cape Town is one of the most uniquely beautiful places I've ever been. The entire peninsula is one big group of mountains that are all surrounded by gorgeous beaches. Who doesn't love to sit on the beach and look at a view of the mountains? I can't thing of another place on Earth besides Queenstown, NZ that has as many hiking opportunities as they do water.

The one thing I can say that I WASN'T prepared for was the lack of partying/safety at night solo. I'm happy to stay in as much as the next person but exploring nightlife is one of my favorite things to do in a city. I love meeting new people and trying new cocktails and fun bars. My advice: take a friend or stay in a hostel that hosts activities. I highly recommend Yours Truly hostel, they have two bars on site that are both really fun. For a quieter option, I loved The B.I.G. hostel. They host group outings daily and have a ton of great, more local recommendations. Favorite places included El Burro, Up Yours, and Kloof St House (best cocktail bar)

Another surprise on this trip for me was that hop on/hop off busses, albeit super hideous and touristy, are an incredible way to get around a place. Multiple locals that I met suggested it so I gave it a go and ended up loving it. I highly recommend it if you're going to CT. You can see everything you need to see for less than $20, do the two day option and see the city at your own pace.

Cape Town is also really affordable. Ubers are the safest transport option and are between $1 and $5 almost always. Uber to/from the airport was $10 each way. 

 Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens

Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens

Highlights:
- Cape Tour - 100% book this one: www.luckyandlost.co.za/1-day-essential-tour Super fun, young couple who owns and runs it. Definitely the best local experience with some homemade cape malay food.
-Kirstenbosch botanical gardens: I normally ALWAYS skip botanical gardens but this place is absolutely incredible.
- Spier Wine Farm: If you have a lot of time, stay at the farm and enjoy all of the amenities. If you don't, I recommend Wine Flies tours company.
- Safari: There are a few one-two day trips from Cape Town but I recommend going to Kruger National Park. If you're not into safaris, still go for at least a day trip! Kruger National Park is still awesome without safari!
- Shopping: Biscuit Mill is only open on Saturdays, Green Market is all African touristy items and each vendor has pretty much the same thing, V&A Waterfront is pricey but has a variety of items from trinkets to fancy art pieces.
-Learn something about Nelson Mandela: I went to Robben Island which was super interesting but it does take 4 hours because of the ferry and lines. There are lots of other options in South Africa to learn more about his legendary life. Take the time.
 

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Rolling Solo

For the past few years, I've been traveling solo as much as possible. As a woman, I think it's a rite of passage and something everyone should do at least once. However sometimes, it's just circumstantial because no one else can afford to take time off. 

My first big solo trip was to Australia when I was 21. Long story short, the girl I was then was not prepared to take on the world by herself. Ten years later, I started traveling on small trips here and there, staying in my own rooms, taking my own flights, until I got really use to the idea of not having to care what anyone else wants to do. Today, I'm not necessarily sure that was such a good thing. 

I think traveling alone is life changing. My solo trip to Thailand was one of the most terrifying experiences in the best way. Language and food barriers being the biggest factors. However, I think people are more likely to approach you/speak to you if you're solo. I met so many amazing friends that I still have to this day! You go out of your way to be extra friendly and open to new ideas and experiences and the rewards are endless. There are SO many great things about traveling alone.

However, sometimes there are averse effects. People who don't travel easily may seem more annoying. They ask a lot of questions, they take forever to get ready, or they are a little culturally unaware. Trust me, I get it. But there's something about South Africa that has changed me. I want to be better. I want to share my experiences so that my friends can have the opportunity to grow and travel. It's the main reason we started Legit Trips.

So I leave you with this for the end of my first post back in the blog world. If you find yourself being annoyed with your fellow travelers, remember these three things.

  1. Be patient. You weren't always as awesome as you are now and someone was likely very patient with you several times in order for you to learn and gain experience and be a better traveler.
  2. Everyone is a consequence of their own experiences. Remember that not everyone has had the life you have. For that, consider yourself fortunate if you've traveled a lot more than your friends. 
  3. Pura Vida. No Pasa Nada. You're on VACATION! Remember to enjoy it because if you're letting other people ruin your time, the only person to blame is you.

"Life is about creating & living experiences that are worth sharing." - Steve Jobs. 

So go out there and travel alone but don't let it ruin you! Other people are still awesome and fun to be around so don't miss your chance to experience them too!

Love,
Lundy