Posts in Tips
Know Before You Go - France

France has something for everyone. Ski in the Alps, relax on the Mediterranean, hike the Pyrenees, indulge in world-class food and wine, and of course, there’s Paris. Deciding where to go is the fun part, so we’ll cover the essentials so you can travel like a pro, and relax while you do!

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TipsAndrew HerrFranceComment
An Evening at Sainte-Chapelle

The Louvre has Mona Lisa, the Eiffel Tower owns the skyline, but where else in Paris, let alone Europe, can you feel as if you’ve been transported inside of a kaleidoscope, bright and brilliant? The answer: Sainte-Chapelle. It’s a must for any Paris itinerary, and with some planning and following a few tips, can be a magical night you’ll never forget.

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Tips for Driving in France

Driving in France can be a delight. Cruising down narrow country roads through vineyards or over hills of lavender is a wonderful way to experience the French countryside, and the only real way to see this part of France. Driving through the center of ancient cities, narrow hill towns, or busy Paris, however, is not an enjoyable, or advisable, experience. If your itinerary calls for reaching some out of the way places, go ahead and rent a car, but do your homework before you go. There are some important differences that you should prepare for when driving in France.

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Ultimate Swiss Chocolate Tour - Gotta Try 'Em All

It is pure magic, either dark or milk magic, depending on your preference, what the Swiss can do with only four ingredients. They have discovered a way to combine cocoa, cocoa butter, sugar, and milk to produce the finest tasting chocolate treats anywhere in the world. You owe it to yourself to ignore anyone else’s opinion of a favorite and to go ahead and try each one for yourself. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped into Willy Wonka’s Factory, and you don’t even need a golden ticket.

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Guide to Sintra: Fairy-Tale Day Trip from Lisbon

Located in the hills just 25 km to the northwest of Lisbon, Sintra has been a forested retreat for generations, complete with beautiful villas, hilltop castles, and over-the-top palaces to gawk at. Even if you only have a short time in Lisbon, visiting Sintra is the perfect destination for a quick day trip. Highlights include the historic National Palace, the hilltop Moorish Castle, with expansive views over all of Sintra, and Pena Palace, occupying the hilltop across from the Moorish Castle, with eye-catching architecture and colors.

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Best Beaches in the Algarve

The western Algarve is one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline in the world. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be picky about which beach you choose to stretch out your beach towel upon. We’ll provide the pictures, first hand experience, and the logistical details for the best of the best beaches, so you can focus on what matters: relaxing. 

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Top Day Trips from Lagos

The English language doesn’t have enough beautiful adjectives to describe the beaches along Lagos’ coastline. But if you get the need to venture further afield from your secluded beach and glass of port, spectacular day trips await: The end of the known world at Sagres is a 30 minute drive west, the caves of Benagil are a 30 minute drive east, and the always beautiful Seville is just across the border in Spain. 

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Where to Stay in Lisbon

Choosing a place to stay in Lisbon can be difficult as each of its neighborhoods have their own unique advantages, which means the disadvantage of each is that you have to choose only one. Let us help you decide by outlining the unique aspects of each, so you can make sure you pick the right neighborhood for your style.

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Where to Still Find Magic in Cinque Terre

The Cinque Terre was one of the first places we visited away from home, and is primarily responsible for our love of travel. It is that good. So as painful as it is to say this, we’ve already strongly argued that it may be best that you not visit these 5 majestic lands at all, as the massive crowds often spoil them beyond hope of redemption. However, we understand the allure of this place, and its power to pull you in. So if you must, here are our tips for how to visit Cinque Terre like a pro.

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Read This Before Driving in Italy

Driving in Italy can be a delight. Cruising down narrow country roads through the vineyards and hills of Tuscany is a wonderful way to experience the Italian countryside, and the only real way to see this part of Italy. Driving through the center of ancient cities and small, narrow hill towns, however, is not an enjoyable, or advisable, experience. If your itinerary calls for reaching some out of the way places, go ahead and rent a car, but do your homework before you go. There are some important differences that you should prepare for when driving in Italy.

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Best Italy Itinerary for First-Time Visitors

With everything on offer in Italy, how do you best spend your time exploring all of the wonders of this magnificent country? Fear not, because thankfully you can take in all of the highlights and still have some time to relax, wander the quiet alleyways, and sip sciacchetra from your harbor-side table next to the Mediterranean. Here is a suggested itinerary for trips ranging from a few days to a couple weeks that allow you to take it all in.

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How to Visit the Colosseum Like a Pro

This is it, the place that calls you to Rome. It’s the one thing you came to see, and if you see nothing else, it will all be worth it. The problem is, this is the same thought running through the minds of 4 million other tourists (at last count), jostling for that perfect selfie at the Colosseum. So how can you visit this wonder of the world and leave with expectations met and that wonder still intact? Here are a few tips that you would be wise to heed when planning your visit to his incredible place.

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Two Tips to Save You Hours at the Vatican

Millions of tourists visit the Vatican every year, and for good reason. It is the center of one of the world's largest religions, contains some of the world's greatest historical treasures, and is located in the center of Rome, one of the greatest cities in the history of the world. All of these reasons put it at the top of most bucket lists, but also make it a headache to navigate through the hordes that flood its churches and museums each year. Long lines for entry to the Vatican Museums and St. Peter's Basilica can each take hours to wait through. Thankfully, you don't have to waste half of a day waiting. Follow these two tips and you will navigate the Vatican sites like a professional tour guide.

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Cinque Terre Towns: Ranked

Thinking about visiting Cinque Terre? Do yourself, and all other visitors, a favor and stay a few days in one of the 5 towns. With so many tourists flooding the towns by boat and train each day, the best times to experience the magic of Cinque Terre is before they arrive, or after they leave. Here is our ranking of the best towns to stay at in Cinque Terre. 

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Common Travel Scams

When we travel, we are already outside of our comfort zone, trying to make our way through a place where the customs and language might not be familiar. To make matters worse, we are distracted by the sights, sounds, and other new senses all around us. All of these factors compound to make even the most seasoned travelers vulnerable to scams, and given that tourism is a rich industry, there are many people waiting to take advantage of your vulnerability. The best defense is to be prepared, and learn from the mistakes of others so you don't repeat them yourself.

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Travel Safety 101

Adventure is calling, but you don't know the first thing about traveling abroad and are fearful that it may be unsafe. Don't worry, if you follow these tips you'll dramatically lower your risk and be prepared for the majority of circumstances you might encounter. If these tips seem easy, it's because they are, and the world isn't actually as scary as your mind, and news stations, make it out to be.

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Tips, BasicsAndrew HerrBasics