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Bohol brings new meaning to the word eco-tourism thanks to its unique blend of sea, sand and Chocolate Hills. Located at the beating heart of the Philippines, Bohol and its chain of smaller islands offer you a goodie bag filled with adventure, history and a lush green tapestry made out of mangrove forests and coconut trees.

How to Get to Bohol Island Getting from Manilla to Bohol

If you are in the Philippines and Bohol happens to be on your itinerary, then the best way to get to the island is by plane. Both Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific Air operate multiple flights from Manila to Tagbilaran City, which is the capital of Bohol. Travel time is approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Bohol Airport (TAG): There is a tiny airport in Tagbilaran, which is very overcrowded, but flights are super cheap. A new airport being built called Panglao Island International airport, so depending on when you’re flying, check if flights are operational there.

Getting from Cebu to Bohol

If you are unable to catch a direct flight, then you can fly from Manila to Cebu and then hop onboard a fast boat that will take you directly to Tagbilaran.

There are several ways to book the boat trip: a) ask the locals in your hotel to get you a special deal on one of the boats (usually the cheapest options) b) Book your tickets online here: Klook.com or  Cebu to Bohol Ferries

Cebu to Bohol prices: starting $12 USD per person to $29 for business class

Jetsetter experience: We chose to take one of the local boats and the ride was very smooth. Once we arrived to Bohol, it was already low tide, so the boat could not get close to the shore. They transferred us into a tiny boat to drop us to shore (there were a lot of sharp rocks in the water so it would be quite difficult to swim or walk). Our luggage was placed close to the boat, so we had to walk back and forth in the shallow water to carry them one by one. If you have a lot of luggage, this will not be fun at all!

Read about my experience: Swimming with Whale Sharks in Cebu Phillippines

Is Bohol Safe?

Bohol is a small island compared to Luzon and is considered very safe, however, taking certain precautions while traveling via bus or jeepney is always a good idea. For example, do not carry large amounts of cash with you and avoid wearing flashy jewelry on your trips.

Currency in Bohol

Speaking of cash, it is recommended to change your money while you are still in Tagbilaran. You can get better rates than Panglao Island for instance. Local banks accept most currencies and you will find many exchange places around the city. Keep in mind that 1 US Dollar equals 53 Philippine Peso.

Last but not least, make sure to build up a good stock of coins and smaller bills for paying drivers in Bohol. After all, there is no such thing as too much change when you are constantly on the move.

Bohol Philippines Weather

Philippines weather is tropical, so temperatures are warm year-round. However, it’s best to avoid monsoon season, because the rainfall can ruin all your fun outdoor plans. Rainy season is between June to December.

The best time to visit Bohol is between January to June. The closer you come after the rainy season, the more chances you have of seeing greenery. If you come towards the end of the dry season, the Chocolate hills will have a brown color instead of green.

Bohol Tourist Spots Map

Original map powered by Google Maps

The Best Bohol Tourist Spots & Activities 1. Bohol Chocolate Hills

Bohol is home to the Instagram worthy Chocolate Hills that adorn the landscape of Carmen Town. The remarkable hills occupy the quaint town, forming an army of more than 1,268 peaks that turn into cocoa colored mounds during the dry season. The hills are surrounded by rice and corn fields, and legend has it that two giants who battled each other for days using rocks and sand as ammo were the ones responsible for this creation.

The hills are best viewed from the observation deck at The Chocolate Hills Complex where you can capture a panoramic view of the hills with your camera and grab a souvenir at the same time. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes because you will need to climb 200 steps to reach the viewing deck. The complex can be reached by bus from The Dao Terminal in Tagbilaran City.

If you want to experience a different view of the hills, then head over to Sagbayan Park, which is around 18Km from the complex in Carmen Town. For-hire vans are available to take you to Sagbayan from the Dao Bus Terminal as well.

Chocolate Hills opening hours: 8 AM to 6 PM

Chocolate Hills entrance fee: 50 PHP (less than 1 USD)

Jetsetter recommendations: When we arrived to the Chocolate Hills area, we saw several places offering buggy rides through the hills. We decided to go for it, but we were not impressed. These are more like a tourist trap and they all overcharge for renting the buggies. The views were not impressive from the bottom. It’s best to go to the viewing deck directly.

2. Philippine Tarsier and Wildlife Sanctuary

Cute, palm-sized and endangered are four words used to describe the tarsier. This nocturnal animal can be found at The Philippine Tarsier Foundation Bohol, a sanctuary located in Corella Town where you can watch them thrive in their natural habitat. The tarsiers are famous for their wide, saucer-like eyes and their ability to rotate their heads a full 180 degrees. The Bohol Tarsiers Sanctuary is one of the top attractions in Bohol.

If you are in Bohol, make sure you head over to the foundation where you can pay a fee of 500PHP to go on a tour around the tarsier inhabited rainforest. A local guide will accompany you on a tour around the lush green sanctuary where you can observe the tarsiers who are usually spotted clinging to low tree branches.

Touching the small creatures is not allowed and you will also be asked to keep your voice down in order not to disturb their peace. The Tarsiers are nocturnal animals, so most of them will be sleeping during the day.

Bohol Tarsier Sanctuary opening hours: 9 AM to 4 PM

Bohol Tarsier Sanctuary entrance fee: 60 PHP or $1 USD

Transportation to the sanctuary is available from Tagbilaran City where you can pay 500 PHP for a roundtrip to and from Corella via tricycle, or you can contact the Tarsier Foundation who will arrange for a car to pick you up and drive you to the sanctuary. You can combine this stop with the Chocolate Hills.

3. Bohol Hanging Bridge

The bamboo bridge in Sevilla is a popular destination thanks to the thrill that comes from crossing the footbridge and the jungle vibes surrounding it. The olive green waters of the Loboc River below add an element of excitement while you walk down the woven bamboo planks. The 40-meter bridge is fortified with steel cables, so it is considered safe and sturdy to cross.

Souvenir shops selling items such as coconut shell bags and keychains are located on the other side of the bridge where peanut cookies in the shape of the famous Chocolate Hills are sold as well. Do not miss out on the chance to meet Mang Peping, also known as Buko or the Coconut King. The Filipino native is famous for shredding coconut husks using nothing but his bare teeth.

Crossing the bridge costs 10 PHP and you can easily get there by boarding a bus from the integrated bus terminal in Dao. The bus will take you on a 50-minute ride from Tagbilaran City to the small town of Sevilla.

4. Panglao Island

Grab a slice of island paradise from the pristine beaches of Panglao where the Bohol Sea kisses the shore and where palm trees and azure waters are aplenty. There is no shortage of diving spots or vibrant coral reefs here. Panglao Island needs no introductions thanks to its abundant supply of sun and sand. You can go beach-hopping from one corner of the island to the next, beginning with Alona Beach, which offers easy access to nearby snorkeling and diving spots.

A wide range of watersports are also available, including kayaking and kitesurfing. Next on the list is Bagobo Beach where a popular diving cove known as The Hole in the Wall awaits you. The cove is home to many sea creatures such as eels and sunshine yellow butterfly fish. Unlike Alona, Bagobo Beach is considered a rocky beach with small patches of sand throughout.

If you are in the mood for a dose of solitude, then Danao Beach is the place to be. You will find many resorts in this area such as the Bohol Sea Resort and the budget-friendly Kalipayan Resort. The island and its wealth of beaches can be easily accessed either by ferry from Cebu or by van from Tagbilaran City in Bohol.

5. Loboc River Floating Restaurant Bohol

There is nothing like feasting on authentic Filipino food while onboard a floating restaurant in Loboc Town. Quaint huts and lush tropical vegetation offer a visual feast while you enjoy a buffet serving an array of local delights such as seafood, egg pies and rice cakes. Fresh fruits including mangoes and freshly sliced pineapple are also on the menu for dessert.

The floating restaurant will take you on a 1-hour cruise down Loboc River where you can watch locals perform a short but entertaining dance show, and listen to Boholano songs performed by a live band onboard the lively boat.

The floating restaurant cruise and buffet cost 450PHP per person and it takes around one hour to get there using public transportation. Both buses and jeepneys are available at the bus terminal in Tagbilaran City.

6. Danao Adventure Park

Adrenaline junkies will have a blast in Danao Adventure Park, a nature reserve that combines ecotourism with extreme sports such as cliff diving and spelunking. If you want to experience that rollercoaster sensation that makes your heart race, then you will love their famous attraction known as The Plunge. This is considered one of the world’s highest canyon swings with a 75-meter free fall, so it is most definitely not for the faint-hearted.

Fans of caving can go on a fun excursion to Kamira Cave, home to bats and glittering flowstones. The park also offers kayaking trips down Wahig River and ziplining that allows you to fly over Loboc River and feast your eyes on the tropical terrain below. Hungry visitors can have breakfast, snack or lunch at the park.

Danao Adventure Park opening hours: 6 AM to 5 PM

Danao Adventure Park prices range from: 75 to 300 PHP per person. You can book your choice of fun activities online via their website or when you arrive at the park.

Tricycles, jeepneys, and buses can give you a ride from Tagbilaran City to Danao bus terminal where you can take a motorcycle taxi (habal-habal) straight to the adventure park.

7. Blood Compact Monument

This bronze monument pays tribute to  Chieftain Rajah Sikatuna who performed a local blood ritual known as the Sandugo with Miguel Lopez de Legazpi who was a Spanish explorer at the time. Sandugo means ‘one blood’ and was once used to symbolize friendship and recognize the peace treaty between the Spaniards and the Filipinos.

In order to complete the ritual, both men had to make a small cut in their arms, allowing their blood to flow into one cup. The cup was then filled with wine that both men had to drink in order to complete the ritual.  The monument was made by a Boholano artist named Napoleon Abuera and it features five life-sized men gathered around a table with Chief Sikatuna and Legazpi making a toast.

The monument is located in Tagbilaran City right across the road from Bool Elementary School.

8. National Bohol Museum

The newly opened museum is a must visit for anyone interested in knowing more about the history of Bohol and its famed local sculptor,  Napoleon Abueva, whose private collection is on display at the museum. In addition to the wealth of prehistoric artifacts and ancient fossils, the museum also features a series of small, three dimensional models that show you how the Chocolate Hills were formed.

The museum may be small but it provides a window into the past thanks to the zoological and archaeological treasures that were unearthed from different parts of the island.

Bohol Museum opening hours: 8 AM to 5 PM Tuesday to Sunday and you can enter for free.

9. Sagbayan Peak

Sagbayan Peak is a mountain resort located northwest of Tagbilaran City where you can capture a better view of the Chocolate Hills with your camera and get away from the flood of tourists back at the hills complex. The five-hectare resort has a theme park for children and a butterfly dome that is home to 18 species of butterflies, not to mention the spacious viewing deck that offers a 360-degree view of Bohol and the Cebu City skyline.

The high powered telescope allows you to take a closer look at The Chocolate Hills and the rice fields surrounding it. There is also a café overlooking the butterfly dome where you can sit and order a drink or lunch for cheap.

Sagbayan Park entrance fee: 20 PHP and the butterfly dome tickets are sold separately for 10 PHP.

For-hire vans are available to take you to Sagbayan Peak from Tagbilaran City where you can enjoy..

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Palccoyo Rainbow Mountain is one of the most beautiful undiscovered tours in Peru. Ever since the Rainbow Mountain in Vinicunca (or Winikunka/Montaña de Siete Colores) became popular a few years back, most tourists flock there without realizing that there’s an even better alternative.

When I was doing my research about the best tours to book in Peru, I decided I would visit the usual Rainbow Mountain that everyone goes to. Thankfully, I met some locals during my trip to Cusco. They told me about Palccoyo Rainbow Mountain and I immediately decided to change my tour.

Palccoyo Rainbow Mountain Peru Here’s why you should visit Palccoyo vs. Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain:

1. The limited number of tourists: Palccoyo is known as the Alternative Rainbow Mountain, because it is yet to be populated with mass tourism. When we arrived, I was surprised to see only 4 other cars parked at the entrance. During most of the hike, we were completely alone surrounded by stunning scenery. It was so quiet that we really got to enjoy every second.

The best part of it all was that when we got to the top, we had the perfect view of the 3 Rainbow Mountains all to ourselves! We spent a good one hour taking photos without anyone else in sight.

The popular Rainbow Mountain in Vinicunca is so crowded these days. Huge groups of tourists go there every single day. It’s a challenge to really enjoy the scenery without bumping into tour groups taking hundreds of photos.

2. You can view THREE Rainbow Mountains in one location: Why see one Rainbow Mountian when you can view three in the same location? I’m surprised that the other location is more popular than Palccoyo.

Not only can you see three in the same spot, but the surrounding mountains are covered in different tones of red and pink. It was one of the most stunning locations I have visited in the world.

3. The hike is so much easier: To get to the famous Rainbow Mountain, you need to hike up more than 2 hours at an altitude of over 17,060 feet or 5,200 meters. If you’ve never experienced altitude sickness before, trust me, it will completely take over you. Hiking at those altitudes feels like you’re carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders.

At Palccoyo Rainbow Mountain, the hike is super easy and it’s only 20 minutes. The highest altitude there is quite similar at 16404 feet or 5,000 meters. However, because the hike is much easier, you will get to enjoy it instead of struggling to go uphill for 2 hours.

4. The scenic drive from Cusco to Palccoyo: The drive takes around 3.5 hours with a breakfast stop on the way. Because the Rainbow Mountain tours start so early (around 4 AM), I was keen to sleep most of the way. The scenery was so beautiful that I couldn’t close my eyes even for a second.

We drove through the cutest villages and spectacular mountain ranges. We came to a point where we saw hundreds of Alpacas roaming freely and even crossing the road several times. The long drive felt like a short one with everything we were witnessing around us.

Related Post: 3 Weeks in Peru and Bolivia by Bus How to book your tour to Palccoyo:

There are now quite a few companies that offer day trips from Cusco to Palccoyo. I chose to book with visitsouthamerica.co after reading great reviews. My tour was perfect from start to finish and I highly recommend booking your Palccoyo tour with them.

Note: Palccoyo is also known as the Tres Rainbows Mountain tour.

Follow The Jetsetter Diaries on Instagram to see more of the highlights in Peru.

Tips for hiking in high altitudes:

1. Coca leaves: There’s a good reason why all the locals in Peru consume so much Coca leaves. There are so many different versions of it these days including chewing gum and candies. In my opinion, the best way is to have them in their purest form. Either to chew them and keep them in your mouth for around 30 minutes or drink them as tea.

You can purchase them anywhere in the markets. There are old ladies selling them in large bags on every single street in Cusco. I recommend keeping some in your bag in case of emergencies. They were really helpful for me on my trip.

2. Stay hydrated: It’s easy to forget to drink enough water, especially if you’re feeling nauseous because of the altitude. Make sure to drink a big bottle of water especially during the hike.

3. Ginger: Ginger candies are also a great option to help with nausea and an upset stomach.

4. Take it slow: If you’re flying from a sea-level destination straight to Cusco, I would advise you to stay there at least 2 days before you venture out to higher altitudes. Give your body time to adjust slowly before climbing Rainbow Mountain.

5. Rose Water: This was something I discovered through one of the other travelers with me on the trip. You can purchase a small bottle of rose water from any pharmacy. Put a few drops in your hands, rub them together and smell the rose water every couple of minutes.

The post Visiting Palccoyo Rainbow Mountain appeared first on The Jetsetter Diaries.

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Is Machu Picchu Bucket list? Have you dreamt of visiting the ancient land of the Incas? Join me and a group of like-minded travelers an epic 8-day adventure in Peru!

Experience the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu, explore Cusco, hike the Tres Rainbows Mountain, go sandboarding in the desert oasis of Huacachina, see hundreds of Sea Lions in Paracas and discover the capital city of Lima all in one trip!

After visiting 52 countries, Peru definitely took my breath away. I can’t wait to show you around one of my favorite destinations of all time!

This trip is perfect for solo travelers who would like to travel in a small group and make amazing friends along the way. During my last 3 group trips, most of the people who signed up were traveling solo for the very first time! This is a great opportunity to meet other travelers from around the world and travel in a safe and comfortable environment.

Do you also want to learn how to take stunning travel photos? I will be teaching you my best photography and editing tips and tricks. Not only that, I’m offering every traveler private photo sessions in Machu Picchu and Tres Rainbow Mountain to get the perfect shots in this once in a lifetime trip.

What's Included?
7 Nights Accommodation
All Tours & Entrance Fees
Breakfast
Internal Flights
Airport Transfers, Buses and Trains
Photography Tips
Trip Details

Our Peru trip will start and end in Lima. Everything will be taken care of from the moment you land in Peru until you leave. The only thing you will have to book yourself is your international roundtrip flights to Lima. I'm happy to help you find cheap flights and the best travel routes from your home city.

The trip is designed in a way to show you the top sites of Peru in 1 week and also give you a little free time to explore on your own. All of the tours include a professional guide and transport.

We will be spending 7 nights together in comfortable and central 3* and 4* hotels with breakfast included. Machu Picchu tickets and trains (which can get sold out sometimes) will all be arranged for you.

BASIC INFO

  • Location: Peru
  • Cities: Lima, Paracas, Huacachina, Cusco, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu
  • Dates: Oct 19 - Oct 26 2019 
  • Trip Length: 8 Days / 7 Nights
  • Max. Group: 12
  • Accommodation: Double Occupancy in 3*/4* hotels
  • Age Group: All ages welcome

WHAT'S INCLUDED?

  • All transfers from A to B destinations such as hotels, airports, tours, trains
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • Roundtrip Flights from Lima to Cusco
  • VIP Bus Lima to Paracas with reclinable seats, blanket, own tv screen
  • Islas Ballestas tour with entrance tickets
  • Private Paracas National Reserve Tour
  • Pisco and Wine Tasting
  • Sandboarding and sand buggy tour in Huacachina
  • Sacred Valley Tour to Maras, Moray, & Ollantaytambo
  • Train tickets from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes
  • Bus tickets from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu
  • Machu Picchu 2hr tour with park entrance tickets
  • Tres Rainbows Tour (before the crowds)
  • Foods: Breakfast at hotels, lunch on Sacred Valley Tour, lunch on Tres Rainbows Tour

EXCLUSIONS

  • International flights to/from Peru
  • Travel & Medical Insurance (Required)
  • Alcohol (Outside of organized activities)
  • Additional Snacks & Meals
  • Tips
Trip Details
Oct 19: Arrive to Lima
  • Transfer to Hotel - Lima
  • Free Day in Lima
  • Recommendations: Paragliding tours, Miraflores, Museo de Oro del Perú y Armas del Mundo, Museo de la Nación, Museum of Art of Lima
Oct 20: Paracas / Islas Ballestas / Paracas National Reserve / Ica / Pisco and Wine tasting / Huacachina
  • VIP bus to Paracas
  • Islas Ballestas Boat Tour: see hundreds of Sea Lions
  • Paracas National Reserve Tour: breathaking desert and beach lansdcapes
  • VIP bus from Paracas to Ica
  • Winery and Pisco Tour
  • Huacachina - Enjoy dune buggies and sandboarding

Oct 21: VIP Bus to Lima / Flight to Cusco
  • Taxi Pick-Up - Transfer to Bus Station
  • VIP Bus to Lima
  • Taxi Pick-Up - Transfer to Airport
  • Flight to Cusco
Oct 22: Sacred Valley Tour & Transfer to Aguas Calientes
  • Sacred Valley Tour: Maras, Moray, Ollantaytambo
  • Train to Aguas Calientes
  • Spend 1 night in Aguas Calientes - the closest town to Machu Picchu

Oct 23: Machu Picchu Sunrise
  • Bus Transport to Machu Picchu
  • Machu Picchu Guided Tour
  • Free Time in Machu Picchu - Huayna Picchu
  • Private Photo Sessions in Machu Picchu for each guest
  • Bus to Aguas Calientes
  • Train to Ollantaytambo
  • Private Van to Cusco

Oct 24: Cusco Free Day
  • Free time to explore the charming town of Cusco
  • Recommendations: Plaza de Armas, Shopping, Rafting, Bungee Jumping, Sacsayhuaman Cooking Classes, Horse Back Riding

Oct 25: Tres Rainbows Tour
  • Full day tour to Palccoyo Tres Rainbows: 20min easy hike to view 3 different Rainbow mountains

Oct 26: Transfer to Airport / Departure
  • Taxi Pick-Up - Transfer to Airport
  • Flight to Lima (morning flight will be arranged so you can catch your international flights afterwards)
Trip Price
Price per person: $2,180

The price is based on shared double occupancy. Solo travelers are paired in the same room with someone of the same gender.
Private room options are available for an extra charge.

How to book your spot:

$1000 non-refundable deposit is required to confirm your sign-up.

The remaining balance has to be paid 45 days before the trip.

Book Your Spot
BOOK NOW
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Questions?

Email: thejetsetterdiaries@gmail.com

The post Travel to Peru with The Jetsetter Diaries appeared first on The Jetsetter Diaries.

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New England is a region in the United States that is a must to visit for everyone, American or otherwise. It is where the founding of this nation occurred, after all, and where history and beauty come together in a trip perfect for every type of traveler.

You can enjoy the coastline of Maine, wander through the stunning sceneries of Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. You can be star-struck by the stunning fall colors or amazed at the incredible sight of ancient institutions like Yale.

New England has everything for everyone. Be sure to check out the following during your trip to this wonderful region. You won’t be disappointed.

Top Things to Do in New England 1. See a Patriots Game

Football fans will be happy to know that New England is the home of the Patriots. If you love football or support the Patriots, be sure to check their schedule in advance and book tickets before you go. Remember, these stadiums can fill out quickly.

2. Hike Along the Freedom Trail

If you want to enjoy nature, beauty, and history all at once, then the best place to visit is the Freedom Trail, which passes by several important sites that were critical to the founding of the United States of America.

The trail itself is incredibly short, 2.5 mile stretch in the center of Boston, making it a great way to spend the day leisurely before heading back into the ancient and adorable city itself for dinner. However, there are many hikes for you to enjoy throughout this region.

If you get a taste for nature, then be sure to follow up with a few hikes through Acadia National Park. With so much to see and do, though, be sure to find a base. These walks can take you a few days to complete, so be sure to unwind in luxury so that you are ready to walk the next trail.

For instance, VacationRenter is close enough to Cadillac Mountain so that you can drive up before sunrise. By having such a comfortable place to stay, you won’t have to worry about coming back from a walk and being uncomfortable.

3. Experience the Tanglewood Music Festival

Lovers of music would be amiss if they didn’t go to the Tanglewood Music Festival, which is one of the most significant and esteemed festivals of its kind. Unlike most festivals, it is where you can go to enjoy symphony, jazz, blues, and even chamber music. It is great fun for those who love classical music, and a great experience to have in New England.

Related Article: Ultimate Girlfriends Getaway Guide to Seattle 4. See the Founding Cities

Of course, no visit to New England is complete without visiting some of the founding cities and learning about American history first hand:

1. Boston
2. Philadelphia
3. Washington, DC

These towns are utterly charming and have so much to do and see, making them perfect for a day trip or a week trip.

5. Explore the Top Ivy League Universities

If you have time, make sure to see some Ivy League universities up close and personal. The top universities in New England include:

• Yale University
• Harvard University
• Brown University
• Dartmouth College

You won’t be able to enter some of the buildings (though there are tours) but just walking around these ancient buildings is a great way to spend the day.

The post Five Experiences You Can’t Miss in New England appeared first on The Jetsetter Diaries.

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Peru is one of those unique countries that has something of interest for everyone. This stunning country has everything to offer from vast landscapes, deserts, amazing food and the most impressive historic sites in the world. Peru was my dream destination for so long. When I started planning my trip, I wanted to make sure I visit every beautiful corner in the county.

Another major item on my bucket list was visiting Salar De Uyuni in Bolivia (the largest salt flats in the world). Visiting Peru and Bolivia in one trip is quite convenient because you can cross the border easily without flying.

After extensive research, I decided that the best way to explore Peru and Bolivia is by bus.

Why Did I Choose to Travel with Peru Hop?

PeruHop offers several hop-on-hop-off bus journeys that you can customize depending on the duration of your trip. The concept is that you can hop off the bus in any of the locations on your journey and stay as many nights as you want in each city. There are daily buses that pass through each city every day, so you can choose to hop back on a bus whenever you want to move to your next destination.

Check out the different Peru Hop bus routes here: Peru Hop Routes Here’s why I chose to travel by bus on Peru Hop:
  1. I found the perfect itinerary I was looking for on Peru Hop. My journey started in Lima with several stops all the way down to Puno. I then crossed the border into Bolivia with Bolivia Hop. After my trip to Salar De Uyuni, I crossed the border again back to Peru and ended my trip in Cusco to visit Machu Picchu.
  2. Comfortable buses: In my 3-week journey I spent over 100 hours on buses. The Peru Hop bus seats are very comfortable with reclining chairs, USB ports to charge your phone, TVs, AC, and large windows to enjoy the beautiful views. The overnight buses are even more comfortable because the chairs recline even further, blankets are provided and they even play movies on-board. I was able to fall asleep so easily and all of the rides were very smooth.
  3. Online booking system to personalize your own trip: As soon as you book your trip, you are given a username and password to log in and customize your journey. You can change the dates and pick up locations as you please. This is very convenient if you have multiple stops and want to have control of your trip. Changes can be made even when you are on your trip.
  4. The tour guides: All of the tour guides we had were so friendly, helpful and spoke great English.
  5. Affordable day tours: Every morning our tour guide would announce the day tours available in the city we’re visiting. All of the tours were so affordable (between $10 to $20) and I ended up visiting amazing places that were not originally in my travel plans.
  6. Accommodation: The tour guides can help you book affordable accommodation in each city. They go around asking every passenger if they need help with bookings and offer several discounted options in each city.
3 Week Peru & Bolivia Itinerary Day 1: Lima

Most international flights fly into the capital city of Lima, which is a great starting point for your Peru trip. The most popular area to stay in is Miraflores. My time in Lima was quite short, but I would recommend staying for 1 or 2 nights. It’s perfectly enough to see all the top sites.

Top things to do in Lima: Plaza Mayor, Free Walking Tour,  Water Fountain Park (Circuito Magico del Agua), paragliding on the coast, Palomino Islands Cruise and Swimming with Sea Lions, visit the Barranco district, see the pre-Incan ruins of Huaca Pucllana.

Where to stay in Lima: The Lighthouse Bed and Breakfast starting $30/night

Day 2-3: Paracas

Paracas is a tiny city 4 hours from Lima. You can actually walk all over town in about 5 minutes. One night is more than enough to visit the 2 main attractions there.

My favorite tour there was the boat trip to the Ballestas Islands where you can spot hundreds of sea lions and pelicans. If you’re lucky you can also see some penguins and dolphins. The Ballestas Islands tours start at 10 AM and last 2 hours. Arrive into Paracas and go straight out to the Ballestas Tour. After that, you can get on a tour to the Paracas National Reserve to see incredible desert landscapes and beaches.

Both of these can be done in one day, so there’s no need to stay in Paracas for more than 1 night.

Top things to do in Paracas: Boat tour to the Ballestas Islands, Paracas National Reserve Tour Where to stay in Paracas: Aquamarine Paracas Beach Hostal starting $30/night Lima to Paracas bus: 4 hours

Peru Hop timings: Depart Lima at 6 AM and arrive in Paracas at 10 AM (you can go straight to the boat tour)

Peru Hop tip: The Paracas National Reserve Tour is included for free with your Peru Hop pass

Day 4-5: Huacachina

Huacachina is a very small desert oasis only a short 1-hour drive away from Paracas. The whole town is made for tourists, so expect to see lots of hotels, hostels, and restaurants.

It’s best to stay there for 1 night because there’s only 1 tour to do: Dune buggies and sandboarding in Huacachina. I must warn you, this is a little scary at first. The tour starts with a crazy ride in a 4×4 dune buggy (with a driver). They drive really fast and you will go down some really steep dunes. After about a 15-minute ride, they will stop at one of the highest points in the desert and hand you snowboards. You will then sit face down on the snowboard and slide down the dunes.

I was extremely scared to try the sandboarding in Huacachina, but I am so glad I did. It was one of my favorite activities during my Peru trip. It is really so much fun, so even if you’re scared you should definitely give it a shot.

Top things to do in Huacachina: Dune buggies and sandboarding in Huacachina Where to stay in Huacachina: Hotel El Huacachinero starting $55/night Paracas to Huacachina bus: 1 hour & 15 minutes

Peru Hop timings: Depart Paracas at 1 PM and arrive in Huacachina at 2:15 PM

Day 6-7: Nazca & Arequipa (overnight bus)

The Peru Hop buses leave Huacachina at 1 PM with a long journey ahead to Arequipa in an overnight bus. What makes this journey exciting is the stop at Nazca to view the mysterious Nazca Lines. These lines are giant geoglyphs in the middle of the Naza Desert. Legend has it that aliens or giants created them, because scientists still haven’t figured out how they were created.

Arequipa is the second largest city in Peru. It’s a great place to get lost in the beautiful streets of the old town. Massive volcanoes can be seen from all around the city. It is also the starting point of the Colca Canyon Tours. The canyon is one of the deepest in the world, where you can spot giant Andean condors. There are several types of tours available, depending on your fitness level: Colca Canyon tour options.

Top things to do in Nazca: Nazca Flights Top things to do in Arequipa: Visit the Alpaca Farm, Santa Catalina Monastery, Plaza de Armas Arequipa, Colca Canyon Tours Where to stay in Arequipa: Casa Andina Select Arequipa Plaza starting $119/night Huacachina to Arequipa bus: 15 hours (overnight bus)

Peru Hop timings: Depart Huacachina 1 PM and arrive in Arequipa at 5:30 AM (the next day)

Peru Hop recommendations: if you want to do a day tour to Colca Canyon, make sure to stay at least 2 nights in Arequipa.

Day 8-9: Puno & Uros Islands

Puno is situated in the South of Peru on Lake Titicaca, which is the highest navigable lake in the world. If you’re looking to visit Lake Titicaca (which I highly recommend), then Puno is the best stop. I didn’t go with high expectations to Lake Titicaca, but my tour to the Uros Islands was really impressive.

The Uros Islands are actually man-made islands by the indigenous people of Peru and Bolivia (called Uru). There are now over 120 of these small islands. It was so interesting to visit these tribes and learn about their traditional lifestyle. The locals opened up their homes to us and showed us how they construct the islands with dried totora reeds. Some of the larger islands have 10 families living together, but the smaller ones have only 2 to 3 families.

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Vienna was one of those cities that had been on my very long bucket list for a while. I’m so glad I had the chance to visit this stunning city while I was on a digital detox.

Ever since I started blogging over 4 years ago, I’ve been constantly connected to the online world. There hasn’t been a single day that I ever took a break from social media. In fact, as you can imagine, I spend several hours every day on my phone. I was long overdue for a proper digital detox.

Vienna was the perfect place to do this. It’s so easy to get lost in the beautiful streets, spend hours in some of the most impressive museums in the world or go for long strolls in one of the many palaces and parks. Basically, there are so many interesting things to do that you can easily forget about the online world.

The objective was to focus 100% of my attention on enjoying the trip. I decided to replace my digital camera with a Polaroid camera and share absolutely nothing on social media for the duration of my trip.

Here’s what it was like to experience a digital detox in Vienna:

  1. Enjoying the moment: It was so refreshing to visit places and actually get to enjoy them before reaching out for my phone or camera and taking hundreds of photos. Usually, I would arrive at a beautiful spot and the first thing I would think of is where to get that perfect Instagram shot. The fact that I had a Polaroid camera meant that I can only take a picture or two.
  2. Living the moment: I spent hours in some of the amazing museums in Vienna walking around by myself. Instead of reaching out for my phone and documenting everything, I was completely immersed in whatever I was doing at that moment.
  3. Disconnecting from the world: Let’s face it, spending long hours on social media can be unhealthy. I felt disconnected from the world because I wasn’t constantly scrolling through Instagram. It gave me more time to focus on myself and it felt very peaceful to be far away from the online world.

Top 10 Things to do in Vienna 1. Visit Schönbrunn Palace

Dating back to the 1600s, this Baroque-style palace is the main tourist attraction in Vienna. Dedicate at least 3 hours to enjoy all the corners. The palace is not only impressive on the inside, but also has a gorgeous outdoor garden. It’s home to the oldest zoo in the world and some other really fun activities like a maze (which is harder than it looks to complete). Take a stroll all the way up to the Gloriette, where you can enjoy some amazing views of the city.

2. Enjoy some of the most impressive museums in the world

The Museum Quarter is the best place to visit for history, culture and art lovers. – Head to Maria Theresien Platz to visit the 2 museums facing each other: a) Museum of Natural History – my favorite part was the dinosaur section b) Kunsthistorisches Museum – make sure to go to the top floor that looks down on the symmetrical café area.

3. Visit Hofburg Palace

Once the main winter palace of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Hofburg has now transformed into the presidential base in the heart of the city.

4. Take a stroll through Belvedere Gardens

There are two separate palace buildings in this complex with spectacular gardens in between. Both buildings have some incredible art displays that are definitely worth a visit.

5. Sip on delicious coffee in the Viennese Coffee Houses

There’s a big coffee culture in Vienna. Coffee time is more like a ritual and you can find locals sitting in the cute cafes for hours at a time. Here are my recommended cafes: Café Sperl, Supersense, Café Landtmann.

6. Enjoy the amazing food

You absolutely must try two types of food in Vienna: a) A Schnitzel in one of the many local restaurants b) The sausage (wiener) stands that you can find on every single street. Recommendation: Bitzinger’s sausage stand at Albertina

7. Vienna Shopping district

Mariahilfer Straße is Vienna’s longest and most lively shopping street. For luxury brands, head to the Goldenes Quartier.

8. Attend an opera show at Wiener Staatsoper (State Opera House)

Vienna is world-renowned for it’s opera shows. The find affordable tickets try to purchase the standing tickets, which could be as cheap as 3 to 4 euros! The only thing is that they normally go on sale about 80 minutes before the show. Show up early (and be dressed for the part) to ensure getting in.

9. Visit the Palmenhaus

This impressive glasshouse is also a bar and restaurant. It’s best to visit during the day to enjoy the sunlight coming in from every corner.

10. Stay in the super trendy 25hours Hotel Vienna

I love design hotels and 25hours Vienna was my favorite so far. I had the pleasure of staying in one of the Analog rooms. It has so many cool old gadgets inside like a typewriter, old record player and polaroid camera (all perfect for a digital detox!). The room comes with a manual that guides you through all the things you can experience. I loved sitting in the huge balcony (that also has an outdoor bathtub) and enjoying a glass of wine.

Travel tip: get the Vienna City Card – a sightseeing pass that includes free admission on the hop-on-hop-off buses, public transport (including trams and subways), over 50 attractions and so many discounts.

This trip was sponsored by the Vienna Tourism Board, but as always, all opinions are my own.

The post A Digital Detox in Vienna + A Mini City Guide appeared first on The Jetsetter Diaries.

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The first thing we think about when planning a trip to a cold destination is how to fit all those winter clothes in our luggage. Yes, staying warm and looking good when we’re doing it is definitely important. We do, however, tend to forget about protecting one of the most important parts of our body: our skin.

As a frequent traveler, my skin goes through a lot of climate change and dryness, especially from all those long flights with dry cabin pressure. I’ve developed a skincare routine that is pretty simple to use no matter which destination I’m flying to.

Essential tips to take care of your skin in the cold: 1. Stay hydrated

This sounds pretty simple, but more often than not, we don’t drink enough water. Drinking 8 glasses of water a day can help rid your skin of toxins. Your skin will also have a more radiant glow if you stay hydrated.

2. Moisturize at least once a day

I have to admit, I used to skip this step until I realized how important it is. My skin was suffering from dryness until I decided to use the Lubriderm Daily Skin Moisturizer on a daily basis.

The Lubriderm Advanced Therapy Lotion moisturizes skin for 24 hours, so by using it once a day I protect my skin from the harsh cold weather.

The best way not to skip this step is to keep your moisturizer next to your bathtub. Once you finish your shower, it’s actually the best time to apply moisturizer all over your body, because it helps seal the dampness into your skin. Use the Lubriderm Advanced Therapy Lotion liberally every time your shower or take a bath.

What’s great about it is that you can see effective results within just one week of use! This rich, creamy lotion is clinically shown to provide relief for extra dry skin, making it healthier-looking and more resilient.

Lubriderm Advanced Therapy Lotion, a winter solution that works for everybody is available at Walmart for $6.97.

3. Don’t turn up the heat

It’s best not to overdo it with the heating indoors, because high temperatures tend to dry out your skin even more. Try to keep your room as cozy as possible without turning up the heat too much.

4. Take extra care of your hands

Our hands are the most exposed parts of our body in the cold. I always apply Lubriderm Advanced Therapy Lotion on my hands every 5 to 6 hours in the winter to avoid cracked skin. I keep a bottle handy not just in the shower, but next to my workstation too.

5. Use natural soaps

Chemical soaps can be really harsh on your skin especially if they’re combined with the cold. It’s best to use natural soaps as much as possible and don’t forget to moisturize right after.

This post is in partnership with Lubriderm, but as always all opinions mentioned here are my own. I would never recommend a product that I don’t love and use personally.

The post How to Take Care of Your Skin in Cold Destinations appeared first on The Jetsetter Diaries.

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Overlooking the Baltic Sea is a beacon of culture and architecture known as Riga. The beating heart of Latvia was the European Capital of Culture in 2014 and remains one of the most vibrant and travel-worthy destinations in Northern Europe.

3 days in Riga is perfect to explore the cities top sights. This travel guide includes the top things to do in Riga in 72 hours.

3 Days in Riga Travel Guide Riga Safety Tips

Large, crowded areas like the Riga Central Market are usually a dwelling for pickpockets, so keep a watchful eye on your wallet and belongings at all times. Avoid going to Little Moscow at night because the area is known to be a little sketchy. Streetside money exchanges are also meant to trick tourists into trading their Euros for the old and expired Latvian currency. As for taxis, it is always better to ask your hotel for recommendations and a price list if possible.

Currency in Riga

The official currency used in Latvia is the Euro (€). Both banks and currency exchange offices are available in Riga and they offer different rates, so make sure you compare prices and ask about hidden costs, especially in banks. Beware of credit card scams in places like pubs and nightclubs. Some establishments take advantage of drunken or clueless tourists and use their cards to make online purchases and charge them for extra food and drinks that they never ordered.

Public Transportation in Riga

Public transportation in Riga is possible thanks to trams, buses and trolley buses that operate from 5:30 am till 11:30 pm. You can purchase your ticket straight from the driver for 2 Euros or you can buy an e-ticket from street stalls and other select shops. The e-ticket is cheaper and much more convenient. Routes and bus schedules are available online in English. If you would like to explore Riga by bike, then you can rent a bike for as little as 7 Euros and use the Riga bike route map for guidance.

What to See in Riga, Latvia 1. Vecriga

Cobblestone streets and charming old houses adorn the historical center of the city, allowing it to earn its UNESCO World Heritage badge in 1997. Vecriga is home to more than 500 colorful buildings that will take you on a journey through time, back to the days of Baroque, Gothic and Art Nouveau architecture.

The city is an open museum showcasing a variety of architectural styles that have withstood the test of time. Keep an eye out for the Riga Cathedral and St. Peter’s Church that both dominate the skyline of the old city.

2. Town Hall Square

Founded in 1201, the square is as old as Riga itself, and once fell victim to the bombings that occurred during World War II. Fortunately, it was rebuilt and now serves as a great starting point for walking tours around the old city. The square is also a tourist attraction thanks to the diverse collection of buildings surrounding it and the statue of St. Roland who towers over the square carrying his sword and shield like a medieval knight in shining armor.

3. House of the Blackheads

Riga was once a haven for ships and merchants who traveled from the Baltic to the Black Sea. These merchants held their meetings and elaborate banquets in their Baroque style headquarters, also known as the House of the Blackheads. The building was erected in 1334 but it was sadly destroyed in World War II, and so Riga decided to rebuild it and make replicas of the original furniture and portraits that once graced its hallways.

The house now features a museum exhibition that showcases a silver collection that was once the envy of the Baltics. It also doubles as a concert venue and a tourist information center with a 14th-century cellar that managed to survive the horrors of the war.

Opening Hours: 11 AM to 6 PM – Sunday to Tuesday.

Guided tours are available for 15 Euros.

4. Alberta Street

Nothing says Art Nouveau like New Town Riga where many famous 19th century architects left their mark in the shape of extravagant buildings dressed in geometric ornaments and mythical creatures such as dragons and gargoyles. Alberta Street alone is home to a large collection of beautifully designed buildings with unique facades that are sprinkled down the street,  offering a visual feast for your eyes and camera. Alberta is a 20-minute walk from Riga City Hall.

5. Three Brothers

They say good things come in threes and this is the case when it comes to a trio of stone buildings located on Small Castle Street in Riga. Legend has it that the 3 houses were built by people who belong to the same family tree. The eldest house was built around 1490 when Riga was a magnet for Dutch traders. The other two were later constructed in the 17th century and they also represent the evolution of architecture in Riga through the ages. Let your curiosity take you inside where you can check out the Latvian Museum of Architecture where you will find original blueprints and archives belonging to other historical buildings in the city.

Opening Hours: 9 AM to 5 PM Monday to Wednesday, 9 AM to 5 PM on Thursday, 9 AM to 4 PM on Friday

Admission: free

7. Freedom Monument

This tall granite and copper monument is more than just a work of art, it is also a symbol of freedom and independence for the Latvian people. You will find it standing at a height of 42 meters right at the end of Brivibas Street. The monument pays tribute to the brave soldiers who died in the war and the main focal point is lady liberty who towers over all the other statues carrying 3 golden stars in her hands. The Freedom Monument, also known as Milda, is a short 7-minute walk from Riga City Hall.

8. Bastejkalna Park

Right across from the Freedom Monument you will find ducks and canal boats wrapped in a lush green ribbon of trees and flower beds. Perfect for picnics and bird spotting, Bastejkalna Park is one of the oldest green spaces in Riga. There is no shortage of picturesque bridges and benches where you can relax and have a small picnic before going sightseeing via the Daugava River. The one-hour river cruise is available all week and gives you the chance to explore Riga by boat.

Tickets are sold at the park and the prices are 15 Euros for adults and 9 Euros for children.

9. Riga Central Market

This market is hard to miss for a number of reasons, and the wide array of fresh food is one of them. Overlooking Daugava River, Riga Central Market is housed under four massive hangars divided into five different areas where you can treat your taste buds to marinated herring, smoked cheese or blueberry juice. The possibilities are endless, especially with the presence of eateries that serve Latvian dishes and a dessert shop that sells pancakes topped with berry jam and other baked goods as well.

Opening Hours: Every day from 7 AM to 6 PM

10. Riga Cathedral

Medieval and grandiose, the Riga Cathedral is one of the oldest churches in the Baltic Region. The cathedral survived wars, fires and also experienced a series of makeovers that are evident in its walls and baroque tower. Inside the cathedral, you will encounter one of the biggest organs in Europe.

The organ is illuminated by a collection of stained glass windows that provide a visual history of the city. This harmonious masterpiece has turned the cathedral into a popular music venue where organ music concerts are held every month.

Opening hours: 10 AM to 7 PM every day

Admission Fee: 3 Euros

11. St. Peter’s Church

Less than one kilometer away from the cathedral is none other than St. Peter’s Church, where you can climb up the clock tower for an exclusive panoramic view of Riga. The church is older than its neighbor and harbors the Blue Guard Chapel and Gothic style basilicas. Nowadays, the church hosts art exhibits as well as choir concerts. The entrance fee is 9 Euro for adults and students receive a special discount.

Opening hours: vary according to the season. Normally, Tuesday – Sunday 10 AM to 6 PM during the busy months of spring and summer.

12. Latvian National Opera and Ballet

If you feel like spending a glamorous night at the opera, then head over to the white Neoclassical building overlooking the canal. The opera house in Riga was established in 1863 and was once home to the first electric power station in the region. The interior of the building is more extravagant with red velvet curtains and golden accents lining the walls, and flower chandeliers adorning the ceilings.

Public tours are available for anyone interested in exploring the backstage world of the opera and they cost 8 Euros per person, however, you need to book your tickets in advance.

13. Art Nouveau Museum

The museum is located in Alberta Street and was once the residence of a famous Latvian architect who designed the entire building from top to bottom. The spiral staircase is one of many Art Nouveau masterpieces found within the vintage walls of the apartment.

Every single room has been renovated and preserved, showcasing a unique collection of furniture and kitchen appliances that date back to the 1900s. The museum offers guided tours for 14.50 Euro, and you can pay an extra €1.50 to have your picture taken with an art nouveau hat.

Opening hours: 10 AM to 6 PM – Tuesday to Sunday

14. Swedish Gate Riga

As you’re walking around the old town between the cities medieval walls, you can’t miss the Swedish Gate. It was built in 1698 as a part of the Riga Wall to provide access to barracks outside the city wall.

15. Vermanes Garden

The five-hectare garden is easily one of the most serene places in downtown Riga. If you go on a stroll down the lush green landscape, you will find people enjoying an outdoor game of chess and boats floating down the canal. The garden is also surrounded by an assortment of cafes, including Biblioteka No.1 where they have a large wine selection and a seasonal menu offering local Latvian Dishes.

Opening Hours: The garden is open all week and is a 6-minute walk from the Freedom Monument.

16. Nativity of Christ Cathedral

Vermanes Garden is right across the road from this remarkable cathedral and its shiny domes that tower over the trees of neighboring Esplanade Park. Nativity of Christ is the biggest Orthodox church in the city and the lucky survivor of both wars. The church is famous for its vibrant iconostases and Byzantine-style frescoes.

Opening hours: 7 AM to 6:30 PM

17. Museum of the Occupation

Visiting the Museum of the Occupation teaches you more about Latvia during Nazi and Soviet rule. Photographic evidence and recorded testimonies from war survivors are kept in the museum in an effort to preserve the national memory of the once war-torn country. The museum is currently next to the House of the Blackheads inside a modern building that is hard to miss. You will need to book an appointment to view this private collection. Ask for a discount if you are a student. Many museums in Riga offer discounts for both students and children. Guided tours are available starting at 2.5 Euro.

Opening hours: 11 AM to 5 PM

18. Latvian National Museum of Art

The recently renovated building is home to classic paintings that are displayed in chronological order. There’s a special wing dedicated to ancient Greek and Roman art. You will also find an Ancient Egyptian mummy inside its very own sarcophagus in the oriental section of the museum. There are two guided tours on offer. If you’re traveling with kids, there’s a special family bag for children to keep them entertained.

Admission Fee: 6 Euros. Guided tours cost 15 Euros.

Opening hours: Sunday to Tuesday from 10 AM to 6 PM

19. Ethnographic Open Air Museum

This outdoor museum is one of the oldest and largest in Europe. Countryside vibes stay with you while you take a tour of the pine forest and its farmhouses and windmills. A crafts festival is held every year from May to September. You can catch folk artisans in action and buy handmade products from them. The museum also offers pottery lessons and horseback riding for large and small groups.

Opening Hours: Every day from 10 AM to 6 PM – May to September. Their winter hours are different, so make sure that you check their website for more information.

20. Museum of the History of Riga and Navigation

This museum calls Riga Dome Cathedral its home and contains 16 exhibit halls displaying a collection of 500,000 historical treasures. These include a 13th-century ship and a coin collection that was minted when Riga was a free and imperial city. A large section of the museum is devoted to the naval history of the region. You’ll have the chance to explore the sea charts and tools that were used during this era.

Opening Hours: Every day from 10 AM to 5 PM (May 25 – September 30). Their winter hours are different, so make sure that you check the museum’s website for more information.

Other interesting places to visit in Riga: Black Magic Balsam Shop and 1221 Restorans.

The post 3 Days in Riga – A Travel Guide to Latvia’s Capital appeared first on The Jetsetter Diaries.

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Finding the perfect piece of luggage is not an easy task these days. With so many choices out there, it can get quite confusing. After traveling for so many years, I’ve learned to do my research and invest in good luggage. If anything goes wrong with your luggage during your trip, it can really ruin the experience for you. The best way to choose is to know what to look for before deciding what to buy.

I recently tried the Werks Traveler 6.0 collection by Victorinox Swiss Army and I absolutely love it. I’ve listed my favorite features below.

How to Select The Best Luggage

 Here are the top things to look out for before purchasing your luggage:

1. Durability

The most important factor to consider is how to avoid damage to your belongings. My personal preference is soft shell luggage because it’s usually much more practical. This is why it’s essential for the soft shell to have really durable material to avoid wear and tear as much as possible. TheSwiss Army Werks Traveler 6.0 collection is made from strong, abrasion resistant nylon that makes it close to impossible to tear.

2. The Wheels

I’ve had quite a few incidents in the past where one of my wheels broke in the middle of my adventures. You need to make sure the wheels are both durable and smooth. The Werks Traveler 6.0 collection by Swiss Army has large Hinomoto wheels that are silent and ride easily over any surface while offering 360° maneuverability.

3. Expandability & Practicality

Let’s face it, most travelers always end up overpacking. A select few have learned the art of packing light. This is where expandable luggage comes in handy. You can zip up the expandable part for a more compact look and expand it only when you need to.

The Werks Traveler 6.0 collection not only expands up to 1.6 inches, but also has extraordinary packing solutions. the Expandable Pack More System with padded laptop compartment, a removable 3-fold suiter, two large mesh side pockets, and x-shaped compression straps. The “Pack More System” is adjustable in height, offers a padded 15.6″ laptop compartment, a large expandable zippered compartment and creates a flat packing surface for wrinkle-free transport of clothing.

4. Weight

Airlines are limiting weight allowance more and more these days. It’s crucial to find a durable and lightweight piece to protect your belongings without adding too many pounds. The Large Softside piece from the Werks Traveler 6.0 collection is only 10 pounds, which is great for luggage that size.

5. TSA Approved Lock

If you normally lock your luggage, you have to make sure that your lock is TSA approved. TSA officers have the right to inspect baggage when the need arises. That’s where TSA recognized locks come in. The Werks Traveler 6.0 collection Travel Sentry® Approved combination lock allows TSA officers to open the lock without destroying it and re-lock it after inspection.

For more information about the Victorinox Swiss Army Luggage Collection, visit www.swissarmy.com

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Victorinox Swiss Army, but as always, all opinions are my own. I would never recommend something that I don’t personally use and love. 

The post Travel Tips: How to Select The Best Luggage appeared first on The Jetsetter Diaries.

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Volunteer tourism has become a widespread trend all over the globe. A lot of travelers sign up for volunteer programs in orphanages in developing countries as a way of “giving back” or “doing good” in the world… Or so they think.

I recently watched a video which explains why volunteers with best intentions to help kids are in fact doing way more harm than good.

If you have ever thought of volunteering, you have to watch this: loveyougive.org

There are some shocking facts about orphanages that everyone should be aware of:
  1. The most surprising one is that 80% of children in orphanages actually have one living parent. More often than not, these parents who are living in poverty can’t meet their child’s basic material needs such as food and education, therefore they are faced with an impossible choice to give there child up to an orphanage so they can access these things. The truth is if resources and time put into orphanages were given to families and empowering them instead it would be much more effective, reduce the number of growing orphanages and stop unnecessary separation.
  2. Volunteers are unknowingly breaking up families. Most of these volunteers are completely unaware of this fact. Their intentions are in the right place, but the reality is that these orphanages break up families instead of supporting them. It is essential to do proper research beyond what most volunteers do before volunteering in anything.
  3. Volunteer-sending companies may be more concerned with creating a ‘life-changing’ experience for the volunteer. A lot of these programs are created for making a profit from western volunteers by offering them a “once in a lifetime” opportunity that they can share.
  4. Volunteer tourism is a $170billion industry. A lot of orphanages have become more of a business to make profits instead of really caring for children. Most volunteers that go on these programs pay a lot of money to sign up. In most cases, there is no real evidence as to how much this money is actually helping the kids. Even if some of the orphanages are physically well-maintained, this does not necessarily mean that the children are getting everything they need emotionally or mentally.
  5. Children are better off growing up with a sense of belonging in their communities. Imagine just for a moment how these children feel in an orphanage, where every week they get different volunteers that come and leave. As soon as they are able to build any kind of connection with them, the volunteers say goodbye and go home without realizing what this does to them. Most kids in orphanages have serious trust issues and mental illnesses because of this.
  6. It is extremely challenging to fit into society after leaving an orphanage. This fact is very well explained in the video below with live examples of real people who grew up in orphanages in Kenya. It is very emotional to see their obstacles and how difficult it is to build a life in the real world.

Before you think of volunteering, you should watch this video: loveyougive.org

Disclaimer: this is post is sponsored by loveyougive.org but as always, all opinions are my own.

The post Why You Should Avoid Volunteering in an Orphanage appeared first on The Jetsetter Diaries.

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