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For all the countries we’ve visited in this beautiful world of ours, we know there is still so much to explore.

But we like to think that we have picked up some useful tips and tricks along the way to share with you and make your travel experiences even better.

One of the most useful tips we could give is to take a little language learning wherever you go!

Photo by Skitterphoto from Pexels Why learn a language?

Surely English is spoken the world over, right? Well, yes. But how much more fun would it be to, say, order your next meal in Barcelona in Spanish, or ask for directions around Paris in French?

If your travel plans are disrupted by late flights or bus delays, why not take advantage of that time to pick up a little of the local lingo with Rosetta Stone or FluentU and make the delay less of a disaster and more of an adventure? And if all those dip kisses result in an injury, well. A few words to get some assistance at the pharmacy would be great!


Hidden treasures

Aside from all the practical reasons for learning a language, your travel experiences could also be turned from something fun, into a memory that is amazing.

By understanding enough of a language to be able to ask questions that typical tourists might not, you could find yourself exploring parts of a city normally only frequented by locals.

Or you could listen in on a tour guide and truly understand what is being said. Taxi drivers, waiters, hotel staff, and anyone else you interact with will love that you are trying to speak their language. You might even meet other couples who will happily give you a tour of all their favorite spots. Why not give it a try?

Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels Part of the experience

If vacation blues set in for you the second you walk through your own front door, incorporating language learning into your vacation planning can be a great way to keep them at bay.

Imagine how much more fun it will be when you plan your next vacation, looking up local websites for things like museums, hotels, and restaurants, than sticking to those typically used by English speakers only. A bad day at work could be turned into a great one by practicing your new language skills over dinner as you dream about your upcoming escape.

There are lots of little ways to get some language practice in together, to make your travels even more exciting.

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo from Pexels Learning together

Whether you learn better with another person or thrive on competition, learning languages as a couple can be fun!

You can test each other’s understanding, and download language apps like Duolingo or Memrise to see who gets to the highest levels quickest. You can surprise your partner by taking them out to a restaurant and ordering in the language of the place you are traveling to next.

And if the idea of learning puts thoughts in your head of stuffy textbooks and boring lists of words, then let’s change that mindset! Why not settle down together to watch a film or series on Netflix in the language you are learning or take a class together via Language Trainers. How about listening to some music together from the country you are planning on going to, turning a quiet evening at home into one filled with laughter and dance?

The possibilities for learning languages are endless, as are the benefits both at home and when you travel.

So, which languages do you want to learn?

This is a collaborative post.

The post Learning Languages for Traveling Couples appeared first on dipkiss travels.

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In case you didn’t notice by now (the photos should’ve given it away, really) – we’re a couple obsessed with traveling.

We met while traveling. We’ve traveled ever since we got together. And now that we’ve gotten married, our obsession has only gotten worse.

But we doubt we’re alone, we know there are others like us out there. No need to be ashamed.

If you think you have a travel addiction too, why not check out the list below and see if you might also be a travel addict!

10 Signs You’re Obsessed with Traveling
1. You’re already daydreaming and planning your next trip…while you’re still on your current trip! 2. You change your cover photo into a shot of a stunning landscape every time you visit another country 3. When someone asks you “how was your last vacation/trip?”, you respond with “which one?” 4. When you’re not traveling, you’re watching videos on YouTube or Facebook about your dream destinations 5. You can recite and reenact the entire airplane safety demo by heart 6. You’ve signed up to get regular emails about travel sales and specials 7. Your house looks like a museum of travel knick-knacks and souvenirs 8. You keep a ‘country count’ or a ‘state / province count’ 9. You love meeting people from other countries and telling them about all of the places you visited or plan to visit in their country 10. You’re constantly checking out the calendar for the next holiday or long weekend.

What do you think? Do you think you too can be diagnosed as a travel addict?

Do you have anything to add to this list? Let us know in the comments!

The post 10 Signs You’re Totally Travel-Obsessed appeared first on dipkiss travels.

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“For every church in Rome, there’s a bank in Milan!”

Well, at least that’s what a famous Italian saying claims. After all, if Rome is the Italy of the past, Milan is its financial and industrial future.

Moreover, we also know Milan as one of the fashion capitals in the world.

But there is more to this city of industry, bankers, fashionistas and artists. That’s why it’s the type of city that you’d need a few days to explore. However, given our hectic travel schedule around Italy—which we needed to fit in 9 days—we found that we had no other choice.

We could only have one full day to spend in this city.

Then again, we had the option to skip it entirely since already had a very full itinerary…

Rome > Naples > Sorrento > Capri > Pompeii > Naples >
Venice > Florence > Pisa > Assisi > back to Rome

…still, we took it as a challenge to try and make the most of the one day that we could visit. So we then decided to sneak it in between our trip after Naples and before Venice. We found we had approximately 24 hours. So we thought to ourselves, why not try to hit all the highlights in one go?

Here’s what we managed to see in our one day in Milano:

1) Milano Centrale Railway Station

The station’s interior — cc source: [GK] Stazione Milano Centrale (Milan Central Station) is the main railway station of the city. Covered in marble and steel as well as adorned with numerous sculptures, this majestic monolith officially opened to the public in 1931.

Like a lot of travelers, it’s the first thing we saw in Milan since we arrived via train from Naples.

The station in the daytime — cc source: [PD] TRIVIA: The train station’s massive size and majestic façade were purposely built to reflect the power of Benito Mussolini’s fascist regime. It’s designed to make you feel small, so small to question Mussolini, the state, and its power.

2) Milan Cathedral (Duomo di Milano) Photo by: Joli

The Duomo di Milano or Milan Cathedral is the third largest church in the world, and certainly one of the grandest. Dedicated to Santa Maria Nascente (St. Mary of the Nativity), this grand gothic cathedral took nearly six centuries to complete — from 1386 to 1810.

Possibly the most beautiful gothic cathedral we’ve ever seen, we found this place to be so stunning, with its pristine white marble glowing in the morning light. In fact, we spent about half a day in the Cathedral!

The rooftop and terraces are a must-see. The views up there are spectacular and it was absolutely amazing to be up close to its neverending iconic rooftop spires.

St. Bartholomew Flayed — cc source: [FS] TRIVIA: At the left of the altar, you will find the Duomo’s most famous statue, St. Bartholomew Flayed, made in 1562 by Marco d’Agrate. This remarkable marble sculpture shows the saint with his flayed skin thrown over his shoulders much like a stole.

3) Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II Inside the Galleria — Photo by: Rob

Did you know that this splendid four-story double arcade is the oldest shopping mall in the world? Not only that, it also contains the world’s only certified 7-star hotel, Town House Galleria. It was opened in 1877 and was named after Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of Italy.

One of 4 mosaics in the galleria, dedicated to each known continent at the time. This one represents America and Her Genius — cc source: [GD] Located right beside the Duomo, this place is a great introduction to lively Milan. We visited this place primarily to admire the splendid architecture and colorful mosaics lining the walls.

It’s also a great place to go window shopping at expensive luxury retail shops and also people watch as the stylish Milanese pass by.

Lucky Bull of Torino — cc source: [GD] TRIVIA: Under the Galleria Dome, there is a famous bull mosaic in the floor, integrated into the coat of arms of Torino. Superstitious folks have said that spinning your foot on the bull’s testicles brings good luck.

4) Tram Intersections
(Orefici Street or Cordusio Street) Milan’s trams, with Sforza Castle in the distance — Photo by: Rob

Not exactly a traditional tourist spot, we love this picturesque location for its vintage charm and how all of the features of Milan street life intersect here — old-world style buildings, locals crossing the street, the trams, the banks and the Sforzesco/ Sforza Castle in the distance.

5) La Scala Theatre (Teatro alla Scala) Photo by: Rob

Opened in 1778, this world-renowned opera house was where many composers wrote and conducted works including such greats as Puccini, Toscanini, Verdi and Rossini. The greatest singers of the last 200 years have also performed at La Scala, from Maria Callas to Luciano Pavarotti.

This theater exudes such old world opulence and elegance–it easily transports you to the golden age of opera, when it was once exclusive to the elite. This wasn’t a planned stop for us, but we’re glad we decided on it last minute. We were lucky we caught the last theater and museum tour for the day and even saw a rehearsal of Cinderella the musical.

It’s not very extraordinary on the outside, so you must step inside to see it in its full grandeur. Photo by: Rob

TIP: La Scala has a strict dress code during performances. In recent years, more and more people have not been following the rules so they now explicitly state this on their website: “people wearing shorts or sleeveless T-shirts will not be allowed inside the auditorium; in this case, tickets will not be reimbursed.”

6) Sforza Castle (Castello Sforzesco)

Sforza Castle — cc source: [JH] Built by the Duke of Milan, Francesco Sforza, the castle was completed in the 15th century on the remains of a 14th-century fort. In the 16th and 17th centuries, it was later renovated and enlarged, turning it into one of the largest citadels in Europe.

Castle at night — Photo by Rob

We didn’t have time to walk around inside the castle. However, if you’re an art lover, you might enjoy visiting the grounds.

Michelangelo’s Last Pieta Rondanini — cc source: [Sailko] TRIVIA: Its museum features an extensive art collection, including works from Da Vinci, Bramantino and Michelangelo’s last unfinished sculpture — a different version of his famous “Pieta” at the Vatican.

7) Milan Stock Exchange (Borsa Italiana)

This is another “non-touristy” sight but we had to go see it out of curiosity. We stumbled upon a picture of this middle finger statue online, and we were flabbergasted at how any city council would let this stand in a public space!

After a bit of searching online, we found that it was located at the stock exchange. Officially, it is titled L.O.V.E., which stands for Libertà, Odio, Vendetta, Eternità (Freedom, Hate, Vengeance, Eternity), created in 2010 by the Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan.

Middle Finger directed at the Stock Exchange — cc source: [AN] TRIVIA: The sculptor never commented on the deeper meaning behind the statue, but most locals assume it’s all about the economic crisis that affected Europe – and Italy in particular – from 2008 onwards.

BONUS: The Duomo at night

We stuck around until nighttime, just to see the Duomo and Sforza Castle lit up at night. Soon after, we headed back to the train station and caught a train to Venice that night.

Hope you enjoyed our quick list of the highlights of Milan — all of which you can tour in a day (trust us, we did it!)

One thing I know we missed is seeing Da Vinci’s original painting of the Last Supper. However, we were there on Sunday, when it’s usually closed to the public. Anyway, is there anything else we missed? Let us know in the comments!

The post Milan in One Day appeared first on dipkiss travels.

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In case you haven’t been to our Instagram page lately, we’ll clue you in on where we’ve been this past couple of weeks:

It’s been BUSY but we aren’t complaining. We are so grateful to be able to travel. And even more grateful that we’ve finally closed the distance.

April: The Netherlands
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A post shared by TRAVEL COUPLE Rob & Joli (@dipkisstravels) on May 12, 2018 at 8:04am PDT

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A post shared by TRAVEL COUPLE Rob & Joli (@dipkisstravels) on May 10, 2018 at 11:13am PDT

May: Alaska Cruise, Washington & Oregon
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A post shared by TRAVEL COUPLE Rob & Joli (@dipkisstravels) on Jul 10, 2018 at 9:08am PDT

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A post shared by TRAVEL COUPLE Rob & Joli (@dipkisstravels) on Jun 21, 2018 at 6:57am PDT

June: Cancun & Tulum, Mexico
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A post shared by TRAVEL COUPLE Rob & Joli (@dipkisstravels) on Aug 13, 2018 at 12:28pm PDT

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A post shared by TRAVEL COUPLE Rob & Joli (@dipkisstravels) on Aug 20, 2018 at 10:33am PDT

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A post shared by TRAVEL COUPLE Rob & Joli (@dipkisstravels) on Aug 27, 2018 at 6:12am PDT

And what else is coming up on Instagram:

July: New York, Jamestown, Colonial Williamsburg, Yorktown Battlefield, Virginia Beach

August: South Africa, eSwatini, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana

OK, we’ll ‘fess up. Oftentimes, we do post things a few days or even weeks after we first take the pic. Though we’ve got a regular presence on social media, we do value living in the moment. We’re not fans of being glued to our phones while on vacation. And honestly, we suggest you all do the same!

Also, we are planning to write a more comprehensive guide on all the places we’ve been — so definitely look out for that!

For now, please visit our Instagram page for the latest updates and content. See you on IG!

The post New on Instagram: Where in the world are we?! appeared first on dipkiss travels.

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This is Part 1 of 2 articles on Teotihuacan:
Part 1 - Teotihuacan: Tips for Exploring
Part 2 - Teotihuacan: Highlights and History

Teotihuacan – in the Nahuatl language, it literally means “the place where men come to become gods”.

With a name like that, you expect a place to be nothing less than bad ass. Thankfully, this amazing archaeological site did not disappoint.

View from the Pyramid of the Moon (Pirámide de la Luna) City of Pyramids

Located 40 km away or about less thaoon an hour outside of Mexico City, Teotihuacan is considered to be one of the most important pre-Columbian sites in Mesoamerica, thanks to its grand pyramids and artwork. It’s also the most visited archaeological site in all of Mexico and the main reason why we were enticed to visit Mexico City.

With the site’s popularity, we figured it’d be best for us to book an early morning tour with Viator. Our bus left Mexico City by 7:15 am and after a breakfast break on the freeway, we were in the Teotihuacan entrance by around 8:30 am. It was an excellent decision; we were one of the first two groups at the site. It was an incredible treat to have the place mostly to ourselves, without the usual throngs of tourists.

Inside the Patio de los Pilares within the Palacio de Quetzalpapálotl Together at the Pyramid of the Moon, with the Avenue of the Dead in the distance

Tips for visiting Teotihuacan Arrive early This is the most important tip of all since this place gets packed pretty quickly, especially on the weekends and holidays. What’s more is that it tends to be warm in the daytime almost year round so it’s best to come when the sun isn’t as harsh. Prepare the basics Make sure to bring your hiking and warm weather basics: sunblock, sunglasses, hat, comfortable shoes and bottle of water. If you do come early in the morning, it may still be chilly when you arrive so a light jacket is also recommended. Read about Teotihuacan before the visit Before visiting, try to stop by the city archeological museum or read all about the place. But if you don’t have a lot of time, visit the the onsite museum or hire a private guide (if your budget allows). I guarantee that it will be a much richer experience if you are armed with more insight about the place. Buy from the vendors onsite We know this is an unusual tip since you visit the pyramids to sightsee not to shop. But if you’re looking for a good bargain, we suggest you buy directly from the licensed vendors roaming around the site. Don’t engage until you’re ready though—they’re known to follow you around as you tour the site. However, we found some amazing bargains from these haggle-ready vendors. There are a couple of souvenir shops within walking distance outside the archaeological zone — however, their prices are way higher than the vendors’. Also, it worked to our advantage since there was a real lack of souvenir shops in Mexico City (unless you speifically go to La Ciudadela and crafts markets—which we ourselves didn’t have time for). Visit the Shrine of Guadalupe If you have more free time after the tour, you could pass by the Shrine of Guadalupe on the way back to Mexico City. Not only is it a beautiful shrine in itself, it also gives you an amazing insight into the Mexicans’ present-day religious culture. We had our tour group drop us off near the shrine and we just took an Uber back to the historical center for $150 MX pesos ($7.50 USD).

The steps going up to the Pyramid of the Moon are quite steep — so remember walk sideways and wear comfy shoes!

Helpful Info
Address Ecatepec Pirámides km.22 + 600, Municipio de Teotihuacan, Estado de México, C.P. 55800;
Website
Hours Archeological Zone: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.mMuseums & Exhibitions: 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Both open 365 days a year
Fees Entrance
  • $ 70.00 pesos per person (keep your ticket because it must be shown in museums and other doors).
  • $ 45.00 pesos camcorder permit for non-professional equipment
  • On Sundays, FREE for Mexicans and legal residents with IDs

Parking

  • Cars: $ 45.00
  • Vehicles of 11 to 20 passengers: $ 80.00; Vehicles over 20 people $ 160.00
  • Motorcycles: $ 20.00
Suggested Duration At least 3 hours at the site
How to get there
  • Take a bus from the main North Central bus station or in Spanish, the Terminal Central del Norte.  It is right outside the metro station Autobuses del Norte on line 5.
  • For a faster way to get there, you might want to take an Uber or join a guided tour
Food and Drink
  • There are virtually no food vendors past the gates
  • Restaurants are about 15 minutes walking distance – our tour group went to Tlacaelel, which was both a restaurant and gift shop near Gate 1
Restrooms
  • Free restrooms can be found at each gate entrance
One of the nearby souvenir stores outside of Teotihuacan Hope this post helps!

We broke up this article into 2 parts since there’s so much to be said about this sacred place… Can you tell we’re archaeology buffs/ Indiana Jones wannabes?! If you would like to learn more about the trivia, highlights and the history behind the specific structures in Teotihuacan. Click here >> 

     Are you on Pinterest?

   Pin this for easy reference!

The post Tips for Exploring the Ruins of Teotihuacan appeared first on dipkiss travels.

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If you want to see the world but aren’t keen on any of the traditional trips, there’s still something out there for you.

The world is packed with plenty of ways to escape from your everyday life — you just need to think creatively and look beyond the classics.

Here are five unique ways to see the world on your travels:

1)  See the desert on a camel ride

Most desert trips involve a 4×4. Want a taste of what life was like for desert dwellers of the past? Ditch the car in favor of a camel.

Local guides will lead your trek as you get to grips with riding your camel across the dunes. Once you’ve figured out how to stay upright (the key is to relax and move with the camel, not against it) you’ll be able to enjoy the spectacular views and sunsets.

2)  Explore the countryside in a horse-drawn carriage

If you’re craving a slower pace of life, swap your car for a horse-drawn carriage, complete with cozy bunks and a small kitchen. You’ll be taught how to harness, yoke and drive your horse, then you’ll set off on your journey.

You’re in charge, so where you go is entirely up to you and your travel companions. In Ireland, you’ll be able to enjoy peaceful countryside and clean, sandy beaches. Why not stop at a family-run pub to relax at the end of the day — you can even enjoy a pint of their famous Guinness. Don’t forget to feed the horse as well!

3)  Set off on a safari

Want to see wildlife in its natural habitat? A safari is definitely ideal.

Nothing beats the sight of a pride of lions relaxing in the sun, or spotting an elusive leopard relaxing in a tree. Local guides will have an unrivaled knowledge of the animals’ habits and behaviors, which increases your chance of getting a glimpse.

The great thing about a safari is that you can choose how you travel. Stick to the classic 4×4 option, go on a trek, or set off on a boat trip. You can sleep in a tent, or stay in a lodge if you’d prefer to have a roof over your head.

4)  Relax on a deserted island

If a quiet resort just doesn’t cut it for you, step up to the next level and stay on a secluded deserted island.

You’ll travel to your chosen location by helicopter and be left there for as long as you choose, either alone, with companions, or with other travelers. Explore in peace (and put your survival skills to the test if you’re truly daring).

5)  Let yourself be surprised

There’s been a rise in companies who arrange your travels for you. You just tell them your likes and dislikes, then they plan the whole trip in advance.

You’ll be sent a sealed letter with all the information you need, which you only open once you’re at the airport or train station. Perfect for anyone who likes their travel experiences to be unpredictable.

What’s the most unique adventurous thing you’ve ever done? Do any of these options appeal to you? Let us know in the comments.

The post Five Unique Ways to See the World on Your Travels appeared first on dipkiss travels.

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Surely, if you want to see the world from the ground floor, you need to get on a road trip. It’s a way to get down and dirty with every aspect of living the life the locals live.

Of course, it’s also a way to save money, especially if you get a campervan. But, when you are making the most of what the west coast has to offer, you need to get on a road trip from Bakersfield to Tijuana, via Los Angeles.

So, what are the best places to visit on this stretch of road?

Kern County Museum
photo credit Bakersfield

It depends on what you really want out of this lush landscape. There are so many little treats for the budding tourist, from the Kern County Museum to Murray Family Farms. There’s also places like the Sam Lynn Ballpark that gives you a taste of a warm summer’s evening, a cup of beer in hand, enjoying the staple sport of American life. But you need to rest and recuperate before sampling the dizzying heights of what’s to come…

LA

What can we say about Los Angeles that hasn’t already been said? The entertainment capital of the world gives you so many options, that they cannot be listed here.

From the Hollywood Bowl to the Hollywood Sign, and everything in between, you will get your share of entertainment, but if you aren’t really interested in the Hollywood Walk of Fame or Mann’s Chinese Theater, get yourself to the Original Farmers Market on West 3rd Street. Yes, it’s quite upscale, but the food there is something else. Whatever you want, you’ve got it!

The “Unconditional Surrender” dipkiss statue in front of the USS Midway Museum
photo credit San Diego

Before stopping off in Tijuana and sampling the sunshine and siestas, San Diego is a great place to rest and recuperate. Treat yourself to an overnight stay one of the many hotels such as Parc Suites San Diego, and hit the town. Or if you want something a bit more relaxing, Coronado Beach will give you that lazy time you really need.

If you are looking to stop over for a couple of days before basking in the sunshine of Tijuana, it’s time to get some education under your belt, and visit the USS Midway Museum. Of course, San Diego is big on its military, so why don’t you take the opportunity to soak it all up?

Tijuana

Is it the happiest place on Earth? Possibly not, but it feels like it when you are there. Such a colorful and vibrant city, you can delve deep into the tourist spots, such as the Avenida Revolucion, or if you are all about the Mexican foods, you have a lot of choices.

You can either go to one of the many market food stores and sample the cuisine of the streets, or you can head to one of the upscale restaurants, such as Caesar’s Restaurant Bar, and sample where the original recipe for Caesar salad was claimed to have originated from!

With bellies full, minds educated, and your eyes full to the brim with color, from Bakersfield to Tijuana, it’s a road trip that has to be experienced if you’re looking for what the West Coast can give you.

Do you like taking road trips? Which city or highlight would you like to visit most? Share your thoughts in the comments!
This is a collaborative post.

The post From Bakersfield To Tijuana: An Epic West Coast Road Trip appeared first on dipkiss travels.

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