It’s not too late to hop in the car and getaway for the Memorial Day long weekend! CheapAir.com has some great, city-central hotel deals for every price point at some cool destinations around the country. Check out these great spots and get some much needed rest and relaxation to kick off your summer!
Las Vegas, Nevada
Hit the tables, hang by the pool, dine at some world-class restaurants, see an amazing concert or two. In Sin City you can do all of these activities and still not scratch the surface of all the city has to offer. And most hotels boast resort-style amenities at budget prices. We’re all in, Vegas!
Hotels: The Rio All Suites offers the best deal for the budget traveler with rooms for $157/night*. Mid-range travelers can take advantage of the 4-star Treasure Island for $199/night* while high rollers can still book the 5-star Bellagio for under $300/night*.
New York, New York
New York has a reputation for being expensive, but hotels are plentiful and bargains can be found if you know where to look!
Hotels: The Row is a laid back and chic 4-star pick just a 5 minute walk from Broadway/Times Square and has rooms available this weekend for just under $200/night*. For travelers on a serious budget, you can stay on the upper West side for $115/night* at the clean, simple, 2-star Royal Park Hotel & Hostel.
Portland is a great destination for folks in the Pacific Northwest – it’s relative accessibility and affordability makes it a great road trip destination for the holiday weekend. You’ll find oddities like Voodoo Doughnuts to geek out over, one of the world’s best used bookstores to wander through (Powell’s), a generally delicious and affordable food scene, and some fun live music venues to catch the latest hipster band.
Hotels: Our pick for the best budget deal is the Travelodge by Wyndham Downtown with rooms available for $85/night.* The Hotel Modera offers a 4-star experience for just $199/night*, and to really splash out, we recommend the 5-star Nines Hotel, with rooms for just $174/night.*
For a low-key, low stakes sort of cool Memorial Day weekend, you could do a lot worse than Nashville. Just head straight from the airport, grab some BBQ and mosey over to lower Broad Street where you can partake in the musical bonanza that is Nashville – lose yourself in the honkytonks and dive bars playing the blues all weekend long.
Hotels: The 4-star Loews Vanderbilt on Music Row has rooms available for just under $300/night*, while the Boarders Inn & Suites is a great budget pick with rooms for just $124/night.*
Atlanta is a vibrant, fantastic city to explore and is easily accessible from many locations in the south. You can keep expenses low in Atlanta by staying at a budget hotel, taking advantage of the cheap eats all over the city, and using MARTA to get around. Because Atlanta‘s airport is the largest and busiest passenger airport in the world, you can often get here easily on a shoestring budget from virtually anywhere in the continental U.S.
Hotels: The 2-star Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham in Buckhead has rooms for an unbelievable $79/night*. The mid-range, 3-star Ramada Plaza by Wyndham downtown has rooms for just $104/night* and the 5-Star Ritz Carlton has rooms for the bargain price of $250/night*!
**Avg. nightly rates are for two adults plus two children per room unless otherwise stated and exclude tax recovery charges and service fees.
If you are traveling with a disability or know someone else who is, please know that there are laws and regulations that protect the rights of travelers with disabilities. We put these tips together to ease your mind, give you options when traveling, and make flying easier for you or anyone you may know that is traveling with a disability.
The Air Carrier Access Act Protects You
To ensure that people with disabilities would not be subject to discrimination when flying, the U.S. government passed the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA).
Perhaps the most important item in the ACAA is that the airlines may not refuse transportation to people on the basis of their disability. The airline also may not require advance notification of your disability or require a traveling companion for you. Please read through the ACAA for the details that you need in order to advocate for yourself.
Advance Notification Required? Not Necessarily
Airlines cannot deny you access based on your disability – with a few exceptions. If you’re traveling by stretcher, with an electronic wheelchair or device with batteries, or if you need to hook into the airline’s oxygen system, you will need to let the airline know ahead of time. Our CheapAir.com travel advisors can help guide you.
Your Assistance – Your Choice
Though the airlines may offer you pre-boarding or an escort, you are not required by law to accept those accommodations. However, if you would like one of the accommodations in the ACAA, the airlines are required to give it to you, free of charge.
All About Escorts
If you’re someone with a disability, the airline will provide you with an escort through security.
It’s good to keep in mind that if the airport is busy, you may be subject to a wait (since the airline is providing the assistance, you’re subject to their resources available). An alternative is to BYOE (Bring Your Own Escort). Yep. If you’d prefer to have a friend help you through the airport, you can bring an unticketed someone with you through security. Just request an escort “permit” at check-in and your escort will be permitted through security – easy peasy!
There may be scenarios in which the airline requires someone to act as your advocate on a flight. Those scenarios include:
· If you are unable to understand or respond reasonably to safety instructions;
· When you have a mobility impairment severe enough that you cannot assist in your own evacuation from the aircraft;
· Severe vision or hearing impairment that prevents you from receiving in-flight instructions
The airline can designate an off-duty employee to act as your advocate in these situations or can even ask another passenger to assist. In the event the airline cannot allow you to fly for safety reasons, they must put their reasons for doing so into writing.
If you are traveling alone and have concerns or reason to believe the airline may attempt to deny you access, we suggest you bring a current letter from your physician that indicates your fitness for travel. This may help your case, when the airline is trying to make a safety determination.
Security Screening Tips
The TSA agents cannot require you to have your arms raised for the 5-7 seconds in a basic security screening if you are disabled. They can provide an alternative to the “standard” screening if you request one based on your disability.
They also may not detain you for a period of time that could result in you missing your flight. This simply means that it’s in their best interest to make it snappy.
We always recommend everyone give ample time for clearing security (1-2 hours during the busy holiday season), but do not be shy about letting the TSA staffer know what time your flight leaves.
Properly trained flight attendants will help you on and off the plane, but are not allowed to lift people’s bodies. If you are in a situation where your strength may not allow you to move from a wheelchair or gurney to a seat, you may want to consider a traveling companion to help you.
During the flight, an attendant can and will help you open meal items, give you a hand to and from the bathroom, and assist with your mobility devices as requested. It’s probably a good idea to give the flight attendant a heads up when you first board the plane as to what services you might like.
Service Animals and Pets
Please call ahead or have a friend call ahead if you have a service animal that will be flying with you in the cabin, as the airlines have rules as to how many animals can be on each flight. Service animals have a lot of latitude on flights and the airlines really do try to accommodate service animals at your seat. Emotional support animals are another story. Please read our posts on emotional support animals and air travel with your pet for more useful tips.
If There’s a Problem with your Flight…
All airlines are required to have a Complaints Resolution Official (known as a CRO) immediately on hand to resolve disagreements. If you feel as though the flight attendants or airline staff is not complying with ACAA regulations, you can ask to speak with the CRO and have them communicate your concerns to the pilot (who ultimately has jurisdiction over his/her airplane).
You can also reach out directly to the Department of Transportation’s Consumer Protection Hotline (800) 778-4838 or have the airline’s twitter handle available to send a well-timed tweet (if you’re not being treated fairly).
One more thing. Though it can be difficult to do in the moment, keeping your cool can go a long way to working things out in a satisfactory manner with airline staff.
Please let us know how we did and if there are other resources or tips you’ve used and found helpful that we can share with our readers.
As always, happy travels, and please let us know if we can help you with your travel plans.
As far as tropical islands go, it really doesn’t get much better than Fiji and Hawaii. These paradises are both full of beaches, crystal clear water, amazing traditional food, adrenaline-filled adventures, and surfing. Fiji and Hawaii are both so beautiful that they actually make it difficult for travelers to pick between them.
Although the ideal situation would obviously be visiting both, sometimes we have to weigh up the pros and cons of each location to decide where our holiday priorities truly lie.
For adventure seekers, Fiji and Hawaii both offer amazing opportunities for you to have the vacation of a lifetime. Let’s compare these two fantastic destinations.
Adventuring in Fiji
With a population of 900,000 and receiving over 700,000 visitors every year, Fiji is an adventure-seeking tourists’ dream. Known for its beautiful scenery, genuine people, and scuba diving, there’s plenty to do in Fiji – especially for those traveling with families.
You can stay on the main resort island of Fiji (called Viti Levu), but if you’re wanting a more authentic tropical island experience, you can also stay on one of the many smaller islands that are accessible by prop planes. A ride on one of these has been known to be an adventure in itself!
You can also access certain Fijian islands (like Mamanuca and Yasawa Island) on speedboat or ferry, as well as fly to the larger islands of Vanua Levu, Taveuni, and Kadavu. Or, if you’re really in the spirit for adventure (and have some serious cash to splash), you can catch a seaplane or private helicopter to one of the island resorts!
Fiji specializes in all-inclusive resort-style accommodation, hence the destination is so popular for families. Rates for the resorts vary widely depending on their size, location, quality, and seclusion, so be sure to do your research. Many of the resorts have opportunities for adventure activities like watersports and hiking/trekking
Scuba diving in Fiji
Both Hawaii and Fiji offer amazing opportunities for scuba divers, with great visibility and hundreds of species of fish. Most resorts in Fiji have onsite dive workshops or work closely in partnership with dive operators on the island. Fiji does, however, have a major edge when it comes to diving – it’s known as the ‘soft coral capital of the world’ because of its colorful underwater panoramas. For marine life enthusiasts, Fiji’s beautiful reefs are a major draw.
Surfing in Fiji
For surf buffs, Fiji is renowned on the world circuit, serving up wave after wave for surfers of all levels and abilities. Thanks to the beautiful weather all year round, there’s seriously no bad time to surf in Fiji. However, you’ll find the most consistent swells (often coming in as high as eight to ten feet) from April to October.
In terms of the best spots for adventure seekers to head to for awesome surf, ‘Cloudbreak’ is known as one of the world’s most challenging waves. Three miles south of Namotu Island in the stunning Mamanuca Islands, it’s consistently tough, suited only to seriously experienced surfers.
For beginner surfers, Natadola Bay (right near Nadi) is the place to be, with the break located close to the beach. This is an awesome spot for bodysurfers and novices, as the waves come in at a much lower height.
Adventuring in Hawaii
Hawaii is more built-up than Fiji, and on islands like Kauai, you’re able to rent a car and drive around sightseeing different parts of the island or experiencing new food.
In contrast, Fijian islands are small and much more resort-focused, but there are fewer crowds in Fiji. It really all depends on what you’re after from your holiday. Do you enjoy peaceful serenity or a more hustling and bustling surf culture? If it’s the latter, Hawaii may be the place for you!
Surfing in Hawaii
Surfing is a well-loved pastime on the Hawaiian Islands. First documented in 1779 and once only reserved for Hawaiian royalty, everyone’s now free to enjoy the spectacular Hawaiian surf.
From November to February each year, Hawaii’s North Shore gets hit with a massive surfing season, bringing in professional surfers and surfing enthusiasts from around the world.
With beaches to suit all levels of skill, Hawaii is also a great place to learn to surf. Lessons are available every day on each island, where experienced teachers will guide you through some easy techniques and maneuvers.
Trekking in Hawaii
Inter-island flights in Hawaii aren’t expensive, so there’s no excuse for not getting out of Waikiki and adventuring to the other islands. Hawaii has some amazing trekking opportunities for all abilities and fitness levels.
Why not try trekking up the Haleakala Crater in Maui, or up Mount Olamana on Oahu? The locations are stunning, and you’ll be working off some of those amazing burgers and poke bowls you’ve been indulging in!
Choosing your next adventure vacation
When choosing between Fiji and Hawaii for your next adventure, it’s all about considering the kind of experience you’d like to have, as the islands have a very different vibe.
Luke Fitzpatrick is an academic speaker at Sydney University. He enjoys writing about tech, productivity, lifestyle, and is a contributor to Forbes.
CheapAir.com is today announcing that you can buy flights and hotels on CheapAir.com using Ethereum (ETH). As part of our commitment to supporting our community of cryptocurrency customers and the wider international crypto ecosystem, we’re pleased to announce this development, which expands upon the journey we started in 2013, when we first accepted Bitcoin for flight bookings.
CheapAir.com remains the only U.S. travel company that allows you to pay for your flights with digital currencies, and we’re delighted to be able to give you and all customers more choice in crypto payments with the addition of Ethereum.
If you have paid for flights with another digital currency on CheapAir.com and are now planning to use Ethereum, your experience will be slightly different. You’ll need a MetaMask wallet and you can follow this simple roadmap to pay for your travel with Ethereum.
As always, we’re proud to be your crypto partner and will continue our work to facilitate adoption of digital currencies – by making their use more widespread in travel and beyond.
Are you planning a Mother’s Day trip for your mom? Your wife? Sometimes mom can be tricky to plan for – so we’ve simplified things with a few destinations curated for a cross-section of different kinds of mamas out there. We predict one of these spots will make her smile.
Las Vegas, Nevada
For the mama who loves to get her gamble, drink and show on there’s just no better value than Las Vegas. Catch a little Celine Dion or one of many dazzling Cirque de Soleil sows on the strip—hey, they’re popular for a reason. World-class dining has come to Sin City, so we recommend taking a break from the all-you-can-eat buffets to get a little more upscale. One of our faves right now is Robuchon at the MGM Grand.
Moms are a diverse bunch, but something that brings lots of them together is wine, wine, wine! So why not book her a tour in the heart of wine country, and just a stone’s throw from San Francisco. Steer more upscale moms to Napa, while more casual mamas will probably prefer the laid-back vibes in Sonoma. Active mamas might like to try a laid-back bike tour of local wineries (half-day tours start at around $100 per person).
New York, New York
One way to support a mom with a “shop til she drops” mindset is to hook her up with a visit to the best (and most diverse) shopping city in the country. 5th Avenue shops will impress (Tiffany’s, Bergdorf Goodman, Prada and Saks 5th Avenue) while Chinatown and Canal Street will scratch every bargain-shopper’s itch.
Tucson makes the list because of the world-class spas in this little town’s backyard. If your mom is a spa devotee, she just has to visit the world-famous, Oprah-approved, grand-mama of them all- Miraval. You might be tempted to stay on campus and avoid the city, but we recommend a traipse or two around this funky little town. There’s a thriving art scene and the proximity of the University of Arizona as well as the Mexican border give Tucson a colorful, diverse feeling not found in other parts of the state.
San Diego, California
Moms who just need a breezy getaway to decompress might find San Diego just what the doctor ordered. San Diego is just a day trip from Los Angeles, has more of a small town vibe, a fraction of the L.A. traffic and is still within driving distance of both Disneyland and Universal Studios. Plus, the cozy and walkable downtown is tailor-made for a laid-back vacation, with charm, history and loads of bars and restaurants to try.
Asheville, North Carolina
Maybe mom is a beer drinker. Or maybe she likes the great outdoors, especially beautiful little mountain towns. Asheville is the perfect combination of the two! There are less than 90k people who live in Asheville proper, but there’s no shortage of brewers making quality product for those lucky enough to live here. Of late, Asheville has become somewhat of a hipster haunt, so we advise you to get here quick, before the news gets out.
With many Americans planning to take a vacation this summer, there’s no time like the present to share some easy and useful tips to help minimize stress and maximize the fun! Here’s the CheapAir.com list not to miss!
1. Wear Your Heaviest/Bulkiest Clothing on the Plane
In these days of airlines charging for checked bags, “luggage goals” for a lot of folks is to go carry-on only. To maximize bag space, we like to keep the shoes, sweaters, and even coats out of the carry-on. Even if you don’t plan to wear a coat, hook it over your arm and then stow in the overhead. Shhh…we won’t tell!
2. Don’t Air Your Dirty Laundry
Two of the best ways to keep your clean clothes smelling fresh is to bring a dryer sheet to stow in your dirty laundry bag OR co-opt the hotel’s bar soap for the same purpose.
3. Take a Left at Security for Shorter Lines
People tend to turn in the direction of their dominant hand. The lanes furthest to the left are usually the least used.
4. Don’t Miss Your Flight Because of Security Lines
Get the My TSA app that tells you in real time how long your wait will be and will also give you an idea (based on historical data), how busy your airport is likely to be on any given day of the year.
5. Exhaust Your Small Kids
If you’re traveling with littles, the best thing to do is let them run around the airport until you absolutely have to board. Moms and dads like to get on the plane early to get organized and comfy, but your kids are going to be squirmy little buckets of energy no matter what you do. We like to take our kids on a decent walk around the airport (there’s usually fun art and other family-friendly activities at bigger airports these days to engage them). If you want to split the difference, send one parent ahead on the plane to get settled. More about traveling with small kids.
6. Consider a Lounge Pass
Families on long travel days, the elderly who would like a bit of extra comfort, nervous fliers heck anyone who likes a little bit better service and free snacks should check into whether day passes are available for their airline lounge. If you think you might be dining in the airport anyway, a VIP pass is an easy way to add a little bit of comfort to your journey.
7. Morning Flights Mean Less Turbulence
Are you a nervous flyer? Take the first flight out. As the day progresses, hot air rises, which can cause wind and storms. An earlier flight stacks the odds in your favor. If you do happen to get on a flight with some bumpiness, sit over the wings (the part of the plane that feels it the least).
8. Wipe Down That Tray Table
If you’re the kind of person who always gets sick on vacation, don’t forget to disinfect that tray table. It’s the dirtiest place on the plane and flight attendants don’t always wipe them down between flights. You’re much more likely to catch a bug from this sort of bacteria than you might with a sneezy seatmate.
9. Skip the Booze on Long Flights
Yeah, we know. This one is kind of counter-intuitive. But here’s the deal. Alcohol dehydrates. If you’re crossing an ocean and already worried about jetlag, you can pretty much guarantee a rocky start to your vacation if you choose to imbibe on the plane. Don’t arrive fuzzy and groggy to the trip you’ve been dreaming about!
10. Stay Connected
If you haven’t already downloaded onto your phone or computer, make sure you have viber for free phone calls and sending texts/photos and WhatsApp to IM.
For more information on the best time to buy flights, check out our Summer Flights page. Happy summer travel vibes!
Planning a summer vacation this year? Most Americans do – either by roadtripping or flying to a fun leisure destination for family and friends. CheapAir.com has once again crunched the numbers to help travelers choose the best time to buy their summer flights, and good news – summer’s looking sunny for budget travelers! Here’s what we’ve uncovered.
Bargains are Available – Start Your Search Now!
To start, summer 2019 has great bargains if you know where to look for them and you don’t wait until the last minute. Overall, airfares are a bit better than they were last year and even the traditionally pricey 4th of July and Labor Day weekends are more reasonably priced. More on that later.
Mid-week Flights are Best
If you’ve been reading our blog for a while, it will not surprise you that we’re touting Tuesdays and Wednesdays as the best days to fly. Our data is clear. The best fares of the summer happen consistently mid-week, with the best fares concentrated on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Sundays are Yuck!
On the other hand, if you want to pretty much assure you’ll be paying a premium on your flights, go ahead and book a flight on a Sunday. The two most expensive days of the summer both fall on Sundays (June 30 and July 7). On the other hand, if you really need to fly on a Sunday there are reasonably-priced Sundays available this summer (that’s not typical, so we recommend you hop on these bargain dates, stat!) The 3rd and 4th Sundays in August (August 18 and 25 respectively), while not the lowest prices of the month, fall well within reasonable ranges. And if you can tip your summer vacay into September, you’ll avoid all Sunday sticker shock. And this is partially because…
September is a Secret Steal!
If you can reimagine what “summer vacation” dates make sense for you and yours, September is a great travel value for flights and accommodation – even in typically expensive, beachy destinations. Sure, the school calendar somewhat dictates when it makes sense to plan a summer vacation. But hear us out! Here’s an example. July is a famously expensive time to book a beach vacation /Disneyland trip to southern California and yet people do it – tolerate the crazy crowds at Disneyland, the high-priced flights and the unpredictable weather at the beach. Here’s a pro tip: June “gloom” and well into July some years does not equate to ideal beach weather. The southern Cali beaches are often overcast until after noon in June and July. It’s August and September when primo beach weather comes out to play – right on time for lower cost flights and accommodations!
The Holidays are an Unusual Bargain So Far – But Don’t Wait Too Long!
Usually, Labor Day and Independence Day are crazy expensive. Not so, this year. The 4th of July is on a Thursday, which makes it a trickier proposition for some folks to take time off work. We’re not exactly sure what combination of factors are causing Labor Day to be a good deal, but we can assume that the closer we get to the end of the summer, the less choice you’ll have for the best itineraries on flights and the fares will climb. Holidays mean you generally pay a premium for airfare. Keep that in mind and don’t delay starting your flight search.
Keep checking back for ideas and tips on summer flights for families, roadtrippers, backpackers, you name it! You’ll be living in flip flops and a bikini before you know it. Happy travels!
In recent months, a lot has been written about bringing emotional support animals on flights. Heck, we’ve written our own guide to doing so. But that leaves out whole categories of people flying with animals: from folks with service animals, to people who want to bring their pets on vacation, or those making a permanent move. Here’s what the airlines and the FDA need you to know about air travel with animals.
Every Airline is Different
Please do your due diligence if you’re planning to fly with an animal. Each airline, domestic and international has different rules for transporting critters. You’ll be in a much better position if you do your research and understand the policies and procedures for the airline you choose. Not all airlines allow “pets” in the cabin (service animals and emotional support animals are a different category), but certain airlines do. And some airlines are downright, pet-friendly. Check out the jetBlue JetPaws program for more details.
Service Animals Get Special Consideration
The Americans with Disabilities Act allows service animals to fly with their owner/trainer in the cabin for free without any other special considerations. Basically, if you have a service animal they can sit with you on your lap or at your feet, without a carrier.
Book Early and Fly Direct
Most airlines only allow 1-2 dogs per flight, so to minimize your own frustration it’s a good idea to book well in advance. To keep the stress minimized for your animal (especially when they’re traveling in the cargo hold), you’ll want to look for direct flights without layovers. This will minimize their discomfort. And finally, think a bit about weather conditions. Try to avoid extremes in cold or heat and if you must fly in the summer, try to book morning flights when the heat of the day will be minimized.
Don’t Try to Put a Baby Puppy in Cargo
Dogs must be at least eight weeks old before they can be transported via airplane and they have to have been weaned for at least five days. Older puppies and kittens can fly in cargo if they are in a shipping container that meets minimum standards for ventilation, size, strength sanitation and design (for safe handling). Please reach out to the airlines for additional information about requirements for the animal you plan to transport.
No Medications! (usually)
Though lots of people think that tranquilizing their pet is the best option for decreasing their stress, it’s not recommended. The stress that a sedative can put on a dog’s respiratory and cardiovascular system with altitude and pressure changes is not worth the peace of mind you think you’re giving them. In addition, sedation upsets a dog’s natural equilibrium and might create undue stress if their carrier is moved. Nevertheless, in some scenarios a veterinarian may recommend sedation – please make sure to follow all of the recommended dosages and administer exactly as the vet suggests.
Be reasonable and humane
The Department of Transportation suggests not feeding your pet solid foods for 6 hours prior to the flight, but does recommend a walk before and after along with some water. On the other hand, pets in transit for longer times are required to be sent with food (every 24 hours) and water (each 12 hours). Young animals are required to have food and water after 12 hours of travel. Most airlines require a certificate of good health for any pets transported, so it’s a good idea to get a letter from your vet. Also, while flying is completely safe, it’s just a good idea to know that your furry friend is in tip top shape before subjecting him to the stress of a flight.
Know the ins and outs of quarantine requirements
Sometimes people moving overseas are unaware that they can’t just bring their animals with them. In fact, most countries (and Hawaii) have rather strict rules for bringing animals into their countries. To start the process for bringing an animal with you overseas, call the appropriate embassy in Washington DC. Animals are quarantined for mainly to prevent the spread of rabies, and every country has a classification that tells us if it is rabies-free, rabies-controlled, or high-rabies. The website PetTravel.com is a great resource to explain everything you need to know about travel from a country with one classification to another. Pets are often required to be quarantined for a period before entering another country, which makes bringing a dog or cat on a short vacation with you a rather tricky proposition. Most people find a more permanent move a greater incentive.
For more information about booking a flight with your animal, call and speak with one of our U.S.-based travel advisors today at 1-800-CHEAPAIR or email us email@example.com!
If you’ve been considering a trip to Cuba, you might be disappointed to hear that it may soon be getting a lot harder for average Americans to make that trip. On April 17, the Trump administration spokesperson indicated that unless you have family in Cuba, it will soon be next to impossible for average Americans to make the trip.
There are a couple of things we can suggest in the face of this new information. First, there has been no indication from the Treasury Department (the entity that enforces these rules) when official changes will go into effect. So, if you already have travel to Cuba booked you probably don’t have anything to worry about.
On the other hand, there are a few destinations we can recommend that you should consider as excellent alternatives to a Cuban vacation.
Once you open your mind to neighborhoods beyond South Beach, you’ll find Miami has plenty of affordable accommodation to recommend it to the budget traveler. In addition, you can get the flavor of Cuba just by spending some time in Little Havana. Our best recommendation is to spend time on the beach during the day and explore the rich culture of little Havana, home to the largest population of Cuban expats in the world, at night.
The hotels in Cuba are still scarce and of a lower standard that travelers in the U.S. are accustomed to for the most part. The best accommodation in Cuba by far is the network of bed & breakfast style casas particulares, where you can typically meet the host family and get breakfast as well. Ireland is also an island nation, with a vast network of bed & breakfasts. The vibe is remarkably similar – it’s the best way to get to know local people, a delicious Irish breakfast and explore a beautiful green island.
Visitors always rave about the spectacular colonial architecture in Cuba but there are many places in central and South America where you can see stunning architecture. Morelia is one spot closer to home where you can scratch that itch. It’s north of Mexico City, has cobblestone streets and a pink cathedral, for your Instagram selfies.
New York, New York
Some of the best Cuban food outside of Cuba can be found in New York and New Jersey, so we can recommend a couple of delicious options for traditional fare. Gunatanamera in Manhattan, serves traditional cuisine seven days a week, and is known for their complimentary rolled cigars on Friday and Saturday nights and delicious mojitos. La Isla in downtown Hoboken has been serving up Cuban breakfasts for years to locals and tourists alike.
For some people, a visit to Cuba is all about the cigars. You may not know this, but Nicaragua is the next best place to get a cigar grown from Cuba cigar seeds. When the communist party took over in Cuba, one of the country’s most prolific cigar-growing families fled the country with seeds in hand, and settled in Nicaragua. Now, visitors to the country can buy boxes of Oliva cigars – at a very affordable price.
Perhaps the most similar destination to Cuba is Colombia – a country with a complicated history, colonial architecture, delicious food and warm, welcoming people. Colombia also has nightlife and coffee to rival anything you’ll find in Havana. Add in opportunities for jungle treks and some unexpected and underrated beaches? Colombia ticks just about every box.
Don’t forget that CheapAir.com is still the only online travel agency booking flights to Cuba. And for now, you can still make the trip. But if you need a backup plan, maybe give one of these alternatives a shot!
Over the years, we’ve met a lot of interesting folks to talk crypto. For our latest People of Bitcoin conversation, we’re sitting down with Andy and Daniel from the popular cryptocurrency podcast, The Coin Boys.
Hi guys! Thanks for allowing yourselves to switch roles from interviewers to interviewees and sit in the hot seat today!
To kick this off we’d like to know what brought you to podcasting? Was crypto the gateway or were you working in the space before? Basically, which came first, the chicken or the egg?
Andy: I had two gaming podcasts, one for a game called Destiny, I loved the game so much. My friend and I couldn’t stop talking and texting about it, plus I loved listening to podcasts, so it seemed like a natural progression. I just said, “Let’s do a podcast!” After 4 years it evolved into a more general gaming podcast, which still comes into play with what we’re doing for Coin Boys.
Daniel: During the time Andy was doing his podcast I was doing a podcast with his roommate, NIck. Ours was a comedy podcast—just basically riffing off the headlines of the day. I miss those days because it was a challenge to make the news funny. Today it is just too difficult to beat the headlines coming out of the White House. Truth is stranger than fiction!
We have been taking bitcoin at CheapAir.com for flights and many hotels since 2013, but we recently started attending some crypto conferences. It’s been eye opening to learn about the different kinds of crypto folk. I assume that you guys get to meet some pretty colorful personalities/influencers doing what you do. Do you have any war stories/ tales from the podcasting trenches?
Daniel: Luckily during our interviews we’ve had pretty down to earth and very interesting conversations with all our guests, but those are the guests we bring on the show. At conferences there can be some pretty wacky characters. Some people take the anonymity of crypto very seriously to the point where they wear masks at conferences.
There are some people out there with huge ideas who won’t leave you alone until you hear ALL about it. Like one guy I met really wanted to paint an entire blockchain. I listened to the whole thing and it honestly felt like that scene in Billy Madison where after Billy answered the question, the host said we were all dumber after listening to it.
Andy: Yeah, and then there was that one time at WCC where there was a guy wearing a giant Litecoin costume, and I was dancing with him for a picture. Later we found out that Charlie Lee was actually in the suit. I took another picture with him later when he wasn’t wearing it and he said “but I already took a picture with you!” I still took the picture with him outside the costume though.
A lot of folks’ intro to crypto back in the day was bitcoin but that seems to be changing. Can you share a little bit about when the first time you heard about crypto and what brought you into this world?
Andy: In addition to gaming, I love everything Internet. Daniel can tell you how excited I was to get to interview the legendary John McAfee, for example. The first time I heard about Bitcoin was actually on Reddit. I was an early user, and I saw an ad for a subreddit called r/bitcoin. The ad was ridiculous. It was simply an awful wizard, drawn in Microsoft paint, that said “magic internet money.” I guess it caught my attention though. I researched it, and then bought my first bitcoin a few months after.
Daniel: I’m an awful poker player, but I still love to play. About 10 years ago, the government shut down most possibilities for Americans to play online. Playing online isn’t illegal, but what they did was prevented any banks from transferring money from your account to any gambling sites. In about 2013-2014 a friend of mine told me that one site was accepting Bitcoin. So that was interesting. I learned the minimum amount I needed to buy, bought some and send it over so I could gamble. I lost it all 2 hours later.
I was later brought back into cryptocurrency because I had another friend who just so happened to be a lead developer on a major coin out right now. He pointed me to a bunch of forums. I took a few months learning the basics of technical analysis so I could figure out what to do with them. Since then, it has been a crazy whirlwind that I love being a part of.
The past few months have been a bit of a rough ride for bitcoin. What do you tell skeptics about these market fluctuations? Since you’re not limited to talking about bitcoin on your podcast, we’re curious to hear what currencies you guys are excited about (or what currencies your guests are excited about). Basically, where should investors be watching?
Our motto on The Coin Boys is we never talk price. For a few reasons, but the main reason is we are in this for the tech. If the project is good, the price will follow. Stay safe out there though. If you need to sell, sell it. Or better yet if you can, use it! Buy a ticket for a flight to a place that will allow you to escape the bear market.
We do feel that folks should be looking at anything with proven utility. Our podcast has a gaming-centric tone with the emergence of blockchain projects being integrated with esports and video games. So we particularly like gaming tokens and coins. Gamers understand micro transactions better than any other group on the planet. They’ve been dying to get this technology for a long time now. So it will be fun to see that grow.
Another thing important to us is that we need to take back the Internet. Since this is Internet money we should also look at sites that are decentralizing social media, and any Internet service allowing you to completely control your personal information. Too many companies use your information and profit from it. You should be given a choice on what you share and whether or not you can make money from it.
Let’s talk shop. What are some challenges you face in the podcasting universe?
We initially started the podcast to educate people on different coins, but we really relied on our own personal research. We discovered that there is a lot of really bad and pretty much false information floating around. So a big challenge was just making sure we had good intel and we weren’t lying to our audience.
Also, both of us come from the entertainment industry, but video is very different from audio, so we also had to learn that a bit. We both had different styles of recording, and both of us were trying to find out what worked best through the trial and error of our old podcasts. In all that confusion, there were actually several occasions when we had to start the interview over simply because we forgot to hit record.
What do you love about podcasting? Who’s been your favorite guest or topic to discuss?
Andy: I love podcasting because I love listening to podcasts. I think that anyone can make a podcast, and that’s a beautiful thing. When you realize you actually have an audience, even if it’s just 2 or 3 people, you feel pretty good. You feel like you’re helping, or at the very least entertaining them.
Daniel: Podcasting is a lot less of a pressure situation than doing a video broadcast. We do both care about quality though, mainly because we have friends in the industry that will absolutely judge us. Podcasting allows us to bring a high quality product with a lot less effort. Basically, I like podcasting because I’m lazy, but love to talk.
What’s coming next? Is there anything you guys have heard about that (in your opinion) is being overlooked by the cryptocommunity?
We’re really excited for automated cars. We all know self -driving cars are coming, but when you attach blockchain tech to it there are many interesting things that will happen. Imagine a car that can go to the store for you while you are at work, pay for your items, and bring them back before you head home. Or a car that can give rides to others while you work. It is the literal definition of passive income, with zero effort.
What do you like to do outside of crypto? Do you have day jobs? Hobbies/pets/etc.? Tell us a little bit about how you decompress.
Daniel: I love movies, writing, and watching cartoons. I have a daughter now, so I have a very good excuse I never had before to watch as many cartoons as I want, and nobody can say anything about it. My daughter is 1 so there is zero rest/decompression time. Sometimes she is literally standing on top of my head just because she thinks it’s hilarious.
Andy: I’m a huge gaming enthusiast, so I play a lot of games in my off time. This includes board games. I also love going to the movies as much as possible. As a kid I used to read a lot of comics as well, but it has dwindled down to just a few comics lately. The fact that there are so many comic book movies coming out constantly makes me really excited for the coming su
Thanks guys. This has been fun. Everyone, we highly encourage you to check out the entertaining and always informative Coin Boys, a Cryptocurrency Podcast from the fertile minds of Andy and Daniel.