Creating Personalized SouvenirsAt the end of every trip, we all go home to a memory card filled with hundreds and hundred of photos. What do you do with all those snaps? They probably get transferred from memory card to hard drive never to be seen again. Or how about those museum ticket stubs? Road maps? If you’re anything like me, then they probably get tossed in a bag and shoved into the back of your closet.
The best I’ve been able to come up with so far as been (a rather pathetic attempt at) a gallery wall in my room. Side note – I fell in love with this headboard and decided to buy it even though I knew it was too big. Ignore that, focus on the pictures 


Ticket Stub Pillow
  http://www.pinterest.com/pin/203154633166562658/

Map Magnets
  http://www.pinterest.com/pin/203154633166562648/

Souvenir Penny Bracelet
  http://www.pinterest.com/pin/203154633166562641/

Road Trip Shadow Boxes
  http://www.pinterest.com/pin/203154633166562631/

 
Follow Katie Papadopoulos – Katie Goes’s board Arts, Crafts & DIY on Pinterest                   

Creating Personalized Souvenirs

image

At the end of every trip, we all go home to a memory card filled with hundreds and hundred of photos. What do you do with all those snaps? They probably get transferred from memory card to hard drive never to be seen again. Or how about those museum ticket stubs? Road maps? If you’re anything like me, then they probably get tossed in a bag and shoved into the back of your closet.

The best I’ve been able to come up with so far as been (a rather pathetic attempt at) a gallery wall in my room. Side note – I fell in love with this headboard and decided to buy it even though I knew it was too big. Ignore that, focus on the pictures :)

My attempt at creating a gallery wall for displaying photos

Ticket Stub Pillow

Create a souvenir pillow by printing a ticket stub onto fabric (at Kinko's) http://www.pinterest.com/pin/203154633166562658/

Map Magnets

Turn your old vacation maps into magnets for a great souvenir http://www.pinterest.com/pin/203154633166562648/

Souvenir Penny Bracelet

Create a souvenir penny bracelet out of all those pennies you get on vacation http://www.pinterest.com/pin/203154633166562641/

Road Trip Shadow Boxes

Upcycle old maps from your favorite vacation or destination into a shadow box souvenir http://www.pinterest.com/pin/203154633166562631/

 

Follow Katie Papadopoulos – Katie Goes’s board Arts, Crafts & DIY on Pinterest                  

Historic Hotels Gives a Place its Face
The architecture of a destination is one of those few characteristics that really defines a place, especially for visitors. Describing a colonial building will differ significantly from a victorian. As will the iconic pyramids of ancient Egypt versus pyramids of the Mayan Empire. As a child, architecture was one of the features that captured my attention when I first started traveling.
Today, one of the best ways to really experience a destination’s architectural style is to stay at a historic hotel. These historic buildings go through extensive renovations to bring them up to today’s standards while still maintaining their original charm. Here are a few of my personal favorites:

Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington, DC

The Omni Shoreham Hotel has been a favorite of presidents, dignitaries and world travelers since the 1930s. The hotel was home to the legendary Blue Room, the swankiest nightclub of its time. A favorite gathering spot for John and Jackie Kennedy, the club was also the site of Liza Minnelli’s first public performance.

Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch Resort, Tucson, AZ

In 1948, Hacienda Del Sol was converted into a guest ranch that immediately attracted the Silver Screen’s most notable stars, among them John Wayne and Clark Gable. Legend has it that Hacienda’s Casita Grande was the favorite hideaway of Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn.

El Castillo, Valle Hermoso, Córdoba, Argentina

El Castillo was built in 1870, as a farmhouse for the “Las Playas” estancia in the town of Valle Hermoso, Province of Córdoba, Argentina. Today, El Castillo is a family owned, eco-sustainable 5-star hotel and training center, built following a 3-year refurbishment of a 19th-century castle. 

Grand Hotel Convento di Amalfi, Italy

Located in a 13th-century monastery, which once was home to Cistercians monks and Cappuccini friars, the Grand Hotel Convento di Amalfi is perched on a cliff top high above sea level with spectacular views of Amalfi and the Mediterranean Coast and only steps away from the historic city center and the harbor of Amalfi.

 

Historic Hotels Gives a Place its Face

image

Historic Hotels Collage via KatieGoes.com

The architecture of a destination is one of those few characteristics that really defines a place, especially for visitors. Describing a colonial building will differ significantly from a victorian. As will the iconic pyramids of ancient Egypt versus pyramids of the Mayan Empire. As a child, architecture was one of the features that captured my attention when I first started traveling.

Today, one of the best ways to really experience a destination’s architectural style is to stay at a historic hotel. These historic buildings go through extensive renovations to bring them up to today’s standards while still maintaining their original charm. Here are a few of my personal favorites:

Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington, DC

Omni Shoreham Hotel in DC one of the Historic Hotels of America

The Omni Shoreham Hotel has been a favorite of presidents, dignitaries and world travelers since the 1930s. The hotel was home to the legendary Blue Room, the swankiest nightclub of its time. A favorite gathering spot for John and Jackie Kennedy, the club was also the site of Liza Minnelli’s first public performance.

Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch Resort, Tucson, AZ Hacienda del Sol Guests Ranch in Arizona

In 1948, Hacienda Del Sol was converted into a guest ranch that immediately attracted the Silver Screen’s most notable stars, among them John Wayne and Clark Gable. Legend has it that Hacienda’s Casita Grande was the favorite hideaway of Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn.

El Castillo, Valle Hermoso, Córdoba, Argentina

El Castillo Valle Hermoso Historic Hotel in Argentina

El Castillo was built in 1870, as a farmhouse for the “Las Playas” estancia in the town of Valle Hermoso, Province of Córdoba, Argentina. Today, El Castillo is a family owned, eco-sustainable 5-star hotel and training center, built following a 3-year refurbishment of a 19th-century castle. 

Grand Hotel Convento di Amalfi, Italy

Grand Hotel Convento di Amalfi in Italy

Located in a 13th-century monastery, which once was home to Cistercians monks and Cappuccini friars, the Grand Hotel Convento di Amalfi is perched on a cliff top high above sea level with spectacular views of Amalfi and the Mediterranean Coast and only steps away from the historic city center and the harbor of Amalfi.

 

Very Exciting Small Changes Coming Soon
Change is something that most of us find quite frightening. We find comfort in routines, even function. There’s a reason we gravitate towards having some kind of regular schedule. Every so often, though, we feel the urge to switch things up. It’s why we go out to try new restaurants, take weekend trips or even go off to explore far flung places.
In the same spirit of mixing things up, I thought I’d use this week as an opportunity to introduce some changes that will be coming to this site starting next week…

E-Newsletter
For those who have been getting these weekly blog posts via the weekly emailed newsletter, first of all, thank you for signing up! Beginning next week, you’ll be getting a new, fresh monthly newsletter. Rather than just the latest blog post, we’ll discuss a couple of destinations that focus on a particular theme, related tours and hotels to book, what to pack and what to bring back home.
You may also remember those posts rounding up travel deals. Well, those will now be exclusively available to email subscribers. Want in on the action? Just sign up for the email updates to the right.

Weekly Posts
I’ll still be posting each week, but now you’ll have to stop by here or follow me on Twitter, Tumblr or the RSS feed to get those weekly updates. You can also check me out on Pinterest and Instagram to see what I’m planning and where I am now. Prefer using Facebook? I’ll (finally) be creating a dedicated page. It’s coming soon…
 
These are pretty minor changes, but I hope you are as excited as I am to see how it all comes to fruition.

 

Very Exciting Small Changes Coming Soon

image

Change is Good via KatieGoes.com

Change is something that most of us find quite frightening. We find comfort in routines, even function. There’s a reason we gravitate towards having some kind of regular schedule. Every so often, though, we feel the urge to switch things up. It’s why we go out to try new restaurants, take weekend trips or even go off to explore far flung places.

In the same spirit of mixing things up, I thought I’d use this week as an opportunity to introduce some changes that will be coming to this site starting next week…

E-Newsletter

For those who have been getting these weekly blog posts via the weekly emailed newsletter, first of all, thank you for signing up! Beginning next week, you’ll be getting a new, fresh monthly newsletter. Rather than just the latest blog post, we’ll discuss a couple of destinations that focus on a particular theme, related tours and hotels to book, what to pack and what to bring back home.

You may also remember those posts rounding up travel deals. Well, those will now be exclusively available to email subscribers. Want in on the action? Just sign up for the email updates to the right.

Weekly Posts

I’ll still be posting each week, but now you’ll have to stop by here or follow me on Twitter, Tumblr or the RSS feed to get those weekly updates. You can also check me out on Pinterest and Instagram to see what I’m planning and where I am now. Prefer using Facebook? I’ll (finally) be creating a dedicated page. It’s coming soon…

 

These are pretty minor changes, but I hope you are as excited as I am to see how it all comes to fruition.

 

What’s More Green: How to Choose Green Transportation for Your Next Vacation
When the time comes to book your next vacation, it’s likely that the most eco conscious amongst you will consider the environmental impact of your transportation options. Everyone knows that it’s greener to take a short journey on your bicycle than it is to hop in your car, but what about your other lengthier travel options? What is the greenest way to travel across the Atlantic or across the country? You may well be surprised by the results:
The Environmental Impact of Flying
Flying has long been considered to be one of the most environmentally unsound forms of transportation. In fact, for most Americans, air travel is by far their largest environmental sin. One return flight from New York to Europe creates a warming effect equivalent to 2 or 3 tons of carbon dioxide per person. [1] If you live in a city where you don’t need a car and you don’t drive cross country very often, that means that your annual foreign vacation could be the deepest annual carbon footprint you make. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t take your annual vacation. If you have to fly then think about how you fly: first class seats may be more luxurious but they’re no friend to the environment. Because first class seats take up more space, they are responsible for generating twice as much carbon as a coach seat on a domestic flight. [2] Budget airlines with no first-class cabin can lower a plane’s per-person emissions 10 to 15%: saving money and the environment!
How Green is Cruising?
The cruise industry is working hard to reduce waste and carbon emissions and become more eco-friendly, but it still has a bad reputation for its lack of eco-credentials. Much of this bad reputation is undeserved. Cruising does release more carbon emissions than flying; According to Climate Care, a large cruise liner such as the Queen Mary II will emit approximately 0.43kg of CO2 per passenger mile, compared with 0.257kg for a long-haul flight. [3] What that statistic doesn’t take into account, of course, is the capacities of the vessels and that numbers can fluctuate massively depending on how many seats are booked on a flight. It’s also worth noting that, according to The Guardian, the Queen Mary II has a zero-discharge policy and that all cruise liners are now required to meet stringent environmental targets. When evaluating the environmental impact of a form of transport, it is also important to consider how much CO2 it emits. Fuel is a key economic and environmental issue for cruise lines, particularly as cruise liners travel more slowly than airplanes, meaning they need to carry more fuel. However some cruise liners, such as Celebrity Cruises, have installed solar panels on their decks whilst others, such as Disney Cruise Liners, use their waste cooking oil as fuel. It is clear then that whilst emissions from the cruise industry might be large, work is underway to reduce these figures.
Shared Travel Options
If you’re travelling across country and you aren’t in any particular rush then, by far, the greenest travel option available to you is shared ground travel; either by train or coach. Trains are often overlooked in favor of planes, but they are a fantastic way to travel, especially if you want to see lots of smaller countries in one trip. The InterRail system in Europe, for example, is both one of the most cost effective and environmentally friendly ways to travel across Europe. [4] Don’t dismiss train or coach travel as slow or difficult; think of all the incredible local landscapes and scenery you’ll be able to see that you might otherwise miss if you were flying thousands of miles in the air.
Ultimately, however you choose to travel will produce a certain amount of carbon emissions. There is no such thing as carbon neutral long haul transportation at this point. The short term solution for the eco-conscious is to offset any emissions generated by your trip: there are several companies that can do this for you, and offsetting is the most cost-effective and economically-efficient way to reduce your C02 emissions. [5] Climate change can only be reversed if every single individual reduces their CO2 emissions as much as possible and then offsets the remaining unavoidable emissions: something to bear in mind when you book your next vacation.
Written & Contributed by Susan Miles.
1 “Your biggest carbon sin may be air travel”, New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/27/sunday-review/the-biggest-carbon-sin-air-travel.html?_r=0
2 “What’s the greenest way to travel?”, USA Today, http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/travel/news/2009-05-14-green-transportation_N.htm
3 “How responsible are cruise liners?”, Responsible Travel, http://www.responsibletravel.com/copy/how-responsible-are-cruise-liners
4 “Eco Friendly ways to travel”, Living Green Magazine, http://livinggreenmag.com/2013/05/10/lifestyle-choices/eco-friendly-ways-to-travel/
5 “Carbon offsetting and carbon neutrality”, Carbon Footprint, http://www.carbonfootprint.com/carbonoffset.html

What’s More Green: How to Choose Green Transportation for Your Next Vacation

image

FlightWindow_Green

When the time comes to book your next vacation, it’s likely that the most eco conscious amongst you will consider the environmental impact of your transportation options. Everyone knows that it’s greener to take a short journey on your bicycle than it is to hop in your car, but what about your other lengthier travel options? What is the greenest way to travel across the Atlantic or across the country? You may well be surprised by the results:

The Environmental Impact of Flying

Flying has long been considered to be one of the most environmentally unsound forms of transportation. In fact, for most Americans, air travel is by far their largest environmental sin. One return flight from New York to Europe creates a warming effect equivalent to 2 or 3 tons of carbon dioxide per person. [1] If you live in a city where you don’t need a car and you don’t drive cross country very often, that means that your annual foreign vacation could be the deepest annual carbon footprint you make. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t take your annual vacation. If you have to fly then think about how you fly: first class seats may be more luxurious but they’re no friend to the environment. Because first class seats take up more space, they are responsible for generating twice as much carbon as a coach seat on a domestic flight. [2] Budget airlines with no first-class cabin can lower a plane’s per-person emissions 10 to 15%: saving money and the environment!

How Green is Cruising?

The cruise industry is working hard to reduce waste and carbon emissions and become more eco-friendly, but it still has a bad reputation for its lack of eco-credentials. Much of this bad reputation is undeserved. Cruising does release more carbon emissions than flying; According to Climate Care, a large cruise liner such as the Queen Mary II will emit approximately 0.43kg of CO2 per passenger mile, compared with 0.257kg for a long-haul flight. [3] What that statistic doesn’t take into account, of course, is the capacities of the vessels and that numbers can fluctuate massively depending on how many seats are booked on a flight. It’s also worth noting that, according to The Guardian, the Queen Mary II has a zero-discharge policy and that all cruise liners are now required to meet stringent environmental targets. When evaluating the environmental impact of a form of transport, it is also important to consider how much CO2 it emits. Fuel is a key economic and environmental issue for cruise lines, particularly as cruise liners travel more slowly than airplanes, meaning they need to carry more fuel. However some cruise liners, such as Celebrity Cruises, have installed solar panels on their decks whilst others, such as Disney Cruise Liners, use their waste cooking oil as fuel. It is clear then that whilst emissions from the cruise industry might be large, work is underway to reduce these figures.

Shared Travel Options

If you’re travelling across country and you aren’t in any particular rush then, by far, the greenest travel option available to you is shared ground travel; either by train or coach. Trains are often overlooked in favor of planes, but they are a fantastic way to travel, especially if you want to see lots of smaller countries in one trip. The InterRail system in Europe, for example, is both one of the most cost effective and environmentally friendly ways to travel across Europe. [4] Don’t dismiss train or coach travel as slow or difficult; think of all the incredible local landscapes and scenery you’ll be able to see that you might otherwise miss if you were flying thousands of miles in the air.

Ultimately, however you choose to travel will produce a certain amount of carbon emissions. There is no such thing as carbon neutral long haul transportation at this point. The short term solution for the eco-conscious is to offset any emissions generated by your trip: there are several companies that can do this for you, and offsetting is the most cost-effective and economically-efficient way to reduce your C02 emissions. [5] Climate change can only be reversed if every single individual reduces their CO2 emissions as much as possible and then offsets the remaining unavoidable emissions: something to bear in mind when you book your next vacation.

Written & Contributed by Susan Miles.

1 “Your biggest carbon sin may be air travel”, New York Timeshttp://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/27/sunday-review/the-biggest-carbon-sin-air-travel.html?_r=0
2 “What’s the greenest way to travel?”, USA Todayhttp://usatoday30.usatoday.com/travel/news/2009-05-14-green-transportation_N.htm
3 “How responsible are cruise liners?”, Responsible Travel, http://www.responsibletravel.com/copy/how-responsible-are-cruise-liners
4 “Eco Friendly ways to travel”, Living Green Magazinehttp://livinggreenmag.com/2013/05/10/lifestyle-choices/eco-friendly-ways-to-travel/
5 “Carbon offsetting and carbon neutrality”, Carbon Footprinthttp://www.carbonfootprint.com/carbonoffset.html

Does Travel Do More Harm Then Good?It’s day one of your vacation and you’re checking into the hotel. You’ve got a city tour scheduled for the next day. Plans to go shopping in local boutiques. Eating in local restaurants. Does any of this money being exchanged actually make it into the local economy? You would think so, but not always. If the local economy isn’t benefiting from visitors, then what’s the point?
During a tour in Mexico earlier this year, our guide tried to dig into this topic. She told us how difficult it was for employees of all-inclusive hotels to support their families. Employees may get fed and housed but that only benefits them. Not their families. Outside of these big-box hotels, options are limited, but because it’s better than what is otherwise available. Since guests get all they need at the hotel – food, entertainment, shopping, nightlife – then there is no reason to leave the property and spend money in the local community. This means that the hotels offer the most viable job prospects, and as a result, younger generations don’t bother learning the traditions and dialect of their native culture.

Then there is the question of environmental sustainability. A couple of weeks ago, John Oliver did a great anti-tourism segment on his show Last Week Tonight after reports showed that Antarctica was changing as a result of record tourists visiting the South Pole. The point is, with so many people able to travel around the world there are new pressures on the environment as a result of our current modes of transportation, waste, food, accommodations and more.
We make conscious decisions to work with companies that try to minimize their impact on the planet. Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is an example of a natural wonder the was on the verge of death, but with a conscious effort from local tourism companies to implement environmentally sustainable practices, we continue to visit the reef with (less) damage to the ecosystem. The reasons don’t have to be completely altruistic. In fact, it has to be profitable to last.
If you’re interested in learning about these kinds of ethical business practices, Bruce Poon Tip, CEO of adventure travel company G Adventures, recently published a book. Looptail: How One Company Changed the World by Reinventing Business is part memoir, part business philosophy. In the book Poon Tip discusses his own beliefs of who travel and tourism can benefit the planet and how he has tried to implement those beliefs at G Adventures. 


 

Does Travel Do More Harm Then Good?

image

It’s day one of your vacation and you’re checking into the hotel. You’ve got a city tour scheduled for the next day. Plans to go shopping in local boutiques. Eating in local restaurants. Does any of this money being exchanged actually make it into the local economy? You would think so, but not always. If the local economy isn’t benefiting from visitors, then what’s the point?

During a tour in Mexico earlier this year, our guide tried to dig into this topic. She told us how difficult it was for employees of all-inclusive hotels to support their families. Employees may get fed and housed but that only benefits them. Not their families. Outside of these big-box hotels, options are limited, but because it’s better than what is otherwise available. Since guests get all they need at the hotel – food, entertainment, shopping, nightlife – then there is no reason to leave the property and spend money in the local community. This means that the hotels offer the most viable job prospects, and as a result, younger generations don’t bother learning the traditions and dialect of their native culture.

Then there is the question of environmental sustainability. A couple of weeks ago, John Oliver did a great anti-tourism segment on his show Last Week Tonight after reports showed that Antarctica was changing as a result of record tourists visiting the South Pole. The point is, with so many people able to travel around the world there are new pressures on the environment as a result of our current modes of transportation, waste, food, accommodations and more.

We make conscious decisions to work with companies that try to minimize their impact on the planet. Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is an example of a natural wonder the was on the verge of death, but with a conscious effort from local tourism companies to implement environmentally sustainable practices, we continue to visit the reef with (less) damage to the ecosystem. The reasons don’t have to be completely altruistic. In fact, it has to be profitable to last.

If you’re interested in learning about these kinds of ethical business practices, Bruce Poon Tip, CEO of adventure travel company G Adventures, recently published a book. Looptail: How One Company Changed the World by Reinventing Business is part memoir, part business philosophy. In the book Poon Tip discusses his own beliefs of who travel and tourism can benefit the planet and how he has tried to implement those beliefs at G Adventures. 

 

Last Days to Catch the World Cup Exhibit at Columbus CircleThe World Cup is coming to an end this Sunday. Germany is heading to the finals after thrashing Brazil in yesterday’s semi-final match. Today, we’ll see the Netherlands come up against Argentina for the final spot in Sunday’s finals.
Already missing all the World Cup action? The Time Warner Building in Columbus Circle has been hosting a series of original drawings, one for each team along with a little write-up predicting their chances – many of which are surprisingly insightful! Enjoy these snaps of the posters below and head over to Columbus Circle before Sunday if you want to read the write-ups.

Group A:

 
Group B:


 
Group C:


 
Group D:


 
Group E:


 
Group F:


 
Group G:


 
Group H:

Last Days to Catch the World Cup Exhibit at Columbus Circle

image

The World Cup is coming to an end this Sunday. Germany is heading to the finals after thrashing Brazil in yesterday’s semi-final match. Today, we’ll see the Netherlands come up against Argentina for the final spot in Sunday’s finals.

Already missing all the World Cup action? The Time Warner Building in Columbus Circle has been hosting a series of original drawings, one for each team along with a little write-up predicting their chances – many of which are surprisingly insightful! Enjoy these snaps of the posters below and head over to Columbus Circle before Sunday if you want to read the write-ups.

Group A:
WorldCupGroupA

 

Group B:

WorldCupGroupB

 

Group C:

WorldCupGroupC

 

Group D:

WorldCupGroupD

 

Group E:

WorldCupGroupE

 

Group F:

WorldCupGroupF

 

Group G:

WorldCupGroupG

 

Group H:

WorldCupGroupH

Tracing American Independence: 4th of July in Colonial WilliamsburgBack in 2012, I road-tripped down to Virginia over 4th of July for a USA-themed weekend. We hit the beach down in Virginia beach for a few days and visited George Washington’s Mount Vernon home, but for 4th of July itself we spent in Colonial Williamsburg.
  Waiting for the fireworks in front of the Governor’s Palace.
The entire “city” is a real walking talking history lesson. Shoe cobblers, bar maids and tanners keep their shop doors open for guests to wander in and ask questions. Take out your phone or camera to snap a picture and they ask you what in God’s green earth that contraption is?
  Our American troops marching through the streets calling for independence!
Thinking of going down to celebrate Independence Day? Head over in the evening and get the free experience. I can’t guarantee that every shop will stay open all evening, but restaurants will be open to can grab a bite (or eat before hand) and then head over to the lawn in front of the Governor’s Palace or one of the other lawns next for the evening’s fireworks. After the fireworks, head over to the Duke of Gloucester Street to see the American rebels march through town in revolt!
 

Tracing American Independence: 4th of July in Colonial Williamsburg

image

Back in 2012, I road-tripped down to Virginia over 4th of July for a USA-themed weekend. We hit the beach down in Virginia beach for a few days and visited George Washington’s Mount Vernon home, but for 4th of July itself we spent in Colonial Williamsburg.

ColonialWilliamsburgGovernorsHouse Waiting for the fireworks in front of the Governor’s Palace.

The entire “city” is a real walking talking history lesson. Shoe cobblers, bar maids and tanners keep their shop doors open for guests to wander in and ask questions. Take out your phone or camera to snap a picture and they ask you what in God’s green earth that contraption is?

ColonialWilliamsburgParade Our American troops marching through the streets calling for independence!

Thinking of going down to celebrate Independence Day? Head over in the evening and get the free experience. I can’t guarantee that every shop will stay open all evening, but restaurants will be open to can grab a bite (or eat before hand) and then head over to the lawn in front of the Governor’s Palace or one of the other lawns next for the evening’s fireworks. After the fireworks, head over to the Duke of Gloucester Street to see the American rebels march through town in revolt!

 

Link Round Up: Cultural Values, Flight Protection & A Mapmaker
1. Esther Honig, a freelance journalist, decided to ask designers from 40 countries to photoshop an unaltered image of herself. The only instructions she gave them was to “make me beautiful.” The results turned out to be an interesting exercise in cultural standards of beauty in various countries.  Read more about Esther Honig’s Before and After series here.
2. Ever had a flight canceled? Delayed? Overbooked? Of course you have. Just fill out AirHelp’s claim form and they will help you collect financial composition from your airline. Yes, that’s right. You are most likely owed money, by law, from the airline for your troubles. AirHelp essentially offers free passenger rights support. One of those “we get paid if you get compensated.” Have an airline complaint? Try out AirHelp for yourself.
3. Or maybe you caught your flight. But your bag? Not so much. I recently came across a USA Today article profiling a pretty awesome type of travel insurance called AirCare. For just $25 per trip, you get $1,000 “tarmac” delays exceeding two hours, $1,000 for lost or stolen luggage, $500 if a flight delay causes you to miss a connecting flight and other benefits. Get all the details here.
4. One of the most interesting things I’ve seen of late is this NPR article about a mapmaker who has tried to create maps of the US, Canada and Mexico pinpointing the locations and original names of hundreds of American Indian nations before the Europeans arrived and messed everything up for them. These maps further demonstrate the lasting effect of colonialism on North America. It’s interesting stuff… I promise. Read the rest of the story here. 

Link Round Up: Cultural Values, Flight Protection & A Mapmaker

image

Travel Link Round Up: Cultural Values, Flight Protection & Mapmakers via KatieGoes.com

1. Esther Honig, a freelance journalist, decided to ask designers from 40 countries to photoshop an unaltered image of herself. The only instructions she gave them was to “make me beautiful.” The results turned out to be an interesting exercise in cultural standards of beauty in various countries.  Read more about Esther Honig’s Before and After series here.

2. Ever had a flight canceled? Delayed? Overbooked? Of course you have. Just fill out AirHelp’s claim form and they will help you collect financial composition from your airline. Yes, that’s right. You are most likely owed money, by law, from the airline for your troubles. AirHelp essentially offers free passenger rights support. One of those “we get paid if you get compensated.” Have an airline complaint? Try out AirHelp for yourself.

3. Or maybe you caught your flight. But your bag? Not so much. I recently came across a USA Today article profiling a pretty awesome type of travel insurance called AirCare. For just $25 per trip, you get $1,000 “tarmac” delays exceeding two hours, $1,000 for lost or stolen luggage, $500 if a flight delay causes you to miss a connecting flight and other benefits. Get all the details here.

4. One of the most interesting things I’ve seen of late is this NPR article about a mapmaker who has tried to create maps of the US, Canada and Mexico pinpointing the locations and original names of hundreds of American Indian nations before the Europeans arrived and messed everything up for them. These maps further demonstrate the lasting effect of colonialism on North America. It’s interesting stuff… I promise. Read the rest of the story here

Souvenirs: Mayan Hammocks
On a tour of Valladolid, Mexico, I got to watch this woman a bit while she was making a traditional Mayan hammock. While we may think of hammocks as the perfect compliment to summer, Mayans use the hammocks as their actual beds. Why sleep in hammocks? With traditional beds, folks run the risk of having little critters crawl up the legs and into bed. Yikes!

 

Souvenirs: Mayan Hammocks

image

Mayan Hammock Making in Valladolid

On a tour of Valladolid, Mexico, I got to watch this woman a bit while she was making a traditional Mayan hammock. While we may think of hammocks as the perfect compliment to summer, Mayans use the hammocks as their actual beds. Why sleep in hammocks? With traditional beds, folks run the risk of having little critters crawl up the legs and into bed. Yikes!

 


Going to Tulum: The Mayan Big Three

So first off, I’ll start this post by congratulations, Mexico. As of today, Mexico is in on track to advance out of the group stage of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Their next and last game, against Croatia, will determine their fate! I just love this game!
We often look at Mexico as our fun, rowdy neighbors to the south. It’s easy to forget that Mexico was home to two of the world’s most famous and mysterious ancient civilizations: the Aztecs and the Mayans. These two civilizations combined constructed over 100 pyramids, more than you’ll find in Egypt.
Need some inspiration to go off and explore the Mayan ruins throughout the area? The Yucatan Peninsula has three major sites open to the public. Each has their own personality, so you’ll have to decide which one(s) fit you travel style and schedule:


The Bucket-List: Chichen Itza
For most people, if they are going to go to one of Mexico’s Mayan ruins, Chichen Itza will be the one they chose to visit. The great pyramid is not the tallest in the Mayan World. The city was not the largest in the Mayan World. What Chichen Itza lacks in size, it makes up for in presentation. The majority of the site has been excavated and is visitor-ready. Just remember to bring bug spray, sunscreen and a hat!

 This particular pyramid, with a temple at the top, was where Mayan aristocrats were sacrificed. Contrary to popular belief, human sacrifice was an Aztec tradition that spread to the Mayan culture.[/caption]




During the summer and winter solstices, the light from the rising sun creates the illusion of a snake traveling down the steps of the pyramid.




This series of skulls evolve into these angry looking faces. Our guide said the Mayans often spoke in opposites. So these skull actually represent life!



The Stunner: Tulum
Once the trading and spiritual hub of the Yucatan, the ruins at Tulum are a great example of the upper echelons of Mayan life. The spiritual, political and business classes lived within the city walls, while the rest of the local population living just outside. As the only Mayan site on the shore, Tulum was a central location during the solstice ceremonies since it is the first location to see the sun rise. If you are planning to come for a visit, remember to wear your bathing suit and bring a towel, because the beach is absolute perfection!

This view of Tulum shows the main temple and the surrounding homes of the important folks like the spiritual, government and business leaders who lived within the city walls.





[caption id=”attachment_1071″ align=”aligncenter” width=”598″>  This watchtower and lighthouse overlooked the water to help incoming canoes navigate into the city’s harbor.




  A gap in the coral reef mades this patch of sand and turquoise water used to serve as Tulum’s trading harbor. Now closed to swimming, there is a beach where visitors can swim in another part of the site.


 
The Explorer: Coba
If you ever dreamed of having an Indiana Jones-like adventure, you need to head out to Coba. The Yucatan’s least visited of the three pyramids is arguably the most authentic. The site has four groups of ruins, and that’s only the 2% of the site that has actually been excavated. Walk through the jungle and arrive at the Great Pyramid. This is hands down the highlight of the visit. The 120-step pyramid is the only one that you can still climb, but pace yourself. The steps are tall and it is HOT and HUMID! If you are nervous about climbing, just hold onto the rope that runs down the middle of the stairs.
  The Great Pyramid at Coba reaches 137 feet up and peaks over the tree tops of the jungle.

  Looking up from the bottom! Grab the rope if you need some help climbing up. Oh, and don’t look down until you are safely at the top.


  Once you get to the top, you get these endless views of the jungle.

Going to Tulum: The Mayan Big Three

image

So first off, I’ll start this post by congratulations, Mexico. As of today, Mexico is in on track to advance out of the group stage of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Their next and last game, against Croatia, will determine their fate! I just love this game!

We often look at Mexico as our fun, rowdy neighbors to the south. It’s easy to forget that Mexico was home to two of the world’s most famous and mysterious ancient civilizations: the Aztecs and the Mayans. These two civilizations combined constructed over 100 pyramids, more than you’ll find in Egypt.

Need some inspiration to go off and explore the Mayan ruins throughout the area? The Yucatan Peninsula has three major sites open to the public. Each has their own personality, so you’ll have to decide which one(s) fit you travel style and schedule:

The Bucket-List: Chichen Itza

For most people, if they are going to go to one of Mexico’s Mayan ruins, Chichen Itza will be the one they chose to visit. The great pyramid is not the tallest in the Mayan World. The city was not the largest in the Mayan World. What Chichen Itza lacks in size, it makes up for in presentation. The majority of the site has been excavated and is visitor-ready. Just remember to bring bug spray, sunscreen and a hat!

This particular pyramid, with a temple at the top, was where Mayan aristocrats were sacrificed. Contrary to popular belief, human sacrifice was an Aztec tradition that spread to the Mayan culture.[/caption]

ChichenItzaSerpants

During the summer and winter solstices, the light from the rising sun creates the illusion of a snake traveling down the steps of the pyramid.

Chichen Itza Skulls Platform

This series of skulls evolve into these angry looking faces. Our guide said the Mayans often spoke in opposites. So these skull actually represent life!

The Stunner: Tulum

Once the trading and spiritual hub of the Yucatan, the ruins at Tulum are a great example of the upper echelons of Mayan life. The spiritual, political and business classes lived within the city walls, while the rest of the local population living just outside. As the only Mayan site on the shore, Tulum was a central location during the solstice ceremonies since it is the first location to see the sun rise. If you are planning to come for a visit, remember to wear your bathing suit and bring a towel, because the beach is absolute perfection!

TulumMayanRuins

This view of Tulum shows the main temple and the surrounding homes of the important folks like the spiritual, government and business leaders who lived within the city walls.

[caption id=”attachment_1071″ align=”aligncenter” width=”598″> TulumMayanWatchTower This watchtower and lighthouse overlooked the water to help incoming canoes navigate into the city’s harbor.

TulumMayanHarbor A gap in the coral reef mades this patch of sand and turquoise water used to serve as Tulum’s trading harbor. Now closed to swimming, there is a beach where visitors can swim in another part of the site.

 

The Explorer: Coba

If you ever dreamed of having an Indiana Jones-like adventure, you need to head out to Coba. The Yucatan’s least visited of the three pyramids is arguably the most authentic. The site has four groups of ruins, and that’s only the 2% of the site that has actually been excavated. Walk through the jungle and arrive at the Great Pyramid. This is hands down the highlight of the visit. The 120-step pyramid is the only one that you can still climb, but pace yourself. The steps are tall and it is HOT and HUMID! If you are nervous about climbing, just hold onto the rope that runs down the middle of the stairs.

CobaJungleTrees The Great Pyramid at Coba reaches 137 feet up and peaks over the tree tops of the jungle.

CobaClimbingUp Looking up from the bottom! Grab the rope if you need some help climbing up. Oh, and don’t look down until you are safely at the top.

CobaViewfromtheTop Once you get to the top, you get these endless views of the jungle.


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