Destination Guides

Here you’ll find country and city guides: what to do and where to eat!

When I first planned an extended trip to Spain, every person I spoke to had something to say about Madrid. I heard everything from “skip it entirely” to “spend a week there.” I knew I couldn’t skip it after hearing all these conflicting statements, and ended up spending a few days there. I’ve concluded that Madrid is not to be skipped; it’s filled with culture and history, beautiful buildings and delicious food, and a thriving art scene. Since most people only plan for a few days in the city, these are the best things to do in Madrid – and best of all, they’re budget-friendly!

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If you’ve ever traveled through Europe, then you are well aware that budget airlines can be your best friend or worst enemy. They can be ultimate money savers or the source of frustrations and annoyances. So you can avoid turning your budget-friendly flight into a not-so-budget-friendly one, I’ve compiled a list of tips to make your experience as pain-free as possible! Read this guide on how to make the most of your budget flight and to avoid common pitfalls travelers face in Europe.

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Andalusia, the beautiful southern region of Spain, is the perfect place to spend a week (or more). The friendly people, breathtaking sites, and delicious food are just a few of many reasons I chose to travel this area for my first solo trip. If you only have a week of vacation time, then this itinerary is perfect for you: it’s designed for the solo traveler on a budget but just as easily works for anyone looking for a low-cost and enjoyable week-long guide to Andalusia.

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London is a huge city with endless things do, people to meet, and food to eat. I’ve been fortunate enough to have visited four times now (with another trip planned for this summer), and in those times, have ventured outside central London. I have a few friends that live in the city, and because of that, I’ve gotten a taste of local London. Now I’m sharing all these fun places with you in the alternative guide to London. Click to read how to experience London as a local!

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While the title of this post is a bit tongue-in-cheek, the content most certainly isn’t (mostly). London was the first city I ever visited in Europe, and I explored it thoroughly – following step-by-step recommendations from my guidebook. I was the epitome of a bad tourist. Not because I saw the tourist sites. But because all I did was run from landmark to landmark, never really taking the time to appreciate local London.

I’ve been to London four times now, so I’m confident when I say these are the cool and tourist attractions that are staples for a first-time visit to London! And for those of you that want more off-the-beaten path recommendations…well, those are coming in another post. Click to discover how to be a tourist in London!

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Despite a strong ambivalence toward organized tours, I found myself with a limited amount of time to see as much as I could in Cappadocia, Turkey. It was winter time and quite cold, so walking and the limited public transport were out of the question. Luckily, a friend and I got a good deal on a two-day private tour and even managed to stay in a cave hotel.

This collection of photos is a guide to all the cool things I saw while visiting Cappadocia in the winter of 2015. The city is absolutely incredible…no wonder the entire thing has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site! Read on to see all there is in this beautiful city. Warning: may incite wanderlust.

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One of my favorite parts about traveling is getting lost in the sea of new flavors that inevitably comes with sampling new food. Food says so much about culture and history and is the best way to explore cities and countries.

Prior to visiting Turkey, my knowledge of Turkish cuisine was limited to Turkish coffee and döner kebabs. On my trip, I discovered plenty of exciting new dishes and flavors that delighted my palate.

If you’re looking for a guide on what to eat on your next trip to Turkey (or to your neighborhood Turkish restaurant), you’ve come to the right place! Without further ado, check out the foodie guide to Turkish cuisine!

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I almost never travel during the winter because, frankly, I can’t handle the cold. When my friend and I initially planned our trip to Istanbul, we assumed it would be a balmy 50 degrees (Fahrenheit). Unfortunately, we managed to catch a week-long snowstorm, but we still made the most of our trip! Istanbul is centered between Europe and Asia and has an amazingly rich culture to match its strategic location. Read more to discover all the fun places and beautiful monuments this cosmopolitan city has to offer!

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To date, one of the strangest countries I’ve ever visited was the United Arab Emirates. Famous for its ostentatious displays of wealth and likely the inspiration to the song “Arab Money,” the entirely man-made country left me puzzled. Despite this, it is definitely a city to add to the bucket list – one that is guaranteed to leave you awestruck and slack-jawed. Click to read which “monuments” made the list of things to see in Dubai!

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