Welcome to “Stuff You Should Know About” – a monthly collection of travel news, tips, photos, and other odds and ends that don’t really fit in anywhere else but that I still really want to share with you.
Random travel news
GoEuro names best European destinations
Wondering which cities to visit in Europe in 2017? GoEuro, a website and app that helps you compare and book rail, bus, and air travel throughout Europe, teamed up with HomeToGo to rank the top 100 cities to visit in Europe this year. They based this list on things like public transport, accommodation, food and drink, nightlife, and day activities.
The list is broken down into a few different categories (including the top cities for American travelers), but their overall top cities are:
- Barcelona – Spain
- Prague – Czech Republic
- Berlin – Germany
- Madrid – Spain
- London – United Kingdom
You can check out the full results here, and then tell me what you think about the rankings!
Cool travel thing of the month
I get a lot of emails every week — sometimes every day — about new travel apps, websites, courses, products, and more. I don’t write about these things often (only the ones I really, really love), but some of them are still worth mentioning!
This month, check out:
I'm suuuuuuper excited to be taking part in BlogHouse 2017 as a mentor this year.
In case you've never heard of it before, BlogHouse is a three-day and night opportunity for novice travel bloggers to live, work, and learn in a small group environment with travel blogging pros. There are workshops, panels, networking, and helpful one-on-one attention and advice covering topics that range from pitching brands to SEO.
BlogHouse is taking place in Indianapolis this June (another new city for me!), and I'm really excited to take my love of teaching/helping other bloggers to the next level by being a mentor.
The important things to know about BlogHouse are:
- It's taking place in Indianapolis June 22-25.
- It's meant for newer bloggers who are ready to take the next step in turning blogging into a career.
- You have to apply – and the deadline is April 1!
Women in Travel Summit
And, as a reminder, check out the Women in Travel Summit, which is a 3-day conference taking place April 21-23 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I'll be speaking on a social media panel during “Blogger 101 Day” on April 21, and will also be offering 1-on-1 mentoring sessions on April 21 and 23. I would love to see some of you there! Prices are going up on March 1, so you should probably grab your ticket now!
The conference is focused on bloggers and influencers in the travel sphere, but overall aims to grow a “global sisterhood of dedicated women who travel.” You can check out the full schedule of speakers and sessions here.
(AND, if you buy your ticket through this link before February 28, you can save 10% by using the code amanda17!)
Top Instagram shots from the last month
Instagram is one of my favorite social networks. I mean, who doesn’t love pretty photos?? If you aren’t following already, follow me on Instagram @dangerousbiz!
Here are some of my most-liked photos from the last month or so:
Did you know that Canada is celebrating its 150th birthday this year? Happy birthday, Canada! 🎉🇨🇦🎈 The latest post on my blog (link in profile!) takes a look at some of the many reasons why you should plan a trip to Canada this year. Some of my reasons include its cool cities, super nice people, and incredible nature like you see in this photo from the Icefields Parkway in Alberta. Will you be traveling to Canada at all this year?
When I travel, I drool over sweeping, jaw-dropping landscapes. But I'm also an absolute sucker for great architecture. I found both (but especially the architecture) at the Alhambra in Granada, Spain. 🇪🇸 This former palace is now one of the most popular attractions in the country – but for good reason! It and Granada are well worth a visit. Have you ever been?
Today I went downtown to see the Oculus, the new crazy-looking mall/transport hub at the World Trade Center Station. It's right across from the Freedom Tower and the gaping holes of the 9/11 Memorial, marking where the Twin Towers used to stand. I went to see those memorial pools, too, that are now watched over by the Oculus. On the outside, it's meant to look like a dove in flight. A dove. A bird symbolizing peace. And as I stood at those memorial pools today, that's what I felt myself thinking intensely about: peace. Not hatred or fear. The things happening right now in America are not things I'm proud of. I've gone to bed every night in the past week feeling angry, sad, and helpless. But I'm not really helpless. There are millions – yes MILLIONS – of people in this country who are willing to stand up against injustice and inequality; willing to call out those who are intolerant and fear-mongering; and willing to stand up for peace. And I'm so prepared to be one of them!
Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram!
Featured bloggers of the month
Check out this month’s Featured Blogs:
Interested in being a featured blog next month?
Go here to learn more!
You should pack this
Each month, I’ll feature one or two of my packing must-haves. This section usually contains affiliate links, meaning that if you purchase through my link(s), I may earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you!).
This month, I’m recommending:
This might seem like an odd item for me to encourage you to pack, but it's SO handy – especially for solo travelers. I get asked all the time how to be and feel safe when traveling alone (and especially when traveling alone as a woman), and I always say that you just need to be smart and aware and not put yourself into situations that you would normally avoid at home.
But purchasing a few safety-related items doesn't hurt, either. This doorstop works as a normal doorstop, but also has a built-in alarm. Put it under your hotel or hostel room door when you go to sleep at night, and you won't have to worry about anyone coming into your room without you knowing about it. I've never had an instance of mine actually going off, but the peace of mind is worth the $10 or so that I spent on it.
What I’m planning right now
Because my blog runs a little bit behind of what I’m currently doing, I figured I would use this monthly update to let you know what I’m up to, and what adventures are coming up next! (You can also find more detailed info in my monthly newsletter.)
I sadly had to cancel my planned New Zealand trip because of too many expensive things happening in my personal life, but I still have lots of fun things in the works for 2017!
Along with going to Milwaukee for WITS in April and Indianapolis for Bloghouse in June, here's what else I've got cooking:
- April: Chicago – After moving into our new condo at the end of March, Elliot and I are going to escape Ohio for a long weekend and go to Chicago! Elliot has never been before, so I want to show him all the good stuff: the improv comedy, the deep-dish pizza, The Bean, Willis Tower, and more!
- June: Oregon – Elliot and I are planning to go out to Oregon for a week sometime this summer (we're thinking early June?) to visit his sister, who lives in Bend. We’ll also road trip to some of the state’s other famous spots like Portland, Crater Lake, and the Painted Hills.
- July: Scandinavia – It looks like I WILL be leaving the US at least once this year! I'm working on putting together another trip to Norway, and will also be going to the Faroe Islands for a few days in July. And while I'm over in that part of the world, I'm thinking I should probably finally visit Copenhagen, too!
- August: Road trip! – My sister and I are planning another road trip this summer in order to coincide with the solar eclipse on August 21. We’ve booked a hotel in Idaho for the eclipse, but otherwise have nothing planned yet. I’m looking forward to exploring South Dakota and Wyoming on the way, though, and finally visiting Yellowstone!
Are you on Snapchat? If so, make sure to follow me (dangerousbiz) to follow along on my travels in real-time!
That’s it for this month’s edition of “Stuff You Should Know About!” Which section was your favorite this month?