Welcome to the newest monthly feature on A Dangerous Business! It's been (very creatively) named “Stuff You Should Know About” and will basically just be a 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
Americans soon will be able to travel to Cuba
Earlier this year, President Obama announced that restrictions on trade with Cuba will be loosened in 2015. And, for American travelers, this means that Cuba won't be “the Forbidden Island” for much longer. Just last week a group of Senators introduced legislation that would lift all travel restrictions on Americans traveling to Cuba. What do you think — do you think this will be good or bad for tourism in Cuba? Will you want to go?
It's a great (and cheap) time to travel to Europe
Bad news for Europeans: the Euro is on the verge of collapse, with the value of the currency swiftly falling. But this is good news for anyone not in the Eurozone. For example, it's predicted that the Euro will soon be of roughly equal value to the U.S. dollar. Meaning this is the cheapest time to travel to Europe! Where are you booking your European vacation to?
Cool travel app/website of the month
I get a lot of emails every week — sometimes every day — about new travel apps and websites. I don't write reviews very often about apps/websites (only the ones I really, really love), but some of them are still worth mentioning!
This month, check out:
I used to do the whole hostel thing when I traveled. It was usually cheap, but I hated sharing a room with so many other people — and don't even get me started on uncomfortable bunk beds. When I decided I'd had enough of hostels, I started spending HOURS searching for affordable hotels before every trip. And let me tell you, they are nearly impossible to find in many destinations.
Enter Airbnb. The site allows you to search for bed and breakfast-style rooms or entire apartments to rent. There are lots of options in just about every major city around the world, and the best part is that the prices are usually WAY more affordable than booking a hotel room. I've used Airbnb to book whole apartments in cities like Chicago and London and rooms (with free breakfast) in places Rome and Auckland. I book more than 50% of my accommodation through Airbnb these days, and I anticipate this number to only rise!
AND, you can get a free credit just for signing up. Just go here. (You're welcome.)
Top 3 Instagram shots from January
I'm making Instagram a big focus of mine in 2015. And this past month I had one photo in particular blow up on the platform (still trying to figure out how…).
Here are my top three most-liked photos from last month:
Yosemite National Park in the spring – THIS is the reason this is my favorite national park in the US! Do you have a favorite park in America? A photo posted by Amanda (@dangerousbiz) on
If you aren't following already, follow me on Instagram @dangerousbiz!
Featured bloggers of the month
Check out February'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 of my packing must-haves. This month, Im recommending:
I got this small backpack a few months ago, and have since fallen in LOVE with it. I've had a lot of small, laptop-friendly day packs in the last few years, and I have to say that this is one of the best. It has “floating” pockets inside for things like small laptops and tablets, and has plenty of other pockets both inside and out. I'm all about organization when it comes to packing, and this little bag makes it SO easy.
Bonus that it has a chest strap and water bottle-friendly pockets on the sides, and that it's built so you can't overpack it (meaning it will always fit under airline seats).
What I'm reading right now
Lastly, I love to read and am making a goal of reading MORE in 2015. Here's what I'm currently reading:
The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner
The subtitle for this book is “One grump's search for the happiest places in the world.” And that's essentially what it is — a former NPR journalist embarks upon a journey around the world in order to research happiness and why some countries are reportedly “happier” than others. It's an easy, sometimes humorous read, and Weiner goes to some pretty interesting places (like Bhutan and Qatar). I haven't finished it yet, so I can't tell you what he eventually finds, but I definitely recommend it!
That's it for this month's edition of “Stuff You Should Know About!” Which section was your favorite, and is there anything else you'd like to see included next month?