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
Best in travel 2017
Earlier this week Lonely Planet released its annual “Best in Travel” site to highlight everywhere they think you should travel in 2017. Top countries include Canada, Colombia, and Finland, while top cities include Bordeaux, France, and Cape Town, South Africa. Their top “best value” destinations include Nepal and Namibia, while some of their top-recommended regions include Taranaki, New Zealand, and North Wales.
TripAdvisor says no to animal cruelty
This month, TripAdvisor announced that it and its partners (which includes Viator) will no longer be selling tickets to wildlife attractions that can be considered cruel. This means no more promotion of elephant rides, captive dolphin encounters, tiger temples, and more. All I have to say is: it's about time!
Cool travel website/app/course 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 reviews very often about apps, websites, or courses (only the ones I really, really love), but some of them are still worth mentioning!
This month, check out:
We've all been there before: You're stuck at an airport on a long layover and aren't lucky enough to have access to one of the fancy airline lounges. You decide to hop online for some mindless Facebook browsing to pass the time, only to find out that there's no free wifi at this airport! GAH.
Enter the WiFoxx app. This app, the brainchild of Anil Polat of foXnoMad, is pretty brilliant – and very simple. In short, it's a map of wireless passwords from airports and lounges worldwide. The content is somewhat crowdsourced and continuously updated, meaning you have a really good chance of getting online if the airport you're at is on the map.
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:
The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood in St. Petersburg is gorgeous both inside and out. Inside, the walls are covered in rich, saturated mosaics. And outside, you get this beautiful scene just before dusk. The church is built on the spot where Tzar Alexander II was assassinated in 1881, and today is one of the top attractions in Russia's “northern capital.” ??
A photo posted by Amanda (@dangerousbiz) on
Hello from Russia!! I'm in Moscow right now with @vikingcruises and spent the majority of the day today getting to know Russia's capital a bit better. I took the metro (and saw some of the gorgeous stations Moscow Metro is known for), walked along the river, and visited the largest church in the city. But the highlight was definitely seeing Red Square for the first time. And do you know why it's called that? It's not because of war or communism or because there's a big brick wall around the Kremlin – it's simply because red is synonymous with “beautiful” in Russia. And there's no denying that this place is beautiful! This photo is of St. Basil's, the building I was most excited to see! ???
The Fairy Pools on the Isle of Skye are famous not only for all their little waterfalls, but also for all the clear blue pools you can find in between. This one absolutely took my breath away – though not as much as if I had jumped in; the water is freezing! ❄️ Definitely a magical spot in Scotland, especially if you can catch it on a sunny day!
A photo posted by Amanda (@dangerousbiz) on
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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:
If you're like me as a traveler, you probably rely on your smartphone a lot: You plot your path using Google maps, look up train and bus times, order Ubers, convert currency, and keep friends and family up to date with Snapchat and Instagram. And while a smartphone undoubtedly makes the travel experience a whole lot easier, all of these apps and Google searches drain your phone's battery – sometimes alarmingly quickly.
For the past couple of years, I've turned to using a battery phone case when I travel. There are a lot of options out there when it comes to power packs for your smartphone, but I find that having extra juice built right into my iPhone case is by far the most convenient. It means I don't have to worry about remembering to pack an extra charging cord, or where exactly in my bag I tucked my charger block.
Earlier this year, I picked up an “Undead Power” battery case by Lenmar, and I think it's one of the best affordable battery cases out there! The one I have is 3000mAh, fairly slim, and costs less than $30. WIN!
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.)
- November 12-16: New Orleans – After 5 weeks in the UK, the Baltics, and Russia, I definitely need some time at home! I'll be taking it (relatively) easy for the rest of the year, and so far only have a short trip to New Orleans planned with a friend to celebrate her birthday. This will actually be my very first time in NOLA, so I welcome your suggestions on what we should see/do! Especially interested in any spooky tours and great restaurants that you might recommend!
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?
*Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning if you buy something after clicking, I will earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you, of course!).