Trip Report: Iceland

Iceland Road Trip Map for 11 day itinerary

Recently, you can’t scroll through Instagram without seeing at least a picture of someone posing under the rainbow at Skogafoss, or sitting on the basalt columns at the black sand beach (I am guilty of both!). These pictures have fueled everyone’s wanderlust and boosted Iceland to the top of everyone’s bucket list – and for good reason. This island of Fire and Ice is known for its volcanoes, glaciers, and surreal landscapes that are best explored by car.  A road trip around the famous Ring road will allow you to see the whole country.  Regardless if you’re a seasoned traveler or a novice, you can’t help but feel in awe of this stunning country that is sparse and yet hauntingly beautiful.  It’s no wonder that Iceland welcomes over 2 million visitors to its shores each year, a number that has tripled in recent years.  Below is a breakdown of our 11 day itinerary and costs: Continue reading

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Trip Report: Singapore and Kuala Lumpur

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Our travel story usually begins with a cheap flight, and this one is no different.  A year ago, we saw a huge sale for flights from NYC to Singapore over the Labor Day weekend for only $550 USD.  Since we hadn’t been to Singapore before, and the timing worked out, we jumped at this opportunity. Once we started planning the trip, and realized that Kuala Lumpur was only a hop and a skip away, it made sense to combine the trips. Continue reading

Trip Report: Portugal

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Portugal  is a small country nestled between Spain and the Atlantic Ocean at the westernmost point of continental Europe.  It was once a powerful seafaring kingdom that controlled many of the routes to Africa, South America, and Asia.  The home of world famous football player,  Cristiano Ronaldo, is filled with lush landscapes and striking scenery. Though not as well known as some of its neighbors, it is a country rich with culture, interesting architecture, and fairytale castles. The laid-back vibe combined with great food and cheap wine makes this a must-visit destination.   Here is the cost breakdown of our trip to Portugal to help you plan yours:

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  • Time Cost
    • Total Days In Portugal: 8 days + 1 layover day in London
    • Total Days Off From Work: 5 days
  • Monetary Cost
    • Hotel: $1100 + 8,000 Hilton Points + 7,000 SPG points
    • Flights: $815 pp +13,000 Avios
    • Transportation: $90 pp ($110 for car, $35 pp for train)
    • Admission fees: $80 pp
    • Food: $45 pp per day
    • Total Per Person: $1,800+ 4,000 Hilton Points + 3,500 SPG points + 6,500 Avios

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If you’ve been following along with our blog you’ll know that we usually try to maximize our travel days and minimize our costs.  This usually happens when we find a good flight deal with availability around the holidays.  This system has allowed us to travel more frequently to many amazing places around the world. Admittedly, this did not happen on this trip.  A series of mistakes cost us time, energy, and money in the form of unused hotel rooms and additional flights – read about our mishaps here. Even with all the disasters, our trip was very memorable for all the right reasons.

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There are a variety of things to do and see in Portugal, whatever your interests and tastes may be.  Visit the northern city of Porto and sample the famous port wine.  Zip over to Belem and indulge in the egg tarts.  Wander through picturesque castles hidden in the rolling hills of Sintra and feel like you’ve stepped into a Disney movie.  See the busy city from the rickety tram, and fall in love with the architecture of Lisbon.  Eat and drink until you are completely sated without breaking the bank.  To read more about our trip to Portugal, click on the links below:

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  • Read about all our rookie mistakes that we made on this trip
  • Alternative accommodation option with AirBnB

Porto

Lisbon

Sintra

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Check back next to read about our trip to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.

Trip Report: Myanmar

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Now is an exciting time to travel to Myanmar (Burma). Having had their first democratic election last year, the country is rapidly changing.  On the precipice of a new era, the once isolated nation is opening itself up and everyone is taking notice.  Even with all the changes, a lot of things are staying the same. This is a country steeped in tradition, and it’s not unusual to see people still wear the traditional longyi, covered in thanakha, and chewing betel leaves.  In rural areas, there are still plenty of people traveling around in horse carts.  It’s quite rare to find a country that’s not  filled with Starbucks and McDonald’s.  Myanmar right now is what I imagined Thailand was maybe 20 years ago. So what are you waiting for?  Here are the cost breakdown of our trip to Myanmar to help you plan yours: Continue reading

Trip Report: Eastern Europe

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This was a special trip because it was the first one I’ve taken with my baby sister.  Even with our age difference, we always seem to be on the same page about everything, including our favorite show – Gilmore Girls.  One of the things I remembered from watching the show was the backpacking trip they took through Europe and how much fun they had.  That’s what I wanted to do with Kim, and this summer we finally got our chance. Since we were only going to be there for nine  days, we had to narrow it down and pick a few cities that we both wanted to visit.  Being on the same wavelength, we quickly decided on Prague and Berlin.  The artsy, vibrant energy of Berlin, and the beautiful architecture of Prague really appealed to both of us.  Below is the breakdown of our trip to Eastern Europe: Continue reading

Trip Report: Australia

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Australia is a country synonymous with endless sunshine, a laid-back lifestyle, and iconic scenery.  Its natural splendor captivates visitors with promises of grand adventures and its multicultural cities are bursting with a vibrant, youthful energy.  From the Outback to the Great Barrier Reef to the man-made Sydney Opera house, there was lots to do and see. It’s no wonder this country is one of the most popular travel destinations. Here is the cost breakdown of our trip to Australia: Continue reading

Trip Report: Austria

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What started as a cheap flight booked on a whim turned into a great trip to Austria. Austria has a little bit of everything, from the spectacular pristine landscape to a bustling city rich with history and culture.  Vienna transports you to another time and place where you get to immerse yourself in a different era. During its peak, Vienna was the epicenter of a grand empire, where Mozart and many other notable musical prodigies called home.  Today, this metropolis continue to thrive, integrating contemporary designs and historic buildings. This trip report summarizes all the blog posts related to our trip to Austria and provides a break down of the cost.

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