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15 Things To Know Before Taking The Train Across Canada

If taking the train across Canada isn’t on your bucket list, it totally should be! Seeing the entire country, from Halifax to Vancouver, by train is an unforgettable experience like no other. You will go to sleep in one province and time zone and wake up in a completely different part of Canada. With this year being Canada’s 150th birthday as a country, there is no better time to book your train across Canada. We have put together some things you should know about a trans-Canadian journey so you are fully prepared for the epic you are about to experience!

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15 Things To Know Before Taking The Train Across Canada

#1: Via Rail is the only company to offer cross-Canada train travel

Via Rail Canada is owned by the Canadian government and is the only company to offer train travel from one end of Canada to the other. If you are looking to travel between Halifax and Vancouver, you are going to have to book through Via Rail. Worried about only having one choice? Don’t be! Via Rail Canada has been operating for decades as the trusted name in train travel across Canada!

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#2: The entire journey will take between 5-6 days, with no stops

Depending on the time of year you decide to take the train across Canada, the whole trip will take between 5-6 days. This is because you have to be sure that the train schedules match up with your connecting train! If you are riding on “The Canadian” which runs between Toronto and Vancouver, the trip will be four straight days if you don’t get off. If you want the true transcontinental experience and start in Halifax, you will take “The Ocean” to Montreal and then take a commuter train down to Toronto. If this sounds confusing, it really isn’t and Via Rail staff are just a phone call away to help with the planning.

#3: Winter is the best time to take the train across Canada

You may be thinking that Canada in winter is a frozen tundra, but you are overreacting! We saw temperatures that ranged from 30-35*F in the mountains and 38-55*F everywhere else. During the winter, you can book a trans-continental train journey for much cheaper than high season and will enjoy huge benefits including less people to compete with for views on the train. If you are planning to stopover at some cities like we did, the cities will be free from loads of tourists and much cheaper as well. Most importantly, traveling by train across Canada during the winter actually gives you the best views of any season! Since many trees have shed their leaves, you can see through them and out to the landscapes beyond! If you traveled during the summer, the trees would have their leaves and you would be stuck in a “tree corridor.”

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#4: Delays are a very real thing…plan accordingly

Because of our booking process [we booked over the phone and the HR representative was leaving for surgery and 5 weeks of recovery the day after we booked], we did not know that Via Rail would experience serious delays during our journey. If we had known in advance and planned accordingly, the delays would have been no big deal. Since we had not, the delays had a big impact on a large part of our trip. To be fair to Via Rail, they do have disclaimers on their website that you should not book onward travel or activities the day your train arrives into your station. Delays are unlikely to happen every trip and our experience was extreme, but it is never bad to be prepared!

Our train was from Toronto to Jasper left 5.5 hours late which resulted in us arriving in Jasper 3.5 hours late [considering time change]. Our train from Jasper to Vancouver [we did a stopover] was a whopping 9 hours late which cost us an entire day of sightseeing. The moral of the story? If we had known about the possibility of delays, we would have simply added an extra day to our itinerary at each destination and would have expected delays at each stop. Then, if we arrived at a reasonable time, it would have been unexpected. If you are planning to travel across Canada on Via Rail, simply build one extra day into your itinerary at each stop and do not book any flights the day you arrive. You can keep abreast of on-time performance on Via Rail’s website. Don’t let delays keep you from taking the train across Canada, simply be prepared!

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#5: Passenger trains share the track with freight and do not have priority

The main reason for all the delays? In Canada, freight trains bring in more money than passenger trains do so they get priority on the track. The freight company also owns the train tracks so Via Rail trains must often head over to a side rail to wait while freight trains pass. Each train that passes may take up to 20-40 minutes because some freight trains can be 3 miles long! Since passenger trains are a lot shorter, they must wait on a side track until freight passes. It is pretty neat to see the giant freight trains pass your train and count how many cars make up the train.

#6: Sleeping on a train is magically relaxing

We have slept in cars, on planes, and on cruise ships, but sleeping on a train was something special. The sound of the cars traveling over metal tracks coupled with the relaxing movement of the train rocked us to sleep in under five minutes each night. The motion was perfect enough to feel completely relaxed without feeling anxious about constant movement. Traveling by train across Canada made for some super restful nights!

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#7: Not stepping foot outside the train for days on end is not a problem

You can get off the train at pretty much every stop if you want so not getting off for three straight days is totally on us! We are homebodies and it was winter so we didn’t mind hanging out on the train for over 72 hours. We got plenty of exercise trekking between all the cars multiple times a day [these things can be long!] and loved being cozy inside at all the stops our train across Canada made!

#8: Only some trains have Wifi

“The Atlantic” and the corridor train that connects Montreal to Toronto both come equipped with Wifi in certain cars, but “The Canadian” [the longest train you will be on] does not. The connection on our trains from Halifax and Montreal were great and it was nice to have access to the outside world. It would have been nice to have the option for Wifi on “The Canadian” but you won’t die without it and it’s a great way to detox digitally. If you plan to take the train across Canada, pack or download some books in case you want to read them!

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#9: You will find plenty to do and will rarely be bored

In our entire 6 days of traveling by train across Canada, we can safely say that we were not bored one single time. The whole beauty of trans-Canadian train travel is getting to stare out the window and watch the world go by. We are an introvert/extrovert couple and the experience was delightful to both of us. Via Rail Canada has activities onboard such as wine and beer tasting, live music, discussions about what is going on outside and more. There are also magazines and books and a constant supply of coffee, tea, and snacks. We also downloaded movies and watched them at night while relaxing on our bed.

#10: Train food is actually very delicious

If you book a “sleeper plus” class ticket on “The Canadian” and “The Atlantic”, you will have access to three very yummy meals a day in the dining car. For each meal, you are offered a soup or salad starter, a choice between a variety of entrees, and a choice of dessert. We were thrilled that there was a vegetarian entree offered with each and every meal for Victoria.

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The food you will eat during your cross-country train trip is high quality and home cooked by Via Rail chefs in the kitchen. They have the ability to make minor substitutions since everything is cooked right in the dining car. During one of our delays, the only vegetarian food left on the train was a salad, so the chef cooked Victoria a delicious grilled cheese with soup and salad. We were really impressed by the flexibility and range of food offered on a train across Canada!

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#11: You can choose accommodations based on your budget

With a little saving, everyone should take the opportunity to take the train across Canada. Fortunately, Via Rail offers a bunch of options for each price point. If you are on an extreme budget, you can travel in economy class, but you will not receive meals and you have to sleep in your [comfy] seat. Looking for more room? You can book a “roomette” on the “Canadian” which is a cute semi-private bunk bed that lines the hallway in the sleeper car. The beds are huge and you have a curtain for privacy.

Alternatively, you can book a private cabin for one, two, or three, depending on your needs. Finally, if you are looking to go all-out, you can book the pricey Prestige Class which offers a full bed, unlimited liquor, a TV and more. Although it is expensive, prestige is already fully booked for the summer so it is quite a popular way to travel by train across Canada. We stayed in a cabin for two it was super roomy and comfortable for the journey! You can keep track of the lowest possible fares on this page! 

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A peek inside “Prestige” accommodations

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A “room for one” in daytime configuration

#12: The “Dome Car” offers the best view on the train

The “Dome Car” was our favorite part of the train and one of the best parts about traveling by train across Canada. It is equipped with very comfortable seating that elevates you above all the other train cars, giving you a 360 view of your journey. This car is by far the most popular so we suggest getting there early if you want to a good space [but don’t leave items to “save” your seat]. This car is perfect for photographers [or smartphone photographers] because you can see the entire train, what is ahead, what is above, and what is behind.

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#13: You will meet a ton of new people

Even if you are very introverted like Terrence, you are most likely going to meet a bunch of new people when riding the train across Canada. We met people from different parts of Canada, America, Australia, England, and Korea. Simply by virtue of sitting together and admiring the scenery, you will start to connect with or chat with others. People were intrigued by our camera which opened us to a lot of conversations.

In addition, you may not always get to sit at a private table for meals. Since the cars are so small and there are a lot of people, you may be put with other groups to dine. Other diners can tell if you are open to talking or not but some will befriend you anyway. Out of all the meals we ate with others, there were only two where we didn’t chat with our meal partners very much. By the end of our train travel across Canada, we had given away every business card save one to all our new friends!

#14: You will travel through 5 time zones and getting used to a new one is super easy

If you choose the entire transcontinental train trip, you will pass through five time zones [Atlantic, Eastern, Central, Mountain, and Pacific] from Halifax all the way to Vancouver. Some people online seem to think that traveling losing time while your train is going forward will mess with your mind. It actually won’t and this is truly the best way to cross time-zones that we have experienced. When traveling out west, we usually have a difficult time adjusting to the time zone. During our trans-Canadian train trip, we didn’t have a problem at all and our sleep was right on target the entire time! If this is something you are worrying about or considering, don’t fret! There is something about taking the train across Canada that makes time zones a lot easier to adjust to!

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#15: You won’t want to say goodbye to the train

You just rode a train across Canada which is something not many people get to do! When it comes time to pack up your belongings and say goodbye to the train and your journey, it is going to be really hard! The experience is so unique that you will instantly begin to miss the motion, the meals, the views, your accommodations, and more. We genuinely felt a little sad everytime we had to step off our train, but especially when we arrived in Vancouver and had to leave for good. Make sure to make the most of your travel so you can remember every detail!

Is a Canadian train trip on your bucket list? Make sure to let us know if you decide to see Canada by rail! Let’s chat in the comments.

Please note: We were hosted by Via Rail for the purpose of this review. Our views are all our own and do not reflect those of Via Rail Canada. We were not paid to write this post. 

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Best Cheap Hotels In Reykjavik Under $80 A Night

Finding cheap hotels in Reykjavik is essential if you ever hope to travel Iceland on a budget. Iceland has shot to the top of dream destination lists in the past few years and more people than ever before are visiting this fantastic arctic country. Whether you decide to take a 5 day Iceland road trip or are only in the country for a quick stopover, you are in for a real treat! Traveling Iceland on a budget takes research and a little bit of planning, but finding cheap hotels in Reykjavik doesn’t have to be hard and isn’t impossible in the least. Make no mistake, just because these hotels in Reykjavik are cheap, doesn’t mean they sacrifice comfort for affordability! 

Best Cheap Hotels In Reykjavik Under $80 A Night

 

Centric Guesthouse

Centric Guesthouse is located in the heart of Reykjavik and only minutes away from the iconic national cathedral. Travelers will love the homey guest rooms with chandeliers, on-site bar and restaurant, free wifi, luggage storage, and more. One of the more popular cheap hotels in Reykjavik, Centric Guesthouse is less than ten minutes walking distance from the majority of the capital’s most popular sites. There are just fifteen rooms at this guesthouse in downtown Reykjavik so you can be sure you will be treated like family. 

Rate: Prices from $79 per night 

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The Capital Inn

Are you looking to stay at a cheap hotel in Reykjavik where you will truly feel at home? The Captial Inn is just the place for you! This cozy guesthouse is nestled just 2.2 miles from the city center of Reykjavik so prices are a little bit cheaper if you are looking to go out and buy food. If you want to eat on property, the Captial Inn has a restaurant. Many hotels in Reykjavik, Iceland don’t offer visitors room options, but you have plenty of choices at the Captial Inn based on your budget requirements. Enjoy daily housekeeping, free parking, and maybe some Northern Light’s viewing! 

Rate: Prices from $33 per night

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Arcturus Guesthouse Reykjavik

This cheap hotel in Reykjavik is loved by guests who enjoy the proximity to downtown. The majority of the most popular tourist spots in Reykjavik are within 3-15 minutes away walking, and even shorter by taxi. Have your own car? Not to worry! Arcturus offers free parking so you don’t have to pay the high price of parking when exploring downtown. Honestly, this is a huge perk but the free wifi and comfortable and modern rooms aren’t bad either! To really make you feel like you are an Icelander, Arcturus offers free coffee and tea to greet you. Who said cheap hotels in Reykjavik have to sacrifice comfort? 

Rate: Prices from $80 per night

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Hostel B47

When searching for where to say in Reykjavik, don’t let the word “hostel” scare you off into thinking you have to share a room with a zillion people. In addition to the traditional shared dorm, Hostel B47 offers private rooms so you can be all alone. This means Hostel B47 is just like a regular hotel in the way that you have your own space. They have single private rooms if you are traveling alone and go all the way up to family rooms if you bring the kids along too. The price can’t be beaten and Hostel B47 is walking distance from downtown!

Rate: Prices from $39 per night

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ODDSSON

Fancy an ocean-view room in Iceland that doesn’t break the bank? Lucky for you, ODDSSON is one of the cheap hotels in Reykjavik that offers just that! They allow you to start checking in at 5:30am which is a major plus if you are arriving on a red eye flight. Most hotels in Iceland, even luxury ones, don’t allow check-in until 2pm, which means you have to wander around with all your luggage. The location is great and the price is affordable.

Rate: Prices from $39 per night 

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32 Tungata

Located in the heart of downtown Reykjavik, 32 Tungata is one of the cheap hotels in Iceland that is walking distance from literally everything you will want to visit. With free wifi and free parking, you will have somewhere to stow your car and stay connected to your friends back home. The multilingual staff are friendly and welcoming so you feel at home immediately. Plus, we think this is one of the cuter accommodations in Reykjavik, just look at the building! 

Rate: Prices from $69 per night 

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Atlantic Apartments and Rooms

Located just two miles from the heart of downtown, Atlantic Apartments and Rooms offers Scandinavian style and comfort to guests looking to save on cheap accommodations in Reykjavik. They truly understand that Iceland is an expensive country and you are looking to save some money. Like many of their competitors, they offer free parking and wifi, but Atlantic Apartments and Rooms also offers help with planning tours and concierge services for guests.

Rates: Prices from $64 per night 

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Hotel Hafnarfjordur

Hotel Hafnarfjordur offers FREE breakfast and that should be enough to sway you to book this place! They are one of the only cheap hotels in Reykjavik to offer breakfast which means one less meal you have to worry about in expensive Iceland! The modern hotel is about 10-15 minutes walking distance from all the popular sites and near major roadways. Click the button below to explore more about their sleek guestrooms!

Rate: Prices from $63 per night 

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Base Hotel By Keflavik Airport

Although not technically in Reykjavik proper, booking a hotel near Keflavik Airport is never a bad idea! Many flights arrive into Iceland in the middle of the night, so only heading a few miles to your hotel instead of the 45-minute journey to Reykjavik could be very convenient. Base Hotel is very comfortable and closer to the Blue Lagoon than many of the cheap hotels in Reykjavik. We wouldn’t blame you if you rested at Base Hotel and then spent the rest of the day relaxing in the Blue Lagoon!

Rate: Prices from $35 per night

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Guesthouse Keflavik

Dreaming of staying in a traditional Icelandic guesthouse? While we are on the topic of cheap hotels near Keflavik Airport, Guesthouse Keflavik is very cozy and modern. The white interior is very Scandinavian and the free breakfast is a nice perk. If you are hoping to hold a conference in Iceland or perhaps teach a photography workshop, Guesthouse Keflavik has a conference room that can be reserved. Free wifi and free parking don’t hurt either! 

Rate: Prices from $80 per night

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Reykjavik Hostel Village

Reykjavik Hostel Village is another one of the places to stay in Reykjavik that plays the part of both a hostel or a hotel so you have options. Yay choices! This place has double rooms just like any other hotel would and even studio apartments so don’t let the word “hostel” being in the name scare you away. If you don’t believe us, check out the photos of all the different options in the link below. This cute place is located right in the heart of downtown Reykjavik and the price really can’t be beat! 

Rate: Prices from $49 per night

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Kirkjuhvoll Guesthouse

If you are looking for a hotel that is between the airport and downtown Reykjavik, yet still in nature, Kirkjuhvoll Guesthouse will be perfect for you! Many wonderful Icelandic sites such as lighthouses, hot springs, lava fields and more are just a walk or short drive away and downtown Reykjavik isn’t too far away by car. Kirkjuhvoll Guesthouse even offers free bike rental to guests so they can more easily explore the surrounding area. Purchasing breakfast is an option and there is a golf course nearby if that is your thing. Bet you didn’t even know Iceland had golf courses! This Reykjavik airport hotel is perfect for both exploring or relaxing after a long flight. 

Rate: Prices from $74 per night

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Apotek Guesthouse

Located between downtown Reykjavik and the Blue Lagoon, Apotek Guesthouse is an affordable option to the more expensive lodges that populate this area of town. If you are bringing a tot, Apotek Guesthouse offers free cribs to maximize comfort for both you and your mini-me. The garden is a nice touch and the free parking and wifi are always a plus! Laundry facilities are also a huge perk if you have been traveling Iceland for a while and haven’t had time to wash your clothes. Apotek Guesthouse will have you feeling fresh and rested in no time. Don’t forget to head to the nearby beach!

Rate: Prices from $37 per night

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Start Hostel

Start Hostel is another one of those city center hotels in Reykjavik that plays the role of both a hotel and hostel, depending on your preference. For the price, the rooms are ultra comfortable, daily housekeeping is included, free breakfast, wifi, parking and more. Enjoy self-service laundry, a playground for the kiddos,  close proximity to museums and sights, luggage storage, and tour and ticket assistance. If you are looking for Scandinavian comfort for a fraction of the price, Start Hostel is the place for you!

Rate: Prices from $55 per night

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We know just how expensive Iceland can be so booking one of these cheap hotels in Reykjavik will help you to save more money that you can spend elsewhere on the island. Good luck and don’t forget to check out our other articles about visiting Iceland on a budget and our money saving tips! 

Please note: This article contains some affiliate links which means if you click on them we make a small profit for referring you. This is at no added cost to you and helps us to continue to create content for Follow Me Away. 

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Telecom Square Review: How To Get Wifi Anywhere When Traveling

We have traveled to 24 countries to date and as travel bloggers, being connected to the internet is part of our job. No matter where you are from, when you travel out of your home country, your cell phone usually won’t work well or won’t work at all. During our European road trip, we spend the majority of our time looking for places with Wifi.

Our phones would connect to local networks, but things would go at a glacial pace and nothing would load, rendering the small bit of connectivity useless. We couldn’t do anything until we got to a place with wifi, and even then, a lot of wifi was untrustworthy. We recently learned about a company called Telecom Square and the existence of wifi hotspots for travel.

We though wifi hotspots were expensive things that you could add to your phone plan for a couple hundred dollars a month. Well, we sure were wrong!

Telecom Square Review: You Won't Want To Travel Without Global Wifi After Reading This

What is Telecom Square Global Wifi and how can it benefit you?

In the most basic sense, Telecom Square is a pocket-sized device that you take with you on your travels so you can be connected to the net. It works in 96 countries so most of the major destinations you will travel will be covered in a beautiful blanket of wifi connectivity. Global wifi benefits you in a ton of ways. First off, if you do not have free global roaming, you may incur a ton of charges that are more expensive than the Telecom Square daily rate of $6.99 a day. If you intend to work while away or simply want your snapchat to connect, global wifi is an easy and cheap way to gain internet access while abroad.

How does it work and what does it cost?

Telecom Square is frighteningly easy to work! The company will send you the global wifi hotspot a few days before your trip and once you arrive at your destination and you are ready to use it, simply click the little button to power it on and boom….internet! We were surprised at how long the battery lasted. Even when the battery looked like it was on its last leg, we eeked out another two hours of life! Very impressive. You get a good solid 5-6 hours of time before you need to think about charging it, which is perfect if you are exploring a city all day.  You are charged by 24 hour periods so it is not advised to start a new session just to browse the web real quick. If you are on the internet constantly like us, this is perfect for you as you will use it many times during your active period. The base cost starts at $6.99 per day. If you want to upgrade to a country-specific package or premium membership, the costs run from $9.99 to $19.99 per day.

Telecom Square Review: You Won't Want To Travel Without Global Wifi After Reading This

You are charged by 24 hour periods so it is not advised to start a new session just to browse the web real quick. If you are on the internet constantly like us, this is perfect for you as you will use it many times during your active period. The base cost starts at $6.99 per day. If you want to upgrade to a country-specific package or premium membership, the costs run from $9.99 to $19.99 per day.

Who is a good fit for purchasing a global wifi hotspot?

The short answer: anyone who is looking to have reliable wifi on the go. The longer answer is this. Telecom Square is perfect for travelers going on shorter trips. Our first trip abroad was 15 days long so something like this would be perfect, especially if you have never been overseas or out of your own country before. It certainly adds a feeling of safety knowing you can access friends and family instantly. If you are a digital nomad or travel extensively, the costs can add up quickly. We suggest finding a home base with reliable wifi [but you know this!] and using the Telecom Square hotspot for shorter trips. We do our business online, so if we are on a press trip in a remote location, the ability to be connected to the outside world for just $6.99 a day is beyond worth it when you compare the cost of losing customers because work isn’t completed.

Telecom Square Review: You Won't Want To Travel Without Global Wifi After Reading This

Real Talk: Honest thoughts and how Telecom Square really worked

Our first trip with a global wifi hotspot was to Peru. We were told by the company that Peru was a developing country so the internet will not be as strong as it would in say, Europe. This was also our first time in South America and we were told the wifi in Peru is absolutely horrible [news flash: it was just dandy]. So how did Telecom Square perform? It met and exceeded our expectations! If you follow us, you would see that we were posting constantly and from remote areas. Facebook friends even asked us if Machu Picchu had installed free wifi. Nope!! Just us using our trusty Telecom Square to share the Inca Village with the world! We used our Telecom Square in large cities like Lima and in tiny cities like Paracas. We used it on a train in the middle of the Andes, while driving along the coast, on top of sand dunes, and in Airbnbs that we accidentally booked without wifi.

Telecom Square Review: You Won't Want To Travel Without Global Wifi After Reading This

 

As expected, the device wasn’t perfect, but it was way better than anything we would have had otherwise. It worked fantastic in most areas. The areas it didn’t work? At 14,000 feet in the mountains [no surprise], in the middle of a desolate desert with no one around for miles [again, no surprise]. and on airplanes. Other than that, we only had “slow” connectivity in one location, but again, it was way better than nothing.

If we did not have Telecom Square, we would have been left in the dark for the entirety of our month trip, except when we were at our Airbnb at the end of the night. It was a welcome and refreshing change to be able to answer work emails during the day during a car ride or actually post to Instagram stories in real time.

The Verdict

We cannot even imagine the ease of traveling Europe, Canada and other western countries with a wifi hotspot! It will be like a dream! We feel like we discovered a whole world of internet that we didn’t even know existed and now we will never go back to non-global hotspot travel! $6.99/day is a small price to pay for the epic benefits of Telecom Square wifi to follow you everywhere you go!

Convinced you want to travel with wifi? It is never too early to start planning! Check out our travel tips to help you get started!

Disclaimer: Telecom Square provided us with wifi services for the purpose of this review. All opinions are our own and darn did they sell us on the luxury that is global wifi! Try it, you won’t be disappointed!

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Luxury Meets Adventure At Hotel Paracas In Peru

Before we had arrived at Hotel Paracas, we spent about a week and a half traveling around Peru. While our travels were exciting, they were also tiring and a bit dusty from the desert and sandy landscapes. When we navigated to the hotel entrance, we were greeted by a kind guard and a valet who relieved us of our car so we could check in.

Luxury Meets Adventure At Hotel Paracas In Peru | Best Luxury Hotel In Paracas | Hotel Paracas Review

The check in area was nice but simple and unassuming. We had no idea of the luxury we were about to experience. Unlike many hotels, the check-in process at Hotel Paracas was smooth and painless. Once checked in, we were escorted to our room. Except, the rooms at Hotel Paracas aren’t traditional in nature. The entire hotel property is comprised of little villas facing beautiful gardens, pools, or the ocean itself.

Rooms at Hotel Paracas

When we were brought to our villa, we thought there must have been a mistake. There is no way we could have this entire place to ourselves! It indeed was not too good to be true and we had the entire villa to ourselves! We later found out that there were other villas that were even larger and grander than the one we were staying in so you can rest assured that Hotel Paracas spares no luxury for guests.

Luxury Meets Adventure At Hotel Paracas In Peru | Best Luxury Hotel In Paracas | Hotel Paracas Review

Our villa faced the main pool and a small garden, which we loved. Each villa comes complete with its own front porch! Inside our room, we found chocolates, a gift of the hotel, lovely locally made products, soaps, and more. Each night, Hotel Paracas provides a turndown service to guests and shares a card with the weather and some chocolates for you to enjoy.

Luxury Meets Adventure At Hotel Paracas In Peru | Best Luxury Hotel In Paracas | Hotel Paracas Review

Dining At Hotel Paracas

Hotel Paracas offers guests multiple dining options. Ballestas Restaurant is the focal point of the entire hotel. It serves a fusion of Mediterranean and Peruvian dishes. We loved that the menu had an entire section dedicated to vegetarian or vegan fare. Although we didn’t order anything from the vegan menu, the chef was more than happy to vegetarianize one of the main pasta dishes for Victoria. The flavors in all of the dishes were unique and the views from the floor-to-ceiling glass windows were romantic.

Luxury Meets Adventure At Hotel Paracas In Peru | Best Luxury Hotel In Paracas | Hotel Paracas Review

Luxury Meets Adventure At Hotel Paracas In Peru | Best Luxury Hotel In Paracas | Hotel Paracas Review

If you are looking for lighter fare or don’t want to eat in the main dining room, you can head to the pool or nearby bars for delicious bites or to the Trattoria if pizza and pasta are what you are craving. We decided to give the Trattoria a try and were not disappointed. The intimate atmosphere and affordable prices all make the Trattoria a great option for dining at Hotel Paracas. We both opted for an entree over a pizza, but we saw the pizza’s cooking and you wouldn’t go wrong by choosing one!

The Spa At Hotel Paracas

The spa at Hotel Paracas is located in a beautiful garden setting and takes up two floors of space, with a full-size pool on the second floor. The spa offers everything from traditional facials to exotic massages. We were in the mood for relaxing on our own schedule and spending quiet time with each other so we chose to give the thermal circuit a try. We were shocked when the spa manager quoted a price that hovered just around $32 US per person. We found this to be extremely affordable for a spa experience at a luxury hotel.

Luxury Meets Adventure At Hotel Paracas In Peru | Best Luxury Hotel In Paracas | Hotel Paracas Review

If you have never tried a thermal circuit before, it is quite the experience, and Hotel Paracas knows how to deliver. First, you enter a hot tub, spend some time there, and then make your way to a giant heated pool. The pool was on the second floor and had a ton of jets, waterfalls, and submerged lounge chairs. Once you have had your fill, you proceed to the cold plunge pool. The water is about 58*F and you are brave if you can run in, get wet, and run out! It was quite cold but quite the experience!

Once completed, you head to a Roman bath which is a steam room with fantastic heated seats. You cool down in a series of aromatherapy showers. This was our favorite part as the smell of eucalyptus and other essential oils filled the room. Next, you proceed to a dark room with little stars on the ceiling and relax on heated lounge chairs. Once complete, you proceed to a foot bath where pressured jets work on the muscles of your legs. Finally, you finish by relaxing on ceramic lounge chairs with a cup of chilled floral tea provided by the spa staff.

The experience was fantastic and we loved that we could do it ourselves. If you are looking for your first spa package or to reconnect with your significant other without breaking the bank, try the thermal circuit at Hotel Paracas.

Activities At Hotel Paracas

We were surprised and thrilled by the amount of activities and adventures Hotel Paracas provided to guests. The hotel comes complete with two infinity pools. One pool is the centerpiece of the entire property and is adults only. The other pool is for families but is equally as beautiful. We were disappointed to find that there were no outdoor hot tubs, but the water was warm enough to enjoy without needing to warm up after.

Luxury Meets Adventure At Hotel Paracas In Peru | Best Luxury Hotel In Paracas | Hotel Paracas Review

Luxury Meets Adventure At Hotel Paracas In Peru | Best Luxury Hotel In Paracas | Hotel Paracas Review

Every morning, Hotel Paracas offers a variety of activities, from windsurfing and paddle boarding to sailing and wakeboarding. We decided to go sailing and received a private captain from the hotel. Had we have been able to sail ourselves, we could have taken the boat out all alone. Although our captain didn’t speak any English, he was still able to understand our gestures and broken Spanish. He took us to see the famous Flamingos in the nearby Paracas National Park and navigated us beneath thousands of birds. The whole trip lasted about an hour and a half and was a great way to relax and see the surrounding area.

Luxury Meets Adventure At Hotel Paracas In Peru | Best Luxury Hotel In Paracas | Hotel Paracas Review

Our favorite activity at Hotel Paracas was the Ballestas Islands tours. We know that seeing the islands was top on our list during our visit in Paracas, so we were excited to learn that Hotel Paracas actually runs tours from their own private dock. At about $30 USD per person, they were a bit more expensive than the cheaper tours we could find in town, but they used newer and safer boats and were launched from our own private dock. We also received handmade souvenirs and coffee and pastries upon our return.

The boat tour was unlike anything we had ever experienced. Our guide spoke both English and Spanish and did a great job explaining everything about the islands. We were able to see ancient etchings, penguins, sea lions, and a ton of different unique seabirds. The captain of our little boat was kind and would always stop for the guests to take photos and then turn the boat so each person had a chance to view wildlife up close. This was truly a highlight of our trip and worth the small extra fee for convenience and safety.

Luxury Meets Adventure At Hotel Paracas In Peru | Best Luxury Hotel In Paracas | Hotel Paracas Review

Overall, our experience at Hotel Paracas far surpassed our expectations. This oasis in the middle of the Peruvian Desert is worth every penny and the affordable add-ons make it even more attractive.

Do you want to stay in a luxury hotel in Peru? Let us know in the comments!

Please note: Hotel Paracas provided us with a complimentary reservation for the purpose of this review. All thoughts are our own and we really did enjoy their fantastic and luxurious hotel and encourage you to go! 

5 Luxury Villas In Mexico To Stay At Before You Die

Booking one of the many luxury villas in Mexico for a family getaway, honeymoon, or just a little TLC is on the bucket list for many people. Mexico is the perfect travel destination because it is easy to get to from both North and South America [and even Europe], it is affordable to travel around, it offers epic views of tropical waters, the temperature is pleasant all year round, the locals are friendly and much more. For years, Mexico has been the secret paradise for the rich and famous, but now luxury travelers and relaxation seekers from around the globe have their sights set on visiting this tropical paradise. Whether you are interested in renting one of those Mexico beachfront rentals or getting a villa in the mountains, the largest country in Central America has something for everyone!

5 Luxury Villas In Mexico To Stay At Before You Die

#1: Cielos 88

5 Luxury Villas In Mexico To Stay At Before You Die | Best Luxury Villas In Mexico

Located in ultra luxe Los Cabos, Cielos 88 is situated near the ocean, golf courses, nightlife, restaurants and more. It comes complete with not one, but two master bedrooms, so if you are traveling with your significant other and your parents, you are both able to be comfy in large rooms. When it comes to renting one of the many luxury villas in Mexico, space for your family and friends is necessary. Cielos 88 can host up to eight people, so you can be sure everyone has space to themselves. The outdoor living boasts stunning views and the high ceilings and exposed wood beams of the inside lend a rustic feel to the property. Since we live in a digital age, the wifi is strong, satellite TV ready, and espresso machine plugged in just waiting for your arrival!

#2: Penasco

5 Luxury Villas In Mexico To Stay At Before You Die | Best Luxury Villas In Mexico

Holy moly are we swooning over the Pencaso in Cabo San Lucas. This place is what dreams are made of and could may as well be situated in the Mediterranean! The cliffside architecture and epic views of the sea and city make it worth the splurge for your honeymoon or next family or friends getaway. Think about it, if you all pool your money together, it won’t cost that much per person, especially since this home can hold up to fourteen guests! The infinity pool practically hangs off a cliff and the built in hot tub is perfect for stargazing under the warm night air. Even better? Unlike many luxury villas in Mexico, Penasco comes with your very own telescope so you can get up close and personal with the little dipper while the sound of the fire in your outdoor firepit crackles nex to you. The living space is elegant and modern and offers stunning views of the sea from multiple angles.

#3: Villa La Gran Tortuga

5 Luxury Villas In Mexico To Stay At Before You Die | Best Luxury Villas In Mexico

Many luxury villas in Mexico are located in condo associations or around a lot of people. This is not true regarding Villa La Gran Tortuga. This property is surrounded by green as far as the eye can see on three sides, and the ocean on the last. If you are looking for seclusion, Villa La Gran Tortuga is perfect for you. Seeing the beach from your balcony is one thing, but being able to take a few steps from your back porch before your toes are in the ocean is quite another. The secluded nature of this luxury villa in Mexico makes it perfect for honeymooners or couples just looking to spend some time alone. Plus, who doesn’t love a little bridge that goes over the swimming pool? What a fun selling point!

#4: Villa Suzannah

5 Luxury Villas In Mexico To Stay At Before You Die | Best Luxury Villas In Mexico

If you want to rent one of the luxury villas in Mexico without breaking the bank, Villa Suzannah is for you! This fantastic villa does not sacrifice amenities, views, or comfort for the price. Perched high on a mountain, you can still enjoy views of the ocean, your own private pool, epic fixtures, and the utmost luxury. Some people are more in-tune with the mountains than the ocean and Villa Suzannah gives you the best of both worlds. The sunset views are unmatched from the large terrace, so be sure to plan a few dinners out on the porch to maximize your sunset viewing hours. Unlike other luxury villas in Mexico, you won’t be starting at your neighbors, but instead will be enjoying views of the green treetops, golden Mexican sunlight, and beautiful ocean below. Still not sure about the cost? Bring your besties or your family to help split the cost eight ways. Suddenly you are barely paying more than a regular hotel and you get an entire home, epic views, and all your buddies under one roof!

#5: Jimmy Page Villa

5 Luxury Villas In Mexico To Stay At Before You Die | Best Luxury Villas In Mexico

This villa made our top five list because of its southwestern architecture and because it has a SLIDE into the pool! We are just kids at heart, so having a slide is pretty nifty. Not many of the luxury villas have one, so that made the Jimmy Page Villa even more special. This luxury retreat in Mexico has 24-hour security for peace of mind, sweeping views of the ocean, and is just minutes away from popular surf spots so you can practice standing up on a board. Don’t want to surf? Don’t worry! Some of Mexico’s best golf courses are nearby as well as famous birding and fishing locations. The large open kitchen and living room allow you to continue to enjoy the beautiful Mexican views, even while indoors, and the entertainment system ensures you will never be bored, even after the sun sets. Even though Jimmy Page Villa is able to accommodate up to ten guests, we wouldn’t blame you if you booked it as a special getaway for the two of you!

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Where To Stay In Peru: Top Wanderlust-Worthy Airbnb Locations

Are you taking a vacation to South America and looking at where to stay in Peru? Planning your dream trip in your mind? Whatever your plans, we love Airbnb when looking for the best places to stay when traveling which is why we wrote this beginner’s guide to Airbnb. Whether you are on a budget or want the most luxurious experience around, Airbnb’s in Peru cater to everyone. From the biggest cities to the most remote regions, discovering where to stay in Peru through Airbnb has never been easier. 

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Where To Stay In Peru: Top Wanderlust-Worthy Airbnb Locations

 

Where to stay in Miraflores

Where To Stay In Peru: Top Wanderlust-Worthy Airbnb Locations

Miraflores is known as the safest district in Lima and perfect for your first introduction to Peru. The “Classy and Comfy Miraflores Apartment with Sea Views” is located just steps away from the South Pacific Ocean and offers sweeping views of Lima and a sneak peek at the ocean. Antony, your host, offers extremely helpful directions for getting to the Airbnb, even if you have to do it at 2am like we did. The building comes complete with a 24/7 doorman which was really helpful, especially if this is your first trip to Peru. 

Where To Stay In Peru: Top Wanderlust-Worthy Airbnb Locations

Depending on what you like to do, you can spend your days walking along the coast, visiting local smoothie and juice shops, or catching an Uber or taxi downtown. If you want to relax, one entire wall of this Airbnb apartment is glass so you can still enjoy the city and ocean without having to leave your home. If you have been traveling for a while or just want to freshen up, this listing comes with a washer and dryer which is a small but awesome luxury. 

Book This Miraflores Airbnb

Where to Stay in Ica

Where To Stay In Peru: Top Wanderlust-Worthy Airbnb Locations

If you are heading to Peru and looking for somewhere to visit other than the famous Machu Picchu, we highly recommend Ica! For only $30 a night, you can “Relax Under The Sun In A Dream Home” with a view of the famous Peruvian Sand Dunes. The hosts of this location, Luis and Victoria, are beyond kind and offer a traditional Peruvian breakfast to visitors every day. They have a large home and it is set up “hacinda style,” with everything surrounding the pool and garden. The room was clean and the bathroom was huge, and we enjoyed playing with their cute poodle, cat, and parrot!! All the animals were quiet and well behaved and a joy to be around.

Where To Stay In Peru: Top Wanderlust-Worthy Airbnb Locations

If you came to Ica to visit the Huacachina Oaisis, rest assured that it is less than ten minutes away! Luis and Victoria will set up a taxi for you and will suggest the best tour companies to book with if you want to take a tour of the Sand Dunes or of local wineries. If you can’t wait or don’t want to visit Huacachina, the sand dunes behind their home are hikeable too! This Airbnb was truly an oaisis smack dab in the middle of the Peurivian desert!

Book this Ica Airbnb

Where to Stay in Paracas

Where To Stay In Peru: Top Wanderlust-Worthy Airbnb Locations

Paracas, Peru is an insanely diverse part of the country, but you do not have to sacrifice comfort in order to explore it. Imagine staying in a luxury duplex with a sea view and you will imagine Sarah’s Airbnb in Paracas, except it will be better than you could have ever imagined. This penthouse duplex takes up TWO WHOLE LEVELS and offers floor to celing windows facing the ocean and spectacular views from the inside. Sarah was very kind and check-in was a breeze. The location is very secure. with two seperate doormen in order to get onto the property. 

Where To Stay In Peru: Top Wanderlust-Worthy Airbnb Locations

This Airbnb is just a few minutes away from the popular Paracas National Park so whether you plan to drive yourself or hail a taxi, you are never far away. Another favorite is the Ballestas Islands, and Sarah’s luxury Airbnb offers views of those too! If you are traveling with your family or a bunch of friends and looking for where to stay in Peru, booking this Airbnb will be your best option since it can host up to 10 guests and has 16 beds! The property is stunning, complete with multiple pools, a lazy river, and a clubhouse with wifi.

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Where to Stay In Magdalena Del Mar

Where To Stay In Peru: Top Wanderlust-Worthy Airbnb Locations

If you are looking to visit authentic Peruvian neighborhoods or perhaps catch up on some rest or work during your travels, Magdalena Del Mar is the ultimate place. This safe but residential district in Lima is located near the sea and only 10 minutes away from popular tourist sites. Mercedes’ “Entire 2 bedroom home near the Pacific Ocean” offers two full bedrooms and three bathrooms, a balcony, fast wifi, a washer, and close proxiity to grocery stores and shops. When searching for where to stay in Peru, this district is affordable but safe for travelers. 

Where To Stay In Peru: Top Wanderlust-Worthy Airbnb Locations

Check-in was a breeze and we were greeted by Mercedes’ sister, although sometimes her brother is the one meeting visitors. The full kitchen and close stores allowed us to cook dinner during our entire stay. The ocean is just three or four blocks away, so vitamin sea is never far away. Simply open one of the many windows and let the fresh sea breeze sooth you to sleep!

Book This Magdalena Del Mar Airbnb 

Where to Stay in Cusco

Where To Stay In Peru: Top Wanderlust-Worthy Airbnb Locations

No trip to Peru is complete without a stop in Cusco! When searching for where to stay in Peru, Cusco should be one of your top locations to visit. Elizabeth’s Casa Micay is located right in the heart of Cusco and only a 10-15 minute taxi ride from the Airport. Since Elizabeth lives in the same building, she will greet you when possible, and may even offer to make you Coca Tea if the altitude change is getting to you. Enjoying a warm cup of tea after a long travel day really helps you to relax.

Where To Stay In Peru: Top Wanderlust-Worthy Airbnb Locations

Like most homes in Peru, Elizabeth’s doesn’t have central heating, but she does offer a larger plug-in heater which does a swell job of warming up the home. If you are looking for something to eat, there are plenty of local restaruaunts within walking distance of Elizabeth’s home. Even better, purchase some soup from a nearby street vendor to warm you up for a few sols. Elizabeth’s apartment is perfect for families or friends traveling together, and the desk makes for a great workspace for digital nomads.

Book This Cusco Airbnb

Where to Stay in the Sacred Valley

Where To Stay In Peru: Top Wanderlust-Worthy Airbnb Locations

Once you are finished in Cusco, make sure to spend a few days in the Sacred Valley. If you are still searching for where to stay in Peru’s Sacred Valley, look no further. Skip hotels or hostals and treat yourself to a luxury experience in the countryside. “Your Sweet Home In The Sacred Valley” is a insanely modern home hosted by Dirk. The home looks like something out of a home magazine or a TV show. If you book this place, you are in for a real treat because of the modern fixtures, multiple rooms, infinity pool on the second floor, epic views of the mountains, and proximity to Sacred Valley favorites. 

Where To Stay In Peru: Top Wanderlust-Worthy Airbnb Locations

Urabamba is the closest large town, with Ollytaytambo just a bit further than it and the famous salt mines and a ton of ruins nearby. If you have your own car, there is a garage and if you don’t, the main road is just a few steps from the entrance. The chef’s kitchen made for great cooking and the floor-to-celing windows offered views of the mountains we didn’t know were possible. $103 a night for up to 6 people is a steal for this completely epic property. 

Book This Sacred Valley Airbnb

We could go on forever about the abundance of epic Airbnb locations you can find when searching for where to stay in Peru. We hope that these listings are a great start to your search and we know you will love the fantastic locations and friendly hosts just as much as we did! Whether you want the sea, desert, or mountains, there is truly something for everyone in Peru!

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How Renting an RV as a Couple Can Bring You Closer Together

Renting an RV as a couple is one of those pastimes that is cheap, fun, and gets you out of the house. Victoria RV’d with her parents for four months a year for her childhood and we went RVing in Europe on an epic road trip so we can attest to the many benefits of RVing. One advantage is that RVing can bring couples closer together and, if done right, can strengthen the bond between two people. You don’t have to live full-time in an RV to reap the benefits of the lifestyle, either – even renting an RV for just a few days or weeks is long enough to improve your quality of life and reinforce your relationship.

How Renting an RV as a Couple Can Bring You Closer Together | Tips for renting an RV | what to know about RVing for the first time | the beginner's guide to RVing | everything you need to know about RVing as a couple

This probably all sounds pretty crazy. How could packing two people into a tin can and sending them off on a road trip possibly end well?! Wouldn’t most couples want to kill each other by the end of it? For some, an RV trip with a significant other can definitely be a deal breaker. But for a great many of us, it offers a renewed sense of wonder and a stronger emotional bond. The reasoning behind this is psychological – while you’re having a good time enjoying yourself, there’s a lot of powerful stuff going on in your brain. So, what exactly is it that makes RVing as a couple one of the best ways to reinvigorate your relationship?

How Renting an RV as a Couple Can Bring You Closer Together

At its core, RVing is a team-building exercise.

RVing may be about embracing freedom and serendipity, but don’t be fooled, there’s a lot of planning involved. Planning campground stays and travel routes is imperative, especially if you don’t have extra cash to burn on gas. Even if you don’t want to stay in a campground, you still have to look for safe sites, plan your meals, and practice energy conservation. Heck, you even have to plan for the unplanned, like what you’ll do if there’s a weather emergency, accident, or anything else that can go wrong while you’re on the road when renting an RV as a couple.

What does all this have to do with your happiness? Well, planning a vacation is actually good for you. Think about the last time planned a trip. It was sort of fun to find to map out your itinerary, right? When you plan, you anticipate – and anticipation is half the fun. The logical side of planning also plays a big part here. Concocting a successful plan is like finishing a difficult puzzle; it leaves you with a sense of accomplishment and a feeling that you can take on the world. For you and your significant other, it’s a thrill you’ll get to enjoy together when renting an RV as a couple. For us, planning a trip is something we both get excited about and it makes us appreciate the outcome even more. 

How Renting an RV as a Couple Can Bring You Closer Together | Tips for renting an RV | what to know about RVing for the first time | the beginner's guide to RVing | everything you need to know about RVing as a couple

 

Renting an RV as a couple improves problem-solving skills

It should come as no surprise that problem-solving is a critical skill for couples. Every couple has disagreements at one point or another [don’t we know!], and being able to come up with creative solutions together gives you the tools to address problems as they arise in your relationship. Renting an RV as a couple builds upon a foundation of critical and creative thinking so you and your partner are all but forced to work out your differences and find a solution to the matter at hand. Missed your exit? Blew a fuse? Can’t figure out how to connect the sewer hose? These, and many others are common issues you’ll run into when RVing, and they all require you to think on your feet and work together. All the while, you’re developing shared skills that will carry over into other facets of your lives, like your relationship.  

How Renting an RV as a Couple Can Bring You Closer Together | Tips for renting an RV | what to know about RVing for the first time | the beginner's guide to RVing | everything you need to know about RVing as a couple

RVing facilitates exploration and discovery

You know that feeling when you find a coffee shop that has awesome music, or a secret restaurant that has the best burger you’ve ever tasted? That’s your brain doing backflips over discovering something new. Novelty is a huge stimulant to the reward center of the brain, and it’s directly related to exploration, especially when renting an RV as a couple. The discovery, or even the anticipation of discovery, motivates us to seek it out. In other words, exploration leads to discovery, and discovery leads to more exploration – and both make us feel great. Obviously, travel breeds novelty, and RV travel puts you in a constantly changing environment. Whether exploring new towns or hiking in uncharted areas, both you and your beloved will get a rush of dopamine that renews your excitement for each other and the world around you. And that’s never a bad thing.

How Renting an RV as a Couple Can Bring You Closer Together | Tips for renting an RV | what to know about RVing for the first time | the beginner's guide to RVing | everything you need to know about RVing as a couple

It gives you time to relax and restart

We all need a break from the monotony of life sometimes. For couples, having time to relax and catch up with one another is paramount to a healthy relationship. Between all the time spent working and maintaining a household, communication and relaxation can often fall by the wayside. Renting an RV as a couple can give you back that lost time. The RV lifestyle is a laid back one – a lifestyle that harmonizes the excitement of exploration with the tranquility of relaxed, quiet moments. Whether it’s a day on the road or a night around the campfire, you and your other half will have plenty of time to talk, laugh, and remember why you fell in love in the first place. When driving for long periods of time, we love listening to a great road trip playlist or chatting it up for hours!

How Renting an RV as a Couple Can Bring You Closer Together | Tips for renting an RV | what to know about RVing for the first time | the beginner's guide to RVing | everything you need to know about RVing as a couple

Ready to Hit the Road?

Everyone knows that travel is one of the best things you can do for your brain and your sense of wellbeing. It makes you happier, more adaptable, and more open-minded. These benefits extend to your relationship when you travel as a couple, creating a sturdy foundation and an unshakable emotional bond. If RV travel sounds like your dream vacation, but you’re unsure about diving in head first, take baby steps! You can rent an RV from a site like RVshare for a weekend (or week-long) getaway. Who knows, you may find that you want to buy an RV or even live in one full-time! Have you taken a road trip with a significant other? We want to hear from you in the comments! 

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5 Epic Things To Do In Mauritius On Your First Trip

Are you planning a trip to the Indian Ocean and looking for things to do in Mauritius or are you dreaming of one day traveling to this far-flung island like us? Either way, Mauritius is a tropical paradise off the coast of Africa near Madagascar and is gaining popularity as one positively fantastic place to visit. Whether you like to relax by the pool or up for an adventure of a lifetime, Mauritius is the place for you! 

5 Epic Things To Do In Mauritius On Your First Trip

#1: Walk underwater or go scuba diving

Mauritius is one of the only places in the world where you can literally walk around underwater. One of the most epic things to do in Mauritius is to head to a place called Captain Nemo’s Undersea Walk and go for a stroll underwater. If true scuba diving is more your thing, Mauritius has plenty of crystal clear water and marine life to draw swimmers from around the world. Even if you are just looking to dive, you will find plenty of things to do in Mauritius.

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#2: Go for a hike in Black River Gorges National Park

Black River Gorges National Park is the place to be for adventure lovers and nature buffs when searching for things to do in Mauritius. We absolutely love epic nature so this is right up our alley! In the national park, there are 311 species of plants, some of which aren’t found anywhere else in the world! You can hike up Le Pouce Mountain and see two UNESCO world heritage sites at once or hang around and bird watch and try and spot one of the 9 birds that are endemic to Mauritius [not found anywhere else in the world].

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#3: Do go chasing waterfalls in Mauritius

If you love the basalt rocks found on beaches in Iceland or the basalt rock waterfalls found in Oregon, then you are in for a real treat when visiting Mauritius! The island is chalk full of beautiful waterfalls to explore, including ones surrounded by volcanic basalt rocks! Many of the waterfalls are located in the Black River Gorge mentioned above and you can even go canyoning which looks positively epic as well!

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#4: Go to foodie heaven when trying the street food

Seeking out great street food in Mauritius is one of the top things to do when visiting the island! The dishes are an explosion of flavor with strong Creole influence. That being said, the food in Mauritius borrows flavors from French, African, Chinese, and Indian cultures. Popular dishes include dholl puris, seafood curries, and warm roti chaud. Don’t forget to try a taste of sugar cane juice, we hear it is to die for!

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#5: Walk amongst giant lily pads at Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Gardens

It is our dream to see giant lily pads so this would certainly top our list of things to do in Mauritius! The botanical garden is famous for its huge pads and is frequented by locals who enjoy relaxing in the shade and enjoying the day. As Catholics, seeing the Church Of Saint Francis, which is located in the gardens, would certainly be one of the things to do in Mauritius that we would keep high on our list!

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Although we have yet to actually visit Mauritius, we have done some heavy research online, on the Mauritius Tourism Board website, and on other travel blogs to figure out what we would want to do on our dream trip! What are your favorite things to do in Mauritius? If you have any suggestions on the best things to do in Mauritius, we would love to hear from you in the comments!

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Top 5 Best Things To Do In The Bahamas

Are you searching for the best things to do in the Bahamas for an upcoming trip or event? Made up of 700 islands and 2,400 coral reefs (cays), the Bahamas is a vacation favorite for travelers from across the globe. Even though 30 of the islands are inhabited, there is truly an abundance of things to do in the Bahamas for people of all ages!

Top 5 Best Things To Do In The Bahamas

#1: Get wet with one of the Bahamas’ watersports activities

It would be a shame to visit a place like the Bahamas without trying a water sports activity or two. Depending on which island you’re on, you will find sports and activities such as snorkeling, surfing, parasailing, diving, and kayaking. Other things to do in the Bahamas include fishing, sailing, and boating. If you’ve ever dreamt of swimming with the dolphins and interacting with sea lions, then you can visit Dolphin Encounters on Blue Lagoon Island. People of all ages have also been known to enjoy a trip to the Caribbean’s largest water theme park, Aquaventure. It’s located on more than 140 acres on Atlantis, Paradise Island. There, you’ll find dozens of pools, exciting water slides, and even a river ride. We have yet to visit Atlantis but it is on our bucket list!

Top 5 Best Things To Do In The Bahamas | Tips For Visiting The Bahamas | What To Do In The Bahamas | Complete Bahamas Guide | Bahamas Travel Tips | Top Things To See And Do In The Bahamas Islands

#2: Take in nature at one of the Bahamas’ National Parks

If you’re looking to become one with nature, visit one of the many national parks. They are the true gems and one of the top things to do in the Bahama Islands. The national parks protect thousands upon thousands of acres on the islands. Depending upon the park, you will find underwater caves, coral, snorkeling, diving, boardwalks, picnicking, nature trails, preservation areas, freshwater reservoirs, and even a plantation house. You’ll be able to search for, and spot, a seemingly endless number of animals at these sites.

From freshwater turtles to nesting seabirds, flamingos, and even endangered parrots, finding and identifying these animals can be fun for all ages! If you and your crew prefer searching for plant life, you’ll find orchids, aloe, red and black mangrove shrub, sea grass, multiple species of algae and terrestrial plants as well as countless gardens. We photographed our Follow Me Away series underwater in the Bahamas and we can attest that the water is crystal clear and there is a ton of marine life! Getting in or under the water should be on your list of things to do in the Bahamas!

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#3: Get married in the Bahamas

We aren’t getting married just yet, but if you are planning a wedding, there is no better place to commit for life than these unspoiled islands! Imagine a relaxing and romantic wedding surrounded by the turquoise waters and white sands of the islands. Whether you decide to say your vows right on the beach, by the pool, at a club, or at one of the incredible resorts, your special day will not be forgotten and is one of the top things to do in the Bahamas for many visitors around the world. A wedding planner can take the stress off your shoulders by planning the entire event including the venue, staff, flowers limo, cake, food, officiant, photographer, videographer, and even the formal attire. And don’t forget, one of the 30 inhabited islands of the Bahamas would be a magnificent spot for a honeymoon or anniversary, too!

Top 5 Best Things To Do In The Bahamas | Tips For Visiting The Bahamas | What To Do In The Bahamas | Complete Bahamas Guide | Bahamas Travel Tips | Top Things To See And Do In The Bahamas Islands

#4: Have fun at one of the Bahamas’ many live events

There are also all kinds of exciting live events to experience at different times of the year when visiting the Bahamas. You’ll find concerts, sporting events, gaming, festivals, and live shows. Scores of different restaurants, bars, and nightclubs are there to be enjoyed as well. And of course, you’ll also find spas, fitness centers, and plenty of shopping. We love attending events in other countries and the Bahamas sure does know how to have a good time! 

Top 5 Best Things To Do In The Bahamas | Tips For Visiting The Bahamas | What To Do In The Bahamas | Complete Bahamas Guide | Bahamas Travel Tips | Top Things To See And Do In The Bahamas Islands

#5: Swim with the pigs

Weird, right? One of the top things to do in the Bahamas is swimming with the pigs! There is a Bahamian island where pigs roam and are friendly enough for you to get in the water with and take selfies and splash around. It is so unique and draws thousands of people a year to visit these friendly and cute creatures.

Top 5 Best Things To Do In The Bahamas | Tips For Visiting The Bahamas | What To Do In The Bahamas | Complete Bahamas Guide | Bahamas Travel Tips | Top Things To See And Do In The Bahamas Islands

The Bahamas is one of the most naturally beautiful areas of the world. With so much to discover and experience such as exotic animals and plants, thrilling events and water sports, adventurous tours and boating, you’ll probably find that you don’t have enough time to fit everything in. Have you visited the Bahamas? What are your favorite things to do in the Bahamas? 

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Top 5 Best Things To Do In The Bahamas | Tips For Visiting The Bahamas | What To Do In The Bahamas | Complete Bahamas Guide | Bahamas Travel Tips | Top Things To See And Do In The Bahamas Islands

Top 5 Best Things To Do In The Bahamas | Tips For Visiting The Bahamas | What To Do In The Bahamas | Complete Bahamas Guide | Bahamas Travel Tips | Top Things To See And Do In The Bahamas Islands

5 Things To Know About Beaches In Iceland

Beaches in Iceland are mesmerizing, powerful, beautiful, and should be on everyone’s bucket list. If you are planning a trip to the popular arctic country, Icelandic beaches should not be missed. These beaches are unique and unlike any other in the world so before visiting there are a few important things to know to make the most out of your experience.

5 Things To Know About Beaches In Iceland

#1: Icelandic beaches are very dangerous and should be approached with caution

The single most important thing to know about beaches in Iceland is that they are dangerous. Like, so dangerous that people have actually died. Now, the beach itself isn’t going to kill you if proper caution is exercised. It must be noted that tourists often disregard the large safety warnings and walk too close to the water. Beaches in Iceland such as Reynisfjara are home to deadly “sneaker waves.” This means that the waves may appear safe, but every so often a huge one comes by that is a lot larger than all the rest. We have seen people flirt with disaster time and time again at beaches in Iceland and even get knocked down and dragged out to sea by these sneaker waves. When visiting these beaches, it is best to exercise caution, heed the warnings, and stay far away from the water. Losing your life just isn’t worth it to get a selfie.

5 Things To Know About Icelandic Beaches | What to Know about beaches in Iceland | What to know before visiting Iceland beaches

#2: They are easily accessible no matter where you are

One of the great things about Icelandic beaches is that many are easily accessible either by car or foot. If you are planning an Icelandic road trip, be sure to stop at as many as you can! You can drive up to or even on certain beaches and since Iceland is an island, there is plenty of coast to explore. Whether you are staying around Reykjavik or visiting the far-flung Westfjords, there are plenty of Iceland’s beaches to explore. If you are planning to hang around the capital, many beautiful beaches are easily within your reach. If you rent a car and have the time, just a short 1-2 hour drive will open up a world of possibilities.

5 Things To Know About Icelandic Beaches | What to Know about beaches in Iceland | What to know before visiting Iceland beaches

#3: There is an Icelandic beach where you can walk among diamonds

Okay, you can’t literally walk among diamonds, but you can walk next to glistening pieces of ice that look just like the real thing. Jökulsárlón is a lagoon full of icebergs at the foot of a glacier on Iceland’s east coast. The lagoon empties into the sea and as a result, the beaches are studded with crystal clear pieces of ice. Whether you visit on a moody day or at sunset, the ice pieces look like perfect pieces of glass and this is one beach in Iceland that shouldn’t be missed.

5 Things To Know About Icelandic Beaches | What to Know about beaches in Iceland | What to know before visiting Iceland beaches

#4: Many beaches in Iceland have black sand due to the volcanic nature of the island

The majority of Icelandic beaches are made up of jet black sand. This is a result of the volcanic nature of the island. The rocks and ash are ground down over time and eventually become the sand that makes up these vast stretches of shore. The contrast between the black sand beaches, the thunderous waves, and the atmosphere of Iceland is something visitors won’t soon forget. That being said, not all beaches in Iceland have black sand. Some have lighter toned sands but we prefer the phenomenal black sand beaches because of how unique they are.

5 Things To Know About Icelandic Beaches | What to Know about beaches in Iceland | What to know before visiting Iceland beaches

#5: Icelandic beaches are totally worth visiting in winter

Have you ever considered going to one of Iceland’s beaches in the dead of winter? If you are visiting during the off-season there is a good chance you will be one of the lucky ones who will see the beaches in Iceland all covered in snow. There is nothing more majestic than the contrast between a black sand beach and the snow that covers the surrounding landscape. Beaches in Iceland are beautiful all year round, but they are particularly photo-worthy when the rest of the landscape is draped in winter glory.

5 Things To Know About Icelandic Beaches | What to Know about beaches in Iceland | What to know before visiting Iceland beaches

Have you ever visited a beach in Iceland? Which was your favorite and what would you pass up? 

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5 Ways Sears Vacations Select Access Provides Travel Discounts

Going on vacation for a fraction of the going rate is a travel lovers dream. When Sears Vacations approached us to check out their Select Access option, we were immediately stoked! First of all, this is Sears, like the department store, so we already knew they were a trusted company. Second of all, who doesn’t love deeply discounted travel?

5 Reasons To Choose Sears Vacations "Premium Membership" For Deeply Discounted Travel | How to Find cheap hotel rooms

We learned that first and most importantly, Sears Vacations offers FREE travel savings membership to save time and money on travel! Sears Vacations guarantees that you will always pay the lowest market price when booking through their free engine. If you find a hotel room cheaper on another booking engine, Sears will beat that price. This means you can be 100% sure you aren’t going to find a cheaper booking process anywhere on the web!

If you want to give it a try, Sears Vacations is giving Follow Me Away readers 150 FREE travel savings credits to use to book travel on Hotel, Resorts, Cruises, Air, and Car. You can claim your free credits here! 

5 Reasons To Choose Sears Vacations "Premium Membership" For Deeply Discounted Travel | How to Find cheap hotel rooms

After successfully trying the free booking agent, we signed up for a premium membership to see what all the buzz was about. After getting to know the system, we put together the list below to help you discover how you can save a ton of money on exotic vacations around the world.

5 Ways Sears Vacations Select Access Provides Travel Discounts 

 

#1: Travel Savings Credits will save you hundreds of dollars off of travel

No matter what, Sears Vacations will get you the lowest price guaranteed. Savings Credits are a form of payment, that you can use to buy down the cost of your vacation by eliminating the markup other retailers place on travel. That means that travel savings credits enable you to eliminate the travel industry markup by 20% or more, thus saving you more money. Savings credits can save from $600-$800 or more depending on the time of year, the type of vacation you choose and more. Sears Vacations free option will indeed help you save money on travel, but the premium membership will give you insider access to undeniable “savings opportunities” submitted by travel agents and will take off the maximum possible amount from your booking.5 Reasons To Choose Sears Vacations "Premium Membership" For Deeply Discounted Travel | How to Find cheap hotel rooms

#2: The amount of benefits members receive are incredible

We knew that signing up for Sears Vacation Select Access would come with benefits, but we were not prepared for the true amount of savings and credits you actually receive. First off, Sears Vacations will give you five reward points for every dollar you spend. These select access points help you save money on future trips and gain points on the money you do spend out of pocket. We love that unlike other rewards points, these never expire.

As your points add up, you are allowed to redeem them for trips. This is the exciting part! For example, a 7-night resort stay in turkey costs 35,000 points. You can also convert your points to discount the cost you pay out of pocket for flights. If you add family or friends to your account, they earn five points for every dollar you spend as well. This is really popular for people with a family member in the military or who travel often for work. As a select access member, you receive $500-$1000 travel savings credits per year!

5 Reasons To Choose Sears Vacations "Premium Membership" For Deeply Discounted Travel | How to Find cheap hotel rooms

#3:  You gain access to locked benefits and quarterly specials

We were sure Sears Vacations had some great deals on getaways, but we weren’t prepared for the fact that trips start at $49 a night for a 7-night stay. That means the most you will spend is anywhere from $49-$399 for a week stay and that includes as many people as the resort can accommodate, not the per person price! These benefits are “locked” and can only be accessed with a Sears Vacations Select Access. They are updated weekly so if you have a flexible travel schedule you can more easily take advantage of these deals. In addition, Sears Vacations offers upgraded members access to quarterly specials four times a year. This means that you will have the ability to book deeply discounted travel such as resort stays and cruise vacations up to 12 months out.

5 Reasons To Choose Sears Vacations "Premium Membership" For Deeply Discounted Travel | How to Find cheap hotel rooms

5 Reasons To Choose Sears Vacations "Premium Membership" For Deeply Discounted Travel | How to Find cheap hotel rooms

#4: Sears Vacations offers a variety of upgrade options

If you want to upgrade to Select Access, Sears Vacations offers three levels to choose from. What determines what level you choose really depends on what comes up front and what fits best with your travel plans and budget. For example, their middle option comes with the below benefits:

  • 100,000 reward points to begin with two years to book/schedule a trip [not necessarily travel, just book]
  • Great getaways
  • Quarterly specials
  • Friends and Family deals
  • The ability earn 5 points to every dollar spent on cruises, resorts , tours , car rental , air
  • A one time fee of $2699 total. If paid in full you will receive $200 vacation cash if four payments you will receive $100 vacation cash
  • The ability to match you dollar for dollar in savings credits
  • An ultra-affordable $29 per year renewal rate
  • An automatic 500 travel savings credits upon renewal
  • No additional fees if you need to break it up the $2699
  • The ability to easily book online with travel savings credits

If you want to peek into the next level, the cost is  $3,199 and you receive 125,000 points versus the 100,000 points you received with the alternative listed above. That being said, both of these package options would allow you the freedom to book luxury trips such as the cruise below based on points alone! Determining what benefits come up front for the price you pay is important when considering which tier you would like to upgrade to.

5 Reasons To Choose Sears Vacations "Premium Membership" For Deeply Discounted Travel | How to Find cheap hotel rooms

#5: Sears Vacations offers flexible payment options to fit your budgetary needs

One thing we loved about Sears Vacations was their flexibility when it comes to paying for your membership package. For example, they offer $599 down and then four monthly payments of $525. If this doesn’t work for you, you can break it up into 8, 12, or 16 month periods. If you choose the 16 month period, your payments now drop to $299 down and $150 a month for 16 months which is way more doable for many people. If you are afraid you won’t be approved, don’t worry! Sears Vacations believes everyone should have access to affordable travel deals which is why they do not do credit checks. If you can’t afford a month, you are able to skip it, change the withdraw date to suit your needs, or even pay off faster if you want.

The catch is that you must pay off your membership 90 days before your trip if you want to use the points you received with your membership package. That being said, any points you yourself earn from travel can be used right away and however you want.

If you are looking for a fantastic way to save money on travel, receive insider pricing, and go on exotic trips for the fraction of the going rate, don’t hesitate to check out Sears Vacations Select Access options!

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