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jul 27 2015

7 Destination Pubs In South Wales

Raglan Castle in Wales

Visit Raglan Castle in Wales after a trip to the Raglan Arms pub.

(Courtesy Steve Slater/Flickr)

This article was written by Zeneba Bowers and Matt Walker and originally appeared on their blog, littleroadseurope.com.

If someone asked you to think about great cuisine and traditional culinary culture, which foods would you think of first? Italian, French, Vietnamese, Indian? Many come to mind. We're here to offer an unexpected alternative: Welsh. Specifically, South Wales. It is a magical country with sweeping farmlands, forested hills, and beautiful rocky coastlines. Everywhere the countryside is covered with crop fields, or dotted with flocks of sheep and dairy cows. With so many farms of all types of production, it is easy to eat fare that is fresh, local, organic and delicious. And in recent years there has been a surge in Welsh gastro-pub culture, as more and more diners crave a food experience that is seasonal, locally sourced, and memorable. Here's our list of seven fine pubs in south Wales, plus, we've paired each with a nearby site of scenic or historic interest.

The Plough and Harrow & Old Beaupre Castle

jul 24 2015

Get 'Em While They're Hot! Greyhound Is Offering $1 Tickets to Mexico

Mountains in Nueva Leon, Mexico

The open road in Nueva León, Mexico.

(© Jerl71 | Dreamstime.com)

Mexican vacation for a buck, anyone? Greyhound recently launched international bus service from Texas to Mexico, and for a limited time, you can hop aboard for $1 a ticket. (Or 25 pesos.) 

The new route connects Monterrey and Nuevo Laredo in Mexico to Laredo, San Antonio, Austin, and Dallas in Texas, with 23-plus departures per day. The two private Mexican terminals are brand-new, and the accompanying new fleet of buses sounds pretty swank: free Wi-Fi, outlets, leather seats, extra legroom, onboard restrooms, and guaranteed seats.

jul 24 2015

We LOVE How Kenyans Reacted To CNN's "Hotbed of Terror" Report

sunrise in Kenya
(Courtesy themurfs/myBudgetTravel)

"President Barack Obama is not just heading to his father's homeland, but to a hotbed of terror."

This was the opening line of a CNN report published earlier this week, a story about how the president may be in danger if Al-Shabaab, the terrorist group behind recent attacks at Kenyan schools and shopping malls, happens to make a move while he's in town this week. After getting a lot of heat for that sentence and related headline, both were updated by CNN to stress that the threat of danger was a regional thing, not just in Kenya.

jul 23 2015

How Solo Travel Changed My Life (And How It Can Change Yours Too)

This article was written by Jessica Festa and originally appeared on Yahoo Travel.

I never thought I would travel solo. It kind of just…happened. Growing up, my vacations consisted of Caribbean cruises and road trips spent searching for thrilling roller coasters and America’s best beaches. It wasn’t until I studied abroad in Sydney at the age of 20 that I got the itch to begin expanding my travel horizons. Inspired by Australia’s rich Thai cuisine culture, I decided I wanted to go to Thailand to try the real thing. 

I started saving immediately upon my return home to New York, planning to head to Southeast Asia the next summer. Right after Christmas I began asking friends and family if they would be interested in visiting Thailand with me that summer. Doing homestays, hiking through rice terraces, taking cooking classes, perusing night markets, and spending some time volunteering—who could resist such an adventure? Apparently, everyone I knew. 

When the time came to book my ticket, I was faced with a big decision: Travel solo or stay home and give up on an experience I had been looking forward to for months. I worried I would feel awkward or that I would be lonely. I worried I wouldn’t be able to communicate with anyone because of language barriers. I worried about finding accommodation and ordering food and getting ripped off. But most of all, I worried I would miss out on an enriching opportunity. A round-trip ticket to Bangkok, please. How many passengers? One! 

As it turns out, I shouldn’t have worried. Solo travel has changed my life in ways I couldn’t have imagined or anticipated, and if you take the leap, it’ll change yours too. Here’s how:

Your Self-Esteem Will Skyrocket

Since my first solo travel experience in Thailand I’ve had many others: A summer through Europe, three months through South America, an adventurous journey exploring French Polynesia, some alone time in Morocco, and numerous solo trips around the United States. You see, every time I travel solo it’s like a self-esteem boost as I’m reminded of all that I am capable of. 

Traveling with others, you tend to rely on different people for different things. Maybe Joe handles the map because he’s good at navigation while Jenn smooths out any ordeals because she’s an excellent problem solver. When you’re traveling solo, you’re responsible for it all: Reading the map, navigating local transportation, communicating through language barriers to order food or a bus ticket, problem solving when you miss your train or your motorbike runs out of gas, getting un-lost in unfamiliar cities, and any travel mishap in between.

And guess what? You’ll do it! You may not think you can handle all the tasks that come with solo travel, but you’ll surprise yourself. Because when you’re looking out for yourself and a challenge comes your way you’ll accomplish anything and everything. 

jul 22 2015

Got $55,000 To Burn? Try This Round-The-World Cruise!

A Cruise ship in the port of Miami - Florida
(Lonely Planet)

Is all that money burning a hole in your pocket? Do you have 129 days to kill? We've got just the cruise for you!

For just $54,499 per person—I know, I know, mere pocket change—you can embark on a glorious 128-night cruise around the world, dock in more than 60 ports on six continents, and visit 31 countries along the way with 499 of your new best friends. 

jul 22 2015

#BTReads: 'A Passion for Paris'

(Lonely Planet)

If I had to visit Paris with a traveling companion other than my wife, my choice might very well be author Da­vid Downie.

Reading Downie's A Passion for Paris: Roman­ticism and Romance in the City of Light (St. Martin's Press, 2015) is like strolling the city's boulevards with a funny, well-read, and wildly enthusiastic devotee. While many of us simply accept the notion that Paris is the world's most romantic city (guilty), Downie decided to ask "why?" His answer is a hybrid travel narrative, mem­oir, and history lesson that brings such notable Parisians as Baudelaire, Hugo, Balzac, and Sand into the dialogue as if they, too, are accompanying you.

jul 21 2015

Confessions of a Sommelier

(Lonely Planet)

Guillem Kerambrun, beverage director of the New York City bistro Benoit by Alain Ducasse, uncorks wine-ordering tips, secrets of the trade, and advice for nabbing yourself a bargain bottle.

Q: How did you first get interested in wine?

A: Even as a little boy in France, I was paying atten­tion to beverages. There was an orange juice I didn't like and another I did like because it was balanced, not too sweet, and had some pulp. My father, a true epicurean, instilled my love of wine. When I was 15, a profes­sor at hotel management school helped me hone my knowledge and skills.

jul 20 2015

Going Beyond The Beach In Grenada

Palm Trees on La Sagesse Beach on Grenada Island

Of course if you do want to go to the beach, La Sagesse Beach is one of the most beautiful on the island.

(Pkazmierczak/Dreamstime.com)

In the Caribbean, clear turquoise water and soft white sand are a dime a dozen. The sensory appeal of Grenada's magnificent beaches is undeniable, but savvy visitors venture beyond the sun, sand, and sea. This compact island pleases with a trifecta of adventure, activities, and nature. The best part: its manageable size makes it easy to cover a lot of ground in a short time frame.

jul 18 2015

WOW Air Offers $99 Flights to Paris & Amsterdam

Canals in Amsterdam

At press time, there were just a handful of $99 flights still available from Boston to Amsterdam in November and January.

(Courtesy kpm1031/myBudgetTravel)

Last week, WOW Air made big news when it released $99 fares from Boston and Washington D.C. to Paris and Amsterdam. If something like that doesn't kick your insatiable wanderlust into overdrive, I don't know what will.

jul 17 2015

Air Travel Trends for 2015

(Courtesy kpspeakerfreak/myBudgetTravel)

Summer is the high season for air travel, and we've been keeping an eye on new developments that are changing the way people get to the airport, what they do during layovers, and even how they choose to travel with their pets.

COOL AIRPORT LOUNGES. Got a layover between flights? Airlines are making that time more enjoyable with exciting new "sky lounges" that include eye-popping design, great service and food and drinks, and even outdoor areas.  JetBlue's outdoor rooftop lounge at JFK is open to all passengers who've passed through security and includes landscaped spaces, seating, great food (hot dogs and ice cream!), a children's play area, and a dog-walk - a first! Other lounges are a little more exclusive - a few hundred dollars a year or a $50 "day pass," like Delta Sky Club in Atlanta, includes showers, work stations with plug-ins, and a separate "quiet" room.

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