Choosing a Halong Bay Tour

Travel planning can be overwhelming. I’ve literally been spending hours and hours every day for several weeks planning my upcoming Vietnam trip. Choosing a Halong Bay tour, with literally hundreds of options, and also many scams, is one of those things that has taken me days. I can understand why some people would rather just pay someone a handsome fee to just get everything done for them in a trustworthy and stress-free manner. That’s why hopefully we as bloggers can help share some of the circles and arrows to help make such things easier. Since Shelli over at Travel With Grant already covered how to get a quick and easy $25 tourist e-Visa as a US citizen, all you need now are some flights, hotels, and some things to do! One of which is a tour of Halong Bay! (P.S. a lot of Halong Bay Tours provide free visas so you could save another $25 per person)

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Card Organization Cases

Hi everyone, and hope you all had a great start to the New Year. I’ve been quite productive this week in cleaning, closing out 2017 spreadsheets and starting 2018 ones, and getting caught up on documentation and organization. I am getting a lot of new cards soon, so I went shopping on Aliexpress and Amazon for some new storage options. I decided to write a little post to share how I organize my army of credit cards, debit cards, loyalty cards, personal-use gift cards, and more.

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Researching PADI Courses

Aloha everyone! Ever since a quick free scuba intro in the pool at the Intercontinental Fiji, my husband and I have been wanting to get certified. We always liked snorkeling, but everyone we know that is a certified diver has nothing but amazing things to say about it, and just looking at their videos alone is convincing.

We probably could have had many opportunities to get certified in a beautiful place in our myriad of travels the past couple years – Fiji, Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii multiple times, Bahamas, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Thailand, Vietnam…but we were hardly ever in one place for more than a few days (classic #travelhacker problem). Getting certified usually requires a minimum of 2-3 days, and you aren’t supposed to fly for 24 hours after diving.

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Two Virgin America Giveaways: $150 companion discount and 25% off a roundtrip flight

Merry Christmas! Hope you are all having a great holiday season. It’s my favorite time of year because I feel like people actively try to be much friendlier, kinder, and more generous.

Speaking of generous…I realized I would be letting two decently valuable coupons go unused on 12/31 if I didn’t quickly give them away, I would love to gift them to two people who could really make good use of them.

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In Search of the Perfect Travel Shoe

This post is mainly for the ladies! I feel like men have it so much easier with travel shoes. As a female, my criteria for travel shoes are:

  • Comfortable – can walk miles, which is often a full day of travel
  • Well-padded – so you don’t feel the ground
  • Cute – generally nobody wants to wear ugly shoes
  • Durable – so it doesn’t fall apart from the rigors of travel
  • Multi-purpose – looks good with any outfit including dresses/skirts, should be able to go from a whole day of walking straight to a nice dinner, helps keep packing light by not taking up precious suitcase volume, and eliminates the need to carry around extra shoes all day or have to make an extra stop by the hotel before dinner
  • Easy to clean – sometimes travel can get shoes a bit dusty/dirty
  • Lightweight and breathable – walking around all day can get uncomfortably sweaty

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China Travel Pro Tips

Greetings from Xi’an, China, home of the terra cotta warriors and famous for biang biang noodles! I’m currently here for a week on business, but really, to eat delicious and super cheap ($1!) noodles. 🙂

It’s been over 10 years since I last came to China, and this is my first time in Xi’an. So I am not a China travel expert by any means. I assume you have your 10-year visa and typical travel preparations squared away, so the purpose of this post is just to elaborate on two major tips for any first-time traveler to China: 1) Use Apple Maps, 2) Download a VPN at home before going to China.

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Review: Overnight Luggage Transport in Japan

Back in May, my husband and I went on our annual trip to our favorite country in the world, Japan. It was an amazing trip as usual, and this time we hit up Tokyo, Fuji, and Hakone. We purchased the Fuji-Hakone Pass, which gives you round-trip transportation from Tokyo and unlimited transportation within the Fuji and Hakone area, plus many discounts or free admissions to local attractions. I’ll review this pass in a future post.

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Tokyo Maricar Review – Real-Life Mariokart! (Shinagawa Shop)

Have you ever played Mariokart? Do you like gokarting and driving fast? This awesome this-would-only-happen-in-Japan activity called Maricar might be for you. Maricar was first recommended to me by my friend Tim, and since then, many of my other friends have done the tour and highly recommended it. However, out of maybe 10 of my friends, only one was not very impressed. It’s not for everyone, so hopefully I can help you decide if you’ll enjoy it.

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Shady Business Practices by @Hertz Car Rental in Vancouver

I think this will be my first time blasting a company for shady business practices and not making it right. I hope it will be my last.

Update: As a result of this post, the manager of the Vancouver Airport Hertz location emailed me and honored the original booking rate. Still annoyed it had to come to this, though.

Background

I went to Vancouver, BC this weekend on a last-minute wedding anniversary trip with my husband. They don’t have Uber, and I soon found out that it was likely because the local taxis and car rentals are so inexpensive, that Uber would have a hard time surviving.

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Trip Suggestions: Japan

This post is looooong overdue (so is my post on Taiwan). My husband and I go to Japan almost every year, and would unequivocally say it is our favorite country in the world to visit. We often joke about just moving there, because it’s such an awesome country. Michael also goes to Japan at least once a year, usually multiple times. Anytime we hear friends or family say they’re thinking about going to Japan, we immediately start gushing about how amazing it is, how awesome/polite/kind the people are, how safe it is, and how you’d never get bored or run out of things to do there. It really has something for everyone. With Japan becoming more and more accessible through fare deals and award availability, I am getting the most questions for what to do, where to eat, etc.

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