How to Live Like a Local in Paris

How to Live Like a Local in Paris

This was a unique city break to Paris. We did absolutely none of the things that normally top a tourist’s must-do list in Paris. Instead, we spent a handful of days learning how to live like a local in Paris. And, this worked fine for us. This is my fourth trip to Paris, and Eric’s second. We’ve seen the Eiffel Tower, and the Musee d’Orsay. I’ve seen a lot more than Eric, but he’s okay with that. Instead, for both of us, this trip was more about living the Parisian life. We hoped a quick flight on Air France to Paris, and started to live the Paris life. Rent a Luxury Airbnb Apartment This was the first time we rented an apartment in Paris. And, when searching for flats on Airbnb, we choose the most Parisian one we could find. It was a little far to the north, in the 10th Arrondissement, or neighborhood, of Paris. But, it was Parisian, to the extreme. The apartment was in an old building, with wrought iron balconies, crown moulding, ancient hard wood floors, and a claw foot bath tub. The owners kitted the flat out with artwork from famous artists I had never heard of. And, like I imagine most Parisian apartments to be, it was filled with stacks of books, on politics, and travel, and famous art exhibits. It’s exactly how I imagine the French to live. Surrounded by art and intellect. If you’ve never stayed at an Airbnb before, try it out, and get a discount on your first stay here. Eat Like a Local in Paris And, because we...
Maldives Travel Guide – How to Travel to the Maldives

Maldives Travel Guide – How to Travel to the Maldives

We were a little, well, lazy, when it came to figuring out how to travel to the Maldives. We obviously where able to figure out how to travel from Bangkok to the Maldives. But, we didn’t really look much beyond that. We trusted the luxury resorts in the Maldives would take care of things. And, for the most part, they did. In the end, though, we needed a little more than that to handle Maldives travel. Here are our Maldives travel tips. What Airlines Travel to the Maldives There are plenty of full service and budget airlines that fly to the Maldives. We flew Air Asia through Kuala Lumpur, which was the cheapest option with the fewest layovers. It did mean, however, an overnight flight back to Kuala Lumpur. The best way, however, to fly to the Maldives is to fly on one of the Middle East airlines, like Emirates Airlines, Qatar Airways, or Etihad. From Europe this means it is possible to arrive in the Maldives after only one stop. That’s even possible from the US from some of the Middle Eastern gateways, like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and other major cities. This actually means that if you are in one of these main gateway cities, Maldives travel is a lot closer than you think. That’s a good thing. All international flights arrive and depart from Malé, the capital of the Maldives. It is necessary to  transfer to your resort in one of three ways. Some resorts, like the Four Seasons, are within a quick boat ride from Malé. Other resorts are close enough to Malé that their...
How To Fly Nok Air Thailand

How To Fly Nok Air Thailand

We’ve flown a lot of the low cost carriers, or budget airlines, while living in Southeast Asia. For us, it doesn’t make sense to splurge on a more traditional airline, or use our miles, for a quick one or two hour flight within the region. One of the benefits of spending time living and traveling in this region, is that there are so many great budget airlines in Southeast Asia. During a beach break from Bangkok we finally had a chance to experience flying Nok Air Thailand. How to Fly Nok Air From “DMK” On the surface, Bangkok’s Don Mueang International Airport, or DMK, isn’t much to look at. Built in the 1930s, the terminals are concrete and drab,. They are far from the modern glass and steel aviation palaces found around the world. Look outside the dirty and streaked windows and you’ll see something worth looking at. And, Nok Air Thailand has a lot to do with this. Nok Air operates a fleet of Boeing 737-800s, Bombardier Q400s, and ATR-72 500s, for the #AvGeeks out there. Nok means bird in Thai and the airline carries the bird theme through just about everything. Nok Air Thailand is known for its bold, and certainly eye-catching livery. A signature bird beak nose is painted onto the nose of every plane. And, the main scheme of each plane is interesting and unique, some painted purple, and others looking like Nemo. Because DMK airport is such an unpleasant airport, the best way to fly any airline from DMK is to keep your focus on the fun Nok Air planes outside, rather than the drab...
Flying Tigerair to Singapore

Flying Tigerair to Singapore

We can’t always fly business class around the world. We would love to, but it is not always feasible. And for short haul trips around Southeast Asia, we are more likely to fly one of the well known low cost carriers. After all, I would rather save my money and miles to make a 12 hour flight to Europe in business class. That means more budget flights around Southeast Asia. This is how we ended up testing out Tigerair to to Singapore. Flying From Bangkok on Tigerair to Singapore There are several low cost carriers, or budget airlines, that fly throughout Southeast Asia. We’ve flown AirAsia, a lot. And, we’ve tested out Thai Smile on a domestic flight within Thailand. But, recently we had the opportunity to fly Tigerair to Singapore for the first time. We flew Tigerair within Australia a few times back in 2009. This was our first time flying Tigerair within Asia. We flew from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi to Tigerair’s hub at Singapore Changi Airport. Our two hour flight was everything you’d want from a flight: quick, comfortable, and with friendly service. And, because we are luxury travelers, we opted for an “upgrade” to the first row on our flight on Tigerair to Singapore and to exit row on the way back. There is always a way to fly with a little bit of luxury, even on a budget airline. Upgrading on a Budget Airline Most of the low cost carriers who fly within Southeast offer customers this kind of “upgrade.” This can include purchasing meals on board or roomier seats in exit row or at the front of...
5 Cruise Misconceptions Debunked!

5 Cruise Misconceptions Debunked!

Breaking Down 5 Cruise Misconceptions on a European River Cruise We’ve always prided ourselves on the fact that we’ve never been on a cruise. Technically, we can’t even make this claim due to a not so fab two night Yangtze River cruise we took in China back in 2009. But, I don’t think it counts. I mean a real cruise. One with a cruise director, buffet meals, and pre-arranged activities, on a boat with a bunch of other people. I’ve always stuck my nose up a bit at cruise goers, that was until our recent French river cruise experience. Yes, Viking River Cruises hosted us on this experience. And I’m glad they did. I never would have thought of doing this type of river cruise otherwise. We not only had a great experience, but it certainly dispelled some of the misconceptions I had about cruising in general. 1. Cruise Misconceptions: Cruise Ships are Crowded Close your eyes and say the words “cruise ship” and what images pop into your head? For me, it’s always been large cruise ships, the size of a small city, where it’s nearly impossible to find a lounge chair near the pool. Where I would be one of a thousand people clamoring for a server’s attention at dinner. I knew this wouldn’t be our experience on a European river cruise. First, the rivers can’t hold ships that big. There were less than a hundred staterooms on our Viking Buri longship. On our cruise, from Avignon to Lyon, I believe there were about 150 passengers on board. That meant there were always seats available at dinner,...
How to Survive Your First American Road Trip

How to Survive Your First American Road Trip

When we came up with the crazy notion of driving across the Southeast on a culinary road trip, the first thing we started concerning ourselves with were destinations. What cities did we want to explore for the best food. Then it dawned on me. We’ve never taken a road trip like this before, so how well prepared were we to take our first American road trip? Turns out, not so prepared. But after spending 6 weeks zooming across the Southeast US on our #USChowDown, it turns out, we’ve learned a thing or two about surviving an American road trip. 5 Tips for Surviving Your First American Road Trip Tip 1: Find a Comfortable Car For many Americans, bigger is always better. For us, that is just not the case, despite the fact that Eric is over 6 feet tall. We worked with Kia America during our road trip, so we were blessed that we did not have to rent a car for our 6 week road trip. Initially, Kia offered us a Kia Sedona, which looks like a cross over between a minivan and an SUV. Most people would jump at the chance to drive a comfy SUV on an American road trip. For us, though, we are used to small cars. We’ve never owned an SUV. This was not the time to start. So, we asked for something smaller, and they offered us the Kia Optima. It was a sedan that was still a lot bigger than we are used to, particularly because most of our rental cars are small European models. But, it was comfy, even on our...
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