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digital nomads, Travel Tips

Communicating from Across the World

How to communicate with people back home without breaking the bank

With the rise of diversified communication technologies, there are many options to communicate.

Ok then, of what’s out there, what are the best options?

This depends entirely on what you are traveling with.

 

For regular communication we love to use iMessage and Messenger.

To post we love to share life through instagram and SnapChat. It helps people experience what you’re actually doing and is a great way to keep up to date with your friends.

If you have a smartphone in hand your best communication companions are:

For work:

  1. Messenger – Facebook messenger is so easy, just because everyone has facebook. It also works in your browser with no have to download anything, though the mobile app is great – You can communicate with groups easily
  2. Google Hangout – great way to have face to face calls with your friends and family
  3. WhatsApp – Both Desktop and Mobile App available – (owned by facebook. Awesome app, but your friends need to have the app on their device) – You can communicate with groups easily
  4. Viber – Great for making phone calls
  5. Skype – Great for calls and videos (many people have skype)
  6. Slack – Great for team communication. This works while traveling, if you already use it for work, it works all over.

For friends and family:

  1. Keep in touch by sharing things you’re doing with instagram and snapchat
  2. Have calls using
    1. Messenger – Facebook based communication tool
    2. iMessage/FaceTime – native app within your mac products
    3. Google Hangout – A little less intuitive than Messenger. Works with gmail accounts.
    4. Google Voice – Great because it is connected to your personal US phone number. Great for sending SMS to other US numbers. Requires you to use a phone to make calls. You also have to pay for calls outside US (like skype)
  3. Sometimes these work better internationally
    1. Viber – (Asia, Europe, Africa)
    2. Skype – Both Desktop and Mobile App available
    3. Wechat – (Asia)
    4. Telegram (great everywhere – mobile only)

We use iMessage/Facetime daily for sending texts and face to face calls.  Slack for work communication. Snapchat and instagram to stay looped in on our friends lives and help them see what we’re doing.

I’d say we use all the apps at least once per week, if one doesn’t work we try something else.

 

Travel Tips

Packing Hacks for Women

After visiting over 80 countries in the last 12 years, I’ve come to a short list of planning/packing hacks I give to my girlfriends.  I figured it may help others as well, so I am posting here.  If you have a question about something that is either already posted on this list or not addressed at all, please let me know and I will try my best to help out!

The tips below are in no particular order, but hit all the basics:

  • only bring jewelry you can wear everyday and make sure it is not flashy in anyway shape or form
  • tampons can be impossible to find, so bring a big box of the tiny ob kind and pay attention to your stash (throw away the box before you go, and store them around your suitcase)
  • specific toiletries you like and medicines are likely not to be found abroad, try to figure out exactly how much you’ll need and plan accordingly
  • the absolute basics are easy to find, but things like non-comedogenic cosmetics of any kind are not in existence. Even deodorant is likely not similar to what you are used to – typically stores carry spray and rarely carry old style roll ons.  No Secret here, that’s for sure!
  • bring a single article of clothing (shawl/cover up) that can be carried with you at all times in conservative countries/regions – shoulders and knees can be forbidden dependent on beliefs.  In places like Thailand, you will even need to wear long pants at most temples…
  • 2 or 3 pairs of shoes will do, one heavy duty sneaker, one sandal and if you can fit it one pair of closed toe flats. If you have a shoe size larger than 8.5 don’t expect any affordable store in Asia to carry your size.
  • if you like having your toe nails painted and will be traveling to non-developed areas, simply have them painted once before you leave and bring the bottle of polish with – you can touch up as needed.
  • sports bras are a safer bet considering the lack of western laundry facilities – they roll up well and can be washed in the sink.
  • yoga pants are amazing, but be sure to bring a few looser items of clothing when visiting specific cultures
  • roll all of your clothes in order to fit in the max.  I organize using these handy little zip up cases.  You can get them for $22.95
  • If you want to simplify while abroad – practice low maintenance hair (10 mins or less) if you have either curly hair that you can mousse and air dry or thin hair that blows out/dries in no time then you’re golden.  For the rest of the population, I recommend trying a few things before leaving home and/or bringing dry shampoo with you to extend the amount of time you can last between washes. Other easy fixes include braiding, quick updos, headbands, and attempting the scrunch look with different products (it may look great – you don’t know until you try!)
  • bring a travel nail kit with clippers, file, and cleaner at a minimum – here is a link to a great one I found on amazon
  • I searched high and low for the best backpack and I found it! This is specifically for women, so if you are in the market, I’ve included the link here.

I hope these brief packing hacks for women have been helpful in some way.  If you have anything additional to add or thought of questions, please let me know!

Adventure, Latest News, Travel, Travel Tips

Want to go to CUBA?

New Trump Policy: What you need to know

As of Friday June 16, 2017, U.S. embargo’s back (sort of)

(It’ll take a couple months to implement)

If you’ve already planned your trip to Cuba or are planning to go in the next month, the new travel restrictions will not apply to you (yet).

From US Treasury website:

How will OFAC implement the changes to the Cuba sanctions program announced by the President on June 16, 2017? Are the changes effective immediately?

  • OFAC expects to issue its regulatory amendments in the coming months.
  • The announced changes do not take effect until the new regulations are issued.

 

Obama lowered the barrier to entry to go to Cuba…Trump reversed it. President Donald Trump is just trying to reverse as much as he can in relation to Obama’s Free Trade and Tourism Policy Initiatives. There are still ways for you to go, the government just likes to complicate things. 

  1. Americans can’t head to there as “tourists” (they technically couldn’t under Obama either) – just take an official tour (Browse that link, and make sure to pick one that the government will approve.
  2. U.S. companies aren’t allowed to to work with Cuban companies in the tourism space.

So, how can you go?

  1. Family travel
  2. Humanitarian Projects
  3. Religious Activities
  4. Public Performances
  5. Official Government Business
  6. Journalism
  7. Professional Research and Meetings
  8. Export
  9. Activities of private foundations or research for educational institutes
  10. Exportation, importation or transmission of information or informational materials
  11. Support for the Cuban People
  12. Educational Activities

More details on these travel types

 

Commercial Flights and Cruise Ships are still permitted to go to Cuba.

  • Spirit, Frontier and Silver airlines deserted their U.S.-to-Cuba routes,
  • Airlines such as JetBlue and Delta are continuing their service to the island

 

Easiest way to go: Book through a tour company (Insight Cuba or Intrepid Travel)

 

Resources for you:

More details on these travel types

June 16, 2017: Details from the U.S. Treasury on travel to Cuba

US Embassy info for Americans interested in going

Legal Cuba Explained

 

Do Not Miss Lists, Featured, Travel Tips

Top Emerging Travel Destinations 2017

TOP EMERGING TRAVEL DESTINATIONS 2017

After traveling to 85 countries, I wanted to share the most amazing places I have experienced that are considered to be emerging destinations.

I always complete my travels on a $50/day or less budget (including international airfare) – and want to really spread the message that others can do the same!

Following my most recent travels for 8 months across 15 countries, I decided it was time to share all my advice and tips with others to help them travel.  After helping over 100 people plan, I decided to create a startup that focuses exclusively on exposing travelers to the lost cost options and carriers you cannot find online today.  The results to date are incredible, we’ve been able to get people anywhere in the world for an average of 40% less than what they would have paid without our local knowledge and sources.  This is all being built into an online platform that you will be able to access and use to book your next international adventure.

To join our prelaunch and be notified when the site is available – visit prelaunch.unboundly.com – right now we are building a technology that can get you anywhere you want to go, on any budget.

 

1. MYANMAR – ISLAND OF INWA, CLOSE TO MANDALAY

Traveling in Myanmar

prelaunch.unboundly.com – get access to all the low cost options in emerging destinations

 

2. BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA – DERVISH HOUSE BLAGAJ NEAR MOSTAR

Traveling Europe Off the Beaten Path

prelaunch.unboundly.com – get access to all the low cost options in emerging destinations

 

3. LAOS – ELEPHANT ORPHANAGE & TREKKING, NEAR LUANG PRABANG

Luang Prabang, Laos
prelaunch.unboundly.com – get access to all the low cost options in emerging destinations

 

4. NAMIBIA – ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK

Top 5 Safaris in Africa - DNM List

prelaunch.unboundly.com – get access to all the low cost options in emerging destinations

 

5. CHINA – MT HUASHAN – THE INFAMOUS DEADLIEST HIKE IN THE WORLD, NEAR XIAN

Mount Huashan, China

prelaunch.unboundly.com – get access to all the low cost options in emerging destinations

 

6. SRI LANKA – THE VIEW FROM SIGIRIYA ROCK, NEAR DAMBULLA

Northern Sri Lanka

prelaunch.unboundly.com – get access to all the low cost options in emerging destinations

 

7. CROATIA – PLITVICE LAKES NATIONAL PARK, NEAR ZADAR

Plitvice National Park, Croatia

prelaunch.unboundly.com – get access to all the low cost options in emerging destinations

 

8. TURKEY – CAPPADOCIA, ROCK FORMATIONS AND BALLOON RIDES, IN THE CENTER OF THE COUNTRY

Cappadocia, Turkey

prelaunch.unboundly.com – get access to all the low cost options in emerging destinations

 

9. PORTUGAL – SINTRA, JUST OUTSIDE OF LISBON

Sintra, Portugal

prelaunch.unboundly.com – get access to all the low cost options in emerging destinations

 

10. SLOVENIA – SMALL TOWN OF PIRAN, ON THE COAST NORTH OF CROATIA

Slovenia

prelaunch.unboundly.com – get access to all the low cost options in emerging destinations

 

Thanks for reading and of course, feel free to share your thoughts.  There are TONS of other amazing emerging destinations, so if you want a longer list, contact me, I would be happy to provide any information you seek!

Happy travels 🙂