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Africa

Do Not Miss Lists, Travel Tips

Top Emerging Travel Destinations 2015

TOP EMERGING TRAVEL DESTINATIONS 2015

After traveling to 75 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 9 months across 21 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 even giving away a free flight anywhere to get one lucky winner started on their journey!

 

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 :)

 

Travel Tips

Is Africa Dangerous for DIY Travel?

Is Africa Dangerous for DIY Travel?

Africa is not necessarily what you see on the media, or what you read about in the newspaper and if you believe everything you hear, you may never make it there…

My aunt and uncle moved to South Africa nearly 20 years ago and I’ve been trying to visit them for at least 10 of those years. My parents were always worried that I wouldn’t be safe and that Africa was just too dangerous of a place for me to visit.

Of course there are dangerous places in every continent, I won’t deny that fact, but with a little bit of research you can figure exactly where you should and shouldn’t go. For the most part Southern Africa is safe and you can navigate it entirely on your own.  You can rent a car from any number of carriers and drive yourself as we did for many weeks.  Depending on your budget you can rent anything from a mini for $15/day – a camper style truck for $150/day.

Do keep in mind that they drive on left side of the road – most countries in the South were colonized by the British, so their roads have remained as so.

Other than that along any tourist route, you’ll find awesome options for lodging and/or camping. Most facilities have real toilets and hot water – this region is much different than what you encounter in Eastern Africa. It is easy to navigate, the roads are really solid and if you don’t feel comfortable driving the safaris on your own, you can always hire someone to take you in a 4×4 when you get to the parks.

Honestly, unless you are seeking companions for the ride, there is no need to take a tour in Southern Africa – you can do it all on your own, save money and gain total freedom for your route/timing.

Other helpful tips for traveling Southern Africa:

You can get a SIM card in almost every country for an excellent rate – just be careful about the package you buy. If you are looking to use the internet (data) on your smartphone, you will need to be clear with the carrier and have them confirm with you all minutes have been converted to data.  The reason for this is that most of the developing world is just now getting on the cell phone train – their packages are then all by way of calling minutes. Now they are letting you convert these minutes into data (MB), but if the conversion fails for any reason your data will be charged at a rate which ends up being about 10 times higher than the agreed upon price. Most carriers have a way for you to call in and hear your remaining minutes and MB, so I recommend just checking a few times early on in your visit what everything is being done properly, it is quite a common mistake.

Food in Southern Africa is becoming highly westernized, so you should have no real problems finding some things you’re used to. I would say that it is worth reading labels on the things you don’t know though, Tartrazaine is in a lot of things they produce and it’s quite a nasty synthetic dye with serious side effects (read more about it here). There’s also MSG and GMOs in just about everything. If you are averse to either of those, just scan the products you pick up.

There is a ton of access to alcohol, but you have to buy it in stores (mostly outside of groceries) and there are certain hours that it is not sold. Most campsites and/or lodges also have bars though – and even there the cost is not all that high. My personal favorite in South Africa is Savannah, which is a dry cider. They have several varieties, but I would say it’s definitely worth a try if you’re at all interested.

The music scene in Southern Africa is cool, especially in South Africa you’ll find just about every genre covered in live scenes, DJs, festivals – Cape Town and Durban are quite fun if you are into that kind of stuff.

All and all – South Africa is one of the most amazing countries I’ve ever visited and I would say all of Southern Africa is worth doing for the safaris and natural diversity.  Hope the tips help in planning for your trip – and best of luck for your world adventures :)

Do Not Miss Lists

Top 5 Safaris in Africa – DNM List

An African safari will give you the chance to get up close and personal with some of the most spectacular animals on Earth.  From seeing the big 5 (Lion, Elephant, Leopard, Rhino, Cape Buffalo) to seeing the most amazing birds living in the wild, African national parks have some amazing safari opportunities.

Here are our Top 5 Safaris in Africa with information about the animals to see, any background about the parks and our recommended contacts.  Have you been on an African Safari before? Which one? Tell us about your experience!

  1. Serengeti, Kenya/Tanzania
  2. N’gora N’gora Crater, Tanzania
  3. Kruger National Park
  4. Etosha National Park
  5. Chobe National Park

Click to see why…

Continue Reading…

Culture

What are children learning in Africa?

Visiting a classroom in the country of Namibia in Southern Africa was certainly an eye opening experience for us. We went in with an open mind  and simply wanted to learn what the children are learning in Africa…

Of course, we learned quickly that it depends on where they are. The children we met were very bright and attentive, all able to communicate to us fully in English. The teacher runs all the classrooms in the school and is a strong woman. She happily showed us the class curriculums for various grades, had us sit in on a class and even let us read the text books.

A few things stayed with us from that visit:

1. These children have already surpassed the knowledge of their parents (whom we also met later on).

2. They are able to communicate in a language their parents do not know.

3. They are taught in a completely different way than we are in America (which is expected), but even the portrayal of information was foreign to us. We’d never heard some of the facts that were presented and a great percentage of their curriculum is based on the various settlers that came through the country, and in turn, slavery (more than a year).

4. There is no technology what so ever. We donated chalk and pencils to the school while we were there.

5. There is no access to the internet at all. Even in the big cities in Namibia (a country with only 2 million people that gained independence in the last 30 years) internet is hard to come by. This means research and external information is hard to access. They only learn what is in the books they are provided.

6. The books they have in the classroom are written and published by the Namibian government. This may be common practice all over the world, but it seemed interesting considering the content.

Now to you, this may all seem like no big deal. So what, African countries in rural areas are behind the times…well no, that’s not really the case at all. Namibia is a young country with a strong infrastructure and lots of money coming in by way of natural resources. There are a ton of settlers (mostly German) developing whole cities that look very westernized and are home to stores much like Wholefoods. The home values in and around Swakopmund (one well known city) exceed that of most American cities – and are comparable to prices found in suburbs of Boston and Chicago.

This next generation will define future developments and their education is imperative.

As we have already emerged into the era of technology and they are well on their way – I wonder when they will gain access to the tools that could really evolve the education system for their upcoming youth.