Stuff You Should Know About: March 2015

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Welcome to the newest monthly feature on A Akatuki5! It’s been (very creatively) named “Stuff You Should Know About” and will basically just be a collection of travel news, tips, photos, and other odds and ends that don’t really fit in anywhere else but that I still really want to share with you.

Random travel news

Fly around Asia for cheap

AirAsia is now selling its , which is kind of genius if you're traveling a lot in Asia. The pass covers destinations in Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Philippines, Laos, Brunei, Singapore, and Indonesia. It's valid for either 30 or 60 days, and entitles travelers to either 10 or 20 credits' worth of flights within those time frames. The 30-day/10-credit pass runs $160 USD, and the 60-day/20-credit pass is $290 USD. How many credits a flight costs depends on the length of the flight, but you can easily get 4 or 5 flights for 10 credits. What a deal!!

More cruises coming in the US

I'm not talking big, ocean liner cruises, though — I'm talking about some cool specialty cruise options. Viking River Cruises (known for their European river cruises) will begin from New Orleans beginning in 2017. And the Great Lakes Cruise Co. will soon be offering , sailing on 4 of the 5 Great Lakes. Would you be interested in either of those cruises? I would love to do the Great Lakes one!

Cool travel app/website of the month

I get a lot of emails every week — sometimes every day — about new travel apps and websites. I don’t write reviews very often about apps/websites (only the ones I really, really love), but some of them are still worth mentioning!

This month, check out:

Trover

I've written about Trover before — it's as if Instagram and Pinterest had a baby that was completely travel-focused. The site is basically a visual guidebook to the world that is crowd-sourced by Trover users. When you upload photos, you add a description and a place pin so that other people can search for and find your photos, too. You can create all sorts of lists — either for your own photos, or for destinations that you'd like to visit — much like you create boards on Pinterest.

But the real reason I wanted to mention Trover again (and no, I'm not being paid to do so) is because they have frequent contests where you can win money! There's a photo challenge nearly every month (for March, the theme is architecture) with a $1500 prize, and Trover also gives away a monthly $500 travel “scholarship” to an active Trover user who's posting awesome photos. So if you aren't using Trover, now might be a great time to check it out!

Top 3 Instagram shots from February

I’m making Instagram a big focus of mine in 2015 — if you aren’t following already, !

Here are my top three most-liked photos from last month:

A photo posted by Akatuki (@dangerousbiz) on

A photo posted by Akatuki (@dangerousbiz) on

A photo posted by Akatuki (@dangerousbiz) on

Featured bloggers of the month

Check out February’s Featured Blogs:

Originally from Chicago, Beth is an Asia expert who got her first true taste of travel when she moved to Japan for university. After living and traveling around Asia for three years, she finally returned to the US where she now bases herself as a travel blogger full-time. Despite not currently living in Asia, she still seeks out Asian culture elsewhere in the world and translates it for her readers on her blog, .
Kristin is one of the clumsiest people you'll ever meet. She's given herself a concussion by falling into a parked car in England and has broken her leg chasing a bus in Arctic Sweden. In spite of this, she continues to travel the world, taking on (nearly) every adventure she comes across. She usually lives to tell the tale on her blog, .
is a European travel blog run by Carolyn, an Australian who is passionate about all things European! Carolyn travels to Europe for two months each year to satisfy her love for the continent, re-visiting favorite haunts and discovering new ones. She shares her travel tips, secret finds and destination inspiration on the blog.

Interested in being a featured blog next month?
Go here to learn more!

You should pack this

Each month, I’ll feature one or two of my packing must-haves. This month, Im recommending:

LSTN Headphones

I recently discovered LSTN headphones — stylish, travel-friendly headphones made from sustainable wood. In fact, I had these babies on my Christmas wish list (but ended up not getting them until February). I have a beautiful pair of zebra wood , which sound and look great and fold up nicely for traveling. But that's not why I love this brand. For every pair of headphones they sell, LSTN helps restore hearing to a person in need through the Starkey Hearing Foundation. How COOL is that? I love being able to support brands that do great work like this.

And you can save 20% on a pair of your own LSTN headphones by using promo code ADB20.

What I’m reading right now

Lastly, I love to read and am making a goal of reading MORE in 2015. Here’s what I’m currently reading:

by Elizabeth Kostova

This book isn't strictly travel-related. In fact, it's a mixture of historical fiction, mystery, and a bit of fantasy that centers around Dracula/Vlad the Impaler. It's a vampire book, and yet so much more. It's an awesome read, told over three generations and at least half a dozen countries. This book inspired me to travel to Eastern Europe on my very first trip to Europe. I went to places like Budapest and Romania and Rila Monastery and Istanbul because of this book. And, since I'm headed back to Eastern Europe soon, I figured it was time for a re-read!

 

That’s it for this month’s edition of “Stuff You Should Know About!” Which section was your favorite, and is there anything else you’d like to see included next month?

 

 

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"It's a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and, if you don't keep your feet, there's no telling where you might get swept off to." - JRR Tolkien

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