Stuff You Should Know About: February 2016

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Welcome to “Stuff You Should Know About” – a monthly 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

No more borderless EU?

Due to the refugee crisis currently going on in Europe, countries within the Schengen Zone are considering re-instating passport controls at borders. Greece is especially being targeted, but keep an eye on this story if you plan to travel a lot within Europe in the near future!

Leap Year deals

In honor of Leap Year, quite a few travel/hotel booking sites are offering some cool travel deals on Monday, including 29% off bookings or rooms for just $29. Check out this list for some good ones!

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:

Walc

Walc

As a traveler, I'm pretty used to using map apps in order to find my way around new cities. Google Maps is usually my go-to, but I recently learned about Walc, a new map app which I LOVE the concept of. It works like any other map app – you plug in where you are and where you want to go, and then you're given turn-by-turn directions. But the big difference is that the directions are given not using street names, but rather landmarks. So instead of trying to find the name of a street (which, let's face it, can sometimes be tricky!), you only have to look for a statue or McDonald's on the corner instead.

The app is still pretty new, but I think it's a great idea. (And no, I'm not being paid to write about this – I legit think it's a very handy app!)

Top Instagram shots from this month

Instagram is one of my favorite social networks. I mean, who doesn’t love pretty photos?? If you aren’t following already, follow me on Instagram @dangerousbiz!

Here are some of my most-liked photos from the last month or so:

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram!

Featured bloggers of the month

Check out this month’s Featured Blogs:

AdventureAWeek
Three years ago, Lindsay started An Adventure A Week to document her commitment to doing one thing a week that scared her. These weekly adventures turned into an obsession, and now she travels the world full-time, seeking out chances to challenge herself with new experiences. On her blog, she shares her adventure stories and inspirational tips for sprinkling in a little adventure into your own life, no matter who you are.
BWFixedBanner
Rachel is an outgoing English teacher from suburban New Jersey. She is an expert at finding ways to escape her job and explore the world. Her blog, Blond Wayfarer, discusses her adventures, love of books, and determination to beat anxiety – including a big flying fear!
SilverSpoon-London
My name is Angie Silver and my blog SilverSpoon London is a lifestyle, food and luxury travel blog following my adventures in my hometown of London and around the world. I aim to give the low-down on London’s hottest new restaurants as well as cool and inspiring destinations globally.
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Follow Julia Kitlinski-Hong as she explores both her native San Francisco Bay Area and further afield, always with food on her mind. An enthusiast of Turkish breakfasts and Polish Milk Bars (two delicious reminders of her adopted homes of Turkey and Poland), her blog, Small World This Is, reflects her endless curiosity for the intersection of food and travel. Her goal is to get you excited about food and engaging travel, whether it is in your own backyard or halfway across the world.
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Travel Candy is THE Weekend Travel Blog. It's a place where you'll find short break itineraries and weekend destination reviews uncovering the sweetest 48-hour escapes in the UK and Europe. It's run by award-winning writer and blogger, Claire Robinson, who's been a weekend jetsetter for the last 2 years and loves nothing more than hopping across the world one weekend at a time!

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, I'm recommending:

A packable day pack

Mansov day pack

Sometimes, I don't need a full-on backpack or my camera bag for a day trip or activity – but my purse isn't always ideal, either. So I decided recently to pick up a packable day pack by Mansov. This lightweight, water resistant bag is nice and small, and folds up into its own pocket for easy portability. It was perfect on my recent trip to Norway for carrying my camera, wallet, water bottle, and extra pair of gloves during activities like snowshoeing and snowmobiling.

I can highly recommend this little day pack!

>> Buy one here.

What I’m planning right now

Because my blog runs a little bit behind of what I’m currently doing, I figured I would use this monthly update to let you know what I’m up to, and what adventures are coming up next! (You can also find more detailed info in my monthly newsletter.)

Coming up:

  • A quick trip down to Puerto Rico for a few days this week (the perfect follow-up to a week in Arctic Norway!).
  • Ecuador in mid-March, where I'll be challenging myself to a digital detox for a week (EEK!).
  • A trip to the American Southwest with Elliot in mid-April to visit as many national parks in Utah as possible leading up to National Park Week.
  • AFRICA in May! My dad and I are going on a tour to South Africa and Victoria Falls with Style Hi Club, and then I’m joining an overland trip through Namibia and Botswana with Acacia Africa.

Which adventure are you most excited to read more about?

That’s it for this month’s edition of “Stuff You Should Know About!” Which section was your favorite this month?

 

*Note: There are some affiliate links in this post. If you buy through one of the links, you won’t be charged any extra, but I’ll earn a little bit to put towards running this site!

"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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25 Comments on “Stuff You Should Know About: February 2016

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  1. I can’t wait to read about your trip to the American Southwest and Puerto Rico. You don’t here about Puerto Rico very often. I had not seen your Spain picture and I follow you on instagram so I had to go check it out. Beautiful as always!!!

      I’m really excited about both those trips, too! Puerto Rico has been pulling me for the last year or so (I think it’s fascinating that it’s still a US territory – and you’re right that not a ton of people write about it!), so that will be fun. As always, I’ll be sharing photos on social media in real-time!

    That app sounds amazing! I’ve definitely struggled with map apps a few times in Europe when the street names aren’t well-marked. I’ll have to check this one out. It sounds like you have some amazing adventures coming up!

      Yeah, sometimes streets just aren’t marked! Being able to navigate my landmarks and businesses is so smart!

    Have fun with your upcoming adventures and good luck with the digital detox in Ecuador! I can’t wait to read about both in the future 🙂

      Thanks, Ella! The digital detox is definitely going to be hard – but it will be a cool, new experience for sure!

    Thanks for the daypack recommendation! I don’t like carrying a heavy backpack and often can’t cram all my stuff into my purse so my husband usually ends up (grudgingly) holding the extra. This might be the solution we need!

      It worked great in Norway to carry my usual purse things, plus my GoPro, a bottle of water, and some extra gloves/my hat when I wasn’t wearing it. It’s not meant to carry a ton (and probably wouldn’t do well if you stuff a lot of weight into it since the straps aren’t super supportive), but it’s perfect to pull out for a quick day trip – I’m taking it to Puerto Rico this month to use as my beach bag!

    So excited to hear about you new Norway trip. I have read your other Norwegian adventures. I am headed out that way in a about 3 weeks and your blog was extremely helpful.

      Great to hear, Niki! I hope to get some new Norway content up soon, so stay tuned!

    That Walc app is an interesting concept – using landmarks to tell you where to go. This would be perfect for my fiance as she doesn’t use street names at all ahaha.

      Yeah, it’s a really brilliant idea for an app!

    Plaza di Espana, WOW. I can’t wait to hit Spain this year. As I head East in Europe and circle around, hopefully I’ll still have the ability to get to explore some of the west. Also, cool app! Thanks for sharing! I’m such a tech head and hadn’t heard of this. Have you also heard of Tripwire? My friends just released it, but more of a trip planning and connecting with travelers app though. Anyway, good update as always!

      I definitely hope you make time for Spain, Ryan! It’s an amazing country (and actually quite cheap, too, compared to the rest of western Europe!).

    Love your Instagram photos! The one of Niagara Falls? Wow. Can’t wait to read all about Norway : )

      Thanks, Ashley! I have plenty of Norway content coming up, so keep an eye out for it!

    Your Africa trip sounds amazing, but so do the National Parks actually. I’m trying to visit at least 6 National Parks in the Netherlands, because until I heard about National Park week in the US I never knew we had National Parks of our own 🙂

      That’s very cool! Most countries actually do have national parks – though of course some have more than others! I’m very excited about both these upcoming trips, too!

    Great blog post. Wishing you well for your future trips. Schengen Zone … I think I should expedite the trip I am planning – getting all those visas would be no fun and def not cheaper – thanks for the update

      You won’t necessarily need visas – you just won’t be able to cross borders without a passport or as easily as before if they decide to change things.

    That app sounds perfect. I hate it when google maps tells you to go east or whatever. How are you supposed to know which way is east? Also that little arrow thing is so hard to see.

      I know, same here! And sometimes roads just aren´t well-marked.

    That app is incredible I definitely will download that

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