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Sunset in İstanbul

Sunset in İstanbul

Take a ferry between Eminönü (on the European side of the Bosphorus) and Kadıköy (on the Anatolian side) near sunset and you’ll be rewarded with this view for 1.35 Turkish lira – about $1 USD, £0.60 GBP or €0.75. Not bad for a sunset cruise between two continents!

The crossing takes about 20 minutes – just enough time to snap some photos and have a cup of Turkish tea.

Check out my posts about Turkey.

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Take a hike! 5 unique treks in Europe

Travelling isn’t just about going to museums, learning new customs and eating different food. It can also be a chance to get out and enjoy the fresh air.

Hiking during a trip is a wonderful opportunity to get out of the city, off the trains and into the wilderness. With a decent pair of shoes, a waterproof raincoat and a bottle of water (and maybe a map and a phone), you’re off to the mountains.
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Mr ‘Stranded’ American and the ferry from Italy to Greece

I wasn’t expecting it to be quick. I wasn’t even expecting it to be on time.

Travelling within a slightly disorganised country can be difficult enough. But taking a 16 hour ferry from one chaotic (but beautiful) country to another? Good luck.

My expectation for the ferry’s timeliness turned out to be well-founded on a long overnight ferry from Brindisi, Italy to Patras, Greece. But the 16 hour journey was difficult enough to begin.
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My Rick Steves book contribution

Perhaps my luck in the travel world started from birth. I grew up a few hours from Edmonds, just north of Seattle, the home of Rick Steves’ Europe Through the Back Door where hundreds of travellers and like-minded individuals work tirelessly to constantly update and improve guidebooks for those who want to enjoy Europe on a budget.
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Secrets of London’s Oyster Card

Planning a trip to London? Great! This post is for you.

Live in London and haven’t discovered all the perks of your Oyster Card yet? Read on.

London’s Oyster Card not only gets you around London but also offers secret 2-for-1 deals not prominently advertised and unique card designs you have to ask for specially.

Oyster Cards are more than just the travel card most people use them for. Even a Londoner can learn something here.
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Travel plans were made to be broken

Sometimes a great pre-trip idea just doesn’t feel so great after you’re on the road. Maybe the weather is bad, the culture isn’t what you thought it would be or you found yourself happily stuck somewhere else.

My first big trip to Europe, I had a month planned before I left and thought I’d plan the rest while I was travelling. I wanted to know where I was going to be for the next month, how I was going to get there and what I was going to do.

I knew some flexibility was necessary, but I felt I had to have a rough plan in my mind (ok, a bit more than a rough plan). After a month of planned travel in Ireland, that whole philosophy was thrown out the window.
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Picking, packing and pimping your pack

Preparing for a trip is a great feeling. There’s a lot to do and a great buzz of impending departure. One of my favourite things to do (besides hopping on the plane) is pack.

I know this sounds crazy, but I really do enjoy it. Making sure I have everything that I need, but not things that I don’t need (even though they still sneak into my bag somehow) and that my pack can still be closed is a huge equation that I thrive off of.

I know some people hate it. If I could pack for them, I would. Maybe they just haven’t found the right method or they don’t have the right luggage.

Choosing your luggage, your packing style and even changing your pack to fit your needs can hugely influence whether packing will be fun or torturous. It’s different for everyone, every trip and every location. I’ve found what works for me and by following a few general pointers, packing can be quick, easy and relatively painless.
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