September has been fun! I spent the entire month in Seattle, getting to know my new home. I explored Capitol Hill, went to the Washington State Fair and even attended a food blogger convention. Mike and I also celebrated our one year wedding anniversary which was lovely. Since the traditional first anniversary gift is “paper” I got him a book on beer tasting and he bought me a Mexican cookbook.
Twenty-Something Travel had a big milestone as well, one that I almost missed. Last week I pressed publish on Twenty-Something Travel’s 1000th post. It was this lovely first time guide to Japan by Jessica. 1000 posts. That is just mind-blowing to me.
October will be a busy, but also fun, month: I’m going to Las Vegas and Austin and celebrating both Mike and my 30th birthdays!My Writing
What I do when I’m not here:
How to Pack Carry On Only- RoamRight
5 Little Known Wine Regions Around the World- RoamRight
3 Foods to Avoid in Italy- RoamRight
Why You Don’t Have to Quit Your Job to Travel- Drink Tea Travel- Great advice on how to have a career and travel the world.
Dynamic Pricing: Flight Pricing’s Biggest Scam?- Indiana Jo- This is a must read if you are planning to book a plane ticket, well, ever.
Travel Solo Because it Sucks- Stars on the Ceiling- Traveling solo isn’t always fun, sometimes it sucks, but sometimes, that is what makes it worthwhile.
10 Questions From 2 Years Traveling the World- Be My Travel Muse- Time for some serious introspection.
How to Travel the Maldives on a Budget. It’s Possible! – Never Ending Footsteps- this post makes me sad I don’t have time to explore the Maldives after my trip to Sri Lanka.
Why I Don’t Have Pictures for Burning Man- OverYonderlust- I like Erica’s piece because it ties into something I’ll be writing about next week: photography and consent.What’s the best thing you’ve read this month?
Who doesn’t dream of a canal view from their hotel room when visiting Venice? Ever since I started regularly visiting the city to review its hotels in 2001, I’ve always hoped that I would be able to fling my windows open in the morning to the sights and sounds of a passing gondola.
It hasn’t happened for a number of reasons.
First, and most obviously, cost: Canal-side hotels almost always charge more for the views. Venice has been welcoming tourists for hundreds of years, and those in the hotel business caught on long ago that they could charge more for rooms overlooking the city’s famous waterways, even the tiny, inconsequential canals.
Secondly, when I visit Venice for work, I’m almost always alone, and hotel owners almost always reserve their romantic canal-side rooms for doubles. Single rooms in Venice, in fact, are quite often afterthoughts (if they were thought of, at all).
While I can’t do much about the plight of the single traveler in Venice, I can offer some advice for budget travelers looking to book a hotel with a view. Fortunately, there are a few budget hotels left in the city with canal views. These tend to be romantic hold-outs who have chosen not to renovate themselves into four-star boutique properties with sky-high rates. (For that reason alone, we should support them!)
Here are five of my favorite affordable hotels in Venice that offer rooms with canal views. Note: As many of these offer only a handful of rooms with the views, be sure to be clear when reserving that you’re interested in a room with a view.Albergo Doni
From €50 to €135
The Doni is a Cheapo classic, a small, family-run place located a couple of tiny bridges away from St. Mark’s Square. It’s an old fashioned and modest hotel, run by the grandchildren of the original owner. Four rooms at this creaky and unpretentious hotel have canal views.Locanda Silva
From €50 to €140
Another sweet, family run hotel nestled along a quiet canal near St. Mark’s Square, the one-star Silva has low rates and simple rooms with AC. Modern art (painted by family members) hangs throughout, and six rooms look out to the small waterway. The Silva is a nice option for visitors wishing to be near San Marco, without sleeping in the midst of the crowds.Hotel dalla Mora
From €45 to €110
Perhaps the best deal in town, 10 of the 14 rooms at the one-star Hotel dalla Mora have prime canal views. The hotel is located in the charming Santa Croce neighborhood, a bit removed from the tourist bustle of San Marco, and offers very well-kept rooms with AC, and no TV. The Dalla Mora is also a family affair, run by two brothers who have created something special (and popular—book well in advance).Hotel Galleria
This one-star hotel is the most expensive on the list for a good reason: Its rooms don’t just look out to any old tiny canal, they open to the Grand Canal. Located quite literally at the base of the Accademia Bridge in Dursoduro, the Galleria is named for its neighbor, the Galleria dell’Accademia, Venice’s most important art museum. Rooms are lovingly decorated with old fashioned details, but the real star here are the views of the Grand Canal, bridge, or art museum.Antica Locanda Montin
From €60 to €160
Situated along a small canal in Venice’s dreamy Dursoduro district, the Montin is a convenient restaurant-hotel combo with an impressive collection of paintings. Dine downstairs in its popular Venetian restaurant, then climb the staircase to your room, passing through a salon decked out in artwork. Rooms are simple, although dressed up with paintings, and two special rooms have small terraces overlooking the canal.More budget hotel picks
Looking for more affordable hotel options in Venice? Read all of our reviews in our Venice hotel guide.
Packing advice can get awfully proscriptive very quickly, and these tips are no exception. Bear with me.
Before you start throwing everything you own into a bag, take a moment to think about strategy. With a few easy steps, you too can be hitting the road in Europe like a budget travel pro.
I’ve been traveling light since I was a teenager. And if you find the following advice too limiting, know that it could be much, much worse. My mother once traveled from Germany to Paris for a weekend carrying just a small purse!1. There’s no need to check a bag
Find a medium-sized carry-on bag. This is what you’ll be taking with you to hold most of your stuff. Everything you need for a two-week trip will fit into the carry-on bag (such as a duffel bag) and a modest backpack.2. Make a list and check it twice
Catalog what you think you’ll need. Lay it all out, every last t-shirt, sweater and pair of jeans. Haul everything out and line up items next to each other: clothing, toiletries, books, electronics.3. Condense your clothes
Now take an axe to your clothes. Reduce everything down to the following: eight shirts or blouses, two pairs of trousers, dresses or skirts, a sweater or sweatshirt, eight pair/sets of underwear, eight pairs of socks, and one pair of shoes. Wear a light jacket on the plane to save space in your bag, and you’re good to go. That’s it. You need to be a good editor.Interlude
Get a hold of yourself. Breathe deeply. To answer your first and most pressing question, you’ll wash your clothes along the way, in your hotel sink or at a laundromat. You might even splurge and arrange laundry through a service. Just trust me.4. Don’t overdo the toiletries
Reduce your toiletries as well, and keep in mind size limitations for international travel. Separate your toiletries into two categories: liquid and non-liquid, and place the liquid toiletries in a transparent plastic bag with a seal. Your non-liquid toiletries (toothbrush, dental floss, pills, etc.) do not need to be stored in close proximity to your liquid toiletries.
I turned to beauty blogger and travel publicist Lynda Daboh for cosmetics advice. Her two cents: “decant, get free sample sizes, and use powder products where possible to minimize spillage and maximize space.”5. Do you really need that laptop?
Think about your electronics. Do you need your laptop? Do you need your camera? Will your smart phone do the trick of staying in touch and documenting your travels adequately? Among my admittedly tiny professional tribe of travel writers, I’ve noticed a slow but unstoppable trend toward leaving bigger equipment at home.
iPhone and iPad cameras are as good as many digital cameras as far as quality is concerned, and they allow you the opportunity to post and edit photos on the fly whenever you have access to WiFi. Reduce your electronics, and you’ll stand to benefit.6. Don’t bring a whole library of guidebooks
Which books do you need? Many guidebooks can be transported digitally; relevant chapters of monster-sized guidebooks can be torn out and placed in a folder to reduce weight. Books for leisurely reading can be read on devices to save space again. (I’m old-fashioned and prefer to read books made out of paper, myself, but there it is.) For recording observations, a nice notebook is good to have.7. Plastic bags can be your friend
Slip one in your bag for dirty clothes. Take another for transporting a second pair of shoes or flip-flops. And take an extra just in case. These will come in very handy.8.Organize your documents.
Even the most technologically advanced traveler can benefit from having hard copies of tickets, itinerary suggestions, general information and a photocopy of your passport or any visa documentation on hand. Organize this into a folder, chronologically if it makes sense to do so.9. Leave a little space for souvenirs
Leave room in your bags for treasures. Do you plan to do some shopping? If you do, make sure you have room for your loot.10. Everyone has different needs, so plan ahead
You can be forgiven of thinking of the practical last, but now it’s time to turn your mind to questions of utility. First of all, remember that many objects of daily use (hand sanitizer, tissues, many toiletries) can probably be purchased on the road.
Will your plugs work or will you need a converter? (Quick answer: You’ll likely need a converter.) Will you have language difficulties? If so, consider a phrase book, and consider familiarizing yourself with the language in advance by listening to it. But there are also the intangibly valuable things whose value only you can determine. Will you need multivitamins? A favorite snack? A favorite pen?
Think ahead, dear Cheapos, and you are on your way to a fun two-week adventure.
The post Packing Advice: 10 tips for a two-week European jaunt appeared first on EuroCheapo's Budget Travel Blog.
This is actually a remarkable photo if you look closely. Most of the forest is black from forest fire. However, you can see patches of brown and green which were not burnt as bad. All of the green unburnt areas are surrounded by a region of brown trees which were damaged, but not burnt. It really shows how random, and dependent on ground conditions, forest fires can be.