Author: Michael Hodgson

We flew Turkish Airlines to experience the electronics ban – updated 7-13-17

(This story was updated on July 13, 2017) When we first heard about the electronics ban the week of March 21, 2017, we were already confirmed to fly Turkish Airlines. Although there would be no problem flying to our destination via Istanbul, coming home in mid-April was shaping up to be a bit more complicated. As travel journalists, we typically carry a number of electronics that were not now going to be allowed in our carryons – computers, tablets, cameras, video equipment, and other electronic camera gear. Of course, this was a perfect opportunity to test the process and learn first-hand how this electronics ban would be affecting travelers.

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Buying the best travel insurance for your trip

You’ve booked your trip for a dream vacation, but you’re just not sure about buying travel insurance. After all, it seems like an added expense and how do you know which is the best travel insurance for your trip anyway? Let’s stop right there. You need travel insurance when you travel, unless you are so wealthy you can afford your own medical expenses and possibly the expense of medical transport back home.

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To see jaguars and exotic wildlife visit Brazil’s Amazon and Pantanal

The Amazon. No, we’re not talking about the Internet retail giant that somehow co-opted the name of a magical, mystical geographic destination. We’re talking Brazil’s Amazon and Pantanal with jungle and waterways and wetlands — a destination so steeped in legend that it promises adventure and bucket list experiences to anyone lucky enough to visit.

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9 tips to help you keep your valuables safe when traveling

Knowing how to keep your valuables safe when traveling should be top of mind for every tourist, traveler and adventurer. The loss of a computer, camera, mobile phone, tablet, identification, jewelry or money can happen in the blink of an eye. And such a loss can ruin any trip, business or pleasure. While expert advice has always been to keep close control over your valuables and never to pack them into your checked luggage, a recent ban on electronic devices larger than a smartphone inside aircraft flying from select destinations in the Middle East and Africa to the United...

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Pacsafe Venturesafe X30: Versatile anti-theft adventure backpack

Daypacks are certainly comfortable and convenient to wear when traveling, but beware carrying anything valuable. You can’t see what’s going on behind you, and pickpockets know this. Which is why we typically opt for anti-theft packs like the Pacsafe Venturesafe X30 adventure backpack. The trouble too with many daypacks suitable for travel — and certainly most anti-theft backpacks we have reviewed — is that they aren’t so good at playing many roles – on urban streets, rural trails, and mountain peaks – i.e. from urban exploration to outdoor hikes. HI Travel Tales demands versatility from is goods to ensure...

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Mallory Square sunset celebration captured in bright colors

Key West, at the southernmost tip of the United States below Florida (and only 90 miles from Cuba), can leave you getting sucked into one attraction or tourist shop after another. And that can leave a dent in your wallet. But there are a few things to do in Key West that are both free and amazing. Check out our story “4 Fun Free Things To Do in Key West (+2)” for more on that! One of those free things is the nightly Mallory Square sunset celebration. Mallory Square has existed as a gathering point for Key West’s social...

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Visit Antarctica – A bucket list destination for many travelers

Antarctica. That one word for many inspires dreams of fulfilling a traveler’s bucket list to visit Antarctica. Antarctica’s siren call has become the stuff of legend, pulling mariners and explorers toward her shores for decades. Add in an other-worldly landscape of mountains, sea and ice, killer whales, and herds of elephant seals, and there is little wonder so many of all ages jump at the chance, even with an other-worldly price tag to visit Antarctica ($7,000 to $15,000 for 13 days and up, and up to $35,000 for longer). And some find they are drawn back again and again.

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What to see in Lijiang – a quick video tour

Old town Lijiang is not unlike Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco in its tourist-trap draw; however, as you will see in this video, like Fisherman’s Wharf, if you look, you will find plenty of history and beauty amid the almost unimaginable concentration of shops and vendors. The maze of streets and canals of old town Lijiang invites you to get happily lost — and lost you will get. Hopefully, the sound of running water from the many canals will serve as a soothing backdrop to the press of tourism from mostly Chinese tourists. If you were wondering what to see in Lijiang, this video is a good place to start.

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What to do in Lijiang, China – 3 insider travel tips

Wondering what to do in Lijiang? Lijiang earned its UNESCO world heritage listing in large part because, until a massive earthquake in 1996, it was a picture-perfect example of a traditional Naxi village. However, the rebuilding process has taken its toll on tradition. Likely influenced by the money and tourist potential of its UNESCO designation, Lijiang old town has been rebuilt, with modern construction replicating traditional architecture. Still, as Lijiang continues its inexorable march toward embracing commerce at the expense of culture, there is magic and wonder to be found if you know where to look and what to...

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