Germany in November $325

So last week, we officially got word that school would be out for the whole week of Thanksgiving. Naturally, that got me searching Google Flights for trips to take over the break. One of the best Europe fares I have found thus far is to Cologne, Germany from Sunday to Sunday. Both flights are direct from MIA to CGN, with the flight there being an overnight flight The nice thing about flying into Cologne is that a) it looks like an amazing city to visit, and b) super close to other tourist destinations like Brugges and Amsterdam. Accommodations look reasonable for that timespan as well; both hostels and AirBnBs can happen for $22+ a night.

Leaving Sunday November 19th, 2017
Returning Sunday November 26th, 2017
Separate tickets
Google Flights

Iceland in late July for $390

WOW airlines has done some incredible stuff with their flight prices. They even have something super cheap for the summer. More impressively is the flight they have for less than $400 in July. I'm not sure what the lodging situation would be like, however.

Leaving July 8th
Returning July 21st, 28th
WOW Airlines

Personal security items

Hostels, couch-surfing, sketchy (and sometimes not-so-sketchy) hotels, Air B-n-B, and so on are all great ways to stay without spending loads of money. Busses and walking are inexpensive and "authentic" ways to experience a city. That being said, there is always the possibility of finding yourself in a less-than-perfect situation. There are some awesome, solid options to keep yourself safe in your room and out and about while travelling.

Note: while pepper spray is a great option for self defense here in the States, I do caution against bringing it with you while travelling. There are several countries that consider it a crime to have it in your possession. If you pack it, please check the laws of the area you will be visiting.

This seems like it would also be a handy thing to have at home to prop doors open to tempt a cross-breeze... 


(This one seems to be the most portable) 


Nothing like an shrieking keychain to give you some extra confidence... 


It's so cute! 


Quick note on this item. It is not an alarm or anything that seems directly related to personal safety, but its a portable solar charger. These days, cell phones work almost anywhere, but yours cannot help you if it is dead. The dandy little chargers need only sunlight. Pair this with a spare battery pack that you charge up while touristing around, and you're set. 


This nifty gadget lets of a super loud scream if it is pressed. If someone tries to open your door without you welcoming them in. 


Ok, this is definitely worth a serious looksie. Its simple, folds up nice and small to take along with you, and seems pretty unbreakable (unless someone wanted to take the whole door/frame/jam down... or they can totally break through the door like a cartoon character)


And last but not least, the tried-and-true rubber door stop. No metal parts to set off metal detectors, no issues in taking it in your carry-on, and easy to figure out...

Europe for ~$620 RT in July

❤💛💗Bruges will forever be my favorite city
one of my top 3 favorite places (its hard to chose). 
July is peak summer travel times, so therefore has the least "deals." This plan has 2 separate flights arriving to and departing from 2 different cities. That being said, travelling between cities in western Europe is cheap and easy (you can catch a flight for ~$15 or a bus for about as much or less).

You fly into Brussels on TUI Fly for $200. It's a direct, overnight flight. Then, sometime in the next week and a halfish, you work your way to London and leave from there on another direct night-time flight. Or you can come back from Luxemburg (which is really close to Belgium and you won't have to cross the channel)

Leaving MIA to BRU on Tue, July 4th, 2017

Coming back LUX to MIA on Wed, July 19th,
TAP airlines (with a long layover in Portugal!)
Search through Google Flights and then I found it through cheapoair.

Coming back LGW (London Gatwick) to MIA on Wed, July 19th,
Norwegian Airlines
It might be easier to find on Google Flights.

Rio for $640 and São Paulo for $485 in early summer

If you are looking to beat the heat this summer, head south! To the southern hemisphere, that is.

MIA to GRU (São Paulo) leaving June 2nd,
returning June 8th-13
(most return flights have decent layovers in Bogota, so you can explore there too!)
Search for this on Google Flights, since the fare is offered through LATAM and they are tricky to link to.

MIA to GIG (Rio de Janeiro) leaving the first part of June,
returning the second half of June.
(most return flights have decent layovers in Bogota, so you can explore there too!)
To book, you need to call Avianca, but search through Google Flights to find the itinerary you want.

Note: the links to Google Flights go directly to the search they are listed under.


Best Travel Books

Best Travel Books 

(that aren't Eat, Pray, Love)

Not only does the setting of ADOW (as us groupies call it) travel all around Europe and New England, it also transports you through time and realm. Oxford to Scotland to France to Upstate New York (and plenty of other places) are the inspiring backdrops for the story of Diana and Matthew. History, wit, romance, and mythology serve as the accoutrements to this rich tale of travel and mystery.  Oh, and I can't forget to mention the glorious descriptions of the wines! 🍷

PS. The adventures don't stop with this book; the stories are spread over three thrilling books (the All Souls Trilogy).

This tale of self-discovery and travel takes place mainly in Africa. A "boy" searches for his personal legend and it brings him to meet several alluring characters. There is a really good reason this book spent 424 consecutive weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list.  

The NYC that we all know and love, the Big Apple that compels us to go and bask in its cacophonous glory, has always been somewhat of a mystery. How did this metropolis just spring up? Has it just been in a wormhole, given to us from another dimension, already a hub of immigration, social reform, and fashion? This non-fiction work delves into the origins of NYC at a thrilling pace. 

The works of the Old Master are must-reads for high school students and wanderers alike. His works have a simple but meaningful soul, and are meant to be read under the glow of a sun that is setting over a foreign land- or seascape. 

A rather boring looking cover, but still a fascinating non-fiction, easy read of the significance of some of the world's most famous squares. The authors who are writing the histories are the best at spinning the tales into accurate stories that the layman (me) can follow. How many have you visited so far?

I originally picked this up in one of those "Take One Leave One" stacks in a hostel common room, and it has become one of my favorite books to read-and-re-read while travelling. This isn't a story of travel to far flung places, but a story of travelling within. I won't spoil it for you, but it has tales of immense wealth, savage betrays, and glorious triumphs. 

This was my first book about leaving the "American Dream" behind in pursuit of travel, and it has most certainly left a mark. I think the most notable aspect of this true-life tale is the fact that it was done with school-age children in tow. 

And last, but not least. The *original* travel inspiration. Around the World in 80 Days.

Need I say more? 

What's on your must-read travel book list? 

PS: Paper books are my favorite. There is nothing like the feeling of turning through the pages of a story you are sucked into. However, when travelling, Amazon Kindle and Amazon Prime (there are free trials for it) are the way to go. You can download the audiobooks as well. 

July short(ish)-haul deals

There are some decent flights to Scandinavia in July. They have cheap flights to pretty much everywhere else from the hubs, so even if Stockholm, for example, isn't your final destination, you can still catch a cheap (<$100) flight to a bunch of other major European cities.

FLL to OSL (Oslo), leaving Fri, July 7th,
returning Sat, July 29th
Norwegian Airlines
*separate tickets*
Going there
Coming back

FLL to ARN (Stockholm), leaving Tue, July 18th,
returning Tue, August 8th
Norwegian Airlines
*separate tickets*
Going there
Coming back

MIA to BRU (Brussels), leaving Tue, July 4th,
returning Wed, July 19th
TUI Fly and TAP Airlines
*separate tickets*
Going there
Coming back

July long-haul deals

Its tough to find *good* flight deals (by that, I mean under $600) in July. There are two flights to Asia that were semi-reasonable; one to Bangkok, the other to Singapore. The flights are long with no "usable" layovers (either too short or you would be too tired to enjoy them), are on several different airlines, and have to be booked by an agent or company, but they could work! 

FLL to SIN (Singapore), departing on Mon, July 17th 
Returning Thur, August 3. 
Check it out on Google Flights
Take-alongs: awesome-but-still-trashy book and the perfect pocket travel guide with a full size map

PBI to BKK (Bangkok), departing Sun, July 23 
Returning Wed, August 2 
$922 + $25 telephone booking fee 
Check it out on Google Flights
Take-along: travel guide + book written by a local

~$500 RT to Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires has been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember. The cowboys, the tango, the romance... There are some great deals in late July/early August that have round trip airfare at about $500. The flight there has an almost full day layover in Rio (another bucket list stop), but the flights back are much less appealing, with 2 stops (none long enough to really venture out). Still... $500? I'll take it.

MIA to EZE, leaving July 8th and coming back before August 6th.
I suggest going to Google Flights first and finding the dates there, because it is not automatically populated in the LATAM website.

More Flights to Brussels ~$350 and Stockholm $320

These are the same prices as domestic flights... Round trip to NYC is only a little bit less. 👀😵

Leaving MIA to BRU (Brussels) June 10th, returning: 
June 14h, 19th, 21st, 26th
WOW Airlines

Leaving MIA to BRU (Brussels) June 3rd, returning: 
June 10th 
*separate tickets*
Coming home on TUI Fly
Going there on WOW

Leaving MIA to BRU (Brussels) June 3rd, returning: 
June 17th, 20th
*separate tickets*

Leaving MIA to ARN (Stockholm) June 6th, returning: 
June 19th
*separate tickets*

$349 RT to Cork, Ireland

$349 round trip to Cork, Ireland in June. WOW airlines has dropped their prices today. 

Leaving June 1st, 6th, 8th, 13th, 15th, 20th, and 22nd returning:

June 5th, 7th, 9th, 
June 12th, 14th, 16th, 
June 19th, 21st, 23rd, 
June 26th, 28th, 30th 
WOW Airlines

How can you not go? 

Flights to Brussels in early-mid June

Miami to Brussels 
June 3rd coming back:
June 10th, 13th 
Book on TUI Fly

June 6th coming back:
June 10th, 13th 
Book on TUI Fly 
June 6th coming back:
June 12th, 19th, 21st, 23rd, 26th 

Stockholm, Sweden and Cork, Ireland in June

WOW airlines has some great deals for the beginning of summer. Note that these fares are for the base fares with no checked luggage. 

Miami to Stockholm, Sweden one stop in Iceland. WOW Airlines 
June 8th, 2017- June 21st, 2017
$400 ($420 to return June 28th, 2017)
link to Google Flights

Miami to Cork, Ireland, one stop in Iceland. WOW Airlines 
Leaving June 8th, 2017 and returning: 
June 12th, 
June 16th, 
June 19th, 
June 21st
link to Google Flights
Leaving June 8th, 2017 and returning: 
June 26th, 
June 28th, 
June 30th 
link to Google Flights

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