Since there is still some time before I choose the fifth Win the World Facebook Sweepstakes winner, I thought now would be a good time to catch up with one of our past winners to see how her free trip went.
We thought we’d bring Lillian back to tell us how her trip went and hear how she liked the Inca ruins. You’ll also get the inside scoop about what it’s like to take a Friendly Planet Travel tour. Listen to this podcast below!
Thanks for speaking with us again, Lillian. I’m so happy that you had an amazing time in Peru! I hope to see you again on another Friendly Planet Travel tour.
If you’re on the go, you can also right click on this link, and select “save link as” to download it to your computer and save it to your mobile device. And be sure to scroll down to see some pictures from Lillian’s trip.
Friendly Planet Travel blogger Caitlin reached out to Lillian to see if she’d be interested in letting our blog community hear what winning was like, and she agreed. So we set the call up, and jumped on the phone. Lillian filled Caitlin in on where she’s traveled before, what she likes to do, and what she’s most looking forward to seeing when she travels to Peru.
Listen in on their conversation below. You can also right click on this link, and select “save link as” to download it to your computer, so you can save it to your mobile device and can listen on the go.
Thanks for taking the time to speak with us Lillian. We’re looking forward to hearing about your trip to Peru when you come back!
Let’s head north to China. Farihah Ali, from Atlanta, went on Friendly Planet Travel’s Taste of China tour in November and wrote about her time in the country on her own blog, Spice Bites. When I stumbled upon her blog posts, I asked one of our Friendly Planet Travel bloggers, Melissa, to get to know what mouth-watering food Farihah discovered in China.
In our podcast Farihah dives into what she saw and ate in the three cities she visited in China, Shanghai, Xi’an, and Beijing. Dumplings where on the top of Farihah’s list to find. She tells us about her adventures to find the best ones in each city, as well as the other food she tasted along the way thanks to help of her tour guides.
Farihah breaks down what the hotels, escorted tours, tour guides, and transportation was like in each city. She also tells Melissa how it was easy to get around the cities when she only knew one or two phrases in Chinese, and much more.
After you listen to the podcast, I encourage you to flip over to her blog to read her posts about China and look at all the beautiful photos she took. If you’ve been to China and ate some amazing food, please tell me about it in a comment on this post.
Charlie and his partner Wayne recently returned from Friendly Planet Travel’s Taste of Vietnam tour and thought it was fantastic. They departed on Sept. 22, and when they returned, Charlie sent me an e-mail detailing every part of the trip he and Wayne particularly loved. From the hotels, to the food, to the tour guides, he explained why it was such as great trip.
One of our Friendly Planet bloggers, Melissa, followed up with Charlie on the phone to get a first-hand account of his experience on the Taste of Vietnam tour. I wanted to hear exactly how Friendly Planet stacked up against his past travels, and what made his trip fantastic. Listen to the podcast if you want to know what the tour is like, start to finish, from a Friendly Planet traveler.
In the podcast, Charlie takes Melissa through Vietnam’s largest and most important cities: Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and Hanoi. In Ho Chi Minh City, Charlie duck-walked through the Cu Chi Tunnels, learned how to make rice paper, ate elephant ear fish, and more.
In Hanoi, his group got the chance to celebrate Vietnam’s 1,000 year anniversary on Oct. 1. They also took in a Water Puppet show, an ancient form of Vietnamese entertainment, and more. Charlie was more than impressed with Friendly Planet’s tour guides in both cities because as he says, “they give you information that you can’t find on Google.”
In addition to talking about the tour, Charlie offers advice on what to pack when traveling to Vietnam in September, how to pack lightly, and what to expect in terms of the weather. He also gives you a lesson in Vietnamese culture by sharing some gestures you should use and clothing you should wear to show respect.
But this is just the tip of the iceberg. There’s a lot more information in the podcast that’s incredibly valuable to anyone wanting to hear first hand what a Friendly Planet Travel tour to Vietnam is really like, directly from a just-returned traveler. All of us at Friendly Planet are grateful to Charlie for sharing his experiences with us, and we look forward to having him with us on tour again very soon!
I’m kicking off my search for the perfect travel gear today with an ingenious article of clothing — SCOTTEVEST. It lets women and men travel hands free. The SCOTTEVEST really caught my eye and my attention because I always carry a purse or a large tote bag when I travel.
The bag contains all my things for the flight, including my travel documents, netbook, iPhone, books, a change of underwear, cosmetics, and anything else I can’t live without for the duration of the trip abroad.
It all fits inside the tote, but that tote becomes pretty heavy once it’s loaded. And what a mess when I have to go through security! And with all that stuff inside the tote, imagine me trying to quickly put my hands on my iPhone when it rings. No way. It’s buried with all the other stuff. The phone usually stops ringing before I can get to it.
And men are in a similar boat. They use a backpack or other bag to hold their wallet, documents, smart phone, camera, etc. This extra bulk can weigh down your travel experience — literally.
SCOTTEVEST Travel Clothing is stylish clothing that actually saves you from having to carry around purses and bags, since every garment has tons of pockets where you can securely stow gear and gadgets. I know this might seem impossible, but when you see them for yourself, you’ll understand why these garments are so ingenious and helpful.
The SCOTTEVEST trademark vest has 22 pockets alone. It actually has special places for everything I carry in my tote bag, plus a pockets for a water bottle and a small camera. And guess what? The items don’t bulge out making you look (and feel) like a pack horse, and the vest is made from breathable, lightweight material making it quite comfortable to wear.
I have never promoted items on this blog, but honestly, it seems to me that SCOTTEVEST clothing has managed to solve a very common problem for travelers. I think Friendly Planet travelers would find them ideal for our tours.
For example, the vest is suited for travel in safari vehicles, which typically have little storage space even for a purse or hand luggage. Or, consider our island hopping tours, where frequently getting on and off boats makes having hands free to steady yourself virtually a must!
I loved the whole idea behind the clothes and was delighted when Scott Jordan, the founder and CEO of SCOTTEVEST agreed to be interviewed by Melissa, a Friendly Planet blogger, for a podcast.
During their interview, Melissa found out how Scott’s clothing aids travelers in getting through airport security faster, eliminates the need for a carry-on bag, what destinations it’s ideal for, and more. He also gave us a sneak peek at what they’ll be introducing for the holiday season. (Hint: It involves an article of clothing usually only seen by the wearer.)
SCOTTEVEST is also sponsoring the No Baggage Challenge with Rolf Potts. Rolf’s a travel writer who embarked on a six-week worldwide trip without using any luggage, just his SCOTTEVEST clothing. Scott’s been talking to Rolf frequently and Melissa got an update on how his challenge is going so far.
Scott also just talked travel. You’ll find out why he loves Israel and Morocco, and he makes his case as to why everyone should experience Burning Man once in their lifetime. What Scott didn’t know when he spoke to us is that our very own webmaster, Cameron Clark, has been to a number of Burning Man events. He can echo Scott’s endorsement of the adventure.
So turn up your speakers or pop in your ear buds, and listen to Melissa’s interview with Scott. If you don’t have time to listen to the whole conversation, I’ll be posting the transcript in a few days. But in the meantime, leave a comment on this post if you own a piece of clothing from SCOTTEVEST and tell me what you think about it.
If you were struggling to hear parts of my podcast with Christine Gilbert, creator of Almost Fearless, you’re not alone. Skype enabled us to chat when she was in Colombia, but it got a little bumpy in some spots. So if you missed anything, give your ears a break and read the transcript.
Almost Fearless not only describes a lot of people who want to quit their day job and travel the world, but it’s also the name of the popular travel blog penned by Christine Gilbert. It follows her journey from corporate manager to full-time traveler, writer, and mom.
Last week Christine was in Colombia, with her husband and infant son, and I was able to talk to her on Skype for a podcast. She even used to bring her two dogs, but she decided not to take them on this leg of the trip.
You might be asking, she travels with a baby? Yes, when you’re a full-time traveler! After having her baby at the beginning of the year, she got back on the the road and surprisingly she’s found traveling with her son to be fun and easier than expected.
Hit our podcast to find out what it’s like to travel with a family in tow, and where the best places are to stay if you’re taking a little one along for the ride.
We also talk about the documentary she is filming on digital nomading. Christine’s been raising money to finance it on her blog for months now. She tells me what the documentary is about and where they plan to go this year to film it.
I could go on telling you what we talked about, but there’s so much more! My best piece of advice is to click play and start listening to find out what it’s like to walk in Christine’s shoes, where she’s been so far, and what her travel advice is for those thinking about venturing around the world.
A quick note about the podcast. Since she was in Colombia on Skype, the connection is fuzzy in some parts, so the transcript will be posted shortly.
Peggy Goldman is a specialty tour operator and travel expert, who owns and operates Friendly Planet Travel, a full-service company that specializes in tour packages to exotic worldwide destinations at affordable prices. More about Peggy