Thanks again to everyone who participated in our latest Facebook travel chat. Reid Bramblett and I had a great time answering your questions, debating travel best practices, and sharing our travel know-how. I want to recap the Q-and-A here on the blog for anyone who missed it.
Q: How is Friendly Planet able to send people to Cuba? Isn’t there an embargo against Americans visiting the island?
Peggy: The answer is a new license called ‘People to People’ which enables us to send American travelers to Cuba to engage in educational and cultural exchanges. This means that in Cuba you get to do all the things that you would long to do in any international destination — meet real Cubans, see how they live, work, study, and generally live their lives — in addition to visiting the important sites on the island.
Q: Hi there, I love history and learning when I travel, what would be some great historical places in Europe to visit that might be a bit off the beaten path or not as widely known as say, Stonehenge or the Colosseum?
Reid: It sounds like you’re interested in ancient sites, and Europe is full of them. For example, the Irish version of Stonehenge is Newgrange, a gorgeous passage tomb just an hour north of Dublin. The west coast of Ireland is filled with Celtic ruins as well. This year is a great time to visit Ireland because of the Gathering. There are many activities celebrating Irish heritage throughout the country. I recommend the Fleadh Nua in Ennis, the most participatory of the Irish music festivals.
As for an alternative to the Colosseum, the south of Italy is filled with ancient Roman and Greek ruins (much of it was once part of greater Greece), from ancient amphitheaters to temples. (more…)
These guide books offer dozens of helpful lists about the destination, including the 10 best restaurants, bars, neighborhoods, hotels, local attractions, and much more. They’re great to read before your trip or carry with you while you travel, and even have pull-out maps and guides of city metro systems, useful phone numbers, and 60 great ideas on how to spend your day.
Enter to win your copy below, and stay tuned for more travel chats on the Friendly Planet Travel Facebook page soon!
UPDATE: We’ve chosen the winners! Congratulations to:
I base my livelihood on selling tours to exotic locations. But when I was told why a trip down South was better than a trip to the edge of the world, I wanted to share with you the reasons why, despite the fact that I do not sell any tours to that region.
And it wasn’t the amenities that made one trip better than the other — it was the experience. That’s what travel is all about. Experiencing the world the around you. You don’t have to book a five-star hotel or spend thousands of dollars on first-class service.
Sure, it’s nice to do that once in awhile, but traveling is about interacting with new people, seeing different sites, and sharing the experience with others. And it just so happens that Reid found an extraordinary trip in his own country, traveling with his dad, and visiting a not-so-off-the-beaten path, exotic location.
Reid explains his travel philosophy in a conversation he had with Melissa at the show. They talked about ways travelers can turn an ordinary vacation into an extraordinary one, when and where you should splurge while traveling, how to immerse yourself in the local culture, tips to get through airport security faster, the #1 item you should have in your carry-on bag, and much more.
See what Reid has to say in the video. It’s an interview packed with valuable travel advice from someone who has written or contributed to over 30 travel guidebooks and founded ReidsGuides.com. Thanks Reid for taking the time to chat with Friendly Planet Travel!
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