Archive for December, 2010


Best Travel Wishes for 2011!

December 30, 2010

Australian sunset“There are times I am bewildered by each mile I have travelled, each meal I have eaten, each person I have known, each room in which I have slept. As ordinary as it all appears, there are times when it is beyond my imagination.”

– Jhumpa Lahiri, “The Third and Final Continent”

May you enjoy travel beyond your imagination in 2011. Thanks for reading and sharing your travel tales and tips this year. Keep coming back for more in the new year.



Learn to Say “Cheers” in Many Languages!

December 27, 2010

Make your New Year’s a little more international with a foreign toast, or keep this list handy when you travel around the world so that you’ll always know how to wish the locals well. (From

Afrikaans: Gesondheid! : (Ge-sund-hide)

Albanian: Gëzuar! : (Géschuar)

Arabic (Egyptian): في صحتكم! : (Fee-sa-ha-tak)

Armenian: Armenia : (Gen-ots-it)

Azerbaijani: Afiyët oslun! : (Afeeyet Ohs-lun)

Bosnian: Živjeli! : (Zhee-vi-lee)

Bulgarian: Наздраве! : (NAZ-dra-vey)

Chinese (Mandarin): 乾杯! [干杯!] : (Gan BAY)

Chinese (Cantonese): (Gom bui)

Czech: Na zdravi : (NAZ-drah vi)

Croatian: Živjeli! : (ZHEE-vi-lee)

Danish: Skål! : (Skol)

Dutch: Prosit! : (Prowst)

English: Cheers! Bottoms up! Down the hatch! Here’s mud in your eye!

Esperanto: Je via sano! Toston! : (YEH VEE-ah SAH-no/Tóston)

Estonian: Terviseks! : (Ter-vi-seks)

Farsi: (Ba-sal-a-ma-TEE)

Finnish: Kippis! : (KEEP-us)

French: A Votre Sante! : (Ah Vot-ruh Sahn-tay)

Gaelic (Irish): Sláinte! : (Slawn-che)

German: Prost! : (Prohst)

Greek: στην υγειά σας! : (Stin Eyiassou/Stin Eye-ee-yass-ooh)

Hawaiian: Okole Maluna! : (Å’kålè ma’luna)

Hebrew: לְחַיִּים!/L’Chaim! : (Le Chy-em)

Hungarian: Egeszsegere! : (Egg-esh Ay-ged-reh)

Italian: Salute! : Cin cin! (Salu-tay/Chin Chin)

Japanese: /Kampai! : (Kam-pie)

Korean: 위하여 (Chukbae) : (Sheet seki yah)

Lithuaniani: sveikata! : (Ee sweh-kata)

Maltese: Evviva! : (A-vee-va)

Mongolian: Эрүүл мэндийн төлөө! : (Erüül mehdiin tölöö)

Norwegian: Skål! : (Skoal)

Persian: به سلامتی! : (beh salamati)

Polish Na: zdrowie! : (Naz-droh-vee-ay)

Portuguese: Saúde! : (Sow-ooh-jee)

Romanian: Noroc! : (No-roak)

Russian: Будем здоровы! : (Boo-dem Zdo-ro-vee-eh)

Serbian: Ziveli! : (ZHEE-vi-lee)

Slovak: Na zdravie! : (Naz-drah-vee-ay)

Spanish: ¡Salud!/Salut! : (Sah-lud/Sah-lute)

Swedish: Skål! : (Skol)

Thai: ไชโย! : (Chuc-dee)

Turkish: Şerefe! : (Sher-i-feh)

Vietnamese: Chúc sức khoẻ! : (chook-sa-koi-ah)

Yiddish: Zei Gazunt! : (Zye GAH-zoont)

Zulu: Oogy wawa! : (oogee-wawa)


Travel Around the World With Santa Claus

December 22, 2010


When it comes to racking up frequent flier miles, Santa’s the man. Although with those reindeer at his disposal,  I don’t suppose he ever needs to worry about a seat upgrade or paying baggage fees.

If you’d like to see just where Santa’s at this weekend, have a look at the NORAD Santa Tracker. I have to say, it’s pretty neat.

The site shows you where Santa is and tracks his progress all around the world. There are also short videos that talk about different parts of the world and show Santa flying over famous landmarks.

The site could be a great teaching tool for a child, but I think it’s just as fun for adults.

Ho, ho, ho!


Last-Minute Presents: Travel Gift Certificates

December 15, 2010

Gift CertificatesIf friends and family are still asking if there’s anything you want or need this holiday, or if you’re still doing your shopping, travel gift certificates make great presents that can be used for all kinds of things.

Spring Break is coming up fast, and believe it or not, summer isn’t too far behind, especially if you’re taking a trip that requires some planning ahead. The sooner you start your travel fund, the better off you’ll be when it’s time to book.

So when grandma calls the day before Christmas, or the day after, to ask if there’s anything you didn’t get this year, you say, “Actually, I could use a little help with my _______.” And fill in the blank with “next flight home”, “upcoming semester abroad” or “summer trip to do volunteer work.”

Travel gift certificates can be bought in small or large amounts, and unlike cash, you won’t be tempted to spend it at karaoke night or on something silly, like textbooks.

Visit to learn more about travel gift certificates or buy one for a friend.

Good luck with all your holiday travels!


Get Your 2011 Student Travel Must-Haves

December 9, 2010

signsHow many days did you spend traveling this year? Whether it was five or 50, you probably wish it had been more. Make it easier to get where you want to go in 2011 by being prepared to hit the road at a moment’s notice. Think of these things as a traveler’s kit of necessities, and put them on your holiday wish list:

Passport – Without it, you’re facing some serious delays in trip planning. Don’t let a lack of identification keep you from joining friends on a last-minute run across the border, or from passing up an unbeatble airfare to Paris or London or Tokyo. Passports are good for 10 years in the U.S. and five years in Canada, so once you have it in hand you won’t have to think about it again for a while. Visit the U.S. State Department’s passport website or the official Canadian passport website for the forms.

ISIC, IYTC, or ITIC – Whether you’re a full-time student, a teacher, or a youth under the age of 26, there are thousands of different types of identification out there. Only one is internationally recognized as proof of your student, teacher or youth status. Get this card at a Travel CUTS store or order online and start saving money on museums, bus, airline, and train tickets, restaurants, and activities in more than 90 countries (and in your home town).

Hostelling International Card – This card will get you:

  • Discounts at more than 4,000 hostels worldwide
  • Savings of up to 85% on international phone calls, free email access, voicemail and travel info through eKit
  • Discounts at restaurants, stores, and attractions
  • Discounts on bus transportation and tours
  • Discounts on car rentals
  • Worldwide, commission-free currency exchange
  • Free seminars on traveling abroad

Luggage that won’t cause you pain – Find yourself a few different pieces (small carry-on, mid-size backpack, larger rolling duffel) that you can afford, that you won’t be devastated if they get lost or damaged, and that are comfortable to pack and carry. A good backpack is essential and one that has the ability to expand or shrink will work for weekends away or longer backpacking trips. You don’t have to spend a fortune on luggage. Check garage sales, thrift stores and discount shops for great deals.

A library card – Great travels require great planning. You don’t have to put together a daily itinerary, but a basic understanding of the region you’re visiting, the languages you’re going to encounter, and the major sights you want to see will help a lot.

Rather than spending your money on heavy books to lug with you, do your reading before you go for free, photocopy any maps or helpful language charts, and then buy a small pocket-sized guide to go with you. (Yes, there’s an app for that, but when your batter is dead you’ll be thankful for the backup plan.) If you’re an AAA member, take advantage of their free roadmaps and books.

With all of these things ready, 2011 could be your best travel year yet. Get out there!


Get the Guaranteed Lowest Student Airfare

December 1, 2010

If you’re looking to book a flight in the next few weeks, make sure you get a great deal on student airfare. Here’s how:

  1. Get a written price quote for a flight you want.
  2. Drop in to a Travel CUTS office and give one of the agents the details of that flight.
  3. They’ll search for it and, if available, give you their best price for your requested flight.
  4. If the price they come up with for your requested flight isn’t equal to or below the written quote you already have, just present your price quote and they will match it AND give you a $10 Starbucks card.

Now, there is some small print, but the point is that Travel CUTS has great deals on student airfare, and they’re prepared to put their Starbucks gift cards where their mouth is. (You can just put your Starbucks cup where your mouth is, which will be much tastier and more aromatic.)

This guarantee is good until December 31, 2010 and covers travel that begins before June 30, 2011, so now’s the time to book your flight to Barcelona or Sydney or Bangkok. You can figure out the rest of your trip later.