Archive for March, 2011

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Spend Summer 2011 Soundwaving in Croatia

March 30, 2011

Imagine yourself having the following conversation with someone when you get back to campus after summer vacation:

You don't have to speak Croatian to scream "Woooooo!"

[Friend who had a dull summer]: Hey.
[You]: Hi!
[Friend]: How was your break?
[You]: Awesome. You?
[Friend]: Pretty boring. Just stayed home, worked. What did you do?
[You, trying not to gloat]: Not much. Hung with friends, worked a little, roadtripped from London to Petrcane for the Soundwave Croatia music fest.
[Friend looks at you with a mixture of disbelief and envy.]: Oh. Cool.

So start getting ready. Grab some friends, find a vehicle for less than $1000, and join the Run to the Sun caravan for a trans-Europe adventure before hitting Soundwave Croatia 2011, a 3-day festival being held July 22-24.

Did you know Croatia was so freaking pretty?

Once there you can enjoy music on the beach, in a tiki bar, on a boat or at Barbarella’s Discoteque.

Read more about Soundwave 2011, and practice saying “Živjeli!”

Roots Manuva,
Lisa

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Here’s An Air Safety Video You’ll Actually Watch

March 28, 2011

If you fly more than a couple of times a year, you probably know the bland safety warnings by heart.

I know that once I see the nice flight attendant stand in the aisle with his or her practice seat belt, I usually open my book, stare out the window, and start to daydream about where I’m headed, or wherever I’ve just been.

(Ok, that’s not entirely true. If the person is standing near me I try to look attentive because I don’t want to hurt their feelings. I’m sensitive like that.)

But not on Air New Zealand.

The airline that brought you a commercial of naked people in body paint has brought that same fun onto their planes by hiring Richard Simmons, the man who got people to sweat to the oldies, to star in their new air safety video.

Take a look:

What do you think? Will this keep your attention long enough to learn how to “stretch and slide”?

You’re a giraffe!
Lisa

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Spend Summer 2011 Touring Europe’s Best Festivals!

March 25, 2011

It’s not like there aren’t already a million things to see in Europe between the museums, monuments, battlegrounds, parks, canals, cafes, castles and tasty locals.

But hey, since you’re already going that far, you may as well throw in a once-in-a-lifetime cultural experience as well. Europe hosts some of the largest, most exciting festivals in the world. Time your trip right and you can take in one of these events:

La Tomatina
Bunol, Spain
August 31, 2011
It might be the world’s largest food fight. Certainly it’s the most well-known and best organized. Feel like a kid again when you spend an hour throwing tomatoes at friends and strangers and rolling around in the pulpy goo.

Notting Hill Carnival
London, England
August 28-29, 2011
Billed as “Europe’s largest street faire”, the Caribbean-flavored carnival includes a parade, DJs, and lots of glitter and sequins. Take a minute to get a photo of the shop with the blue door that was Hugh Grant’s book store in “Notting Hill”.

Festival FringeThe Edinburgh Fringe Festival
Edinburgh, Scotland
August 5 – 29, 2011
Anyone can perform at this open arts festival, including comedians, street performers, and other artists. In 2010, 21,148 performers put on 2,453 different shows for a total of 40,254 performances in 259 venues. So there’s got to be something there you’re going to love, right?

Oktoberfest
Munich, Germany
September 17 – October 3, 2011
Pretzels. Shnitzel. Beer. Music. Yum.

Find more festival ideas and, as always, chat with a TravelCUTS student travel expert before you go. They can help you find student airfares, hostels and rail passes, and they’re just fun to talk to.

See you there!
Lisa

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Book a Contiki Trip and Save $200 on Airfare

March 21, 2011

Exams will be over before you know it, so it’s time to start thinking about how you’ll be spending the summer.

If you’re looking for ways to save, then consider this deal: Book one of Contiki Holiday’s European tours at Travel CUTS by March 31st, 2011 and get a $200 air credit towards your trip.


Visit your local Travel CUTS store or call 800.667.2887 to take advantage of this deal. It’s good for travel through the end of the year, so you could plan to go before you start a semester abroad in the fall, or spend Christmas skiing Europe.

Not sure where you want to go? Read more about Contiki trips and find the one that’s right for you!

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Take a Quick Trip to Paris

March 18, 2011

What are you doing for the next two minutes and seven seconds? Nothing? Perfect. Take a short trip to Paris, courtesy of Luke Shepard, a student at the American University of Paris.

Now you’re ready to start your weekend.

Bon voyage!
Lisa

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Travel Safe: Be Prepared for Emergencies Abroad

March 16, 2011

After everything we’ve seen in Japan this week, it’s clear that you can’t plan ahead for every scenario. There are travelers there who arrived hoping to enjoy the food and culture and beauty of the country, who are now doing whatever they can to reroute their itineraries or just go home.

When you’re getting ready for a trip though, there are some things you can do to help yourself be safe and prepared for small but annoying travel issues, like having your wallet stolen, as well as bigger issues, like health problems or an overthrow of the local government.

The things you can or should do will depend on if you’re planning a weekend at the beach or three months backpacking Southeast Asia, but here are a few ideas to start with.

1.  Make sure someone at home has your itinerary. Give them your flight times, names of places you’re staying, contact information for friends you’re visiting, anything that can help them locate you if something happens at home and you’re needed back or if something happens where you are and your friends or family want to check on you.

2. Check with your mobile phone carrier to see if you’ll be able to text from your destination. You may not want to rack up huge charges to tell friends where you ate lunch, but it’s good to know that you can contact someone back home in an emergency and let them know where you are.

3. If you’re travelling alone, or going to a volatile area, let the local embassy know. You can visit the Registration of Canadians Abroad to file your itinerary online. Even if you don’t do that, you should write down the addresses and phone numbers of embassies near your destinations just in case you need them. An embassy can help you if you lose your passport, need medical attention, get arrested or are involved in an accident. See a list of Canadian embassies around the world.

4. Have a backup plan. Sometimes you might arrive in a small town and find that all the hostels are full. Or maybe the train you were expecting to take doesn’t run on Sundays. Advance research and booking (at least a day or two ahead) is best, but if you really want to be spontaneous, then you should have a couple of extra options in the back of your mind at all times.

5. Take some water with you every morning. Maybe the worst thing that happens all day is that it’s hotter than you expected and you don’t want to pay $4 for a drink. Or maybe you’re on a train or bus that breaks down and you’re stuck for a few hours. Don’t let dehydration add to your troubles.

6. Keep a couple of granola bars or some trail mix with you for the same reasons.

7. A mini first-aid kit with bandaids, aspirin, and anything you can’t go 24 hours without (eye drops, inhaler or other medications) should be kept in your daypack.

8. Keep an emergency cash stash. Foreign ATMs don’t always work the way you want them to. Wallets get lost or stolen. Some forms of transportation have to be paid in cash. So whenever possible, keep a little cash tucked away for emergencies only. This isn’t cash you use to buy another drink at the pub, it’s cash you save for when you’re lost at 2 a.m. and need to get in a cab.

9. Keep your eyes open and your traveller’s Spidey-sense on. Always be aware of your surroundings, or designate one of the people in your group to stay the sane and sober one. As soon as something feels off to you, go back to a main road, a well-lit area, a different hostel, whatever it takes for you to feel safe again.

Travelling should be an adventure to enjoy, not a hardship to endure. Stay prepared and you’ll have a better chance that the memories you create are happy ones.

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Travel to Famous Film Locations

March 12, 2011

If you like to have a theme to your adventures, how about movie locations?

Slashfilm.com is sharing an interactive world map (put together by boxofficequant.com) that pinpoints places where the top 2000 movies were filmed. Of course, your idea of the top 2000 might be different from someone else’s, but that’s a lot of movies, so there’s bound to be at least a few you like.

There isn’t necessarily something exciting to see in all these places – sets have been hauled away and the celebrities are long gone – but if you just want to be able to say you’ve been there, then this map will help you plan your brush with fame.