6 Awesome Reasons to Go to a Harvest Fest this Fall!

  • 3

6 Awesome Reasons to Go to a Harvest Fest this Fall!

With the fall season steadily picking up in the Twin Cities, there is more than one way to keep entertained! And even for the super-introverts, there surely is something to do.

20171014_150029

If you’ve added apple picking, zombie pub crawls or halloween parties to your bucket list for the 2017 fall, then you should definitely make some time to attend a Fall Harvest Fest in Minnesota this year! After all, it’s one of the locals’ top fall activities, and here are 5 reasons why:

1. Creative Pumpkin Carving: one thing people certainly look forward to every fall, is the amazingly creative display of carved pumpkins everywhere. Whether you are an amateur or a seasoned “pumpkin carver”, this is definitely an activity that anyone can learn and enjoy1 Experiment with creative styles or just go for the fun designs!

2. Pumpkin Pie Eating Contest: there is no fall without a pumpkin pie. This is the “unspoken” official dessert of the season. And whilst you might want to prepare one at home, why not enter a pie eating contest at one of the local fall harvest fest? And plus, if you’re lucky like we were at the Stillwater Fall Harvest Fest this weekend, the contest was free! And the winner got a food shopping gift card of an attractive value. And for those who did not win, who cares. They got a free pie. And they showed amazing team spirit.

IMG_20171015_232254

3. Chili Cook-Off Competitions: I didn’t know there was at least 8 ways of cooking chili until I attended the Stillwater Harvest Fest. Well, that is definitely something good to know, and a great activity for all food lovers and chili connoisseurs! So if you’re heading to a fall harvest fest this season, make sure to check out the food competition booths!

4. Beer-Tasting Like Nobody’s Business: if you didn’t get the chance to attend any Oktoberfest event in the Twin Cities, then a Fall Harvest Fest might be your last chance (or perhaps your best excuse to go beer-sampling without having to explain yourself!)

DSC_0613

Beer is so special that it grows in its own garden. Beer Garden.

5. Well… Comfort Food Everywhere! Harvest festivals are always great ways to indulge in different kinds and varieties of foods, and a great time for food sampling. Don’t worry about the extra kilos (at least not yet), you’ll need to burn those calories to keep warm anyways!

6. Memories to Look Back To: great memories are always made with great company. So whether you want to spend time with your family, friend or significant other, a fall harvest fest is a great event to bond, rekindle and just simply.., get together!

What’s your favorite fall event?

Leave me a comment below!

“Adventure is worthwhile.” – Aesop

PS: I prepared some unique travel tips for you. SIGN UP HERE to receive them right now.

Linking back to City Tripping this week!

Wander Mum

  • 9

24 Hours in Brussels!

If you only had 24 hours to travel, where would you go?

While in Europe, I chose “Brussels”. Small city, fun city, interesting city, tricky city. The reason I chose that city was to have a taste spicy enough just to let me decide whether I would go back one day… Or not. (And also, because the flights were cheaper).

In my opinion, the city is big enough to make you want to see more, and small enough to get you to see enough in 24 hours. This statement is made in comparison to other European cities where I’ve been, such as Paris, Rome, Geneva, and London.

So if you ever happen to have 24 free hours while in Europe and want to take a jump and try out a new city, go to Brussels, and I’m pretty sure you’d be able to do one of these 10 things (I did all 10, y’all):

1.Free City Tour

A lot of European cities have the concept of “free city tours”, which I like a lot. It’s a good option for tourists to have a bit of a historical background of the city they’re visiting, and this with no commitment (financial and time-related, that is). If you love the tour, stick around til the end. If you get bored, feel free to leave. And if you stick til the end because you find it interesting, you’re welcome to give a tip to the tour guide at the end, with no obligations. Do it… if the spirit moves you:)

Tip: free city tours usually last for 1h to 1h30. They are walking tours, have fixed departure times and are also available in multiple languages. Before traveling, find out, in your destination city tourism website, where the gathering points for the free tours are. In Brussels, a lot of tour groups gathered at the market place. 

2. The Atomium

The Atomium is a 102 m tall building shaped as a molecule made of several circular atoms connected by chemical bonds (well, in this case, physical bonds). It was built in 1958 as part of a scientif Expo (Expo 58) in Brussels. Now, the Atomium is a museum; the top sphere of which includes a restaurant with a panoramic view of Brussels. You could simply stand outside and take a picture around the molecule (which I did), but if you’d like to go in, there is a fee. Interestingly, access to the attraction is sold alongside with access to the Mini-Europe attraction, which might turn out to be a great combo deal for you:

Atomium + Mini – Europe: € 24,70 (adults) and € 16,60 (<12y) € 21,80 (12-18y) for children.

Tip: a good trip to the museum takes “at least” an hour. If you plan on visiting this museum, consider that in allocating your time available for the different attractions you want to see. Also, the Atomium is about 35 mns from the city center, one way, by metro. With that said, it would take you 1h10 mns to go from and to the city. Take this into consideration when making your plans.

3. Mini-Europe

Mini-Europe is rather an interesting concept. It is a miniature park that displays the landmarks of Europe, as well as cities and the most important buildings in the continent. It is located just above the Atomium, so you can easily tackle both attractions at once.

Tip: you can purchase a combo ticket that gives you access to both the Atomium and Mini-Europe. There is also a restaurant around if you want to grab a quick bite, and a movie theater if you feel like being entertained by the latest releases. Very practical for an afternoon out alone, with a friend, or as a family.

4. Brussels’ Market Place

The market place is located in the city center, and is a hub for all tourists. It’s also one of the most active points on the weekends (daytime), and you can easily access all the remaining attractions listed in this article by walking up, down and around the market place.

Tip: anytime is a good time to go there, and there are usually a lot of tourists early in the morning and in the afternoon! If you want to take a free guided tour, make sure to get there early and join a group that speaks your language!

5. Belgian Fries for Lunch

I have a philosophy: just like you can’t go to France and not have French fries, you can’t go to Belgium and not have Belgian fries. This is simply unacceptable. ^_^

I had my first Belgian fries experience at Belgian Frites. I received a generous and delectable portion for less than 5 euros, and my heart (and mouth) were at peace (you know how I feel about food). I also learned that the difference between French fries and Belgian fries was in the cut!

Tip: this is a sample medium portion, and it was sufficient to keep me full for the afternoon (and I’m a food lover). You can choose to add other sauces and dressings to your serving, at an additional cost. 

6. Belgian Beer Museum

Did you know that the average Belgian drinks about 84 liters of beer per year. Yup.

I never realized that Belgium was so big on beers until I went to the Belgian Beer Museum in Brussels, located in the Market Place. For only 5 euros, you get to learn about the beer making process, different types of beers used for different occasions, history of beer, and on top of that, you get a free beer glass (you can even choose which type you want).

I felt so enlightened to learn about the different types of beers (thirst quenching and degustation beers), to learn that specific beers are served in specific glasses, and to even realize that some beers are made for specific occasions (like Christmas, for instance).

Tip: the museum is pretty small, and if at the end of your visit you want to sit down inside to sip your beer, then I recommend getting there early, perhaps before 10. Otherwise, there’s a 50/50 chance that you won’t get a seat. But if you don’t mind standing up while sipping, then that’s great!

7. A Belgian Waffles’ Treat

Again, back to my philosophy: just like you can’t go to France and not have French crêpes, you also can’t go to Belgium and not have Belgian waffles. This is simply unacceptable. All along the market place, there is a wide variety of sellers. You can get them for as little as 1 euro, and you get to choose your toppings (additional cost).

Tip: I saw some tourists buying humongous waffles (with 4-5 toppings), and I also saw some locals purchasing a plain waffle. So, it all depends on your budget and the experience you want to have.

8. The Manneken Pis

Going to Brussels, I told myself: “If I don’t see anything, I want to see the Atomium and the Manneken Pis”. And as I was kindly led along the Market Place by two tourists sensitive to my plight and supportive of my desire to fulfill the second part of my goal, I finally encountered… The Manneken Pis: he’s a little boy.

A little boy, but an iconic landmark sculpture in Brussels. The scuplture depicts a naked little boy urinating into a fountain’s basin.

Historically, it was the first fountain that played an essential role in the distribution of drinking water in Brussels since the 15th century.  The sculpture also survived the bombing of Brussels in 1695. The Manneken Pis was designed by Hiëronymus Duquesnoy the Elder and put in place in 1618 or 1619.

It is said that Manne (can I just call him Manne – reads “Manu”, I find him so adorable…) has more than 900 suits in his wardrobe, and before each suit is officialized, there is a full ceremony. He is dressed about 130 times per year, and you better believe there is an official calendar that dictates (ahead of time) when he should be dressed. You can find out more about his wardrobe and costumes here. So, next time someone tells you you have too many clothes, just send them the link to this article and let them know that the Manneken Pis, Manne, has more than 900. Case closed.

Tip: Manne is a VIP, and it might be difficult for you to get a nice clean shot with him, when you go there, simply because there are a lot of other tourists. So you have to be pretty strategic! 

9. Tintin Museum (aka Hergé Museum)

If you are a huge fan of cartoons like I am, you’ll love visiting the Tintin Museum. You know, I grew up watching Tintin and Milou’s adventures all my childhood and early teenage years (well, at least til I entered medical school), and I only discovered that Tintin was Belgian when I went to Brussels. Quite an eye-opening trip! If you have a few minutes to spare, stop by, and if not, just pick up some souvenirs!

Tip: there is a small fee that you have to pay to access the museum.

10. MOOF Museum (Museum Of Original Figurines) 

This one is also a must for anyone who is a die-hard (or die-soft) fan of cartoons! This museum features original figurines of cartoons like The Smurfs, Asterix and Obelix, Tintin, and so many more! I was overwhelmed being there, it felt like childhood again. I’d definitely recommend this.

Tip: there is a small fee that you have to pay to access the museum.

One attraction I’d definitely love to see when I go back “someday”: The Musical Instruments Museum:

After everything had been seen, done, eaten and drank, I hopped back on the train to the airport, and guess what: I wasn’t even late for my flight! 🙂

Linking back to Faraway Flies!

Untold Morsels

  • 0

Take Me to Church! The Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis.

There is something about historical churches that makes your presence there even more meaningful.

C3

The Basilica of Saint Louis is one of the landmarks of Saint Louis. The cathedral is famous for being named after King Louis IX of France, namesake of the city and only King of France to ever be canonized and considered as a saint. Saint Louis was notorious for his religious devotion during his rule. To find out more about his life and the events that led him to be canonized, click here. The rest of us, let’s proceed into the church.

C13

I found it very practical for me to visit the cathedral immediately after mass, which a lot of people do. While visitors are invited to take pictures after the Sunday service, no sightseeing tours are allowed during or immediately after mass.

C2

 

The Cathedral is also known for its large mosaic installation (which contains 41.5 million glass tesserae pieces in more than 7,000 colors). The mosaic is said to be the “largest mosaic in the Western Hemisphere”. 

C4

Construction of this cathedral began in 1907, and was completed in 1914 (the start of the first world war).

One of the peculiarities of the mosaics inside the cathedral is the fact that they were designed by different architects and they also have different meanings. For instance, the narthex of the church illustrates key moments in the life of King Louis IX of France. The rear dome includes mosaics of significant archdiocesan events, while the main dome by represents selected Biblical scenes from both the Old and the New Testaments.

CL2

Mosaic from the Narthex: Saint Louis returns to Paris with the Crown of Thorns.

CL3

Enter Mosaic from the Narthex: Saint Louis founds the Sorbonne.

CL4

Mosaic from the Narthex: Saint Louis ruling his subjects.

There are sections in the church that are reserved for special prayers and in which no pictures are allowed.  The Blessed Sacrament is one of them.

C8

C10

Here are some other great shots of the Basilica of Saint Louis.

 

If you’re interested in going there for Sunday service, this information will certainly be useful.

 

 

In a way, the cathedral was designed to reflect and illustrate St Louis’ love for architecture and art.

C122

I loved this building. And I think anyone visiting St Louis should take some time to stop by.

“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.”
― Henry Miller


  • 5

Don’t be Stuck Up When You Travel: Be Fun! The St Louis Science Center Experiment!

The more we grow as adults, the more we are expected to take ourselves seriously. This is an inevitable fact of life. In fact, it is implied in the very definition of “adultness” ( I don’t know if this is a real world, and I choose not to look it up to find out).  People seldom believe me when I tell them how serious and stuck up I was until this amazing thing happened to me.

Pic 8

But anyways.. when I went to the St Louis Science Center, I totally felt out of place by how “overage” I seemed to be for all the attractions. And though there were adults there, those were parents who had come to bring their kids their kids to that intellectually stimulating place, and nothing more. So, they had a reason to be there and it seemed like I didn’t. So whilst the “adult” in me contemplated leaving this “happy-kids” place, I thought about the philosophy I’ve been trying to live by: “Carpe Diem” (which means “seize the day”), and I said “Effe That. I’m going to be a kid for the day!”

So I decided to….

1. Dress the Part

 

The best way to “be” a character is to “embody” that character (ask anyone who did acting or art, they’ll tell y’all). But think about it: being in character makes you less inhibited to do the things that your character does. Plus, I got so many great reviews from this face painting that I kept it for the entire day. You can see me wearing it again at my Escape to the Saint Louis Contemporary Art Museum.

2. Now… Play the Part

Welcome to the Energizer Machine! Running forward on the treadmill creates a momentum that propels a tennis-size ball upwards in the system, and the ball in turns moves all other components of the system without you even realizing it.

Pic 3

Clearly, as you can see, I was the most entertaining kid there:)

3. Be Open Minded

It’s always great to know how many little random things you can learn from places like these. For instance, though I knew that there are different types of energy, I didn’t really know how much energy a joule was, practically speaking. I also finally found out little random interesting things such as how light goes from a power plant to your house, or how rollercoasters use energy. Now I can brag about knowing the latter random fact.

 

4. Discover: Science is for Everyone 

This goes hand in hand with being open minded. Unless you get into a mindset that is conducive to learning and open to new experiences, you won’t learn and you won’t grow!! Regarding this random fact on farming, I thought female labor was difficult – but then I felt “oh, poor chicken”.

Pic 5555

 

5. Jump in for the Live Demos!

A great way to enhance your experience at the St Louis Science Center is to participate in a live demo. Luckily I was able to catch one before making my exit. Call me uninformed, but I did not know that water could boil when exposed to HOT as well as COLD temperatures.

Pic 5-2

Being so involved in medicine has sheltered me to some interesting aspects of science.

Pic 7

Every age is a good age to learn, and the more open-minded you are, the more you get to discover things. So don’t be stuck up when you travel! Dress the part, play the part and enjoy the experience!

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”
― Augustine of Hippo


  • 3

3 Ways to Maximize Your Time When Traveling

Category : Travel Tips

I’ve found the one thing that every traveler always seeks but never has…

TIME!

(I mean, what else did you think I was referring to?)😜

Travelers around the world are always equipped : sometimes with the best tools, the best gadgets, (and when lucky), with a load of money. But there is something that we uniformly lack: TIME. Yes, you heard (read) right! Whether you’re traveling for 2 days, 2 weeks, 2 months or 2 years, you don’t have enough time, even though the longer periods of travel tend to make you feel otherwise!

With that being said, here are 3 tips to make you maximize your time when traveling overseas.

1. Plan Ahead

20170610_182750-2

I can’t emphasize this enough. In a nutshell: if you don’t know where you want to go or what you want to do, you’ll end up going anywhere and doing anything. (does this quote already exist online? Hope not. If not, I call dibs on it. #quotebyClem). But you get my point. There are so many things that you can do whenever you arrive in a new city, which is why it is important for you to make a list of “Things to do in Sydney, Places to go in Chicago or What do See in Durban” and then …

2. Prioritize

With sister

This second tip works even in all areas of life. Now that you’ve listed the 5,10,30,50,100 things you’d like to do while you’re on vacation, it’s time to look at that list again, reshuffle it and prioritize in order of most important to least important. If you’re like me and you oftentimes think that you can see the entirety of New York in only 48 hours, this second point is particularly important for you. That being said, you need to be realistic in terms of the things you can really do with the time that you have. Consider the distance and time it will take you to get to each touristic attraction, including traffic and access queues (if you’re planning to go on the Eiffel Tower for instance), and load your days with activities that can actually be completed within the timeline you have. And yes, it is perfectly Ok to do one big thing per day.

3. Allow Some Free Time for Spontaneity

Map

While it’s important to plan, it is equally important to be flexible. There is no real fun in being super rigid with your time: 12:01 – Have a Gelato at the Trevi Fountain in Rome. 12:15: Walk down the Spanish Steps 12:17: Take a selfie in front of the Column of the Immaculate ConceptionI mean… you get my point. Sometimes, you need to allow some space in your schedule in case you change your mind, have a change of plans or meet a group of tourists along the way who are about to do something super cool that you absolutely didn’t think of!

Did you like this article? Make sure to stay tuned by subscribing! That way, you’ll be kept on the loop and receive more of the awesome stuff first!

Love, Clem😎


  • 13

5 Reasons Why It’s Better to Travel Solo!

A lot of people tend to believe that having a travel companion is the better way to go around visiting the globe, but take it from a serial traveller: the saying “the more the merrier” doesn’t always work here.

Certainly, having someone to laugh with, play with, take pictures with and even share the hotel room price with is great, but I can give you a thousand reasons why traveling solo is just as fun, but for now, let’s just stick to 5:

1.Your Time, Your Schedule, Your Trip, Your Way.

Me at the Sydney Eye Tower, Australia.

A lot of people who are taking a year off (or a few months) to travel tend to either go through a process of soul-searching, seeking independence or realizing a dear dream. Whatever the reason is, this is usually something you want to do for yourself, and this would involve discovering new facets and aspects of your personality and ways you handle situations: and sometimes, the best way for discovering yourself is by doing it alone.

2.You don’t feel Guilty about cancelling Plans.

Me In Katoomba Blue Mountains, Australia

This is one of the things I value the most about traveling alone. If you oftentimes tend to be a people pleaser, then this would apply to you too. When you travel on your own, you set the plan and schedule to suit yourself, and you can readjust it as you please. Tired from bar hopping last night and want to pass on the island sightseeing scheduled for the morning? That’s fine. Would you rather check out the free morning fair instead of the art museum? That’s fine. Would you rather eat discounted burgers than try out a new (and perhaps expensive) restaurant? That is also fine! These might seem like little trivial things, but as a tourist, you have limited time and nothing compares to the freedom of readjusting your plans to suit your needs.

3.You get to Prioritize what You Want.

Me with a good friend, Madame Tussaud Museum, Australia

This goes hand in hand with the first two points. Sometimes, when you travel, in groups, decisions are made in the best interest of the group. Even if everyone contributes to the itinerary, at the end of the day, the majority wins and it might not always be in your favor. It’s Ok sometimes, but other  times it’s not. If you’re in a group setting, you have to move with the group (as group dynamics impose) but if you’re travelling on your own.. Oh well. See you on the other side!

4.You get better at managing your Finances.

Me in Geneva, Vue of the Mont Blanc, Switzerland.

We tend to be less careful about our spending if we know that there will always be someone who can bail us out of a situation… (unless of course, you’re the rescuer!). But I am sure you get my point. However, when you’re traveling alone and you realize that a) Your only have $50 (or less) left for the rest of the day b) Your family members are located in a different timezone and you can’t call them c) Even if you call them they won’t pick up the phone because they’d be out or sleeping d) Even if they pick up they’d be super cranky; this forces you to think twice about where you put your money. I’ve been there, done that. Trust me.

5. You are less Inhibited when it comes to meeting new People.

Me in Katoomba Blue Mountains, Australia

And this is a huge part of traveling. Traveling alone makes you realize that no man is an island, but if you isolate yourself, you will sink in the waters. So you get out there and talk to people. And you might even get more comfortable sharing some aspects of your life with strangers (of course, not your deepest secrets otherwise you put yourself at risk) than when you’re alone or not with someone you know.

So there you have it! You might not have someone to take a picture of you next to some cool monuments (but hey, that’s why they invented selfie sticks), you might not have someone to talk to while you’re eating your meal (but hey, more mental space to plan your next move) and you might not have someone to share the price of your hotel room with (but hey, it wasn’t so expensive anyways since you booked it super early, right?): but the freedom, independence and sense of adventure that you get when you take the road on your own make it all worth your while, I promise!

Me when I was a bird. I’m kidding. Natural History Museum, Switzerland

So if you’re planning to go somewhere and none of your friends is down and you’re tired of convincing, please pack your bags and go.

But if you meet someone who wants to join you on your adventures, why not! The more, the merrier, right? But be careful… Not everyone who “wants” to travel “knows” how to travel… Find out how to pick The Perfect Travel Buddy in my next post!

Cheers,

Clem. ❤️

“I am not the same, having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.” Mary Anne Radmacher


  • 3

3 Tips to “Not be Broke” when Coming back from a Trip

“Travel brings power and love back into your life.”
― Jalaluddin Rumi

And you know, it really does. But when the reality of going back home kicks in, something else hits you: the possibility of going back to an empty (or barely surviving) bank account. Have you ever felt like you had such an amazing time away that the mere thought of thinking about how much you spent could crush all your good memories? Or have you ever delayed looking at your bank statements upon returning home?

I know, for sure, I have, or at least I used to, until I started applying these three tips to avoid being broke when coming back home:

Tip 1: Make a budget

I learned to budget since I was around 13 (perhaps even earlier), and this is definitely a skill that I am grateful for. Budgeting when traveling gives you a clear vision of a) how much you want to spend, b) how much you can spend and c) what you want to spend on. It is crucial to have that balance when traveling, because you might want to spend more than what you can afford, and this might put you into very delicate situations.

When establishing your budget, avoid allocating the exact amount to each activity. Rather, go towards the upper limit in the event that your activities turn out to be more expensive than what you originally expected. Finally, allocate more funds to the things that you consider as priority for each trip. For instance, going to Rome for a shopping spree? Then allocate more funds to shopping. Going food tasting in Paris? The biggest part of your budget should be on meals and fine dining. Looking to enjoy sightseeing, museums or historical expos in Geneva? You would probably end up spending more in sightseeing. So make your budget strategically based on what the primary purpose of your trip is.

Tip 2: Stick to it!

It’s one thing to make a budget, it’s another thing to stick to it! Regardless of how difficult it is, it is important to make a conscious effort to stick to your budget, especially if you’re traveling Solo. To ensure that you stick to your budget, you could separate each portion into different envelopes and whenever you hit the town, make sure you only take “what you need”. That way, if you see something that you’re extremely tempted to buy and know for sure you don’t need, you won’t be able to purchase it (since you won’t have any cash for it anyways).

Tip 3: Travel with currency from your home country.

This works especially well if your home currency is not very common (like the US Dollar, Euro or Pound). The reason this works particularly well for me is because whenever I travel with my home currency (which is currently the Eastern Caribbean Dollar), there is no where overseas where I am able to change it into another currency (unless I am traveling within the Caribbean). That way, I have a guarantee that I won’t be able to use that money during my trip and I’ll have some substantial cash when I return back home!

And you, do you have any tips to “avoid being broke” when coming back from a trip? Share it in the comments below, I’d love to know!

“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” 
― Henry Miller

  • 1

5 Flight Booking Traps and False Ideas that No One is Telling you about

Here are the two most important expenses that you always have to deal with when planning a trip: 1) Accommodation and 2) Flights (unless, of course, you decide to purchase a private residence or a yacht while overseas, in which case, that’s a completely different story😅 ). And because these are the most pricey items when it comes to budget for a trip, people tend to get very nervous over flights and accommodation bookings.

When it comes to flights, I have come across 5 key traps that keep being repeated over and over again, everywhere on social media and on several travel blogs:

1. Skyscanner is the best: Nope, it is not. Sky scanner is great in its own rights, but I wouldn’t qualify it as the best. In fact, people should not even say “the best”, but rather, “the best for me”; because what works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for another.

For instance, when I was looking for affordable flights to visit other European cities while in Geneva, almost everyone in my entourage was praising Skyscanner wonders. Interestingly, every time I’d go on Skyscanner to look for a flight, I would never get the results that I want. And at times, I could not even see any flights listed for my intended dates. Someone introduced me to Google Flights, and it was a game changer for me, I’ve used it ever since. Whenever I enter a search on Google Flights, it combines all the results that are available, with all airlines, all layover options, etc. Additionally, it sorts out the prices based on the least expensive, and you can even check the most expensive flights if you feel adventurous. Moreover, Google Flights has this great option of suggesting travel dates that could make you spend even less money. And did I mention that they include results from ALL airlines?

The lesson: before landing on Google flights, I had to try a million options: Expedia, Cheapoair, Skyscanner, Trivago, etc. At the end of the day, you need to give it a try for yourself and use what works for you, and not take anyone word for it. 

2. I have a limited budget, so I need to go with the cheapest flight: wrong. I used to fall into this trap a lot, and I’m glad I’ve seen the light. Whenever you look at the price of a flight, there are a lot of things to take into consideration: departure and arrival times, duration of the layover, number of transits, and last, the number of carry-ons and bagages allowed.

  • First case scenario:  if for instance you get a $50 round trip flight deal, but with no carryon and no suitcase allowed (which means you need to purchase it afterwards), and you also get a $70 deal with a carryon allowed but no suitcase, which flight would you take? To make that decision, you need to know how much a carryon costs for option 1. If the carryon costs less than $20, then option 1 is definitely the cheapest of the two, but if it’s more, then… well, you get the point.
  • Second case scenario: say you’re planning a one day trip to a special city, like I did for my trip to Brussels. Ideally, you’d like to leave early in the morning and return later at night, or early the next day. Option 1: you get a $50 flight that leaves at 12:00 PM and returns the same day at 6:00 PM. Option 2: you get a 110 flight that leaves at 7:00 AM and returns at 8:00 PM. Which option is best? I’ll let you figure out this one on its own, feel free to give me your answer in the comments! (but if you picked option 2, I know you definitely got the point!)😎

3. It’s always better to use different airlines based on whoever offers the best deal: false. Sometimes, it’s advantageous for your to use different airlines, other times, it’s wiser to stick to the airlines you are familiar with, especially if you already have miles with them. For instance, if I get a Quantas Airlines (Australian airline company) for $60 and a Virgin Australia Airlines flight for $100, and I am a frequent flyer with Virgin Australia, I would personally choose to opt for the $100 flight because it would help me to accumulate a few miles (just for a $40 difference). Small rewards, but handy on the long run. But if my budget is extremely tight or there is a bigger price difference (in the order of the hundreds), then I’d gladly consider switching to the other airline and, why not, start a Frequent Flyer account with them too! 🤗

4. If I ‘m used to a specific airline, I should just stick to it: wrong. For instance, I’m a huge fan of American Airlines when it comes to traveling to North America and beyond. However, depending on where I want to go, Delta would offer me way cheaper and better options. Perhaps airlines have agreements with specific airports, I wouldn’t know for sure. But for some cities, American Airlines would charge me two to three times the price of a ticket sold on Delta and this for similar services (I have checked), and Delta would do the same for other cities. So even if you have your go-to airline whenever you travel to a specific country, be open-minded.

5. First and Business classes are always more expensive: said who? Psssh. My sister recently came back from a trip to Philly (Philadelphia) which she absolutely loved (in fact, she promised to write a guest post on www.travelwithclem.com about it, stay tuned!) And guess what, she travelled Business, and paid the same price she would have paid if she had traveled Economy (with a mere difference). And would you believe me if I told you that with an additional 20$-100$ to your economy fare, you could actually get a first class ticket, if you book your flight 6-8 months in advance? Test the waters, you’ll be pleasantly surprised😎

Do you agree with these tips? And are there any other flight myths you know of?

Join the discussion by letting me know in your comments, I’d love to know!

 


  • 0

Happy Freedom Day, South Africa!

Freedom+Day

Today, South Africa celebrates Freedom Day.

Historically, it commemorates the very first elections held in the country after Apartheid on that day, in 1994.

“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chain, but to live in a way that respects and enhances freedom of others”. (Nelson) Rolihlahla Mandela (1918 – 2013).

Such celebration brings a fair share of emotions to me, not just because I am of African descent, but also because I had the privilege to visit his beautiful nation earlier this year. (Check out My Trip to South Africa).

I wish a mysterious rocket would take me to South Africa right now to rejoice with the people as they celebrate #FreedomDay!


  • 5

Where Do People Find Money to Travel?

Since I have been sharing my travel experience through my blog, I have had this question time and again: where do I get the money to travel?

And I am happy to tell you.

But first things first, it is important that you know that what works for one might not necessarily work for another person, and as such, use the advice and information here to see how this can apply to you.

Here are three key questions to ask yourself:

1.First things first! Where do I want to go?

A lot of people tend to believe that you need to have money first before traveling, but let me correct this: you need to know where you want to go before you have the money. Just as much as your budget determines your destination, your destination also dictates your budget. In other words, where you want to go determines how much you’d need. Note that some people prefer to save up a lot of money and then decide on where they can go based on how much they have. I personally prefer to pick a destination and work towards getting the means to afford a trip to that destination.

2. How much do I need?

Now that you know where you want to go, it’s easier to determine how much you’ll need. 95% of the time, your biggest expenses are on flight+accommodation, so budget for that first. To make a budget for your flight, consider the travel season (summer vs winter, holidays vs regular days, weekdays vs weekends, etc.) to get the best flight deals. To make a budget for your accommodation, consider your preferences and expected level of comfort: do you rather stay in a guesthouse and maximize on sightseeing and meals, or do you rather stay in a resort and live the suite life? Either option is fine, according to your needs. You just need to take that into consideration when making your budget. Once you have an idea of the cost of your flight and accommodation, you can estimate the rest of your expenses on site such as transportation, meals, and sightseeing.

3. Where do I get the money?

The money can come from either existing funds, or newly acquired funds. Existing funds refer to savings and newly acquired funds to money earned while working at a regular job. So if you’re currently employed, it goes without saying that it’s easier for you to earn and save, depending on your responsibilities.

If you’re not employed, then you need to look for a source of income. Possible sources of income include:

  • Conferences: this is a great option to combine traveling and learning (I call it traveling with a “greater” purpose). Regardless of which ever field you’re into (Arts&Crafts, Business, Marketing, Accounting, Pharmacy, Medicine, Videos Making, you name it), there are a lot of conferences out there with other people sharing the same interests as you. Check it out, and if available, apply for travel assistance! However, it might be important to demonstrate how attending such a conference could help advance your career goals/develop your community.’
  • Training workshops: just like conferences, training workshops are great opportunities to get out there, learn new skills, meet people and discover other countries. You can also apply for travel assistance where available.
  • Paid volunteering programmes: a lot of my friends are involved in those and these options are rewarding at multiple levels. Again, it is important to pick something in the field you’re interested in, as it makes it easier for you to align the experience with your career objectives.
  • Freelance work: do you have any skills or services you can offer in your community or online? Get out there, give it a try and get paid for it! Whatever you think can be used as a marketable skill, is probably  marketable skill. Don’t let your fears limit you. Get out there. Remember, you’ve got a trip to plan!

Do you know of any other opportunities where someone can get money to travel? Feel free to share them here!

If you liked this article, subscribe to my blog and receive more tips and tricks on financing when traveling!

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” – Saint Augustine


Clem’s Fun Moments!

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

[i]
[i]
[i]
[i]
[index]
[index]
[523.251,659.255,783.991]
[523.251,659.255,783.991]
[523.251,659.255,783.991]
[523.251,659.255,783.991]
[index]
[index]
[523.251,659.255,783.991]
[523.251,659.255,783.991]
[523.251,659.255,783.991]
[523.251,659.255,783.991]