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Travel Tips for South Korea

February 25, 2015

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I gotta say, this was an odd TL;DR to handle, because it put us in a very different position. Everything we do in these videos of ours is from the perspective of people living in South Korea. However, we meet tons of people that are just visiting for a week or two, and so we started wondering about what we could say that might make their stay easier. Learning how to recycle or turn on your ondol isn’t really that useful if you’re in a hotel, right? We’ve met far more visitors than expats in Korea, so we figured it was time we talked more specifically to the crowd of people that are coming to South Korea for a vacation. So here are some more things you should prepare for if you’re just visiting. Let’s go!

Don’t Take Black Taxis

I don’t really hear people talking about this enough. Well, let me rephrase that: you can take black taxis, but they’re more expensive than regular taxis. Why? Supposedly they’re given black taxis if they drive ten years without an accident. Hell if I know how anyone could do that. I almost get clipped on a daily basis. IT’S SO STRESSFUL TO DRIVE HERE! So, if you’re ok with paying extra, take a black taxi, and just ask him how he’s so damned good at driving.

Don’t Read Korea Tourism’s Website

If you want to wear a hanbok and climb a mountain and eat bibimbap (did you know that Korea has four distinct seasons?!) then it might be your thing, but I’ve always found that Korea Tourism is more written from the perspective of what Korean people think foreigners are interested in rather than what foreigners are interested in. Korea Tourism would better be named “Korean Pride.” And, don’t get me wrong – climbing mountains and wearing hanboks and doing cultural stuff is great in itself, but Korea Tourism isn’t really trying to suggest things that anyone I’ve ever spoken with is interested in. They’ll suggest stuff like “Go to the Tulip Festival down in flin-flon nowhere” or stuff like that. AH! I know this point is gonna piss some people off. That’s just our take on the KTO. Maybe your experience is different.

Sleep In

Korean businesses don’t really open early. They’re more likely to stay open late instead, which is great for us, because we’re night owls, but we’ve had people visit us that are morning people, and they were bored to death in the mornings. Most of the cool shopping areas, the good street food stalls, all open later in the afternoon. So push yourself to stay awake later; you won’t miss out on much.

Take Your Hotel’s Business Card

This might sound basic, but we’ve had friends visit us once and, after teaching them how to drink in Korea, they didn’t know how to get back to their hotel. It would have been easier if they had their hotel’s card on them, and just had given that to the taxi. All taxis have Navigation systems in them, so they can type in the addresses easily. So, just in case, bring a card with you, so you can enjoy a night if drinking if you feel like it :D

So that’s it for all we can think of at the moment. I’m sure we’ll remember something else in the comments and we’ll mention it there for sure. Otherwise, let us know if you’ve traveled to South Korea and if there were some things you wished you knew before you got here. Yeah!

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Travel Tips for South Korea

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  1. This is totes random, but I miss Simon’s red mohawk. That is all.

    5 years ago
    • You know what’s random? I actually thought about it yesterday, and how I used to do it so often. And then I remembered how bored I got of doing it and decided to change my look altogether. Who knows: maybe in 5 years I’ll have a non-beardo look again.

      5 years ago
  2. 2 tips I would give people who were to go on vacation in my area? This is could be potentionally (?) controversial.

    1. Don’t be fucking rude. We know we lost World War 2, we know about the Holocaust and it was absolutely disgusting.
    I actually grew up in an area that was very tourist-y and 90% of the tourists from North America were sooo damn rude. No, I don’t know where the Nazis are. No, Hitler is dead, we did not hide him to bring him out later to try the Third Reich again. Please refrain from telling me that we’re lucky that USA decided to drop nuclear bombs over Japan not Germany. Watch your manners, please. Even though you might not realize it, you’re cultural ambassadors to your country. You might be part of the reason why Europe does not want to be culturally associated with North America under any circumstances.

    2. If you’re not vacationing in a city with more than 200,000 inhabitants, rent a car. Taxis are exorbitantly expensive. Public transporation starts at 7am and ends at 9pm, is highly unreliable & sparse as well as extremely underdeveloped. You might end up in a city where the nearest bus stop is a 40 minute walk away from where you actually want to go.

    5 years ago
    • re: #1

      The nerve of some people to say things like that! I’m sorry that you’ve had that happen to you. :(

      5 years ago
  3. DO NOT TAKE BLACK TAXIS! I know Simon & Martina already stressed this point, but I studied abroad in South Korea in 2011 and took a black taxi. My experience almost made me want to turn right around and go back home. First of all, I was led away from all the other taxis (*stranger danger!*) so even if I changed my mind I had no idea how to get back or find a different taxi. Then when my ride had ended, from Icheon to Yonsei University, it cost me about $180 US, and ₩220,000. I was fortunate enough that I had that type of cash on me, but I felt so ripped off and humiliated. It really didn’t start my trip out nicely. Later in the year, I went back to the airport to go on a vacation to Japan and took a regular taxi from Yonsei University to Incheon and it only cost ₩80,000 ish or $60 US. It opened old wounds for me, but was a very valuable lesson to learn. It all ended well, I met amazing friends in Korea and I still think of my time back there as one of the highlights of my life. However, to those traveling, if something bad happens to you, try to stick it out. You’d be surprised at how horrible a trip can start out, (delayed flights, canceled flights, black taxis, arriving in Korea but finding out your luggage is still in Los Angeles) but then turn wonderfully amazing!

    5 years ago
  4. Interesting stories, vacation really brings so many problems sometimes because each country works differently.
    In The Netherlands people usually all speak English so that’s convenient for foreigners, but there are some things which could complicate things.

    1. NO CREDITCARDS! Just like in Japan, Dutchies don’t use CC’s. You want to buy food at the supermarket? You’ll need cash or debit card. The only places that use CC’s are like big furniture stores and all. I doubt you’ll buy that on vacation ;) All the other stores, cash and debit cards only.

    2. You can travel by public transport in The Netherlands, however… it’s pretty messed up XD In the larger cities it will work but with the new OV-chip cards it has gotten a lot more complicated for foreigners. Many have complained about that. You can’t always buy tickets at the bus so you could get stuck. HOWEVER! You can rent bicycles! Make sure you get a damn good lock with it because… bikes get stolen a lot, lol. That’s just because everybody wants one! They are by far the best means of transport in the cities. There are specific bicycle roads, so it’s usually very safe too. It’s cheap, you can get anywhere with them and you won’t have to get frustrated with the public transport ticket-problems. Just… make sure you lock your bike. Like… really lock it XD TWICE! Dutch people are nice people and very open people and… some people think your property is their property =_= Watch your precious belongings.

    Another thing…Sadly… most people who go to Amsterdam get stuck in one of the less fun parts of our country; drugs. Unfortunately people seem to think every Dutch people does drugs and all drugs are safe; they are wrong! Most Dutchies HATE the drugs sold in our capital and there are a lot of bad drugs being sold on the street which got people killed. Tourists were found dead from ‘bad trips’ sorta speak. So IF (I say you shouldn’t because drugs are just SO bad for you!) you are to get some, don’t get them from the street, please! Value your life! There are a LOT (and by that I mean a LOT!) of legal drugstores in Amsterdam where you can get some ‘safe’ (no drug is ever safe, it all ruins your health!) drugs. But let me emphasize again… don’t dp drugs people, just don’t do it!

    5 years ago
    • That’s useful, considering how we want to live in the Netherlands one day! Though the drugs don’t interest us, because we don’t do drugs, though every time we mention that we want to live in Amsterdam people assume we’re druggies.

      5 years ago
    • I would like to disagree. OV chip card has made life so much easier. You just need one card for every form of transportation. And like I said before with the 9292 app it’s very easy to use public transportation. Off course the train system is very fragile and whenever the weather is not ideal every train just gets delayed for no reason. But me being a student that travels A LOT I can tell you that this system is very very easy and and one thing that has made my life so much easier. As a foreigner you just need to google it and you’ll be able to travel in NO TIME!

      5 years ago
  5. Tip for traveling to America: don’t use the TV show Jersey Shore for language practice. The N-word is not OK in polite company. Yes, I had to actually say this to somebody. I said good morning, they said sup mah n*****. I laughed it off, but explained to them that Jersey Shore is not the best example of polite English conversation and they should rarely, if ever, repeat what they hear from it.

    Don’t use Jersey Shore.

    5 years ago
  6. would you exchange all of the cash you were bringing? have you or could you do a video talking about things to do in Korea? maybe like the best 5-10 places to go?thanks

    I live in rhode island which is the smallest state. 2 things,first the airport is called providence when you’re booking but is really in warwick which is about 20 minutes away. 2 stay away from the really popular restaurant because you’ll be disappointed.

    5 years ago
  7. Thanks Simon and Martina! I love all the extra info and tips. I already have the subway app and I think its neat. Looking forward to visiting Korea in 2016.

    5 years ago
  8. If you are coming to London,

    1. DONT PUSH IN QUEUES
    – The British probably won’t say anything to you but you’ll get glared at and tutted at and everyone will think you’re a massive prick, but queue jumping is just so frustrating and you’ll be seen as quite rude. And be prepared to queue for ages if you want to do any of the touristy things like the London Eye or the Dungeons, ect- they are always packed, especially in holiday season.

    2. Most people won’t apologise if they bump into you – if you’re in a smaller part of England or wherever then you’re like to get very apologetic people, but London is so busy and crowded and people are in such a rush usually that they’ll just ignore you and carry on so don’t be too offended if this happens. Londoners also find it weird if you speak to them, I mean most will be polite about it if you just ask for directions or the time but you might get a really startled look.

    3. Be careful if you’re wandering around London by yourself at night. It’s better to stay with friends and keep to busier areas, because I know plenty of stories of people who have been mugged or followed in London as I have quite a few friends living there.

    4. Taxi’s are expensive as fuck, try and keep to the subway/underground if you can. There are maps at every station and if you look at it long enough, you’ll figure it out. Trains comes like every minute so if you miss one you’ll be okay.

    5. Prepare for any kind of weather- British weather is bi-polar, it could be sunny one minute and then raining the next.

    5 years ago
  9. I will recommend that somehow you investigate the “definitively DON”T go there, You will Die” places… I am living in the US for almost 3 years now, but back on my country there are some places that you can not go if you are an unknown person a.k.a tourist… I am planning to go to Korea maybe next year, I am already looking up for the “don’t go there” areas…
    Advise #1: Look for the “don’t go there, you will die” places
    Advise #2: For God’s sake DON’T GO THERE, not even near areas…

    5 years ago
    • I’d like to see this and the opposite video of places you absolutely HAVE to go to.

      5 years ago
  10. I agree with your comment about the KTO website– you’re much better off looking for blog posts written by foreigners living in/visiting Korea if what you’re after is real-life travel tips.

    Then again, since my dad used to work at KTO and did have some part in writing for their website, I feel like I have to explain their angle– basically they’re trying really hard (or more, being forced by the government, which owns them) to promote ALL of South Korea, since anywhere outside of Seoul, Busan and maybe Jejudo has yet to become a (comparatively) popular travel destination for foreigners. So yes, the site shows you where the Korean government WANTS tourists to go, not necessarily where tourists themselves prefer to visit.
    But I’m sure there are people out there who would love to try giving up conveniences like free wi-fi and English signposts in exchange for something less ‘mainstream’? I’d personally recommend the Temple Stay programs. They make for a unique experience (and temple food is DELICIOUS).

    I really do think the best possible way to travel in Korea is to get tips (besides the major ones you two covered here!) from someone who lives here. And if you’re a Nasty, you know where to find plenty of other Nasties who would be willing to help out!

    5 years ago
  11. I am currently a Designated School Official (DSO) at a university and I work with our International students with F-1 student visas. A big part of my job has been helping students adjust to the U.S. and giving useful tips for their visit. There are the obvious ones that you can find on any website, however, here’s my list of things that may not be as obvious:

    Airport Transit: Unless you’re flying into a major city and staying in the city, you should not rely on public transit from getting to the airport to your hotel. Public transit here is awful. I mean, REALLY awful. Look into shuttle services offered by the airport in advanced. Things such as Uber and Lyft are also really popular and may be good alternatives for getting around.

    Healthcare: If you become sick in the U.S., NEVER use the Emergency Room for non-emergency things such as the flu or cold. Use Urgent Care, which is significantly cheaper. Also, if you’re planning on visiting for more than a couple of weeks, I recommend getting traveler’s health insurance to possibly mitigate costs in the hospital.

    Tipping: This is always a mess of a conversation. Essentially, you should be tipping between 15-20% of your bill at a restaurant, unless its fast food or it explicitly says not to tip, like a grocery store. It’s then compounded by the fact some services may tip more (getting a haircut for example) or whether it’s a franchise or a small business (you typically don’t tip at Starbucks but should tip at a local coffee shop). It even changes when you go to areas like an international district where some restaurants may not expect you to tip if they’re from a place where tipping is not customary. I typically still tip, but if you’re Korean going to a Korean restaurant, chances are you aren’t expected to tip.

    Exact Change: I’ve had students ask me about giving exact change. Whenever they have change, they typically want to count out the exact change because it’s considered rude or lazy to just give a large bill for a smaller sum. Or, you make it a point of making the small change exact and the larger bill as close as possible to the exact amount. In the U.S., it does not matter. In fact, people get annoyed if you hold up a line to count out change. Plus, since your goods are taxed at the register, you may not know the amount until you’re about to pay. Which reminds me…

    Taxes: The listed price on a good will unlikely be the amount you pay, unless it’s food. Alcohol and cigarettes have huge tax margins, so be prepared to pay up to double than what you see listed on the ticket. Most other goods, expect around %10 percent in most major cities. Taxes change depending on which State you live in the United States.

    Race and People of Color: This is always an interesting one. It’s a combination of how not to be racist as well as becoming racialized. I have to explain to my students how to interact with people of color, as it may be their first time interacting with someone who is not White. Don’t ask to touch people’s hair, don’t take unsolicited photos, etc. Also, especially for my East Asian students, it’s interesting to explain to them how they are now a person with a racial identity that is not consider the norm. Also, that they may be called Chinese when they’re not Chinese.

    Drunk Bicycle Driving: Ah, another fun one. If you’re drunk AND drove a bicycle to a bar, you CANNOT drive it back! It’s considered drinking and driving. Yes, you will be pulled over if you look intoxicated on a bicycle.

    Local Weather: The United States is HUGE. Because of that, weather is drastically different depending where you go. I cannot stress enough how you should do your research on the weather in the area that you’re staying. Check if it’s humid, dry, rainy, etc. As for preparing for weather, I would veer to the side of practical and casual, and see how locals prepare for the weather if you can. A good example is the Seattle area. A lot of people know that it’s rainy, but what people don’t know is that umbrellas are NOT used by locals. The rain is typically too mild and umbrellas rust because of all the moisture in the air. Get a raincoat from REI or any outdoors/hiking store and you’ll be golden.

    These are my tips! :D

    5 years ago
    • what a great list! I’d add to your comment about TIPS to only tip on the subtotal before…not the total that includes tax.

      5 years ago
    • right about the umbrellas in Seattle unless it’s POURING DOWN, even then it’s usually windy too so umbrellas are generally useless. We do wear sunglasses ALOT and you’re likely to see people wearing shorts when you would think too cold (seriously 39 degrees F and still some guys out on my street in shorts).

      4 years ago
  12. Tips on Traveling to Chicago:

    #1 Taxi Cabs are expensive. Prior to getting in a taxi, ask if they’ll take credit cards, by law, ALL Taxi cabs in Chicago (yellow cabs, checkered cabs etc) have to accept credit cards. If you find yourself in the cab and the guy says his credit card is broken, say “OK, let me call 311” Call 311, make a complaint while in the cab, give them the cab # and you’ll see how magically that card reader works. They may drive you to an ATM, but if this is the case; make sure the meter is NOT running. If they try to kidnap you, call 911. (Rule of thumb: take photos of license of the cab driver posted on the window)

    #2 You need a Ventra card to ride the trains or buses. Bus riders do not give change, so carry $1 or coins.

    #3 If you plan on visiting the museums: The Museum of Science and Industry is a long effing walk from the rest of the museums @ Museum Campus. Take advantage of your student ID and ask for a student discount. Note that a cab ride from Ogilvie transportation center to the Field Museum is about $12 – $15. You will often find limos or black cars that will drive you, but they charge an upwards amt. of $35. You can haggle with them to lower the price, just make sure the fare is not per person. User Uber and Lyft at your own discretion. Ask for a card from cab drivers, that way you can call for a cab, but many museums have free pay phones that will allow you to call a specific cab company.

    #4 For foreigners wanting to see exotic dancers (either male or female): go to dearborn street. Not what you’re looking for? Ask any bouncer outside of a bar to hook you up with a reputable strip club. Chances are, they’ll give you VIP passes as many are affiliated as security at these establishments. You pay no cover.

    #5 Deep Dish Pizza: Chicagoans don’t eat deep dish pizza on a regular basis. If you go to Giordano’s or UNO’S, please know that you will be waiting AT LEAST 1HR for your pizza. You order, you wait, then you’re taken to your seats, and bam! Out comes your pizza. This is not the place to go if you’re dying of hunger.
    #6 GO TO PORTILLO’S!!!! Each Portillo’s restaurant has a different theme, get a slice of chocolate cake, eat a hot dog or ribs. Everything is delicious!

    #7 Want to see the Skyline but not pay the ridiculous fee at the Sears Tower? Go to the Hancock Building’s Signature Room instead. Don’t pay the $35 fee, but tell them you’re going to the bar at the Signature Room. This is on the same level as the observation deck in the Hancock Building, buy a beer, sit down and enjoy the view without that hefty fee.

    #8 Go to the Cheesecake Factory at the bottom of the Hancock Building.

    #9 Be aware of your electronic devices while walking. People can snatch them off your hands.

    #10 Surprisingly, there are many hostels in the down town area for foreigners! All within a walking distance to Michigan Avenue.

    #11 Put ketchup on your hot dog! No one will judge you for it, WE REALLY DON’T CARE!

    #12 We have baseball, soccer, football & hockey teams all in Chicago-so take advantage of the seaons and go see a game.

    #13 Dress for all seasons as you will often experience them all on the same day.

    #14 Millenium Park offers free music, and lots of art! We call it the Bean, not Cloud Gate, it’s the Sears Tower, not the Willis Tower! Enjoy our city, enjoy all the culture and all the ethnic food. Want more? Hope on a train and go into the suburbs!

    5 years ago
    • having visited Chicago multiple times, I know one thing that surprised me was how often drivers honk their car horns. love the city. And on #7, we were just there around Spring Break…the line for the Signature Room bar was crazy long and they do require you buy a drink to sit down. But, in the bathroom of the bar there is a full length window and you can see out. But, if you’re willing to spend a little money (less than the cost of Sears Tower), go to the actual restaurant. If you don’t go during peak meal hours, the hostesses manning the line for the Signature Bar will send you straight up to the restaurant. Get seated, order a dessert or share an app and get a drink. Beautiful views!

      5 years ago
    • The second part of the first one is very important!!! I used to live an hour away from Chicago, so I visited quite a bit. If you’re ‘too nice’ to the driver, he may take it as you flirting and drive you somewhere you didn’t ask to go, or just refuse to stop once you get to your destination. Be careful.

      5 years ago
  13. I was in Korea for a few days on business and a few days for fun. Since I was all on my own, I did pay for one guided tour and it was definitely worth it! I chose the palace tour option and got to see the cool traditional guard ceremonies at the palace that I would not have even known to look for without the guide. In the subways they have a map with featured cultural locations which, for me, were great. My two favorites were the Natural History Museum (literally spent 4hrs there) and Bongeunsa Temple that has a wonderful temple tour to learn more about Korean Buddhism.

    If all else fails, just literally go in to almost any business and ask them where you should go. Many Koreans have functional English and will be happy to tell you about their favorite places.

    5 years ago
  14. Finally!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Im going in 132 days – not that I count… ;) Were going for 3 weeks, and its always good to have some extra tips!!!!! I know that you have talked a bit about the weather, the moonson season, but I really would like to know how the weather REALLY is in june/july and august – this because every site I visited only talks about the horror of the rain…! You dont have rain all the time during the mooonson season, right!? :/

    Tips in Sweden – Gothenburg (taking away our letter ä and replaces it with a):

    * The worst thing I think about Gothenburg is the transfer system. Not that its not charming, its just a bit confusing. Make sure to try and visit a Vasttrafik-station first. There you can ask how to get around in Gothenburg and how the different cards work, and which one you need :)

    * Sweden can be a bit expensive I think. You should be able to pay everywhere with card/Visa though.

    * Could be good to have some 5-crowns with you in Gothenburg, in case of restroom emergencies:)
    – Åhlens (in Nordstan on second floor is great, but costs)
    – Nordstan also have one all the way on the other side – do believe that one costs to.
    – Central station

    Central station:
    – You can if your visiting during the day leave your packing in the station.
    There is a floor under the station where you can leave your bag – either in a box or by submitting it to the people who works there.
    Good to know is:
    – Some boxes take cards
    – Some boxes don’t – you need cash (10-crowns or 5-crowns, sometimes the exchange-machine works, sometimes it doesn’t. Try to get some cash with you – note they are quite expensive)

    Places (food) to visit (I really recommend):

    * The Rover (Second Longstreet – Iron square)
    – they have the best hamburgers :D
    * Pinchos (one around the Avenue and one around Linné)
    – nice place where you can order great food and drinks with an App. Like a tapas place.
    * Moon Thai Kitchen (around the Avenue)
    – thai food in a really thai-inspired place
    * Wrapped – Burrito Bar
    – you choose what you want in with your food, and if you want with or without bread. THIS place is really great and have different kinds of things for you to choose. The pulled pork – yummy :D

    5 years ago
    • I agree with Rardnas, Sweden can be expensive. If you’re going to use Visa/Credit make sure it has a pin #, most places require it, others that don’t will need to see your ID (Passport, etc.).

      The 5 Crowns for bathrooms is also important!

      If you’re coming in from Copenhagen airport (which I’d really recommend) after passing through customs and out towards the train departure area there is a “secret” bathroom. Right past the SAS check-in and rotating door you can access it by either taking the elevator to the floor below, or by taking the stairs. Skanetrafiken is a good app for traveling in southern Sweden. If you’re going to be traveling back and forth between Sweden and Denmark often you can get an Oresund Pass (various different ones, also student discount).

      Also, unless you go to a bar, you can only buy alcohol from Systembolaget (some stores do sell 2% beer). While there’s a lot of locations, they have limited hours (can close at 7 or earlier).

      5 years ago
      • Great point blueberrysunday! Didnt even think of Systembolaget and passport/ID. :)
        About ID/Passport – be sure to keep it with you all the time, you never know when they ask you about your age for something. Martina got id:d on IKEA, right?! ;)
        Good to know about our alcohol rules. You HAVE to be 20 to buy alcohol in Systembolaget. If you are underaged and are with friends who are older and get asked for ID – they will NOT sell to you – or probably not to your friends either. Here they are pretty extreme about that. As blueberrysunday also pointed out – limited opening hours on Systembolaget. Saturdays they close even more early, and on Sundays they are closed. Be sure to get what you need before that or even better before saturday, in case you´ll miss the timing.
        Some bars have 18 years as legal age to go, some higher. Try and look it up before you hit the bars so you dont end up that some people dont get in (when I was younger girls had a better possibility to enter a bar with age limit then guys.. dont know how it is now)!!

        5 years ago
    • Oh, if I only new a way to transfer cheese to you :S I LOVE cheese in every way. My snack at the moment is goat cheese with crackers and olives ;D Then I would transfer cheese in my bag to you when we go to Seoul :) And bread!!

      5 years ago
  15. Travel tips for the Twin Cities, MN:

    1) COME IN THE SUMMER.
    2) If you’ve never been here, make sure you’re aware that Minneapolis and St. Paul make up one metro area, but they are two separate cities with two downtowns and different vibes. In my opinion, Minneapolis is more urban, while St. Paul is more neighborhoody and relaxed.
    3) Public transit is pretty good in Minneapolis and St. Paul, but less so out in the suburbs (but there’s nothing fun out there anyway). It’s primarily buses, but there are also 2 light rail train lines: the blue line connects the Mall of America and the airport and downtown Minneapolis, and the green line runs from downtown Minneapolis to downtown St. Paul.
    4) You can bike almost anywhere. There are green Nice Ride bike rental stations all over. They’re a little spendy, but super easy – just pop in your credit card and you have a bike!
    5) The Cities have tons of parks and lakes. Recommended neighborhoods to check out: Uptown, Lake Calhoun, Minnehaha Falls, Northeast, Como Park, Cathedral Hill, and Summit Avenue.
    6) Minneapolis/St. Paul has a KILLER food and craft beer scene.

    Travel tips for Omaha, NE:

    1) The airport is tiny, and public transit sucks. To get from the airport to the city I’d recommend renting a car. Taxis are expensive. The are bike rental stations in the downtown area though.
    2) YOU HAVE TO GO TO THE OLD MARKET.
    3) Ideally, come during the College World Series. It’ll be harder to find a hotel, but there’s so much more to do. For two weeks every June, college baseball takes over the city. Even if you don’t go to games there are people from all over the country in town it’s a ton of fun to just go eat and drink and hang out in the streets.
    4) There are a bunch of outdoor summer concerts!
    5) Go look at the corn?

    5 years ago
    • Another tip for flying into and out of the Twin Cities is to be certain which terminal you’ll be at. Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 are not the same building, and to get between them you will have to take the light rail, which is free, but can be frustrating if you’re already rushed trying to get your flight.

      5 years ago
    • When in Minnesota we are NICE! Ask people questions, its okay. If you get lost ask people for directions. There is a great food scene in Minneapolis/St.Paul area. If you go up north people are a bit more quiet and outdoorsy but really helpful and kind. Try the local foods! Have fun! Please remember the weather changes constantly, so bring a sweater, thin gloves, socks, sunglasses, umbrella and your sense of humour.

      5 years ago
  16. http://www.eatyourkimchi.com/tips-and-tricks-for-south-korea/#comments

    Hopefully I’ll be traveling to SK in the summer with friends. Thank you for the tips!
    I live in Israel, and foreigners are usually shocked by many things when they visit here, so I’d like to point some things out in you’re ever planning on visiting Israel.
    ***Disclaimer: I don’t care what you feel/think about Israel. This is not the place to discuss politics. Save your nasty comments for yourselves. I’m here to try and help you get along in Israel. Don’t like it – keep on scrolling. Thank you.***

    1. When you arrive to Israel, you’ll arrive to Ben Gurion Airport, the only airport in Israel which accepts international flights. (We’ve got a few smaller airports, but you can only use them to fly around Israel, which is really unnecessary, since Israel is really small, about the size of NYC.)
    When you get off the plane, you’ll reach the Duty Free area, which is very popular by Israelis going abroad, because it’s really cheap, compared to the prices at major cities, such as Tel Aviv, Jerusalem or Haifa.
    There are 3 ways to leave the airport: a) A bus. b) A Taxi. c) The train.
    The but takes a really long time to get anywhere, about an hour to Tel Aviv, so it’s not really recommended. You can take the taxis only if you have a lot of luggage or heavy luggage. Taxis from the airport are more expensive than taxis that drive inside cities (about 25$-40$), and they love robbing tourists (like most taxi drivers around the world does), so Israelis don’t really use them unless absolutely necessary.
    The train (THE train of Israel. We’re a really, really small country) is the most common and favorable way to travel between cities or from the airport. About 10 minutes away from Tel Aviv (the first destination of the train), and arrives every 20-25 minutes.

    2. When you’ll get off the train station, you should take a taxi. I know what I wrote before, but inside cities, if you’re traveling with a luggage, taxis are much more comfortable than buses. They still are pretty expensive, but that’s only Tel Aviv. In other, smaller cities, the prices are much more sane.

    3. Many tourists get a “cultural shock” when they first arrive to Israel. Mostly it’s because of the shouting. In Israel we shout. A LOT. Because of pretty much everything – we’re happy, we’re sad, we’re excited, we’re mad – we shout. We just express ourselves loudly. It might sound like we’re vulgar, but we just talk very loudly, so don’t take it personally – no one is cussing at you or is mad at you. Bus drivers, taxi drives, salesperson – we’re all just loud.

    4. Israelis don’t know how to queue. We just don’t really like standing in line. We push and we shove, and we’re mad at other people for doing it, but we’ll probably end do it anyway. You’ll see a straight line usually in banks, but mostly we just get as close as possible, as fast as possible – because we just want to get home more quickly.

    5. On the road, we’re pretty good drivers. We have one of the lowest accidents rate of the OECD countries. Of course we’ve got some crazy horses, and bus drivers and taxi drivers sometimes think they own the road, but driving in Israel is relatively safe, and there are road signs to point you wherever you want to go (remember: In Israel we drive on the RIGHT SIDE of the road).

    6. The most common foreign languages in Israel are English, Russian and French. English is usually for business purposes; Russian is because the Russian Jews are the 2nd largest ethnic group in Israel; French is because we have a lot of tourists from France. In Israel, 90% of streets signs are written in Hebrew, English and Arabic.

    7. If you decide to got to the beach, try avoiding the ones where you have to pay for seats. The fees for sun chairs is overpriced in Tel Aviv and Haifa, and that’s illegal (usually run by the mafia). Try heading south, to Ashdod or Ashkelon, or to the northern beaches of Haifa, where the seating is free.

    8. If you’re planning a trip to Jerusalem, make sure to bring a long-sleeved shirt, pants or a long skirt, because you may get lost and end up in an orthodox neighborhood (happens to Israelis ALL THE TIME. Jerusalem is like a maze, even with a GPS, and many of the residents are orthodox Jews). The residents will help you find your way out, but out of respect for them, you should cover yourselves up (applies to both men and women).

    9. One thing we Israelis really good at is bargaining. We bargain about everything, even on a 2.50$ meal. Israeli salespersons always charge extra from tourists, because they really want your money, but don’t be ashamed to bargain! Most of the time they will drop the price (especially if you’ll threaten to leave), so try to bargain as much as possible, and even ask other shoppers the price for a certain item.

    There are many more guidelines for traveling to Israel, but hopefully I’ve covered the basics :)
    Thank you for reading!

    5 years ago
  17. I live in London and the best tips I’ve got, at least for transport, is 1. Avoid at all costs taking any of the “Express” trains from the airports (Heathrow Express etc). In many cases there are non-express, slightly slower, and wayyyy cheaper trains, or just take the tube if you can, or a coach bus. Those express trains are like the equivalent of 70 USD per person return (whattt).
    Also – NEVER buy paper tickets for the tube, and you don’t usually have to bother with a week or day pass. Get an Oyster card, it’s a card that you can use to top up with money and tap in and out on the London bus/tube/etc. There are daily caps on how much you can spend so it’s actually impossible to go over the amount you’d spend on a day pass. And you could potentially spend less. When you leave the city you can give your Oyster card back at any tube station and they’ll return you the 5 pound deposit fee.
    Booyah!

    5 years ago
    • Yeah, just adding on to this: London buses don’t take cash anymore so you have to use an Oyster card, contactless credit/ debit card or a days travel card (paper ticket you buy at the station that works on both the underground and buses). Caught me out last time I was in the city and I live like 20 minutes away!

      5 years ago
  18. This is really nice and helpful. I’m visiting end of May until mid-June and sort of wanted to do tourist-y stuff but at the same time not really… Thankfully I am staying with a friend and I think she will be with me majority of the time (especially when I spend a week between Busan and Jejudo) but just in case I do go out on my own, this is some good stuff right here. Especially about the taxis and sleeping in! ^^

    Hope to finally meet you then as I’ll definitely be visiting ‘You Are Here’ cafe! :)

    5 years ago
    • Im going there same time only longer and i am also visiting busan! :D
      7th of april to 3rd of may for me :D

      5 years ago
  19. Question: How hard is it to get around if you don’t know any Korean? Like, not just reading signs and stuff, but ordering at restaurants, checking out at shops, etc.

    5 years ago
    • It’s not difficult. If you understand how to gesticulate, then you should be alright. But if you walk up to someone and say “hey I was wondering where I could perhaps find a soda beverage that has a lemon flavour,” then you’ll confuse them a lot more than if you say something like “Sprite?” and shrug your shoulders and look confused, you know? The simpler and more direct your communication, the better.

      5 years ago
    • Not hard at all! Just learn how to say “this please” and “that please” when you are on the plane and they have the language learning game. (I would add also learn “hello” and “thank you”.) I literally only knew 5 Korean phrases and got around just fine! Every major sign also has English and many people do speak English.

      5 years ago
  20. Tips for traveling to Boston MA, America!

    1. Logan Airport is hell on earth. The security takes forever and the layout is confusing as hell. Make sure you know EXACTLY which terminal you’re landing in before you get here.

    2. On the flip side, there is a bus (the silver line) that runs from the airport to South Station (one of the major subway stops) FOR FREE. It comes every seven minutes and will drop you off in the center of town.

    3. If you can, take the subway. It’s $2.50 a ride and as long as you don’t leave you can go anywhere. Also, the silver line lets you off inside the stop so if you’re taking the silver line you can switch to the red line for free. Taxis are expensive and the subway covers most of Boston anyway. (Just be warmed that our subway system can be confusing and try to avoid the E line of the green line if you can.)

    4. Walking around in Boston is a health hazard. The cars don’t stop for red lights always and you can pick out tourists by the fact that they use crosswalks and lights and all that. Also, the city is SUPER confusing because the streets were laid out in the 1600s. If you’re expecting a nice, gridded city, you will be shocked and disappointed because Boston looks like a zoo. Make sure you have EXACT instructions on how to get to your destination if you’re walking.

    5. DO NOT go to Legal Sea Foods or any chain name places for seafood. Seriously. There are sooooo many good seafood places that are way cheaper, especially the closer to Cape Cod you get.

    6. Take time to explore the city. It’s very pretty and there are tons of pubs and cute stores and lots of history. Also, a quick pop over to Cambridge is very doable if you want a friendlier, more down-to-earth feel.

    7. Boston is super expensive so be ready for that. Food will cost you a lot of money as will hotels and transportation if you’re not using the subway system.

    8. Finally, and most importantly, don’t mock the accent. This seems like a no brainer, but tourists actually do come to Boston and make fun of people for sounding Bostonian. Not only is this rude, but tons of Bostonians don’t have the accent and the ones that do are proud of it and will tell you off. Also, not mocking locals is a good travel tip for pretty much anywhere. Just don’t it.

    That’s about it! Have fun and enjoy your stay!

    5 years ago
  21. So yeah here are some tips for visiting Germany

    Public transportation is your best bet to get around. By the way it’s not for free. Even though you can usually get on trains or the subway without going through electronic checks, every now and then there will be ticket inspectors on the train. Taxis are really expensive. Also should you consider getting a car don’t try driving in the inner city you won’t find parking spaces and most inner city shopping areas are pedestrians only. If you’re American you should be aware that gas prices in Germany are about thrice as high as in the USA

    Tickets for the ICE (inter city express) trains tend to be very expensive. Try taking the RE (regional express) if you’re traveling inside one Bundesland or take a coach.

    Always make sure you got cash with you. Lots of places don’t accept cards and if you’re not in a shopping district there probably won’t be any ATMs around. Also from my experience VISA gets accepted more often than Master Card or American Express

    Most shops open at 10am and close at 8pm in the larger cities. Convenience stores often open earlier but they still usually close at 8pm. In smaller cities shops often close at 5pm and they may be closed for lunch. Sunday is a holiday bakeries tend to be open for a few hours in the morning but all other shops will be closed even in big cities.
    The exception to this are all central stations in big cities shops there are usually open 5am to 11pm on all days

    If you want to visit museums or touristy places check beforehand whether they are open. Lots of places will be closed one day of the week.

    Nightclubs are usually open until 5am don’t bother getting there before midnight.

    The central stations (or generally all large subway stations) in major cities are places you don’t want to be around in the evenings… except for the new central station in Berlin that one is awesome

    Starbucks is just about the only place were you will find free wifi. Many hotels don’t have free internet access either EVEN IF YOUR BOOKING SITE SAYS THEY DO, also hotels often block certain websites which websites is pretty random and may include youtube and facebook

    Don’t jay walk it’s technically illegal you will probably not get in trouble but you will just stand out a lot. Especially don’t jay walk if there are any kids around that’s sets bad example and people in Germany REALLY can’t stand it (the expression people here use roughly translates to “If a child sees you crossing at a red light it’s your moral obligation to get run over”)

    All people in Germany have to take English classes in school. If you want to ask something try your luck with someone looking like they might be just out of school. Not everyone speaks enough English to be able to hold a conversation but lots of people will be able to understand you especially if you’re talking loudly on public transportation and they will talk about it and judge you and if you’re really unlucky they might even decide to tell you what they are thinking about your conversation.

    Also please do remember that a lot of symbols the Nazis used are illegal in Germany. This includes the Nazi salute even if you’re just doing it as a joke you may get fined.

    5 years ago
    • Wow, that are plenty of tips! Great that you could think of so many. :)
      I would like to respond to some:
      I do not know where you are from. However, it IS possible to find parking spots even in the city. That is, if you’re willing to pay. ;)
      Open Wifi is getting more common, or so it seems. My hometown is small, not even 70000 inhabitants. Yet our mall now has free Wifi (for two hours which is better than nothing) that sometimes even works when there are not too many people logged in.
      Also, the German folk might not be the nicest on earth but they are certainly not as mean as you decipt them. >.< Actually, I personally think that you might talk about older people. Some of them can be really forward and rude. Not every German is judgemental, though. :D

      5 years ago
      • Oh gosh you’re right, I think I might have worded that a bit strongly. I’m from Nürnberg. I did not mean to imply Germans are rude or mean in general. Most of them are really happy to talk to foreigners and genuinely interested in other countries and cultures. Unfortunately, I think the rude people are the ones travellers might come into contact with easier as they tend to be a lot louder with their opinion I honestly didn’t mean to generalize that for all Germans

        5 years ago
  22. Tips on travelling to the UK:

    – Don’t bother with London. Seriously. It’s over-priced, difficult to navigate and just a lil bit up itself. Try visiting some of the other larger cities instead!
    – Bring a sweater, a waterproof jacket, and prepare for rain. Ignore the weather forecast, the BBC don’t know shit. Just pack them and have them ready in your hotel room.
    – Have a look at a British slang guide and be very, very aware that barely anyone in the UK speaks with a cockney accent. We’ve got some other great regional accents to choose from!

    Tips on travelling to Canterbury, UK in particular:
    – Avoid travelling during school holidays. We get a lot of school groups coming through town and the magic is kind of lost when you’re trying to fight your way through the crowds of little kids.
    – Try to sleep in and stay up late. After 5pm is Canterbury’s glory hours. Great food, good music and plenty to do.
    – Get a taxi number. I recommend Longleys as they don’t charge after midnight.
    – If you’re going to or staying at the university, it is ill-advised to walk. Its a couple of miles up hill from the city centre. Get the bus. You’ll know which one it is because it’s bright green and says UNIBUS on the side.
    – Go to the Cathedral. Might seem obvious but seriously go. It’s awesome.
    – Thursdays are £1 a pint night at the Penny Theatre.
    – There isn’t a big supermarket in the centre of town so if you’re self-catering you’ll need to go to ASDA on sturry road or sainsburys on northgate.

    And finally,

    Go to the Chocolate Cafe. Chocolate, coffee, wine. What else do you need?

    5 years ago
  23. Aites nasties I’m from Singapore and here are just some tips that I can give you guys.

    I have quite a lot of advices just about cabs so I’ll first mention about that first.

    1. Don’t ever take cab from Changi Airport! There is a surcharge if your journey starts from there. Since Singapore ain’t really big and we only have quite a few subway stations, go to terminal 2 and take our Mass Rapid Transit (we call it MRT station here so if you lost your way, just ask people where the MRT is at). You will have to take 2 stations to Tanah Merah MRT station before you can go to other places. Always have an MRT map with you! It is easily available at all the MRT stations.

    2. There are crazy surcharges during peak hours which can go up to additional 50% of your cab fare. So try not take cabs during peak hours!

    3. If you really have to take a cab and do not have cash, only flag down cabs that are yellow or blue in colour. These are the only cabs that accept cards. There are a few smaller companies cabs that also accept cards but to play safe, just look out for those that are yellow or blue in colour.

    4. Sometimes when you see “Change Shift” on the cab, still try to ask the driver where you are going. Don’t be shocked if they refuse to pick you up, because most of the times the cab is shared and they will have to meet the next driver to pass the cab.

    5. During peak hours, and if you are travelling in town areas, sometimes you will pass by the “ERP”, which is the road tax that is required to be paid by the passenger.

    Conclusion: Try to avoid cabs. :D

    6. Free wifi is not that easily available everywhere unless you are in Starbucks. Otherwise, other free wifi spots will require you to have a local registered phone number as they will need you to enter a verification code before you can use the wifi. So, if your hotel does not provide free wifi either, then you should consider getting the mobile wifi at the airport.

    7. Singapore has got no 4 seasons lol. But try to bring an umbrella/cap with you. When it’s hot, it’s really hot. And quite often it would rain unexpectedly so better be safe than sorry!

    8. Singapore is very strict in terms of smoking so only smoke at the specified smoking areas especially when you are at the shopping mall/hawker food centres. Also, chewing gums are actually banned here so please do not have them with you in your luggage! Same goes for cigarettes.

    9. There are quite a few shopping malls here that support tourist benefits, so have your passports with you and ask the customer service counter for any tourist benefits!

    10. You can do a 6% tax refund when you spend over $100 SGD in shops. The $100 must be from the same shop on the same day. Combined receipts are acceptable as long as they meet the previous conditions. Also, prepare your passports with you. Bring along the tax refund slip to the airport and get the 6% back before you board the flight back home! Note: Singapore’s tax is 7% but the government will absorb the 1% when doing tax refund. Oh yes, do the tax refund at the shop’s counter itself, don’t go to the customer service counter for that.

    11. Incheon airport and Changi airport is quite similar that majority of F&B are outside the security area before you get in. From my memory and experience, once you enter the security area in Terminal 2, there is only Texas Chicken, Starbucks and a crazily overpriced food court. So get all your food ready before going in!

    12. If you need any groceries, always head down to NTUC Fairprice as it is cheaper and has almost everything. Also, do try to bring along recycled bags to carry the groceries especially on Wednesdays, where there will be special discounts. Also, some of these stores do have a self check out line. Do not queue there to check out your goods unless you have credit cards with you. There are also express lines in some supermarkets and there is only if you have less than 10 goods to check out. If you have a lot of items and you queue there, the staff might get you to queue at the normal lanes, so please be careful.

    13. Shops closes around 9 or 10pm here. (We are one hour behind Korea). So don’t be afraid if you wake up late!

    14. Some things here (especially town area) can be very overpriced. So do some conversion before deciding whether you want to get it or not!

    If you need any recommendations on food/places to visit, let me know and I’ll tell you more. :D

    5 years ago
  24. If you ever come to Iceland take the bus from the airport if no one is picking you up. The taxi’s are more expensive plus you can buy a ticket for the grayline buses at a tourist office at Keflavik airport.
    Most stores here close at 18:00, the malls are open to 21:00 on thursdays and if you’re shopping on the main street (Laugavegur) there are some that are closed on Sundays.
    There are a lot of people who come here and don’t know where to buy alcohol, and they go to their nearest convenient store and buy a lot of the beer that you can get there, but most of it is Pilsner and barely alcoholic. If you want to buy alcohol look for Vínbúðin, or ask someone where the liquor store is.
    If you’re coming here for the first time you should definitely stick to tours with guides that know the country and listen to your guides if the tell you not to go somewhere, there are loads of news stories about people that didn’t listen to their guides and put themselves in danger by wading into Jökulsárlón or a very rough ocean.
    I really hope I can use your tips if I ever come to Korea :)

    5 years ago
  25. US GENERAL:
    1. Americans love their personal space. When standing in line or standing at a bar (unless it’s crowded and you’re without a choice) or at a festival, don’t stand too close to people (pretty sure The Police wrote “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” after visiting America. Americans get weird about people standing too close to them. Arms length is usually a good measurement.

    CINCINNATI, OHIO:
    Visit in Summer or Autumn, catch a Reds Baseball game. The stadium is top notch and a fun way to spend a day. Just buy tickets from the scalpers on the street. Or wait a few innings and buy from the box office. Eat anywhere in Over the Rhine (OTR) area, Graeters ice cream (black raspberry chip is the bomb!) and although I hate it try Skyline Chili….it’s definitely unique. 21C Hotel is great with contemporary art installments but very pricey. Otherwise, plenty of hotels downtown, and stay downtown. Public transit is for crap so rent a car. Cincy airport is actually in Kentucky (what???) so you’ll need a rental car. Taxis? I don’t think they’ve heard of those here. If you arrive from a foreign country, you will be required to go through airport check-in twice. Once for customs, and another to just re-enter the airport so you can leave it. Makes no sense. And if you buy anything from a duty free shop, stick in your CHECKED luggage before going thru customs otherwise it’s an ordeal. You’ll have to check your bags again (yes, it’s weird) so you’ll have time.

    NEW ORLEANS/BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA
    You can stay in French Quarter, but it’s pricey and it’s loud, especially during busy season. Better to stay in central business district (CBD)/warehouse district. It’s plenty close to FQ. Best time to go is right AFTER Mardi Gras (if you don’t care about Mardi Gras). The French Quarter is super clean and the weather is ideal. Eat anywhere. Eat everything. Stay away from chain restaurants. Rent a car and take a 50 minute drive to Baton Rouge if you go in the fall and catch an LSU football game if you can get tickets. Tailgating at LSU is a unique experience. Even if you don’t have tickets, go tailgate. They put TVs in the trees.

    5 years ago
    • I have to reply to you just from the shock of seeing a comment about Cincinnati. Born and raised, and still living in, Cincinnatian here! Threw me off for a second.

      The only thing I can add on to this is that if you go to try Skyline Chili, don’t go in thinking tex-mex chili, don’t even think chili. It is really just a meat sauce for spaghetti. If you go in expecting chili it will disappoint you. Granted, it is honestly a food that you either love it or you hate it. I love it personally, but I know plenty who don’t.

      Taxis exist, but they aren’t really a thing you can flag down on the street. You have to call for one. But it is a city that you need a car to get around easily. Things are spread out and the areas outside of the downtown involve fairly steep hills, so not really walking/biking friendly. Renting a car is definitely the best way to go.

      P.S. Black raspberry chip really is the bomb.

      5 years ago
  26. Kansas City Airport you only go through security when you go into your terminal which has little to no food, drinks etc. Just as EYK said, Everything is outside. Unlike many others where you basically have to go through security just to get in, and once you do, you have a world of restaurants and stores to select from. However, mine, you go through security, into your personal flights terminal, with 1 snack vendor, and cannot leave. You get 1 place, 1 PLACE to get food! 1! It was up to 3 dollars per waterbottle at that stand too. So off course I suggest you bring a snack and drink lots before you go in.

    5 years ago
  27. Guys, one big tip I have when visiting Korea is bring your own medicine!!!
    So I visited Korea last summer for five weeks, and while I was there I got pretty ill. I went to two different pharmacies, one where I got pills and the other where I got herbal medicine, and I did not get better. I wanted to use some Nyquil to sleep at night, or Dayquil, but Korea didn’t have it! I would suffer at night trying to sleep relying only on cough drops. Eventually I had to go to my boyfriend’s mom’s doctor, who saw me and then wrote a prescription. I recovered a bit, but didn’t fully get better until I returned to the states.
    So now I know to bring my American meds with me that can knock me out.

    5 years ago
  28. For Seoul: Do not go for the cheapest hotel. We had a horrible experience with a hotel I’m sure used to be a love hotel. Because of the Ondol it was extremely hot (we went in the middle of winter and could only turn it on or off) and the surroundings were very noisy.

    Tokyo:
    – If you do not arrive at Haneda airport but at Narita, you will be far away from Tokyo itself. Check the train times beforehand.
    – Get a hotel near to any Yamanote Line station, preferably in west Tokyo. Train fares are expensive and calculated by distance, so staying at a hotel in the middle of nowhere is going to cost you. Also, if you’re going to go elsewhere in Japan, get a Japan Rail Pass. You can buy those from outside of Japan. Taxis are expensive with a minimum fare of 720Yen for the first 2km.
    – Learn three Japanese words (“Konnichiwa”, “Sumimasen”, “Arigatou”), they’ll make it more likely someone is going to try and help you. Japanese people unfortunately don’t have the greatest English and many shy away from having to speak it.
    – Do not come during summer. Japanese summer is hot, humid and disgusting.
    – As Simon and Martina said in the video, there aren’t many free WiFi spots. Either rent a mobile WiFi thingie or prepare your day trips thoroughly.
    – Some people don’t seem to get this, but Japan is not a cheap tourist destination.
    – Visit some of the gardens (庭園 Teien)! They cost around 300yen admission but are absolutely stunning and offer relaxation in the middle of the city.
    – Tokyo is extremely safe. There aren’t any no-go areas really.
    – If you forget something on the train, tell the station master (information they’ll want: what train and car were you on? Where did you sit? What did you lose?), they will locate it for you.
    – If it starts to rain, buy an umbrella for 500yen. It probably won’t stop raining anytime soon.

    5 years ago
  29. I don’t really have tips for anywhere special, but I’ll be visiting Japan this summer with my class and I was wondering if you may have some more tips about going there? I’m doing a home stay in Osaka and then taking the train up to Tokyo after so I’m a bit worried about getting lost, doing things wrong and yada yada. What are some important things that you must do before and after? Any precautions that you usually take and what not?

    5 years ago
  30. For those wanting to travel to Vancouver, BC, Canada:

    – Before travelling, make sure you know the regulations when coming across the border. If you have any previous troubles with the law in any country, it could greatly affect your chances of even being allowed entry so make sure to check before coming so that you don’t waste all your money for nothing.
    -Also make sure you know what you aren’t allowed to bring in to Canada (especially food products). this may seem really like it’s common sense but as “Border Security” is my favourite show, obviously some people don’t understand.
    -If you plan on using public transit, make sure to know how many zones you are travelling as well as make sure you have exact change because the buses don’t give change back. Also our public transit isn’t always the best. During peak hours, you can expect buses running regularly. but on Sundays or during non-peak hours, the buses will be running less commonly. so make sure to check the schedule before you leave your hotel.
    -CARRY AN UMBRELLA. like, everywhere. the weather here is extremely unpredictable, so while it may be sunny when you leave the hotel, it may be pouring just a half-hour later.
    -If you are mostly shopping in major stores/ brand name stores, they almost always take debit/credit. But if you are shopping in a slightly more sketchy place, make sure to use cash instead.
    -you will find that many things here are slightly more expensive than many places. For example, Fast food chains cost more here than in some areas of the states. So be prepared for the cost difference.
    -most beaches are alcohol free. And police are strict and patrol regularly, especially in Stanley park. So just don’t bring it.
    -If you plan on renting a car, make sure you follow the rules very carefully. especially about wearing seat belts. If you get caught without one on, it could mean major consequences.
    – And finally, Get out and explore! Vancouver is beautiful, so try to get at least one day out of the city and try to go up to somewhere like whistler or grouse mountain. they have many restaurants and shops so definitely check it out!

    5 years ago
  31. One thing that I like to say to anyone who comes to visit my city (Grand Rapids, MI) is stay local as much as possible. I try to make this a habit when I’m visiting other cities as well. In 2009 my city started hosting a gigantic art competition every year in the fall. Artists and visitors come from all over the world to participate which has caused a lot of larger businesses to set up shop around the city and bump out smaller local shops. One thing that has always been a driving force in my city is the fact that it’s home to so many great artists and makers, and that many of them are able to thrive owning businesses that focus on their talents. There’s an avenue that describes my city in a nutshell because walking down it means you’ll see a vegan doughnut shop where the ingredients are grown a few miles from the store, a “made on site from scratch” pasta shop, a leather worker’s boutique, an indie zine shop with succulents and modified vintage clothing, and a burlesque troupe’s recording studio and practice space where you can take hula hoop classes. There’s so many rad places you can miss if you’re stopping at starbucks instead of looking for the local coffee shop. One thing many of the residents here are noticing is that bigger businesses will set up shop and then try to market their products as if they are a part of the local community even if nothing they sell is local. There’s a difference between the restaurant that has local meat and vegetables in their dishes and has artwork for sale around the store from a local artist vs. a restaurant that sells meat from a few states over and has “locally themed” artwork that’s created and manufactured somewhere else in the country. As a working artist it can be discouraging to have to compete price wise with merchandise and artwork that can be made for pennies because the material is bulk and the product is mass produced. I try to stay local where ever you go because it may cost a little more but it’s helping someone trying to make a living vs. a company that does little to help the local community thrive.

    5 years ago
  32. Hey guys!! Here are a few travel tips for anyone planning to come to Memphis,TN:

    1.First things first the weather is pretty damn unpredictable. Spring/Summer are our tornado and rainy our seasons. Do be careful cause people here can’t drive in either of those weather types. Summer….I hope you know how to breathe through water. Summer temperatures can average between 85-105 degrees Fahrenheit with 80-100% humidity. Fall can be rather warm and sometimes flooding (but only when the Delta & Mid-South fairs are about to happen). And winter is pretty much all of those weather types rolled together with the ocassional artic winds from Canda and snow/ice from hitting around January – March.

    2. Second, if you are traveling with pets I ask you to not leave them in your car. Because like your valuables your pet might get stolen. Just recently a couple of Elvis fans who came down to visit Graceland had their dog stolen from their car while they went to go eat. My advice, either find a place to eat that is pet friendly or leave Spot back at the hotel or wherever you are staying.

    3. Third, if you’re traveling in the month of May you might want to avoid Downtown Memphis like the Plague. The Memphis in May festivities will be taking place all month long; the event includes tourist and local favorites like the 3-Day Memphis in May Beale Street Music festival, the craw fish fest, the international barbecue competition, and lots more. If none of these events interest you, I repeat, avoid downtown. Save yourself the headache.

    4. Fourth, if you’re a first timer here, I’d like to recommend you try the following places to eat:
    – Charlie Vergos’ Rendezvous http://www.hogsfly.com/
    – Celtic Crossing http://www.celticcrossingmemphis.com/
    – The Arcade http://arcaderestaurant.com/
    – The Silver Caboose http://silvercaboose.com/

    5. And last but not least, I can not stress this enough! BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS!!! Memphis IS NOT the safest city in America. It pisses me off when I see tourist just wandering around Graceland/Elvis Presley Blvd so leisurely. Like no! That is not an area you just walk around. Sure Whitehaven isn’t North Memphis but still. Let’s be safe and not end up taking an unplanned visit to 201 Poplar or The Med.

    5 years ago
  33. Guys, I could not disagree more about the wibro/portable hotspot. I come to Korea all the time, and I have never found it easy or cheap to log in to free wifi on the go. If you really need daum maps to get around or to be using katalk while out and about, the portable wifi is an absolute must.

    Otherwise, bang on the banana.

    5 years ago
  34. Cape Breton, NS, Canada

    Cape Breton is very scenic and not much else. People go there to see the landscape. Here are a few tips:

    1) It rains a lot and is usually damp or humid so best to take an umbrella.
    2) I believe lobster season is in April- May so that’s best time for fresh seafood. Sometimes you can buy Lobster from the fishermen and get it right off the boat. (Lobsters are not red. They’re usually black and sometimes blue and only turn red when you cook them. You have to cook them when they’re still alive.) Then I think in June is Crab season.
    3) If you want to swim in the ocean there are a lot of beaches and the majority of them are sand beaches. They’re usually warm enough in July-August and early September however its best to go swimming in August because the Jelly Fish have moved on and you don’t risk getting stung! Also August has the best weather.
    4) There are lots of rivers to swim in too!
    5) The Cabot trail is the big seller for scenery in CB. Margaree is beautiful and has some of the nicest beaches around. Lots of fishing available there. The people are very friendly there as well. Cheticamp is a french/english town which has a lot of whale watching tours and fresh seafood. Cheticamp leads into the Highlands National Park where there are lots of wildlife such as moose and bears to see. (Best time to see them is early in the morning or just before sundown)
    6) There are a lot of waterfalls and hiking too. If you ask the locals they can tell you best places to go!
    7) Sydney is the biggest city on the island, however, there isn’t a whole lot to do there. There is a nice park and some downtown shopping and restaurants but not a lot else. Check out the Bonny Prince, They have awesome beer battered onion rings!
    8) Lock your cars and don’t leave anything you don’t want stolen unattended. While it probably different in the country, Sydney and the surrounding areas are bad for thieves.
    9) Taxi’s are not overly priced. If you need to go across town it will prob only run you 15$ at most. THey might give you a better rate if you’re nice and friendly!

    5 years ago
  35. One very important tip for traveling in the Netherlands. Buy a anonymous OV chipkaart (Openbaar vervoer) meaning public transportation chip card (I think it’s 7 euros). With that card you will be able to travel on the bus, subway, train and tram. Just put some money on it and check in and out every time you want to use public transportation. You can also download a very very similar app for all public transportation this app has information about the time, place, price and best route to take. This is very helpful because it combines all forms of transportation. So it will tell you: take a 5 min walk to bus 40 on street…. at 11:00 to central station then take train at 11:30 to Rotterdam… on platform 4 to … then take the subway … and walk 8 min. (it will show you a map.) It has saved my ass multiple times. The app is called 9292.

    Other then that if you want to eat something for a reasonable price stay away from the touristic places :)

    5 years ago
  36. Tips for Atlanta:

    1) Cabs are expensive. Don’t take one if possible, and head to the nearest car rental place if you don’t intend to use MARTA (public transportation system).

    2) If you do decide to take a cab when you’re in the city, make sure to call the taxi companies first. Taxis won’t stop for you.

    3) Atlanta was first created as a transportation hub, so everyone has a car. Don’t try to walk the city, unless your hotel/destinations are less than a 10 minute walk to the MARTA . Because no one walks in the city, it gets pretty sketchy at night. You and one other person will literally be the only people on the dimly lit sidewalks for multiple blocks.

    4) MARTA is the best, just don’t ride it at 3 am (duh)

    5) No, it’s not as cold as Canada, but many tourists are surprised that we get freezing winters. Yes, we are in the south, and yes, we do get ice, sleet, wind, and (occasionally) snow. Even though we feel like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DgZM1mqphIs for 4 months a year.

    6) Eat ALL the food! You will be able to find a plentiful number of niiiice southern restaurants in Atlanta, including some decent fusion ones (Poor Calvin’s Absolute Fusion is one of my favorites). These are typically not near MARTA stations, but definitely worth a try by bus or cab.

    5 years ago
  37. One major tip if you ever travel to France:

    If you have to use public transports (including trains, planes, etc.), always check the company’s website beforehand for any potential strikes. And if any is announced, make a plan B just in case (or if possible ‘^^). Because French love for strikes isn’t a myth.

    5 years ago
  38. Russia!
    Tip 1: wait for 5 more years until most Russians can pick up some decent English.
    Tip 2: if you are impatient, learn Russian
    That’s all :D

    5 years ago
  39. Im going to korea for 8 weeks in april-june…… so i definitely need all advice i can get!

    5 years ago
    • I’ll be in Korea from April to May! I’m so excited! EYK had some really good advice! I’ll be staying in a hostel and meeting up with friends.

      5 years ago
    • Umbrella’s are your friend. Don’t leave without one. In addition to what they said about credit cards, I pretty much only used cash the entire time I was there (mid july to mid august for school). I took out 100,000 a week from an atm. If you’re using a credit card, check with your bank/credit union/whatever. My credit union had a MUCH better exchange rate than any other option, so buy withdrawing the cash I saved a ton of money. DON’T use exchange windows at Incheon airport, there’s a global atm right next to it practially. And don’t use them anywhere else either. The only place I ever had trouble finding a global atm was in Dongdaemun.

      5 years ago
  40. After having traveled to South Korea a few times myself I can honestly say that Autumn is the best season to visit. Not only is the weather comfortable, the red and orange autumn leaves on the trees will make every backdrop in every picture you taken breathtakingly beautiful. Thanks for the wonderful memories South Korea.

    As for my home town, my biggest tip would be to pack for 4 seasons. Melbourne weather is the most unpredictable in the world.

    5 years ago