Tips for visiting the Iceland Golden Circle

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Discover what we love about Iceland!

It’s no secret that Iceland is one of my favorite travel destinations. I’ve been fortunate enough to visit Iceland three times and as I wrap up writing my first book, an Iceland travel guide for adventure seekers, I figured I would share some quick tips for visiting Iceland on the podcast.

In this episode, my best friend and I share our thoughts on visiting Iceland for the first time (Sosa) and third time (me). We also recap touring Iceland’s Golden Circle. The Golden Circle is one of the most popular routes in Southern Iceland. Don’t miss the must-see attractions like Þingvellir (Thingvellir) National Park – where the American and Eurasian tectonic plates are shifting apart and the roaring Gullfoss waterfall.

Ready to plan your epic trip to the Land of Fire & Ice? Grab a copy of my Iceland travel guide – Iceland: Nature, Nurture & Adventure available on Amazon now!

In this episode we cover:

  • Iceland’s unpredictable weather
  • Things to do in Iceland
  • Benefits of going on bus tours in Iceland
  • Things to see on the Golden Circle
    • Þingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
    • Efstidalur 2 (farm) for homemade Icelandic ice cream
    • Feed Icelandic horses
    • Geysir
    • Gullfoss
Gullfoss Waterfall in Iceland.

Why go on bus tours instead of renting a car in Iceland?

I know a lot of people recommend renting a car in Iceland but honestly, I don’t feel like you have to if you don’t want to.

During my three trips to Iceland, I never rented a car. I’ve only done bus tours.

Each bus tour is dynamic – you learn about the Icelandic culture, the people and the unique things about the region you’re visiting.

On bus tours you also don’t have worry about navigating the roads. The roads in Iceland are really narrow, so narrow that if a tour bus is coming at you, you have to go off the road to let the bus pass. Driving in Iceland could be quite dangerous so take the necessary precautions.

Lastly, bus tours are economical. We got so much value out of our group tours. For the Golden Circle Tour, we boarded the bus at 11:30 a.m. and didn’t get back until 7:30 p.m.

We had a full day of sightseeing!

Natural Icelandic ice cream with a view.

Where to book your Golden Circle Tour?

We booked our guided Golden Circle Tour with Reykjavik Sightseeing.

Our classic tour cost 6,990 ISK or $60 USD per person.

You can also book a Golden Circle Tour with Guide to Iceland or any reputable guided tour company in Iceland.



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Tips for visiting Curacao on a budget

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Tips for an affordable Caribbean getaway to Curaçao!

Curaçao is a Dutch Caribbean island only 40 miles from Venezuela. Known for its colorful capital, voluptuous ChiChi souvenirs, blend of cultures and picturesque beaches, Curaçao is the perfect destination for those seeking culture, delicious food, and relaxation. Curaçao has been on my travel wish list for a while and I’m so excited to share that I finally got a chance to visit. In this episode, I recap my trip to Curaçao and share tips for planning an affordable Curaçao vacation.

In this episode we cover:

  • Where to stay in Willemstad, Curaçao
  • Languages spoken in Curaçao
  • Things to do in Curaçao
  • Ways to save money on your trip
  • Tipping culture in Curaçao

Why travel during Spring?

Spring is one of my favorite times to travel.

Not only do you get to enjoy the warm weather but if you travel before and after the Spring Break crowds, you will likely find good travel deals.

My favorite times to travel are between April and May.

How much did my flights cost to Curaçao?

Flying with JetBlue was the most affordable way to fly from New York City to Curaçao.

I used my JetBlue TrueBlue points to redeem a round-trip flight from New York City to Curaçao for $65 USD (taxes and fees only).

What languages are spoken in Curaçao?

Curacaons speak several languages including:

  • Papiamento (Creole language) – spoken more than written
  • Dutch – official language spoken in Curaçao
  • English
  • Spanish

What currency to use in Curaçao?

The Netherlands Antillean Guilder (NAFI) is the national currency of Curaçao.

You can also use US Dollars.

If you’re coming from the U.S., there is no need to exchange your money, just bring some cash with you.

Major credit cards are also accepted widely accepted on the island.

Should I tip in Curaçao?

Yes, absolutely!

Tips are greatly appreciated in Curaçao.

It’s customary to tip taxi drivers and restaurant waitstaff 10%.

Be mindful that some places include a “service charge” in your bill which is equivalent to a tip.

Tips for saving money in Curaçao

  • Bring cash with you to avoid ATM fees (credit cards are widely accepted in Curaçao)
  • Stay at a centrally-located hotel like Curacao Suites Hotel which offers free breakfast and free parking
  • Rent a car only if you want to explore outside the city center – Willemstad is a walkable city
  • Buses (9-person vans) cost $2 USD cash

Overall I had a wonderful time exploring Willemstad and I hope that you will consider visiting Curaçao sometime soon!

Want to explore more of the Caribbean?

Listen to Episode 26 for travel tips to Cuba and Episode 10 for travel tips to Puerto Rico.


Thanks to our sponsors!

Awesome Maps

Hey financially savvy travelers, do you love keeping track of all the places you’ve been?

Well, Awesome Maps offers a wide variety of stylish and informative maps that inspire you to discover new places and create new memories around the world, from travel journal maps that you can take with you on the road to design pieces for your home. Each map is hand illustrated by designers with a passion for illustrating and drawing.

Use the promo code “THOUGHTCARD” to get 10% off your order.

Cuba Solo Travel with Beatriz Reynoso
Practical tips for visiting Cuba for the first time as a female solo traveler.

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In this episode we chat with Beatriz Reynoso about how she traveled to Cuba solo after a breakup. After breaking up with her partner of six years, Beatriz wanted to get away as far as possible. At the time Cuba was legal travel to, several of her friends had already visited Cuba and it was affordable. Why not right?

Beatriz shares that if you just broke up with your significant other, consider going on a solo trip. She says, “This trip taught me that everything I need is within me. My happiness, my love and support – that comes from me and not someone else.”

In this episode we cover:

  • What it’s like traveling to Cuba as a female solo traveler
  • Resources to plan your trip to Cuba
  • Tips for saving money in Cuba
  • How much things cost in Cuba
  • Where to stay in Havana

Cash vs. Credit Cards in Cuba

For the best rates, Beatriz recommends exchanging your money when you get to Cuba. She exchanged her US Dollars at the airport and she never used a credit card. She also never saw anyone using a credit card in Cuba as well.

Read this article for more Cuba money tips.

How did you feel traveling solo to Cuba?

Beatriz Reynoso:

It was scary at first, however, once I started exploring on my own, I felt really safe. I walked everywhere and met amazing people.

Cuba is actually one of the safest places to travel for women.

How affordable is Cuba?

Beatriz Reynoso:

Because of the big boost in tourism to Cuba, I found that things cost similar to the U.S. – maybe somewhat cheaper. I was there for nine days and I still had money leftover. It’s all about how you optimize your spending.

Can you share any tips for saving money in Cuba?

Beatriz Reynoso:

I took a lot of my own snacks with me to Cuba because I heard that there were food shortages because everything is rationed in Cuba.

I took my own toilet paper and when I got there, I bought a case of water.

I would also recommend bartering with locals to get the best deals.

Connect with Beatriz Reynoso:

Instagram: @bettyrey902

Twitter: @bettyrey902


If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to subscribe to The Thought Card Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneIn, Spotify or anywhere else you listen to podcasts.

Want to visit more of the Caribbean? Listen to Episode 10 where I share tips for visiting Puerto Rico for the first time.

Visit New Orleans Traveler Broads

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Fender and Maloney are the dynamic duo that make up Traveler Broads. Together they share domestic and international travel tips and help people find creative ways to interact and support local communities through hyper-local travel.

Fender and Maloney are also enthusiastic New Orleans locals who know the French Quarter inside and out. They’ve come on the show today to share with us their favorite tips to explore NOLA like a local.

 

In this episode we cover:

  • What is hyper-local travel?
  • Ways to support the local economy while traveling
  • Why New Orleans is a unique travel destination
  • Some of the things most tourists overlook when planning a trip to New Orleans
  • Ways to save money in New Orleans
  • Where to eat and drink in NOLA

 

Resources Mentioned

  • French Quarter Off the Record Map – The French Quarter Off the Record Map is perfect for those who want to learn what the French Quarter is like when you live there. Order your map before you get to New Orleans or find them throughout several stores in the French Quarter. It includes shopping, eating, bars to go to and lots more. 

 

Ways to save money in New Orleans:

  • Look at the events calendar and avoid price spikes from events like New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Mardi Gras, Essence Festival, Halloween etc.
  • You are allowed to drink on the streets – so you technically don’t have to go into a bar to have a drink if you don’t want to.
  • You don’t have to spend a lot of money on good food in New Orleans.

 

Where to find the best drinks in New Orleans?

 

The best food spots in New Orleans?

 

Where to stay in New Orleans?

 

Favorite Quotes

“Write those reviews because they mean something and they are important and people will see those” – Maloney 

“The first thing we do when we get to a new place is take a food tour if we can” – Fender

“Everyone here is living their life and having fun” – Maloney

“Seek out the good stuff, that extends to food and drink” – Fender

“Always sit at the bar if you’re an oyster person” – Fender

 

Connect with Traveler Broads

Blog: http://www.travelerbroads.com

Facebook: @travelerbroads

Instagram: @travelerbroads

 

Planning a trip to New Orleans? What are you most looking forward to?

 


 

Related Destination Specific Podcast Episodes:

Episode 10 – San Juan Puerto Rico Travel Tips (After Hurricane Maria)

Travel Tips For Visiting Puerto Rico

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Eseosa “Sosa” Eke is a brand stylist and design consultant with a knack for helping real estate professionals, entrepreneurs, and small businesses build authentic and recognizable brands. At her nine to five, she runs the marketing department for The Bronx and Westchester’s largest privately held commercial real estate firm. Sosa is also my best friend and frequent travel companion. Over the years we’ve traveled to Bermuda, Iceland, and San Francisco together. This was Sosa’s second trip to Puerto Rico and my first.

In this episode we cover:

  • San Juan on a budget
  • Our travel styles – why we love short trips
  • Our favorite things about San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • What we would do differently next time
San Cristóbal, Old San Juan, Puerto Rico
Condado Beach, San Juan, Puerto Rico

Resources Mentioned:

Getting an Airbnb in San Juan is an affordable way to save on lodging.

Uber is also affordable, fast and convenient in San Juan.

Helpful Tip: There are no Ubers available from San Juan International Airport (SJU) only metered taxis. Our 15-minute taxi ride to our Airbnb (which cost $70 a night) in San Juan cost $26 which included tip.

Connect with Eseosa:

Instagram: @real_inspired 

Email: hello@eseosaeke.com

Want to afford to travel more? Listen to Episode 2: Why You Need a Travel Fund and learn why having a travel fund is an easy way to start making travel a financial priority in your life.

Need help packing for Puerto Rico – grab my essentials packing list!



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Richelle Gamlam Teaching English in China

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Richelle Gamlam is a serial expat, travel blogger and spicy food lover who has spent the last five years living in China and traveling around Asia.

For more stories and misadventures, be sure to check out her blog Adventures Around Asia where she writes about Asia off the beaten path.

During her time in China, Richelle taught and worked in many different capacities.

As an oral English teacher she taught over 1,000 high school students at a Chinese public high school. She has also worked part-time at agencies teaching children, tutored pre-schoolers and even taught Business English to Chinese businessmen. Most recently she worked as a college counselor where she helped Chinese students get into U.S. universities.

Richelle has since quit her job to become a digital nomad exploring places, activities, and cultures most people miss in Asia.

 

In this episode we cover:

  • What inspired Richelle to study abroad in Beijing and Xi’an
  • Teaching English in China
  • Why teach abroad programs may not be the right fit for you
  • What is the TEFL certification?
  • Do you need the TEFL certification to teach English online?
  • Types of teaching jobs in China
  • Salary ranges for teaching in China
  • Spicy foods to try in China

 

Resources Mentioned:

Do I Need a TEFL to Teach Abroad in China?

TEFL Promo Code – Get 30% off with promo code “ASIAADV”.

Teach Abroad Mini Course: Teaching in China Made Easy

China Job Board

 


Want to teach abroad in China?

Here are 2 more valuable resources for you!

 

Join Richelle’s 3-Part Training Series.

  • Find a high paying job
  • Learn how to teach
  • Learn how to thrive in China

 

Join Richelle’s Facebook Community: China Teach Abroad Community.

This group is for you if you:

  • Want to teach in China someday
  • Are in the process of applying for jobs in China
  • If you’re already a teacher in China

 

Connect with Richelle:

Blog: https://www.adventuresaroundasia.com

Facebook: @adventuresaroundasia

Twitter: @adventures_asia

Instagram: @adventuresaroundasia

 

See you next time for Episode 4 where we chat with Tiffany Grant about timeshares and owning a home at the age of 26.

New to the podcast? Learn what The Thought Card is all about by listening to Episode 1.

 

Have you considered teaching abroad? What’s holding you back?

 


 

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