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Tips for Driving on the Other Side of the Road

Getting a rental car is easy enough, and it makes getting around simple. That is, if the place you’re visiting drives on the same side of the road you are used to. I experienced this myself when my family went to Australia – the first day was filled with close calls and nervous laughter! I want you to feel confident (or at least comfortable) driving on the other side of the road, so I compiled tips we used – and should have used – on our trip. 

  • Turn signal placement. 
  • Staying in the middle of the road
  • Can you turn on a red light? 
  • Which is the “fast lane”?

Turn Signal Placement

Turn signals, blinkers, indicators – whatever word you use for these, you know they’re important. They can be especially important if you are driving on the other side of the road as it lets others know to watch out for you! In the US (where I live), blinkers are on the left side of the steering wheel. This seems to be common in most cars that have the driver on the left side of the road, but be sure to double-check before you start driving. 

In cars where the driver is on the right side of the car, the blinker is typically on the right side as well. This is not always the case, so double check your car. We were not expecting this difference when we got our rental car in Australia and didn’t think to look. When it came time to turn, we repeatedly turned on our windshield wipers instead of our blinkers! It took a little time to get used to. One thing you won’t have to worry about is pedal placement. Every car I have ever been in has the clutch (if applicable) on the left, then the brake, and the gas on the right. 

car riding on highway through autumn forest
Photo by Marta Wave on Pexels.com

Staying in the Middle of the Road

This may seem simple, but it’s actually kind of difficult when you are used to seeing the road differently. In my case, I kept wanting to get myself on the left side of the lane, which put my passenger in the next lane over! I had to think back to driver’s ed to come up with this helpful tip to keep myself in one lane. When writing these descriptions, I am referring to the lines of the lane you are trying to stay in. 

If your diver is on the left side of the car: 

Keep the left line in the bottom left corner of your windshield. 

If your driver is on the right side of the car:

Keep the right line in the bottom right corner of your windshield. 

That’s it! This one trick made a HUGE difference in my driving, and in my comfort level on the road. If you want to test it out, pay attention to the corner of your windshield while you drive around. You will probably find the line of your lane hits that corner!

light city road traffic
Photo by Alexander Abero on Pexels.com

Can You Turn on a Red Light?

Here in the USA, many states allow you to turn right on a red light as long as there is nobody coming. This is a very convenient law in my opinion, but it is not common. Canada and the USA are two of the only countries in the world that allow you to turn on a red light, and even these countries have some exceptions. There are certain areas where this is not allowed, notably New York and Montréal. If you are used to turning on red, pay attention and try to remember to stop. If you are visiting the USA or Canada are not used to turning on red, be prepared to get honked at!

Which Lane is the “Fast Lane”?

In the USA, most traffic is supposed to stay on the right side of the road and the left side is the passing land (also referred to as the fast lane). As you might expect, countries who drive on the other side of the road have this same rule – but reversed. Most traffic should stay on the left side of the read and the right side is the passing lane. This is a pretty simple change when you think about it, but when you are driving habits tend to take over and you might get confused. When in doubt, stay away from oncoming traffic. This will keep you in the “slow lane”. 

I hope you learned something from this post and feel more confident about driving on the other side of the road! Now that you have the tips, you need to car! Check out my transportation guide to get you started!

Anna’s Pick of the Week

When going to a new place, I almost always get lost! Using the GPS on my phone is the easiest way to get back on the right track. I take this phone holder on my travels so I can see my directions while keeping my hands on the wheel. It’s so small, why wouldn’t I throw it in my bag?

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Places to Eat in Bucerías, Mexico

fruit parfait plate

Bucerías is my favorite place in Mexico! It’s a small town outside of Puerto Vallarta with a lot of character. Having gone so many times growing up, I know the best places to eat for every occasion! Below are some memorable places to eat in and around Bucerías:

  • Mariscos El Gordo (on the beach)
  • Red Apple
  • Tortas Korita/Tacos del Rin
  • Ice Cream shop
  • Tony’s Treehouse (as an out-of-town bonus)

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission at no extra cost to you.

Mariscos El Gordo (on the beach)

This is my favorite place in town to eat dinner. At Mariscos El Gordo (nicknamed El Gordo’s), you can enjoy dinner with your feet in the sand while you watch the sunset. I remember as a kid building a sandcastle next to our table while we waited for our food. Not only does El Gordo’s provide a great dining experience, but the food is also amazing! Their menu is full of authentic Mexican dishes as well as some American classics, so everyone is sure to find something they like. You don’t need a reservation, and being in a small town the wait is never too long. It’s located at the main town square. I always make sure to add El Gordo’s to my Vacation Brainstorm!

Red Apple

This rooftop restaurant is the breakfast spot in Bucerías, Mexico! They are open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but my family typically goes for breakfast. To get there from the town square, walk East on Av Mexico and cross the “Kissing Bridge”. Walk another block after the bridge and you will find a sign with an upside-down apple on your left. That’s the spot! You will have to go in the doorway and straight up the stairs to get to the restaurant. The people there are so nice, and the food is great. It’s a bit of a walk from where my family typically stays (at Corita Hotel and Suites), but it’s worth it!

Tortas Korita/Tacos del Rin

This street cart with plastic tables can easily be overlooked, but really shouldn’t be! This place has the BEST tacos I have ever eaten, and the price really can’t be beat! If you want to try something a bit adventurous, you can even try beef head tacos. Have you ever heard that if locals eat somewhere, you know it’s good? That fits this place perfectly. 

Lime Ice Cream

Ice Cream

You can easily find this ice cream shop in the town square. If you try to look up this shop on Google, it will simply show up as “Ice Cream”. It doesn’t look like much, but this ice cream shop is the perfect thing on a hot day! I love fruity, refreshing flavors when it’s hot, so I always get their lime ice cream – the best lime ice cream ever! I have tried to find something similar elsewhere, but I have never been able to find anything close!

Out-of-Town Bonus

If you want to head out of town a bit further, check out Tony’s Hideaway in Mismaloya (renamed “La Choza”). This restaurant is unique because of its location – in a treehouse! We take busses to get there, but you can also get a taxi or drive a rental car if you have one. They have amazing seafood, but I always look forward to dessert. Their banana flambe is presented as a little show which adds some fun to the dessert!

If you are planning a trip to Bucerías, Mexico, you definitely need to add these spots to your Vacation Brainstorm!

Anna’s Pick of the Week

I carry around a simple bag like this one on every trip I take. I feel secure knowing everything I need is right by my side, and it’s so small I hardly notice it is there! This small bag also makes me limit what I want to carry around which saves my back and shoulders from the weight of some larger bags.

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Three Kings Day – Puerto Rico

Three Kings Day statue in Puerto Rico

While most countries end holiday festivities after the new year, Puerto Rico keeps on celebrating! Three Kings Day is celebrated in several countries around the world from December 25th to January 6th. I had never heard of this holiday until I visited Puerto Rico in early January, and I really enjoyed it!

What is Three King’s Day?

Three Kings Day celebrates the three kings (also known as wise men) visited baby Jesus (1). If you have heard of the “12 days of Christmas”, this meeting is what the 12 days refers to. Three Kings Day, January 6th, is 12 days after the birth of Jesus is celebrated. This holiday is also known as Epiphany, or in Spanish, Dia De Los Tres Reyes (Day of The Three Kings).

How Is Three King’s Day Celebrated?

There are a couple unique traditions for this holiday: kings cake and “grass” shoeboxes.

Image via McCormick

Kings Cake

Like many holidays, food is an important part of Three Kings Day. Kings cake is now typically associated with Marti Gras in New Orleans, but it wasn’t always that way. The cake can come in many shapes and sizes, but it is typically circular with a hole in the middle, much like a donut. Various small objects have historically been baked into the cake, but today you will typically find a plastic baby inside as a reminder of the cake’s origin (2).

“Grass” Shoeboxes

You are likely familiar with leaving a plate of cookies for Santa, but have you heard of leaving a shoebox of grass for Three Kings Day? These two traditions are very similar. The night before Three Kings Day, children fill shoeboxes with grass or hay and leave them under their beds. As the story goes, the three kings ride their camels around town leaving gifts for the kids. Camels eat the grass, and the presents are left in its place (3).

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Everglade Airboat Tour – What to Expect – Florida

Riding an everglade airboat is a popular activity for visitors traveling to Florida. My family of seven recently got a chance to experience this ride for ourselves, and we were not disappointed! Now I want to help others understand what to expect if they choose to go on an airboat tour. In this post, you will find out:

  • How much does a tour cost?
  • What will I see on the tour?
  • What should I bring on the tour?
  • Should I worry about motion sickness?
  • Is it worth the money?

How Much Does A Tour Cost?

Everglades Swamp Tours and many other everglade airboat tour companies offer two types of tours – group or private. If you want the boat just for your group and don’t mind paying a bit more, a private tour is the way to go. This is what my family chose to do because there were seven of us, so we just about took up a whole boat anyway. The cheaper option is going on a group tour, which means other families and tourists may be on the boat with you. Unless you are traveling with a large group, the cheaper tour may be your best option. After all, meeting fellow travelers is part of the adventure! Below are the different lengths of tours available at Everglades Swamp Tours and their costs:

  • 1 hour group tour – $50 per adult and $25 per child (age 6-12)
  • 1 hour private tour – $200 for 2 people and $50 for each additional person
  • 1.5 hour private tour – $275 for 2 people and $50 for each additional person
  • 2 hour private tour – $375 for 2 people and $50 for each additional person

What Will I See On The Tour?

When we took this tour we saw a lot of sawgrass and water, as well as some amazing creatures! The Everglades are mostly covered in sawgrass with sections that have been cleared out either naturally or by boat tours. I anticipated we would stay along the cleared out paths, but that was not the case! Our driver went off the beaten path straight into sections of sawgrass! Every boat driver we saw out there did the same thing. Riding through sawgrass was actually my favorite part!

Of course, the most amazing parts were when we saw gators in their natural habitat. In a cleared out area our driver stopped the boat as he saw a gator approaching. It swam over toward us and went alongside the boat, almost as if he was greeting us! It was AMAZING, and I know these boat drivers do their best to give everyone a similar experience. We saw plenty of wildlife on the tour, and even got to see mother gators protecting their nests. I would encourage anyone visiting Florida to take an everglade airboat ride!

What Should I Bring On The Tour?

There is not a cover on the boat, so don’t forget your sunscreen! I would not count on a hat covering your face as it would fly off during the ride. In fact, the driver recommends everyone wearing a baseball cap turns it around so the bill is in the back. I didn’t notice a bug problem as we were going fast most of the time, but if you are worried about it then wearing bug spray is a good idea. Wearing sunglasses is also recommended. If you have those few things, you should be good to go! The driver provides water and earplugs which is very convenient, as well as a gator head for photo ops!

Should I Worry About Motion Sickness?

My family has several people who get motion sickness easily. If we are planning on anything from long car rides to theme parks to boats, we make sure to have motion sickness pills. This is one boat where none of us needed it! The ride is surprisingly smooth, and none of us felt remotely sick the entire time. If you are still a bit nervous about getting sick, I always recommend Bonine. It’s what I use every time I know I could get motion sickness, and it has never made me drowsy.

Is It Worth The Money?

Yes! This everglade airboat tour was DEFINITELY the highlight of my family’s trip! I would highly recommend it to anyone. Our tour guide was funny and informative having grown up in the area. Everglades Swamp Tours is also great about rescheduling, especially for bad weather. There was a thunderstorm the day of our initial booking which made it unsafe to go out. The company changed our booking for us at no extra cost! That being said, I would plan on doing this earlier in the trip rather than later in case something like this happens to you.

Anna’s Pick of the Week

The Florida sun can be brutal, especially on an everglade airboat with no roof. Several of my family members (including myself) were unprepared. This is why I recommend you prepare for the sun with a sun-protecting shirt. These kinds of shirts are lightweight so you won’t get too hot, but they do a great job of protecting you from the sun!

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Christmas Gifts on Every Traveler’s LIst!

As a world traveler myself, I know a thing or two about what travelers REALLY want. Some of these Christmas gifts are so handy that I never go on vacation without them! Whether you are shopping for an adventurer, beach bum, or park hopper, you will find the perfect gift here!

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission at no extra cost to you.

1. Wallet/Phone Holder/Passport Holder

What are three things you need when you travel? Phone, wallet, and passport (if you’re looking to travel abroad). When you’re going through the airport, you need these things hand at ALL TIMES. Why not have one place for all of them? This compact wristlet is perfect! It’s unisex design make it great for everyone, but as a family travel enthusiast it has a special feature I REALLY love. There are 4 passport pouches on the inside, and room for more on the outside! Keeping track of passports can be stressful, especially if you are traveling with kids. Gain some peace of mind by knowing EXACTLY where they are at all times!

2. Memory Foam Neck Pillow

Sleeping on planes, trains, and automobiles can be tricky, but if you’re traveling far it is necessary. Most neck pillows don’t provide me with enough support and I end up with a sore neck. This neck pillow, however, is a game changer! The extra support at the top of the pillow means you don’t have to kink your neck into a funny shape to find a comfortable position. I have also struggled with neck pillows adjusting and wrapping all the way around my neck by the time I wake up. The clasp on the front of this pillow not only makes it easier to pack around, but it secures the pillow so you can sleep comfortably and with little movement. Now that I have one, I won’t step on a plane without it!

3. Herschel Backpack

If you haven’t hear do Herschel before, they are known for making durable, comfortable backpacks. This one is no exception. Specifically designed for travel, this backpack is the perfect Christmas gift for any traveler! The luggage sleeve on the back makes it easy to slide onto your suitcase without worrying about it falling off. It’s also compact enough to fit under any airline seat yet has enough storage for all your on-flight entertainment. At your destination, this backpack is a great size to carry around on your adventures!

4. Luggage Strap

When you’re running through the airport, carrying all of your luggage without it falling everywhere can be challenging. If you don’t have a bag with a luggage sleeve, this bungee cord is a great alternative! Small and easy to pack, this luggage bungee is perfect for any bag! I can’t even tell you how many times I have tried hanging bags on the bar of my luggage and they flop around everywhere. This bungee was a game changer for me, and I’m sure it will be for anyone on your shopping list!

5. Packing Cubes

I have written about packing cubes previously, but I love them so much I had to add them to this list as well! I use these packing cubes every time I travel, and I really can’t imagine packing without them ever again! You can use them to organize clothes by category: shirts, pants, dresses, pajamas, swimsuits, etc. It makes staying organized SO much easier, especially if you change hotels during your trip.

6. Travel Journal

Travel journals are great for documenting details of a trip you really don’t want to forget. Even after an amazing day, I find myself stuck and unsure of what to write when I go to journal. Not only is this journal travel-sized and great quality, but it also provides prompts so you know exactly what to write about every day!

7. Hanging Toiletry Bag

Another great item everyone needs is a hanging toiletry bag. Most people have a bag for toiletries which works fine, but unpacking and packing the bag and creates a mess all over the counter and can get annoying. The hanging toiletry bag lets you keep the counter clean while allowing you to easily see all of your items. This is another gift I can never go without!

8. Portable Luggage Scale

You get to the airport and get ready to check your bags. The fist one goes on the scale and it happens. It’s over the weight limit. Every traveler has been here. Opening up suitcases, switching clothes, holding up the line. It’s embarrassing and SUPER annoying! I always try to weigh my bag ahead of time to avoid this situation, but many hotels don’t have scales. This portable luggage scale is the BEST solution to this common problem! It’s small and easy to pack, which makes it great for anyone planning to check bags. I can’t explain how many times this has saved me from check-in chaos!

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Valparaíso Elevators (Funiculars) – Chile

Valparaíso is a beach town about an hour and half drive from Santiago, the capital of Chile. This town if filled with hills which is why funiculars, or hillside elevators, were put in place. If you plan on going to Valparaiso, you NEED to take a ride in a funicular. Take in a unique piece of Chilean history while getting where you need to go!

History of Funiculars

26 of Valparaíso’s hillside elevators were built between 1883 and 1932, and the 27th was completed in 1983. Of these 27 unique elevators, only 11 are still operating. Many of these are protected historical monuments.

Which Ones are Operational?

Below is a list of the funiculars you can ride during your visit to Valparaíso! (Note: “cerro” is Spanish for “hill”).

Funiculars in Valparaíso
FunicularLocation
ArtilleríaCerro Artillería
BarónCerro Lecheros
ConcepciónCerro Concepción
CordilleraCerro Cordillera
El PeralCerro Alegre
Espíritu SantoAldunate 1566, Valparaíso, Chile
Hospital Carlos van BurenCorner of Av. Colon and Hontaneda
PolancoCerro Polanco
Reina VictoriaCerro Alegre
San AgustinCerro Cordillera
VillaneloVillanelo 402, Viña del Mar, Valparaíso, Chile
Information via Wikipedia

What to Expect from the Ride

Riding a funicular is inexpensive and something you will never forget! The most you should expect to pay is 200 Chilean Pesos, which is about $0.25 US. Because of the low cost you are typically required to pay with cash. Make sure you go to an ATM before trying to ride! While riding the funicular, be sure to look out the windows! Traveling up a hill means you get to see some amazing views of Valparaíso!

Anna’s Pick of the Week

You’re going to need coins and cash to ride the funiculars, so you’re also going to need something to carry them in. While cash fits fine in my typical wallet, I don’t like how fat and lumpy it gets when I carry coins. My solution: carry a coin purse! It’s a simple solution and the bag fits in any backpack and most purses. Sometimes, old school methods are still the best!

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Hop On Hop Off Bus – The Best Way to See Sydney, Australia

Hop on hop off busses are popping up in big cities all around the world, and I have been on several myself. I can say from experience that these busses are the best way to see all the tourist attractions at any location! The bus in Sydney, Australia was amazing because it hit every key place we wanted to see and more! In this post, I am going to go over everything you need to know about the hop-on-hop-of bus in Australia!

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission at no extra cost to you.

What is a Hop On Hop Off Bus?

A hop on hop off bus is exactly what it sounds like! You buy a ticket for one or two days depending on how long you think seeing the attractions will take you. The bus stops at every major attraction in the city. When you get to a location you want to explore, just hop off the bus. When you are done and want to keep moving forward, hop on the next bus that comes by. It’s that easy!

Why a Hop On Hop Off Bus?

The benefit of this type of bus versus typical public transportation is there is only one bus route if you want to explore Sydney (the red line) and a second route if you want to visit Bondi Beach (the blue line). That means no (or limited) bus transfers and you only have to pay once. They also stop at each major attraction which means you won’t be wandering the city lost. Both routes also go in a circle, so you will end up back where you started.

The best part: you are given a pair of earbuds when you first get on the bus which you plug in to the seat in front of you. This allows you to listen to an audio tour while the bus drives which enhances your experience of the city as a whole. These audio tours are available in English, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. It’s the easiest and most educational way to see all the main sights!

Red Line – Main Attractions

The hop on hop off bus red line hits the main Sydney attractions visitors dream of seeing! From Darling Harbor to the Sydney Opera House, you will see every main attraction along this route! There are some lesser-known stops that are really cool if you have the time to see everything on the list. I would recommend getting a two-day pass if you want to explore each and every stop. With a one-day pass, my family had to pick which key places we really wanted to see. This worked out perfect for us because we only had a handful of places on our personal must-see list, but others may need more time. The Sydney Opera House is one particular icon many people want to visit. Find out what tours are available before you go!

Below is the list of all 23 stops on the red line (via Viator). To see a map of the red and blue lines, click here.

  • Circular Quay, George St, cnr Alfred St. (opp DFS Galleria)
  • Sydney Tower/ Westfield
  • Australian Museum
  • William St, Kings Cross
  • Kings Cross Train Station on Darlinghurst Rd.
  • El Alamein Fountain
  • Cowper Wharf Rd, outside the Woollomooloo Hotel
  • Sydney Opera House
  • Botanical Garden, Scenic Walk to Mrs Macquarie Chair
  • State Library
  • Hyde Park
  • Central Station, Pitt Street, Bus Bay 18
  • Powerhouse Museum
  • Harris St, cnr Pyrmont Bridge Rd
  • The Star Casino
  • Maritime Museum
  • ICC Sydney and Darling Harbor
  • Chinese Garden of Friendship
  • SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium and Darling Harbor
  • Kings Street Wharf
  • Hickson Road
  • Sydney Harbour Bridge
  • The Rocks

Blue Line – Main Attractions

The blue line is your connection from the city to Bondi Beach! Most of the stops on this route are along the beach. Some people may choose not to go on this bus as the red line already hits most of the top attractions. Bondi Beach is a popular destination because of the amazing beach and cute downtown area. I personally loved my visit and really enjoyed having dinner with a view of the ocean!

Below is the list of all 8 stops on the blue line (via Viator). You will notice some of these stops are the same as the red line. These are places where the lines intersect so you can get off of one line and hop on the other. To see a map of the red and blue lines, click here.

  • Central Station, Pitt Street, Bus Bay 18
  • Australian Museum
  • Paddington Town Hall, Oxford St
  • Oxford St opp Moncur St
  • Bondi Beach
  • North Bondi Beach, Campbell Pde
  • Rose Bay
  • Double Bay

Summary

The hop on hop off bus in Sydney is a great, affordable travel option for families! Tickets currently start at $26.22 per person. See all pricing options and book your tickets here!

Anna’s Pick of the Week

If you are going to be away from your hotel all day, you are going to need some necessities with you. Having a nice, small backpack like this one is perfect because it can hold what you need and has padding so it is easy on your shoulders. Whenever I travel I use this exact backpack, so I can verify that it is roomy yet comfortable!

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Isla Mujeres Sunrise – Cliff of The Dawn – Mexico

Isla Mujeres is an island in Mexico just off of Cancun. It’s an amazing place to visit for many reasons, but this one is pretty special! Because of the island’s location, you can be the first person in Mexico to watch the sunrise! Watching an Isla Mujeres sunrise at Cliff of the Dawn is worth getting up early for!

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission at no extra cost to you.

Getting to the Isla Mujeres Sunrise Spot

The Easternmost point of the island is pretty easy to find, especially considering the island is only 4 miles long. Most of the hotels are on the West side of the island because that is where the beach is, so you will need to plan on renting a golf cart the night before you watch the sunrise. There are many places to rent golf carts on the island and some hotels rent them out to guests. If you want to book a golf cart in advance, check out Isla Mujeres Golf Cart Rentals. For this particular experience, I recommend renting a golf cart for 24 hours which starts at $50 and varies depending on the season. If you really wanted to walk to the other end of the island and back, you could, but I personally prefer to drive.

Although the island is small, golf carts don’t go very fast so you will want to leave your hotel AT LEAST 30 minutes before the sun is supposed to rise. I would recommend leaving closer to an hour beforehand in case you take a wrong turn or need to get gas. To get there, get on the main road on Isla Mujeres (Av Rueda Medina) headed East and follow the road until you hit a roundabout. At the roundabout you will take a left. Stay on that road until you see the end of the island! You’ll have to park in front of Acantilado (a seafood restaurant) and walk a little ways to reach Punta Sur.

What to Expect

When you walk over to Cliff of the Dawn, you will see ruins of Ixchel Temple. This is an added bonus to the sunrise spot as it lets you see a bit of Mexican history. At the end of the cliff there are stairs you can walk down to see the sign pictured above. There are typically a few other visitors watching the sunrise as well, but it shouldn’t be crowded. When we visited, there were only four other families there. Besides that, you can expect an amazing sunrise! It does feel special to know you are the first people in Mexico to see the sun that day.

Anna’s Pick of the Week

This camera lens will make your sunrise photos spectacular! And the best part is, the lens is meant for the camera you already carry around – your phone! You really don’t need a professional camera to take amazing pictures anymore! Use these lenses on any brand of smartphone. They’re also affordable, which makes them a unique gift for fellow travel enthusiasts!

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Junglee Resort, India – A Hotel for the Adventurous

When we decided to tour Rajaji National Park, we thought it would be fun to stay a little further out of town and get the whole jungle experience. Junglee Resort was nearby and looked like a unique place to stay. I can say we were definitely right! However, there are a few things I wish I would have known before we got there. I hope to educate you on this place before you book your trip!

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission at no extra cost to you.

Junglee Resort Images

Getting to Junglee Resort

When I say this resort is off the beaten path, I mean REALLY off the beaten path. The “road” there is actually a dry riverbed. Our amazing driver took us there in his mini van, going slow so the rocks didn’t dent the car too much. To find the hotel, you need to follow the path outlined by rocks painted white. Make sure you start heading there earlier than you think because driving slow over the rocks makes the drive much longer than you would expect.

You also need to make it to the hotel before dark because they close the gates to keep wild animals out. Driving in the dark can be especially dangerous because elephants are known to walk along the riverbed overnight. According to their official website, Google Maps does not give accurate directions. Check out the video on their site for a guide on how to get there.

In short: drive slow, leave early, and get to the hotel before dark!

Hotel Rooms

As soon as the sun sets, the hotel gates close to keep out the wild animals who live in the park. This can make some people feel “trapped”, but you just have to remember it’s for your own safety. There are five types of rooms available at the resort: safari tent, wood house, brick house, den room, and terrace house. We stayed in a wood house while we were there. It is essentially a one-room cabin with a bathroom. The bathrooms have a toilet, sink, water spout, and bucket for washing up. Hotels in India are typically designed for three people, but the employees at Junglee Resort are super nice and brought in a roll-away bed so we could fit four. The rooms themselves are simple with one large bed, a small table, and two chairs.

Food at Junglee Resort

Junglee Resort serves three meals a day and we got to try two. When we arrived at night dinner was being served, so we got to eat rice, curry, naan, and other traditional sides. In the morning, a staff member brought tea to our room which was a nice surprise! Everyone meets in the dining room for breakfast. The staff cook food typical of Indian hotels: rice, noodles, fruit, and toast. The food was great, and the staff was super friendly!

If you are looking for a unique place to stay end enjoy getting out of the city, Junglee Resort is a place for you! If you want to see other unique places to stay, check out this other blog post all about it!

Anna’s Pick of the Week

You never know what you might see when you’re staying in a jungle. Be prepared for anything with these binoculars! We saw animals on hills around us that we wouldn’t have been able to see if we hadn’t brought binoculars. If you are staying in the great outdoors, you don’t want to miss an amazing sight!

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Pike Place Market – Seattle, WA

Being a Washingtonian, I have been to Seattle more times than I can count. I’ve played tour guide in this city for our five exchange students and several of their families. Now I get to play tour guide for you! Pike Place Market is a must-see for any visitor! In this post, you will find out:

  • What is Pike Place Market?
  • Where is it located?
  • Parking
  • Can’t-miss Pike Place attractions

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission at no extra cost to you.

What is Pike’s Place Market?

Pike Place Market is just that – a market. Picture your local farmers market, but with over 500 vendors! This market opened in 1907 and has expanded to a two-story building that takes up most of a city street (1). Here you can find everything from fresh produce to handmade crafts to live performers. It’s a great place to stroll for a couple of hours as there is so much to look at. I personally love the cozy, homey feeling of the market. Seattle is known for rain, but you won’t have to worry about it as the market it entirely covered. Each vendor has their own hours of operations, but generally shops are open daily 9 am to 5 pm. To find out hours of operation for individual vendors, click here.

Where Is It Located?

This market is HUGE, so you can really head to several streets to find it. However, I recommend starting at the corner of Pike and 1st Street to get a photo in front of the iconic neon sign! Then head down Pike Street until you hit Stewart Street. This is the end of the market I typically start in. From there, go through the market at your leisure! Don’t forget to hit the can’t miss attractions below!

Parking

The main Pike Place Market parking garage is located at 1531 Western Ave. This garage tends to fill up and there are many other parking lots in the area. I recommend finding parking East of Pike Place because there is a big hill towards to waterfront on the West right next to a main highway. The Metro Parking lot at 1430 1st Ave and the parking garage at 1401 2nd Ave are good alternatives to the main Pike Place garage.

Can’t-Miss Pike Place Attractions

When discussing the stands and other attractions I will be referring to different areas of the market as they are designated in the official map here.

Pike Place Fish Market

If you have heard of Pike Place Market, you have likely heard of the “flying fish”. Located in the main arcade under the Public Market Center sign is the Pike Place Fish Market. This shop has become one of the main icons in the market for putting on a show every time someone purchases a fish. If you buy a fish, the employees throw your fish across the stand a few times before it makes it gets wrapped up. Don’t want to buy a fish? Just wait around for a few minutes and you’re sure to see the show anyway!

Flower Stands

One of the most popular things to buy in Pike Place Market is a bouquet of flowers in one of the several flower shops in the north arcade. These big, beautiful bouquets are sure to brighten anyone’s day! If you can’t find the stands, just look around and you are sure to see a lot of people with bouquets. Ask anyone and they will surely point you in the right direction. It has become a tradition for my family (and many other families) to get flowers from the market every time we visit Seattle.

Gum Wall

This is admittedly one of the grosses things about Pike Place, but you won’t get the full experience if you skip it. The gum wall is just that – a brick wall covered in chewing gum. It does get cleaned every once in a while so there aren’t layers of gum. However, there is still enough gum for it become famous! The wall is located in Post Alley. You can get there by taking stairs down to the bottom floor of the market. On the Pike Place map you will see it all the way to the left. Make sure you bring a pack of gum!

The Original Starbucks

Did you know Starbucks started in Seattle? It is located within Pike Place, right across the street from the north arcade. The signs still have the original brown logo and the shop sells souvenirs with this same design. If you love Starbucks, you won’t want to miss it! However, you should be prepared to wait. This is (understandably) the most popular Starbucks in the city and there is always a line.

What else would you like to know about Pike Place Market? Let me know in the comments!

Anna’s Pick of the Week

When heading to the Pacific Northwest, you will definitely need a rain coat! Us locals wouldn’t be caught dead with an umbrella, and we jokingly call people “tourists” or “Californians” if they use one. A raincoat is all we ever need! I personally buy Columbia raincoats, but any will do!

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