Author Archives: Jose Valentin

10 Tips for Your First Trip to Budapest • The Blonde Abroad

A city brimming with beautiful architecture, history, and unique cuisine, Budapest (pronounced Boo-Da-Pesht, not Boo-Da-Pest) might seem intimidating to those who have never visited before. While it’s been a favorite among Euro-travelers in the know for quite some time, the capital of Hungary is finally starting to catch the eye of adventurers from all over. And for good reason! From the thermal baths to the ruin bars to the delicious local dishes, Budapest is bound to exceed all of your expectations. Here are my 10 tips for […]

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How to Get from the Train Station to Venice City Center

If you want to visit Venice and you prefer train as a mean of transportation, then you should know that there are two stations you can stop at: Santa Lucia and Mestre. In case you do not plan to stay for a few days in Venice and you want to visit only the center of the town, then it is advisable to stop at Santa Lucia, because it is closer to your destination. The first station is Mestre, so if you want to get to Santa Lucia […]

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7 Awesome Places to Visit in Emilia Romagna

Emilia Romagna may very well be one of Italy’s best-kept secrets. Sure, you may have heard about Modena, Bologna and the other cities in the region, and you may be aware that Emilia Romagna is home to amazing cuisine, and the best cars in the country. Yet, the region is a lot more than just a cradle of excellent produce and supercars. The region offers beaches, nature, culture and locals among the friendliest and most welcoming in Italy. Not to mention the Po Delta, one of the best […]

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10 Local Foods to Try in Vietnam • The Blonde Abroad

Vietnamese cuisine uses fresh ingredients and not a whole lot of oil or dairy, making it one of the healthier cuisines around the world — common ingredients include fish sauce, soy sauce, rice, noodles, fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables, and different proteins. In fact, to me, it’s the perfect balance of fresh and light food that doesn’t weigh you down too much, yet it’s still filling. If you’ve ever had phở (pronounced like fuh), you know it’s the kind of soup that can put you back together. […]

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Norwegian Cruise Line New Pay for Perks Program

Plan Your Cruise Norwegian Cruise Line has introduced a new program that gives passengers the opportunity to pay for perks.  Ironically, these are some of the same perks offered in Norwegian’s Latitudes Loyalty Program. It’s also very similar to other cruise lines’ perks for purchase programs, like Carnival’s Faster to the Fun. Norwegian Priority Access Explained Norwegian calls their pay for perks program,  “Priority Access,” and it is currently being tested on Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Sky. The cost ranges from $69 per stateroom to $199 per […]

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Sitka, Alaska – Cruise Port Profile and City Guide |

If you’re expecting tiny Sitka to be another Alaska cruise port lined with the same glaring jewelry and watch stores that you find in the Caribbean, you’ll be wonderfully surprised. Welcome to Sitka. You’ll soon understand why this town was once nicknamed the “Paris of the Pacific.” Sitka’s busy fishing harbor, viewed from Japonski Island.   This small community of barely 9,000 people is keenly intent on keeping Sitka as a small town.  Shop-owners know the locals and everyone is pretty darn friendly.  So friendly that cars actually […]

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The Best Time to Travel to Botswana • The Blonde Abroad

Out of all of the safari destinations in all of Africa, Botswana is one of my favorites. Why? Alllllll the opportunities to view some of the most spectacular animals! Because it’s known for its wildlife sightings, planning your trip around the weather and the way it impacts the land is key. The country has two main seasons: the dry season and rainy season. Knowing when these are and how they impact the local flora and fauna is crucial. Whether you’re looking to spot wild cheetahs and elephants […]

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Fascinating Fairs and Festivals in India You Should Not Miss!

India is well known for its rich cultural diversity which is what attracts thousands of travellers every year to visit here. Compared to many European countries, it is a really vast region with each region having a distinct set of traditions, rituals, and festivals. Apart from the traditional festivals like Diwali, Holi, Ganesh Chaturthi, etc. which are celebrated in different parts of the country, there are some other fairs and festivals in India which celebrate the local traditions in a very unique manner. These festivals showcase the […]

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The Ultimate Two-Week Ireland Road Trip Itinerary • The Blonde Abroad

I visited Dublin ages ago and had been dying to go back ever since. While Dubin is a great time, I knew I had barely scratched the surface. The Emerald Isle has so much to offer and it truly takes a full round-trip to take in the beauty…and what better way to do that than by taking a road trip through Ireland? The best way to see Ireland is to rent a car and circle the island. I did a similar road trip in Iceland and it’s […]

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10 Best Packing Tips for an Amtrak Overnight Train Trip

These 10 best tips will help you to pack for your Amtrak train trip.  Whether you’re onboard for one overnight or even four, there really are things to pack to help make your long distance train journey even more memorable. Imagine yourself all cozy in your little roomette or tad larger bedroom (with an ensuite bathroom) heading out for an overnight train trip.  Whether your cross-country train trip goes east or west, your train will slowly cross up and over towering mountain ranges, race across high desert […]

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