EXCITING NEWS!!!!!!

No, I’m not pregnant. Lets get that out of the way first.

For months now, I have been wanting to start a new YouTube channel all about our travels, tips, reviews, etc. Well my friends, I have taken the plunge!

May I introduce to you my new YouTube Channel: TheAdventurebots!

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You may be wondering how this is different from MeetTheBots. Well, it’s quite simple, MeetTheBots will strictly be vlogs about our family. TheAdventureBots will be geared more towards travel, travel tips, and toddler product reviews.

I will be posting up previous travel diaries until we are all caught up. I am SO excited about this channel and to share some of my travel wisdom with you all 😀

Until next time, JoopJoop!

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The Mr: Tech tips while travelling

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It’s been a while but I’m back to give a few tech tips that are useful during travel.  In today’s age where the smart phone is arguably one of the most important pieces of technology you can carry, it is important to know some basic tips to help maximize the usefulness of the smart phone. Of course you can travel without one but it is pretty convenient to have in areas that are new.

When traveling abroad, do you extend your mobile coverage or explore other options? It really depends on how long you will be at your travel destination and if you will be doing a lot of exploring. If you are in a country around 2 weeks or more, I would highly recommend just getting a prepaid sim card (in the destination country) with data and or minutes. You can get these sim cards for relatively cheap (20 euros). This allows you to use your phone for navigation, finding recommended restaurants/activities, making reservations, using related travel apps, and etc. while on the go. Otherwise, you can always hope to find a Wi-Fi area…good luck. 

If you don’t really need or care for having data coverage while traveling, I do recommend using the “OK maps” feature in Google Maps. “OK maps” is a feature that allows you to save map views for offline viewing. While you have data service, search for the areas that you will be traveling to. When you zoom in the area of interest, type in “OK maps” in the search field. This will allow you to save the map for later viewing offline – no need to buy maps! For more info, please see this article.

The only downside of OK maps is you cannot save Points of Interest in the offline view; however, the work around for this is to take a screen capture of your phone as you have the Points of Interest custom map pulled up. You can add Points of Interests or My Places to a Google Map by creating a custom map. See here for more details.

 

That’s all for now!

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Jetsettin’: Brussels Flower Carpet {August 16th, 2014}

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Landscape architect E. Stautemans creates a floral masterpiece in the heart of Brussels’ Grand Place Square bi-annually. Of course we had to check it out.

Our friends Keith and Hillary joined us for the festivities this time around. Unfortunately, it rained when we first arrived so we took the opportunity to do a little shopping until the rain subsided.

We managed to get back to the square to see the flower carpet from the museum before it closed.

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Hopefully I’ll be able to get the vlog from the weekend up soon!

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What we think: Rome2Rio Review

We accidentally discovered Rome2Rio a while back while searching the cheapest way to travel to Southern France. I was immediately hooked. While I can’t say that this is my one-stop-shop (I’m a little OCD when it comes to travel planning), but Rome2Rio is the first step I take when planning a trip. I use it to see the travel duration whether traveling by train or by plane. That will determine the next site I visit.

To maneuver around the site is as simple as it gets. Plug in where you are departing from and your destination.

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The site will then list the different ways you can get to your destination whether by train, bus, car, or plane and it provides rough estimate of how much it will cost. Select which travel method you prefer and it will navigate you to the proper sites to book your flight or train tickets.

Of course, since it is a travel site after all, it will also show you how much hotels start at in the area. There are a number of links you can find on the page that will help you book your hotel. Their hotel landing page is operated by booking.com so your hotel options will not be limited.

Using the example above, it takes 2h 38 and costs roughly 100 euros to get to Cologne, Germany by train and it costs about 338 euros by plane in 2h 34?? Um, I'll suffer the 4 minutes to save 238 euros. Thanks. Again, these are rough estimates and you will need to do more in depth search on rates to ultimately know if the difference is that astronomical.
Using the example above, it takes 2h 38 and costs roughly 100 euros to get to Cologne, Germany by train and it costs about 338 euros by plane in 2h 34?? Um, I’ll suffer the 4 minutes to save 238 euros. Thanks. Again, these are rough estimates and you will need to do more in depth search on rates to ultimately know if the difference is that astronomical.

You also have the option to book a rental car from the site. I have never used this option so I cannot comment at this time. I find it quite convenient that they have this option to make it a well rounded travel site.

Like I said, I do love going to this site during the initial stages of my travel planning. It is a very helpful site when it comes to comparing the different methods of travel. It’s also helpful that it gives you the duration of each method. Everyone has different preferences and priorities and this site caters to them all!

I hope you find this quick review helpful! I have several more reviews I hope to get up in the near future. If you know of any sites that I need to check out please let me know!

Until next time, JoopJoop!

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Jetsettin’ : Hohenschwangau Castle

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On our way back from Hallstatt, we made a stop in Schwangau to see both Neuschwanstein Castle and Hohenschwangau Castle. From my research, other travelers have said that they were disappointed in the Neuschwanstein Castle tour. Neuschwanstein had many modern amenities such as running toilets and hot water which seemingly takes away from a historical castle.

We arrived to Hohenschwangau Castle around noon and tickets were already sold out until the 5pm tour! We just didn’t have that sort of time to wait so we decided to tour the grounds and take pictures from the outside.

We took a shuttle bus because there was no way Alex was going to hike for the 2nd day in a row. We paid 2,60 euros for a round trip at the entry booth but tourists are able to purchase one way tickets from the driver for 1 euro each way. We were robbed.

The shuttle dropped us off a short distance from Marienbruecke (Mary’s Bridge). Once you gathered your nerves of steel to get on the wooden bridge, your breath will be taken away by the gorgeous views of the castle that inspired Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty”.

Neuschwanstein Castle
Neuschwanstein Castle

A short walk down the mountain, you are welcomed by yet another beautiful view of a castle. This time, it was Hohenschwangau Castle. I’d have to say I was a little disappointed that my photo op was almost ruined by a rainbow of cars and tour buses.

But don’t fret my friends, I have conquered and I have delivered. I’ve posted pictures of Neuschwanstein Castle in an older post, never posted a pic of Hohenschwangau Castle…until now.

Hohenschwangau Castle
Hohenschwangau Castle

 

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