Tips to Make Your Kauai Trip Unforgettable

If you are planning a tropical escape, why not consider Kauai? The fourth largest island among the six main Hawaiian islands, Kauai offers a genuinely tropical paradise setting with an endless list of rewarding activities. Here are some easy tips to make your Kauai trip unforgettable.

 

1. Prepare for Water Photography

If you go to Kauai, you’re going to spend a good amount of time in or near the water. Whether it’s at the beach catching some rays, going for a swim or a snorkel or perhaps visiting one of the beautiful waterfalls, you’re going to get wet. But, in order to make sure you capture perfect photos of these experiences, you’ll want to be prepared.

Whether it’s a waterproof camera or a waterproof pouch for your phone, make sure the device you use to take photos is well protected. You simply won’t want to miss out on great photo opportunities as there will be plenty. Even when hiking or at the beach, you never know when the rain might start. But the rain often leads to rainbows over the dramatic scenery or landscapes consisting of colors that few would believe.

Make sure your camera is ready so that you don’t get caught in or near water without a chance to take photos!

2. Know Which Place To Stay In Kauai

There are two sides of the island where visitors generally stay – the south shore (Poipu) and the north shore (Hanalei and Princeville). The first thing you should do is see which side matches your travel style the best so that you can determine where to stay in Kauai. Knowing where to stay on the island is important as you want to be close to the activities you’re interested in and in an environment that matches your needs and interests. 

The south shore gets more sunlight and is drier for the majority of the year. In the winter, the ocean is calmer and more swimmable. The beaches are  easily accessible as well. There’s also a wide variety of accommodation options, ranging from resorts to condos but this side does tend to be more expensive overall.

On the north shore, it is more mountainous and tropical. Beaches have spectacular mountain backdrops, making for some incredible photos. It’s breathtaking in every sense of the world. But it’s also more crowded with tourists as a result.

And since there’s more rain here, along with large waves in the winter, most beaches are not very suitable for swimming. It’s great for scenery and hiking though.

3. Don’t Miss Out On Island Helicopters

Taking a helicopter flight over Kauai is popular for a reason. Often said to have the most impressive landscapes on the planet, helicopters give you a chance to see this natural beauty from an incredible angle.

Some companies, such as Island Helicopters, also allow tourists to land by the Manawaiopuna Falls in order to really have a unique experience. It’s a 400-foot waterfall on private land, which is simply magical, along with the views all around you. Combine this with canyons, coastline, mountains, jungle and more and a helicopter trip is hard to beat.

There are many companies and many different packages so it’s good to shop around and see what discounts you can get before you book a trip.

4. Fly Across The Sky With Ziplines

With an exhilarating zipline experience, you’ll soar high over the treetops on one of the most beautiful islands in the world. One of the most popular ziplines in Kauai takes you to Kipu Ranch where seven different ziplines allow you to fly over the ranch’s lush valleys. 

Tandem lines are available or you can go solo as you soar from tree house to tree house above the jungle below. Once again, be sure to ask your hotel or any contacts you make in Kauai about any discounts for activities such as this in order to get the best deal possible.

 

 

With these easy tips for your Kauai trip, all that’s left to do is enjoy this stunning location that can only be described as true paradise!

 

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Traveling Guide: Top Tips and Traveling Essentials for Rookies

 

Traveling is one of the most rewarding activities in the world. It is an addiction, and once you start, it’s difficult to stop. Of course, visiting countries that resemble your own culture and customs is relatively easy. You won’t have too much homework to go through. However, when you visit more exotic destinations or polar opposites of your home, there are more than a few things you should know. From the way you should act in an Airbnb apartment to the local etiquette rules and customs that apply, everything is essential.

Since each person is different, your personal trip checklist may not the look the same as another traveler’s checklist. What works for others might not work for you and vice versa. The trick is to think about your most essential, must-have travel necessities that will ensure you have the smoothest trip possible.

With that in mind, let’s see the items that might be on your list.

Travel Luggage

Every travel essentials list should include your luggage, bags and suitcases. Depending on your destination, budget and travel style, there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to getting a travel bag. Still, there are plenty of options that you should take into consideration:

  • Cross-body bags (great for agility)
  • Anti-theft travel bags (security as a priority)
  • Backpacks (easy and reliable)
  • Wheeled suitcases (convenient, especially smaller ones)
  • Spinner luggage (good for larger luggage)

If you’re carrying a backpack, which is often a good idea while out and about each day, go with the one that has a variety of security features and that suits your body type the most. Make sure it has enough space and pockets to store your day-to-day items.

Travel Wallets

Travel wallets also come with a range of great security features to ensure that your personal belongings, credit cards, IDs and money are safe. There are all kinds of sizes, shapes, materials and so on and it generally comes down to personal preference.

You simply want to find a travel wallet that fits securely in the pocket or bag you plan to carry it in. Of course, while walking around each day, it’s best not to have all of your valuables on you. Even more, since you can use your phone to pay by credit card in many parts of the world these days, there’s even less of a reason to have too many cards and cash on you.

Use the travel wallet only for the essentials that you need each day. Something like the Key Smart Urban Union Passport Wallet is a great option for many travelers.

Staying Safe While Traveling

No matter where you travel to, safety should always be your number one concern. From a simple door alarm to more advanced cybersecurity measures, we recommend that you take your time to create a safety routine to ensure maximum safety and security wherever you go. 

Suppose you need additional security in your hotel room, and it happens that some hotels lack proper door locks and security. In that case, you can handle it easily by getting a simple personal security door stop alarm. It’s battery-powered and compact enough to fit almost anywhere in your luggage. 

Also, if you travel alone, never reveal that to random people you meet. If someone asks you for some personal details, never provide accurate information. Additionally, scammers might try to take advantage of rookie travelers. Such dangers include the taxi overcharge, which is a rather well-known trick. However, there are many others that might be unique to the specific country you visit. For instance, one traveler reported a scam in Morocco, during which travelers would be asked to help locals write letters or postcards. The goal here was to lure travelers into shops and pressure them into purchasing something. 

We also recommend that you get an anti-theft portable safe bag. It is a combination of stainless-steel wire mesh embedded into the poly canvas and comes with a TSA-accepted 3-dial combination lock, and is quite small and easy to carry. 

Simply use the stainless-steel cable to secure your safety and everything in it. This portable personal safe is an excellent solution for keeping your valuables and precious belongings secure while you explore.

Stay Connected

In the age of the internet, staying connected has never been easier. It’s important to let your friends and family know where you are. Since you’ll be using your smartphone a lot on your adventures, knowing a few safety tips can help a lot. 

The first tip is to get local SIM cards to save on calling expenses and roaming fees. If you need to connect to the internet, you’ll likely consider free Wi-Fi, but we advise caution when using fully public networks. 

Even though most places worldwide are equipped to provide access to the internet, a public Wi-Fi connection can be dangerous, especially if you’re using it to access some critical or personal information. To ensure your data remains confidential, we recommend using a VPN. A travel VPN might not be something you consider getting before your trip. However, it is a tool that will allow you to stay protected on unsecured Wi-Fi networks. Additionally, it will help you unblock content that might be unavailable in the country you are visiting.

Conclusion

Now that you know what it takes to start conquering the planet, pack your bags, arm yourself with a good camera or smartphone and start venturing into the unknown. The world is full of wonders, and they await just around the corner. Every big adventure starts with stepping right outside your door!

 

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Simple Browser Extension Automatically Finds Cheaper Flights

If you are dreaming of a vacation getaway post-COVID, but are strapped for cash, don’t worry. We got you covered. And no, you don’t have to use a new website to save money. That’s the beauty of the browser extension BuyLo: it works with your favorite airline/booking site (see full list of supported sites here). 

Here’s the basic premise: You go to your favorite airline/booking site (Southwest, Kayak, etc), search for a flight that works for your time and budget, proceed to checkout, and then BuyLo pops up, automatically detects the ticket you selected, and scans hundreds of booking sites for a lower price on the exact same flight. It only takes about a minute and BuyLo promises to find prices as much as 54% cheaper.

When taking it for a spin on Southwest, they show $21 off a flight that Southwest quoted at $115.

 

Quick note: the cheaper flight needs to be booked through Kiwi.com. In the case of this ticket, the BOS -> BWI flight is actually the first leg of a connecting flight. These are “hidden city” flights and can only be found on websites such as Kiwi.com/Skiplagged, whose algorithms are uniquely equipped to find them.

Let’s try a different flight. This time from London to Boston:

 


This one is significant. It’s almost £1,000 off a £1,600 flight! 

How is this possible? Well, the underlying concept is pretty much an open secret now. Flight ticket prices don’t just vary based on when you book and what you book. They also vary based on:

  • Browsing history – if you are someone who has repeatedly searched for the same flight, algorithms might jack up the prices to create a sense of urgency to buy
  • Device – algorithms love jacking up prices for Mac users
  • Flight booking site – different flight booking sites utilize different algorithms for searching for flights

Take a look at this:

 


If you book a Finnair flight through Skyscanner, it would cost $833. BuyLo found it on SmartFares for $796.

But if you used the Skyscanner link to go to SmartFares, it would be $808, which is $12 more than what BuyLo found.

So let’s quickly summarize, the pros and cons of BuyLo:

Pros:

  • Automatically get a lower price – who doesn’t love that?
  • Supports all currencies and booking classes (Economy, Business, First)
  • Supports one way and round trip flights.

Cons:

  • It takes about a minute.
  • Multi city flights aren’t supported for now.
  • You have to leave your current booking site. If you like booking direct with airlines, you’re out of luck. If you entered a bunch of information at checkout, you’ll have to re-enter them.

Things to note:

  • Lower prices aren’t guaranteed. Flight price algorithms are a black box so your mileage might vary. 
  • For flight search websites such as Skyscanner, BuyLo only pops out if you are booking the flight on Skyscanner’s platform or you are clicking out to a supported booking site.

If you’re interested in having BuyLo get you lower prices, here’s how to set it up:

  1. Open Chrome or Firefox. (Or any browser that can install Chrome/Firefox extensions)
  2. If you are on Chrome, go to the BuyLo chrome webstore page. Click on “Add to Chrome” and confirm.
  3. If you are on Firefox, go to the BuyLo Firefox add-on page. Click on “Add to Firefox” and confirm.

 

 

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Hotel Brands Want to Be in Mexico But Investors Look Elsewhere

Michelleraponi  / Pixabay

Relatively strong pandemic performance in Mexico may attract brands, but investors want the discounted pricing that comes with a troubled asset. Michelleraponi / Pixabay

Skift Take: The large supply of independent hotels in Mexico is a massive opportunity for companies like Marriott and Hilton to quickly beef up their portfolios without the drawn-out process of new construction. Investors, however, will likely favor markets that performed worse during the pandemic.

— Cameron Sperance

Read the Complete Story On Skift

Wyndham Returns to Profits on Swelling Domestic Demand in U.S. and China

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

Wyndham reported a $29 million first quarter profit thanks to strong domestic demand in the U.S. and China. Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

Skift Take: Many hotel companies shouldn’t expect to replicate Wyndham’s early financial success. Global companies like Accor and Hyatt have to grapple with business-oriented hotels in urban markets — areas which are still struggling from pandemic restrictions.

— Cameron Sperance

Read the Complete Story On Skift