Carlson Wagonlit Travelscope 's Blog

 

 

Taiwan is an island country in Asia, and while some people are of the view that it is a filthy, overcrowded industrial nation, others see it as a thriving, modernist island that offers equally extraordinary natural sceneries, such as mountain views, craggy coastlines and impressive canyons.
 
See the better side of Taiwan in this clip arranged by D1 Production during their company trip in the island.
 

Start planning your trip today!

 

 

 

Travel Tip: The Stunning Beaches at the Gower Peninsula Scourging the country for the most gorgeous coastal strips? You should head to the southern part of Wales. read more

 

 

The populous nation of China presents a great selection of tourist destinations, and it is guaranteed that your travel around the country won’t come to an end in just a week or two.
 
Discover the many great places that this East Asian country offers to all types of travelers there is—from beach bums, history enthusiasts, nature aficionados to food lovers.
 
Check out this nice video put together by Kyoto Studio.
 

So start planning your trip to China as early as now!

 

With the number of henges that seem to be strategically situated near each other in England, have you ever wondered why these daunting structures were built during the Neolithic period? read more
Have you ever wanted to see the world-renowned monumental statues built by the most secluded Polynesians? Then you should first travel to the most far-flung, occupied island in the planet. read more

 

 

Located in the Sinaloa State, Mazatlan is well-known for its beautiful strips of beach that are strategically lined with hotels and resorts.
 
Moreover, from the world’s highest natural lighthouse, called Faro, to the bold cliff divers who imitate the daredevils of Acapulco, there is surely more to Mazatlan that will make you stay for a longer period of time.
 
Check out this creative clip shot by Chase Reese, and see Mazatlan through his lens.
 

Start planning your trip to the marvelous city of Mazatlan, Mexico today!

 

Cales Coves in Minorca Island

 

 

Situated in the Mediterranean Sea is Minorca, a Spanish territory that belongs to the Balearic Islands. 
 
If you wish to encounter a different Spanish experience with lesser crowds and quieter vacations spots, then Minorca is the perfect getaway island for you. Enjoy its countless virgin beaches, delectable alfresco cuisine and tranquil holiday spots, and you’ll realize that a visit to this island is just like no other.
 
New York Times Travel writer Sarah Wildman visits Minorca and shares that this does not only takes pride in its pristine beaches but also in so much more (“Off the Coast of Spain, a Tranquil Biosphere Reserve”). She observes that there is little change to the “facades of rose and dusty yellow stone, and the narrow streets” around the island’s capital, Ciutadella.
 
Here’s a short excerpt from her enlightening article:
 
 
The rest of the island is imbued with the same timeless quality. Though only 21 miles from the crowds and hustle of its high-profile neighbor, Majorca, the difference couldn’t be more profound. Unlike Majorca, with its sprawling hotel complexes, glitzy nightclubs and yacht-filled ports, this island 250 miles east of Barcelona offers something unusual for a Mediterranean resort: tranquility.
 
Read the rest of her article, and, without a doubt, you, too, will be tempted to sail off to Minorca!
 

Start planning your Minorca trip today!

Photo Credit

A Buddhist Temple in Battambang

 

 

Battambang province’s capital, Battambang is located along the scenic river of Sangkae. One of the primary travel attractions in the area is the French Colonial architecture that serves as remnants of the colorful history of the nation. Aside from this, there are also the bamboo railway, ancient temples and Buddhist shrines scattering all over the city.
 
Learn more about the things to do in Battambang.
 
New York Times Travel contributor Naomi Lindt travels to this part of Cambodia, where statues of divinities as well as real and mythical animals abound (“A Pocket of the Past in Battambang, Cambodia”). She observes how only few travelers visit the city and “Those who do are rewarded with one of the country’s greatest collections of historic structures, from decaying Angkorean temples surrounded by lotus ponds to modernist cinemas built during the country’s 1960s construction boom.”
 
Below is an excerpt from her article:
 
 
They (travelers) also gain access to one of the country’s richest artistic communities: Battambang has produced generations of artists, a legacy that residents are busy building on… Peaceful as the town might be today, Battambang’s architectural vestiges bear testament to a tumultuous past.
 
Check out the rest of her article, and you won’t surely have second thoughts on including Battambang in your Cambodian itinerary!
 

 

The two million travelers who stay in Chile every year generally go for the leading travel destinations in the country, most of which are primarily considered natural attractions.

Such travel spots are located in the most exciting parts of the nation, examples of which are the Valley of the Moon, Chgara Lake, Parinacota volcano and lots of ski resorts.

Watch this simple yet creative clip prepared by Larissa Antusoa, and perhaps you, too, will be enamored by the charming nation of Chile.

Regarded as Kenya’s first ever national park, the fairly small Nairobi National Park is quite famous to many travelers. read more

Typical Backpack Used by Backpacking Globetrotters

A passion for travel NEVER goes away.  

Take it from Mr. Wright. Planning a trip to Europe at the age of 95 years old, Australian backpacker Keith Wright did not see his age as a huge hindrance to his annual travels. He started to travel solo ten years ago, and his story was covered by Daily Mail UK writer Sarah Gordon. When interviewing Wright, he stated that he “sold his house and used some of the left-over money to spend four days travelling through Turkey by bus” during his first ever solo backpacking experience (“World’s Oldest Backpacker Plans Two-Month Trip to Europe at 95 Years Old”).

“I have had itchy feet all my life and had always wanted to go to Gallipoli on Anzac Day, so I decided to sell our house and put the extra money towards a holiday”, Wright shares.

“My belief is that if you are fit and able to travel independently, it is the best way to see as much as of the world as you want… I have seen things that most tourists haven’t seen, because I walk the back streets and take trains or buses to nearby towns for the day.”

“Most people I meet are surprised when I tell them my age and amazed that I have come all the way from Australia.”

Check out the rest of Wright’s story here, and be inspired with this brave, senior backpacker!

Video: Beautiful Cuba Aside from the fact that Cuba is the largest Caribbean country, this island is also famous for its unique history and culture, nice climate, colonial architecture and breathtaking beaches. read more
Top 2 Beaches in Maldives Situated in the Indian Ocean, just southwest of India, you will find 26 of the world’s amazingly wonderful coral atolls. read more

Vietnam is one of the most underrated foodie capitals of the world. Fresh and delicious, the cuisine there ranges from authentically local and traditional to innovative and fun. 

The city isn't too shabby either! With a rich culture and history and plenty to see and do, there's a reason more and more travelers are making their way to this beautiful corner of the world. 

Check out this great video by Daniel Klein about his experience eating in Vietnam. Be prepared to get hungry!

From the video description: 

"We were invited last month to explore the food in Vietnam. This is that two week trip condensed into three minutes. Enjoy. Shot on Canon 5d Mark ii."

Start your next adventure today with Travelscope! 

While dressing up for the airport doesn't result in the suprise upgrades that it used to, tramping through security in teddy bear pajamas are going to raise a few eyebrows. 

To be fair though, between airport security and the cramped airplane seating who doesn’t want to be as comfortable as possible?

How about a compromise? Here’s the best way to dress for flying. 

The Right Footwear 

Now is not the time to break in those lace-up, thigh high boots. You want to get through security as fast as possible so instead opt for a comfy and easy alternative like ballet flats or boat shoes.

Go with anything that can be easily slipped on and off and that isn’t too tight. Your feet expand over long flights increasing your risk of deep vein thrombosis.

However, you also might want to consider wearing your heaviest shoes to save your luggage some weight. This shouldn’t mean high heels though, because heaven forbid there’s an emergency it’ll be difficult to be quick on your feet.

Also skip the flip-flops and sandals as your feet might freeze on the plane. If you’re especially sensitive to cold temperatures bring a pair of socks to put on.

That’s why you should also …

Wear Warm Layers

 

Even if you’re flying to Tahiti it’s a good idea to bring something to put on during the flight. Cabins are infamous for dropping to freezing temperatures and your seat neighbor might not want to snuggle for 10 hours.

Wear a light jacket or sweater over your shirt. You can tie it around your waist or luggage so it doesn’t take up any room when you’re not wearing it. I have this huge pashmina scarf I always bring that can also serve as a blanket, shawl and sarong. You can also just layer up extra shirts or other clothing you’re bringing.

Loose Fitting, Natural Clothes

Jeans can be stiff and tight and therefore uncomfortable on long trips. Try to wear a looser pair or one with just a small amount of spandex woven in (like 5% or less). You can also secretly undo one bottom - it makes a world of difference.

Some travel experts also recommend staying away from synthetic clothing - in the event of an emergency, it’s much more flammable than natural fibers.

On a side note: Girls! Wear a skirt or shorts long enough to cover your bum when you sit. You donot want to be sitting directly on these seats, trust me.

No Offensive Shirts or Clothes

You can get booted off the plane. Don’t believe me? Southwest airlines kicked a woman off a flight a few years back over a political message on her T-shirt: the faces of Bush, Cheney and Condoleezza Rice hovering over the words “Meet the Fockers.”

Unfair? Maybe. But unlike the government, private companies are not obligated to honor any “freedom of speech” doctrine, so just play it safe.

No Heavy Metal 

This is an oldie, but make sure not to wear items with metal because they can set off security and get you retained. Avoid belts and wallet chains because you’ll have to take them off in security.

Wear minimal jewelry - instead put it safely in your carry-on so you can keep a close eye on it without having to risk a body exam at security. Sometimes it can’t be helped - like for an underwire bra. Do what you can and you should be fine.

Be Clean!

This one might sound silly, but don’t be smelly. You’re cramped in a small, confined cabin that recycles air and already smells stale - do your part to make it a little more pleasant for those around you.

This includes going easy on the perfumes and cologne. A few hours of breathing in “Obsession” would give anyone a headache. Remember, the ideal seat mate doesn’t smell like anything - he or she is perfectly neutral.

This is trickier on the way back when you might have whittled down your clean clothes with nothing to wear on return. Try to save one clean shirt for your last day, or wash your clothes when you travel. And don’t skimp on the deodorant.

Other Things to Remember

Depending on the country you’re traveling to sometimes it’s safer to dress down in order to attract less attention.

Also, be culturally aware and sensitive to your destination. If you’re headed a conservative country respect the dress code and cover up.

Your skin dries out on an airplane because of the altitude, so consider bringing lotion and chapstick - yes, even the guys.

Wearing clean black clothes is an easy way to add a touch of elegance to your look, plus they hide stains much easier.

Remember, the goal is to look neat and presentable. Once you figure out an airplane look you’re set for all future flights.

Ah, Rome. With a history spanning some two and a half thousand years and more art and culture than you can experience in a lifetime, it's certainly worth the trip. The entire city centre is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, and I cannot even begin to tick off the reasons why. Here's a list though for where to start:

1. Take a walk through the Roman Forum.

This was Rome’s main street in antiquity and truly lets you step back into time and uncover what Rome might have been like hundreds of years ago.

2. The Pantheon.

Unlike the Forum, the Pantheon looks exactly like it did 2000 years ago and as you walk on its marble floors you can truly transport yourself back thousands of years.

3. Tour the Colosseum inside and out.

This structure is amazing and is brought to life by the tour guides who can take you through and explain how the Colosseum was built and now how its being restored.

4. Take a tour of the Vatican.

Although technically its own city and state, the Vatican is a great experience. A great guide is essential here as they help lay a foundation of what you are seeing. Also don’t forget to visit St Peter’s Basilica and its famed dome built by Michelangelo.

5. Toss a coin into the Trevi Fountain.

This is a must! The fountain is spectacular and tossing in a coin is a tradition that will help guarantee you a return trip to this amazing city.

6. People watch at the Spanish Steps.

The steps were named after the Spanish who ruled Rome centuries ago and is a great spot to relax and do some people watching.

7. Browse the Campo Dei Fiori Markets.

A favourite since the mid 1800’s. The market is located very close to the famous Piazza Navona and is a great place to grab some fresh food for a picnic lunch.

8. Eat in the cafes and street side restaurants. 

Rome is known for its cuisine so bring your appetite and some loose clothing for the after effect.

9. Explore the streets.

A great way to explore Rome is by foot. It is surprisingly accessible. With mostly car-free cobble stone streets, there is much to explore as you walk the streets of Rome.

10. Ride on a double decker 'hop-on-hop-off' bus.

These narrated tours allow you to see Rome at your own pace and provide a great way of getting around the city.

 

Ready to go to the Eternal City? Book with Travelscope! We can take care of all the arrangements.

Madrid is one of those special cities everyone should visit at least once in a lifetime (aren't there so many of those, though?). From the wine to the architecture to the history to the fashion, there is something for everyone here. 

I wanted to share this great video by The Film Artist about his trip to Madrid - the sites, the sounds, the beauty. 

Here's the video description:

"Three things that I love most about Madrid: The people know how to enjoy themselves; the gorgeous weather; and the ease of just walking or travelling around this beautiful city. Shot entirely on the Panasonic GH1. vimeo.com/channels/worldhd

Lots of diegetic sounds and background music from , Oscar Lopez - Gypsy Soul, Unforgettable - Imran Khan, Ottmar Liebert - Heart Still Beating and Black Eyed Peas - The Apl song, Accordian - Mera Juta hai Japani, Raj Kapoor's 'Shree 420'. Thanks to all the street entertainers and to the fantastic people of Madrid.

Cheers to the flashmob, supercool students of WOSAP, their talented choreographer, Alberto Lopez just advised me it was them dancing in the video in the heart Madrid, Puerta del Sol. Amazing how Vimeo has reached out to them in just 4 days! wosap.com."

Travel today with Carlson Wagonlit Travelscope!

(Image by samurai_dave, on Flickr)

Picture your perfect beach-side getaway: serene, remote, beautiful. Full of white sands to lounge on and clear waters with thriving marine life to explore. Friendly people and fresh food.

Brendan Spiegel must have been reading my diary when he wrote about his latest travel experience on gorgeous Mafia Island off the coast of Tanzania ("Off Tanzania, Serene Mafia Island"). 

Mr. Spiegal describes how ... 

"over the past decade, [Mafia Island] has built a small but passionate following among travelers drawn by its simple charms and serene atmosphere. Serene, that is, on land; underwater, a protected marine preserve offers some of the most magnificent diving and snorkeling in the region, perhaps the world."

He also describes some of the progressive, green practices done on the island to help make tourism more sustainable; according to Manzie Omar Mangochie, the district commissioner of Mafia, "our goal here is to find a balance between welcoming visitors and protecting what we already have."

(Image: "Ras Mbisi Lodge, an eco-resort on a remote stretch of the island." Brendan Spiegel for The New York Times)

Start your trip today with Travelscope!

One of the (many) requisites of visiting New York City is also perhaps one of the easiest to realize - grabbing a slice of pie. 

All over the city are pizzerias with above average flavors, which you can enjoy on any kind of travel budget. Many attribute the quality of NYC pizza to the water, which is rich in minerals, and therefore makes for excellent crust. Others point to the prevelant Italian-American influence, or the highly evolved palette of the New Yorker.

Whatever the reason, the pizza here is something special. And some, more special than others. 

Adam Rapp, of TravelDudes.org, is a NY native who posted a great review of three famous NY pizzerias - Lombardi's in Manhattan, Grimaldi's and Totonno's in Brooklyn. 

NYC PIzza Trifecta - Which Pie is the Apple of my Eye? is a mouthwatering breakdown of the city's best slices.  

Inspired yet? Contact Travelscope to plan that trip to the Big Apple!

More and more we hear stories of families forced to split up and sit scattered across a plane on a trip. If you're flying with your teenage son, this might be a relief, but if your 3-year old is seated five rows back the entire plane is affected. 

So why does this keep happening? The logical thing to do would be to seat families together to prevent renegade toddlers from disturbing other passengers and to give their moms peace of mind. 

However airlines nowadays are much more focused on creating profit than providing you with a comfortable trip. On many airlines, to be seated together can cost an additional $30 each on top of the ticket.

So what are families to do?

ConsumerTraveler.com has some ideas. Their latest article, by Christopher Elliott, US Airways charges family extra to sit together, not only discusses this phenomena but has some tips on how to fight back.

Here's the first step:

• "Get at the airport early. The sooner you’re at the gate, the sooner you can ask an airline agent to address your seating problem. At this stage of your trip, the employees are not as concerned with generating revenues as ensuring everyone has a good flight. If they see you pulling up to the counter with young children, they will do their darnedest to help."

If you're a traveling family, another way to save yourself some hassle is to book with Travelscope. Not only can we take care of all of the arrangements of your trip, but we can work a little magic too when it comes to complicated flights or group travel. 

Contact us for more information!

Although a small city still, Vientiane, the country's capital, offers many sites for tourists to see. The city is home to many temples and Buddhist monuments, like Pha That Luang, a Buddhist stupa, one of the most favorite in Laos. In addition to temples, there are plenty of museums, markets and even bowling alleys to check out. 

I wanted to share this neat article by Naomi Lindt for the NYTimes: "36 Hours in Vientiane, Laos." If you're ever exploring Southeast Asia, this is a must. 

(Image by ILRI, on Flickr)

Here's an excerpt from her experience:

3. TEN-PIN PARTY

"Vientiane might appear to be snoozing after dinner, but things are in full swing at the Lao Bowling Center (Khounboulom Road; 856-21-218-661; 12,000 kip per game), which stays open till the wee hours on weekends. The lanes are warped, the balls dented and the pinsetters have a mind of their own, but the atmosphere can’t be beat. Enthusiastic locals applaud when any pins are knocked over, no matter if they tumble across the foul line during the approach. The young women in silk sinh, or wrapped sarongs, are particularly impressive while downing cans of Beerlao and outplaying their boyfriends."

Do something different this summer. Start your next adventure with Travelscope. No matter where your heart takes you, we can take care of all the arrangements. 

Contact us for more info!

 

TOKYO SLO-MODE from alex lee on Vimeo.

Tokyo is vibrant, colorful and alive. It's definitely the trip of a lifetime, with so much to experience. From the food to the history to the shopping, Tokyo should be visited by everyone at least once. 

That's why I wanted to share this video by Alex Lee of his hometown. He captures the spirit of the city in slow motion images, set to the song "Flying Lotus" ft. Thom Yorke. 

So get inspired, and start your adventure today with Travelscope! 

Viva Las Vegas! Who knew there were so many fun and different things to do and see in this vibrant city?

1. Cruise the Strip.

Where else in the world can you get a taste of NYC, Italy and Paris on one street? The 3 and a half mile long strip is a feast for the eyes, leaving all visitors dazzled by the beauty of the hotels, restaurants and shops.

2. Cirque Du Soleil.

Don’t leave home without a reservation. With 4 permanent shows and a fifth in the making the cirque du soleil’s stunning acrobat, gymnast and contortionists show will leave you in awe.

3. Views from the Stratosphere.

Checkout the amazing views atop the stratosphere and while you are at it ride one of three giant roller coasters.

4. Gambling.

Of course Las Vegas is the epic world wide center for gambling, so why not give a couple slot machines or the tables a whirl? Or try your hand with some of the best poker players around.

5. Bellagio Fountains.

Witness 1,214 spritzers shooting water up to 460 feet in the air as Frank Sinatra or Gene Kelly belt out a tune. The Fountains erupt every half hr between 3 pm and 8 pm, and every 15mins from then till midnight.

6. Indulge in a cocktail with a view.

Try The Foundation Room at Mandalay Bay or The Moon at the Palms.

7. Hit a club.

Even if you are not a club person you have to check one out even if it's just for a drink and some people watching. Some of the hottest clubs at the moment are the Bank at the Bellagio, Tao at the Venetian and Tabu at the MGM

8. Pool party.

When you need to refresh and unwind from the mayhem there is no better activity them hanging by the pool. Some of the best parties are at the hard rock, Mandalay bay and the mirage.

9. Mingle with the Sharks at Mandalay bay.

This aquarium is world class, with tons of sharks crocodiles and even a komodo dragon to catch a glimpse of.

10. Take a trip to old Las Vegas.

Step back into yester year and experience the downtown core along with the Freemont street experience.

Start your trip today with Travelscope! 

Beautiful Bilbao is a foodie paradise. The capital of the province of Biscay in the autonomous community of the Basque Country, Bilbao offers a unique culture unlike anywhere else in Spain. 

The city offers several theatres and concert halls, cinema and a regular opera season. Choral music is very popular as well. There are many museums including the famous Guggenheim Museum Bilbao of contemporary art and the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum, with a great collection of Spanish painting. That's all not to mention the vibrant and fun nightlife!

However, as we mentioned earlier, the food is where it's at. The local custom is to call what are known in Spanish as tapas by the Basque name - Pintxos, an arguably even more elaborate and delicious version. 

Try Restaurante Kasko, who claims that their Pintxos are a miniaturization of Basque cooking culture, a mixture of traditional and modern. Much of the staff speaks English and you'll often find live piano music. The menu is creative and you're bound to have a pleasant eating experience. 

Ready to go? Plan your trip today with Travelscope! 

Everyone traveling to Italy for the first time visits the staples: Rome, Florence, Venice. However, it's easy to forget the little gems like Stresa.

The town of Stresa is situated on Lago Maggiore, in the Piedmont region. The largest part belongs to Italy and northern part of lake belongs to Switzerland. Stresa offers a breathtaking spectacle: a superb lake front with palm trees and gardens and behind beautiful facades. Looking at the lake, as if by magic emerges from the water the spectacular Borromean Island. Isola Bella, Isola Superiore (Isola dei Pescatore) and Isola Madre.

So if Italy is one your bucket list make sure you put Stresa on it as well and call us today to get the trip planning underway!!!!