Top Travel Destinations in the World for Casino Lovers

Tweet Do you love casinos? It might not even be the gambling, but the shows and atmosphere that draws you there. But if you do, you’re probably wondering what the best destination for a such a vacation might be. The […]

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Why I no longer care if people visit Romania for Dracula

Tweet Fair warning: this might be a quite lengthy essay!  When I was younger, I was royally pissed by the fact that most people came to Romania thinking of vampires and associating Vlad Tepes with Count Dracula. Bran Caslte, one […]

Visiting Bran Castle, Bran, Romania

Day Hike: Jepii Mari Trail, Busteni

Tweet I would call myself outdoorsy. A bit daring, I know, but judging by the fact that I did spend three days in a tent, somewhere in the mountains, running around at an airsoft event, I’d say I could make […]

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Cişmigiu Gardens, the Oldest Park in Bucharest

Tweet Cişmigiu Gardens or Cişmigiu Park is the one that’s dearest in the writer in me. It’s the most posh of the Bucharest parks, something that has been carefully put together, with romantic alleys, an artificial lake with a fountain in […]

Cismigiu Gardens Bucharest

Shark Tourism Will Outplay Shark Soup in Revenues

Tweet Good news for sharks and those trying to keep them from getting killed to have their fins turned into soup. A new study shows that shark eco-tourism will be worth a lot more than shark fisheries. If profit is […]

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Next on Travel Tweaks – New Features & Editorial Calendar

Tweet Happy Monday, travel lovers! The new week brings new editorial plans for our travel blog! Starting this week, a few changes will happen on Travel Tweaks. It all has to do with what we publish and we’ll be introducing […]

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MacauVisiting Bran Castle, Bran, Romaniajepii-mari-busteni4Cismigiu Gardens Bucharestsharkcalendar

A Bookworm’s Tour Through Tennessee’s Best Bookstores

This post was posted by TheHipmunk on Hipmunk’s Tailwind blog on September 1st.

A recent survey examining the U.S. states with the most bookstores had a few notable surprises. While large states like California and Texas have the largest total number of stores, when it comes to bookstore per capita, those two states were nowhere to be found! For travelers wishing to explore more of the U.S.’s literary heritage, a glance at the list should be the first step in planning your next vacation. Rounding out the top five (with Montana coming in first) is Tennessee, which boasts 369 bookstores for about 6.5 million residents.

It’s safe to say bookstores and literary pursuits are not the first things that come to mind when thinking of the Volunteer State, so nicknamed due to the large number of Tennesseans volunteering as soldiers during the War of 1812. Instead, visitors flock to Tennessee every year for reasons musical (Elvis Presley’s Graceland mansion and museum and Nashville’s many country music venues), nature-related (the Smoky Mountains) and an all-around good time (touring the Jack Daniels Distillery). While it may not seem the obvious choice for more reserved bookworms, the following stops show that for book-loving travelers there is a quieter, more literary side to the state that’s well-worth exploring!

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The third-largest city in the state, and the homebase of the University of Tennessee’s legendary Vols, Knoxville boasts a locally-owned, independent gem of a store called Union Ave Books. Read more…

World’s Most Famous Historic Casinos and Their Evolution

Casinos are the place to go for excitement, colorful nightlife, and sometimes a hope to win everything. Beyond the shows and the game tables, some of the world’s most famous casinos come with rich history and interesting tales. Here are the most famous historic casinos around the world:

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Photo of the Monte Carlo Casino by Fruitpunchline via Wikipedia.

The World’s Oldest Casino

To experience this gem, you’ll have to travel to Venice, Italy. Here you’ll find Casino di Venezia, self-proclaimed world’s oldest casino. It dates back to 1638 and it currently has two venues, of which Ca’ Vendramin Calergi on the Grand Canal dates back to the early 16th century. French and American tables, as well as slot machines will introduce you to the world of gambling while admiring one of the most beautiful and romantic cities on the Planet.

The Other World’s Oldest Casino

Yes, you got it, they are still debating who holds the title. Documents place the beginning of Casino de Spa in Belgium in 1769. Read more…

Best Budget Hotels in Springfield, Missouri

Whether you’re traveling to Springfield for pleasure, business, or for the medical facilities — the city has six hospitals, two of which are on the top 100 hospitals in the country list — the following hotels are the best for budget travel. We’ve chosen hotels for both short or extended stays, with a focus on locations around the Springfield business district, Medical Mile, or close to downtown.

Springfield, Missouri

Photo by Joelfun via Wikipedia.org

Arbor Suites Medical Mile

As the name says, Arbor Suites Medical Mile is perfect for those travelling to Springfield for health reasons. The hotel is in the south area of Medical Mile, close to COX South Medical Center, as well as other hospitals and clinics. With a pool and a grill for leisure activities, the hotel is a short drive to downtown Springfield. You can either enjoy the hotel’s free breakfast, or if you stay in a room with a kitchenette, cook your own meals. Read more…

Top Five Budget Hotels Around Alexandria, Virginia

If you want to kill two birds with one stone, and explore both Alexandria and Washington, D.C. in one go, you will need a stylish, convenient, and affordable hotel as your headquarters. We’ve come up with the best five accommodation options to help you meet your goal. So get your travel itineraries ready and head out to one of these Alexandria hotels!

Alexandria, VA, Visitor Center

Photo by Heather Lore via Trover.com

Monaco Alexandria

We’re kicking off the list with a boutique hotel you should definitely consider. The upscale yet affordable Monaco Alexandria in the heart of Alexandria adds luxury to every detail, from the linens, toiletries, and gourmet treats, to the latest in technology, spa, and fine dining. This child and pet friendly boutique hotel puts you in Old Town Alexandria, and all other Washington, D.C. landmarks area easy to reach. Read more…

5 Ways to Avoid being an Annoying Tourist in France

This post was posted by TheHipmunk on Hipmunk’s Tailwind blog on August 19.

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France — and especially Paris — has a love/hate relationship with tourists. Tourism is an important industry, but if you’re not careful, you can make a nuisance of yourself with locals. Here are five ways you can avoid being thattourist:

  1. Realize you’re not in Kansas anymore. The customs are different. While you’re in France, it’s best to learn to do what the French do, and refrain from doing what they don’t do. People expect tourists to make the occasional cultural faux pas. What they don’t expect is an earful about what’s “wrong” with the way they do things.
  2. Realize that some French people don’t speak English. Most French speak at least some English, especially in the larger cities, and the vast majority of those who work for hotels in Paris or other tourism-related industries speak English relatively well. However, you are in France, and you can’t expect everyone to speak your language. Many who do speak it, don’t speak it well, and some who speak perfectly good English refuse to do so. After all, vous êtes en France. Pick up a French phrase book (or, hey, it’s 2015, download a French app to your smartphone. You’ll find that French people speak much better English after you’ve at least made an attempt to communicate in French. Most importantly, if someone doesn’t appear to understand you, don’t repeat yourself louder and slower. If they speak English, you’ll offend them. If they don’t, volume won’t help.
  3. Refrain from asking where to find the nearest McDonald’s, Starbucks and so on. You’re in France! Enjoy the local cuisine. If you absolutely must have Chicken McNuggets, at least don’t announce it. If you have to ask, quietly ask the concierge at your hotel. It really does irritate the French when tourists ask for American chain restaurants.
  4. Follow the protocol on the Metro. This one’s pretty simple. You let everyone exiting the train get out before you go in. When you’re in, if the train is crowded, stand up. Only sit if there’s a clear place to do so.
  5. Don’t tip. Seriously. It’s not part of the French culture. Many of the people we typically tip in America, such as wait staff, are paid considerably better in France, and your attempt to tip can be interpreted as an insult.

Read more…

The Hipmunk Guide to Free Hotel Wi-Fi

This post was posted by TheHipmunk on Hipmunk’s Tailwind blog on August 19.

Luxury Hotel Room

Luxury Hotel Room

Wi-Fi has become an amenity that guests expect from the hotels where they choose to stay. We asked our Twitter fans what they think of free Wi-Fi and they spoke loud and clear. Perhaps Susan Breslow ‏(@susanbreslow) said it best: ‘Hotel wi-fi is essential. Free wins loyalty and cred.’ But according to a review of Hipmunk’s hotel database, only 70 percent of U.S. hotels offer free Wi-Fi. Another 27 percent don’t offer Wi-Fi at all (what?!?!). And the last 3 percent offer Wi-Fi for a fee.

So how do you ensure you always have Wi-Fi free of charge? Easy. Read the Hipmunk guide to free Wi-Fi below.

Know Where to Go

We tapped our hotels database to identify the U.S. cities with the highest percentage of free Wi-Fi. Read more…

Look for Cheap Hotels in London

As much fun as traveling to London can be for many people, the fact is that it can often be quite expensive. Going to any large city anywhere in the world can be a challenge for your budget and London is no different in that respect. However, it is important for you to know that you can still visit London without spending a fortune every time you want to stay there. You want to make sure that you plan everything out in advance and do your homework so that you are able to find cheap hotels in London like Comfort Inn Kings Cross so that you can stay in your budget and still enjoy your time here.

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Affordable Hotels in the Right Location

In your effort to save as much money as you can you may want to look for a hotel in the section of London where you plan to spend the most time. This can give you the opportunity to walk to many of the locations and sites you want to visit. You should also make sure that the hotel is close to public transit, such as train stations and bus stops, so that you can take advantage of using this form of transportation instead of renting a car or using a taxi, both of which can be expensive for you. Once you have narrowed down your hotel choices this way you can then look at the specifics of each hotel so you can be sure they provide you with the level of comfort you want and the amenities you like while staying in your price range. Looking at the cheap hotels in London this way you will see that the Comfort Inn Kings Cross is the best option for you. Read more…