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Know the Common Scams in Each Country

One thing that can take your trip from epic awesomeness to complete misery is getting scammed. It can happen to anyone, but it is good to know what the common scams are in the country you plan to visit. This can help you take precautions to avoid these potential traps and better enjoy your stay. Here are some examples from the simple search of “Scams in [country of your choice].”
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Portland: Our Personal Tour

Sure, we love traveling, but we realized that others like to travel to Portland as well.  So we thought we’d throw in a mini series on our beautiful home city.

We get visitors all the time, and we love playing tour guide and showing off this gorgeous area.  There are many places we love to take guests, but we typically start with a sampling of our city.  This is what that looks like.

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Why You Need Insurance While Traveling the World

There is a lot of uncertainty in world travel, and you never know when something bad might happen. You could get sick and need medical care. If you are into adventure sports, you may find yourself needing an emergency evacuation from a remote area. All of your possessions might get stolen from your hotel room or hostel. These things do happen and for a long-term trip, especially, you have a higher chance for a mishap. Even small trips should be considered for travel insurance as it is better to be safe than stuck with a bill that is out of your means to pay.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017
Do not touch poisonous dart frogs! They can kill you with all the poison stored in their tiny bodies. If you accidentally encounter one and touch them, insurance can help with your treatment and save your life if you are lucky. (Cute = Death)

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Considering… Norway

Norway is a stunning country and is home to many natural wonders that are too numerous to count. It has many incredible cities rich with viking history and some of the happiest people. It is a bit expensive – just a tad – but you can find ways to do it cheaply and still have an incredible experience.

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Photo by DeconvertiniCreative Commons

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Escaping Idaho: The Horrifying Conclusion

Last week, I began the epic saga of the horrors of Idaho.  While the trip down turned out alright, we had only hit the tip of the iceberg.  Herein lies the crazy conclusion…

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Loathing for Idaho: A Road Trip Horror Story

Contrary to popular belief, we travel within our own country as well, so I thought I’d share one such adventure.

While many might fly to reach their destination faster, there is merit in making an adventure out of a road trip.  The United States is a vast country with many exciting locations along the way.

Idaho is not one of them.

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5 Tips to Save Money on Lodging Around the World

When embarking on such a long trip around the world for a year, we have to consider ways to save money on one of the top expenses of the trip: lodging. There are many options when it comes to free or cheap lodging. Here are some of our top picks that may be helpful for keeping your lodging expenses low.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2016

  1. Couchsurfing – Gives you a chance to stay at a place for little or no cost while meeting locals and living like they do. You may have your own room, or literally a couch to sleep on. Hosts can provide many insider tips on the area you are staying in and show you more of the off-the-beaten path activities instead of just the mainstream tourist traps that a hotel is paid to tell you about.

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A Year Out: An Update

As another year draws to a close, we realize we’re that much closer to our departure.  In conversation, we’re now saying “in about a year.”  That’s crazy!  We usually plan for smaller trips about a year out, so things are getting serious now!

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

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Considering… Laos

Laos is one of those places that is stunningly beautiful and not as populated as most other Asian countries. This allows more breathing room when traveling to some of the top destinations and a nice break from the overrun tourist areas of nearby Thailand. Its culture is more accessible and isn’t as blurred by the tourism machine.

Laos has many excellent ways to volunteer for those who like helping out in communities while abroad. We plan to do just that. As we travel we do want to find ways to give back and this is the perfect opportunity. With programs like Big Brother Mouse Project, volunteers help children learn how to read and improve their English skills. There is also Cope, which provides assistance and rehabilitation to those who were injured during the Vietnam war (details on both below).

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The 12 Countries of Christmas

Christmas means a lot to me and my family.  It’s the one time of year when we all come together to exchange gifts, eat far too much food, and socialize and laugh over games and drinks.  In America, it’s a family holiday, and offices across the country are closed for multiple days for the celebration.  We decorate trees in our living rooms, and we hang lights all throughout the cities.  It’s a time of giving and joy and coming together.

I love Christmas.

Spending a year abroad, there’s every chance we’ll spend the holiday in a foreign country.  And we know that not everyone celebrates it the same as we do.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2015
Photo by Brianna Shade, used with permission

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