Tag Archives: boston

Where to go next in 2018

New Year and all the new travel possibilities…

Every year there is a buzz about new ‘in’ places to go. Unfortunately by the time they are on the radar they are already ‘discovered’ by hoards of tourists. So this year on my wish list of destinations I’ve picked places often passed over to go somewhere else more popular. Yet all these places are exciting in their own right and will definitely entice travelers in the near future for they are gorgeous destinations with loads to offer. Get there first…

 

BolognaMany times one goes through Bologna by train on the way to Venice or Rome, yet Bologna offers as much history, charm, and most importantly food! as its more famous neighbours. Medieval streets and historical sights in a town almost free of tourists and crushing crowds. Want to taste the real Italy, this is it, from its locals only atmosphere to some of the best food in the world. They don’t call this region of Italy the “Belly of Italy” for nothing, some of the best produce comes from this region along with a legacy of top notch producers keeping the Slow Food movement alive and well. A must see destination for foodies and historians alike.

AmsterdamIs having a moment, a very trendy moment. And wait too long to go and you will get there when it has already become the hipster destination in every Instagram post. It already has the coffee houses. But Amsterdam possesses romance and magic, canals and delightful architecture that win everyone over with its easy appeal. 

Boston – The first proper North American city, Boston is as American as it comes. From Paul Revere, the Freedom Trail, and the Boston Tea Party, the birth of a nation began here. And it is fun and easy to access in this handsome city.  Often passed over for the Big Apple, Boston while smaller, can boast of its own culinary place with choice restaurants and first class cuisine, much of it local seafood. Some great museums makes Boston a cultural city as well, and the continual variety of events means there is lots to do no matter what you fancy.

Antwerp – Yes Brugges is a gem, but Antwerp too is a jewel of its own. While Brugges has  charisma, Antwerp has elegance and sophistication. Astonishing architecture, the city shows off gilded details of its past while incorporating new and exciting design forward modernity. Definitely a destination for designers.

Milos – The allure of the beauty of Mykonos but on a smaller, less traveled, less partied island of Milos is near heaven on earth for those looking for a quieter Greek holiday. Breathtaking views, all turquoise and white, picturesque stone streets covered with cascading branches and vines is the place of dreams.

Puebla – Two hours outside of the massive Mexico City is a much smaller colonial city of Puebla. The historic center is the essence of Mexico and visions of what most people conjure up when they think of this country. Known for its majolica tiles Puebla is stunningly pretty and a region of over 365 churches, one for every day of the year, most covered in these decorated tiles. Streets are brilliantly colourful from the painted houses to the balloon sellers walking along bustling in clouds of shiny bubbles. It is Mexico like you want it to be.

Sorrento –  Most people forgo Sorrento for the more celebrated destinations such as Positano and Ravello. And you are missing out. Granted Sorrento is a bit more town than village, but it has real charm and character. Also this is where the Italians go when they want to spend time on the Amalfi Coast. So, if its good enough for them…

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Travel Tips: Boston Cabs and Car Services

As a girl abroad, many times traveling alone, I often rely on taxis to get around, especially at night.

I travel to the city of Boston at least a couple times of year. With all its charms, good taxi service is unfortunately not one of Boston’s better aspects representing the city or welcoming the visitor. Every time I am in the city I find myself having some altercation with a cab driver at least once because he is texting while driving! I have even taken photos of them doing it. The cars themselves are also a bit grungy, beat up, and crammed in the back seating. Sometimes even quite stinky with the cab drivers left over food permeating through the whole car, and that would be one of the better smells to be found. Then there is the driving itself which is I hate to say is just awful and many times a bit rough. Drivers are often annoyed and aggressive and will take it out on everyone from the passenger to the driver in front of him, Beware! They can complain (yell) about things such as where you put your bag on the back seat, luggage hassles, and just about anything else if the mood strikes them. But the absolute worst thing of all is for a profession that is about transport throughout the city, the drivers for the most part have no knowledge of their city and therefore have no idea where they are going. That means you the passenger have to tell them how to go and where exactly you are going if you expect to get there. In other words know the hotel’s name, street address, and area of town, as simply saying ‘the Ritz’ might get confused looks. You are essentially doing half the job of the driver, but hey, he still expects to be paid AND tipped! for knowing next to nothing about his job. Prepare yourself. This is especially hard for a visitor to the city who normally doesn’t know the area very well let alone the cross street or what side of the park you might need to be at. Because of this, Boston Cab drivers are a nightmare for tourists.

On a recent trip to Boston, after having yet another difficult taxi journey, a friend of mine turned me onto Uber, a Boston car service that you can book through your smartphone. You download the app, and go through a one time short set up process where you give your credit card details, and then you are free to use the service. The app shows you in real time the cars available in your area and gives you an approximate wait time. Once you book the car it gives you the drivers name and will text you when it is almost there and has arrived. You are picked up in an attractive black car, cozy and clean interior with courteous driver who will get you to your destination with minimal stress or turbulence. And the best part it is all charged to your credit card so you don’t have to worry or fiddle around with payment you can just step out door to door. What a relief! Yes, it does cost slightly more then a regular cab, but not that much more and frankly well worth every penny.

For a cheaper alternative there is Lyft which works on the same premise, and done all through your phone’s app as well, but it considers itself a car ‘sharing’ service which means you might share the car with someone one else going to the same area as you. The trade off being it is cheaper then Uber but not as polished. Both are considered safe, and both offer the same idea while Lyft being slightly less expensive is about the same price as a taxi.

Both services are really taking off in the area and should be easily accessible. Worth a try and a much better alternative to the common Boston cab.