The Weirdest Habits Around The World

German Toilets

In some part of Europe, mostly in Germany, some toilets have a pool of water on the opposite side. So when you poop, it doesn’t fall in the water, it just hangs out in the open air until your done and flush. It’s mainly a German thing, but we’ve seen it all over the northwest part of the mainland continent too!

Sneezing in India

In India we met a local who we had dinner with. One of our friends sneezed and suddenly the local said “Now somebody stepped on your grave.”
Having never heard this before, we became quite worried and looked around as if something was going to happen!

UK Bathrooms

Americans find it so weird that there are no outlets in the bathrooms. But there are outlets that only work with men’s shavers. When we asked our UK friends they look at us strange! They just say it’s too dangerous to blow dry your hair in the bathroom. This seems to be mostly a UK thing because UK is very fire paranoid. Some building actual state that if there’s a fire, stay in your apartment because the building is pretty much fire proof. All rooms in flats have to have fire doors between them. 

Also many years ago it was popular to have carpets in bathrooms in the UK.  Carpets in the bathroom? That just sounds gross!

Turks Tea Habits

Turks drink tea constantly. Seriously, like one after the other. I get jittery after 5 glasses. I don’t know how Turks don’t all have seriously high blood pressure.

Dog Leashes Are Cruel...

According to one traveler, some countries outside the U.S think dog leashes are cruel. They see American dogs as being mistreated and say they have issues because of it. When she was in Cusco, Peru, she was amazed to see dogs meeting each other at the park to play. They never wanted anything to do with the humans. At first she thought they were all strays, but they looked well fed and healthy. She was shocked to learn they are people’s pets who are given lots of freedom.

Japanese Eating

In Japan, if you finish your plate or bowl at someone’s place, they’ll serve you more. You must leave a little bit if you’re done so you can finally stop getting served!

Feet Sinks

In most Arab countries they have low height sinks for washing feet for Muslim prayer.

However, in other countries where they do not have such sinks. we have seen people splashing around water in attempt to sit in the sink to wash their feet, making a huge mess!

Canadian Sorry

In Canada 🇨🇦 everyone says “sorry” even when they are not at fault. Most people in Canada are generally nice in our own experience!

10 Best Places To Visit In Italy According to Travelers

Based on the recommendations and tips from travelers, we’ve gathered 10 best places to visit in Italy. We’ve included what they recommend in each place and any tips that we think might be useful when visiting. 

Rome

“The HopOnHopOff bus allowed me to see all the monuments in Rome with ease. Once that was out of the way I liked exploring the Monti neighbourhood and Trastavere.
We went to mass with the pope which occurs on Wednesday. B
uy a front of the line ticket on Viator. Guide knew how to get us in front row.
Make sure you buy your tour ticket for Vatican in advance. They have a website for tours and tickets, I lined up for 2 hours in the pouring rain. 
Rome is like any capital city – lots of monuments and professionals.”

“Go to the Vatican really early its nicer going through Vatican city before huge crowds otherwise you get herded along. Try to go to the forum and catacombs at sunrise, it’s really beautiful”

“I purchased the Roma pass for my second trip and it ‘s worth every single penny. You can use it for the train/ bus and they have a separate lines for Roma pass access at different attractions. Make sure you go to Trastavere (I think) for dinner… off the tourist trap. I love castroni, they sell less expensive but very good food. It’s like an Italian grocery store.”

“Trains are very reasonable . Always watch the days, on Thursday it could be 16 Euros and a Friday 80 Euros. Trains are extremely comfortable especially for senior travelers. High speed trains 🚂 are the best. We’ve done a lot of train travel and just love it. You may want to book ahead as they are usually full. Yes make sure to validate your ticket before boarding. You’ll see the small machines near the boarding area.

“In Rome I recommend not wandering too far to the outskirts after 12 midnight, and always bring toilet paper out with you. Most washrooms will not have any in the pubs at night if thats something you do and public washrooms wont either mostly.”

Amalfi Coast

“We were there summer of 2019. We stayed just outside Amalfi. It’s very easy to get around on the buses. Must see places are Ravello, Amalfi, and Positano. The jewel is of course Capri. When you’re there, do the private boat tour. Definitely worth the cost! “

“Stayed at the IQ hotel. It was very nice and close to the hop on hop off that took us everywhere. Check out some Airbnb for the coastal stay. Some can get really affordable!”

“We took the train from Rome to Sorrento. We then rode a Bus to the town of Amalfi. I suggest you stay in Sorento for two or three nights. Accommodations are a little cheaper in the location. You can then take a boat to visit Capri Island. Or take a train to Pompeii – later take a bus to Amalfi and Positano – accommodation is more  affordable there. “

 

Cinque Terre

“The best place to stay in Cinque Terre is Monterosso Al Mare, because even though it isn’t central, the train station won’t make you walk up and down 20 flights or stairs with your luggage! Plus, they also have a beach. We stayed at hotel Agave and loved it!”

“Last time I went (summer 2014), the trail that connects the villages was closed because it was not safe to walk it. You might want to check before planning to walk the trail. The alternative is taking the train, which is very frequent and cheap. If you have time I would also go to Porto Venere, another UNESCO site. It is very beautiful and easily reachable by train from Cinque Terre.”

Milan

“When in Milan, you really have to visit the Duomo, and make sure to climb the rooftop. Walk through Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II and checkout Piazza Della Scala. Arco Della pace is worth a photo! Then walk through the park to Torre Branca which has lovely views of Milan. Sforzesco Castle is worth a visit. And of course there’s Da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” but be sure to book in advance. Take a cruise down Navigli in the evening and enjoy a cocktail. If it’s shopping you like visit the area of Quadrilatero della Moda. For food, there’s a lovely little restaurant in the Eataly supermarket – Alice. You can’t go wrong with the pizza at Pizzium and D&G bar have great martini based cocktails Be careful though! Your items will be stolen if they leave your sight.”

“If you get a chance, visit Lugano in Switzerland and also take the ferrateria up San Salvatore – the views are mind blowing.”

Florence

“Definitely check out Florence! For yummy food, check out my favorite resto La Bussola Florence – fresh pizza, tasty steak and crispy calamari!”

“For art, there is the Statue of David and the Birth of Venus painting. I’d explore Tuscany if you love wine too.”

“The best steak house we’ve been to is in Florence called Buca Mario, if you have time, you should definitely check it out.”

“I prefer visiting Florence. Very artsy university city. Stay in an Airbnb near the Duomo. Also the train going there is fantastic. For food, go to the Mercato Porcellino. They serve authentic Italian food! Avoid the larger market which is filled with products made offshore.”

“There is also a wonderful water colour artist on Ponte Vecchio, the bridge. He’s been there for decades and a great character to meet.
It’s a walking town where it’s common to find barrels wine outside of shops, a glass is 1 euro. Eat lots of gelato. And try to take in some live theatre. As for food – impossible to go wrong. Everything is mouthwatering.”

“Decide what you want to see in Florence and then buy your tickets online ahead of time. That way, you have a time that you just show up for and walk right in. Otherwise, you wait in line for up to several hours to buy at the door. My suggestions are The Academia (to see The David) , the Uffizi, and the Bargello. (My Italian spelling is probably off) We found that one museum a day was all our brains could absorb so we did one each morning and then spent the afternoon exploring. And eating. The first day in Rome, do a Hop On Hop Off tour. It gives you an overview of the city and where everything is. Then you can decide where you want to spend your time.”

Venice

“All the tourists go to the piazza San Marco in Venice. For a different experience, you can ride the water bus across the canal to San Giorgio where you will find a wonderful church with fantastic carved saints and a tower that rivals the one in the piazza across the canal. 10 years ago 3 euros would get you to the top of the tower for the view of the grand canal and a free pass to the toilets while you’re there. The island had only a few visitors when we were there so was a welcome break from the crowds.

“You can get easily lost or confused as there is no English signs on the streets, subways and people don’t seem to have tolerance for tourists. At coffee shops they don’t allow you to sit on the chairs unless pay extra. Sometimes you have to pay to go to the wahsroom. Oh and watch out for thieves! Keep your belongings close to you especially your wallet and money.

“For Venice stay on the main land and take the water bus over in the mornings. This saves so much money and make sure to visit Verona while you are there! Its amazing with great hot chocolate! “

The Dolomites

“We drove from Zurich through the Dolomites, also called the Italian alps, and to Lake Como region and back. Beautiful scenery everyplace. On the way back we went through the Mont Blanc tunnel, what a trip that was!”

“While the north is cold plus there are Alps called the Dolomites in the far north. So Venice will be below 10’C. It’s still warmer than Canada but that will be cold for most others.”

” Visit Lake Carrezza in the Dolomites and stay in Ortisei so you can take the cable car right up to Alpe de Siusi!”

“In Dolomites stay at Ortisei and La Villa. There are great agritourism in the area near the Dolomites and Cortina. They can be a great place to base out of. Also visit Trento, a fabulous town. Pretty, rich in history with good shops. You can check out agriturismo.it. The website has an English language version if that is easier.

Tuscany

“Absolutely a must is Sienna, Firenze, Luca and Pisa for all your classic tourist beauty! I’d rent a car and drive. It’s not that far and it’s a really beautiful drive . You can stop in beautiful spots in between the way! Stop at local farmers markets too for fresh food!”

“Sienna is wonderful. Go on a Vespa tour through the countryside. We have gone on two now and both are wonderful. You get to see little back roads where tourists do not frequent and the guides are very attentive and safety aware.”

“As you travel through Tuscany, put on your list Volterra, the natural thermal springs at San Felippo Bagnoni and Bagno Vignoni. All stops are delightful. I would also add Bolgheri, it’s near Volterra, if time permits.”

Lake Como

“Lake Como de Garda is just to die for. On the way from Venice to cinque Terre, I would recommend driving up to Lake Como to spend 1 night. We stayed in Lenno which was beautiful and quieter than Bellagio.”

Stresa and the islands on Lake Maggiore are enough for a one day trip, everything else can wait. Better to book the ferry in advance. On Lake Como, along the coast between Bellagio and Como, up in the mountain there are small villages. There you can find small restaurants with great food and honest prices. Be aware that the more the place is famous, the more it becomes pricey. Most locals prefer more affordable and often better restaurants that are hidden in the mountains. But this is really up to you. The scenery on the lake is for sure nice, but from the top, well, there are also exclusive views.”

Sorrento

Sorrento is easy, and from there you can take day trips to Capri, and Positano, Amalfi, and others. There’s a public ferry that runs to Capri a few times a day at least. The other places we went, we used a private charter but I’m sure there are many other options. I loved Sorrento!”

“In the Amalfi area, we took a boat from Naples to Ischia, then a boat from Ischia to Positano, where I took a side trip to Amalfi Coast by boat, then a boat from Positano to Capri, then a boat from Capri to Sorrento. It was really nice avoiding all the road traffic down there and the boats were very fast.”

Other Tips

Trains

“Book your train in advance for better ticket prices, but you give up spontaneity. Do not use Eurorail. If you book online, it will try to redirect you, but just say you want to stay in the European site. And go 2nd class. It’s very comfortable, especially if you are in a high speed train. I book on SNCF which is the French government train booking site. I don’t know what the Italian website is, but try SNCF for travel anywhere in EU. If it’s not in English, look for a British flag to click on to translate it. If you wait till the last minute, the costs go up considerably. You can order online and if you book weeks in advance, they will mail ticket to Canada (but not the US). Better to get your booking number and use a machine at the station to get tickets. And make sure you validate ticket before getting on train!”

Ride Share

“Trains are great but I also tried rideshare service in Europe on occasions for a different experience. I was traveling solo, but I felt perfectly safe. I met interesting people too although rideshare may not always be for everyone. They’re great for last minute transportation at reasonable cost.”

How to Get Free Upgrades on A Flight – From an Airline Gate Agent

  • Watch the video below on tips to get a free upgrade according to a gate agent
  • Gone are the days of free upgrades on your honeymoon or other milestone celebrations
  • Gate agents do get reprimanded for handing out free upgrades to just about anyone
  • Although the chances of an upgrade are slim, there are ways to improve your odds: dress appropriately and ask

Back in the day, mentioning to the gate agent that you’re on your honeymoon or celebrating a special milestone like a 25-year anniversary would get you a free upgrade to first class or at least business class. Well, times have changed. 

Most articles advice you to flirt with the gate agent to hopefully score that coveted upgrade. In reality, most of them have become immune to such things (also because they can sense your ulterior motive from a mile away). On the other hand, gate agents who do give out a free upgrade get reprimanded by the airline. As mentioned in the video below, during his days as a gate agent, he gave an elderly couple a free upgrade on their way to Florida. The couple was ecstatic but he was later reprimanded and was suspended for a day without pay.

Airlines no longer give out free upgrades to just anyone. If the flight is oversold and the airline would need to upgrade some passengers, the airline’s computer would generate a a priority list for gate agents to refer to. Although the algorithm is based on many factors, the priority list usually goes like this: 1) frequent flyers, 2) passengers who’ve paid expensive tickets or who’ve paid extra to be waitlisted for the higher cabins. 

If you’re a casual traveler and you’ve paid a pretty good, low price for your ticket, the odds of getting upgraded are pretty low for you. 

However, there are some ways to improve your odds. Can’t hurt to try, right? 

Dress Appropriately

First class and business class seats are marketed as luxury experiences. Passengers chosen for an upgrade are expected to dress the part. If you do get chosen and you’re not dressed appropriately, chances are you will be skipped on the list. The flight agent will have to give the upgrade to the next person dressed well. 

That said, you don’t need to come in dressed in a tuxedo or a pin-striped suit. Business casual usually does the trick. Definitely no ripped jeans, flip flops, and PJ’s. 

Present Yourself and Ask

Now that you’ve got the dress code right, make your way to the counter and simply ask if the flight is oversold. If the flight is not oversold, well, you’re out of luck – slim chance of an upgrade. If the flight is oversold, then ask if there is an extra seat and hand over your boarding pass. This at least puts you top of mind and shows that you are dressed appropriately for an upgrade. 

As mentioned in the video, when there aren’t anymore frequent flyers to upgrade, it is acceptable practice for gate agents to suggest a passenger to bump up just to save time on accounting for everyone. Most likely, someone that would come to mind would be the person who asked about an upgrade and who is dressed for the part, right? 

 

These small acts, of course, don’t guarantee a seat in the mile high club but they at least improve your chances if you are lucky enough to be shortlisted in an oversold flight. 

Video:

Travel Guide: Palawan, Philippines

Travel to Coron, Palawan

Photo: ourawesomeplanet.com

Coron is the third-largest island in the Calamian Islands in northern Palawan in the Philippines. It is home to one of the world’s best beaches, limestone cliffs, and cave pools. 

4 Day Itinerary

DAY 1: Coron Island Ultimate Tour

Kayangan Lake

Accessible by a steep 10-minute climb, the crystal-clear waters of Lake Kayangan are nestled into the mountain walls

Siete Picados

Isles of the Seven Sins, commonly known as Siete Pecados, is a group of seven islands known for its coral reefs and diverse species of colorful tropical marine life

Twin Lagoon

There are two sides to this photogenic lagoon where salt and fresh water meet. Boats dock in one half and and the other half is accessed by swimming through a narrow crevice.

Coral Garden

The colorful reefs and rich biodiversity makes this one of the best diving and snorkeling spots in the island. Explore explore a sunken WWII vessel.

Atwayan Beach by Journey Era
Atwayan Beach

Named after the shells, known locally as “tuay,” that abundantly cover the shore, Atwayan Beach is one of the best in Palawan with its powdery white sand and turquoise water.

DAY 2: Island Escapade Tour

The Malcapuya, Banana, and Bulog Dos Islands tour loop is a whole day tour which takes you across the Culion straight and into a group of islands teeming with natural wonders.

As your boat passes a natural channel you will see the pearl farms of the nearby islands and the seaweed plantations being harvested by the local community.

This tour does a loop of the three nearby quiet and peaceful islands of Malacapuya, Banana (known by its fruity shape) and Bulog Dos islets all of which have white sand beaches and beautiful clear waters.

Philippine Travel Guide

Malcapuya Island

Philippine Travel Guide

Banana Island

Philippine Travel Guide

Bulog Dos Island

DAY 3: Calauit Safari Tour + Black Island Side Trip

Malbato Chapel

Located on top of a hill overlooking the sea, the chapel boasts of its unique facade made of stones and sea shells.

Calauit Safari Park

Calauit Safari Park covers almost 3800 hectares. Formerly known as Calauit Game Preserve and Wildlife Sanctuary, it is home to various species of exotic African and endemic Palawan flora and fauna.

Philippine Travel Guide

Black Island

Fall in love with stunning cave pools, limestone cliffs, and hidden beaches of Black Island

Tips

  • Bring a reusable bottle. Plastic bottles are not allowed on the island
  • Bring aqua shoes to protect your feet from  sharp rocks
  • You can always book your tours on the day at the town proper but it’s best if you book in advance