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How to travel solo like a local

It takes a lot for some people to become comfortable with themselves, much less travel alone. It’s a task that few can handle, but it is becoming increasingly convenient and popular for solo- travellers to find special deals on vacations. Some brands like Norwegian Cruise Lines offer top-class studio styled suites for their guests at a lower price. The ship designs the studios to have exclusive key card access and a studio complex lounge to mingle with other solo travellers, so you will never feel alone, unless you want to be. Here are some tips from Women’s Post on solo- travel and how to act like a local.

Be prepared

If you’re not in the mood to stand out as a tourist while on vacation, do your research and explore the country/countries you are visiting as a local. Try going to the popular bar around town or even make friends with a local and ask for tips on the area where you plan to explore. Most residents will have a list of places you should visit that may not be on a map.

Skip the tourist traps

Bus tours, boat tours, guided tours, pfft those are for amateurs. The best way to get to know the local streets is to walk around and take note of your own landmarks. There is no harm in renting a mode of transportation to make your way around town as well, A car can get you there faster and save you a lot of unnecessary tourist expenses and cheap souvenirs. Use your phone as your trusted GPS or simply make use of public transportation — most train and bus operators will be able to help you reach your destination.

Stay at a boutique hotel

Boutique hotels are so much fun compared to the big chain and brand named places that you’re used to . Staying at a boutique hotel may be more intimate and gives you a chance to interact with locals and the staff on site. As another option, you can also choose to stay at a local Air BnB or hostel.

Pick the right time to travel

Solo- travel can be overwhelming if you’re not ready for it, but one way to avoid the rush of the season is to travel…well, off-season. Don’t go for spring break or summer vacation. Instead, use your vacation days at a less peak time (like October-November, or April-May) and you will avoid so many lines and you get insight into the way locals live year round.

No schedules here

Don’t tie yourself down to a full schedule like you would on any regular vacation. The agenda is yours to fill with the memories of your choosing, It’s your own personal journey with no expectations or limitations. You can still see all the places and famous landmarks you want to see, but just on your own terms.

Know the lingo

If you are going to a country with a language that you are unfamiliar with, it may be time to dust off the old phrase book and use it while exploring your new temporary home. Eventually you will also find yourself picking up a few terms from the locals you interact with. I’m not saying enrol in language classes, but just make yourself aware of basic greetings and manners.

Enjoy these tips on traveling solo and blending in or check out Like a Local Guide, which offers insider tips and tours by real locals for hundreds of cities around the world.

Happy Journeys and let us know your travel tips and plans below !

Get ready to stay up all night for Nuit Blanche 2017

Nuit Blanche is back for the 12th annual city wide art show. On Sept. 30 from sunset to sunrise, Toronto’s downtown core is transformed into an artistic wonderland, with installations, exhibits, and live performances being carried out throughout the city. This year, the festival will Celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday under the theme entitled: “Many Possible Futures.”

This is the first time there is a specific theme at Nuit Blanche. The festival will host 35 art immersive projects, with four set to run from dusk till dawn. Over all there will be 300-plus independent artists and 90 different art projects to experience in the city.

Here are five exhibitions to look out for at this year’s festival:


Monument to the Century of Revolutions- Nathan Phillips Square ( all night)
Curated by Nato Thompson

This exhibition features 21 different showcases within one project. The installation is a reflection of Russian history and the Bolshevik Revolution, which led to the rise of the Soviet Union. The display will feature an array of different shipping containers that essentially form a village. In this village, different shipping containers will display moments throughout history from the Mexican Revolution to the French Revolution. One section will address issues of indigenous peoples, sex workers, queer activism and African diaspora. In all, this village is a social space that represents history and the narrative of global justice.


Calculating Upon The Unforeseen- AGO (6:58PM- 2:00AM) Indoors
The Forest- Curated by Clara Halpern

This performance at the AGO will feature Canadian artist Will Kwan, and addresses how inequality is created through economics and cultural discussions.The performance will address the “force and fragility” of the human voice through words. These spoken words will reflect on human history and poetic stories, and will only be conveyed through human and voice connection.


Taking To The Streets- Wellesley Street West & Queen’s Park Crescent West
Automobile- Curated by Barbara Fischer

Artist Joseph Namy will feature a translation of sound using the bass system of various cars. Clusters of cars will be parked under a bridge near Wellesley St., featuring an amplified sound that can be heard even before the display is seen. The goal of this installation is to see how people listen to music versus how they feel when they hear music. The loud bass is powerful and is meant to transmit this power to a large audience.


Netflix’s Red Forest- Spadina Courthouse Rotunda

For the first time, Netflix will be creating the “Upside Down” world that is featured in the popular Netflix series, Stranger Things. Expected to be one of the most popular attractions, explorers have a chance to explore the ‘Red Forest’ that reflects the upside down world. Guests even wear a hazmat when entering the forest to reflect the nature of the show. This is a big promotional effort for the show Stranger Things, but understandably is very appealing.

Fly By Night- The Gladstone Hotel
Curated by Lukus Toane

This celebration at the Gladstone Hotel on Queen Street Wes, is an all-night event that will showcase this hotel as one of Toronto’s oldest cultural hubs. The Gladstone is already known for their unique and artistic rooms, but the celebration will take place on the second floor public space and will feature live performances and a visual transformation of the environment. There will also be karaoke at the Melody Bar on the first floor.

As per usual the TTC will be operating all night to ensure the easy transport of persons around the city. For more information visit nbto.com


Hope you have an enjoyable Nuit Blanche 2017!

8 movies that will make you book your next flight

What if I told you you could go on vacation right now? Art mediums like books and movies can transport you to far-off lands, but it can also encourage people to take real trips to other countries. The sensory experience of film can transport you to another world entirely, exposing you to culture, food, music, and art in the span of 90 minutes. So take this journey with Women’s Post as we list eight movies that will inspire you to travel.

Thailand-The Beach (2000)

Like the name, this movie was filmed on location from the streets of Bangkok to Maya Bay in Ko Phi Phi Leh, Thailand. Based on a novel by Alex Garland, this adventure packed film follows a young American tourist. Leonardo Dicaprio plays the young American who finds himself travelling to a secluded island in the Gulf of Thailand and joins a secret community with magical blue waters and pristine lagoons. Despite the wonderful visuals of this movie, this films isn’t all paradise.

 

Spain- Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)

As the title suggests, this Woody Allen film transports you to the streets and ways of Barcelona, Spain. This romantic comedy follows two American friends on vacation in Barcelona where they put their inhibitions to the side and indulge in a weekend of seduction by a Spanish painter played by Javier Bardem. Woody Allen captured many stunning visuals in this film while promoting the Catalonia region of Spain. Scenes are also filmed in Oviedo, the northwest Spanish countryside. One scene of the movie also captures the Church of La Sagrada Familia, a famous unfinished Roman Catholic Church from 1882. The architecture and seen in this movie will be greatly appreciated.

Scotland/ United Kingdom- One Day (2011)

While I may never forgive the ending of this movie, this film captures scenes from Scotland, France and England. Most of the production took place in Edinburgh,Scotland, where the lead characters of the movie attend University. Scenic views also includes the Brittany region of France and several shots of London. The movie follows two university friends, who always find themselves connecting over the years, eventually invoking feelings of love, disappointment, bad timing and hurt.

India/France-The Hundred- Foot Journey (2014)

I discovered this film by mere chance on a long flight — the irony is not lost on me. After watching, I was ready to fly to India and to the French countryside instead. The Hundred-Foot Journey is a witty comedic film with the backing of two powerful people. Produced by Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey, this film tells the tale of a family’s journey from Mumbai, India, to opening up a restaurant adjacent to a Michelin star restaurant in the French countryside. Filming took place in the south of France in Saint Antonin Noble Val. The movie captures the beauty of Southern France and included scenes from Northern Paris.

Colombia- Love In The Time Of Cholera (2007)

Filmed in the beautiful seaside town of Cartegena,Colombia, this movie visually captures many interesting scenes of Spanish culture. Love in the time of cholera is based off the famous Spanish novel in 1985 by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. This classic tale of a love triangle captures the rustic day to day life of a Spanish lifestyle, with vibrant colours. Scenes also include street markets in Bolívar, Colombia and a historic church.

Italy- Under the Tuscan Sun (2003)

This classic Romantic comedy tells the tale of a recently single American woman( portrayed by Diana Lane), who impulsively buys a villa in Tuscany and embarks on restarting her life. The beautiful and stunning scenes showcase the beauty of the countryside. The location of her new villa is in the town of Cortona,Tuscany. Shots also include scenes from Florence and Rome.

 

France-Paris Can Wait (2016)

Diane Lane returns again to deliver another witty romantic and comedic role of an American woman travelling abroad with her husband. While deciding to disconnect from her busy husband and taking the scenic route, Lane’s character travels with her husband’s associate. The pair drive from Cannes to Paris. Like the title of the move, very little of Paris is seen. Starting from the French Riviera, the pair drive the countryside of South-Eastern France, there are shots in Aix en Provence, Lauris,and Cadenet, France.

 

Indonesia/ Italy/ India – Eat,Pray,Love (2010)

I don’t think this list would be complete without the ultimate wanderlust movie. Eat, Pray, Love is the wildly popular film based off a bestselling memoir of the same name. The movie recounts an American woman’s journey to finding her true self after her divorce. Her travels include eating, praying, and obviously, loving. The movie highlights, Italy, Indonesia and India. Filming locations included, Bali, Naples, Dehli and New York City , encourages viewers to take a short trip around these amazing countries.

 

Hope this list is able to fulfill some of your wanderlust and you’re off to book your next flight.

Let us know in the comments below some movies that have inspired you to travel and explore. Bon Voyage!