An Embarrassment of Choices ~ Travel Beyond the Crowds

Written in cooperation with Goodshop.

New travelers are often at a loss when choosing a vacation destination. For experienced travelers, the choice is not so much about where to go, but where not to go, for an embarrassment of choices for world travel exists. Searching for the best travel deals or coupons from Priceline is a given, but researching a location can be a more formidable task. While the normal, and proven, questions to ask yourself will point you in the right direction, below is a rundown of a few of the must-see regions around the world, but with a slightly different viewpoint.


Image via Flickr by Greencolander

High on many travelers’ lists, Mexico is a destination that arises again and again. Part of the appeal is simply the proximity and short flight times from the United States. However, many only look to this vibrant country as a beach destination.

While beaches on both coasts are stunning and offer different experiences from one another, part of the great appeal of this diverse country is in its hills. From the Copper Canyon, one of the largest canyons in the world, to the colonial hill towns such as Patzcuaro and San Miguel de Allende, much of the magnetism of this amazing country is found far from the sands of the coastline.

Southeast Asia~

Image via Flickr by poida.smith

Nearly every traveler is aware of the charms of Southeast Asia — the chaotic charm of the large cities, the fantastic food, the inexpensive massages, and the verdant and rich countryside. As the gateway to the region, Bangkok is nearly impossible to avoid, but move beyond this fabled city to discover an impressive diversity. Vietnam offers French colonial architecture, amazing food, and immense beauty.

Cambodia’s recently troubled past is merging into a young, progressive country full of hope, as well as the home of the extraordinary ruins of Angkor Wat. Laos, long considered the ugly stepchild of the area, has emerged as a front-runner on the lists among those in the know. Myanmar, recently reopened to tourism, offers the astonishing ruins of Bagan, as well as a feeling of stepping back in time.


Image via Flickr by jarnold221

Granted, nearly everything has been “discovered” in Europe. If finding great flight deals so that you can jet to the continent sits high on your bucket list, never fear; you can still find ways to avoid the crowds. Most travelers simply do not have the time to get off the beaten path and explore. Thus, they follow the guidebook crowd from one photo op to the next.

Fully escaping the tourist crowds may be a challenge, but to get a more personal experience, you need only walk a few blocks away. When St. Mark’s Square is literally sinking in the crowds, meander a few blocks off the square and discover a Venice with no crowds. If you can no longer bear the crush of humanity in the Louvre, see what you must see and escape to the more civilized crowds of Sainte-Chapelle or the Musée Rodin.

Wherever your holiday may take you, using a few simple techniques can create a magical experience. Instead of having a holiday like everyone else has, venture a few steps off the beaten path to find the true local charms.

Travel with an Easy Mind

Written in cooperation with MedjetAssist.

Travel can be hard. It can be stressful and exhausting. You can’t do anything about long travel days, endless lines at security, or the challenges that come with arriving in a new city or a new country, where you’re unsure of your footing.

Where you can make your life easier is by resting securely in the knowledge that when you become a member of MedjetAssist, you’ll have protection in case a situation arises. No matter where you are, things can happen. People fall, accidents happen, political situations implode, or the unexpected occurs. A bit of added protection makes all the difference when any of these things arise.

Pre-Trip Planning

Prior to departure, gain confidence in your journey with MedjetAssist’s pre-trip planning tool. In addition to the normal channels, MedjetAssist offers access to essential information for over 260 countries and cities. You can easily prepare your very own guide for your holiday with country information, visa requirements, local laws and customs, and even health advisories. Head off on your journey a step ahead in terms of on-the-ground knowledge.

image via Flickr by Chadica

Peace of Mind

As a member of MedjetAssist, you can rest assured that in time of crisis, you will have around-the-clock service. The company’s services extend beyond medical transportation and include 24/7 support to assist with questions ranging from wrongful detention to political issues. MedjetAssist’s fully trained staff can give you peace of mind that no matter what’s happening, you have someone on your side.

Travel Industry Approved

The world is a fascinating and diverse place that’s meant for exploration. After you’ve completed the planning and started the adventure, you don’t want to worry about the unthinkable occurring. Industry insiders fully support additional layers of protection via membership services such as MedjetAssist. Do your research, and then make sure to contact a travel professional to get an informed take on the valuable addition MedjetAssist would be to your travel insurance needs.

Worry-Free Transport

When the unexpected happens, the last thing you want to think about is whether or not the hospital requires up-front payment or how you will get home safely. With a MedjetAssist membership, these worries dissolve. Membership gives you the security in knowing that your initial medical costs are covered and guarantees safe and comfortable transport back to your home facility.

image via Flickr by matt512

The world of travel is a bit of a dream. The ability to step off a plane or boat and onto foreign soil to find an entirely different type of life is a breathtaking experience. Everyone hopes for the best, but it’s never a bad idea to prepare for unplanned events.

By getting a MedjetAssist membership and your regular travel insurance, you can roam the world worry-free, knowing that you have coverage for any range of situations. Travel with your mind at ease, knowing that you are protected as you float the Ganges, share a life-changing experience on safari in Africa, or visit the Great Wall of China.


A Restless Mind

What drives us, we nomadic types? What causes us to leave stable jobs, lovely homes, friends and family, to throw ourselves out into the world? To force discomfort upon ourselves by the mere act of having no home base, no tribe to reach to for comfort? To live a life outside our comfort zone, both mentally and literally?

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Phnom Penh beyond the Killing Fields

Cambodia remains one of the countries that ranks highest on our list of those places that most pulled at our heartstrings, and makes us long to return. There is, undeniably, the crown jewel of the ruins of Angkor Wat, the long boat trip to Battambang, and the traumatic and powerful sites of Tuol Sleng and Choueng Ek at Pol Pot’s Killing Fields. There are gorgeous beaches, that we still need to get to ourselves. But, during our time in the country we experienced so much more of this very poor, and yet vibrant country, particularly in the capital city of Phnom Penh.


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Happening Halong Bay

You Sing! You Sing! The karaoke microphone was thrust into Jim’s hand by the cheering crowd. Thick smoke circled the room, becoming increasingly worse as the passing tobacco bong was alternated by chain smoking cigarettes.. I sat silently, waiting to see what he would do. Singers we are not, but faced with such enthusiasm, it would be hard to resist.

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