December 2015


Santorini is a beautiful volcanic island that is part of the Cyclades group of the Greek island. It is famous for its stunning sunsets, breathtaking view, and natural beauty. There are a lot of things that you can do on this fantastic island. You can explore the alleys, paths, and beautiful stairwells of Firostefani, Imerovigli, and Fira. You can also enjoy the beach and dine with a fantastic view. But, before you go to Santorini, Greece, here are the things that you should know:

Airport Transfers
Santorini is a small but busy airport. Visitors from the United States and even in other parts of Europe have to travel to Athens first and then book a plane to Santorini. There are a lot of shared and private airport transfers in Santorini airport, but to avoid a long line, it is necessary to book in advance long before you go to Santorini.

Getting Around the Island
You ride a public bus from the main station at Fira to get to the different destinations around the island. The bus ticket costs around $3.33. You can also take a taxi that typically costs you around $5.21. If you’re more of an adventurer, you can also rent a car from the following car rental companies like:
• Avis
• Budget Rent-A-Car
• Sixt
• Hertz Rent-A-Car
• Cool cars
• Vazeos
• Santorini Holiday Cars

SIM Cards
You can find many SIM cards around Greece. You can actually buy a Cosmote pre-paid SIM card at the departures hall of Athens airport for about $5.55.

Airport Lockers
The Santorini airport does not have luggage lockers, but some travel agencies have luggage lockers that you can rent for a fee.

Money Exchange
There are many money exchange stores around the touristy areas of Santorini but these stores have high commissions, so it is best to do the money exchange in the bank.

Neighborhoods for Foodies and Adventurers
You can find a lot of delicious eggplant dishes around Santorini. When you’re on the island, it is essential to try the delightful Greek dishes such as taramasalata, dolmades, moussaka, and courgette balls. You can find a lot of restaurants in this beautiful island, including:
• Metaxy Mas: this is probably the best restaurant in Santorini. It serves excellent food and has a beautiful view of the Kamari beach.
• Argo: Argo does not have a scenic view of the island, but it serves really amazing food. The interior and exterior of the restaurant are also captivating.
• Remvi: this restaurant is located in Firostefani. This restaurant serves tasty food and gives you a beautiful view of the sea and the island.
• Avocado: this restaurant is located in Imerovigli. This restaurant is charming and serves fantastic food, too.

If you’re up for some adventure, here are the things that you can try in Santorini:
• Sunset sailing tour
• Watch a movie in an open-air cinema in Kamari
• Hike to Oia
• Swim in Amoudi Bay
• Sailing
• Wine Tour
• Swim in the hot springs
• Go on Volcano boat tour

Greece has one of the most ancient civilizations in the world. The 98% percent of residents in Santorini have Greek ancestry. Most people in Santorini speak Greek, but they can speak English. To discover the culture of Greece, you can visit museums within the area, and you can also visit the Akrotiri ruins.

Santorini is definitely one of the most beautiful islands in the world. It is filled with wonder, beauty, and friendly people. But, before you go to Santorini, it helps to do a little research. This is to ensure that your trip is hassle-free.

Fish spas…the good, the bad, and the, “I don’t think I like this!” in 60 seconds!

I probably went to one of the worst fish spas you could go to. Oh, you know, planted right in the middle of a tourist trap in Bangkok on Khao San Road. It’s a street filled with pubs, elephant pants, and “Same Same” graphic tees. It’s a party spot that it’s no wonder it attracts hundreds of drunken tourists looking for debauchery. Thank God I’m not in my twenties anymore or I’d probably be one of the hung over despicables parked and drinking a bad excuse for a Bloody Mary and then washing it down with a Chang beer because I don’t want to waste the money I just spent on it.

I’m not even sure why I’m here…oh, wait, my mother did some research and wanted to take me here because she thought I’d enjoy it. Yes, mum is in town for two weeks to see me off at the beginning of my round-the-world travel adventures. We begin window-shopping looking at all the same graphic tees before I overhear my mother (God bless her) pull over a backpacker and ask him, “Excuse me? Do you know where the backpacker’s ghetto is? I want to get to the backpacker’s ghetto.” Not surprisingly he didn’t know, and she got a very questionable stare. We get to another shop, and she proceeds to ask the vendor the same question. Where on earth is she getting her info from?! Why is she so curious to check out a “ghetto”? I’m beyond feeling embarrassed and bury my head into the rack of clothes until we’re in the clear.

To derail her from further embarrassing me, I see a fish spa. I read about these on Trip Advisor and on the internet. It seemed novelty, and I’m drawn to novelty, so I figured, “When in Thailand…”

My mother seemed apprehensive about doing it but decided to join me since I was able to knock off an extra 50 baht ($1.50 each) off the 200 baht original price for 15 minutes. It seemed a bit pricey considering I saw that equivalent to a one-hour massage, but, “What the hell. YOLO!” I’ll never be able to try this in the states.

I was wearing skinny jeans, but the lady at the shop had some pants for me to change into. Sweet! I walk upstairs into a little changing room area so that I could put on these adorably attractive yellow and lime green capris (notice sarcasm). As I’m getting my last leg in, I hear screaming from below. Who is that?? Then I recognize it’s my mother’s voice. We’re the only ones in the shop, so it has to be my mum. “Oh, quit being a baby!” I’m thinking.

I make my way back down, and she has this squeamish look on her face with her feet propped up over the fish spa. It can’t be that bad.

She looks at me, and I’m laughing at her for being such a sissy and sit down so the lady can wash off my feet in a bucket of water before going for it. Mum gets ready to video me, and I get my camera ready too. I put one foot in followed by the second one seconds after.

I see them each of them starting to make their way slowly to my two feet…but mostly my left foot. I’m not sure why they like my left foot better.

A few of these feet-sucking feeders are now on my feet. This feels kind of weird. Then dozens more slowly follow suit. Okay, now it’s starting to feel really weird. And then the dozens begin to triple all mostly attracting on my left foot. What gives?! Eeeeeek! Okay, I don’t think I like this. Wait, I definitely don’t like this!

I’m trying so hard not to overreact, holding my breath, my face getting flushed, and my eyes closing tighter and tighter. “Eeeeee-heeee-heee-heee!!” I can’t tell if I want to scream, laugh…I’m scraughing. That’s what I’ll call it! Scraughing! I’m totally scraughing squeamishly.

I’m practicing my breathing as if I were preggers with frequent shallow inhales and exhales, “Whoo! Whoo! Whoo!” Okay, I can’t take this anymore! No more! My feet are out. The fish win and I’m TKO’ed this first round.

But, wait, that was like only 60 seconds. I still have another 14 minutes of this ish. My mom has this, “See? I told you so.”, look on her face with her feet still on the surface of the water.

I’ll show you, Mom!

I get my feet back into the water after the blood proceeds to rush off my face, and these fish-sucking guzzlers are back at it in the same routine, all back at my left foot. What the hell?

I’m panting like a dog without water with cold sweats coming from my forehead hyperventilating again.


“Whoo! Whoo! Whoo!”

All right! Vampire fishies, you win! You TKO’ed my ass. I’m out!

Clearly I did not make it the full 15 minutes and weeks later I can say I didn’t suffer from any weird foot fungi from unsanitary conditions sharing the dirty waters with a million other feet, but it is a twisted story I get to share with my friends. Would I give it another try? While I did have a dream (aka nightmare) that same night about fish sucking on my body and suffering from a slight PTSD from the experience, I would consider giving this another try in the future, preferably at a spa where I’m warmed up with a glass of champagne first.

You Suck Fish Spa!

Dublin, the capital and the largest city in Ireland, is clean, well-developed and is filled with beautiful buildings. The whole town is charming, and the people are friendly. Dublin also has gorgeous gardens and fascinating castles. But, before you go to Dublin, you should be equipped with the following information.

Dublin Airport Transport
There are many taxis at the airport. The taxi fare starts at $34.73. You can also take an airport bus that stops at many landmarks and hotels, including Grafton Street, Dublin City, O’Connell Street, Drumcondra, Sandyford, and Stillorgan. You can also book private transfers ahead. It is best to go for private transfer if comfort, safety, and convenience are your top priority.

Going Around Dublin
Dublin is filled with public transport options including trains, buses, and taxis. You can also rent a bike and just bike around the city.

If you want to see the different parts of the city, you can try the “Hop On and Hop Off” tour buses. You can purchase a one-day tour bus pass for about $19. Going on a bus tour is the most comfortable, most convenient, and probably the safest way to see the various tourist spots around Dublin

Currency Exchange
You can do the currency exchange in banks to avoid additional fees and commissions. But, if you’re in a hurry, you can easily find a currency exchange shop in top streets of Dublin.

Airport Lockers
Dublin airport provides storage lockers for visitors and travelers. The Dublin airport left luggage facility is located in the Car Park Atrium across the road from the terminal.

5 Tourist Atractions to Consider
When you’re taking the tour around Dublin, here are the tourist spots that you should definitely visit:

  1. The Guinness Storehouse
    If you’re a black beer lover, you should definitely visit the Guinness Storehouse.
  2. The Dublin Zoo
    The Dublin Zoo is filled with exotic animals such as zebras and giraffes. If you’re traveling with kids, it would be a good idea to try the Dublin Zoo.
  3. St. Patrick’s Cathedral
    This is one of the oldest buildings in Ireland. This cathedral has a fascinating history.
  4. The Ireland Castles
    There are many castles in Ireland that you can visit, including the Dublin Castle, the Blarney Castle, and Bunratty Castle.
  5. The River Liffey
    If you have an adventurous spirit, you can swim in the River Liffey. This river is one of the cultural symbols of Dublin, Ireland.
    If you’re really into exciting activities, you can try water rafting and aerial trekking.

Places for Foodies
The Hipster triangle that stretches from Crackbird all away up to Bald Barista and then on Aungier Street and then down to Avoca and then back to Dame Street. There are many restaurants in this area, including La Cave, Chameleon Restaurant, Ciao Bella Roma, and Taste of Emilia.

Dublin was founded during the Viking settlement in Europe. It then became one of the most influential cities. In fact, it was the fortified seat of the British Rule in Ireland in 1922. Irish people are religious and generally happy.

Dublin is one of the most exciting cities in the world, but before you go to this beautiful city, it is essential to do a little research. This will make your trip more relaxed and more memorable.

Barcelona is absolutely one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It is one of the major cities in the land of siesta, tapas, flamenco, and bullfighting. The town is filled with beautiful buildings and tourist spots such as the La Sagrada Familia Church, Picasso Museum, the FC Barcelona museum, the Montjuic, Font Magica, Parc Guell, Casa Batllo, Casa Mila, and La Rambla. But, here are the things that you should know before you go to Barcelona:

Airport Transfer
If convenience and comfort is your top priority, it would be a good idea to book a private airport transfer service. You can book different private transportation services in Barcelona online. But, if this is too expensive for you, you can hire a Barcelona airport taxi. You can find a long line of taxis outside the T1 and T2 terminal exits of the Barcelona – El Prat Airport. The taxi fare is around $27.79 to $33.34.

You can also try the following buses:
Aerobus: this is an express bus service in Barcelona that is very popular to tourists. It will take you to either Plaza de Catalunya or Placa Espanya. The fare is around $6.56.
NitBus: this is a night bus that operates from 10 PM to 5 AM, and it travels from the Barcelona Airport to Plaza de Catalunya and vice versa. The fare is $2.39 as of writing.
TMB Airport Bus: This bus operates from 4:50 AM to 11:50 PM and it travels from the airport to the center of Barcelona. TMB airport bus ticket costs about $2.39.

How to Go Around the City
You can take a metro bus around the city. This costs around $1.11 – $3.33. You can also take high-speed trains, but it’s too expensive – around $55 to $155.61. But, if you want to get around the city quickly and comfortably, it is best to hire a taxi.

SIM Cards
Spain has four major network operators such as Vodafone, Movistar, Yoigo, and Orange. SIM cards cost around $26.66 with a $20 credit.

Airport Lockers
The Barcelona Airport has provided a luggage service at Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 where you can leave your bags for the following rates:

Duration / Rate per Bag
1 to 2 hours: $6.66
2 to 24 hours: $11.11
24 hours $11.11
7 days: $57.00
14 days: $67.00

Currency Exchange in Barcelona
You can exchange your currencies into Euro or Travel Checks in exchange kiosks in the airport. But, just to be safe, it is best to do currency exchange in conventional banks such as Catalunya Caixa, La Caixa, BBVA, and Caixa Penedes. The regular banking hours in Spain is from 9:30 am to 6:00 pm from Monday to Friday.

Activities for Adventure Lovers
If you are adventurous, it would be a good idea to join a Barcelona Tapas Tour, a Biking Tour, or Photography Tour. It is also a good idea to do rock climbing in Montjuic or do windsurfing at Base Nautica. You can also play tennis at Parc de l’Estacio del Nord or do skateboarding at MACBA.

Spot for Foodies
The food in Spain, especially in Barcelona, is fantastic. So, here are three recommended foodie places visit when in Barcelona:

  • Sagas: Sagas serve the best Catalan wines and sandwiches.
  • Formatgeria La Seu: a great cheese store that foodies around the world really love. This store serves different types of cheese and even cheese ice cream!
  • Bubo: a fancy bakery that looks a lot more like a jewelry store than a cake shop!

Barcelona is a beautiful city. But, to ensure that your vacation is stress and hassle-free, you must take time to do a little research on where to go and how much to spend before you go to Barcelona, Spain.

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