Hawaii Christmas & New Year’s Eve Events 2018

We know many readers have been waiting for our popular lists of holiday activities in Hawaii for the coming season. This is the 11th year we’ve been creating the most comprehensive Christmas and New Year’s Eve you’ll find for Hawaii. We’ve been hard at work on the guides which are now ready for use!

Follow the links to view the individual island guides.

Christmas in Hawaii

Waikiki/Honolulu Christmas

Maui Christmas

New Year’s Eve in Hawaii

Waikiki/Honolulu New Year’s Eve

Maui New Year’s Eve

Kauai New Year’s Eve

Big Island New Year’s Eve

We recommend you book your plans as soon as possible as the holidays are a very popular time to visit the Hawaiian Islands.

If you don’t have plans to be in Hawaii for Christmas, you can enjoy the beautiful decorations by following our Go Visit Hawaii instagram account where we’re counting down to Christmas with colorful photos of Hawaiian style decorations. For example, here’s today’s instagram post.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Go Visit Hawaii (@govisithawaii) on Dec 4, 2018 at 5:28am PST

Whether you are visiting the Hawaiian Islands for the holidays or not, you can still share a bit in the seasonal aloha by wishing your friends and family seasons greetings the Hawaiian way. From these two articles, you can quickly learn:

How to say Merry Christmas in Hawaiian

How to say Happy New Year in Hawaiian

The post Hawaii Christmas & New Year’s Eve Events 2018 appeared first on Go Visit Hawaii.

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Aloha Friday Photo: “Black tears”

Mahalo to Toni McIntire from Tampa, Florida for sharing this photo with us for Aloha Friday Photos. Toni’s photo shows a circle of oil that has seeped from the sunken USS Arizona at the memorial. Drop by drop, oil has slowly leaked from the USS Arizona since the 1940s.

With today being Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, Toni’s photo is the perfect one to share — to remember and honor the many men and women who lost their lives on that surprise attack on December 7, 1941.

On a recent trip to Oahu, we revisited Pearl Harbor. We learned that the survivors of the attack on Pearl Harbor call these oil spots “black tears.” Some believe that when the last survivor passes away, the oil leak will stop. What a moving thought!

The post Aloha Friday Photo: “Black tears” appeared first on Go Visit Hawaii.

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14 Major Travel Scams to Avoid

A black and white photo of the 3 card monte scam travel
Updated: 12/28/2018 | December 28th, 2018

Travel scams are real.

When I started traveling, I fell for them too.

On my first big non-tour trip, I got scammed twice on the same day.

My friend Scott and I had just arrived in Thailand. We were in Bangkok trying to find a boat cruise to take us up and down the Chao Phraya River. A taxi driver suggested this one company; we went there, and found out that an hour-long tour was only $30 USD. Not even thinking about whether that was a deal or not, we agreed. To us — still thinking about prices back home — that offer seemed like a fair price. It was only as the boat tour ended early that we realized we might have been ripped off (later on, we found out that we paid double the price).

Then, after lunch, we wandered over to the Grand Palace. When we got there, we didn’t see any crowds. We looked down the left side of the palace, then over to the right. “Where is everyone?” I asked. An enterprising tuk-tuk driver came over to us and told us the palace was closed for lunch. Scott and I looked at each other. Maybe that was right. After all, many museums sometimes do that, plus we didn’t see anyone around. It seemed feasible. He offered to take us to a few that were open.

“Sure,” we replied — and found ourselves visiting not only a few temples but also a suit shop, a gem shop, and a souvenir shop.

Afterwards, as he took us to the palace (which was unsurprisingly open). It was then we realized that it had never been closed — we had just been on the wrong side of the building.

We had been scammed.

My life as a traveler was not off to a good start.

So, today, I want to give you a list of travel scams to avoid.

Avoiding travel scams requires a lot of common sense and a healthy dose of suspicion. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is!

(Additionally, if you are carrying a travel guidebook, they usually list the most common scams in that country.) Here are some of the more universal ones to avoid:

1. The taxi overcharge

This is one of the most common travel scams out there. Either the driver will tell you the meter is broken and try to charge you a huge rate or you’ll see the meter go higher and faster than Superman!

To avoid this scam, first you need to know how much a ride should cost. I always ask the hostel or hotel staff what a ride should be so I have a frame of reference. Next, if the cabbie tries to negotiate the rate with me, I offer him the correct rate. If he refuses, I find someone who will put the meter on. If the meter seems to be going up too quickly, I have them pull over and I get out. Many tourism boards let you report bad cab drivers, so be sure to always make a mental note of their ID number when you get in the cab.

And never get in an unlicensed cab — no matter how amazing the deal is!

2. Your accommodation is “closed”

Another cab driver scam: your driver will try to tell you your hotel or hostel is overbooked or even closed. It’s not. I mean, you wouldn’t have booked it if it was, right? Just ignore them and insist on going there. If they keep trying, continue to insist. They will usually shut up about it.

And while this seems like a scam no one could possibly fall for, people do. I’ve been in many cabs where they insist my hostel has been closed for months.

A note on taxis: In this smartphone era, we have our power back. We’re no longer helpless, because we can look on a map and see the actual correct route. I like to look on Google Maps and see what the best route is. If it looks like they aren’t taking it, I’ll usually point to the map and insist they go that way. (I left a taxicab in Bangkok recently because he tried to pull a fast one on me by taking a longer route.) If I’m going to a country where I won’t have phone access, I preload the map onto my phone. Your phone’s GPS will work even if you don’t have a connection. Additionally, ride services like Uber place accountability on drivers, which greatly reduces the likelihood of you being cheated.

3. The shell game

I see this one all the time — how people fall for it I’ll never know. It’s such an old and obvious scam. It’s in movies, for heaven’s sake! You’ll see people on the street playing a card game (sometimes known as three-card Monte) or hiding a ball in a cup and someone guessing where it is and winning money. Then you decide to play — and you win! Thinking this is great, you bet more money… and then you lose — and lose again and again.

Don’t get suckered into this con. Remember, the house always wins!

4. “Come in for tea and help me write a letter!”

While in Morocco, someone tried this travel scam on me. I was walking out of a convenience store when a guy struck up a conversation. Finding I was from NYC, he said he had a cousin who lived there (the first giveaway) and wanted to know if I could come to his shop to write a postcard for him (the second giveaway). The goal here was to get me in the shop, maybe give me some tea, and then pressure me into buying something. This uses the psychological principle of reciprocity: he gave me tea, he was nice to me, so soon I’ll feel socially obliged to buy something.

To avoid this, don’t follow people to a second location or believe they suddenly have a cousin who happens to live exactly where you do!

5. Free bracelets/rosemary/anything they can put on you

In this scam, common in Europe, a friendly person will approach you for a quick chat, then place a bracelet around your wrist or hat on your head, or give you a little sprig of rosemary. Once you have it on your person, they will demand money. When you refuse, they will begin to cause a scene in the hopes you would rather give them some money than be embarrassed.

Don’t allow anyone to put anything on your body, and be extremely wary of accepting anything for free. If they put something on you, simply take it off, give it back to them, and be firm about it. Then walk away and move on with your day. They won’t chase you.

6. The spill on your clothes

There you are, minding your own business, and someone spills something on you. Ruins your day, but accidents happen, right? They are profusely sorry and offer to clean it up, dabbing the stain, and apologizing. While you are all flustered, they are picking your pocket. By the time you realize what has happened, they are long gone.

This scam is also common in Europe. Beware of people encroaching on your person if it’s not a crowded area already. If this happens, push people away and clean it up yourself.

7. Motorbike scam

You rent a bike, and then when you bring it back, the owner demands additional payment or expensive repairs because there is some damage you didn’t know about. I see this scam a lot in Southeast Asia and other developing regions of the world.

To avoid this, take photos of the bike first to document any previous damage. Go around it with the owner so they know what you are taking pictures of. Use your own lock, and keep the bike out of sight and off a main street when you park it. Sometimes an owner will send someone to mess with the bike or steal it so you have to pay! Also, always make sure you buy travel insurance so you can make a claim if there is an issue.

8. The flirtatious woman

You arrive in a new country and head to a bar, where a beautiful local comes up to you for a chat. You can’t believe your luck. You have some drinks and amazing conversation and go to a new bar or club that she suggested. However, after a wild night and lots of drinks, the woman disappears and you’re forced to pay an overpriced bill with some really big guys bearing down on you to make sure you do. Or, worse, you get drugged and wake up completely robbed of everything on you.

The simple solution to this is to be wary of attractive women who promise to take you to the world’s best club, get you drinks, or are overly flirtatious, especially when you stand out like a sore thumb as a foreigner. Getting on a plane didn’t increase your attractiveness by a factor of 10.

Note: Why didn’t I mention a similar scam for women? Because let’s be real, we men are dumb and usually thinking with our little brain. Women are too smart to fall for this.

9. Your attraction is closed for lunch

As mentioned, this is what happened to me and I fell for it hook, line, and sinker! A friendly local approaches and informs you that the attraction you want to visit is closed for any number of reasons (religious ceremony, holiday, etc.). Then they’ll guide you to a different attraction or shop, where you’re pressured to purchase something or pay a lot for entry.

To avoid this, find the main entrance or ticket counter and see for yourself. Also, keep in mind that most attractions don’t close for lunch — they close for the day. Even better, look up the open hours before you go, so you know what to expect — opening and closing times are almost always available online. Don’t be like me!

10. The “found” ring

An innocent-looking person picks up a ring on the ground and asks if you dropped it. When you say no, the person looks at the ring closely, then shows you a mark “proving” that it’s pure gold. He or she offers to sell it to you for a better price. They make some money, and you get some gold you can resell. It’s win-win! You think it’s a good deal, buy it find out it’s fake when you try to sell it at home!

This is common in Europe. One of my tour members almost fell for it when we were in Paris, but I intervened in time and sent the person away. The best way to avoid this scam is to not buy the ring. If it sounds too good to be true, it definitely is.

11. The fake petition

You’re at a popular sight and a woman or kid (often pretending to be deaf or a student) will try to get you to sign a petition. You don’t know what they are saying, and to end the awkwardness, you sign the petition, hoping they will go away. But the petitioner then demands a cash donation. At best, anyone who falls for this scam is out some money; at worst, they’re pickpocketed while fighting with the petitioner.

Another one of my tour members fell for this scam (even after I warned him specifically about it), but I saved him in time. To avoid this scam, just ignore people coming up to you to sign a petition, especially when they are in groups and try to surround you. Just keep on walking.

12. The drug deal gone bad

This scam is common in many developing countries. You’re in a popular tourist area (usually a party place) and someone offers you drugs. You say yes, and before you know it, a (real) cop is on the scene! They offer to arrest you or you can pay the fine right there (i.e., a bribe). Caught red-handed, you’ll probably pay the bribe rather than go to jail.

Simply put: Don’t buy drugs in other countries!

13. The wrong change

This happens a lot in countries where the bills look similar to each other. People tend to look at colors first, so when you get a pile of change that is the same color, you think you got the right change — but they really gave you the wrong bills, hoping you won’t notice until after you rush out.

To avoid getting taken, count your change carefully every time.

14. The switcheroo

This happens all over the world and mostly with shirts, carpets, rugs, and antiques. You’re at a store and you see a designer item at a bargain price. Maybe they got it wholesale? After some haggling, the owner agrees to sell it you. But while you aren’t paying attention, he gives you a knockoff.

To avoid this scam, first remember that no designer anything is going to be that cheap. Remember, if it seems too good to be true, it’s not true. Second, be sure to always watch what the seller is actually giving you to be sure it’s the exact item you wanted.

***

To avoid getting scammed when you travel, be wary when it comes to people offering you something in a touristy setting. Think of it this way: in your day-to-day life back home, would you go for it? If the answer is no, then chances are 99% that it’s a scam you need to avoid.

On the road, a little common sense goes a long way.

What travel scams have you encountered or fell for that aren’t included here? Comment below!

STAY PROTECTED ON THE ROAD!
Worried about getting something lost, stolen, or falling for a scam? Make sure you get travel insurance coverage so that if something does happen, you can be made whole again and recover your losses! I never leave home with it!

 

Book Your Trip: Logistical Tips and Tricks

Book Your Flight
Find a cheap flight by using Skyscanner or Momondo. They are my two favorite search engines because they search websites and airlines around the globe so you always know no stone is left unturned.

Book Your Accommodation
You can book your hostel with Hostelworld as they have the largest inventory. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use Booking.com as they consistently return the cheapest rates for guesthouses and cheap hotels. I use them all the time.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. I’ve been using World Nomads for ten years. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:

Looking for the best companies to save money with?
Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel! I list all the ones I use to save money when I travel – and that will save you time and money too!

The post 14 Major Travel Scams to Avoid appeared first on Nomadic Matt's Travel Site.

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How I Research My Solo Travel Destinations

Kristin Addis in Thailand
Posted: 1/2/2019 | January 2nd, 2019

Kristin Addis from Be My Travel Muse writes our regular column on solo female travel. It’s an important topic I can’t adequately cover, so I brought in an expert to share her advice for other women travelers to help cover the topics important and specific to them! In this month’s article, she shows you how she researches and plans her trips!

What’s the best way to go about researching your next trip when all of the decisions will fall to you as a solo traveler? Where should you go, what should you do, how will you navigate in your new surroundings? Where do you even begin to get answers to these questions?

Over the past six years, I’ve been mostly nomadic, traveling solo for the bulk of that time. Since I’ve been chief decision-maker for all of those trips, there are tricks I’ve learned along the way to help me save time in the long run, avoid spending too much and getting scammed, and make sure I know my way around before I even touch down.

The following is a step-by-step system to help you research your travel destinations. Most of these tips only take a few minutes but could save you big-time in terms of money, headaches, and confusion.

Ready to plan the solo trip of a lifetime? Let’s jump in!

1. Initial online research

I get a lot of my ideas from Instagram. I mostly follow travel accounts, and when I see a place that looks particularly beautiful, I use Instagram’s bookmark feature and put it in an album. I have one for Japan, one for New Zealand, and so on. When decide to travel to one of those destinations, I look back through my albums and consider if my budget, the time of year, and the activities I want to do there are all in alignment. (I suggest taking a look at Pinterest boards for those destinations as well.)

Using Instagram to research travel destinations

Chances are you already have a few destinations in mind and you just want to make sure that they will work for you. Evaluate the cost of traveling, think about the season it will be there, and make a decision based on those factors.

If you’re really not sure where to start, I have a list of some of the best countries for solo female travelers.

(I also take to heart word-of-mouth suggestions. It’s what led me to Mozambique and Patagonia. If someone I know has really loved a place, then I add it to the top of my list.)

2. Is the destination good for solo travelers?

Kristin Addis in Iceland
After six years of solo traveling, I’ve learned that the following criteria are almost guaranteed to produce a more social experience for solo travelers:

  • A well-known activity/draw: Is there a reason why people come to this place? Is it famous for surfing, rock climbing, scuba diving, or something else? When this is the case, you are much more likely to find other solo travelers participating in that experience.
  • A festival: If there’s some kind of cultural event or festival at the time you’re visiting, you can bet that a lot of other travelers will be coming through as well, so you are unlikely to be lonely.
  • Popularity: While I love off-the-beaten-path travel, I also know that the farther away from tourist centers I head, the more likely it is that I will spend more time alone. If I know I want to have a more social trip, I will head to places that are popular, like Thailand or Iceland. If you’re not sure where to start, this list has the most visited places in 2018.

Next, I try to mitigate the possibility of being the only solo traveler there by researching whether I’m about to head to a honeymoon destination or hotel. That said, I had fantastic experiences in Maui and Bali, which are usually thought of as couples’ destinations. I believe that as long as you pick a social activity that attracts other solo travelers, like surfing or scuba diving, you won’t feel like the odd one out.

So if you want to go somewhere beachy, don’t rule it out automatically just because you’re afraid you’ll be the only single person there. Unless you’re going to a truly tiny place, chances are there are parts of whatever country or island you’re looking at that will be less “romantic” and more social.

The only place I can think of off the top of my head that might truly be primarily couples-only is the Maldives, and even then you can still head to other islands, or to surf resorts, or do a live-aboard dive experience, so that your trip will be less lounging on the beach and more about meeting people.

3. What is the visa situation?

Visas are the next thing I want to know about before I get too far into planning. Do I need a visa to visit this country? Is that something I need to apply for ahead of time? What does it cost?

Wouldn’t it be annoying to plan a trip to India or China only to realize you can’t get the visa in time? Wouldn’t it be better to get a longer visa ahead of time, like for Thailand or Indonesia, instead of having to do visa runs, which are required in many countries to extend a typical 30-day tourist visa, if you plan a longer trip?

I do visa research on Google and the US Department of State website and/or the foreign embassy website, and encourage you to do the same for your destination to see what the visa requirements are for you.

4. What is there to do there?

Kristin Addis in Japan
Now it’s time to figure out what I want to do there. In some cases, I already know, because I picked the place based on its good diving or great hiking. But in some cases, I really have no idea, other than it fits my budget, it’s the right time of year, or I just want to go somewhere warm.

For example, I recently wanted to know what the best things to do in Tokyo were. So I just typed that exact question into Google, found some appealing options, and saved places in Google Maps with “want to go” flags for later.

Using Google Maps to plan trips

(In some cases, there’s not a lot of information online. That’s when you know you’ve found a true adventure, someplace there will not be that many other tourists. I love this kind of trip too, but you may have to make peace with the fact that you will be doing a lot of recon on the ground. This is the point at which I encourage you to ask yourself what your tolerance is for uncertainty and whether or not that’s what you desire out of your trip.)

5. Downloading offline maps

Now that I have put markers into Google Maps for the places I want to go, I make sure that I can access these without an Internet connection, just in case. I usually save Google maps offline; if I’m going to be hiking, I really like maps.me offline maps as well. It’s great to have both downloaded while you are still at home and have a strong internet connection, so that you know they’ll be accessible when you arrive.

downloading offline maps

6. Booking the hotel

When it comes to accommodation, I almost always use either booking.com or Airbnb. I type in my destination and then I go directly to the map function. Which place has the best reviews at the best price and is going to be closest to the things I’m interested in seeing or doing? Or if I know I will be there only for a short while and will fly or take the train thereafter, which lodging is going to be the most convenient to catch that flight or train?

researching your hotel

Generally, hostels will be more social than hotels, followed by Airbnb, unless you stay with a host who wants to show you around, which I wouldn’t count on. That said, you can look to couchsurfing if you want to be able to hang with your host – just read the reviews thoroughly first and be in full communication to make sure it’s a comfortable situation.

It also depends what part of the world you’re in. Bed-and-breakfasts might be quite social in South America, but a lot less so in Europe. I almost always read reviews to help me make my final decision.

I also don’t pressure myself to book a place for my entire stay. I want to be able to change my mind. Unless it’s high season (you can Google this too, but generally high season is when the weather is best) or there’s a holiday that I know is going to make it hard for me to move, I will just book a few days and then decide to move on or stay.

7. Research the best way to get to the hotel

Next I weigh my transportation options. Does the country I’m going to have Uber? Is it better to take the train? Is there an airport hotel shuttle, or bus from the airport to my hotel? In many cases, the hotel will provide this information in their correspondence with you or on their website. If it’s not listed, feel free to contact them and ask.

I also find TripAdvisor, Lonely Planet Thorntree, and Nomadic Matt’s forums are helpful because people are always asking this exact same question.

8. Research scams and dangers

Unfortunately, airports are the epicenter of tourist scams in many countries. The Denpasar airport in Bali, Indonesia, is one of the worst. In order to get out without getting scammed, you would need to know that the SIM card they are selling is marked up about 10 times what it would be once you leave the airport. You would also need to know that they do the same thing with taxi prices. (As a general rule, get the names of reputable companies before you go, never get in an unmarked taxi, and always know what the price of your ride should be before you get in. Google will help you with all of this.) And you would need to be aware that you can book an Uber for much cheaper if you meet the car at the departures level and ignore everyone who tries to tell you Uber “isn’t allowed” there.

When I fly into Bali, I just walk right through the mayhem with my head held high, because I have already done my research.

To get this info, I Google the airport name along with the word “scam” to see what other travelers have experienced, and then I know to be prepared when I get there. This removes so much stress when arriving in a new country.

9. SIM cards

I also research what a SIM card should cost, whether the airport is a good place to get it or not, and which company is the best. Again, Google and online forums are usually pretty helpful with this information.

I always travel with an unlocked phone so that I can get local SIMs. They are the cheapest method for staying connected, sometimes just a few dollars per gigabyte, and it simplifies getting to the hotel by allowing me to book an Uber immediately. Most of the time, it makes sense to buy a SIM card at the airport if you can, although sometimes, like in the aforementioned case of Bali, it’s much better to wait until you get to town. If you research this beforehand, you’ll already know.

It’s worth mentioning that you cannot count on there being reliable airport Wi-Fi. So try not to leave your taxi or SIM card research until you’ve already landed, because then it could be too late.

10. Final step: See if you already know anyone there

Kristin Addis in South Africa
Finally, I sometimes post on my personal Facebook page to see if I have any connections at my destination. In the case of South Africa a few years ago, I met up with a friend of a friend, which was the impetus for one of the most friendly and social traveling experiences I’ve had. You never know who you might know and where.

You can also look into Couchsurfing, even if it’s just for a social event rather than actually staying with the person. There are also plenty of Facebook groups these days for connecting with others. Some are regional, like Backpacking Africa, or you can join one specifically for solo female travelers, like the BMTM Solo Female Traveler Connect.

Though I didn’t always know to do all of this research prior to my trips, after a few blunders, I’m glad to have finally learned what’s important to know ahead of time. Though it might seem like a lot of research, these tips can help you avoid overspending and to have a more relaxed and easy trip.

What are some of your favorite ways to research before you travel solo?

Conquering Mountains: The Guide to Solo Female Travel

conquering mountains: solo female travel by kristin addisFor a complete A-to-Z guide on solo female travel, check out Kristin’s new book, Conquering Mountains. Besides discussing many of the practical tips of preparing and planning your trip, the book addresses the fears, safety, and emotional concerns women have about traveling alone. It features over 20 interviews with other female travel writers and travelers. Click here to learn more about the book and start reading it today!

Kristin Addis is a solo female travel expert who inspires women to travel the world in an authentic and adventurous way. A former investment banker who sold all of her belongings and left California in 2012, Kristin has solo traveled the world for over four years, covering every continent (except for Antarctica, but it’s on her list). There’s almost nothing she won’t try and almost nowhere she won’t explore. You can find more of her musings at Be My Travel Muse or on Instagram and Facebook.

Book Your Trip: Logistical Tips and Tricks

Book Your Flight
Find a cheap flight by using Skyscanner or Momondo. They are my two favorite search engines because they search websites and airlines around the globe so you always know no stone is left unturned.

Book Your Accommodation
You can book your hostel with Hostelworld as they have the largest inventory. If you want to stay somewher eother than a hotel, use Booking.com as they consistently return the cheapest rates for guesthouses and cheap hotels. I use them all the time.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. I’ve been using World Nomads for ten years. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:

Looking for the best companies to save money with?
Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel! I list all the ones I use to save money when I travel – and I think will help you too!

The post How I Research My Solo Travel Destinations appeared first on Nomadic Matt's Travel Site.

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TravelCon 2019: New Speakers and Info!

TravelCon 2019 in Boston, MA
Posted: 1/3/2019 | January 3rd, 2019

Are you looking to get into the travel media industry?

Would you like to take your career to the next step?

Well, good!

Because it’s time to talk TravelCon 2019 (again!!!!).

TravelCon is a conference to help travel creators develop business and professional skills in order to succeed in the travel media space. TravelCon is where you go for hands-on photography and writing lessons, and practical, actionable advice from the best in the industry on marketing, making money, developing long-term partnerships with brands, and so much more.

This year, TravelCon is going to be held in Boston, MA, June 27–29, 2019 at the Westin Copley.

Over the last few months, we’ve been putting the event together more and more and, today, I want to share some of our plans!!!

First, let’s talk about our speakers. This year we have an incredible lineup of keynoters, panelists, and workshop leaders to help you develop your career in the industry. Check out this awesome crew:

Keynote Speakers

Breakout Session Speakers

Kristin Addis

Be My Travel Muse

Faith Adiele

Author, Meeting Faith

Kirsten Alana

Photographer

Gary Arndt

Everything Everywhere

Gloria Atanmo

The Blog Abroad

Derek Baron

Wandering Earl

Michael Booth

Author, The Almost Nearly
Perfect People

Carol Cain

Girl Gone Travel

Edin Chavez

Shut Your Aperture

Jason Cochran

Frommers

Mike Corey

Fearless & Far

Heather Davis

Globetrotting Mama

Jessica Festa

Jessie on a Journey

Rachel Friedman

The Good Girls Guide to
Getting Lost

Don George

Author, The Way of Wanderlust

Catharine Hamm

Los Angeles Times

Evelyn Hannon

Journey Woman

Clay Hebert

Branding Expert

Jordan Harbinger

The Jordan Harbinger Show

Andrew Hickey

Scott’s Cheap Flights

Spud Hilton

Travel Writer

Mike & Anne Howard

Honey Trek

Rainer Jenss

Family Travel Association

Johnny Jet

Johnny Jet

Matthew Karsten

Expert Vagabond

Stefan Krasowski

Rapid Travel Chai

Gary Leff

View From The Wing

Lebawit Lily Girma

Sunshine and Stilettos

Kent Johnson

Black & Abroad

Jeremy Jones

Living the Dream

Silvia Lawrence

Heart My Backpack

Kristin Luna

Camels & Chocolate

Eric Martin

Black & Abroad

Brian Massey

Conversion Scientist

Laurence Norah

Finding the Universe

Sean Ogle

Location Rebel

Sol Orwell

Examine.com

Annette Richmond

From Annette

Sam McRoberts

VUDU Marketing

Erick Prince

Minority Nomad

Kristen Sarah

Hopscotch the Globe

Patricia Serrano

Fresh Traveler

Thomas Swick

Writer, Unquiet Days

Nadine Sykora

Hey Nadine

Brent Underwood

Brass Check

Siya Zarrabi

Hopscotch the Globe

Ricky Zhang

Prince of Travel

Pretty awesome list, right?

These speakers are experts in their fields and are going to share their successes — and failures — so you can start making money doing what you love. I brought in people from inside and outside of the travel sphere because both have valuable things they can teach us!

And we’re not done yet. We’ll be announcing our final batch of speakers sometime in February. There are still a few more talks and speakers to confirm regarding LGBTQ travel, sustainability, luxury travel, family travel, and more. Stay tuned!

Second, this year we’re making lots of improvements to the event!

I don’t want to give away too many of our secrets (because that would ruin the surprises we have planned) but some of the improvements we have made over last year include:

  • An opening night “round the world” happy hour bingo
  • Appointments with sponsors throughout the event (not just the last day)
  • Spreading our meetups over two days
  • Scheduled book signings with our speakers
  • A musical guest
  • Longer lunch and coffee breaks for more networking
  • Some trip giveaways

That’s just the start! As the months go by, we’ll be announcing more speakers, workshops, and brands that will be attending.

To meet demand for the event (we sold out last year), we’re also increasing the number of available tickets to 800.

Ticket are currently $399. With your ticket, you’ll get:

  • All the keynotes and sessions
  • Workshop registration
  • Networking events
  • Marketplace appointments
  • Expo hall access so you can network with all the brands
  • A virtual pass (Can’t make a talk? Don’t worry. You get all the recordings for free!)
  • Evening parties
  • Any included lunches

Additionally, you can get a full refund up to 60 days before the event (and you can transfer your ticket up to 30 days before the event). I hate conferences that don’t let you get a refund because I know how fluid things are in travel. Life gets in the way sometimes.

So don’t worry if something changes. You’ll be able to get a refund or transfer your ticket without any worry!

We’ve currently sold over 400, so if you’re interested, get them while they last, as we will definitely sell out again! Prices also go up at the end of the month.

So click here to join us in Boston for the best and biggest travel media event of the year!

Can’t wait to see you there!

– Matt

The post TravelCon 2019: New Speakers and Info! appeared first on Nomadic Matt's Travel Site.

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Hawaii vacation news: December 11, 2018

* The strike that affected service at the Royal Hawaiian, Sheraton Waikiki, Westin Moana Surfrider, Sheraton Princess Kaiulani and Sheraton Maui is over.

* The cascading pools of Oheo in the Kipahulu district of Haleakala National Park have reopened, though park officials caution people about swimming there.

* Hawaiian Airlines announced an expanded Boston codeshare agreement with JetBlue. This codeshare can make booking and connections easier when Hawaiian begins their new non-stop flight from Boston to Honolulu in April 2019.

* With no current eruption with Kilauea volcano and with Hawaii Volcanoes National Park open with more limitations, we’ve updated two of our popular Hawaii (Big) Island vacation planning articles:

The post Hawaii vacation news: December 11, 2018 appeared first on Go Visit Hawaii.

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What’s Christmas like in Hawaii? 2018 Edition

We always say that anytime is a good time to visit Hawaii, but some occasions can be more special than others — with the Christmas season being one of those times. The Hawaiian-style decorations, lights and cheer of the holidays all combine for a festive Christmas vacation.

Let’s take a look at some of the frequently asked questions about Christmas in Hawaii.

What’s the weather like in Hawaii at Christmas?

Even though it’s wintertime in Hawaii, the weather is pleasantly warm. For December, you can expect the daytime high temperatures to be in the upper 70s to lower 80s Fahrenheit. (In Celsius, that’s around 26/27.) At night, the low temperatures may dip into the upper 60s. Review our Hawaii weather page for more details.

A December day at Waikiki Beach

Are Christmas decorations different in Hawaii?

You’ll still see Christmas trees, lights, Santa and all the usual things you might expect to see at Christmas, but they’ll often have a Hawaiian influence. For example, Santa usually wears his short-sleeved version of his red and white suit. Sometimes Santa carries his surfboard while sporting shorts and his Hawaiian shirt. You may see a sandman instead of a snowman or a snowman wearing Hawaiian clothing.

This snowman figure at the Honolulu City Lights display wears a scarf with a turtle print and has his surfboard ready to hit the waves.

Christmas trees are decorated with tropical flowers and colors. Some ornaments are elegant while others are fun and kitschy. Most ornaments definitely let you know you’re in Hawaii — for example, we’ve seen a lot ukulele ornaments. We’ve even seen glittery flip flops and surfboards as ornaments. It’s all really exciting to see. See our article on Christmas decorations in Hawaii for more examples and photos.

This Christmas tree is loaded with tropical flowers and greenery.

Are there any special entertainment or events for Christmas in Hawaii?

The majority of Christmas parades and concerts are held in early and mid-December. In the days leading up to Christmas, you can find opportunities to meet with Santa as he takes a pre-Christmas warm up trip to Hawaii. Some of the shopping centers host Christmas hula performances and live musical entertainment.

A hula performance at the Royal Hawaiian Center.

Christmas lights brighten the Hawaiian evenings. Some of the best places to see them are:

Kauai’s Festival of Lights

For religious services, many churches host Christmas Eve candlelight services.

Each year, we create a list of special things to do at Christmas for Maui and Waikiki — Hawaii’s two most popular destinations for Christmas. Check these articles for more details:

Are restaurants open in Hawaii for Christmas?

Yes, many restaurants are open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. They usually offer very special buffets or set menus to celebrate the season.

Do any tropical flowers bloom in Hawaii at Christmas/winter?

Yes, flowers bloom in Hawaii all year! One Christmasy flower that grows outdoors and blooms around Christmas is the poinsettia. You may see them in special holiday landscapes or even growing to great heights in resident’s yards.

Poinsettias adorn this statue at the Royal Grove in Waikiki.

Is Christmas an expensive time to visit Hawaii?

Well, unfortunately, it is one of the most expensive and popular times to visit Hawaii according to hotel data research. Only New Year’s Eve is more expensive.

How do you say Merry Christmas in Hawaiian?

If you’d like to wish someone a Merry Christmas in Hawaiian, you say “Mele Kalikimaka.”

What do you most enjoy about Christmas in Hawaii?

The post What’s Christmas like in Hawaii? 2018 Edition appeared first on Go Visit Hawaii.

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