Monthly Archives: July 2017

The thing at the very top of your bucket list

In our recent Reader Awards, we asked you to name the thing at the very top of your bucket list. The answer didn’t surprise us one bit. It was, resoundingly, to witness the Northern Lights.

So for this season’s final episode of The Rough Guide to Everywhere (iTunes; Soundcloud), our podcast host Greg Dickinson travelled to Finnish Lapland in a hunt for the aurora borealis.
In the episode, Greg meets with local Sámi woman Linda, who explains the local folklore behind the Northern Lights. “Some people used to believe that it was a huge firefox running through the fells and when its tail hit the fells it created the Northern Lights”, she says.

As time goes by and his chances of seeing the Northern Lights are looking slimmer, Greg takes a crash course in riding a snowmobile. Alongside his French guide, Anthony, Greg drives across a frozen lake and deep into the woods in a last-ditch attempt to catch a glimpse of the aurora.

Listen now to find out what happens.

Greg travelled to Finland with The Aurora Zone, the UK’s only dedicated Northern Lights holiday company. Three-night trips include return flights to Nellim in Finnish Lapland from London, transfers, full-board accommodation, cold-weather clothing and experienced guides. A range of activities (extra) can be added to the trip, including a reindeer farm visit, a husky safari and an Aurora snowmobile safari. For more information, contact The Aurora Zone on 01670 785012.

Your Dollar Will Go Really

As the new year starts to get underway and people begin plotting out their travel for the year, savvy travelers set up flight tracking and email alerts to get the best deals on their trips.

One of the best ways to save on travel can be simpler than trying to figure out your own flight deal algorithm. By choosing a destination where the U.S. currency is strong, travelers can save big bucks without having to exert a major effort.

While the U.S. dollar isn’t quite as strong as it was in recent years, U.S. currency is still enjoying a favorable exchange rate in a number of countries around the world. So whether you’re looking to lie on a beach in southeast Asia or explore a European capital, there are a plethora of options.

Even destinations that are not inherently inexpensive can still be a good choice at a time when the exchange rate is favorable.

“Japan and Norway are not cheap; however, if you want to visit them now is a good time,” Sarah Schlichter, senior editor at SmarterTravel, told Travel + Leisure.

Using data sourced from travel advisory SmarterTravel and travel site Hipmunk, here are 14 of the best destinations to get a bang for your U.S. buck.

With bustling cities, abundant wildlife, and a vibrant art scene, South Africa has something to offer all kinds of different travelers. $1 USD is approximately 12.35 rand, and hotels start as low as $14 USD per night, according to Kayak.

An earthquake and travel warnings to certain states have kept prices low in Mexico, but travelers do not need to be afraid to visit our neighbor to the south. San Miguel de Allende is a T+L favorite, and the beaches of the coast have long attracted visitors from around the world.

With the U.S. dollar nearing a 10-year high against the peso the conversion rate is more than favorable to U.S. visitors.

Norway is by no means an inexpensive destination, but the current exchange rate makes it more favorable to U.S. travelers than usual. Head to this European gem for pristine wildlife and challenging hikes.

Bergen, Norway has also seen a 16 percent average price drop on flights, according to Hipmunk.