48 Hours in Beautiful Quito, Ecuador

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Quito is a very special city. Its beauty extends from the mountains to the plazas to the cuisine to the people.

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Travel Tip #7: Consider booking the room with a view

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I used to try to find the cheapest room in the best location. After all, the room is only where you sleep while your not out exploring and adventuring, right? Like this room in Thailand was just fine for me:

I recently changed my mind about booking the cheapest room, because I realized I can actually save money by booking the better room. Now, this is definitely because my circumstances have changed. I used to be a young solo traveler and now I’m an old(er) married traveler. And the hubby and I happen to enjoy each other’s company.

So we’ve found that if we spend a little more money on the room with the view, we are more likely to have our morning coffee in the room or get a meal and a bottle of wine later in the day at the market (for way less $ than at a restaurant) and relax and enjoy it and the view from the comfort of our room.

It definitely depends on the cost of the upgrade, but sometimes it’s as little as $10-$20 per night. If you’re comparing hostel beds, that may be too much, but if you’re generally staying in hotels, it’s worth checking out!

~ LiAnn

These are our 5 favorite airlines. Here’s why.

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We just had a challenging experience with two partner airlines that blamed each other for the many things that didn’t go smoothly on our round-trip flights. Check in was a hassle, seat selection was a hassle, and they had a “not my problem” attitude even though we didn’t make any changes or do anything other than book the darn flights. Flight attendants are almost always awesome on every flight for every airline. We give them so much credit for what they do! But the airline experience isn’t always great. So that prompted us to write about the airlines we love and why we love them. Here are our top five.

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Travel Tip #6: Consider booking transport in segments to save. Here are 5 recent examples from our own experiences.

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Airfare is one of the most expensive purchases for a trip. That’s why we do so much research before booking. Here are some of the ways we’ve recently saved a ton of money by doing more than plugging our starting and ending points into a search engine. Now we can take even more trips!

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We ❤️ Roatan, Honduras! Here’s Why

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We thoroughly enjoyed our trip to Roatan. The island is so beautiful, and the people were so kind. We tried out scuba diving for the first time and swam and snorkeled every day in the most outstanding waters. What a beautiful way to spend LiAnn’s 40th birthday!

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Travel Tip #4: Book your trip directly through the airline because …

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You may have access to upgrades, online changes and other perks you won’t have if you use a third-party booking site. For example, we like to purchase upgraded seats and early boarding. We travel so much that the money we spend on this can save us a lot of time, provide a lot more comfort and eliminate stress. So when we flew Aer Lingus recently, we booked through Orbitz and the airline would not let us make online changes. We called Aer Lingus twice and were on hold for an hour each time without anyone answering. We tweeted our frustration, Aer Lingus immediately responded and got us in touch with a lovely customer service rep who upgraded our seats. We had a great experience with Aer Lingus and will 💯 fly with them again. The frustration would have been a nonissue if we booked directly.

We love Orbitz and the rewards points we get for booking through the site. If it costs less to book a flight and hotel together through Orbitz, we absolutely will. If we have trouble with navigating an international airline’s website, we will also use Orbitz to book. Otherwise, we go directly through the airline.

The Golden Circle, Iceland

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Although the golden circle wasn’t our favorite part of the trip, it was really interesting and well worth it!

The trek around the sights included the usual characteristic of the “must see” places around the world: large crowds and long boarded walkways, overpriced gift shops, obese birds dining on littered junk food, etc.

BUT the sights were really impressive: the history of the first parliament, the original Geysir after which all other geysers are named, and a giant, gorgeous waterfall.

These sights give the traveler a peek into the wonders of Iceland while also being fairly accessible. We’re glad we rented a car to do it at our own speed – and the roads were easy to navigate.

Our favorite stop was the Kerid volcanic crater lake we stopped to walk around on the way back to Reykjavik. On a clear day, its blue-green water is amazing!

We would definitely recommend the golden circle if you have the time – but if there’s something else you really want to see, there are many other good options!