Review, Save Money, Sightseeing

How to get cheap tickets to Hello Dolly with Bette Midler!

Believe it or not, I was able to see Hello Dolly starring Bette Midler, who gained many fans from movies such as Beaches and Hocus Pocus! And nope, I didn’t buy my tickets months in advance, nor did I pay the exorbitantly high prices currently listed on broadway.com.

I was in New York City waiting in line at The Strand for a book signing (more on that later!) when I decided to see whether I could come back after Christmas to see Hello Dolly. The lowest prices for shows in December were $499, so unfortunately, it didn’t look like I’d be able to catch my childhood favorite movie star Bette in the show. I noticed a link for Stubhub and decided to just take a look. Well, lo and behold, there were two tickets for that night’s show for under $100 each!

New York Shubert Theatre Hello Dolly

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Review, Sightseeing, Transportation, Travel

Thinking of going on a cruise? Here’s an overview and reasons why you should go!

If you love to travel to many countries in one trip, or you want to start traveling and get a feel of a few different countries, then cruises might just be the way to go! No matter what your age, a cruise has a lot of perks. When you’re on a cruise, you don’t have to worry about unpacking and packing every few days, which makes it even better than booking a vacation with tour company like Trafalgar or YMT. Similar to a typical tour, when you book excursions, you have an informative guide who fluently speaks a country’s language. Plus, when you book excursions with a tour group, the ship will not leave you at a port if you’re running late. I’ve done tours with both companies, and now a cruise with YMT, and I think I prefer cruising the best. I really enjoyed living on a ship!

DSC01055.jpg

You’ll visit so many cities on a crusie, and even if you’re there less than a day, you do get an overview of all the city’s highlights. Usually there is a walking tour around the most touristy places.

The YMT tour I booked is the 18-day, 8-country tour called the Grand European Cruise and Tour. We flew into Milan, Italy and from there went to:

Savona, Italy

Marseille, France

Barcelona, Spain

Lisbon, Portugal

Vigo, Spain

Le Havre, France

Harwich, England

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Berlin, Germany

Stockholm, Sweden

If you are worried about spending so much time on a ship, you needn’t worry. I would say about 90% of the time, it didn’t even feel like we were moving. Out of the all the sailing days, there was only one evening where I felt a little seasick, and that was at the beginning of the cruise¬† as we approached Marseille when the sea was quite rough.

Our ship was the Costa Luminosa and it was humongous, yet very stately.

YMT_Cruise_Ship

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France in Boston, Paris in Boston, Restaurants, Review, Travel

The best French restaurant in Boston and learning about “Pate du Fruit”

I have eaten at Aquitaine three times now, and every time I step inside the restaurant, I feel as if I’m transported from Boston to a brasserie in Paris. Great care was taken with everything about the restaurant, from the lighting to the leather seating and table settings. Most importantly, the menu selection and food truly live up to Aquitaine’s excellent reputation!

Paris in Boston Aquitaine Boston Window

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Moving to Another Country, Review, Study Abroad, Travel

Opening a new bank account in the UK

I wanted to write this post since people moving abroad have so many choices when it comes to banks. It’s difficult enough when you’re opening a new account in your home country, but opening one in a foreign country as a student can be tricky. I hope by sharing my experience, you can avoid some mistakes and ask questions about any hidden fees instead of relying on the advice of your school’s administration. Remember, this is YOUR money!

When moving abroad, one of the first things you should do is open a bank account. Even if you don’t have a job yet, you can still transfer money over from a non-UK bank. When I moved to the UK, I did not close my US bank account since I knew I would eventually move back after graduation. Plus, it makes a lot of sense to keep a bank account in your home country in case family members are feeling generous and offer to transfer some much-needed money to you!

Lloyds bank credit card
Image from www.lloydsbank.com

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Getting a PhD, Review, Sightseeing, Travel

Ideal places to write a thesis

One of my main motivations for starting this blog was to show how it’s possible to travel AND get a PhD – and combining the two definitely helps to keep away the stress of research and writing!

While traveling, there were many places I visited where I thought were perfect for doing some heavy-duty writing. Some because it provided inspiration and beauty, others because of its impressiveness and refinement. I hope these places help you find some inspiration for finding the perfect spot to write!

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Accommodation, Review, Save Money, Sightseeing, Travel

Disneyland: Staying on-site vs. staying off-site

Hi everyone! I just got back from a fun trip to California, specifically Disneyland, the Happiest Place on Earth!

Disneyland Partners Statue in the spring

On this trip, I debated whether I should stay on-site again, or if I should save some money and stay off-site. On both my previous trips to Disneyland, I stayed on-site, first at Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel, and then at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. This trip, I thought about staying at the third Disney-owned hotel, the Disneyland Hotel. Looking at the prices for May 20-24, the lowest price I found was for $390/night, which was way more than I wanted to spend.

When I stayed at the Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa a few years ago, they had a deal to “buy two nights, get the third night free”, so the room ended up costing $298/night, which is still pretty steep. However, I really wanted to be immersed in the Disney environment, so I decided that paying that much would be worth it – and it totally was! Continue reading “Disneyland: Staying on-site vs. staying off-site”

Review, Sightseeing, Travel

When trip expectations aren't met: Visiting Dublin's Cliffs of Moher when it's raining

It’s been pouring rain here for the last 24 hours, and that reminded me of my trip to Dublin and the Cliffs of Moher where the rain unexpectedly caused our views to be nonexistent.

Have you ever planned a trip where you were so excited to visit a specific place, but then on the day of your visit, it’s pouring rain with absolutely no visibility due to thick fog. That’s what happened on my trip to Dublin, specifically on the day I was visiting the Cliffs of Moher.¬† I had seen beautiful photos online, so I was looking forward to seeing the beauty of that landscape in person. However, Mother Nature had different plans.

Cliffs of Moher sign fog

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Review, Save Money, Sightseeing, Transportation, Travel

Traveling to 4 countries in 1 day: Is it worth it?

Need a new travel challenge? I definitely felt that way after experiencing most every possible travel situation: traveling with family, friends, and solo; traveling using tour companies; and traveling while planning every detail myself. Luckily I had some adventurous friends who were feeling the same way, and we decided to challenge ourselves and have each meal in a different country!

Our day’s itinerary: breakfast in Switzerland, lunch in Liechtenstein, a snack in Austria, and dinner in Germany. Not only that, we wanted to incorporate different types of transportation, including a bus, train, and a ferry. Read on to see if it was worth it or if everything felt too rushed!

St Gallen Switzerland city centre

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Restaurants, Review, Sightseeing, Travel

The best patisserie (Stohrer) and ice cream (Berthillon) in Paris

When you’re visiting Paris, you expect to be surrounded by delicious food, especially pastries and other sweets. Since there’s so much to choose from and so little time to try it all, I’ve done the “difficult” work by testing out some of the most popular places to make your decision much easier! Let’s find the best patisserie and ice cream in Paris!

Berthillon Paris France best ice cream

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Review, Sightseeing, Transportation, Travel

Let's visit the Warner Bros Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter!

Harry Potter London Tour Double-Decker Bus with Harry Potter Design

For fans of the books and films, there’s no better and unique place to visit than Warner Bros Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter. I’ve been to this studio tour twice, once when it first opened in 2012 and once again in 2016, and both visits were absolutely magical! There’s so much to see for both kids and adults, even if you’re not a fan of the series.

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