I was recently nominated by the Trip Base Travel Blog to possibly be a part of their E-book on best kept travel secrets.
They are compiling this amazing list from travelers near and far of great travel tips, lesser known destinations, and hidden gem restaurants or hotels. Of course, as with any list like this, any ‘gem’ will no longer be so secret. But, alas, that is the way of today’s information age, I suppose.
1. Destination: Bozcaada Island, Turkey (pronounced: bose-jah-dah)
This tiny island off the west coast of Turkey is one of only two inhabited Turkish islands in the Aegean amidst a sea of Greek Isles. It is a dry, yellow-hued scrubby little island with picturesque wine vineyards blanketing its sunny slopes. It has a charming cobblestoned main village that is filled with mostly locals and thankfully really isn’t a big stop on the tourist trail. The main industries are fishing, tourism, and wine production. The population is mostly Turkish but there are still about 30 ethnic Greeks living here.
It’s a great escape from Istanbul and just ‘off the beaten path’ enough to be an island of mostly vacationing locals and not the hordes of tourists going to the other islands in the Aegean Sea. Gorgeous blue waters, tasty local fare & wine, and lots of sun. Ah, the simple life.
2. Travel Tip: Most Credit Cards (including highly publicized ‘travel’ card, American Express) charge you a fee if you charge something in a different currency. I use Capitol One which (at the time of this writing) does NOT charge a fee or percentage. What’s in your wallet?!
3. Great, off-the-beaten-path Hotel: Inn-Berlin
This small hotel in hip Berlin is shiny, bright, modern, and spotless, and its owners, Ralph and Yvonne, are extremely friendly and helpful.
The rooms are bright and clean, and all have fluffy down comforters encased in colorful duvets. The style is Ikea-minimal with clean lines. Rooms have cool and whimsical murals on their walls, and most importantly, they all come with their very own good-luck gnomes!
The Inn-Berlin is located a bit north of central Berlin, but the trip to most of the city’s main districts can be made in just fifteen minutes on either the U-Bahn or S-Bahn.
**As requested by Trip Base… I now tag and nominate these five bloggers to share their best travel secrets on their blogs: 360 in 356, Lives of Wander, Killing Batteries, Ms Traveling Pants, Travel Betty.