Travel News

spinlister

I believe that the best way to explore a new city is by bike. It’s healthy, usually easier and it’s a great way to find hidden gems. A few months ago I flew to Boise, Idaho sans my trusty bike. Being one who hates wasting money on cabs and Uber (they are great when you have to use them though), I began to research ways to rent a bike for the long weekend. After ruling out a couple bike shops and the local University, a friend of mine told me about Spinlister.

spinlister

I located a couple cruisers in the area and was nearly about to request when I was gratefully offered up free bikes from the house we were staying at. But, if you don’t get that lucky, here’s a quick spin down of Spinlister – I know I’ll be using it in the future.

Spinlister was founded in 2012 by Will Dennis and Jeffrey Noh out of California. The idea behind the concept is simple yet genius. Dennis and Noh aimed to provide local bikes, by people actually living in the cities you’re visiting, for a low price. Dennis was quoted as saying, “There’s something pretty cool about going to a site and being able to rent a bike from someone in Australia, Romania, Paris, or Austin, Texas.”

And I 100% agree – it is cool. 

Bikes are available for rent in most big cities around the world and slowly migrating to smaller ones. The type of bike available varies from city to city as well. Everything from high-performance road bikes to vintage cruisers are listed – ranging in cost from as little as $4 a day to $50 plus.

Bikes aren’t the only thing Spinlister has for rent though. Snowboards, skis, surfboards and SUP boards are also available in some cities.

Those looking to make some cash by renting out their bike/other equipment can do so with ease by using the Spinlister mobile app or desktop site. As an added piece of mind, Spinlister insures all damages to bikes up to $10,000. How’s that for a trusted business plan?

The next time you’re heading to a new city, I highly encourage you to check out renting a bike from Spinlister.

Or rent a SUP board – I hear it’s what’s up this summer.

Have you tried out Spinlister?

Described as the “alternative to the sugar-coated tedium of the average family day out,” Dismaland, also coined the “anti-theme park” opened Aug. 22 (closing Sept. 27) in Weston-super-Mare, a seaside down of Somerset, England. Dreamt up by British street artist Banksy, this humorous, dark-natured pop-up exhibit is only open for five-weeks – so you better book a ticket today.

The theme park is basically a festival for all things art, amusement and entry-level anarchism, according to the Dismaland website. While it’s mostly a spoof of Disneyland, it also layers a coat of paint on some societal issues of today.

The theme park features displays from other comrades of Banky’s as well from all over the world – Damien HirstJenny Holzer and Andreas Hykade to name a few.

dismaland

 

Flickr photo via Sleeves Rolled Up

While you may be able to find and see Banksy’s work, he himself is an elusive artist who has built a reputation for his politically and socially revved graffiti displayed in surprising locations.

Luckily for all of us, Dismaland is in plain sight for all to see. Displays to look forward to include a “fantasy” castle, grim reaper on a bumper car, a worker holding “I’m an imbecile” bouquet of balloons, Willy jumping out of a toilet and an “oil caliphate themed” mini-golf course.

Booked your ticket yet? If you’re still on the fence, take a peek at a recently introduced commercial for the park. Advisory: those unimpressed with sarcasm may want to avoid.

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Flickr photo via Sleeves Rolled Up

Ironically, the commercial follows a normal, American family through the park. Even though the kids seem to love it, Bansky described his wonderland as a “family theme park unsuitable for children.” Maybe those two were old souls.

The park is made to make you think creatively about society issues and allows a way for your mind to exercise in art interpretation, especially in the interpretation of art your strangest dreams had never imagined.

Banksy even managed to capture the true essence of today’s society– a selfie hole in the middle of an all-white canvas – no hidden meaning required.

Has anyone been to Dismaland? Thoughts?

Move over standard cold brew, there is a new guy in town and he goes by the name Nitro.

During the summer months, there is nothing that tastes better in the morning (except maybe sleeping in until 10) than a fresh glass of iced coffee – shaken, not stirred. But this summer, iced coffee got a sweet new makeover.

Nitro Coffee is infused with, you guessed it, nitrogen. Nitrogen affects taste and texture in coffee, similar to what it does when beer is placed on a nitro tap, except this time you’ll be experiencing a whole new level of buzz.

Usually served from a tap, nitro-brewed coffee is creamier, sweeter and a little stronger than your normal cold brew. For the past year or so, nitro taps have been popping up in cafes in all the coffee-obsessed neighborhoods. For a sip of the new sensation this summer, check out a few of these shops to see what all the hype is about.

Stumptown Coffee Roasters 

True Love. 📷 @david_tartaglia @brianhumenik

A photo posted by Stumptown Coffee Roasters (@stumptowncoffee) on

Known for its nitro brew since 2013, Stumptown quickly became the go-to supplier of nitro coffee kegs, and in April, on National Cold Brew Day, introduced their newest product: nitro cold brew in a can. Stumptown Coffee Roasters has shops in Portland, Seattle, New York and LA.

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When you’re traveling with only a backpack for 30 days, space gets a little tight. Most of the time you can’t find something when you need it and then find the same thing over and over when you wish you wouldn’t. You begin to wear the same shirt continuously so that in a week or so it’ll be so unbearable you have to throw it away.

Luckily, coming out soon is (in my opinion) the best thing ever for travelers everywhere. The BAUBAX jacket was coined the “Swiss army knife of travel wear” by CNN. The BAUBAX debuted on Kickstarter in early July with a goal of raising $20,000. As of July 19, over $800,000 was raised. The jacket has over 15 pockets with an abundance of built-in features including: inflatable neck pillow, insulated drink pocket, sunglasses pocket, iPad pocket, hood, portable charger pocket and in-sleeve gloves.

BAUBAX jacket

The BAUBAX isn’t cheap – prices range from $160-200, but during the Kickstarter phase if you pledge $99 or more, you can receive the jacket at a discount when it hits the market in November. When it does, it will be available in four styles: sweatshirt-style hoodie, windbreaker, bomber jacket and wrinkle-free blazer.

The geniuses behind this idea are Hiral Sanghavi and his wife, Yoganshi. Their long-distance marriage required Hiral to fly from Chicago to San Francisco regularly. Constantly carrying a bag full of necessities began to wear on him.

And then it hit him: Why not wear all of this stuff instead? Cue travelers rejoicing (and longing for this wonderful invention) everywhere.

Is anyone else (super) excited for the BAUBAX jacket to hit stores?

 

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Hearts everywhere are breaking after hearing news that hundreds of thousands of “love locks” have been removed from Paris’s famous Pont des Arts.

According to the BBC, the weight of the locks, which were placed by lovers trying to commemorate their relationship, caused part of the bridge to collapse last year. City council has said that it was necessary to remove the locks for safety and preservation reasons.

Of course, couples across the world are devastated by the news. “From a distance, you don’t know that they are locks. Close up, they may be visually ugly, but they tell stories,” tourist Anthony Boccanfuso told The New York Times.  “It’s like carving your names on a tree or putting your names in wet concrete.”

pont de arts

 

Flickr photo via Loïc Lagarde

Another noted that the “bridge of love” is an iconic, bucket-list item many tourists look forward to seeing when they visit Paris. Bruno Julliard, Paris’s deputy mayor, said the city will try to come up with new ways to have people express their love in, what some would consider, the most romantic place in the world.

But for now, Pont des Arts will be lockless, and the metal grilles will be replaced by paintings from artist before transparent panels are placed.

Pont des Arts was completed in 1804, but it wasn’t until 2008 that tourists started attaching padlocks to the bridge in order to symbolize their love….

Did you have a lock on the Pont des Arts?

If you’re in search for the best beach in America, you’re going to want to head to Hawaii.

According to the Associated Press, Professor Stephen Leatherman AKA Dr. Beach, has named Hawaii’s Waimanalo Bay Beach the best in the United States.

Leatherman, who is a professor at Florida International University, compiles a list every year after looking at criteria such as water quality, sand and amenities. It’s important to note that Leatherman only ranks public beaches and prefers non-smoking ones. He is also a big fan of safety. “There are a lot of beaches in Hawaii that are absolutely gorgeous but not very safe,” he said.

waimanalo bay beach

Flickr photo via Bytemarks

If you’re wondering why you haven’t heard of Waimanalo Bay Beach, it’s because it’s a bit of a secret. Located on the island of Oahu, the 3-mile long beach is covered in white sand. Many ironwood trees can be seen, providing visitors with some shade to cool off. The beach is known for bodyboarding, for all you adventure seekers! 

If you’ve already been to Waimanalo Bay Beach and are seeking something new, you can check out the other beaches that made the top 10 list including: Barefoot Beach in Bonita Springs, Florida, St. George Island State Park on the Florida Panhandle, Coast Guard Beach on Cape Cod, Massachusetts and  East Beach in Santa Barbara, California.
Head over to the Associated Press to read more about this amazing beach and Dr. Beach’s discoveries!

Have you been to Waimanalo Bay Beach
AKA the Best Beach in America?

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If you’re feeling a bit down, now would be the perfect time to visit Switzerland, which was just named the happiest country in the world according to the World Happiness Report.

The report looks at factors from the Gallup World Poll such as: social support, life expectancy, freedom, generosity, corruption, and household income.

It makes sense that Switzerland would come in number one. Not only does the country practice Armed neutrality (it hasn’t participated in a war since 1815), it also has incredible scenery, is amazingly diverse and, of course, it has chocolate!

happiest country in the world

 

Flickr photo by Yousef AlSudais

This is the first time Switzerland landed the top spot. It was followed by Iceland, Denmark (which lost it’s place at the top), Norway and Canada. In these countries, life evaluations average 7.4 out of 10. The report notes that all of these countries are “small or medium-sized western industrial countries.”

The United States came in at number 15, while Togo, Burundi, Syria, Benin and Rwanda came in last for happiness. “The lowest countries are typically marked by low values on all of the six variables used here to explain international differences… and often subject in addition to violence and disease,” the report stated.

The report hopes to spread the importance of happiness to countries all over the world, encouraging governments to take their citizens’ happiness into consideration, and try greatly to improve happiness. “Happiness is increasingly considered a proper measure of social progress and a goal of public policy,” the report stated.

To read more, head over to the World Happiness Report.

Have you visited the happiest country in the world?

 

 

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isle of skye scotland

Just five hours out of Edinburgh, Scotland is the country’s second largest island, the Isle of Skye. Known for its spectacular scenery, amazing view of Loch Duich and bountiful wildlife, the Isle of Skye is unrivaled in so many ways, which is why it makes perfect sense that it would be the main setting for a very unique social media campaign.

Europcar enlisted eight photographers to road trip from Scotland’s capitol to the Isle of Skye to capture the island’s beauty. Not only are these professionals (Steve Oates, Hanni Gharib, and Thomas Sondergaard — just to name a few!), but they all also have an insane amount of Instagram followers, allowing over 2 million people to see the incredible experiences they could have if they visited the island — pretty clever, huh?

A photo posted by Steve Oates (@wilde_oates) on

Some of the more breathtaking images include moments at Kilt Rock and Mealt Waterfall, Quiraing Mountains, and Neist Point. It’s interesting to see how each photographer interacted with the island and how they captured its scenery. If we had to pick a favorite, we would go with Oates, whose images made us want to book a trip to Scotland ASAP. “Driving around Skye is an incredible experience and one that already has us planning to go back again in order to explore some of the locations further.” he said.

  A photo posted by Steve Oates (@wilde_oates) on

Scroll down to see some other amazing photos from the Isle of Skye, and head over to Europcar’s blog for more information. Oh, and if you find yourself in Scotland, here’s a great website to book a tour of Skye!

A photo posted by Hanni (@justhanni) on

Will you visit the Isle of Skye?

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