Why choose Round K By Sol for brunch In New York City

Our NY Catt @chungeats meows about this awesome brunch spot in NYC:

Round K by Sol 🥃🌙

Hands down one of my favorite spots in the city for brunch and for drinks! They have the best staff, service, and everything from the food to the drinks are incredible and so thoughtfully prepared. ✨

Check out their newest concept, Sol Bar! 🥂

Thursday – Saturday, 6 pm – 12 am 🌃

📍 78 Canal St, New York

Now, for the best news of the day: @chungeats can fill up your Trip Plan to New York with authentic and fun activities and a list of the restaurants you don’t want to miss while in New York! Let’s get you started with easy trip planning! Start here 😸

How to Photograph Your Trip

TL;DR

  1. Tell the story behind your photos.
  2. Include the locals who helped you on your trip.
  3. Always backup your photos.

 

One of the greatest advantages of constantly carrying a smartphone is the ability to draw the device and have its camera ready to take pictures at any moment. However, we want our travel photos to look good so we can share them with family, friends, and on social media.

 

We separated a few tips to help you better photograph your trip.

 

How to Photograph Your Trip
Photo: Andreea Pop

 

Tell the story 

Your photos aren’t just about frozen faces in an ocean of pixels, it’s about the story behind it. You want to be able to look at the photo and remember where you were, who those people were, what you were doing, and what you experienced at that moment.

 

Even if you don’t share that photo on social media, take the time to frame you and your travel pals with a background and some small details that tell the story of that particular moment. You can even try taking several photos to see which one is best or shoot from different angles so the photos make more sense when in a group or the same album.

 

Add as much context as you can to your photo in addition to the people with you, and years later, when you scroll through the pictures of that one trip, you will thank yourself for not just clicking with your camera, but also for giving yourself the elements to remember the story behind that photo.

 

Research each spot

Before you take off to your next adventure, it’s a great idea to study the main spots you’re taking your photos and selfies, so there are no surprises. Since you might want to travel somewhere else on your following trip, taking that one special photo might be a once-in-a-lifetime chance.

 

One of the most useful tools to research great spots or angles for photos is Google Maps, especially if you take the time to explore its Street View features. There you can “wall” around and find out if there’s something particular about the area you’re visiting that is worth including in your pictures.

 

Another way to do this is by asking locals. This one is a bit trickier since not everybody feels comfortable stopping people on the street to ask them about information, especially where to take pictures. That’s why I strongly recommend hiring one of our Catts for this task. They can guide you to places you didn’t even know existed and help you with a unique background for your photos.

 

How to Photograph Your Trip
Photo: Christopher Sardegna

 

Wake up early 

I know, I know. Nobody wants to wake up early when they are traveling. Well, at least not everybody. However, for some locations, it is very important to wake up early so you don’t have to compete with other travelers for that one special spot.

 

It is also a great opportunity to photograph certain areas with not many people or cars around. You can take your time to reduce as much “noise” on your background by being somewhere before everybody else, and avoid strangers in your pictures.

 

Another great advantage of waking up early to photograph your trip is the ability to enjoy the sunrise somewhere else. There is always that one street, park, rooftop, or beach — depending on which coast you are — that offers a great view of the sunrise. When it works, it’s a great reward, and also the perfect excuse to find a local diner for a delicious breakfast.

 

Ask the locals

Usually, when you travel, your destination is somebody else’s home. The people you see and meet there were probably either born or raised there and know a lot about its secrets and hidden gems. Never underestimate the power of local.

 

If you want to take your trip photography to a new level, you have to interact with locals and ask them about their recommendations. A lot of people will be more than happy to give you directions and even walk you to their favorite spots.

 

Once you have these interactions, ask the locals if they are comfortable taking a photo with you. To help your memory experience again all the most important moments of your trip, include in your collections the pictures you took with the locals who helped you in both good and struggling moments like those two guys to pushed your car out of the mud when you were stuck. These situations might feel stressful at the moment but they sure give you a lot of stories to tell.

 

How to Photograph Your Trip
Photo: Artem Beliaikin

 

Use accessories

There are plenty of different accessories you can bring with you to help you take better photos. If you are a professional or semi-professional photographer, you probably have a backpack full of batteries, tripods, and lenses as your photography arsenal. If that’s not your case, even though you are happy with just your phone camera, that doesn’t mean you should limit yourself to its features.

 

You could add a second lens to your phone — usually attached to the case — to help you take sharper photos or even with different effects. For instance, if you have access to a fisheye lens built just for mobile photography, your pictures can register a much wider angle of where you are and even make your selfies look very different, so you can make them stand out on social media.

 

Adding a gimbal to your device list also improves the options for different photos without having to awkwardly hold your phone. This one is great if you are near cliffs or somewhere high where you wonder if you are going to drop your phone. Plus they work great for videos too.

 

BONUS: Backup your photos

What is the point of taking photos if you are going to lose them? Make sure you have the right apps to backup your photos once you take them. If your data plan offers unlimited data, you should be safe but if it doesn’t, you should leave your device uploading all the photos overnight while you sleep.

 

Here are some apps and services you can use to backup your trip photos:

  • Amazon Photos 
  • Dropbox 
  • Google Photos
  • iCloud Photos
  • Mega
  • OneDrive

 

Have them ready before your trip starts so you can keep your photos safe.

 

Have a good trip!

 

• • •

 

That’s all folks! See you in our next publiCATTions!

 

Photos: unsplash.com

5 Tips to Survive a Trip with Just Public Transportation

Blending in with the locals is probably one of the most authentic ways to enjoy your trip and nothing like using their public transportation to see what that looks like. Taking a bus, subway, or train with the city people will help you understand their behavior, culture better, besides finding some very cool places you would skip on an Uber. 

 

But one of the main reasons for using public transportation is to save money and keep your budget safe. It will be much cheaper than renting a car or taking a cab, but it requires some planning and attention. Here are 5 tips for you to survive a vacation using public transportation only:

1. Stay close to a stop or station

You do not want to walk an hour to get to a station, so it is very important to find accommodation that is within walking distance of it. Even if your goal is to take the subway and it is far away from you, you can look for a bus stop and commute to the station. That will make your day much easier and you will not be exhausted by unnecessary walks at the end of the day. 

You can easily find out what is close to your accommodation using Google Maps, and also plan your itineraries while checking how long your commute will take.

2. Keep valuable objects safe

While you get to know the transportation routine and how safe it is, consider leaving objects such as laptops, tablets, and other valuables home -– well, your temporary home. Once you get to know when your transportation is more or less crowded, as well, and if you believe it is safe enough, you can pack all of that in your backpack if you need to.  

 

But this serves not only for your commute, as a tourist you may not know or notice how safe the place you are visiting is, so it is a good idea to keep anything valuable at home until you find that out. 

 

3. Pack wisely and keep your bags closed

There is a good chance you will be standing at stations and bus stops, and a seat is not guaranteed once you board your wagon. Keep that in mind when packing your backpack or bag for the day, you do not want to carry a heavyweight all day long. 

 

Make sure you have all the essentials, a form of ID, some snacks and water, a notebook or pad with some important information such as your accommodation’s address, a phone number, and so on. Knowing what to pack for emergencies is very important and here is a video with 10 items for that moment.

4. Get the transportation schedule or use an app

Depending on your destination, their transportation can be very punctual or not. So keep a schedule with you. For subways you will find that information in every station, they will probably offer a booklet with the map for the stations and schedules. For buses, you may find their schedule at the bus stop and on the internet. Most big cities have an app that will offer both the city’s transportation map and schedule, which makes your life much easier; there are also apps like Transit which tracks that in different cities. 

 

You will also find ways to use public transportation to get to or leave the airport, those apps will give you an idea of the time of commute, ticket price, and their schedule.

 

5. Dress wisely

It may seem silly but dress wisely. Here are a few reasons:

  1. You do not know how long exactly you will be on a bus, some cities do not have air conditioning for their public transportation and general delays can happen. Being stuck in traffic on a crowded bus in the heat can be a lot worse if you are wearing uncomfortable clothes. That can happen in any kind of public transportation.
  2. You may be walking and standing a lot, high heels or fancy shoes may not be the best choice. 
  3. You do not want to call unnecessary attention to you, instead try to blend in with the locals. That may keep you out of pick pockets’ sights.
  4. Just to be comfy and adequate to the weather will make your trip easier. 

 

For other tips on how to plan your trip here is a step-by-step guide to a perfect trip

 

That’s all folks! See you in our next publiCATTions!

 

Images: Unsplash.com

Small Towns You Can Visit for a Peaceful Trip

TL;DR

1. Your next destination doesn’t have to be a big urban metropolis.

2. There are plenty of awesome small towns to visit in the country.

3. It’s great for couples, families, or to just simply relax and enjoy the view.

As soon as traveling makes a comeback, not everybody will book accommodations in some large metropolis, full of tall buildings, clubs, and loud music. After all the challenges we went through last year, it is only but fair to dream about a relaxing vacation somewhere small and quiet, with plenty of nature around.

To help you choose a place to stay on your next vacation, we selected a few small towns you can visit for a peaceful trip.

 

Small Towns You Can Visit for a Peaceful Trip
Telluride, CO. Photo: Chad Madden

 

Telluride, CO

The town of Telluride in Colorado is a great combination of a small area with big adventures. The beautiful scenery makes it ideal for all sorts of summer outdoor activities, including biking, hiking, fly fishing, rafting, horseback riding, climbing, camping, and even golfing.

If you would like to add a spoon of urban in your stay, you can visit all eight blocks of downtown Telluride, known as a National Historic Landmark District since 1964, due to its significant role in American West history.

Hop on the (free) gondola for a 13-minute ride and soon you will reach the Mountain Village, at the mark of 9,545 feet, surrounded by the mountains in southwest Colorado. From there you can access the Telluride Ski Resort and Uncompahgre National Forest. 

Founded in 1987, the Town of Mountain Village includes 2,100 acres of fun with plenty of areas for outdoor activities, a gorgeous view of the San Juan Mountains, as well as rolling aspen and spruce-covered mountainsides.

Both village and mountain include several dining options with bars, coffee shops, restaurants, including a place called Giuseppe’s, a New Orleans-inspired restaurant that serves food at 11,885 feet above sea level.

 

Bar Harbor, ME

With a population of a little over 5,000 people, the beautiful town of Bar Harbor is located in Mount Desert Island, the largest island off the coast of Maine. From there you have access to other small towns on the island, such as the villages of Northeast Harbor and Southwest Harbor.

It offers plenty of activities to all ages and, if you like to simply relax by the ocean, it is perfect for a well-deserved vacation. You can go for a hike or rent a bike to enjoy the land but being so close to the Atlantic, it is obvious that the water activities are the most popular ones.

One of the most popular “citizens” of Bar Harbor is the ever so cute Atlantic Puffins. Wildlife enthusiasts can hop on cruises to spot the little guys by the coast, as well as to see lighthouses and learn more about the island.

Of course, that, once you are on Mount Desert Island, you must enjoy all the beautiful flora of Acadia National Park. Known as the Crown Jewel of the North Atlantic Coast, it is among the most visited parks in the country.

Families, couples, and adventure lovers can all enjoy the park’s area. It includes plenty of space for picnics, bicycling, hiking, climbing, fishing, boating, and even birdwatching. It also offers a Junior Ranger Program for kids, with a workbook full of activities.

 

Small Towns You Can Visit for a Peaceful Trip
Jackson, WY. Photo: Aubrey Odom

 

Jackson, WY

Maybe this is not the Jackson town you hear Johnny Cash and June Carter singing about but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be included on your bucket list.

Located about 80 miles south of Yellowstone National Park, the small town of Jackson in Wyoming is know not only for Elk Antler Arch but also for its magnificent scenery that welcomes anybody looking for some chill time surrounded by nature.

In the summer, biking, hiking, and horseback riding are a great start for any traveler. If you want to go even further — or higher — in the sports activities, rock climbing options are also available, including the city’s free Bouldering Park.

 

“We got married in a fever, hotter than a pepper sprout,

We’ve been talkin’ ’bout Jackson

Ever since the fire went out.

I’m goin’ to Jackson, I’m gonna mess around,

Yeah, I’m goin’ to Jackson,

Look out Jackson town.”

— Written by Billy Edd Wheeler and Jerry Leiber.

 

If you would rather visit Jackson in the winter, there is also a lot to enjoy. Just make your way to Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Snow King Resort, or Grand Targhee Resort for some fun in the snow.

For those looking for something slower, there are plenty of restaurants, stores, and bars to check out, including the amazing Million Dollar Cowboy Bar, established in 1937, where the barstools were replaced for saddlers. Literally.

 

Lake Tahoe, Sierra Nevada

Not exactly a city but a gorgeous place nonetheless, Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America, located in the mountain range of Sierra Nevada, right at the border between California and Nevada.

The lake’s beautiful water, surrounded by mountains, is a natural invitation to nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. Due to its massive size, Tahoe includes several parks around itself, like Emerald Bay State Park, known for its panoramic views of the lake and its glacier-carved granite; and Ed Z’berg Sugar Pine Point State Park with its Hellman-Ehrman Mansion, built in the year 1903

In the winter, in the north area of the lake, skiers, and snowboarders can enjoy the snow on the slopes of the Northstar California Resort, Sugar Bowl Ski Resort, or Squaw Valley Ski Resort. You can also head south of the Tahoe, and find the Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort and Heavenly Mountain Resort.

 

Small Towns You Can Visit for a Peaceful Trip
Sedona, AZ. Photo: Kyle Kempt

 

Sedona, AZ

Ethan Hunt may have chosen Dead Horse Point in Utah as his place for rock climbing, but you should seriously consider Sedona in Arizona if you are looking for buttes, trees, outdoor activities, and a lot of fun.

Hiking trails and jeep tours are available for travelers. Once into the wild, you should definitely stop by the Chapel of the Holy Cross to admire its stunning architecture. However, if you prefer to just simply relax, you can enjoy the Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village or the Verde Valley Wine Trail.

The Sedona spas and the Slide Rock State Park should also be included on your bucket list to complement the entire relaxation experience. You can even add history to your vacation by checking out the Palatki Heritage Site, full of pictographs dating back from A.D. 1150 and 1350.

Have a good trip!

 

• • •

 

That’s all folks! See you in our next publiCATTions!

Photos: unsplash.com

How to Plan a Trip With Your Partner

TL;DR

  1. Consider your partner’s dreams and wishes, as well as limitations when planning.
  2. Where you go, what you do and where you stay will be about you both, everything will be perfect as long as you are with your person.
  3. Register everything with photos and videos then have a date to look back at your memories.

 

It is always time for some time off with your love, and now with traveling being a reality again, you can start to plan that perfect couple’s time. Start thinking of cheesy and romantic soundtracks, which outfits you will pack to catch your person’s eyes, and ways to make your partner’s dreams come true. We are here to help you and here are 5 tips to help you with your trip plan:

 

1. Decide What Kind of Trip It Will Be

  • Romantic: a trip dedicated to relaxation beside your loved one, filled with lovely dinners, romantic spots, walks on the beach, sunsets, and sunrises…
  • Surprise: a trip dedicated to making your partner feel extra loved and special. Very similar to a romantic trip, except for the goal being taking your partner’s breath away with surprises and dream destinations…
  • Adventurous: A trip dedicated to make you both experience adrenaline and excitement together. This might be that chance to tick some items in the couple’s bucket list while enjoying some dreamy times with your partner.

2. Where to Go

  • For a romantic trip: for this one you have plenty of options because any place can become romantic with the right person. But, to offer some ideas, you can choose a beautiful city where you can take long walks and go sightseeing, places with parks for a nice picnic at sunset with some wine or beaches. The key thing here is that you want places that will provide you with the right scenario and some quietness to enjoy a nice moment with your bae/boo, instead of many distractions. As always we will leave you with some options, so here is a list of 11 of the most romantic places in the world
  • For a surprise trip: for this one, consider your partner’s dream destinations, their dreams in general. Then, see how close you can get to reach them. For instance, check if it fits your budget expectations. Now, you can surprise them with a short road trip or with flight tickets; just make sure to consider all the details for a trip plan, simple things like if your partner’s passport is okay, etc. Here are other things to pay attention to when planning a perfect romantic surprise trip. You can rent a chalet on a mountain, or go backpacking in Europe, or even a week at Disneyland, it all depends on where your partner will feel more surprised and excited. 

 

3.Things to Do

No matter what kind of trip you choose, here are a few tips when thinking of what to do:

  • Romantic dinners at a nice restaurant or in your hotel room
  • Breakfast in bed
  • Take a walk to watch the sunset
  • Picnic at the beach or the park
  • Have coffee dates at the most unique coffee places
  • Look for the best views of the city 
  • Look for local programs like boat rides on a river, horse riding, and also exciting activities like surfing, climbing, etc
  • Hike to a unique spot to take both your breaths away

4. Where to Stay

  • Romantic Trip: think of privacy, this is not the time to stay at a hostel with 5 other people in the room. If possible rent a cozy and nice place like a chalet or cabin; a nice hotel room with a view is also really cool. There are also some really great rentals like apartments and studios in super awesome and romantic cities. 
  • Surprise Trip: try not to take big risks, a good – on budget – hotel might be a good choice or rentals that are well equipped. The surprise will certainly cause a lot of excitement and sometimes it is nice to find some security on comfort and familiarity.
  • Adventure trip: go wild, as long as you know your partner will be up for it. Try camping, on all scales from the wildest camping styles to the more comfortable like, using a cabin but having a bonfire outside. What about renting a boathouse and treehouse? Or just go to a hotel and relax after a day of adventure.

 

We have a post on how to plan a trip and there you will find plenty of options of online platforms to help you find the best place for you.

 

5. Make New Memories and Register Them

This is THE opportunity to take great pictures and make awesome videos with the one you love the most. Register every moment, make fun videos of the ups and downs of the trip so you can laugh at it later, and take some cool couple’s pictures. 

Something cool is to keep and collect some souvenirs from the trip like tickets, napkins from the restaurants you liked the most, beautiful leaves or seashells… anything that will make you remember that moment.

After the trip, you can use this to have a great date to organize the trip’s album, go old school and use some scrapbooking skills with the souvenirs you kept. There is nothing like looking through photos and objects that make us think of great times, even better if it is during a date night. 

 

If you have already been caught by the love bug, enjoy these tips and get inspired for your next romantic vacation. But, if you are single, no worries, travel anyway – here are some tips for your solo trip – plus, you never know, your better part may be in your next destination. 

 

See you on your next trip and stay tuned for our next publiCATTions!

 

Images: Unsplash.com

Travel Movies to Watch on Mother’s Day

Watching movies is one of the best family bonding times one could wish for. It gets even better when we can appreciate well written stories about how important these moments with loved ones are for us.

 

To celebrate Mother’s Day, we selected a few titles to help you navigate to some of those stories. However, we added very special films that include a few spoons of either adventures or simply amazing landscapes to inspire the inner traveler in all of us.

 

In on special order of rating or release date, here are some awesome movies you can watch on this Mother’s Day.

 

1. The Darjeeling Limited (2007)

Directed by Wes Anderson, The Darjeeling Limited has all the elements of family bonding and travel you could wish for. The movie presents us with the story of three brothers — Francis, Peter, and Jack — and their train trip across India

 

Throughout their journey, they will learn a lot about the local culture. The many different flavors from the Indian culture, its people, and how plural and colorful its culture is. However, it is during the most intimate times, inside the closed cabins of the train, that the brothers will learn about themselves and the importance of loving each other as one family.

 

“I love the way this country smells. I’ll never forget it. It’s kind of spicy.” — Peter

 

If you have ever been overseas in a country you haven’t completely mastered the language, trying to decipher its secrets, and explore its routes and paths, hoping to come out with a stronger sense of who you are and what you want for life, this movie is for you.

 

A strong element of motherhood appears later in the story but you will have to watch it until the end to find out. Enjoy the ride!

 

Travel Movies to Watch on Mother’s Day

 

2. Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

How about a cross-country trip on a yellow van with a supportive mom, your oddly silent brother, and some other crazy members of the family? Yeah, I know, we all have been there but if this doesn’t sound normal to you it is because you are yet to see Little Miss Sunshine.

 

In this movie, directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, we meet Olive, a little girl who always wanted to participate in a beauty contest. With a little push from her family, she will ride through the country to compete against other girls, while learning on the road what really matters in this life.

 

“There’s two kinds of people in this world, there’s winners and there’s losers. Okay, you know what the difference is? Winners don’t give up.” — Richard

 

3. The Guilt Trip (2012)

In a classic mother and son relationship, Barbra Streisand shines as Joyce Brewster, the mother of Andrew Brewster, played by Seth Rogen, an organic chemist and inventor who struggles to introduce a new environmentally friendly product on the market, but is never successful with his pitches.

 

After a few failures, he decides to do a quick stop at his mom’s house. She then reveals to him he was named after one of hers longtime crushes. Andrew finds out the man is still alive and invites his mom on a road trip from New Jersey to San Francisco, with the excuse of spending more time with her.

 

The Guilt Trip ends up being a journey where the two will learn a lot about each other and themselves, in a heartwarming and unforgettable family trip.

 

“I wasn’t meant to be with Andy Margolis. You see? I was meant to meet him, but I was meant to marry your father. Because if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have had you. Don’t you see, Andy? It was always you. You’re the love of my life, baby. It will always be you.” — Joyce Brewster

 

Travel Movies to Watch on Mother’s Day

 

4. Brave (2012)

The only animation on our list, Brave is a Pixar movie with a strong family theme in it. It’s main character, Princess Merida, is a strong girl who is passionate about archery. Her father, one of the kings in medieval Scotland, needs to keep the local tradition alive and offer his daughter’s hand to the bravest warrior he can find in other tribes, to unite the clans and strengthen their castles and kingdoms.

 

However, Merida has other plans, and she is willing to risk it all to have full control of her own destiny. The temptations of changing her fate leads her to a witch who promises a new life for her, but she will learn the hard way to always be careful with what you wish for.

 

“There are those who say fate is something beyond our command. That destiny is not our own, but I know better. Our fate lives within us, you only have to be brave enough to see it.” — Princess Merida

 

Set in the beautiful Highlands surrounded by gorgeous forests, the story of Brave takes us on a journey into the wild but with strong family ties connecting every path. A truly magical tale.

 

5. The Sound of Music (1965)

Last but not least, is one of the greatest classics the world has even seen. Released in 1965, The Sound of Music was directed by Robert Wise, and it is the classic story of how family love can fight for good and change everything.

 

Starring Julie Andrews as Maria, the movie takes us on a flight through the mountains of Austria, where the grass is so green and the flowers so beautiful, it all looks like a wonderful dream.

 

There we meet the Von Trapp family, including Captain Von Trapp, the father and window, and all his seven children: Liesl, Friedrich, Louisa, Kurt, Brigitta, Marta, and Gretl — all ranging between the ages of 5 and 16 years old.

 

“My fellow Austrians, I shall not be seeing you again perhaps for a very long time. I would like to sing for you now… a love song. I know you share this love. I pray that you will never let it die.” — Captain Von Trapp

 

Captain’s military background is constantly telling him that keeping all the boys and girls in the house in order is a must. However, it is through the soft and loving heart of Maria they learn the real meaning of respect, discipline, and freedom.

 

If lovely songs, beautiful scenery, and wonderful family stories are a few of your favourite things, The Sound of Music is a perfect movie for this Sunday.

 

Enjoy your Mother’s Day with movies and much love!

 

• • •

 

That’s all folks! See you in our next publiCATTions!

Essential Apps to Enhance Your Mother’s Day Photos

TL;DR

  1. Trips are much better with photos.
  2. There are plenty of powerful apps available for free.
  3. Don’t forget to backup your photos.

 

Camera. Camera. Have you ever noticed how smartphone advertisements these days are all about its cameras? That’s because photography has never been so popular like it is in this century.

 

The ability to simply take a photo at any moment has never been so accessible and so simple. You basically don’t even have to know how to spell the word “camera” to take a photo with your phone. Ok, I went a bit far with that one, but you get the idea, right?

 

With Mother’s Day around the corner, you want to have apps that are easy to use and can help you upgrade your mobile photography game, so you can focus on enjoying the day and taking as many pictures as you want, without worrying about if they are going to look great or not.

 

To make your life easier, check out this list with some amazing photo apps that may help you take better photos and improve the ones you already have. 

 

VSCO

iOS | Android

One of the most popular editing apps in the world, VSCO has a very simple interface and many different filters for you to choose from. You can go even further and tweak your pictures a bit more changing its exposure, brightness, and saturation.

 

Snapseed

iOS | Android

Developed by Google, Snapseed is another very popular option. It offers a wide range of filters, as well as editing tools that please both beginners and professionals. If you are shooting RAW, just easily import your files, add text to your pictures, or even go further and use the healing tool for more hardcore editing. Whatever your level may be, this app will be there for you.

 

Essential Apps to Enhance Your Mother’s Day Photos

 

Lightroom

iOS | Android

Created by the software giant Adobe, Lightroom is arguably the main photo editor used by millions of amateurs and professional photographers around the world. If you have never dived deeply into editing pictures this should not scare you though.

 

The mobile version of Lightroom has an easy interface and you don’t have to use all the features you see on every photo you upload. Little by little you may learn about each tool and improve you editing skills, if you are serious about it.

 

It is also a great combination of photo editor and cloud backup, since you can sign up for a large cloud storage and upload all your photos from your phone.

 

Helioseek

iOS

Not a photo editor but a great tool, Helioseek lets you see when the sun is and where it will be. Its very simple and easy to use interface is the friend you need when looking for a nice place to either enjoy the sunrise or sunset. It even gives you the time each one is happening.

 

Depending on what coast of the country you are, having a powerful tool to help you take a special selfie or simply contemplate this spectacular moment dance between day and night should be enough reason to download this app.

 

RTRO

iOS

More recommended for videos but also ok for photos, Moment’s RTRO brings the nostalgia of the film look and texture to your phone. You can record your family at the beach as if you have a Super-8 or take photos of them like you are shooting with a Polaroid. It’s easy to use and, most importantly, it’s fun to play with.

 

You can also record very short clips with your phone and combine them in one long video edited perfectly for Instagram stories.

 

For now, unfortunately, the app is available for iOS only — sorry guys! Let’s hope they bring it to Android soon.

 

Essential Apps to Enhance Your Mother’s Day Photos

 

BONUS: How to Backup your photos

Diamonds might be forever but some photos in our lives are worth more than diamonds. That’s why doing a regular photo backup is key. To help you with this simple yet very important task, let me recommend a few apps to help you keep your pictures for all eternity.

 

Google Photos

Google Photos is one of the easiest ways to backup your photos. All you need to do is have a Gmail account and download the app for free. Then just make sure that, once you have Wi-Fi available, you leave the app backing up your photos for you. One very easy way to do this is to just open the app at night before going to bed, while you charge it.

 

Dropbox

Dropbox is also a very popular tool to backup basically any kind of file. Even though it might be a better choice for businesses rather than individuals, it’s still an option to consider when looking for maybe a second app for that extra backup — just in case. You can start with a free account but you might have to upgrade it soon since you only begin with 2GB.

 

OneDrive

If you already own a Microsoft subscription, chances are you have access to OneDrive. They have a mobile app and, with a few tweaks in the settings, you can have it automatically upload a copy of your photos to its storage in the cloud using the same account you already have. Very easy.

 

iCloud

For iPhone users, using the automatic iCloud photo backup might not be the cheapest way but it has good results if you have a large storage on your phone and other devices. Apple makes it work seamlessly throughout its family of phones, tablets, and computers, so you can enjoy having any photo anywhere.

 

But beware: it consumes storage space from all the devices connected to the iCloud, if they are set to use the cloud photo storage, so go easy.

 

• • •

 

If you want a few more tips about how to take pictures on your trip — or basically any moment in life —, check out our post on how to plan a trip with ideas about that and much more.

 

Enjoy your Mother’s Day with many pictures and much love!

 

• • •

 

That’s all folks! See you in our next publiCATTions!

 

Photos: unsplash.com

Where To Celebrate Mother’s Day in the U.S.

TL;DR

  1. Traveling is a great way to celebrate Mother’s Day.
  2. There is a destination for every mom.
  3. Make sure you have a plan so she can fully enjoy the trip.

 

Mother’s Day is around the corner and you can make it even more special with a trip to a destination she loves. There are plenty of options to choose from, depending on your mom’s personality, so we tried to narrow it down a bit. Here are some destinations you can take her to for this special Sunday holiday.

Outdoorsy Mom

Our country has plenty of national parks that offer a variety of scenery and close contact with nature. We recently posted an awesome list with plenty of options depending on where you live.

 

However, you don’t have to fly or drive across the continent just to take her to see wildlife. Look it up to see if your state has campgrounds available already or a cabin in the woods you can rent for the weekend. Just the peaceful atmosphere of an isolated accommodation and the sound of birds should make this Mother’s Day even more special for her.

 

Where To Celebrate Mother’s Day in the U.S.

 

Artsy Mom

With concerts not quite yet back the way they used to be, an artsy mom could enjoy at least some time at a museum. We selected a few small-town destinations with interesting art galleries to include in your itinerary.

 

In Jackson, WY, you can find the National Museum of Wildlife Art. It includes more than 14 galleries with more than 5,000 pieces of art; In Water Mill, NY, there is the Parrish Art Museum holds more than 2,600 art pieces, including the largest public collection of work from William Merritt Chase.

 

When visiting Bentonville, AR, you may stop by the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Its collection combines 400 pieces, including a portrait of George Washington, Norman Rockwell’s Rosie the Riveter, and Andy Warhol’s Dolly Parton.

 

Sports Mom

If your mom is a huge and loud fan of sports there are several destinations you may take her to. The NBA season is sailing fast and you don’t need to be in the arena to enjoy it. Regardless if you are in Pennsylvania or Utah, there are other cities with plenty of sport bars you can visit to watch any game, like Dallas, Indianapolis, or even Madison, WI, considered “America’s greatest college sports town,” according to ESPN.

 

Foodie Mom

Why settle for just a Mother’s Day lunch or dinner if you can have an entire weekend tasting different recipes? If your mom is down to a gastronomic destination, here are some options.

 

Breweries

To crack a cold one with the family, you may have to take an exit from the big urban centers and head to:

  • Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Birmingham, Alabama
  • Duluth, Minnesota
  • Greenville, South Carolina
  • Lubbock, Texas
  • Missoula, Montana
  • Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Sonoma County, California
  • The Hudson Valley, New York
  • Yakima, Washington

 

Seafood

From classics like fish and chips to more eccentric dishes, if your mom prefers to eat seafood for Mother’s Day, these are some cities you may try:

  • Anchorage, Alaska
  • Charleston, South Carolina
  • Georgetown, Maine
  • New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Provincetown, Massachusetts

 

May is the Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month in America, which means there is a lot of seafood to try across the country. Check out our post about where to eat Asian food in the U.S.

Vegan

If your mom would rather avoid meat on Mother’s Day, that’s no problem at all. The country is full of vegan-friendly cities. Here are some of them:

  • Cleveland, Ohio
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Salt Lake City, Utah
  • San Antonio, Texas
  • Tucson, Arizona

 

Where To Celebrate Mother’s Day in the U.S.

 

BONUS: Travel Essentials Gifts

Packing it up

If your mom loves to travel, there are some essential products you can buy to make sure her next trip goes smoothly.

 

For moms who like casual traveling, it is important to always bring strong and durable luggage. There are plenty of options online. Make sure to check all the features, if it includes safety locks and extra compartments.

 

You can also upgrade your gift and get her some packing cubes. They are great to keep all your clothes and accessories separated, so if you need to open or repack, you only open the cubes you really need. You can mix and match with different sizes and colors but make sure they fit in her luggage.

 

Other moms may prefer bigger backpacks for more adventurous destinations. Ideally, you would bring her to the store and let her test the backpack first, since there is a sweet spot between the backpack adjustments and the person’s size.

 

Pay attention to the features the backpack offers, such as waterproof materials, external compartments for a water bottle, cushion for her back, and if it feels comfortable on her hips.

 

On the airplane

Traveling by airplane can be a bit challenging depending on how many hours you are staying inside the aircraft. If you want to buy your mom a nice present to make her flights easier, you should focus on comfort and entertainment.

 

One very good place to start is investing in a nice pair of noise-canceling headphones. This technology eliminates constant and unwanted sounds in the vicinity, and isolates your brain from being disturbed by them. It is the best experience to listen to music, podcast, or simply white noise for sleeping.

 

To pair with the headphones, you may also present her with a sleeping mask. This is great not only for where she is in the air but also at any accomodation. Her eyes will thank you and she will be able to wake up well rested.

 

If she would rather stay busy on the airplane, a book (or e-reader) is a great idea. Find a topic she is deeply interested in or a novel with a thrilling story she may devour in a few hours.

 

On the street

What is traveling if you can’t take good pictures? Despite the fact that we all have a camera on our phones these days, maybe your mom wants to upgrade her photo game and go pro or semi-pro.

 

In that case, a DSLR or a mirrorless camera should be a great Mother’s Day present. Check carefully if the box comes with a lens and not just the body. You can also get her extra batteries and a memory card.

 

For moms who like to walk a lot or enjoy off-road paths, a pair of hiking boots is a great gift. If they come with gore-tex — a powerful waterproof technology — they should last longer hikes and harder weathers.

 

Whatever your Mother’s Day present may be, don’t forget that having you in her life is the greatest destination she could ever wish for.

 

Have a nice trip!

• • •

 

That’s all folks! See you in our next publiCATTions!

 

Photos: unsplash.com

Where to Eat Asian Food Across the U.S.

TL;DR

  1. This month we celebrate the Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month.
  2. Some of the oldest Chinatowns in the U.S. date from the mid 1800s.
  3. A lot of history to learn and recipes to try in different states.

 

May is around the corner and it is the month when the United States celebrates the Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

 

It is joined by the National Endowment for the Humanities, Library of Congress, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, National Archives and Records Administration, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, and the Smithsonian Institution to honor the many generations of families who immigrated from Asian and Pacific Islanders to America, enriching the country’s history and culture.

 

So if you are traveling inside the U.S. in May, you can join the celebration by adding to your itinerary local spots related to this month’s theme. To help you create that list, we brought you some ideas with unique Asian food places across the country.

 

Where to Eat Asian Food Across the U.S.
Chinatown, San Francisco, CA.

 

San Francisco, CA

It all started in 1849, when San Francisco saw the first known Chinese restaurant in the country. Since then, Asian cuisine has become one of the favourites among Americans and the number of restaurants has escalated to more than 50,000.

 

Many years have passed and the city has seen many businesses come and go, but one name that still stands out is the Golden Gate Bakery. Located between other Asian shops on Grant Ave, this is a must-go for egg tart fans.

 

The popularity of this place has gone so far beyond imagination that there was even a Twitter account that, for eight years, was dedicated almost exclusively to report if Golden Gate Bakery was open or not.

 

Seattle, WA

Seattle is the home of some of the oldest Chinatowns in the country. It’s also where you can find Maneki, a traditional Japanese restaurant founded in 1904 and a landmark for Asian culture resilience on the West Coast.

 

The restaurant is currently owned by a nonprofit organization called InterimCDA, created to preserve Seattle’s International District. Before 2020, the stellar sushi recipes served were accompanied by traditional Japanese architecture and interior design, with a private tatami room — no shoes allowed — and low tables for a complete guest experience.

 

Los Angeles, CA

The show business glamour in Los Angeles may have preserved the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, where many Hollywood classics premiered, but Asian culture influence in the city goes way beyond that.

 

For tea lovers, when passing by its Koreatown, one excellent spot not very noticed by tourists is Hwa Sun Ji. Low tables, traditional Korean music, and a variety of tea should make anybody’s afternoon even more special.

 

Another must-visit place in the City of Angels is Matsuhisa. After moving to Los Angeles in 1977, chef Nobuyuki “Nobu” Matsuhisa decided to combine his experience as a sushi master from Japan and Peru to open his own restaurant in 1987. Chef “Nobu” developed a respected name for himself with the “Matsuhisa Special Dishes” and his signature dish: black cod in miso.

 

The popularity of his name granted him the chance to even have small roles in movies, like Casino (1995). He was also able to expand his business to New York, under the name of “Nobu”, in Tribeca, which takes us to our next tip.

 

Where to Eat Asian Food Across the U.S.
Chinatown in New York, NY.

 

New York, NY

The Big Apple has always been known for having a little bit of everything on its streets. It’s no different for its Chinatown neighborhood. One of the most traditional businesses of the area is The Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory.

 

Located on Bayard St, only a few minutes walking from Canal St Station, this family-owned business attracts tourists and locals for its delicious sweets and customized ice cream cakes. If you are visiting New York in the summer, don’t forget to swing by and try the almost cookie or the zen butter flavors.

 

The Cantonese restaurant Jing Fong, on Elizabeth St, is also a great option with over 120 tables available for customers. After your meal, you may want to check out the menu at Mei Li Wah Bakery Bakery, a classic option in the neighborhood since 1968.

Honolulu, HI

If you are ever in Honolulu during the first Friday of any month, you may want to swing by its Chinatown. That’s because the city has created a tradition of partying, having its cafes, restaurants, and bars stay open late.

 

One awesome place where you can try a different kind of Vietnamese Phở, is the must-stop called The Pig and the Lady. Its broth is considered sweeter by some locals, compared to the traditional rice noodles, sliced meat, bean sprouts, and lime you may be used to, but very special nonetheless.

 

You can also dive into traditional dishes of Native Hawaiian cuisine and try all varieties of Poke in the island. Start your journey by the Maguro Brothers, at the Kekaulike Market. Ask them about the Hawaiian Limu Ahi Poké Bowl or the Ume, a plum blossom, easily found in Chinese, Japanes, and Korean recipes.

 

Where to Eat Asian Food Across the U.S.
Chinatown, Portland, OR.

 

Portland, OR

Portland’s Chinatown is a gem by itself. That’s because the neighborhood is the home of some of its most famous places, including Lan Su Chinese Garden, the always fun Voodoo Doughnut,as well as the Portland Saturday Market, which has been around for over four decades.

 

You may even include the world famous Powell’s City of Books, one of the most important businesses in the weird city of Portland, and part of our list of awesome bookstores to visit across the country.

 

However, with a Chinatown neighborhood that has been around since the 1870s, there is more out there than just the tourist spots. You can navigate through its history by eating lunch at Dan & Louis’ Oyster Bar.

 

This family-owned restaurant dates back to 1907 and even after five generations of management later it is still a landmark in the city. Their business went through a few challenges last year — like many others —, so you have one extra reason to swing by their location to try their oysters and appreciate their history.

 

Have a nice trip!

 

• • •

 

That’s all folks! See you in our next publiCATTions!

 

Photos: unsplash.com

Tips for Picking an Accommodation for Your Trip

TL;DR

  1. Choose your location wisely and pay attention to what’s around the accommodation.
  2. Do thorough research and use different platforms to do so.
  3. Read all the information on the accommodation to avoid surprises. 

 

So, you have followed all the steps for a solid trip plan — just in case you have not, here’s a step-by-step to that — and you are thinking about where you will stay. This is a big deal, after all after a whole day seeing attractions and walking around you will need a nice place to sleep and rest. 

 

As always, we are here to help you choose the best accommodation for your trip. Let’s go through 5 important tips:

 

All about the location

You need a place close to or at least with easy access to your main activities. For instance, if you plan to get to know a city better and enjoy all of that city buzz and attractions, staying in a place downtown or a rental close to a public transportation stop will make your life much easier.

 

From your accommodation, you will have access to the bus or metro downtown, and also car-sharing rides might be cheaper as you will be closer to the core areas. Sometimes travelers consider staying at a further hotel in outer town as those tend to be more economical, but you will spend more on transportation and food — with fewer options of restaurants and grocery shops around you.

 

Think strategically about where you will be staying; make sure you simulate all the possible costs you may have; use a map, like Google maps, to check what is around your accommodation; and most of the big cities have either maps or apps for you to plan using public transportation.

 

If you are staying at a resort or a bigger hotel, a lot of them have transfer vans to the main attractions around and to the airport. You can call them previously to check on that.

 

Of course that, when looking at accommodations, the ones closer to big tourist sites, beaches and beautiful views will be more expensive, especially if you get a room with a view. If you are on a budget you can choose one without the direct view but with easy access to those sites.

 

You do not need to have a view of the Empire State Building but you can most certainly be two to three blocks away from it.

 

Where can you look for the accommodations?

There are plenty of websites to look for them, for some of them you can search for hotels and rental homes too, you can just use a filter for that. Here’s a list with some suggestions and what you can find there:

 

  • Booking.com: You can search for hotels, inns, bed & breakfasts, homes, and hostels. You can book directly with them.
  • Trivago: You can search for hotels, inns, bed & breakfasts, homes, and hostels. The website does a general search for the best deals and directs you to the dealer’s website.
  • Airbnb: Rental homes and rooms. You can book directly with them.
  • Homestay: Rental homes and rooms. You can book directly with them.
  • Kayak: You can search for hotels, inns, bed & breakfasts, and hostels. The website does a general search for the best deals and directs you to the dealer’s website.
  • Hotels: You can search for hotels, inns, bed & breakfasts, and hostels. You can book directly with them.
  • Hotel branch website: You can check some hotels’ websites directly and find some different offers, places such as Best Western and Holiday Inn, or any other big hotel branch.

 

Very Important: for each of those websites you will see filters — they are your best friends when searching — make sure to use them. You can filter your search to your exact needs, if it is pet-friendly place or a hotel that offers free parking. Do a general search, observe the rates and types of accommodations, then use the filters to get exactly what you need.

 

In some of them, you are also able to look by a location range. You use a map to determine the region where you want your accommodation to be.

 

Tips for Picking an Accommodation for Your Trip

 

Take time to read the guests’ evaluations and comments

Once you use the filters and you have some good options, look for the ratings — that can also be in the filters. Try to pick a place with a rating above 8.0 or 4 stars according to previous guests.

 

Regardless of what you chose, it is very important to read the reviews and to check where those accommodations are rated poorly. You can learn a whole lot from the reviews and avoid surprises. 

 

When it comes to places with ratings below 8.0 or 4 stars, it is good to see what caused those ratings. Sometimes, guests expect things that the properties never promised and they get disappointed.

 

For example, someone may be displeased with a room that does not have a view to the pool, but to another wall, depending on your trip that might not make a difference for you. But be aware that there are some legit complaints and you want to stay away from those places. Just read the reviews. Always.

 

Check all the information available about the place

Every booking/rental website offers an information page with House Rules and Amenities on the accommodation. We often scroll through that because we do not want to spend time reading it, but just as important as the reviews, you have to read it. 

 

It is in that section that you will find if your rental has an extra cost for cleaning, parking rules, and if there are extra costs or no cost for a crib in the room, and so on. This is a big part to avoid those unpleasant surprises and to make sure you know what you are paying for, and if you need to contact the place for more information. 

 

Tips for Picking an Accommodation for Your Trip

 

Food. Because we need it.

An accommodation that offers breakfast is always nice, and you can still enjoy a local bakery mid-morning if you want to. See if the chosen place has grocery stores around it, even if small local ones and restaurants.

 

Do a quick run and buy some snacks and water to leave at your hotel room, and if you have a rental home and you buy some ingredients for easy cooking. Even if you eat out all day, there is a big chance you will get hungry later and you will need food around you. 

 

The same thing is valid if you are visiting a city where food is expensive. In case there is not a food market close by, save some time during your first day to go to one and do the grocery you need to. Some accommodations also offer an inside restaurant or cafe and it is valid to check their price and what kind of food you will find there.

 

We also have other tips and how-tos to make your trip plan an awesome one, check that out and so much more on traveling on our blog.

 

Have a nice trip!

 

• • •

 

That’s all folks! See you in our next publiCATTions!

 

Photos: unsplash.com