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Istanbul to Fethiye Bus

Our travel tips and experience on catching the 12 hour Istanbul to Fethiye overnight bus.

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Fethiye Panorama

Any travel where you are stuck in a small seat in an upright position sucks. Whether it is the dreaded long haul flight from New Zealand to the United Kingdom or an overnight bus between cities there are usually no comforts to be found. So with some hesitation we booked ourselves on the Istanbul to Fethiye bus.

Blue Mosque Istanbul

Don’t get me wrong, there are some fantastic reasons why you should catch overnight buses. I won’t go into the debate of overland versus air travel in terms of environmental issues as that is a totally different kettle of fish that warrants multiple posts.

But other reasons that matter to most travellers is that firstly, you usually leave late at night and arrive early in the morning which gives you at least an extra day or two of sightseeing rather than having to transfer and wait at airports. Secondly, the majority of overland travel including trains and buses can be cheaper than flying. Once you add transfer costs to/from the airport plus the flight then overland travel is cheaper. Although I will concede that in Europe it is hit or miss with so many cheap flights available with budget airlines.

Finally overnight buses are a great way to save on accommodation. We hate forking out an additional $50 for a late night accommodation so every penny saved means we can indulge our passion for adventure travel or local food at a later date.

Istanbul to Fethiye bus pre-departure

The first thing to note is that there is not really any way to pre-purchase your Istanbul to Fethiye bus tickets prior to your arrival in Turkey. We googled every option looking for help but came up drawing a blank. Doing what we do best, we left it to chance and knew that it would sort itself out once we were on the ground in Istanbul.

No surprises it was incredibly easy to book our trip. We found out that Metro Turizm bus (one of the largest in Turkey) travels overnight from Istanbul to Fethiye every day from 9pm so it was a matter of showing up at the Taksim Square Metro Turizm office (map here) and buying our bus tickets for 60 TL (approximately US$30) on the morning of our departure.

We were even given a free shuttle from the Taksim Square office to the main Istanbul Otogar (bus station) outside the city centre an hour before our overnight bus left.

The Journey

Our tickets said the Istanbul to Fethiye bus would take 12 hours. Factoring in Turkish time we calculated more like 13 – 14 hours in total. Having resigned myself to the fact that I was going to get, at most, an hour or two of sleep we settled in for the long haul.

Immediately we were impressed by the service on the overnight bus to Fethiye. Our seats reclined more than most economy seats on airlines. And the back of each seat was fitted with a small TV screen. Unfortunately my Turkish consists of about 10 sayings to get me by so it was pretty hard to follow what I think was the Turkish version of Days of our lives.

Istanbul to Fethiye bus

Once seated we were offered traditional Cay Tea (pronounced Chai) and Turkish coffee plus a range of snacks. This continued throughout the night whenever we stopped. Which turned out to be about every hour.

We had hoped that would have toilets onboard but no luck there. But thanks to all the frequent stops this isn’t a problem.

Settling in with my book while Adela slept like a log. She has that wonderful gift of being able to sleep anywhere! While the majority of Turkish drivers are have feet made of lead with heavy acceleration and braking our driver was smooth as silk. So believe it or not I even managed about 4 hours of sleep.

I love travelling overland as you do get to see the countryside at it’s best. Waking as the dawn broke high in some mountains still covered in snow is a great way to start any day. We have fallen in love with Turkey and are already trying to plan how we could work here for a few months sometime.

Fethiye Panorama

We have fallen in love with Fethiye

Arrival in Fethiye

Turns out that we were spot on and our overnight bus pulled into the main Fethiye bus station at about 10am. Only an hour behind schedule which is early in our opinion.

We were quickly greeted with smiles and handshakes as seems traditional in Turkey. Everyone is so friendly and just wants to have a chat. And once they found out where we were staying it was a matter of grabbing a lift with a local to our accommodation on the waterfront.

If you want any help sorting out your journey on the Istanbul to Fethiye bus then get in touch and hopefully we can help you out!

 

Cole is one half of New Zealand's leading adventure travel blogging couple who have been wearing out their jandals around the world since 2009. He loves any adventure activities and anything to do with the water whether it is Surfing, Diving, Swimming, Snorkeling or just lounging nearby on the beach. You can follow Cole on Google+. Or consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

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33 Comments

33 Comments

  1. TravelEater

    May 1, 2012 at 5:34 AM

    Love Turkish buses (and I hate bus trips)! I especially love the lemon scented hand wash they give out. Turkey is such an amazing country with incredible history, sites, food and some of the kindest people anywhere. Enjoy your trip!!

    • Cole Burmester

      May 6, 2012 at 4:00 PM

      Just got back to Edinburgh and we just want to go back to Turkey so badly! Agree with you on the food and people. Both amazing!

      • mabel

        May 5, 2014 at 9:19 AM

        I lived in Istanbul for 1 year and traveled all around Turkey. It’s lovely

  2. Spencer

    May 16, 2012 at 4:16 AM

    I so want to go to Turkey! I have been there for a day trip and loved what I saw. I can’t wait to get there. It is top of my wishlist!

    • Cole Burmester

      May 16, 2012 at 9:12 AM

      What did you do when you only had one day there?!

      • Spencer

        May 16, 2012 at 9:19 AM

        We went there on a day trip from Lesbos about 25 years ago. I was only 15 and it was a family holiday. From memory I think we just wandered around the old town of Ankarra for a while.

  3. southern travels

    May 30, 2012 at 6:54 AM

    Major thankies for the article.Really thank you! Really Cool.

  4. Caro from Passport and a Toothbrush

    June 16, 2012 at 2:12 AM

    Great post, very useful! Will definitely keep it in mind when we do that leg of the trip ourselves!

    • Cole Burmester

      June 18, 2012 at 8:04 AM

      When are you going Caro? You will LOVE Turkey 🙂

  5. Kelly

    June 18, 2012 at 5:52 PM

    Yaaayyyyim so excited to travel around turkey! Thanks for the post it was really great info! We’ve heard some amazing things about Turkish buses 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      June 23, 2012 at 6:54 AM

      I only wish we knew a little more Turkish so we could have chatted with everyone 🙂

  6. erin

    June 24, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    hey there! we’re currently in Montenegro for a month but trying to plan our next step. We were thinking of a week or 2 in the Fethiye area before going on to Armenia. Would you recommend that area? Is 1 week enough or are there 2 weeks worth of seeing to be done? Also, I’m just looking into travel options but your review of the bus made me a little less wary of going that route! -Erin

    • Cole Burmester

      June 24, 2012 at 3:42 PM

      Hey Erin thanks for stopping by! The bus to Fethiye was fine. Although if you want to fly then there are lots and lots of cheap flight options too. It just saves you a nights accommodation and you arrive direct into Fethiye.
      A week would be fine there. Would you consider doing a Sail Turkey trip or something? Fethiye is not too big but a great base and lots of day trips could be taken from there. Are you spending longer in Turkey?

  7. erin

    June 24, 2012 at 4:29 PM

    Thanks Cole! Right now we don’t have any definite plans but I think we’ll only spend a short time in Turkey. We want a few weeks in Armenia and have to meet up with some friends in Italy at the end of August. We’re definitely doing budget travel, so I don’t think we’ll do a sailing trip, but we’ve found a great rental in the Fethiye region which we’re thinking might be nice for day trips, relaxing, experiencing the country a little bit. We’re in Montenegro right now, which is beautiful but HOT so the weather might influence our next move 🙂 I don’t know yet how we’ll get to Istanbul but probably bus and train from here.

    • Cole Burmester

      June 25, 2012 at 3:59 PM

      Wow Armenia would be really cool! Just slightly jealous 🙂 If you want any other tips please get in touch with us any time and let us know your plans. Always love to share other travellers tips with our readers.

  8. Ada

    August 18, 2012 at 3:49 AM

    Hi cole wondering if you have any tips and prices for accomodation in fethiye. Thanks in advance

    • Cole Burmester

      August 19, 2012 at 9:55 AM

      Hi Ada,
      Thanks for dropping by the blog. Definitely recommend checking out Fethiye Guest House. Run by some awesome people and the breakfast is one of the best we have ever had for a hostel. They have private and dorm rooms.
      We did a Sail Turkey cruise from Fethiye. Might be worthwhile checking it out – http://www.fourjandals.com/europe/busabout-sail-turkey-review/

  9. Ada

    August 19, 2012 at 12:14 PM

    Thanks for the response Cole.Love the blog by the way.

  10. Lisa

    January 10, 2013 at 4:22 PM

    Hi,

    Asking for some advice! I am looking into traveling to Turkey this year for a cruise with Topdeck that departs and ends in Fethiye. Once my cruise ends on Saturday, I plan to take the bus back to Istanbul for a flight that leaves Sunday at 12:15pm. Do you think that is cutting it too close? Are their cabs from where the bus drops you off?

    Thank you!!

    • Cole Burmester

      January 13, 2013 at 9:23 AM

      Hi Lisa,
      Thanks for your message! The overnight bus for us was fine on time and worked out cheaper than flying. There are plenty of taxis around the area that the bus arrives in Istanbul. I am sure you could probably book one as well although not sure who to contact on that sorry.
      Cheers,
      Cole

    • Oktay

      March 21, 2013 at 9:08 PM

      Hi Lisa

      There is also a metro line under otogar if u wanna go to airport. Just take metro line and stop in zeytinburnu and change the line from there to the airport it takes appromixately 20 minutes otogar-airport. . Of course there is a taxi stop there as well, but ask the price first.have a nice journey

      • Cole Burmester

        March 22, 2013 at 9:56 AM

        Thanks so much for your extra tips Oktay! Much appreciated 😉

        • Oktay

          March 22, 2013 at 10:05 AM

          You are welcome Cole, u have a wicked blog. very informative. Have a nice day.:)

  11. Nádia Pontes

    March 16, 2013 at 7:31 PM

    Hi! Your post really encouraged me. We shall do that on May. Would you have tips about Fethiye? Thanks!

  12. Vanessa

    July 26, 2013 at 12:10 PM

    I am planning a trip to Turkey at them moment and I leave next week. You guys seem experienced in the matter so I was wondering if I could ask a few questions? Your help would be greatly appreciated.

    • Cole Burmester

      July 27, 2013 at 8:34 AM

      Send us an email on our contact page or ask on here Vanessa 🙂

  13. Kim

    February 22, 2014 at 5:41 AM

    Hi Cole, my son is booked on Turkey Sailing in May, 2014 and will take the Metro Turizm solo from Bayrampasa to Fethiye the night before sailing. An email yesterday from Smarttraveller.gov.au advised Australians to reconsider their need to travel to any area within 10kms of the Turkish border with Syria. Wondering what the general consensus is amongst travelers heading south at present.

    • Cole Burmester

      March 4, 2014 at 1:31 AM

      Hey Kim,
      Yes there are dangers when you travel but usually it’s the wrong place at the wrong time. Fortunately the places your son is travelling is not close to the Syrian border. Have a chat with the Sail Turkey team as they are the ones on the ground though so can let you know what the current situation is.
      He will love it!
      Thanks,
      Cole

  14. Michael

    March 3, 2014 at 2:37 PM

    Unfortunately, we are impatient so spend a lot of time taking internal flights. However the bus system in Turkey, from what I read has improved. You made a good schedule though. Traveling overnight to arrive 10am so free to start the day. Good thinking

  15. hagar

    May 4, 2015 at 12:09 AM

    hii you didnt mention how much did the bus ticket from istanbul to fethiye costed you? and from where can i acess the buss?

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Adventure Travel

Top of Cappadocia day trek – with Middle Earth Travel

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Trekking through the valleys of Cappadocia’s fairy chimneys with Middle Earth Travel feels more like the set of a Star Wars movie than a historical region once carved out and lived in by humans. Churches, homes and pigeon houses are scattered throughout the valleys, all waiting to be explored. The best part is, Middle Earth Travel know all the hidden secrets.

Standing at the top of Cappadocia

Top of Cappadocia day trek – with Middle Earth Travel

On the 26th of July (which just so happens to be my birthday!) Middle Earth Travel took us on their private and guided Top of Cappadocia day trek. From Pasabag, along the top of Cappadocia and down through the Gulludere Rose Valley to Goreme, we trekked 15kms in one day! (We recommend getting your bearings with this map)

Upon arrival to the Middle Earth Offices, we were warmly greeted by our new friend Atil whom we had met a few days earlier while mountain biking through the Kizilcukur Red Valley. We were then introduced to our guide and given a briefing regarding the day. Normally, the Top of Cappadocia tour would start from Çavuşin, however, since we had already explored Çavuşin Castle, they adapted our tour to compensate ensuring we would explore new terrain!

With charged cameras, plenty of water and our running shoes on, we were driven to our starting point of Pasabag. We wandered through the fairy chimneys, coming across camels and markets – then the true hike began.

Pasabag in Cappadocia

The police station in Pasabag, Cappadocia

Camel in Pasabag, Cappadocia

Camel in Pasabag, Cappadocia

It was a slow and gentle incline. With no trees to provide shade, I quickly realised why our tour guide had chosen to wear fully covered clothing! As the sweat quickly set in (a waterfall in Moss’s case) we snapped away with our cameras and enjoyed the entertaining shapes of Imagine Valley and the amazing view. We also passed a lot of rock piles, which according to our guide mean ‘father’ and are built to help lead the way.

Animal shaped formations in Imagine Valley

Animal shaped formations in Imagine Valley

Middle Earth Travel, Cappadocia

Making our way to the top of Cappadocia

Father leading the way (rock pile)

Father leading the way (rock pile)

The higher we trekked, the more breath taking the views became! As we walked along the summit of Bozdag mountain (the Top of Cappadocia) we could see EVERTHING – Pasabag, Çavuşin Castle, Kizilcukur Red Valley, Gulludere Rose Valley and Goreme. We were on the Father of Valleys! After a quick nod of agreement to the guide, we pushed ourselves the extra distance and made our way to the flag, as this HAD to be the highest point and was definitely worth a photo and a selfie or two!

View from the top of Cappadocia

View from the top of Cappadocia

Flag at top of Cappadocia

From the flag we looked down upon Aktepe Hill which is known as a popular destination for watching the sun set and could spot Kizilvadi Restaurant, our destination for lunch! Kizilvadi Restaurant is an attraction of its own. With its own historic winery and Grape church, plus some Middle Earth Travel treks even stay there for the night! After having a massive feed of soup, salad and pasta plus a surprise birthday cake, we made our way down into Gulludere Rose Valley.

Kizilvadi Restaurant

Kizilvadi Restaurant

The scenery is amazing, with strong colours visible in perfect layers on the chimneys, you would wonder what an artist was thinking, had it been a painting. Also, hidden to the side of the track we walked across a little bridge and not expecting anything to be there we were wowed by the massive church carved. It was absolutely huge and hard to believe that its most recent use has been as a pigeon house!

Coloured chimneys in Cappadocia

Coloured chimneys in Cappadocia

Pigeon houses in Cappadocia

Pigeon houses in Cappadocia

Church in Gulludere Rose Valley

Hard to believe this Church is carved inside a fairy chimney!

Middle Earth Travel Review

  • The team at Middle Earth Travel were extremely knowledgeable and certainly know Cappadocia’s hidden secrets. They have friendships with local tea garden owners which is also of benefit as it gained us entry to locked churches and hidden rooms that we would not have otherwise seen.
  • We covered a lot of ground, however we did not feel rushed. The whole day focused on showing us the region, therefore we had as much time as we needed to explore each church and to take ‘just one more photo’.
  • It wasn’t all about trekking. With a whole day and 15kms to cover, there were a few silly poses (especially in Imagine Valley), and we learnt a lot about the myths, legends and way of life in Cappadocia.
  • In conclusion I highly recommend Middle Earth Travel if you wish to go trekking or mountain biking in Cappadocia.
  • Cost: Day treks with Middle Earth Travel range from 50-90 euro, depending on the number of people taking part. This includes lunch, guide, vehicle transfers and entrance fees to historical sites, but excludes alcoholic and soft drinks.
  • Middle Earth Travel are outdoor enthusiasts and offer multi-day over night treks, mountain biking, abseiling, or custom made itineraries, in multiple regions throughout Turkey.
  • www.middleearthtravel.com

Disclaimer: We were provided with a discount for the trek with Middle Earth Travel, however, as always our thoughts on our adventure travel blog our own.

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Adventure Travel

Walking the Camino de Santiago Photos

These are my favourite Camino de Santiago Photos from my pilgrimage along the French Way in March. A truly beautiful way to spend a few weeks.

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Puenta La Reina Bridge Camino Arrow

El Camino de Santiago kicked my ass. Well technically it kicked my feet. Turns out my minimal preparation for the Camino de Santiago was terrible. After a miserable effort of only 4 days, the doctor in Legrono told me that I wasn’t allowed to go on until me feet healed. I had walked just over 100 km’s and my feet were bloodied and blistered.

To be honest, I was relieved.

The thought of putting back on my shoes made my shudder. For the last 9 km’s I had stumbled along in jandals and socks. One of the travelling fashion sins I vowed I would never break.

Jandals on the Camino de Santiago

Jandals on the Camino de Santiago

So while I have unfinished business with the Way of St James (an upcoming post), I did want to share with you some of my favourite photos from the Camino de Santiago. Because I had yet to reach some of the more “unsavoury” parts of the Camino that Sherry Ott had discovered, every step of my pilgrimage had been beautiful.

Puenta La Reina Bridge Camino Arrow

Puenta La Reina Bridge – Camino de Santiago Arrows

There is no way you can get lost on the Camino de Santiago. Arrows, scallop shells and signs point you in the right direction at every bridge, road crossing and intersection.

Camino de Santiago Scallop Shell

Camino de Santiago Scallop Shell

Reaching the top of Alto Pedron gave views back the way I had come from Pamplona, as well as views to where I was going. The rocky path on the way down proved to be my ultimate downfall, as my too small shoes caused my toes to smash into the front.

Alto del Pedron Camino de Santiago

Alto del Pedron Camino de Santiago

Metal Pilgrims on Alto del Pedron

Metal Pilgrims on Alto del Pedron

There were so many beautiful old churches along the Camino de Santiago. But since I was walking in early March, it seemed that most were yet to open for the busier summer season.

Church of Obanos

The Church of Obanos

And between every small village the well-maintained pathways of the French Way wound across the spectacular Spanish countryside.

The French Way - Camino de Santiago

The French Way – Camino de Santiago Photos

Puenta La Reina

Puenta La Reina in the evening

Puenta La Reina has one of the most amazing bridges I have ever seen. It was also the 1st village I had the pleasure of sleeping in after busy Pamplona.

Puenta la Reina Bridge and Sunrise

Puenta la Reina Bridge at sunrise

Most mornings I was up and walking before the sun began to sprinkle across the horizon.

Spring flowers on the Camino de Santiago

Spring flowers on the Camino de Santiago

Pilgrims approaching Cirauqui, Spain

Pilgrims approaching Cirauqui, Spain

Every village and town was built on a small hill. Sure it looks beautiful until you realise you have to go back up again to go through them all!

Church of Santa Maria - Los Arcos

Church of Santa Maria in Los Arcos

While there were only about 20 pilgrims walking each section every day, it wasn’t uncommon for you to encounter them all. The people I met along the Camino de Santiago were some of the most inspiring and remarkable people I have ever spoken to. They are the ones that make the pilrgimage so special.

The endless French Way

The endless French Way

Irache Wine Fountain - Fuente del Vino

The free flowing Irache Wine Fountain or “Fuente del Vino”

Hay bales along the French Way

Hay bales along the French Way

Every village had at least one ancient church and it wasn’t uncommon to find them dotting the landscape in remote locations either.

Ermita de San Miguel

Ermita de San Miguel

Iglesia de San Andrés de Zariquiegui Church

Iglesia de San Andrés de Zariquiegui Church

I have travelled through Spain in the past, including cycling in Costa Brava and surfing in San Sebastian with both independent planning and a vacation planner. But having the opportunity to walk at my own pace through some of the most beautiful scenery in Spain on the Camino de Santiago has so far topped them all.

Natural arches - Camino de Santiago

Natural arches on the Camino de Santiago

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Europe

Tips for Making Any Overseas Trip a Romantic One

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Vacations are a great way to leave our everyday lives behind to spend some stress free time with the one we love. Travel in itself can be quite romantic but there are definitely ways you can spice up your holidays even more.

Follow these helpful tips to make sure your romantic holiday gets off on the right foot and continues to head down the tunnel of love and passion. You can easily turn any part of your travels into a special romantic affair.

Choosing the Right Destination

A romantic trip starts with selecting the right destination. There are definitely cities and regions which are much more prone to sparking romance than others. Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but generally destinations such as popular European cities, beach getaways, Asian resorts, luxury ski resorts, or tropical islands make for a good choice.

Couples should pick a destination which they both will enjoy as this will of course make it far easier to express their love for each other.

Choosing the Right Time

It is a good idea to select a time that will be most appropriate for your holiday. Choose a time that is easy for you in regards to taking time off work or from household duties. This will make it far easier to feel relaxed while on your holiday, allowing you to focus more on fuelling the romance.

You may also want to research when the best time is to visit your chosen destination so as to avoid peak crowds or unideal weather conditions.

Choosing a romantic date to travel such as an anniversary, honeymoon, or birthday can also turn any holiday into one filled with more passion. Travelling during Valentine’s Day can make for an especially romantic holiday of which there are many perfect Valentine’s Day destinations.

Fly Business Class

Although your destination may be exhilarating, the flight or flights to get there can be stressful. Minimise the stress of flying by booking business class where you’ll enjoy the VIP treatment with far more comfortable seats which many times convert into a bed allowing for a decent rest while in the air.

As a bonus you can many times be granted access to luxurious airport lounges when flying business class which makes waiting for your flight much easier as you are treated to free food and drinks along with clean bathrooms and seating areas.

Private Transportation

Public transportation can not only take longer to get to your hotel or attractions in your chosen destination, but they can also kill the mood for you and your loved one. By booking private transfers via your hotel or on your own, you can avoid buses, trams, and trains which can be crowded and noisy.

Choose a Nice Hotel

It may be difficult to find romance if you are staying in a dodgy motel or hostel. Be sure to book quality accommodation which has private en suites and clean furnishings. Remember that your vacation is supposed to be an escape, so make that escape the best it can be with premium toiletries, fancy marble bathroom floors, plush pillows, quality linen, and a nice hotel room view. All of these luxuries will make for a far more romantic getaway.

Eating Out

Nothing can ignite romance more than delicious food although preparing it isn’t always that much fun. One of the best aspects of travelling is that it gives us an excuse to not have to cook.

Seek out popular restaurants that offer a romantic setting, quality service, and mouth watering flavours that will leave you passionate for more than just satisfying your hungry stomach.

Get Dressed Up

Although you and your loved one may look good in any light and attire, it is never a bad idea to put on your Sunday’s best. It can sometimes be difficult in our everyday lives to find occasions to get all dressed and made up, so why not make your holiday abroad an excuse to do so.

Although clothes may not necessarily make the person, a nice dress or suit and tie can go a long way to giving us a little extra special glow to spark a bit of romance.

Log Off and Put the Phone Away

Nothing can kill a romantic dinner or event than the sound of message notifications, phone calls, or emails. Any holiday should be an excuse to remove the stress of the online world or work and with romantic holidays this becomes even more paramount.

You want to be focusing your attention on the love you and your partner share or if travelling solo you want this time to focus on the beauty of the destination you have selected which may in turn bring you a bit of romance. Disconnecting is all about reconnecting; so log off and put the phone away!

Reduce the Risk of Stressful Situations

Stress can kill romance very quickly. When we are stressed we can easily find ourselves getting into silly arguments or bouts of criticism. Your holiday is supposed to be an enjoyable experience so don’t let it turn sour by making the possibility of stress to creep on in.

Don’t try to overload your itinerary with too much and avoid setting too rigid of a timeline. Prior planning is important to avoid any unwanted surprises or disappointments when it comes to securing reservations for flights, hotels, or activities.

Should anything go wrong during your travels, you want to have the peace of mind you are protected by travel insurance from InsureandGo. Travel Insurance can help when the unforseen happens while you are overseas.

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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