All Posts By

Ian Hoyt

What We Learned at New York Times Travel Show

New York Times Travel Show

New York Times Travel Show 2019-2Caroline and I had our first glimpse into what the travel industry is like when you pile everyone into a travel show and begin to see how one riverboat cruise can look just like the other across the aisle. While we learned a lot about what not to do in travel while at the show, we learned a lot of incredibly valuable bits from various speakers and panels about what we should do. We share that and more in this podcast episode.

Show Notes

  • New York Times Travel Show – this is hosted every year in New York City so we figured it made a ton of sense to make a weekend out of it.
  • Seth Kugel – a former Frugal Traveler for the New York Times. He shared a ton of valuable and interesting insights into this world of travel.

Rediscovering Travel: A Guide for the Globally Curious Price: $17.67 Rediscovering Travel: A Guide for the Globally Curious Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 04/30/2019

Interested in the Bulgaria trip we discussed? Visit:

Caroline Lloyd: @caromanifesto
Ian Hoyt: @IanHoyt


Subscribe anywhere you listen to podcasts! Our faves: SpotifyiTunesOvercast

Show Transcript

Ian Hoyt: You should see the visual I see right now of you like, huddling under the blanket because it’s so cold in our apartment and we’re on the floor in our room, and she’s holding the book under the blanket.

Caroline Lloyd: This is not “on a shoe string travel” it’s “on a shoe string lifestyle.”

Ian Hoyt: Hey there, fellow nomads. This is Ian.

Caroline Lloyd: And Caroline.

Ian Hoyt: And this is the Life Nomading podcast.

Ian Hoyt: Welcome back, fellow nomads. It’s Ian again.

Caroline Lloyd: And Caroline.

Ian Hoyt: And it’s another episode. I’m pretty pumped that we are able to keep this going.

Caroline Lloyd: Every Monday, we’re here.

Ian Hoyt: Every single Monday. And in this episode we’re going to recap a little bit about our previous weekend at the New York Times travel show. Now, I don’t know about you, Caroline, but it’s the first time I’ve ever been to a travel show or a travel conference. So we had a lot of interesting things we took away from that and I just want the listener to know, right off the bat, this is kind of an open forum. A fireside chat, if you will, recapping some of the stuff we learned. We realize that we’ve been in the travel world for the last few years, but we’ve never really known any of these industry terms or the people in the industry or the companies and in a lot of ways (and we’ll get to it more later) I think that’s actually a good thing, but we’ll get more into that later. So initially I kind of want to start the conversation with you, Caroline. What were some of the things, or at least two takeaways, or just how do you feel going into the travel show?

Caroline Lloyd: Well I didn’t really have any expectations, you know, just as a consumer basically the travel industry seems, you know, just as an open playing field, but as soon as you walked in to that big hall with lots of vendors lined up, you started to step back and realize, okay, this is pretty much an industry just like any other that capitalizes on these consumers.

Ian Hoyt: Which is so weird. It’s so weird to me because I’ve always envisioned travel as being this like open road, free playground to like craft whatever like thing or idea you have.

Caroline Lloyd: Honestly, just the fact that there is an industry around travel seems very odd like yes, travel should exist in modes of transportation, but now I was just looking down these rows of countries being represented by tourism boards and, quite honestly, a lot of businesses that I would talk to the people and walk away and still not understand what they did.

Ian Hoyt: For context, I mean, if anyone listening has been in a sales role or just in business in general. You know how when you go to a conference, you see the inner workings of how an industry works. I.E. Just how, for lack of a better word, kind of incestuous it can get, You know, this person is subbing out this with this person and that person is subbing it out for this person, and so on paper a consumer is taking some type of trip, but in reality, who knows who is actually operating it.

Caroline Lloyd: Those nice little ads that you get on instagram for trips; There’s a lot more business going into that then what you think.

Ian Hoyt: And then there’s this other silo, of like – I don’t want to say adventure travel, but I want to say the solo traveler or the person that is looking for the opportunity for coincidence and for the unknown and for what travel, typically, in my brain, affords you. And it’s not about money, it’s about what it affords you when you’re there, and your time, and your ability to kind of just be.

Caroline Lloyd: So overall, I think some things that we noticed were that the world is pretty cool. I learned about some places that I didn’t know existed. The world is also pretty small. I felt like there was a good representation of a lot of places, geographically speaking. I think we also learned that, like you said, everyone is kind of intermingled with each other in business practices. And I also really want to emphasize this, that there are many different ways that people travel.

Ian Hoyt: Yeah. And from that standpoint of, you know, a lot of people travel in a lot of different ways and in a lot of different spectrums. On the extreme side, the side that we’re definitely not familiar with is kind of a super luxury travel. Whether you’re with a group or not, this is just Bougie for Bougie sake and it’s not so much about experiencing maybe the local culture or really digging deep into like how a local lives or just like what it’s like to live in the place you’re going. I think the super luxury really kind of taps into the like, okay, we’re going to do this awesome thing. We’re going to stay at these awesome places and that’s where it ends.

Caroline Lloyd: We’re gonna eat and drink a lot and not really interact with anything that’s going on in the geographical area. So then there’s like medium luxury. So this is not just throwing money at the wall for an all inclusive resort, but a little bit more budget friendly. And this is kind of where I think group trips start coming into play. There were definitely some luxury group travel arrangements that were available to people, but it was still somewhat removed from the people and the place that you’re traveling to. And then from there we get into traveling pretty much on your own, not with a group. And from there, you know, there’s a medium tier and then there’s literally the shoestring budget which gets into backpacking and hostels and things like that. And that really was not represented at the show, which makes a lot of sense, right? Because it’s travel industry and the travel industry doesn’t want to talk about the thing called Airbnb or doesn’t want to talk about hostels as much as they do about hotels.

Caroline Lloyd: It was like a weird thing. I felt like no one wanted to say the word Airbnb. They were talking about Tripadvisor and like all of these other tools, but I felt a little bit of hostility towards Airbnb, actually.

Ian Hoyt: You know, I’ve seen this in different industries that I’ve worked in as well. And the same thing is true. I don’t want this to be an outcry for the industry, but I’m just saying they have this, known naivety like shield in front of their eyes.

Caroline Lloyd: I don’t think they were naive to it. I think they literally chose to ignore it. Moral of the story is things are changing and we’re going to see a big alteration in the travel industry as we know it. It already is changing, I feel like.

Ian Hoyt: People want choice. People want to explore on their own. They want the opportunity to discover, and I’m not trying to put words in every single person’s mouth because everyone has a different scenario, but when we walked in there, I definitely felt like we were kind of outsiders and I felt okay with it. I felt like, okay, I don’t know some of these industry terms. I don’t know these people. And while it’s great to meet all of them and know what exists, I’m really excited about kind of where we have positioned what we offer because it’s not knowing any of that. I like being naive to that.

Caroline Lloyd: I think we should also point out that of the people that were in attendance of this conference, a lot of the people were over the age of 45.

Ian Hoyt: Yeah. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Right? So there’s so many different levels of travel and I think the biggest takeaway that we got was actually going to talks and panels at the conference themselves, because then we were able to see some other opinions and learn more from people. And what I learned was there are no right ways to travel. You can have your opinions on what are wrong ways to travel, but everyone in different age groups with different missions in mind, they deserve to do what they want to do. And so just to hit home that fact, the 60 year old that wants to go on a river cruise is going to be much different than someone like ourselves that are, you know, mid twenties that want to maybe have a grittier, more exploratory mission in mind. And that’s okay.

Caroline Lloyd: Let me ask you something, because I don’t know your opinion on this. Do you think it has always been this way? Like do you think there are certain trends towards age eras in a person’s life? So like when we turn 60, yeah, a riverboat cruise sounds pretty nice. Is there a reason that everyone at that show is over the age of 45 because that’s what was represented in the vendors and that is what you naturally want when you reach that age?

Ian Hoyt: That’s a good question. I don’t even know. I mean, I know that historically I feel like we get a lot of stories and a lot of people that are in their twenties that want to do this quote-unquote backpacking or all that stuff.

Caroline Lloyd: That’s a new concept.

Ian Hoyt: Yeah. It’s not a new concept. Like you said, when you’re a much older you don’t hear about people backpacking through Europe.

Caroline Lloyd: Well, I mean, I hope that I will still be doing that when I’m that age. We met a couple when they were in Vienna from Australia, I think, and they were on a cycling tour. They literally had cycled some stupid amount of miles on their own just traveling the world and they were like 70, 60 years old? Awesome people that we met.

Ian Hoyt: Yeah. So I don’t know. I don’t know what the answer is. I feel like definitely like physical capabilities change. You know, if, if you have the quote-unquote travel bug, you’re always probably going to want to travel. And so I think just finding the mode of travel that allows you to do so.

Caroline Lloyd: But like at a certain point we’ll tap out of hostels.

Ian Hoyt: I don’t know, but I don’t think it’s fair for us to make that opinion because I think we’re also maybe a little skewed outside of the normal traveler.

Caroline Lloyd: We’re also naive because we were still in our twenties, so who knows? Anyone else outside of that age range, please comment, tell us young ones how it’s going to be.

Ian Hoyt: And then we’ll say it probably isn’t going to be that way.

Caroline Lloyd: So walking up and down the aisles of this show, we picked up a lot of brochures, a lot of stickers, a lot of business cards. So much paper. It’s very sad, but when you open up all these brochures, they pretty much say the same thing. I mean reading the copy from booth to booth, it was just… You are so flooded with the words just rearranged in different ways. So a couple of these examples, we have a lot of brochures over here to look through: “Go beyond. Experience, authentic, unscripted and unforgettable moments that will resonate for a lifetime.”

Ian Hoyt: “Making the world a better place.”

Caroline Lloyd: “A once in a lifetime experience.”

Ian Hoyt: “Have an authentic experience.” “Explore culture.” These are all things that we read booth to booth. And while some of that could be true, it was just frustrating because we knew, for the most part, these companies were just using it from a marketing standpoint and that’s okay.

Caroline Lloyd: But it also, at one point in time, came from an honest sentence. And we don’t disagree with that.

Ian Hoyt: We don’t disagree with the premise. And I think the big takeaway that we’re trying to say is we checked ourselves at the door there. We realize that, you know, if we’re going to use some of this copy, some of the things that they say. You know, we use some of the words in our Life Nomading advertising, but we’ve got to really believe it and we’ve got to really own it and make sure that it’s a part of every trip. Every person that were to come on a group trip of ours and anything that we do, we just were like, whoa. Like we can’t take these words lightly. These other people are using them and you see right through it. So if we’re going to use these words, if we’re going to use these statements, we have to make sure they’re genuine always.

Caroline Lloyd: So we went to a couple of talks during the show and some of them were really great. And one that we happened upon was the New York Times Frugal Traveler panel. And for reference, this is a column by the New York Times where they give a columnist a budget that’s fairly low for that region and they go and have to write about their travels while only staying on this budget.

Ian Hoyt: For example, I think the one they mentioned while on the talk was like, what $100 in Oslo for a weekend or something?

Caroline Lloyd: And the comment that was said on the panel was, that’s the price of a beer there. So they have to be kind of creative, but quite honestly that’s how a lot of people our age, students, backpackers are seeing the world. And I think there are a lot of benefits to traveling that way. You get into a lot of situations that you wouldn’t normally get yourself into. But kind of comparing that back to, you know, this kind of travel industry shtick that people were revolving around right now,. One of the panelists was Seth Kugel who we ended up buying his new book that just came out called “Rediscovering Travel.” And pretty early on, honestly, I’m not through the book yet. I am enjoying it slowly.

Ian Hoyt: We’re both very, very slow readers.

Caroline Lloyd: I just really want to take it all in and sit on it for a little bit, because it’s a new philosophical way of traveling that I think is true to our core, but when you say it out loud, it makes you take an outside perspective. But one of the really poignant moments in the first portion of his book is talking about how expectations are pretty high and after reading all of the copy on these advertisements for group trips and travel industry people, obviously, with those words, the expectations are set at a very, very high level. You’re going in wanting to have a life changing moment, and he says, “Anything short of a life changing epiphany would have been a disappointment and it’s pretty hard to have a life changing epiphany while surrounded by crowds, pretending to have life changing epiphanies.” And this goes really deep into instagram culture and like Tripadvisor reviews and how we set the bar so high on travel and how it’s contradictory in and of itself.

Ian Hoyt: Yeah, it was pretty powerful. He had his own talk after that talk, which we ended up going to because we just really appreciated what he had to say. And he really hit home a lot of the points he made in the book and we will definitely link to the book in the show notes if you’re interested. But anyway, going back to the point that you just made about that, I think that was really the biggest takeaway from his talk was a similar theme.

Caroline Lloyd: So basically the conclusion that we came to was travel started as this life changing capable experience and then the travel brand took hold of that and regurgitated it everywhere. And now people’s expectations are so high that either they’re pretending to have life changing epiphanies everywhere that they go or are just disappointed.

Ian Hoyt: And to that point, another aside would be Sarah, one of our members at Life Nomading. She actually had a conversation and there’s an article coming out that she wrote about that very topic when she was in Bali, and all these expectations that people put around Bali and how her and Mitko were just so kind of like disappointed, kind of stressed out, and just the expectations were so high. But the realizations were so low like there was such a gap.

Caroline Lloyd: And we could get so far into this, you know, and that that goes into reading articles before you visit a place, and visiting that place because other people have gone and you know, trying to plan out your trip and all of this stuff that goes into what you expect travel to be. And quite honestly, we’ve talked about this before, the best memories of travel are the serendipitous moments that sometimes in a moment feel miserable and then end up being the story that you tell all your friends when you return.

Ian Hoyt: In a very contradictory way, I really like to approach travel by setting the bar really low. Not having expectations, not having a bar of, oh, I need to see this, oh, I need to feel this way, and when you shed yourself of that. For example, we have a group trip to Bulgaria, no one knows about Bulgaria. We don’t set any expectations for you, but if you can go into it with an open mind with low expectations, I guarantee you’re going to be more open to experiencing whatever it is. We can’t control what you’re going to experience. We can’t control your feelings, but you can’t have those feelings or those opportunities to do things if you’re so focused on the stuff that you’ve got to see, the things you’ve got to go to, and the vibes you get, and the instagrams. You really have to set a low bar for travel, and that’s the only way you’re going to find a way to experience.

Caroline Lloyd: I mean, just a way to look at this: If you talk to anyone who has traveled within the past year and you ask them about their trip, sure, they’ll list off all the things that they saw, but the story that they will tell, and you kind of have to listen with an analytical ear, I guess, but the stories that they tell are normally the things that weren’t on their itinerary to begin with.

Ian Hoyt: I mean, for example, when I was in Quito, Ecuador, and we were doing a back country motorcycle, two day trip to Mindo. My friend and I were trying to find this waterfall. This waterfall that was on the map, on the guided map for the motorcycle thing. And we couldn’t find it and all sudden we just stopped with our motorcycles on the side of a road. At this gate we thought it was the waterfall, right? But instead it was this very old and very kind lady that did not speak a single word of English. And we just tried to ask her where the waterfall was. Right?

Ian Hoyt: And she was very confused and we pulled up Google translator and we tried to communicate and through very, very broken Spanish, we were able to gain entry into her property. And we thought we were going to this waterfall that was on the map, and instead we under the impression that we only had about 30 minutes to follow her down the side of this mountain to this, what we thought was the waterfall, right? We’re walking down and finally we get down this really steep side of a mountain. She’s running down it. She’s like 70. And we can’t keep pace because you’re at like 9,000 feet or whatever. Long Story Short, we get to that waterfall. And while it isn’t the waterfall that we thought we were going to the journey and meeting that person that was a local there in Ecuador that we would have never met and we would have never been able to see if we weren’t open to those opportunities. And that has been one of the highlight stories of my life. And we met her. We got to look at this waterfall, we thought we were under pressure and so we had to run back up the mountain because she left us down there and then when we got back she was like, oh yeah, you got like a couple of hours. And so long story short, what I mean by that is exactly that, like you have to be open to seeing and doing things outside of the plan.

Caroline Lloyd: So yeah, I like to think that real travel happens when your travel plans go wrong. To sum it up.

Ian Hoyt: And not to get so weird but like wrong is relative, right? Because wrong, is assuming you have a plan.

Ian Hoyt: So going off of that, I think the biggest takeaway is we really appreciate our time at the New York Times travel show. We were enlightened, we met some awesome people and we took a lot of information away from that on how we can make what we’re offering in trips better.

Caroline Lloyd: I think we should also just say we really did meet some really wonderful people, but mission driven organizations and really great places of the world that I hope that we can visit one day. And I think there’s a lot of good things happening in the travel industry right now, but the main takeaway is what we just talked about.

Ian Hoyt: And with that being said, now, we have put a lot of these things in place before we even approached thIS show for our trips.

Caroline Lloyd: On a personal level. We kind of travel with this mindset already.

Ian Hoyt: And we just realized that although we’re offering these trips and we’ve done trips in the past with small groups, we really want to take away a lot of the things we mentioned that we really believe in and integrate those into our trips even more. I.E. really hunker down and focus on the ability to have experiences on your own, and have more freedom and ability to be open to the culture and the world around you when you’re in a new place.

Caroline Lloyd: So whether that means you know, a lot of free or just allowing people accessibility into places so they aren’t traveling alone, because not everyone feels safe or comfortable traveling by themselves. We’re offering a group of like-minded people that are wanting to experience it as if it’s the first time they’re together.

Ian Hoyt: Yeah. So for example, we have an upcoming trip to Bulgaria that is available and it’s 10 days. And initially, quite honestly, we were going to include everything we thought you should do, but we’re going to actually pull that back.

Caroline Lloyd: Because why is it our decision to choose what you do while you’re in a new destination?

Ian Hoyt: And while, although we’ve always said, you know, if you want to stray away from the pack, go for it, you should do that. We’re integrating that even more into our quote-unquote non itinerary. So while though it’s a 10 day trip, we cover your lodging and your transportation. Everything else is kind of ad hoc. You do what you want. We’re going to be around there. We’re going to be doing our thing. Come along for the ride and experience what we experience, but maybe you want to go off the beaten path and that’s okay. We’re here to help facilitate, but mainly we’re here to cover some of those really basic details. Get you in a new place, give you some other people that maybe connect with or maybe not and let’s take it from there. We have a lot of different things and ideas planned and we’re going to do them ourselves and you have the option to participate or not at your choice.

Caroline Lloyd: Group travel for the single traveler.

Ian Hoyt: Yeah. Or the couple.

Caroline Lloyd: I really think, and we learned this from our trip last summer, we had so much fun with a group when we went with Mitko and Sarah, and honestly, wanted to share that experience and this is how we’re doing it.

Ian Hoyt: Yeah. And so if you want more details on that, you can obviously check out our website. You can find the Bulgaria trip more specifically at And you’ll see what we’re talking about there. We’ve dramatically cut the price to just cover the lodging and the transportation and some, a couple of dinners here and there for like the opening night and stuff, but dramatically cut the price so anyone can really get involved. And we’re only taking like eight people. So we’re going to keep it small and we’re going to have just a fun, fun time.

Caroline Lloyd: Super great shout out to everyone that we met at the travel show. Shout out to Seth for this awesome book. You should definitely read it if you’re into traveling or just, honestly, exploring anywhere in the world that you currently are. I think it gives a great view on how to be a constant explorer.

Ian Hoyt: Quite honestly, he’s an inspiration to both of us. I mean we learned so much in that you know one or two hours of just listening to him and reading the book and we’re excited to dig deeper into some of his philosophies.

Caroline Lloyd: If you could subscribe, we are on Itunes, Overcast, and Spotify. Leave us a review on itunes. That would mean a lot to us.

Ian Hoyt: And we love connecting with everyone. So please, if you’re listening to this, send us a DM on instagram @LifeNomading and we can kind of learn what your deal is with travel.

Caroline Lloyd: So that’s it. Until next time, we will see you here again. I’m Caroline.

Ian Hoyt: And I’m Ian. And go explore something.

How to Get Through the Airport Quicker

Life Nomading Podcast Artwork

When it comes to getting through the airport, it can certainly be a headache. But why is that, and does it really have to be that way? The answer is, absolutely not. Getting through the airport isn’t rocket science and in this episode, Caroline and I lay out some of our tips on making sure you’re taking advantage of any opportunity to speed through the crowds and get to your airplane with ease.

Show Notes

Vlog of me being stranded at the Washington Dulles airport:

Check out some of our favorite bags for international travel.

CHESTER Carry-On Luggage Hardshell Spinner Suitcase Price: $195.00 CHESTER Carry-On Luggage Hardshell Spinner Suitcase Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 04/30/2019

If you’re looking to cut the TSA line and you haven’t quite reached loyalty on an airline, then TSA Pre-check may be a good option to look into.

Caroline Lloyd: @caromanifesto
Ian Hoyt: @IanHoyt


Subscribe anywhere you listen to podcasts! Our faves: SpotifyiTunesOvercast

Show Transcript

Caroline Lloyd: I ran really fast between gates and people thought I was crazy, but I had a little, a movie moment, but I had a movie moment when the wind was blowing through my hair my heart was racing and we weren’t gonna make our flight and our whole international trip was just going to be debunked. Right. Them in there.

Ian Hoyt: Waiting for number to appear on the board. Anxieties killing us. We made it to Budapest.

Ian Hoyt: Hey there, fellow nomads. This is Ian

Caroline Lloyd: and Caroline

Ian Hoyt: and this is the Life Nomading podcast

Ian Hoyt: The first week in Bulgaria. Today we’re going to go wakeboarding.

Ian Hoyt: Hey there, fellow nomads. It’s Ian and Caroline and welcome back to another episode of the Life Nomading podcast.

Caroline Lloyd: Today we’re going to be talking about a real hassle to all travelers, whether domestically or internationally, and that is how to get through the airport quicker.

Ian Hoyt: Oh yeah. We all would like to get through the airport a little bit quicker and we got some tips

Caroline Lloyd: Ian, what’s your favorite airport moment?

Ian Hoyt: Oh, my favorite airport moment is the time that I spent the night in the airport. We were dating yet, but gone to Florida for a trade show air show event and I was on my way back and I was in DC. I was connecting through DC and the airplane had some type of issue, mechanical issue and long story short after the course of like boarding twice and getting de-planed and them saying it was different things every single time. Um, they eventually just couldn’t get it off the ground and we were stuck in DC for overnight.

Ian Hoyt: So it is now 2:30 AM… I’m in Washington, DC, still waiting on the airplane.

Ian Hoyt: So I spent the night in the airport. I’ll actually link to the video vlog that I made in the airport. I was one of the only ones in Washington Dulles and it was kinda fun. Exhausting.

Caroline Lloyd: Couldn’t you have stayed with your sister?

Ian Hoyt: Well, it was so late by the time that they finally just said no to when the first flight out was that it wasn’t enough time. A 2:00 AM to 6:00 AM or something like that. And there wasn’t, enough time and she lives in the city or you know, far away from DC is not very close proximity to Dulles. So yeah, that was a, that was my airport experience. Good Times. How about you Caroline? What was your favorite airport experience? I’m sure you have one.

Caroline Lloyd: You know, at the moment it wasn’t my favorite, but as I look back on it with rose colored glasses, it was pretty fun. We were in Istanbul and he’s laughing because it was actually one of the most miserable moments of my life at this point we had been awake for 23 hours.

Ian Hoyt: We’re stranded. We still have four hours until we depart, but they gave us water. This is your real, your first real like long flight layover.

Caroline Lloyd: You know, I could’ve gone my entire life with that, but now that I look back on it, it was a learning moment and kind of a fun little memory. But we had been awake for like 23 hours. This was our third stop on the journey.

Ian Hoyt: For reference we were using my award miles to get to Europe last year and we didn’t want to pay for the flight.

Caroline Lloyd: Not the best itinerary

Ian Hoyt: Wasn’t the best itinerary but we paid like $15 each.

Caroline Lloyd: Yeah, worth it and worth the memories. But I was exhausted. Severely dehydrated after being in the air for that long, you know, it was like the first moment where you’re like, your digestive system is kind of adjusting to traveling. You’re in a new place, a new time zone, exhausted. And I think we were taking turns napping in the Istanbul airport, which they don’t tell you which gate you’re at until again that 20, 30 minutes before your flight. So we’re just wandering the halls of this foreign airport

Ian Hoyt: And it was a massive airport. Huge. And I believe they opened that new one that’s even bigger. But that’s besides the point, there were huge international flights flying in and out every minute.

Caroline Lloyd: Yeah. Really big planes with like airline brands that I had never recognized rolling past the windows and we found like a empty gate in front of a big window so Ian could watch the planes and I, we took turns napping.

Ian Hoyt: And you napped, stayed awake.

Caroline Lloyd: He knows how to keep me happy. So after napping for a little bit, we decided to, you know, let’s get up and walk around and just try to make ourselves feel a little bit more human. And we went to get this Turkish ice cream.

Ian Hoyt: Alright. We are in Turkey, We just got sticky ice cream.

Caroline Lloyd: And it was like this very gooey chocolate ice cream and the guys serves it with like a flair and he has like a long scooper thing. Iron stake. Yeah. And he does like a little show for you. It’s just like tiny little booth in the airport and sticky, sticky ice cream.

Ian Hoyt: And it reminds me of the fudge sickle inside.

Caroline Lloyd: Yes. That’s what it, that’s all you can soft serve form. And we got the ice cream and they were like no tables around. So we literally went to like the duty free zone and sat down on the floor with all of our stuff exhausted and we ate this ice cream.

Ian Hoyt: That was like a quintessential moment. I don’t know if it, if it was for you, but especially a starting this trip that we had planned and this was, you know, a big part of us in our relationship as well and it was like, okay, like we’re eating the sticky ice cream in Istanbul and it was like, all right, like this is happening, this trip is going on and like we’re in the middle of Turkey right now and we’re doing this together.

Caroline Lloyd: Yeah. And I had like moments before we got the ice cream I was, we were both really tired and grumpy and it was the first moment when I had thought like, oh my gosh, what did I get myself into? And everyone’s going to have that moment when you’re traveling. And a lot of the times it’s going to be in the airport. So especially for someone who like, you know, I do get anxious in airports. That was like a really nervous moment for me, but some of those terrible quote unquote terrible moments turn into some of the best memories of traveling.

Caroline Lloyd: So before we start, I have to say that I am an anxious traveler and going on very large international trips was a struggle for me at first because I am the type of person that likes to get to the airport three, four hours in advance.

Caroline Lloyd: Some of my best memories in airports are when we have to run from gate to gate and things get really hectic and I have to push down my airport anxiety and just go with it because it’s pretty fun.

Ian Hoyt: Yes. We’ve had our fair share of running.

Caroline Lloyd: Literally running full speed from gate to gate we one time for d planed before we actually took off and then they ended up switching gates and I left our boarding passes our printed boarding passes on the plane and they wouldn’t let us get on the new flight because I didn’t have the boarding passes and I was very thankful that I was wearing tennis shoes because I ran really fast between gates and people thought I was crazy but I had a little. A movie moment are crazy, but they had a movie moment when the wind was blowing through my hair by heart was racing and we weren’t going to make our flight and our whole international trip was just going to be debunked right then in there

Ian Hoyt: more so like just delayed today

Caroline Lloyd: and we probably would have had less layovers struggle because of that. But you know, it was a great story. Great moment in the airport.

Ian Hoyt: I used to be the same way as well. I used to get. Well for context, if you’re listening and you don’t know I’m a pilot as well, so I have a little.

Caroline Lloyd: Had to throw that little detail in there.

Ian Hoyt: I have an affinity for being at airports, so I used to get to the airport around, you know, the recommended like two plus an hour just to watch airplanes. But as of the last few years I’ve become a frequent flyer status on United. And so airports are now a whole different ballgame for me. It’s all about getting through the airport quick.

Caroline Lloyd: For any lowly peasant budget traveler though who does not have status. Getting through the airport is a miserable, miserable struggle.

Ian Hoyt: And just for context, I am still a budget traveler, but if your budget travel enough in one year you get to level up a little bit. You get an extra leg room.

Ian Hoyt: So what we’re gonna do is we’re going to talk about some hacks you can do if you don’t fly very often in a year, let’s say you know a handful of times and also some additional notes if you are creeping into the whole status world, how to optimize it. Now it’s going to be different for different airlines, but we’ll just talk from our experience.

Caroline Lloyd: So how fast you’re moving through an airport can widely depend on what else you’re carrying with you in that airport. My whole entire life changed when I got my first suitcase with four wheels and that was a huge step for me because one, I was traveling more often where I didn’t need to actually check luggage and I could just take a backpack and a carry on, so luggage makes a really big difference and if you’re carrying more than just one rolling suitcase, I would suggest checking that luggage because the last thing that you want in the world is to be rolling. Two rolling suitcases through the airport at once. That’s just really gonna slow you down. Now. I never really checked luggage before because a lot of the times when I first started flying frequently it was to college and back and that was an expensive little trip to be made. I didn’t have a car, but there is this lovely little website called skiplagged and that allows you to book flights from one origin point to a that you’re not going to, but you would get off at the layover city. So that meant that I couldn’t check luggage. Now if you do have status or if you’re flying southwest and you get to the airport and the line to check your luggage at the front isn’t too long, you might as well check your bag because then you don’t have to worry about it along your route.

Ian Hoyt: Yeah, and for the paranoid traveler I can see how they would love to hold onto their bag, but sometimes it’s better to just get rid of it and board and you don’t have to worry about it. I, I get more anxiety trying to figure out if I can fit my bag in the overhead than I do whether I’m going to lose it or not.

Caroline Lloyd: It’s also just one more thing to go through Tsa,

Ian Hoyt: But I will say those lines to check bags can get extremely long and in that case, yeah, the whole carry on scenario makes a lot of sense. A lot of airlines will let you gate check by default so you can pretty much always get away with it because they’re always over sold and so they will definitely gate check your bags for you. So long story short, check your bags if the lines are short, when you enter the airport, if not, go straight to tsa and take your carry on.

Caroline Lloyd: So I want to talk about luggage brands. We have a whole lot of suitcases and our closet right now, mainly because both of us moved to New York, not with a car or a moving van, but with luggage.

Ian Hoyt: I had two suitcases when I moved here

Caroline Lloyd: I had two plus a carry on. Yeah.

Ian Hoyt: Now they’re all in our closet

Caroline Lloyd: and we never touched them.

Ian Hoyt: Barely ever. So my go to’s are two different depending on the scenario. My hard shell choice is a Chester bag, which it’s a new brand to come into the world. It’s awesome. Highly recommend it. Really high quality. And then my other bag which has been tried and true for years. You can’t go wrong with travel pros, they’ll last you a long time, but it just depends kind of if you want a hard shell or just a regular bag.

Caroline Lloyd: I would say that luggage is one place not to skimp. You want quality luggage. That’s gonna last you forever. I fell into the traps of buying crappy suitcases when I was 18 years old and they weren’t that much less expensive than a nice brand and they were on the side of the road within two years because they just couldn’t withstand that type of wear and tear.

Ian Hoyt: Absolutely. So we’ll link to all the different bags. We actually have a dedicated article about that in the show notes on this episode. If you want to check out what we recommend.

Caroline Lloyd: Speaking of TSA Lines, there’s a nice little line where people run right in front of me and it’s really annoying. I don’t know about that life, but it’s called precheck.

Ian Hoyt: We’re talking about TSA Precheck. Now people can sign up. I believe they may have already closed some of their precheck opportunities because so many people were signing up, but essentially you pay a fixed fee for five plus years to have a dedicated line where you don’t have to take your shoes off. You can just walk through a metal detector and you get to cut the long lines in the security lines at the airport. Now there’s so many people that have signed up that sometimes precheck is just as long as the regular line, uh, but it is definitely an opportunity to get through the airport quicker. Added again, if you have any type of credit card with an airline or if you fly enough where you’re starting to get that status. There will also be a preferred member line where you can actually not be a precheck member like myself. But I do have a preferred line that isn’t the regular line in most airports and that will get you through at least to the entrance of the security detectors quicker.

Caroline Lloyd: Every time I go home to visit my parents, my mom will not let me get on the plane unless I have a bag full of homemade baked goods and treats. And for context, I live in Atlanta, which is a very busy airport. And the security lines there get so freaking long. So I was going through the TSA line and they pull me out to search my baked goods bag. And because my mom makes homemade hot cocoa mix and apparently they didn’t like all the powder that in residue that was on it. And so I ended up missing my flight because they pulled me in, wiped my hands down, had to wait for that wipe to like pass some sort of exam or something. And because of that I missed my flight. It was the worst day in my life. It was terrible. It was terrible. But that happens all the time in Atlanta. And I think that’s why I’m so anxious all the time about missing my flight.

Ian Hoyt: Yeah, I don’t know what it is, but when we fly through Atlanta on there some extra security going on there. And I think it’s probably just because it’s the busiest airport. All right, so I’m excited to talk about this little hack. So conventional wisdom tells you to arrive at your airport two hours in advance for a domestic flight and international three hours. Now that’s the conventional wisdom that they’re telling every single person that is boarding your airplane to arrive in. So what does that mean? Basic Laws of economics, supply demand. If everyone’s going to go in there at that time, you’re going to have crowded lines trying to get to their flight, so what should you do? Well, we maybe suggests that you arrive maybe let’s say 30 minutes after that recommendation when everyone’s already there and the lines are already moving. You won’t have any of that downtime that you have typically at your gate when you’re waiting because you got there too early

Caroline Lloyd: and take this with a grain of sale. Because I will never arrive that late for a flight. I am an anxious bunny

Ian Hoyt: Oh really? I don’t think they could tell three or four episodes.

Caroline Lloyd: I like to get to the airport, grab a little Latte, read my book, maybe just sit on my computer for a little bit and have some real relaxation time because if I am in the security line 10 minutes before I’m supposed to board, I will have a meltdown.

Ian Hoyt: You’ll be fine. You’ll get to your airplane. Now I’m a punctual person and even I recommend that two to three hours is a little excessive to be there. Now if you’re at a busy airport like let’s say Atlanta, okay, sure. Maybe that makes sense, but if you’re at another airport, typically you’re fine coming 30 minutes later than that suggestion.

Caroline Lloyd: Maybe I don’t like getting there later than the recommended time because kind of an old fashioned traveler. I like to have a printed boarding pass. All of that. Very organized in my suitcase, but not everyone likes to travel that way. I have recently made the very large technological jump to mobile boarding passes.

Ian Hoyt: I’m rolling my eyes as we talk. You fly with me now. So

Caroline Lloyd: You know, I think it started as I like to have little mementos of my trips, little tickets, but then I started traveling so much that they were getting thrown away and useless and just sitting in my suitcases that are now sitting in my closet. So mobile boarding allows you to check in on your phone, use your phone for the boarding pass. Everything is right there. You scan it, you don’t have to think twice on, oh my gosh, where did I put my ticket? Is it on the coffee counter? Is it at the seat at the gate and I used to also lose that a lot.

Ian Hoyt: 2019 people. Mobile boarding is adopted everywhere, so use it

Caroline Lloyd: Except internationally. It’s not always the case for international airlines.

Ian Hoyt: That is true international as much different, but like she said, definitely adopt mobile boarding if you’re trying to get through the airport quicker because what can you do? You can check it online and go straight to the TSA if you are not checking your bag. Another piece of advice, if you’re trying to get from point a to point B as quickly as possible in the airport is kind of common sense. Research the airport, now I don’t think a lot of people do this. I’ve kind of noticed that I’m one of the few. I think that actually pulls up the map and kind of studies it a bit, but it can help a ton. Now. A lot of the airline apps actually have the airport’s map integrated into the APP, so you’re able to just pull it up when you land and that’s what I do.

Ian Hoyt: I pull up the map whenever I land and when I’m taxing from landing to the gate, I’ll kind of study, okay, I’m coming in at this gate, this is my connection gate or this is where I need to go and just have kind of a mental picture. So when I get out of the gate, because let’s be realistic. If you’re connecting, you’re probably on a very, very heavy time crunch, so you’re going to want to know, do I make a left or do I make her right when I get out of that gate? So study the maps

Caroline Lloyd: or follow the signs.

Ian Hoyt: I think it’s worth mentioning that when you’re getting in the TSA line that the biggest thing that can save you time is being prepared to go through security. I feel like I have this system down. It reminds me of Ryan Bingham in “Up in the Air” when he’s going through line and they choose which line to go and he just slips off his shoes and throws stuff in the bin and is going and that’s how I feel when I get there and everyone around me is shuffling through their backpacks

Caroline Lloyd: AKA me. I am shuffling through my backpack.

Ian Hoyt: And taking their belts off and they’re a hot mess. They don’t know what to do and it takes them excessive amounts of time to get through security because they’re just taking forever, so stay organized. If you can take all your watches, your belts, anything in your pockets, put it in your backpack or whatever carry on bag you have. Just throw it all in there and that way you don’t have to worry about taking it out, putting it in the bin, maybe losing it. I do that all before I even enter the TSA line, so really when I get to the front of the line where you put it through the scanner, all I’m doing is pulling my shoes off, putting my backpack down and I typically have my laptop already out and I throw that in a separate bin and we go through and I’m done.

Caroline Lloyd: And then he gets pulled aside because he has so much camera gear in his backpack that they always search his bag.

Ian Hoyt: That is true. Very true.

Caroline Lloyd: One thing that we learned traveling extensively through Europe is that they have very different Tsa. Well, it’s not Tsa. They have different security standards.

Ian Hoyt: Ie… Yep. You’re good.

Caroline Lloyd: It’s brilliant. The security and a lot of international airports is at the gate and this goes back to arrival time being different. The best time to arrive for an international flight in an international airport. Obviously researched this before taking my word on it because every airport is different, but most people don’t actually show up until 45 minutes before the flight because they don’t let you in and then as soon as your lead in your checking in for the flight and you go directly into security, that spits you out on basically on the plane. They don’t make you take your shoes off, you don’t have to take your belt off. You literally put your things on a bench tray thing and then you walk through and that’s it. It’s amazing.

Ian Hoyt: Yeah, so international rules do not apply to domestic here in the state.

Ian Hoyt: So that’s it guys. Those are some tips that we have for getting through the airport quicker. If you have some tips of your own, which I’m sure you do, be sure to send us a DM on instagram @lifemomading and we’ll definitely share that with our team. As always, you can find us on any major podcast platform from Spotify, which is one of my favorites. Overcast, iTunes, any of those we should be there.

Caroline Lloyd: On iTunes if you could leave us a review, that would mean so much to us.

Ian Hoyt: Oh, and while we’re here, we should mention something that’s going down.

Caroline Lloyd: We’re going to Bulgaria.

Ian Hoyt: Yeah. If you haven’t noticed in any of our blog articles or posts or things we talked about in previous podcasts, we’re going to have a little place called Bulgaria.

Caroline Lloyd: And we want you to come with us. We’re hosting a 10 day 9 night trip for a limited amount of people and we would love for you to be one of them.

Ian Hoyt: So if one of your goals is to travel more and maybe see a new part of the world, Eastern Europe and Bulgaria, it’s perfect for you. Again, we’re traveling in the summer and we want you to join. If you want more details, go to That’s where you can find more information about the trip itself and also see the different prices and payment options. So until next time I’m Ian

Caroline Lloyd: and I’m Caroline

Ian Hoyt: and go explore something new.

Caroline Lloyd: We’ll see you next week.

Ultimate Guide to Using a NYC Laundromat

wash and fold in nyc

Let’s get real, doing your laundry is a necessary evil whether you’re visiting NYC or living in this wonderful city longterm. What isn’t so wonderful is navigating the NYC laundromat. Which one to choose? Should you do it yourself or have them take care of it? What about just having someone pick it up at your door? Take a deep breath in, we’re going to answer all your dirty laundry qualms, and before you know it, you’ll be ready to have pine tree fresh laundry in no time.

The NYC Laundromat

For most normal humans, doing their own laundry is a common occurrence. If you’re living in New York City without a trust fund, then you’ll likely sling a bag of dirty underwear over your shoulder and venture to your preferred laundromat at some point in your life.

However, when it comes to picking your allegiance between the hundreds of laundromats that’d appreciate your quarter paying business, there are a few things to look for before committing.

First Check Your Basement

First, you must be thinking, “But Ian, I’ll have a washer and dryer in my apartment.”

Oh, how beautiful a sight that would be.

You walk into an apartment that is no larger than your midwest walk-in closet and 80% of the space is taken up by a washer and dryer. Keep dreaming, future Broadway star.

However, there is a small chance that your apartment building or wherever you’re staying has communal laundry in your building’s basement. I know what you’re thinking, the last place you want to go is your shady apartment building’s basement.

I get it, but dirty laundry isn’t going to clean itself.

The downfall of this option is that for the most part, you’ll have to pay these machines with quarters. Truthfully, this is one of my least favorite aspects of living in the city. The stress I have for making sure I keep $10-20 worth of quarters laying around at all times is incredible. Maybe I should see someone for that.

The pro-side is that you have a limited number of people using those machines, however, your maintenance guy will likely never fully clean the machines or maintain them so you’re guaranteed to at least have them break on you once…every week.

Might as well go to a New York laundromat, honestly.

Payment Method

Okay, so you have no laundry in your building. No big deal. You will join the ranks of almost every New Yorker to come before you. But how will you be prepared for the experience?

quarters for nyc laundromat

2 words: bring quarters.

Most laundromats in the city still operate on quarters. Like mentioned above, it’s a pain in the butt, but it’s out of your control.

If you don’t have quarters on hand, some of the laundromats will give change if you ask, but don’t expect them to be jolly and happy about doing it. Just make it a habit to go to your local bank and ask to withdraw all the quarters, but make sure it’s not a holiday or a Sunday. Hoard these things in a mason jar. You’ll look cool and feel old school like you’re saving for a trip when in reality its all going to cleaning beer spills and mustard stains.

Find a Laundromat that gives you a laundry card

nyc laundromat card

A gift from the laundry gods

It’s this magical feeling when you finally stumble upon a laundromat in New York that offers a prepaid re-usable laundry card. Gone will be the frustration of quarters and welcome in an easy swipe and start.

How to best spot these?

Well for one, most will advertise they use them and, heck, you may be able to save $5 if you load it with X amount. If not, peek inside and look at the machines. If you see what looks like a credit card swiper or a vending machine money slot then you are golden!

Just ask them for a card and they’ll direct you to where to load it. I think our card cost’s $1.00. Worth it!

How much does it cost to do laundry in an NYC Laundromat?

Pricing varies depending on where you live, how sketchy the laundromat is, and what machines you use. I will say from my experience a normal wash will run you anywhere from $2.75 – $5.00 a load. Drying is a bit less than that.

Hope those H&M clothes are worth the Prada level wash prices. :/  #irony

Quality Over Price Every Day

Your clothes are important and the last thing you want is for a crappy wash to ruin them. I know it’s pretty basic, but I judge NYC laundromats by first checking Google reviews and then giving it a good old-fashioned visual check. If it looks dirty and like its the local spot for the random drug deals… just move on, there are five more on the block.

If they are clean and take laundry cards, you can bet their management company takes pride and prioritizes keeping them a place for people to use.

When To Do Your Laundry in NYC

If you’re visiting or have a flexible job, it is so much less stressful to go to the laundromat in NYC anytime on the weekday between 10:00 AM and say 3:00 PM. Everyone is at work and you will likely have the place to yourself. Pop in an episode of our podcast and begin getting your clean on!

I avoid weekend laundry days like the plague unless you get up nice and early to beat everyone’s hangover sleep-ins.

Wash & Fold

wash and fold in nycFor those visiting the city or perhaps in a pinch on time, there is a service that many laundromats offer in the city called Wash & Fold.

It’s easy, you pack up a laundry bag and take it to the local laundromat. They will weigh the bag, give you a slip, and tell you to come to pick it up in a day or two. It’s very convenient, but will run you on average about double the price of doing it yourself.

When I was a visitor in the city I would do this because it was easy and also, at the time, it blew my mind that I could pay someone to do my laundry and not have to take out a loan for it.

Let’s call it about $20 for an average load. They’ll wash, dry and get this… they fold your laundry too! I’ve never seen people fold like that. So crisp. So perfect.


Pick Up & Delivered Laundry Services

Cleanly New York City Laundry delivery option

The boujiest of bouji, pick up/delivery laundry services are available to you right at the tap of a button on your phone.

Just like Wash & Fold, with pick up/delivery app’s like Cleanly you can request a person to come to your door and pick up your laundry. 24-hours later they will bring it back with perfect folds and in most cases the laundry is still warm.

Crisp and warm, like a perfectly toasted New York bagel.

Now let’s get real, this is most definitely the priciest of laundry options available to you in the city. We have to admit, we have succumbed to this temptation a time or two.

It’s honestly worth a try, and a good way to treat yourself every now and again especially on super busy NYC weeks. To the right, you will see what it cost us to get laundry done for a week’s worth of both Caroline and I’s clothes. This is after a $10 OFF coupon so in reality, you are looking at $35-45 for a week of laundry. If you’re like myself and hate laundry days, sometimes the money beats the two hours in a laundromat.

If you’d like to get $10 OFF your first two Cleanly washes use our offer code IANHO13 after downloading the Cleanly app.


Ready to take on the NYC Laundromat scene?

Do you feel ready to clean those clothes and get back to the hustle and bustle of the city? We believe in you, you’ve got this! We’d love to hear about your most crazy laundromat experiences in the city. Leave them in the comments below. Stay fresh fellow nomads. 🙂

New York City vs. London

Goddards at Greenwich pie and mash

Camden Market Suit Shop London EnglandWhen it comes to two of the most popular cities in the world there are surely many similarities and differences. Whether it’s stumbling upon a suit shop in Camden Market or comparing the Subway to The Tube. Listen as we tackle our favorite aspects of both our home, New York City, and the recently visited London, England.


Show Notes

Visiting New York City? Schedule a walking tour of the city with us:

Caroline Lloyd: @caromanifesto

Ian Hoyt: @IanHoyt

Goddards at Greenwich pie and mash

This smile screams “it’s 95 degrees, why are we eating this blazing hot hearty dish, Ian?!


Subscribe anywhere you listen to podcasts! Our faves: SpotifyiTunesOvercast

Show Transcript

Caroline Lloyd: Like I just want to try the pie and I literally have beads of sweat coming down my face.

Ian Hoyt: Welcome back fellow nomads. It is Ian and Caroline, and this is another Life Nomading episode, episode three to be exact.

Caroline Lloyd: Today we’re talking about something partially near and dear to our hearts, New York versus London. Now I know we may come across as a little bit bias, but we’re gonna try to give you equal counterparts of the comparison of these two cities.

Ian Hoyt: New York and London are very similar in a lot of ways,

Caroline Lloyd: so before we get into it, I just want us to go back and forth, maybe answer what our expectations of both cities were. Obviou,sly we were only in London for just over a week and we’ve spent a lot more time in New York, but at one point in time we were new New Yorkers. So Ian, can you tell me a little bit about your expectations of both cities?

Ian Hoyt: So when I first visited New York, I had built this place up. I think like any other person, that dreams of coming here to be this massive city with just endless people.

Caroline Lloyd: I have to preface this though. Where are you coming as a tourist or for something specific?

Ian Hoyt: So as a late teenager I’d always dreamed of coming to New York and when I was about 18 or 19, I believe was the first time I made a trip here as a traveler. Didn’t move here yet. I’m just as a tourist and my grand vision of New York was that it was this place with millions and millions of people where you couldn’t move an inch without bumping into someone

Caroline Lloyd: And that was attractive to you?

Ian Hoyt: Yeah. I don’t know. I don’t know what I thought, but. And over the course of time and eventually moving here, those expectations, those things I thought New York were, are quickly not true.

Caroline Lloyd: How about London? What were your expectations there?

Ian Hoyt: I think my expectations of London actually aligned with what we got for the most part. It’s the city that, while, although is extremely modern in my opinion, they have an homage to more of the traditional day with. You can tell it in the taxi cabs, you know, the double decker buses, the pubs, the architecture. They keep a lot of that older style, um, you know, culture and an architecture. But they mix it with such a modern technologically driven a community or society. So how about you Caroline? What were your expectations and realities in New York and London?

Caroline Lloyd: Well, I actually never had visited New York until I was about 19 years old. And I actually moved here for a summer job. So right off the bat I was no longer a tourist and I was actually guiding other people around for my job. So I had no idea what to expect if New York. I knew photos of Times Square, Grand Central. I knew that Broadway shows were here and different places to take dance classes and that’s pretty much, it.

Ian Hoyt: Isnt it ironic now that we go to all of those places on our walking tours.

Caroline Lloyd: Very, very ironic, but for those interim years where I was not doing tours, I appreciated my time away from there. As for London, I didn’t really have many expectations other than what I had seen in movies. So you know, growing up on Mary Kate and Ashley and Amanda Bynes “what a girl wants” is the reference that I’m making there. I had no real expectations other than history art, you know, and a different kind of British culture. Not really sure what all that entailed until I got there and those expectations were quickly widened.

Caroline Lloyd: So once we arrived in London, after obviously living in New York for several years, we were automatically drawn to a lot of the similarities. Now obviously London has much more history than New York. Being around for 2000 plus years as compared to the 400, 500 years that New York has existed. But I think one of the similarities in both cities is that they memorialize that history very well. So there’s lots of museums, lots of artifacts to see lots of architecture, buildings, a lot of depth of knowledge that you can really just dig into and explore.

Ian Hoyt: Additionally, uh, the theater scene, there are a lot of similarities. So we have our Broadway and they have their West End theaters and while they do differ in scale, I would say they both produce some really great works.

Caroline Lloyd: Yeah. So a lot of quality shows in London and Broadway and the west end really kind of flipped back and forth all the time. We went to see Kinky Boots, which is also on Broadway right now in New York. And it was great, really great different ticket prices and different rush policies, which is definitely something to look into, which is why we went to see Kinky Boots in the London.

Ian Hoyt: And different is an understatement. It is extremely less expensive, I would say than Broadway.

Caroline Lloyd: So another thing that I picked up on in London on our very first day was the work mindset of the people living in the city. On our first day, I almost got run over at 8:00AM in the morning by people rushing to work, which definitely tells you a little bit about how career driven the city is, which is very comparable to New York.

Caroline Lloyd: Both are very large financial hubs, but one of the major differences that I have found between the cities work mindset, and this took a little bit of research, but the average vacation time that people that live in London get is five weeks per year. Now. That may not sound like a lot, but in New York the average is three weeks and those additional two weeks really make a difference.

Caroline Lloyd: Okay. So let’s get down to the nitty gritty of the differences between New York and London because there are plenty to go over. On the grand scheme of things. New York and London are compared pretty much everyday by any kind of media source, but I think there’s some very key differences that really shape the culture and the people living there.

Ian Hoyt: Let’s talk about public transportation.

Caroline Lloyd: Our favorite topic, so now in New York, our main means of transportation is.

Caroline Lloyd: Sure, the subway, the subway. That’s right now in London they call it something different than call it the Tube, please “mind the gap”. So I had heard from several sources that if you can manage the New York City subway system, it’ll be a breeze in London. That is false. The biggest false hood out there. I would say from our experience it took us at least like three days to finally figure out where the heck we were going and how we were going to get there

Ian Hoyt: and we took the subway on other European countries and much easier than the Tube.

Caroline Lloyd: Yeah, easy peasy. But as comparison statistics, just to give you guys some reference, near city has 24 subway lines. Compare that to London’s 11 lines. Now. Something to point out here, which really tripped us up, the lines in London are named things like very odd things. They aren’t numbers or letters or colors, you know, your basic tripod of easily figured out things. London’s have names

Ian Hoyt: I’d have to research this, but I think it has to do with people owning different lines, but I’m not 100 percent sure.

Caroline Lloyd: I think if it’s not currently true, it was true

Ian Hoyt: Because if I owned a line I’d want my name on it. I can’t blame him.

Caroline Lloyd: So a few more statistics comparing the Tube and the subway. There are 468 New York subway stations. London has 270. In New York there are 659 miles of subway tracks and in London there were only 249 miles of tracks. Now, something that we really thought was true before researching all of this was that London is more spread out, which is a fact, but we figured that the trains moved just a lot faster to get places. But what really came about is that there are just significantly less to blinds in, there are subway lines, so there are a little bit more spread out.

Ian Hoyt: So another key difference between the Tube and the subway is the Tube is actually dependent on distance. So you pay for however long you’re going, still haven’t figured it out to be honest. But comparatively New York is a fixed fee for a ride.

Caroline Lloyd: Which turns out to be a lot more cheaper in New York now, paying per distance is not a new concept. There are many metropolitan cities in us that function that way, but London has zones for their trains and when you buy anything more than just pay as you go, one pass, you actually have to take into account crossing zones. So for us when we buy a week pass or if you were to buy a monthly pass, your pass is restricted by how many zones you can cross.

Ian Hoyt: Going back to what I was saying earlier, London is a modern city and when it comes to the Tube you can pay with your phone or with a cashless tap credit card, which is really cool because here in New York City you can not do any of that on the subway. Now they’re trying to make advancements there, but it’s going to take about 10 years and by that time, uh, we’re all gonna have credit cards in our brains so it’s not going to matter. So I really wish we could get that advancement here. But if you want awesome tech advances on the Tube go to London.

Caroline Lloyd: Yeah. We saw so many people whose lives were made easier hop on the train or the bus and realize that their card was out of money and instead of getting off, going to refill their card somewhere and then coming back they simply just pulled out their card, tapped at once and we’re done. The only thing that is annoying, and I know a lot of cities do this, but I’m just not used to it in New York, but you have to swipe or tap rather on your way out of the Tube because that’s how they measure how far you’ve traveled and therefore how much to charge you, but every time I would just get out of the Tube and start walking away and then have to stop and realize I had to pull out my Oyster card and tap it one more time. I think it’s worth noting that New York City subways pretty much operate 24 hours a day. Now this is not the case in London.

Ian Hoyt: In London, the tube actually closes at midnight, which if you’re a party goer you can assume is going to cramp your style.

Caroline Lloyd: I think this definitely affects the culture because when you’re out at a pub or somewhere having a good time, people are very aware of the time and somewhat paranoid about calculating, okay, how far am I from home? What time is it? I need to just finish this drink before I head out and that definitely changes the business itself of the pub or the bar that you’re at. Last call starts coming in at like 11 or 11:30. So for reference in New York bars typically close at 3:00 or 4:00 AM depending on where you are in the city. In London. Most of the bars close midnight at the latest, maybe one. We can’t talk about London unless we mentioned the double decker buses.

Ian Hoyt: Not One but two layers.

Caroline Lloyd: And when bus we were the weird tourists that immediately just went up the stairs because we could.

Ian Hoyt: We had to, even though it’s probably not a bitter ride up there and so actually

Caroline Lloyd: I disagree. I think sitting in the front row of the second story of the bus is the greatest thing in the world. You literally feel like you’re flying over the street.

Ian Hoyt: Prime real estate. You also look like you’re going to crash into things in front of you right away.

Caroline Lloyd: But how exciting though, living life on the edge?

Ian Hoyt: The bus system in London is impeccable. I’m not only can you also pay cashless on there? Uh, but I feel like they’re more reliable for some reason.

Caroline Lloyd: They definitely are. I mean comparatively in New York you are waiting ages at the bus stop and then sometimes they just don’t even come.

Caroline Lloyd: In London the next bus you can normally see turning the corner to arrive at the station as the other one is pulling off. There are troves of red, double deckers. There were some times when we were just tired and instead of taking the quicker route home on the Tube, we decided to take the bus because we could sit on the second level and enjoy the view and just really see the city and we knew that we would get there in about the same amount of time.

Ian Hoyt: Now insider Info says that New York is testing double decker buses, but we’ll see if they roll it out.

Caroline Lloyd: Terrifying. I would never want that in New York. Those bus drivers cut it close, turning those corners. London is just way ahead of the times with the buses, ironically, because they’ve been around forever.

Caroline Lloyd: I love Central Park. Central Park is just a getaway from the city, lots of green space.

Ian Hoyt: Not originally in the plans of the 1811 Grid System.

Caroline Lloyd: Here’s a fun fact. greenspace only makes up 14 percent of New York City. Now that’s all five boroughs. Can you name all five boroughs?

Ian Hoyt: Oh my gosh. Are you a rated tour guide?

Caroline Lloyd: Oh my gosh. I am a licensed in New York City sightseeing guide. How did you know?

Ian Hoyt: Because I am to plug.

Caroline Lloyd: So comparatively London has 47 percent green space that’s almost half of London. Wow. That is parks and green space and recreational space. Now there have been a lot of studies being done in the US and all over the world that in large metropolitan cities, the quality of life increases exponentially when residents are within a 10 minute walk to a green space.

Ian Hoyt: I believe that that.

Caroline Lloyd: Yeah, that’s the 10 minute rule and so a lot of cities, San Francisco, LA, Chicago, New York, all of these places are really digging into this and providing more green space for their residents.

Caroline Lloyd: But London been around for 2,000 plus years, has already implemented that. When you walk into their parks, you can not see a building site and you can really just get lost and feels like you’re in nature. Not one of the largest financial hubs in the world.

Ian Hoyt: The grass is alive. The plants are alive. Now Central Park is beautiful and it has its good days. But let’s be honest, sometimes it’s just not the most refreshing thing in the world.

Caroline Lloyd: I think also worth mentioning with that large landscaping component in London, it’s not as dense as New York, you know, we’re just kind of piled up on top of each other, which comes in handy when you’re wandering around. You’re never alone. So with all of that green space in London, it’s not nearly as dense as New York. New York is pretty much piled on top of each other, which makes sure that you will always bump into someone on the street.

Caroline Lloyd: Three am, there’s someone else on the street with you, which is sometimes comforting and sometimes not.

Caroline Lloyd: New York also always provides you with something at your fingertips. If you want food right in that moment, I can guarantee within two blocks you will find something edible to eat. Now in London, that’s not always the case. We were wandering around for hours looking for food one time.

Ian Hoyt: Yeah we spent the better half of a day walking to find the nearest grocery store. It was. It was quite the endeavor.

Caroline Lloyd: I think there’s also something to be said about the functionality and the beauty of the grid plan in New York City. Maybe we’re spoiled by the fact that I can look at a stop sign somewhere and realize which direction is north in which is south.

Ian Hoyt: We’re very fortunate about the grid plan. Initially a lot of architects and city planners actually thought the grid plan was a bad idea and up until recently was the only time that city planners actually respect what the grid plan has given to New York.

Caroline Lloyd: So the grid plan that we keep referencing anything in Manhattan lower than Houseton street is named for actual names. Then in 1811 they instituted the grid plan which starts at first avenue continuing west with higher avenue numbers and first street all the way up to the very tip of Manhattan. So at any point in time you can look around and realize exactly where you are in Manhattan.

Ian Hoyt: But let’s talk about cleanliness. Now I think it’s obvious to us, but maybe not so obvious to someone that hasn’t been to London. It’s much cleaner than New York. New York is a dirty, dirty, dirty, dirty city. It’s dirty and not to give you a history lesson on New York, but it’s dirty because of the grid system in a lot of ways. You know, you have to put your trash out on the front of the street. Uh, you know, there’s not back door exits like there are in a lot of European countries were London is more spread out and you have more ability to breathe a little bit, have a way to actually get rid of your trash.

Caroline Lloyd: Let’s talk about food because when you’re comparing two places, you have to mention the food. When most people are comparing New York food to London food, most of the conversation revolves around how many Michelin rated restaurants are in each city respectively. But let me tell you, when you’re traveling on a budget, you aren’t eating at those places. So all we know to compare is the real people food of these cities.

Ian Hoyt: Have you ever been to a Michelin rated?

Caroline Lloyd: I haven’t.

Ian Hoyt: Don’t think I have either.

Caroline Lloyd: My credit card can’t handle it.

Ian Hoyt: We’re budget travelers for the most part or budget lifers. So if you’re listening and you’re on a budget, you’re in the right place. But yeah, so when we’re in London we got some of the classics that you’re supposed to get when you’re over there. You know the fish and chips, we got pie and mash and theres actually a really funny story around that. We were in the museum. What Museum were we in? The British Museum, the British Museum.

Caroline Lloyd: It’s free by the way. I think that’s something to note. It was great. London has a lot more free museums as compared to New York, which is all about just making a profit.

Ian Hoyt: It was great. We spent, you know, the allotted amount of time that you can spend in a museum before starting to want to get out of it and at 20 minutes at that peak I was like, you know what? I want to get a classic London Pie.

Caroline Lloyd: That’s a lie. He had been talking about this pie and mash for about four days beforehand.

Ian Hoyt: That’s true. So I did my research. I went up on Google like I always do and I spent probably way too long trying to find a place, found the perfect well known place to get a classic pie. So what do we do? We spend the rest of the day venturing off into that land in London. It’s further away of course, because I can’t choose anything easy and we get there and we have our, I forget which one we get, but we have a great pie.

Caroline Lloyd: I have to mention that pie and mash is like a winter thing. It’s basically chicken pot pie with mashed potatoes and a ton of gravy on it.

Ian Hoyt: Oh and we were hot.

Caroline Lloyd: It was like 95 degrees that day. No air conditioning in this place that is like quintessential pie and mash. But we had to go do it.

Ian Hoyt: Sweating as we eat this scorching hot, you know, tongue burning thing.

Caroline Lloyd: And then you have the feeling that you have after eating chicken pot pie and mashed potatoes, which is I weigh 5,000 pounds and I want to curl up on the couch and take a nap like it’s Thanksgiving.

Ian Hoyt: They were great for reference. I got to which was overkill and then we’re like, well when in London we got to get a dessert pie.

Caroline Lloyd: Dessert pies. Okay. So story time.

Ian Hoyt: So we’re like, okay, so we’re going to get a dessert pie. I forget which one we got. We got like a cherry.

Caroline Lloyd: We literally, we got like one of each because the first pie and mash wasn’t enough. Clearly on this 95 degree day.

Ian Hoyt: In this 95 degree weather. We’re like, yeah, we’re going to get it and yeah, we’re going to choose the custard on the side.

Caroline Lloyd: No, I wanted ice cream and then Ian was like, you have to get custard. I love custard. So I go downstairs and the lady is very nice and she asked me if I want ice cream or custard and I said custard because that was what we decided on and she was preparing like 15 different orders at once and I see her open up this tin and there’s steam coming out. She takes literally the largest ladle I’ve ever seen and just dumps it all over the dessert pies to the point where it’s like this huge saucer bowl full of steaming hot jiggly custard and we’re just so hot and just so over it by then. I literally like, I just want to try the pie and I literally have beads of sweat coming down my face was just in pain the rest of the day and I was like, got to walk it off, but then we exit the building and it’s 95 degrees outside.

Ian Hoyt: I think the funniest part of that whole experience was there was there was like you have to buy a certain amount to use your credit card and we had cash and so we had to get two we had to get two.

Caroline Lloyd: Flaming hot custards. Like if it was snowing outside and I had a light lunch and I just kind of wanted something a little bit sweet before I go home. That was the thing to get, but it was not the thing to get on that day.

Ian Hoyt: So one of my favorite food experiences while we were in London was actually, I believe it was the last full day were there. It was our dinner and we had finally we found a quintessential fish and chip experience.

Caroline Lloyd: Well, we had had one from like a food vendor at like Camden market, but this was a fancy classic fish and chips.

Ian Hoyt: So yeah, uh, in the show notes we’ll link to where we grabbed that fish and chip. I highly recommend it. It was delicious and I would go back there again.

Caroline Lloyd: Okay. So besides all of that pie and custard and mash mess, I think in general the food scene in New York is comparable to one day and in terms of what you can access, you know, number of places, number of budgets that will be accommodated in terms of food, great street vendors, great quick service places, great sit down places.

Ian Hoyt: Great grocery stores as well. I remember the ready made things in the grocery stores. We were very impressed by the quality of the food.

Caroline Lloyd: So it’s pretty typical in tube stations. In London, there will be a complete mall underneath the ground with a lot of different places that people that work in that area go to to get food. Now one of the most popular things at lunchtimes for these workers is actually to go to the grocery store, because their grocery store has a lot of prepared foods.

Ian Hoyt: Now of course they have a ton of Prett’s obviously. So good. But you know it’s similar at the grocery store. I think the quality is pretty much the same. And so they’re very lucky there. I mean we have a couple Prett’s here. We have a couple ready made things, but like I think London wins out on that.

Caroline Lloyd: And buying ready made food from the grocery store is so much cheaper than a lot of the lunch options that people that work in Midtown, New York have at their fingertips.

Ian Hoyt: And if you’d like more details about some of our food recommendations on both New York and London side, make sure you check out the show notes. We’ll list them in there.

Caroline Lloyd: So now we have to talk about something that’s big in New York and London and that is fashion fashion. So not that we can really put a knowledgeable voice behind fashion because we have realized over the course of a year dating that we generally dress like tourists even in our day to day lives

Ian Hoyt: And now it’s acceptable because we are walking tour guides. We can kind of dress like that.

Caroline Lloyd: I made a vow to myself several years that I would never wear jeans and tennis shoes and I literally wear that every day now. Okay. So despite us always feeling underdressed in our everyday lives, that is magnified by like 10 times in London. Agreed. It is the largest group of well dressed people that I’ve ever seen in my life.

Ian Hoyt: Suit envy everywhere.

Caroline Lloyd: Most everything is tailored, which is something that the US is getting a little bit more into but that’s more so like the business side of people. There was also a lot of really cool looking people that weren’t wearing like suits and such. And it’s either like suits and tailored dress wear or like really outlandish things that like still work in the London sense.

Ian Hoyt: The inner suit wearing guy in me got so self conscious during our trip to London that we were at the Camden market and we stumbled across a suit store and I tried one on just to see and it fit me like a glove and I kid you not. I am a talll six, three skinny dude that can’t find anything off the shelf that would fit me to the desire that I want to be fitted and this thing fit me perfectly and I kid you not. And so I had to buy it. So I think that’s a product of just the fact that in the UK and also in Europe, they size things differently. They actually want to tailor things to look good and you just don’t get that in the US. So while we could stay here all day talking about the differences and the similarities between New York and London, we’re going to cut it right there because I think that’s a great beginning pre cursor to what you’re going to get in the different cities.

Caroline Lloyd: So there’s no doubt about it. New York and London are two very distinct cities, both from each other and from any other city in the world.

Ian Hoyt: We have to admit, living in New York has kind of skewed our judgment, but London is a great city and I can’t wait to go back and check it out more.

Caroline Lloyd: If you’re from a suburban area looking to go to a city for the first time. London is a great transition. It has all of the aspects that you want in New York but isn’t quite as overwhelming.

Ian Hoyt: We’ve actually had people from the UK that have visited London get overwhelmed when they’re taking walking tours with us in the city because it’s just a different city.

Ian Hoyt: So that’s it for this episode. We hope you learned a little bit about the differences and the similarities between our home city, New York and London.

Caroline Lloyd: So if you realize there’s some more similarities or differences between New York or London, we would love to hear about them. Feel free to comment on this podcast or the easiest way to get in contact with us is to DM us on instagram @lifenomading.

Ian Hoyt: And as always you can download this podcast on any major players from Spotify, Overcast, and of course iTunes. And that reminds me if you enjoy the content we’re creating on the weekly, we’d love your review on iTunes it helps us out a ton.

Caroline Lloyd: So that’s it for this episode. We’ll see you here. Same place, same time next Monday. I’m Caroline.

Ian Hoyt: And I’m Ian. Until next time, explore something new.

Beginner’s Guide to Surviving Your First 24 Hours in a New Country

Life Nomading Podcast

In this episode, we cover our top 5 favorite must-do tips for surviving your first 24 hours in a new country. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when visiting somewhere new for the first time. We’ve done it plenty of times and each time it gets easier because of the tips we talk about in this show. If you follow these beginner tips, your stay in a new country will be so much more pleasant. You’ll spend more time exploring, and less time stressing.

Isn’t that the goal after all?

Show Notes

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Top 5 Tip Topics Discussed:

  1. Download Google Maps locally to your phone before your flight or train ride
  2. Go straight to your lodging. Take a nap, and eat a snack!
  3. How best to strategize ATM’s and cash/paying for things
  4. What a SIM card is, how to find a cellular phone shop and why to use a SIM
  5. Grocery shopping, and why you should do it on your trip
  6. Take a walking tour the first full day you arrive

Our Bulgaria Adventure Trip:

Caroline Lloyd: @caromanifesto

Ian Hoyt: @IanHoyt


Subscribe anywhere you listen to podcasts! Our faves: Spotify, iTunes, Overcast

Show Transcript

Caroline Lloyd: Like we, all of a sudden, I had never once made a cheese plate in my life, and all of a sudden that’s what were having for lunch. Like a spread of meats, and cheeses, and breads, fruits and vegetables, and we were just eating that.

Ian Hoyt: And beer, and beer, and wine, and beer.

Caroline Lloyd: Yeah, and beer at 1 o’clock.

Ian Hoyt: Hey there, fellow nomads. This is Ian!

Caroline Lloyd: And Caroline.

Ian Hoyt: And this is the Life Nomading Podcast.

Ian Hoyt: Well, welcome back, fellow life nomads. It is Ian and we are back at it for another episode of the Life Nomading podcast. Are you excited?

Caroline Lloyd: So excited. Life Nomading: 2.0, 2.2.

Ian Hoyt: And today we get to get into the guts. I feel like last week we kind of talked about where we’ve been and now we get to give you guys some real, tangible travel tips.

Caroline Lloyd: Some travel meat and potatoes.

Ian Hoyt: And I don’t know, but I mean we are starting off pretty strong today. This is one of our most cherished things we talk about on the regular when we’re traveling and it is around what you do in the first 24 hours when you get to a new destination.

Caroline Lloyd: And it took us a long time to get all this information through trial and error. So we’re really excited that we have it down to a science and we can present it to you.

Ian Hoyt: And that’s what we’re going to do. Now we’re talking about routines here. And as you read by the title, it’s the first 24 hours in a new country. And when we were traveling in Europe this last summer, we fell into this world where if we didn’t have a routine, it was really easy to get anxious and to have a fear of missing out and to maybe not be as productive and see the things you want to see while you’re in a new country. And we realized that a routine is so crucial.

Caroline Lloyd: And me coming from a creature of habit, I clinged to these routines, I can’t enter into a situation unless I feel fully prepared and this is the routine that got me to that place so I could really enjoy myself.

Ian Hoyt: And trust me, if you travel with Caroline, you’ll realize you need to have a routine because she needs her nap. She needs her granola bar.

Caroline Lloyd: But we’re going to talk about that when we talk about traveling with significant others because that is a full episode. And we learned a lot about each other.

Ian Hoyt: Anyway. So yeah, routine, it’s kind of contradictory, right? A nomad there. You’re traveling all over the place, you’re home for one month and then you’re gone for three and then you’re home and the routines aren’t really typically there. Um, but I think that’s actually just an incredible falsehood. I think routine is at the core of almost the human condition and we’re not going to get into that. I’m not a philosophy major or a psychology major or any of that. But yeah, I think, I think routine runs deep in everyone’s being.

Caroline Lloyd: So a lot of this content is how to avoid the grunge of traveling. It’s not all the glamorous instagram stars: You hop off the plane and everything works out perfectly. There are logistics that you have to take care of beforehand and during to set you up for a successful travel arrangement.

Ian Hoyt: And I think if you’re not having any of that quote-unquote grunge that Caroline just said you’re actually doing something wrong. I think the beauty of travel is also in having to define those routines and having to figure that out and having things go wrong. But we’re going to try to set the stage for some of the core; The guts of the things that you need when you’re in a foreign country, when you’re not coddled by America and Mcdonald’s on every corner. And your parents’ wifi and Netflix. I mean, you probably have netflix in a foreign country, but you’re not going to be watching Netflix because you’re going to be adventuring.

Caroline Lloyd: Or Uber, or your car, or your language.

Ian Hoyt: So, um, so let’s, let’s get into it. So if you listen to this episode a couple of days in advance, before you go to a new country, you’re going to have a really good basis on, “okay, when I land, I need to do X, Y, Z, and then the rest is taken care of” and you can focus on choosing things you want to do, things you don’t want to do and go from there.

Caroline Lloyd: So there’s a lot of starting points in planning the trip. So most of it is done, you know, researching: you’re laying on the couch, you book where you’re going to stay, whether it be a hostel or an airbnb or a hotel. One of the things that you need to note about that is where it is in relationship to the city that you are going to explore. And I say that because it’s really important. Once you land in a new country, you need to download the Google maps of that destination.

Ian Hoyt: Yeah. That’s probably one of the number one tips and this whole thing. Downloading the google maps. So you’re going to find yourself probably with maybe a full day’s worth of not having really consistent cellular coverage. And so you can actually download Google maps locally to your phone for the city or the country or however big you want to make that cached area, but you’re going to have access to all of the maps you’re going to need from when you get into the train station or the airport to get to your place where you’re staying. So definitely do that in advance when you’re on Wifi.

Caroline Lloyd: And the reason we say to do it in advance, because you absolutely can do it once you get to your destination, but the biggest trouble point is getting from your mode of transportation station, meaning the airport or the train station or the bus stop wherever you’re coming from to where you’re staying. So you’re kind of jumping from ponds of wifi to the next pond.

Ian Hoyt: And that’s the most critical point because you’ve probably been traveling all day, so you’re tired. You probably didn’t get a good meal while you’re traveling, so you’re going to get hangry, right? And we’re going to talk about that more. If you’re traveling with someone else, then you have double the emotions and everything is just double heightened. Right?

Caroline Lloyd: You sound like you’re talking from experience, Ian. Who is this monster you’re traveling with?

Ian Hoyt: I don’t know? Who’s this monster that needs a nap every day? Um, but anyway, so just be prepared. And if you can do your research beforehand to get from mode of transport, like Caroline said, to your staying arrangements, it’s gonna make you feel a lot better.

Caroline Lloyd: So things to look for here are making decisions like, am I going to take public transportation from the station to where I’m staying? Am I going to take a taxi? Do I need to get cash to pay for that taxi?

Ian Hoyt: Let’s talk about that for a little while because I think starting out, let’s just take our Europe trip for example, because it’s easiest. I think the more and more countries we went to over the course of the time we were gone, we relied heavier and heavier and heavier on public transport. Now that’s also a product because the more we progressed, the more accessible public transport was. But also, it’s in a lot of ways a) it’s always cheaper and b) it’s actually, in my opinion, sometimes easier because you don’t have to deal with A) A foreign language and the barriers of translating. B) you don’t have to worry about being ripped off if you’re in a country that might be known for something like that and C) if, if you’re used to any type of public transportation in general, they’re all generally kind of the same. I mean, sure there are intricacies with validation on passes and things like that, but for the most part you can look at a map. It’s going to take you somewhere and if you’re not going directly to your place, you’re either going to be on a subway or you’re walking.

Caroline Lloyd: You’re also navigating on your own and you’re not just depending on someone else to get you where you want to go. So, therefore, you’re learning a lot more about the city and you’re also learning a lot more about the people. Let’s talk about people watching on public transit.

Ian Hoyt: It’s fantastic, but to the point about learning the city: Before I moved to New York City, I’ve only been here for two years (not even), but before that I lived in Columbus and Cincinnati, Ohio, all these different cities that I didn’t take public transportation and I didn’t know how to navigate these places because I was so reliant on GPS giving me directions and things like that. In New York. I know how to navigate around New York better than I do in a lot of cities that I spent four or five times the amount in, because of that, and I think the same is true when you’re traveling internationally.

Caroline Lloyd: Okay, so you’ve gotten off the plane, you’ve figured out a way to get to where you’re staying. I always think that the first place you should go in a new city is where you’re staying to drop off all of your stuff. The only way that you can really explore and be free and in new city and get this laundry list of things done in a timely and enjoyable manner (and we’ll talk more about that in a second), is to get rid of all of your stuff.

Ian Hoyt: All the stuff that you have in your life.

Caroline Lloyd: Another great reason to do that is because if you haven’t gotten a cellular data plan, your lodging will most likely have wifi where you can navigate where you’re going to to get that data.Or maybe have a snack, drink some water, take a nap, make sure that the next time that you’re leaving the door of your lodging, you’re approaching it with an open mind, and really going to enjoy yourself. The last thing that you want to do is to have your first adventure out in the city be miserable. So take care of yourself.

Ian Hoyt: Take a nap, take a snack, whatever.

Caroline Lloyd: Chug a bottle of water. Eat a granola bar.

Ian Hoyt: We could spend an hour just reiterating this because it is so important.

Caroline Lloyd: I have this running joke with my family about snacks, but we have to say it in a northern accent like snacks.

Ian Hoyt: Snacks, I’m from Minnesota. Sorry anyone listening for Minnesota, but we’ve got to get some snacks. Wait, your mom is from…

Caroline Lloyd: My mom has a Minnesota accent and so she always says, pack some snacks because everyone is a lot happier with the snacks. So I never leave a country that I am ending a trip in and go to the next country without some sort of snack. Because when I’m hungry I get hungry and then around me gets miserable.

Ian Hoyt: She’s not a fun traveler when she’s hungry or tired, but you’re getting better. You’re getting more resilient.

Caroline Lloyd: I’m not getting better. I am more prepared and that’s what this list is about. So let’s backtrack a little bit. You landed, you made your way to your lodging, you dropped off your stuff, you prepared yourself to enter in the world, and then this is your first outing. Our first stop on the sidewalk is normally an ATM.

Ian Hoyt: If you didn’t need it to get to your lodge in the first place, because that could be a thing. You should get cash as soon as possible, whether it’s when you land or get in the station or when you get done resting and napping.

Caroline Lloyd: Here’s a word of advice. ATMs in airports or the currency exchange in airports normally charge you a hefty fee. So unless you’re absolutely positive that you need cash to leave the airport to get to your lodging, wait.

Ian Hoyt: If we are in a pretty affluent country that accepts credit card transactions pretty readily, then we’ll use that by default. We’ll probably use our credit card, but we’ll take out enough cash to kind of cover our tips. Also, if you’re in the mindset, which I like to be, sometimes you pull out enough money that you think you can get through the week or however long you’re there and then that’s kind of your budget. You know, you have it physically in hand and you try not to spend more. I know we did that a ton in Bulgaria. Bulgaria also doesn’t really take credit card, but it was a great way to manage our finances.

Caroline Lloyd: If you don’t want to heavily rely on cash though, I think a good place to start is to get out enough cash that will survive one day. And then when you’re exploring, if you realize, you know, a lot of places don’t take credit card like I thought they would, you’re not in a pickle. Then you can go back and get that same amount for however long you’re staying in that country.

Ian Hoyt: Yeah, and one point to be made, if you’re using credit cards in foreign countries, there’s this thing called a foreign transaction fee. For most credit cards nowadays it’s. It’s typically waived or they cover it. But for debit cards, they don’t. I actually learned this the hard way when I first started to travel. I used my debit card a lot and then I just saw just troves and troves of foreign transaction fees. And they’re only like, you know, they’re typically only a couple bucks, but after awhile it adds up to be over hundreds of dollars sometimes depending on how, how long you travel. So use a credit card or use cash and leave the debit card in the wallet.

Caroline Lloyd: Now you’re a free person. You dropped off your stuff, you have money, you are ready to conquer the world, but there is one thing these days that is sometimes more important than cash. And that is your cell phone.

Ian Hoyt: How are you going to show the world on instagram that you’re traveling?

Caroline Lloyd: Well your camera works, but those instagram stories have to be uploaded in real time.

Ian Hoyt: So we’re talking about sim cards and data for the cell phone, and it is one of the more important things to stay connected to in our day and age.

Caroline Lloyd: Some plans and providers that are US based require you to completely own your phone. When we left for our trip, I just put a ton of money towards my phone to make sure that I wasn’t paying the hefty $10 a day fee for any call, text or data used internationally. So it wound up being a lot cheaper for me.

Ian Hoyt: If you’re traveling for a short amount of time, that might be okay. But if you’re traveling for a week or more and you’re trying to save money, there is no reason you shouldn’t use a sim card. SIM cards are really easy to get. A Sim card is essentially a little chip card that really functions as your phone. And so when you take the one that you have from your US carrier or wherever you are out, you can replace it with a local carrier. For example, in Vienna, we used T Mobile. Now I believe A1 was another carrier option, but we decided to go with T Mobile’s Sim card. All we had to do was walk in, ask for the right amount of data that we wanted and you popped it out of your phone, the Sim card of your carrier. Make sure you hold onto it because you’re going to need it again. And then you just pop in your new Sim card from, in this case, Austria. And you’re going to have an Austrian phone number while you’re there. Now you can only make phone calls to other Austrian numbers, but you can use the data which is worth its weight in gold. You can use apps like Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger and things like that to curb that need to make phone calls and texts.

Caroline Lloyd: So anytime that you’re in a new country, before you put in a Sim card of that country, just keep your phone on airplane mode.

Ian Hoyt: Keeping your phone on airplane mode prevents your phone carrier from potentially charging you the fixed international daily fee that can amount to a lot of money. So keep it on airplane mode unless you’re on Wifi and even then keep it on airplane mode until you get the new sim card in.

Caroline Lloyd: So I think in one of the countries we didn’t even buy a card that showed text messages or phone calls. It was purely a data plan and since I wasn’t trying to call or text anyone in that country, that was the best plan for me.

Ian Hoyt: Yeah. And I mean prices vary from country to country, but it’s typically ridiculously cheap to do.

Caroline Lloyd: I never spent more than 15 US dollars for trips that we spent up to nine days in a country.

Ian Hoyt: And again, for context you could be spending on that same amount of time 90 to 100 bucks in international fees with your carrier. I had to do it sometimes. So I know how much that hurt. I’ve found that we get by for a week with like anywhere from half a gig to two gigs worth of data. And we’re even hotspotting with that. So, you know, don’t overdo what you purchase. You can always reload your sim card, so start smaller and you’d be surprised. You’re going to be busy looking at the sites and you’re going to be spending less time on your phone than you think you are.

Caroline Lloyd: Okay. So the next step, is a little bit more fun because this is the first time that you’re actually doing something not on your mom’s laundry list since you landed. And this step includes going to get some snacks, and some groceries, and maybe a few meals depending on how long you’re staying there, and what your budget is. But I think that this is really what made our trip a success, and that is buying groceries so that you can have a nice balance of eating at home and eating out. One for your digestive system and also for your bank account.

Ian Hoyt: Yeah. When people think of travel, they don’t necessarily first think to grocery shop. They are going to a new place. They want to experience the culture and the food and the coffee and all that awesome stuff, but the reality of it is if you’re going to spend a week or longer anywhere, that stuff can add up and if you’re trying to travel more or more often, you’re going to need to grocery shop and you’re going to need to save money on food.

Caroline Lloyd: You also want to feel good while you’re in these countries.

Ian Hoyt: Yeah, Schnitzels add up.

Caroline Lloyd: They add up in your stomach too.

Ian Hoyt: Milinki in Bulgaria, which is the best bread ever; We had too much of it.

Caroline Lloyd: I, honestly, this is an aside, but I think in Bulgaria we didn’t buy any groceries and I had a hard time though. It wasn’t even a money thing and by the end of that trip I wanted to buy groceries. I also feel strongly that you get a different perspective of the place that you’re in and the people that live when you walk into their local grocery store.

Ian Hoyt: Spoiler alert: We love Aldi’s in Europe. I mean, even though it is a chain, each Aldi is different in a different country and we saw that firsthand with what we were picking up in the store and it was pretty cool. It was great to see the local differences I guess.

Caroline Lloyd: So we have a kind of worked out grocery list that we pick up in every country. Some of those items are things that kind of keep our diets in check and consistent, but also we always leave room for local foods, local cheeses, local meats, little crackers that are very specific, you know, throw in a couple of candy bars that are local to that country

Ian Hoyt: And I’ll lobby for like local sodas or the local wines.

Caroline Lloyd: We try to fill the gaps of large meals that we’re eating out. Sure, eat dinner out every single night, but you’re not going to want to have a big breakfast, lunch, and dinner out in restaurants.

Ian Hoyt: Yeah. You don’t need to go out for breakfast every morning.

Caroline Lloyd: But with a twist, I have to say, when we were in Budapest, we went to a local farmer’s market and got local honey, and they had so many great different flavors and we put that on our breakfast every morning. It was great. Or like peppers or like things that you aren’t familiar with. Try them out in your own cooking situation rather than just being served them. And protein bars are my go tos for snacks when you’re hangry. I always had about three of those in my bag at all times.

Ian Hoyt: It’s time to talk about one of our favorite parts. I know I said that to like each one. Like my favorite part is getting a sim card and my favorite part is getting groceries. I just love travel so maybe I just love it all, but we’re being serious now. This is our profession.

Caroline Lloyd: Well we’re also kind of dipping into your activities now. I don’t want to tell you what sites to see in every destination that you are going to, but one activity that you have to do is a walking tour.

Ian Hoyt: Preferably a free walking tour.

Caroline Lloyd: And most countries have free walking tours, especially European countries. They’re kind of a staple and not as popular in the US, but the reason that we hype these so much is because similar to taking public transit, it gives you such a layout for the place that you’re in.

Ian Hoyt: Yeah, I mean this is the one time we sway from like… Even if it does feel maybe a little touristy, you’re going to see the things and you’re going to get to meet at least one look like guaranteed local, which would be the guide. And we’re cool. We know we’re cool here in New York during walking tours.

Caroline Lloyd: So by meeting that guide who is a local, that is pretty much how we planned the remainder of our trip. That heavily influenced every single place that we went to because they recommended areas to go visit, which museums to actually go to, which museums to skip, where to eat, what to eat. My only recommendation is that as soon as the walking tour is over, write everything that piqued your interest down. I think just kind of brain-dump when you’re done with the tour, so that the things that really stuck out in your mind you can follow up on later, and not necessarily commit to them, but make a choice later on whether or not you prioritize that.

Ian Hoyt: And don’t be afraid. I’m just coming from our experience here in New York. Don’t be afraid to ask your guide recommendations for like restaurants and great places to get a drink. My favorite part of our walking tours is giving those recommendations because that’s the real stuff that we live and breathe every day, so try to get that out of them at the end if they’re not busy.

Caroline Lloyd: And don’t forget to tip your tour guide.

Ian Hoyt: Don’t forget to tip your tour guide, especially on a free tour. Please tip.

Caroline Lloyd: You know, beyond any of this, one thing that we really enjoyed is figuring out coffee shops to go to. I think that that, especially in our age group, is a staple in really figuring out what the culture is.

Ian Hoyt: It’s definitely one of those optional add ons in the first 24 hours. If you’re a coffee drinker, you know how important it is to find.

Caroline Lloyd: It was not optional for us. I woke up at 8:00 in the morning and that’s the first thing on my list.

Ian Hoyt: It’s a serious thing because in a lot of countries, no matter where in the world, coffee culture is different. Everywhere coffee culture is different. And so you’re not going to get your 16 ounce drip coffee like you’re going to get in the US. You’re not going to get that in Bulgaria, for example. So you need to be prepared and try to find an equivalent, something that works for you besides the fact that you might just like coffee culture. Which I do. Which is also fun. And there’s an easement of being in a coffee shop for some reason.

Caroline Lloyd: There is also an easement when that caffeine hits your blood.

Ian Hoyt: Yeah. And the headache goes away. Yeah. Alright. I’m going to switch it up here. You don’t even know what I’m about to ask, but here we go. So what would you say is your favorite uneasiness in that first 24 hours? What would you say your favorite thing is?

Caroline Lloyd: Napping. I need to expand on that though. So napping is my favorite part because it makes me feel so much better compared to how jet lagged and miserable I was. And there is something about waking up feeling 10 times better than you did when you fell asleep. Drinking a huge glass of water and being a little bit hungry but enough that you can go and explore and find something that you didn’t plan for dinner. And sometimes even on our first night we happen upon our most favorite restaurant.

Ian Hoyt: So your favorite thing is the feeling you get after your nap.

Caroline Lloyd: In life? Always.

Caroline Lloyd: You have to answer too. What’s your most favorite part about arriving?

Ian Hoyt: An evening cheers.

Caroline Lloyd: The post-nap alcohol at dinner.

Ian Hoyt: There’s a comfort in sitting – like there’s not a comfort in finding a restaurant, obviously, that’s always annoying. I mean, I love the adventure. Don’t get me wrong, that’s the whole point, but there’s that comfort of just sitting down in the seat. The seat is yours, the table is yours for the next hour or two and you can just chill.

Ian Hoyt: So that’s our guide to the first 24 hours in a new country. Now by no means do you have to follow that to a tee and there’s probably other things that maybe you do when you enter a new country and we’d love to hear about it. The best way is send us a DM on instagram. If you have an awesome idea, we would love to share it with our community. So send us a DM on instagram.

Ian Hoyt: @lifenomading and we will share that with our followers.

Caroline Lloyd: If you’re curious about this place that we keep talking about, Bulgaria, feel free to check us out at We’ll be hosting a summer 2019 trip to Bulgaria that’s 10 days and nine nights. You should definitely check it out. It’s an amazing place to go.

Ian Hoyt: So fellow nomads, that’s it for this week’s episode. We hope you learned a couple things about your first 24 hours in a new country. Again, you can find us on any major podcast platform from iTunes, Overcast, and Spotify. Be sure to subscribe, and if you get a second, please leave a review. It helps us so much. So until next week, I’m Ian.

Caroline Lloyd: And I’m Caroline.

Ian Hoyt: And we’ll see you next time. Bye.

Introducing Life Nomading Podcast 2.0

Life Nomading Podcast Artwork

Kicking off 2019 with a bang, we’d like to introduce the new and improved Life Nomading podcast! No longer a dormant trove of audio files, instead we’re back and we’re excited to be bringing you fresh travel episodes every single Monday morning. So tune in and spend some time every week with Caroline and me as we explore the world and share it with you.

In this episode, we give a rundown of what all has happened and what is currently going on at Life Nomading since the last episode 3 years ago. Buckle up, because we have plenty of exciting news to share.

Show Notes

Mentioned in this episode:


Subscribe anywhere you listen to podcasts! Our faves: Spotify, iTunes, Overcast

Show Transcript

Ian Hoyt: And she’s not kidding, we’re literally sitting on the floor. We have two microphones, different microphone, cardboard boxes, cardboard boxes. We have one glass of whiskey to offset the frustration of setting up technology. Just so we can record semi decent audio. So wherever you’re at, you can hear us

Ian Hoyt: Hey there, fellow nomads. This is Ian and Caroline, and this is the Life Nomading podcast,

Ian Hoyt: Hey there, fellow listeners. Welcome back to the Life Nomading podcast. It’s been awhile. It’s been about three years, two years since the last substantial episode has hit your podcast feed, so I’m pumped if you’re listening from the past life, but I’m even more excited if you’re a new listener. Excited to go in this 2019 journey with us as we reboot Life Nomading and bring some travel content and I’m not alone this time. I have a cohost and her name is Caroline. Caroline, how’s it going?

Caroline Lloyd: It’s going well. I’m excited to be here.

Ian Hoyt: Is it weird having microphones in your face?

Caroline Lloyd: Yeah, I’ve pretty much tried to avoid that at all costs in my life. Um, There’s a reason that I’m not a singer like everyone else in my family, so this is a step of bravery for me.

Ian Hoyt: And we are sitting on the floor of our New York apartment in Harlem because we can’t afford anything else

Caroline Lloyd: with mics propped up by cardboard boxes.

Ian Hoyt: Literally cardboard boxes. We had to throw the cat out because it was pawing at all the chords. But anyway, we’re here. Uh, we’re happy to have you. Thanks for listening. Uh, we’re going to make this quick. This is a quick little intro episode. Life Nomading podcast has existed before, but we’re new. We’re improved and we’re ready.

Caroline Lloyd: We’re going to be consistent.

Ian Hoyt: Consistency is key. Anyone that has gotten anywhere has been consistent in life. So we are going to be doing this podcast every single week.

Caroline Lloyd: New episodes dropping on Mondays for your morning commute to make them a little bit less miserable and you can dream about traveling the world on your way to work.

Ian Hoyt: And to that point Life Nomading has been in an evolution the last two or three years since I last graced you with a podcast episode.

Caroline Lloyd: Graced you with that lovely voice.

Ian Hoyt: It was still deep back then. I was still old enough to have a deep voice.

Caroline Lloyd: I feel like you were up playing it a little bit more like you’re. You’re not like going full radio host right now,

Ian Hoyt: Which is good. I hope not. I’m not. I’m trying to be authentic Yo, but here we are so we have this podcast, but Life Nomading is so much more than a podcast now. So Life Nomading started in like 2014 for context for me to write about my feelings about travel and life in general and people actually started to read it. People actually started to connect over it, not just with me but with other readers. We created a facebook group and then all of a sudden this community started to form out of thin air and I was pretty excited. People were connecting over this travel thing, this, you know, doing something different than the regular normal thing and so from 2014 to now it has evolved from being just a blog and a podcast to now we’re doing so much more and for example, this year actually, or sorry last year in 2018, we launched our first group trip to Iceland, a Life Nomading group trip is where we take about 10 people and we just, we plan it all and people arrive into this awesome foreign country they’ve never been to before and we do incredible things that are authentic to the culture in the country,

Caroline Lloyd: but it’s not your typical group travel, right? So it’s not just everyone piling onto a coach bus and you sit there all day and look out the window. You’re really truly experiencing things. You’re getting to know your fellow travelers. You are exploring on your own and you are testing the boundaries of who you are in this new area. This new country, so it’s really different than, you know, walking around with a tour guide with the flag on. So we want the group trip to be really authentic.

Ian Hoyt: Absolutely. And uh, I’m not going to ruin the itinerary or like what do we do in Iceland? You’re either going to have to go on that trip or b. Listen to future episodes to learn more about that. Uh, but what I can say is of all the people on that trip, uh, we got so many responses, hey, this actually changed my life, like this made me want to travel more or made me want to do x, y, z after this trip we can’t stop talking about this trip. And that was exciting to us because our whole mission at Life Nomading is to make group travel authentic. And so group trips have been great and we’re expanding those trips and we’ll talk a little bit more about that in a second. Actually, maybe we should backtrack even more. Let’s Caroline, who are you?

Caroline Lloyd: I have always wanted to travel. Um, but I’ve also been a very tight planner in life in my day to day activities. I walk around with a paper planner is still, I know that most people don’t even know this existed anymore. Um, but I had very clear cut timelines for my life and traveling, unfortunately, did not fit into that timeline. So, you know, I was following my life timeline pretty perfectly if I do say so myself. Um, and I found myself in a job that I had pretty much dreamed of my entire life. Um, and then I realized that I had accomplished it pretty quickly. I was pretty curious to travel again. So I quit my job in summer 2018 to take a two month trip with Ian.

Ian Hoyt: So also for context, we gotta we gotta set the stage for this pinnacle change that happened. Do you remember the night vividly?

Caroline Lloyd: We’re cooking dinner in your apartment.

Ian Hoyt: My sublet apartment watching Netflix and we’re watching some random.

Caroline Lloyd: You know, one of those like, like millennial generation, quit your job, travel the world, live in a bus, take your dog, live your best life, really inspirational indie music.

Ian Hoyt: Mogli, right? Yeah. Awesome music. We Love Mogli. If, if, if you’re listening, can we use your music in our podcast anyway…

Caroline Lloyd: So like I still, I can’t take off without playing that album because it just reminds me that I am off to a new adventure and that is just a pinnacle moment. Anyway.

Ian Hoyt: Music has so much deployed with adventure for some reason it’s Cliche, but we’re sitting there watching this documentary now mind you, obviously I have context, I’ve traveled, blah, blah, blah, blah. You on the other hand, you know you’ve stayed domestic. You haven’t really gone many places.

Caroline Lloyd: For context. I was looking for other jobs at the time, so I got to this crossroads where I could either continue applying and I think I was on like a second interview for a new job

Ian Hoyt: And you’re just hating it. You’re just not into it.

Caroline Lloyd: I didn’t realize it that I knew I wanted out of my job, but I didn’t realize that I was applying for jobs that would put me back in that exact situation two years down the road. And I think when I realized that that gave me the courage to, you know, make a drastic change in my life.

Ian Hoyt: And so we were watching that thing and did we book the tickets that day? Was it that day?

Caroline Lloyd: No, we were going to go to South America first and then we’re looking at South America for a really long time and we had grand plans of going for a full year.

Ian Hoyt: So we sat on the concept of dropping the grand vision was dropped everything and travel indefinitely, like a true, true, true, true, true nomad.

Caroline Lloyd: And I’m like there’s absolutely no way that we’re going to be able to do this. And I’m the type that’s just like, it works itself out, which we need to get back to you. We met in the middle, we met in the middle and things worked out a lot easier that way anyways, so we’re trying to figure out where to go, how to do this. And so Ian pulls in his expertise, friends Mitko and Sarah.

Ian Hoyt: Shout out to them. They’re also on the team.

Caroline Lloyd: So originally we were just asking them for advice or like, you know what, what to do, how to get started.

Ian Hoyt: Sarah was and they travel extensively together, which traveling as a couple, as much different than traveling solo. We sat on the idea and we realized that they were going to be in eastern Europe in the summer like they always are because Mitko, he is originally from Bulgaria and we’re like, why don’t we just go hang out with them? I think that’s Kinda just how I happened.

Caroline Lloyd: Well we didn’t ask. We politely were invited first and then we weighed our options and we accepted.

Ian Hoyt: So she drops her job. We have a logistical nightmare of finding like four sublets.

Ian Hoyt: We should do a whole episode of sub-leasing in New York. We don’t want to get sidetracked too much, but long story short, my biggest phrase in life is it’ll all just work out, which is cliche and really simplistic. But what happened?

Caroline Lloyd: So three subleasers later. We put our stuff in storage and we left for Europe for two months.

Ian Hoyt: We found three subletters at all different levels of subletting.

Caroline Lloyd: I had attempted to find a job that I could work remotely during the trip and ended up applying for jobs while I was on the trip, which still works out.

Ian Hoyt: It’s going to be another episode for sure on how to work and travel and just all that crazy stuff. But long story short is we spent the summer in eastern Europe, um, a majority of it in Bulgaria. And um, that’s actually where our next group trip is going to be for 2019. Uh, so that’s a long-winded way of explaining how we got from a blog, podcast to Iceland to Bulgaria to a new podcast and welcome. We’re excited to be here.

Caroline Lloyd: So we spent the summer in Europe and it was great and we’ll have episodes about that later. But one of the things that kind of came to us in a miraculous moment of realization was when we get to a new destination, new city or new country, the first thing that we would do on the morning that we woke up we went on a walking tour.

Caroline Lloyd: Now in Europe, a lot of the walking tours are free. They happen every day and there are just crowds of people that come to them and it gives so much context for the rest of your stay in whatever destination that you’re in, you know, the landscape where things are, you know, best areas for restaurants, history, culture. It was just so informative and changed the way that we interpreted what that city had to offer that we had to take a step back and realize that we live in a city that is, you know, a pinnacle city of the US. So after going on all of these walking tours in Europe, we wanted to start our own in New York. Now New York is not short of any tours or tourist attractions.

Ian Hoyt: I think they have like five, I think.

Caroline Lloyd: Yeah, I mean you can like to cover your basis. Uh, but we wanted to offer something different.

Caroline Lloyd: You know, we wanted to offer your things from a local’s perspective with the history and the context that you need, but really giving a true, authentic experience which aligns with what we do on our group trips. Yeah. So one of the ways that we made it really stand out and be authentic is that we started doing tours in our favorite area of the city, which is the Upper West Side. And after doing a little bit of research we realized that there weren’t any tours of this area, which is a shame because it’s very historical and it’s beautiful in a lot of people. Never even make it outside of Times Square. Right. So we launched our upper west side tour and then we also launched a midtown tour, which does cover a lot of the touristy sites, but from an experiential standpoint that is a little bit more authentic.

Caroline Lloyd: So we have two tours going on in New York right now and it’s really been eyeopening. I’m kind of relating back to where Life Nomading started with the blog. We’ve really started to see a community start to build. So within this community, we’re starting to, you know, make connections all over the world and it feels really great to share our city with international travelers just as we learn about their city when we’re traveling. Um, so it’s kind of reciprocal feedback there.

Ian Hoyt: We just want to be the vessel to be able to meet other travelers and we’re hoping that we can do that with this podcast, with the blog and with our trips and tours, we’re extremely excited to be back at it podcasting and above all else consistently every single week. On what day?

Caroline Lloyd: Mondays.

Ian Hoyt: Every single Monday we’re going to be here with new travel content, whether it’s interviews with industry experts, uh, whether it’s a new travel guide or hacking guide of some sort or other, or whether it’s just kind of a chronicle of our experiences in different countries and cities. We’re going to be bringing something new to you every week for your commute or for your walking the dog time and we hope that maybe it helps you push over the ledge that we pushed over ourselves and begin traveling more.

Ian Hoyt: So if you’re down for some travel content, you’re down for learning a little bit more about how to travel more in your life. Maybe this is the podcast to subscribe to. We’d love to have you. So until next time I’m Ian.

Caroline Lloyd: I’m Caroline

Ian Hoyt: And if you have any suggestions for us for future episodes, please email us at podcast[@] That’s podcast[@]

Vienna Travel Guide

vienna travel guide

When you walk the streets of Vienna, you’ll find yourself constantly asking, “why can’t all cities be this beautiful?” In a word, Magical doesn’t even begin to do this city justice. While this Vienna Travel Guide will lay out our experiences and must-dos, we left Vienna with a broken heart; We know there is so much more left to see.

Without further adieu, let’s dive into one of our favorite European cities.

Vienna Train Stations and Airports

We took the train from Budapest, Hungary into Vienna’s Wien Praterstern train station. Admittedly, this is the only train station we spent time in, but from our perspective, it was clean and well organized. Which, I mean, what more could you ask from a train station?

There are a few train stations on the way into Vienna, so be sure to keep in mind which stop your ticket says. Prepare to deboard when the train nears your station; Some stops are quicker than others!

Flying out of Austria’s Salzburg Airport

salzburg austria airportWe anticipated flying out of Vienna at the end of our trip to Austria, but realized during our week in the city that our tickets were actually departing out of Salzburg, Austria.

Sometimes fun surprises happen like that! 🙂

If you find yourself in the same predicament, or if ticket prices are cheaper out of Salzburg than Vienna, we highly recommend you take the Westbahn train into Salzburg for a fun day trip before your flight departs. We loved having a quick day trip in Salzburg before flying off to London!

The Salzburg airport is incredibly small so don’t stress about arriving too early. Like most European airports, an hour or so before your flight is typically just fine.

We took the bus from the Salzburg Hauptbahnhof train station to the airport. Cheap and easy. You can purchase your ticket on the bus.

Bus ticket should cost around: €2.10

Transportation in Vienna, Austria

We’re huge fans of using public transportation if at all possible. Vienna was no different. We used their underground subway system called the Vienna U-Bahn the entire time we were there and had no real hang-ups.

As always, don’t be afraid to take an extra second or two to double check you are getting on the correct subway line. And ALWAYS ALWAYS pre-load Google Maps for the city you are traveling in. This way, even without cellphone reception you can still easily navigate on your phone like a champ.

With plenty of subway lines to get you anywhere around the greater Vienna metro area, the U-Bahn is the perfect solution for anyone on a budget.

If you’re a New Yorker like us, we feel most comfortable on public transport anyway. If you’re from farmlands or rural towns, have no fear we believe you will have an easy time using their public transit too.

Transport Cost and Passes

A weekly U-Bahn unlimited pass qualifies for the above ground tram’s and the underground subway and will be €17.10 euro. For reference, a single ride is €2.40 euro. So if you plan to make more than 3 round trips from your hostel/Airbnb to downtown, we recommend you just purchase the week unlimited pass so you don’t have to stress about it.

Visit here for up-to-date prices and policies.

How to Use Vienna U-Bahn Passes

Vienna’s U-Bahn passes work on a validation system. This means that if you have an unlimited pass you will NOT be putting your pass in the validator stands upon entrance. Just keep walking, but make sure your pass is available to you and is valid for your dates.

Vienna police will monitor riders at various stations during your week there. Be prepared to show your pass, but unless they ask you can just keep walking. You only need to validate for single days and single trip fares.

Vienna City Bikes

riding bikes in vienna austriaVienna is known for great access to bicycling and there are public access bikes throughout the city that you can sign up for. Registration is only €1.00 euro and the first hour of use on any of the Vienna (Wien) city bikes is free. What a deal! Traffic in Vienna compared to any US city is not bad at all. It’s a bike-friendly city, so cycling your way around is a great option for your transportation if weather permits.

Sign up ahead of time here:

Vienna Taxis

We did not take any taxi’s while in Vienna, so if you’re on a budget during your travels, we recommend you don’t either. For reference, a Vienna taxi will cost about €36.00 for 2 passengers from VIE airport to City Centre.

Vienna Cellular Data & SIM Cards

During our first day in the city, we ventured downtown to a few local cell phone shops and ended up purchasing a SIM card from T-Mobile. It was the best value that we could find.

We ended up purchasing a 10GB Data Only SIM: ~€15EUR

We recommend for a week trip to get a SIM that has at least 500KB to 1000KB (1/2GB – 1GB) depending on how heavy of a cell phone user you are.

Read more: How to use SIM Cards and International Data plans

If you’re on the road for longer than a week, perhaps look into an international data plan. T-Mobile has good flexibility for international travelers looking for an affordable way to have access to the internet at all times.

Free Vienna Walking Tours We Recommend

prime tours vienna walking tourTry to out tourist dad vibe me, I dare you!

While in Vienna we participated in one of our favorite walking tours to date, and trust us, we take a lot of free walking tours.

Like other popular countries and cities, Austria has an educational requirement for tour guides. They are expected to have degrees in history to be a guide in the city. Unlike some places where being a guide is a good side gig to pay the bills, they take their country’s deep history seriously – and it reflects in the quality of their guides!

Katharina hosted our Prime Tours free walking tour. We began downtown with a group of about 15. There was a diverse group of people from Australia, USA, the UK, and others. As expected, we had a few in the group that decided they wanted to put our knowledgeable guide to the test: She wasn’t kidding when she mentioned having several degrees to be a guide. I’ve never seen someone know so much about historical topics and people!

We were impressed.

Our walking tour lasted a little over two hours and it covered everything from the rich history of composers in the city to well-known architecture and some of Vienna’s darker history from WWII. We highly recommend them!

You can book a tour with Prime Tours here:

We recommend you tip your guide: €10-20 euro/person and use the restroom before.

Coffee Shops in Vienna to Visit

vienna coffee shopsCoffee is an important aspect of most all European cultures, but it’s certainly not always the way Americans view their coffee. Same runs true in Vienna. If you’re looking for a “normal” American 16 oz drip coffee, it is certainly attainable, however espresso based coffee drinks (with cream) are Vienna’s specialty.

In fact, we learned on our walking tour that there is a deep coffee house culture and it plays an integral role in Vienna’s history and heritage. They view coffee houses as a place to relax, slow down, and connect with others. You can find the Viennese spending full days at coffee houses alone or with friends.

We recommend grabbing a coffee drink from some of our favorite spots:

Balthasar Kaffee Bar

It certainly is a coffee bar, don’t expect to find a seat there on a busy day. Their coffee is great so grab it on the go if you’re off for a day of adventuring instead of “coffee housing”.

Location: Praterstraße 38, 1020 Wien, Austria

Cafe EL.AN

This cafe is incredibly small and quaint. The coffee is amazing and the lady serving us was so kind and caring. Again, a great place to grab a coffee on your way to adventure for the day, or if you’re lucky to grab one of the 3-4 seats available like we did, sip on your cup as you discuss life’s deepest questions with a friend.

Location: Werdertorgasse 4, 1010 Wien, Austria


Phil is a bookstore/meets coffee shop. This was one of the few locations we spent extended time in to work during the day. It has decent coffee, but plenty of fun nooks and tables to hide away and get some serious remote work done for the day. Lots of couches, lots of plugs, and personally, I thought their coffee shop playlist was one of the best I’ve ever heard! We loved this location for the atmosphere.

Location: Gumpendorfer Str. 10, 1060 Wien, Austria


One of my all time favorite cafes was CoffeePirates. It’s a fairly large shop where they also roast their own beans. Their coffee, fresh sandwiches, and pastry selections were all amazing. The only trouble we had here was with the WiFi. It was hit or miss. This was likely a product of being a busy work day with the entire coffee shop filled with laptop users. I would highly recommend coming here for a great morning or afternoon treat.

Location: Spitalgasse 17, 1090 Wien, Austria


Restaurants, Food, and Drinks in Viennafood and drinks in vienna austria

Any trip is not complete without trying local food, drinks, and produce. Vienna doesn’t fall short with its incredible traditional eats from cake, schnitzels, beer, and more.

Grocery Shopping

grocery shopping in vienna travel guideWe’re big fans of Aldi in Europe, and Vienna was no different. However, in Vienna, they call their Aldi, Hofer. I’m told that the name is different because the owners of Austria Aldi’s got in a fight so they decided to change the name. Not sure if this is true, but please correct me if I am wrong!

Our typical first day in any new city in Europe consists of finding the nearest Aldi to shop at. Why? Well, they always have fair prices, local cuisine, and yummy pastries. This makes for a budget-friendly alternative than trying to eat out at restaurants every day you’re visiting Vienna (and maybe a few fruits and veggies to offset all those decadent foods).

Vienna Grocery List for a Week:

  • 1 x batch of bananas
  • 1-2 x tub(s) of plain yogurt
  • 1 x small bag granola
  • 1 x jar of jam for yogurt
  • 5-10 x pastries
  • 1lb x chicken or beef
  • 1 x box of pasta
  • 1 x jar of pesto or red sauce
  • 2 x bottles of Austrian wine
  • 1 x bag of carrots, broccoli, or box of crackers
  • 1 x tub of hummus
  • 1-2 types of local cheeses
  • 1-2 types of prosciutto or similar meats

Try to do your shopping earlier in the day. In Vienna, grocery stores and shops close at the end of the work day. We often times would find ourselves struggling to find somewhere that was open past around 7 PM.

Sacher. Das Original Cake

hotel sacher original cake vienna travel guideVienna is known for having some great cake. And the Sacher Das Original is perhaps one of the most iconic pieces of cake in the world.

Considered by many as one of the best pieces of cake, we had to put this claim to the test for ourselves. The Das Original is a very dense cake with a ganache frosting on top. It’s no doubt a pinnacle of cake perfection, and I’d say it’s definitely worth trying. However, my mom’s cake is better any day of the week (But then again, I’m partial).

Our order for two:

  • 2 x Das Orginal Cakes (yum) / 7,10 € per slice

Definitely a touristy experience. Be warned, but we didn’t have to wait in any line which is always nice! The cafe is in an incredibly gorgeous hotel, which is half the experience to sit on those red velvet couches!

Brau Bar

Brau Bar Vienna AustriaOne of our favorite restaurants while in Vienna was Brau Bar on the north-west outskirts of the city. On our first attempt to walk in we found that it’s not the place to go without a reservation. Due to its amazing authentic Austrian food (and halfway corny decoration), it seems to be a popular stomping ground by locals and tourists. We grabbed a reservation for the following day and boy am I glad we decided to try this place.

Our order for two:

  • 4 x König Ludwig Dunkel beers (our favorites, must get)
  • 2 x Fresh pretzels (must get)
  • 1 x Spareribs with roasted potatoes and garlic sauce (can skip)
  • 1 x Spaetzle with cheese, fried onions and leaf lettuce (life-changing, must get!)
  • 1 x Chocolate souffle semi-liquid (can skip)

Get a reservation here

For two we spent about: €50,00

Schöne Perle

Schöne Perle vienna austriaOn our first dinner, we insisted we must get a classic Vienna schnitzel and goulash. So what did we do? We Googled schnitzel and came upon Schöne Perle. We enjoyed the beer, schnitzel, and goulash but the service left a bit to be desired. We would still recommend it if you are in the area.

Our order for two:

  • 1 x Wiener Veal Schnitzel
  • 1 x Goulash (must get)
  • 2 x Beers

For two we spent about: €30,00

Tewa am Markt

As New-Yorkers, there is always a moment of craving some good falafel while we’re traveling abroad. We took refuge at Tewa am Markt when we literally wandered into their outdoor patio. Serendipity gave us just what we needed at that moment: A delicious homemade hummus, the best falafel I’ve ever had, warm pita, great service, and an outdoor patio. Heaven.

Our order for two:

  • 2 x Tewa’s falafel Main Course
  • 2 x Beers (Because you can’t have dinner without a beer in Vienna)

For two we spent about: €24,00

Sweet Hell

Another serendipitous find, but one we went back to an alarmingly high amount. Warning: You will want to go back every night. Coming from Budapest, we were already on a gelato kick but still adjusting to the Vienna costs. This place had great prices and really unique gelato flavors. The boy working there was also incredibly kind and let us try almost every flavor!

Our order for two:

  • 1 x Waffle cone with two flavors (to share)

We spent about: €2,60

Recommended Things to Do in Vienna, Austria

There are plenty of things to do in Vienna. You could spend years here and likely not scratch the surface of the deep history and the sights. While we spent a little over a week, these are some of the highlights we recommend you check out.

Spanish Riding School at The Hofburg

A horse ballet. It sounds crazy, but it’s true. Dancing horses run deep in Vienna’s history and we bore witness to it. If you’re on a budget and trying to decide what attractions or touristy things to do, this may not be on the top of your list.

However, we were in Vienna long enough and this sounded just weird enough to be right up our alley.

While the Spanish Riding School performances are less frequent and cost anywhere from €50-160+ euro, they also offer access to watch daily morning practices typically from about 10 AM – 12 PM.

This will cost you €15 euro/person and you can come and stay for the full two hours or leave whenever you would like. We got there about 15 minutes before they opened the practice and got our tickets. Once the doors opened we filed in and found a seat above the “arena” to sit and watch quietly as the horses warmed up and trained. You’ll want to be amongst the first in line if you want to sit.

It was interesting to peek into Vienna’s past time through way of horse dancing. While we were sitting there, quite honestly we were waiting for the horses to do jumps and kicks like they do in their performance. However, they mostly just trotted around and did shuffles which were still fun to watch.

Also, if you’re wondering, the horses are literally treated like royalty. We learned that each horse has a dedicated dietitian and they receive messages and acupuncture regularly. What a life they must live!

If you ask us, this is one of those fun-to-do activities but not a must-do! If you like horses go for it, if not, then spend the euro on one of Vienna’s many awesome museums.

Schonbrunn Palace

vienna travel guideWoah. I feel like a broken record by this point, but did we mentioned how magical Vienna is? The Schonbrunn Palace is no different. Caroline and I decided that on a down day when it was raining and mucky out that we would kill time and head on over on the U-Bahn to the Schonbrunn Palace. More simply known as the summer home for the royal family.

Schonbrunn Palace gardensSchonbrunn palace Grand Tour in Vienna

It just so happened that the rain cleared up as we arrived at the palace and the weather cleared up the number of tourists while we were there.

We spent about three hours touring the Palace. First, we adventured around the gardens which, for any Wes Anderson fans out there, is definitely a site of symmetry worth exploring.

Then we decided to spend €17.50 euro/each and do the audio guided palace tour that takes you from room to room explaining more about its history and uses of the palace and the monarchy.

BUDGET TIP: We recommend that if you do the inside tour that you choose the “Imperial Tour.” It’s about half the length as the “Grand Tour” and about 3 euro less. Once you get about halfway through the tour you’re ready to see other things and move on. Save the extra euro and go get yourself a schnitzel instead.


Flakturm (flak tower)

flakturm in vienna austriaAs we strolled on an evening walk we watched how Viennese peeps spend their evenings in the summer. Off in the distance, we noticed a large cement building structure that seemed very out of place. It looked completely abandoned and we approached this eyesore in the middle of the beautiful park Augarten.

Upon further Googling, we realized it was an old flak tower built by the Nazis in World War II to fend off air attacks from enemy forces. To stand near something that is so obviously a tower of hatred and fear truly will leave you changed (amongst happy families, children playing soccer, and beautiful landscaping).

Wow. Highly recommend you go see it for yourself.

Location: Flak tower, Augarten, 1020, 1020 Wien, Austria

Running in Prater

Prater Vienna AustriaIt’s not every day you get to take your morning run through Vienna’s Prater. Prater is a carnival amusement park with varying vintages of amusement rides like Ferris wheels, carnival games, and roller-coasters. While we didn’t adventure through Prater during the day we did take an early morning run through the grounds before anything was open. It was a blast and quite a unique way to get your workout in while traveling abroad.

If you’re into spooky abandoned carnival vibes this is an absolute must-do! It was also raining during our run which made the amusement park even creepier.

If your Airbnb is near the Wien Praterstern area like our was, try this little adventure out during a jog.

Location: 1020 Vienna, Austria

Language & Speaking in Vienna

While the official language of Austria is German, we found that almost everywhere we visited had English translated signs and menus. Most of the people in Vienna speak both German and English so don’t stress too much.

Currency Information in Vienna

The euro is used in Austria. For reference, at the date of writing this €1 EUR equals about $1.14USD. Vienna is like any other major city and it accepts credit cards almost everywhere. We recommend that you withdraw just enough cash to cover your touring tips and other small food vendor purchases. Like gelato… eat plenty of gelato.

Charging Your Electronics in Vienna

In Austria, the power plugs are of type F and C. The standard voltage is 230 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz. We travel with the below travel outlet and we love it because it covers most any outlet needs and also includes USB ports for your electronics. We recommend purchasing at least one if not two for your trip.

Universal Travel Adapter, All-in-one International Power Adapter 2.4A Dual USB, Wall Charger UK, EU, AU, Asia Price: $16.95 Universal Travel Adapter, All-in-one International Power Adapter 2.4A Dual USB, Wall Charger UK, EU, AU, Asia Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 04/30/2019

Vienna Instagram Accounts to Follow

If you’re planning to head to Vienna anytime soon, one thing that we catch ourselves doing time and time again in preparation for a trip is to follow some key Instagram accounts for inspiration on locations and things to do. Here are some that will provide you with a little additional inspiration for your adventures to Vienna:

Who Vienna is Perfect For

If you enjoy a city that seems to value taking a step back, slowing down a bit, and sipping on your coffee then this is the place for you.

While Vienna is far from the cheapest place in Europe to spend time in, you’re still spending less here than any comparable mid-size United States city.

Classical music lovers, architecture nerds, or anyone that enjoys the older style classic vibes and mountains of history. You best check this city out.

Our Thoughts on Vienna

In the end, Vienna is one of the most beautiful cities we have seen to date. Caroline and I both felt like we could see ourselves spending more time here in the future. If you’re looking for a truly inspirational city that will take your breathe away with the perfect amount of beauty and bustle, book your ticket!

Most Comfortable Way to Sleep in a Tent

most comfortable way to sleep in a tent

It’s no secret that the most comfortable way to sleep in a tent can be a hard task while out there adventuring in the world. Over the course of my tent adventuring days, I have found a few techniques and products that I have used to make sleeping in a tent as enjoyable an experience as humanly possible.

It’s also worth mentioning that cold and warm weather comfort are very different when it comes to staying comfortable in a tent.

How to Sleep in the Great Outdoors

When it comes to general knowledge about getting a great nights sleep in a tent I have a few pointers for you:

  1. Be sure to choose a safe and level campsite.
  2. If you’re unable to find a flat area to pitch your tent, be sure that your head is at least above your toes when sleeping. This ensures you don’t wake up in the middle of the night with headaches or worse.
  3. To avoid a late night soaking, don’t forget to put the rain fly Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. above your tent to prevent the morning dew or worse a night time storm from getting into your tent.

Most Comfortable Way to Sleep in a Tent in Cold Weather

comfortable sleep in a tent in cold weather

Being a midwest native I’m no stranger to a cold night.

That’s why I prefer to bundle up and prepare for a cold night over a warm one anytime. However, there are a few things to remember when preparing for the most comfortable way to sleep in a tent during the colder months.

Keep the base layer loose

Wear loose-fitting clothing for a base layer to allow blood to flow through your body during sleep.

Light Exercises

Do a few light exercises before bundling up in your sleeping bag Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. . This allows for your body to generate more heat, especially on cold nights.

Kelty Cosmic 20 Degree Sleeping Bag, Regular, Paradise Blue/Twilight Price: $116.95 Kelty Cosmic 20 Degree Sleeping Bag, Regular, Paradise Blue/Twilight Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 04/30/2019

Invest in a good Sleeping Pad

Be sure to have a good sleeping pad Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. to keep you far enough away from the cold ground below.

Comfortable Ways to Sleep in Warm Weather

Admittedly, warm weather camping is the type of camping I find myself doing the most.

Whether it be in a campground or in the middle of a dessert, the mugginess of a warm weather camp day can really make sleeping in tents uncomfortable.


In almost any situation hydration is your friend. I’ve found that the difference between a miserably hot day and a bearable hot day can be directly attributed to how hydrated I’ve kept myself throughout the day. We’d also recommend you use a water filter if you’re grabbing water from local sources. Bad water could wreak havoc on your adventure. Keep it clean and run it through a filter.

Stay Cool

It’s no secret that a powered fan or an endless supply of ice cubes could help in the warm weather environment. Although we know this could be a luxury to have in some environments, a rechargeable fan could be just the added amenity needed to make the warm weather a bit more enjoyable.

OPOLAR 5000mAh Battery Operated Fan, Camping, Outdoor Price: $25.99 OPOLAR 5000mAh Battery Operated Fan, Camping, Outdoor Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 12/11/2018

Repell the Bugs

Warm weather, more often than not means bugs will definitely be bugging you during your trip.

Besides the obvious mosquito spray, we recommend you pick up some permethrin. Permethrin Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. is an insecticide that will kill many of your pests on contact. You can get the spray to use in covering your clothes and gear to protect a majority of your exposure.

Additionally, it’s recommended that you pick yourself up a portable mosquito repeller to give your sleeping radius some peace from those bugs.

Thermacell MR150 Portable Mosquito Repeller Price: $19.89 Thermacell MR150 Portable Mosquito Repeller Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 04/30/2019



getting comfortable sleep in a campgroundWhether you’re adventuring in a winter wonderland or a hot dessert we hope you find some peace and quiet as you slumber. It sounds obvious, but the most comfortable way to sleep in a tent is a product of how well you prepare for your camping trip.

Be sure to judge accordingly and don’t try to skimp out on the small things that could make your sleep ten times more enjoyable.

We hope you have some exciting new camping and sleeping adventures, and as always comment below with any additional tips you have for a more enjoyable sleep in a tent.

Survival Filter vs LifeStraw

survival filter vs lifestraw

Once upon a time, there were very few options for fresh drinking water when adventuring in far-off lands. You’d have to make a fire, boil the water in a clean pot in hopes you rid it of all the nasty microbes, then hope for the best.  Everything has changed! That’s right, we’re talking about on-the-go water filters. When it comes to choosing the right water filtration for your outdoor adventures or for your doomsday preparation, there are plenty of options, but it really boils down to the Survival Filter vs LifeStraw.


LifeStraw Personal Water Filter, 3 Piece Price: $43.35 LifeStraw Personal Water Filter, 3 Piece Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 04/30/2019

LifeStraw has been a leading charge in the water filtration movement and offers many different water bottle and drinking solutions for a variety of different needs while you are on the go.

When you begin to compare the benefits of the LifeStraw versus the Survivor Filter, their variety of water bottles is one of the largest benefits to choosing a LifeStraw solution. When it comes to microbial filtration, however, the Survivor Filter does advertise that is filters down to .05 microns when the Lifestraw is a mere .2 microns. In a seriously dirty water scenario this could mean something, however, they both filter out an incredible amount of microns.

As you can see the LifeStraw does a pretty incredible job even in the most, dare I say, disgusting scenarios. From dark murky dirty water to clear and delicious the LifeStraw is able to transform your water instantly.

If the instant straw isn’t your on-the-go desire, they also sell an amazing amount of different water bottles as well that have the same technology as their classic LifeStraw does. Personally, my favorite looking one would be the LifeStraw Go water bottle solution.

LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle with 2-Stage Integrated Filter Straw for Hiking, Backpacking, and Travel, Purple Price: $41.61 LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle with 2-Stage Integrated Filter Straw for Hiking, Backpacking, and Travel, Purple Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 04/30/2019

A single LifeStraw is very affordable Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. and makes it a tough item to not pick up in your just-in-case scenarios. If you’re looking for something a little more professional I would say look onward to the Survival Filter below.

Survival Filter

If fashion statements are what you’re going, look elsewhere. If clean water and reusable features are your focus than the Survivor Filter vs the Life Straw is your best bet.

Survivor Filter - Virus Tested 0.05 Micron Portable Water Filter Price: $30.00 Survivor Filter - Virus Tested 0.05 Micron Portable Water Filter Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 04/30/2019

With a threaded end to screw into any standard bottle of water, it makes this survivor filter straw extremely useful and forgoes the need to purchase a dedicated water bottle which saves you time and money!

Additionally, the Survivor Filter has three filters that can all be easily replaced so you won’t need to purchase a new straw once you have gone through its 264 (1000 liters) gallons of filtrations that it is rated for.

The only real downside of this straw, in my opinion, is the dark green color. When adventuring in wooded and natural landscapes I could see myself losing the Survivor filter straw pretty easily with its green color blending into its surroundings. This is where the LifeStraw outshines the Survivor Filter. With the blue color that the LifeStraw has, it stands out. Since fresh drinking water is kind of important for survival I’d say color can matter!

Survival Filter vs LifeStraw, Which One Should You Get?

While both of these filters are great and will help in times of crises, adventure, or just general outdoor activities it depends on if you are looking to utilize it on a more regular basis and if you are going to be in an area where the water may be especially “dirty”. If that is the case, I’d recommend going with the Survival Filter however the LifeStraw is an extremely affordable and useable option as well if you are looking for something to add to your go-bag.

Since both options are affordable and do a great job of filtering you’re hard press to go wrong choosing either. And if you’re like me and just drink water straight from Icelandic ice caves than either is better than none.

Heart & Soul of Greenwich Village Food Tour Review

Heart and Soul Food Tour Greenwich Village-10

If you’re looking for a food tour to explore some of Greenwich Village’s best eats, sit down and prepare to feast.

Living in the city these days means Caroline and I spend most of our time either working on our walking tours or eating at home to save money. We only treat ourselves to the delights of New York City eats every now and again. When the opportunity came up to take a food tour and explore the Big Apple through it’s Greenwich Village restaurants, we jumped at the chance.

Foods of NY Tours is an incredible local food tour business here in the city. They’ve been around since 1999, which means I was barely feeding myself when they began sharing the best food in New York City with the world. So they know a thing or two about food!

While they offer many different food tours around Manhattan and Brooklyn, we chose to join their Greenwich Village “Heart & Soul” tour because it’s one of their most popular experiences.

So What Was It Like?

Our day began with meeting our group at a classic Italian family-style restaurant in the heart of Greenwich Village’s bustling Macdougal St. Joanna, our guide greeted us and instantly made us all feel welcomed. She prepared us for what we were about to experience in the next three hours of our day.

PS… Joanna was a rock star guide who really made us feel like old friends!

Joanna Russell - Foods of NY

After introductions, we headed to our very first stop, Cafe Dante. In an effort to not ruin the allure and surprise of the stops for you, this will be one of the few restaurants I will name in the review. You will have to join them on a future tour if you want to know all the fun stops first-hand!

We kicked off the many tastings with my personal favorite on the tour: Cafe Dante’s Burrata cheese Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. with Sea Salt on honeycomb, cranberry, and pecan sourdough flatbread. If that doesn’t get your taste buds salivating then the photo below may.

Cafe Dante - New York City Greenwich Village

One slice of this stuff was not enough for me, but I quickly learned to pace myself as we had seven more tastings to go. The burrata cheese was so soft and flavorful that I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to go back to traditional mozzarella ever again.

Once we finished with our first tasting, our guide Joanna took us around Greenwich Village. She shared not only the history about the food we were tasting, but also the surrounding areas such as Washington Square Park and the like.

From exploring the Village’s fast-casual Indian cuisine…

Masala Times Greenwich Village New York CityMasala Times Greenwich Village New York City


Exploring where to get the best coffee beans…


Porto Rico Importing Co. Tea and Coffee - New York CityPorto Rico Importing Co. Tea and Coffee - New York City


Finding a hidden gem to grab fresh spices, tea, and honey…


Sullivan Street Tea and Spice Company - New York City


To all kinds of desserts and cookies…


Oat Meals New York City CookieHeart and Soul Food Tour Greenwich Village-48


Every fifteen minutes we were trying or exploring something new. It made the tour so endlessly exciting!

And last but certainly not least, we need to mention the empanadas. Those sweet, sweet Empanadas.


Cuba Restaurant - Greenwich Village New York CityCuba Restaurant - Greenwich Village New York City

Caroline’s favorite and a close second fav for me were the empanadas from a place called Cuba.

There, we had a variety of traditional Cuban foods. The crust on the empanadas was perfectly crunchy and thick, while the fillings of spinach, cheese, and beef made for an almost out of body experience.

I wanted to eat more of these but at the tail end of the tour, my stomach was telling me that wouldn’t be wise.

Final thoughts

After sampling more than ten different foods, I left this food tour stuffed and extremely satisfied.

Being a New Yorker, I often find myself getting stuck in a routine and forget that there are hundreds, no thousands, of new restaurants and activities I have yet to explore. This food tour was no different. Now Caroline and I have a list of Greenwich Village spots that we must return to for full meals.

At a price of $54 per person, this food tour doesn’t disappoint!

In fact, I am stunned at how affordable it was for just how much food you get during the tour. Alcoholic beverages are not included in the price, so be sure to bring an extra $10-$20 if you’d like to enjoy some wine or mojitos along the journey.

If a good blend of food, local businesses, and history is what you’re looking for in a New York City tour, I’d recommend giving the Foods of NY Heart & Soul Greenwich Village tour a try!

Okay, time to go find that cheese again…

Full disclosure: Opinions are our own and we have not received compensations for this review.