travel brilliantly

A Day of Nashville Staples

BY CAILIN BURKE

After we got our fix of the Nashville skyline and remembered the country music greats at the Walk of Fame Park, we went straight to Broadway for some cowboy boot shopping! There are a ton of stores that have aisles and aisles of boots so if you’re looking for some, why not get them in Music City!? They were all so fun and intricate, but they had some great classic pairs too. The shops we went to definitely had the most unique cowboy boots I’ve seen – so they were the perfect place to find those statement boots. Tara found a pair that looked so good on her, but they were all super expensive to no surprise, so we mostly window shopped.

IMG_5241Screen Shot 2017-04-10 at 1.22.18 AMIMG_5273Screen Shot 2017-04-10 at 1.23.22 AM

(more…)

Feature Friday: Hostelgeeks

Happy Feature Friday!

Today we’re doing something a little different and are featuring HostelGeeks, a travel blog dedicated to letting you know about the amazing hostels you can book during your travels. We almost always stay in hostels when we travel, but oftentimes we want an upgrade from the typical dorm experience that comes to mind when you think of hostels. A lot of our favorite hostels actually contributed to how great our trip was whether it was the excellent staff, peaceful ambiance, cool decor or opportunities for social interactions with the other guests. This makes HostelGeeks an excellent resource for us and for anyone looking for hostels that are a step above the rest. Read on to learn more about what you’ll find on the HostelGeeks page!

Castle Logo: Tell us about Hostelgeeks?

Screenshot (5): Hostelgeeks is the niche travel blog of Anna & Matt. At Hostelgeeks we collect 5 Star Hostels from all over the world, based on transparent criteria. Every 5 Star Hostel fits the 5 Star Hostel criteria of

1) ecofriendly

2) superb design

3) uniqueness

4) social character, and

5) great staff

By ticking these boxes and by meeting the transparent criteria, we make sure our fellow-travelers stay only at great Hostels. Simply put: We are the shortcut to awesome Hostels! As for booking, we recommend to check out the official website of the hostel, as we do not offer any booking service on our website. Also, we just launched an eBook based around the Greatest Hostels in Europe. Within this eBook we included up to 10% discount for all these fantastic Hostels in Europe. Additionally, we share our secret tips about the destinations we visit. We have friends in Paris and New York and we have befriended fellow-bloggers in Tokyo, Sydney and Dublin. This way we have access to some really secret tips for these destinations. We share them through our so-called Geeky Guides, which you can download for free on hostelgeeks.com. Take Dublin for instance. Here we share with you 5 hidden gems of Dublin, such as where to take a dip in the sea at 7am in the morning, and where to score a great, personal recommended restaurant. Travel recommendations by friends for friends.

5starhostels-hostelgeeks

(more…)

Horse Back Riding to Epic Waterfalls

BY TARA BURKE

Another thing that we really wanted to do in Costa Rica was go horse back riding. A lot of my friends tease me for being a horse girl even though before this trip I had never ridden a horse. I watched one series where I learned more about horses and whenever any topic about horses came up I’d always have something to say about it, so from then on I was horse girl, haha! So as many can attest, I was excited to actually ride a horse and to a beautiful waterfall nonetheless!

IMG_0725

(more…)

Manuel Antonio –> Drake Bay

BY CAILIN BURKE

For our next leg of the trip we headed to the small (like really small) town of Sierpe to catch a boat to Drake Bay. Drake Bay is a part of the Osa Peninsula, one of Costa Rica’s most biodiverse sections, which made it more difficult to get to – but totally worth it. After arriving in Sierpe and leaving our rental car in a grassy knoll for $3 a day, we hopped on a boat and off we went!

IMG_0587IMG_0447

(more…)

Manuel Antonio- El día número uno

BY TARA BURKE

After our day on the road we stayed in Manuel Antonio for a few days! On our first full day there, we had plans to go ziplining at El Santuario Canopy Adventure Tour. Our tour van picked us up bright and early at 7:30am and we headed to the tour site. We drove through acres of palm oil trees to get to the tour’s campsite where we were greeted with fresh cut watermelon. The guides suited us up with all our ziplining gear, gave us a quick rundown of all the safety procedures and we were off! As we were hiking up to our first tree platform we actually got to see a about five toucans sitting in the canopy. It ended up being the only time we saw toucans, so we were extremely happy we saw them on our tour as they’re one of Cailin and I’s favorite bird.

IMG_0030

IMG_0017

(more…)

Liberia, Puntarenas & Jacó

BY TARA BURKE

This January we had the chance to travel to Costa Rica. We were super excited to go on this trip since it had been in the works for years. We landed in Liberia, picked up our rental car and stayed the night in the city. Our hostel had this cute little backyard with string lights and hammocks, so we stayed out there a bit and talked with the other hostel guests.

IMG_9754

(more…)

Marriott #GetTeleported

BY: TARA BURKE 

In Cailin’s reporting class she is in charge of travel related news. In her research she stumbled upon Marriott Hotel’s new promotion, #GetTeleported, in which they take guests to Hawaii and London through virtual reality. Using the Oculus Rift wearers are taken to Hawaiian beaches and get to see London from a skyscraper view. They add to the experience through misty air and scents of the beach in Hawaii, the platform underneath you moving when you go through the teleportation vortex and wind and city sounds in London. We both wanted to check out this technology and decided to try it when it came to NYC. It was pretty cool to be able to have a 360 degree view of Hawaii and London. That was probably the coolest part about the Oculus Rift. In terms of picture quality, to us it was still a little fuzzy and pixilated. I definitely knew I was in a “virtual” world. Either way it was interesting to see where virtual reality technology may be headed in the future! There are still more stops on the #GetTeleported tour so if it is coming to your town give it a try!

photo 1 5.40.23 PM

Watch Cailin get teleported: http://fast.wistia.net/embed/iframe/a6chbpncrq

photo 3 5.40.23 PM

Watch Tara get teleported:  http://fast.wistia.net/embed/iframe/nz3cbk5bzp