Dan and Audrey from major travel blog Uncornered Market are a professional writer/photographer team who have visited a whopping 75 countries in the last six years! With all that trekking around the globe, these nomads are naturally full of helpful travel tips and advice – and we wanted to tap into all that knowledge. Lucky for us, the duo kindly agreed to answer some questions from our HotelsCombined community and recently provided their guidance on destinations ranging from Colombia to Singapore. Without further ado, here’s your travel advice from the experts:
“I’ve travelled around South America, but have never been to Colombia and have heard differing reports on it, in terms of safety. How safe is it really and are there some places you should avoid?” – Yury Glikin via Facebook
Uncornered Market: We have not spent much time in Colombia, but we know many people who have travelled extensively through the country and did not have any problems with safety. In cities, you’d still need to be careful of petty theft like pickpocketing, but the country has become much safer over the last few years. In fact, several people we know have moved there after visiting.
“I am planning to go to Singapore, for 10 days with my family. We love it but we have already been several times, so this time we thought it would be nice to go outside Singapore for 2 or 3 days, but I don´t want to get on another plane… so it would need to be accessible by car, boat… any ideas?”
– Elia San Martin via Facebook
UM: For a quick trip outside of Singapore, why not try a few days in Kuala Lumpur? It takes a few hours by bus to get there and the city is fun to explore for a few days. The Batu Caves just outside the city are a fascinating and beautiful set of Hindu temples.
“New Zealand is on my bucket list and trying my best to plan it well to get most of it! When is the best time to be there with a two year old kid, at least how many weeks should I plan to be able to see both islands and enjoy most attractions, should we rent a car and use B&B or is camper van better?” – Cemine Öztürk Sezgin via Facebook
UM: We’re coming to you from New Zealand today! As for the best time to visit, I’d suggest February as it is still summer and warm, but the New Zealand summer vacation has come to an end. Try to plan for three to four weeks to be able to see both islands and not completely rush. I’d recommend a camper van so that you have complete freedom to sleep in different places and not be dependent on towns for B&Bs. This would also cut down on your accommodation costs as well.
“5 Tips for Brand new travellers and your TOP THREE essentials things you must bring (that we might not think of)?” – Ryan McRae via Twitter
UM: We always like low-tech gear, so here are a few of the things we always have in our bags:
- Sarong: Not only is a sarong great for the beach, but it can be used in an emergency as a towel, skirt, or blanket.
- Earplugs: A good night’s sleep is sometimes more precious than gold for a traveller. Wear earplugs to drown out noises inside and outside your hotel.
- Foldable windbreaker: A simple windbreaker (either water resistant or waterproof) that folds into a small packet is perfect for hiking, protecting against rain, and just keeping warm at night as temperatures drop. It doesn’t take up much space in the suitcase, but it’s so versatile. With my simple windbreaker as my outer layer (of 5 layers), I’ve climbed mountains in Nepal and Peru.
A big thanks to Uncornered Market for helping us out with those inquiries! And of course, as you should all know by now, we here at HotelsCombined have a fair bit of travel expertise ourselves – ESPECIALLY when it comes to hotels! So we thought we’d try our hand at answering a few questions as well:
“Love to find out more about Las Vegas and route 66, best deals, best time of year to go and best places to visit, which is the best way to travel on route 66 etc” – Carole Bevan via Facebook
Hotels Combined: Hi Carole, you’ll love Route 66 – it’s a very fun, iconic strip! The best time to travel is probably between May and September to avoid any winter snow – just make sure you’re in a car with air conditioning as it can get quite warm throughout the summer months! The best way to travel, in our opinion, is with plenty of time on your hands and with a flexible agenda. There are a LOT of roadside attractions and part of the fun of the trip is just stopping along the way when something catches your eyes. Absolute must-sees along the way include the quirky Wigwam Motel, the Petrified Forest National Park, the Meteor Crater in New Mexico and of course, the Grand Canyon. Naturally, for best deals, we recommend using HotelsCombined to find awesome accommodation discounts! 🙂
Best hotel pool scene in Singapore? Need a hotel with the most fab pool to relax/drink cocktails for a week! – Gina via Twitter
HC: The first place you should consider is definitely the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. Located 57 storeys above ground and stretching longer than the Eiffel Tower, this pool offers crazy views of the city! The Mandarin Oriental also offers a great hotel pool with half-submerged loungers, water fountains and cabana service. Lastly, we love the Capella Singapore for its private plunge pools and carefully manicured outdoor pool area.