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Road Trip Tips for Couples

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Nothing will test your relationship much like travel. We have interviewed more than 50 couples on the Travel Couple Podcast that would agree with the last statement. Quite a few of those couples, us included, have done a road trip together. Just themselves. Together in a vehicle. For hours on end. This will test your relationship like no other.

Having been on a few road trips ourselves and interviewed many other couples who have also done the same for much longer than we have ever done, we figured it would be beneficial to create a road trip tips for couples post that would round up all of the great advice that we have received and the experiences that we have been through.

There is a lot that needs to be factored in to a successful road trip with your significant other. If you have never been on one, much less traveled together, perhaps you would be better off taking baby steps towards your first road trip.

Nonetheless, however you want to begin your road trip and no matter your destination, a road trip will really help you learn more about one another and either break you two apart or draw you closer than ever before.

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Road Trip Tips for Couples


Road Trip Tips for Couples

Road Trip Advice for Couples

Our road trips together are the most memorable. Oh the times I drove hours upon hours through South Africa while Natalie slept in the passenger seat. Good times.

But in all seriousness, road tripping is one of our favorite things to do while traveling. Being able to travel at your own pace and to have the freedom to go wherever you want and do whatever you want is the best part about having your own vehicle or renting one.

There is a lot of thought that goes in to deciding to road trip your country or a country that you are traveling to. Making sure that you are properly prepared and you both understand what to expect with the trip is extremely important. Ultimately this will be a great relationship test in problem solving, planning, and most of all communication.

  1. Start with Smaller Road Trips

  2. Traveling is difficult. There are a lot of unforeseen circumstances that will occur throughout your travels and you need to conquer them as a couple. Check out our advice for your first trip as a couple post should you be deciding to travel together for the first time.

    Road tripping is going to be even more difficult, especially if you are doing a long-term trip together. If you have never done this before, make sure you start with smaller and shorter trips. Make sure that the two of you are actually compatible before leaving for a one year road trip through an unknown country that will have the two of you clawing at each other’s throats.

    Try drawing up a plan to go to wine country, a string of nearby cities, or a trip to the next major city during a weekend or long weekend. See how the two of you work together, plan together, and problem solve together. Starting in a familiar place will be less stressful on the two of you and will help prepare the two of you for a longer road trip in an unfamiliar place.

    This is the greatest piece of advice shared on our podcast by other couple travelers, but we did not follow this advice before going on our first road trip. However, we had traveled together to six different countries before deciding to do a two week road trip through South Africa.

    During these trips we learned from one another and were able to understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses when traveling. This brings us to the preparation portion of the road trip.

  3. Prepare for Your Road Trip

  4. Beyond preparing the items that you need to bring with you for your road trip, you should be working to prepare your route, destinations, pit stops, and accommodation.

    This is where you need to collaborate and / or assign tasks with one another to ensure that you have thought about where you are going and how you are going to get there. This becomes a little bit more involved than if you were just planning an itinerary somewhere. Now you need to plan out the route that you are going to drive and stops along the way.

    Will you be driving an RV and sleeping in the parking lots of businesses that allow this? Will you be sleeping at camp sites or would you prefer to have a nice mix of hotels and roughing it? This is what needs to be considered when thinking about your accommodation. Having an app that can provide you with campsites and places that allow you to sleep in their parking lots is always helpful.

    Do you know that your route has gas stations along the way or will you need to pack a can to fill up when you need to in order to have some back. Is your route safe? What do you need to be aware of when you are driving, especially at night time? Do you know the rules of the road? Do you need an international driver’s permit? Are you actually allowed to drive in this country?

    All of these questions need answering and they will all have different answers depending on where you are traveling to. Make sure you have your route planned out on a physical map as well as your mobile device so that you have two options to choose from should something happen to one.

    Preparation is the key to any successful road trip.

  5. Communicate Your Road Trip Expectations

  6. Each person will have their own expectations when traveling or road tripping. Make sure that you communicate these expectations before you hop in the vehicle and realize that one of you does not want to drive at all leaving it entirely to the one partner to drive.

    There are a lot of questions you need to consider based on your expectations which is why we recommend that you try shorter road trips before graduating to a longer trip which will indeed be more taxing.

    What do you want to see on your road trip? What stops do you want to make? Who will do the driving? Who will take care of the directions? How many times per day do you need to stop? What will you be eating on the road trip? Will you be okay having snacks during the day if you need to drive a lot? Are you okay with sleeping in a parking lot? Are you okay with sleeping in a campground? How many days are you okay without using a shower? Would you prefer to stay in AirBnBs? What are we going to do when we are in the car for hours upon end with each other? What will we talk about?

    These questions are good starting points to your road trip, but you should continue to communicate with your partner before and during your road trip about your expectations and anything that has changed. This will really be beneficial to your relationship and set you up for success in the future.

  7. Plan for the Worst, Hope for the Best

  8. What if you get a flat tire? What happens if your vehicle breaks down at night in the middle of nowhere? What do you need to do if you get into an accident? Do you have insurance? What is your insurance company’s phone number to contact once you get into an accident?

    We have a printed piece of paper in our glove department that steps us through what you need to do if you get into an accident. This helps us not forget anything important by going through the steps and what we need to do, especially in a situation where you may not be thinking clearly.

    Whenever we travel, we have our insurance company’s phone number with us at all times to call should there be an emergency. Remember that you need to call your insurance company as soon as there is an accident. If there is a hospital visit involved, they will tell you which hospital to go to.

    Do you know how to change a flat tire? Perhaps it would be beneficial for you to practice before hitting the road should there be a problem. Also learning where the windshield wiper fluid goes is extremely important.

    If your car breaks down at night in the middle of nowhere, what are you going to do? Make sure you have a plan for this. Bring charging ports into the car with you so that you can charge your phones in case of emergency. If your battery dies in the car and your phones die, you are likely walking or waiting for help. In the winter, this would not be ideal so make sure that you have a charged phone just in case.

    Ultimately you need to have plans put in place for the worst case scenarios and to hope for the best. Likely these worst case scenarios will not come to be, but it is always important to know what you are doing if they ever do. Also, make sure both of you know these things. You never know what could happen and if one person is unable to do the thinking, then the other person should be able to pull the weight. This is the benefit to traveling as a couple and not solo.

  9. Research Fun Things for Couples to do on a Road Trip

  10. There are a lot of fun things for couples to do on a road trip to fill their time. It is not all about one person driving and the other sleeping. It is about making the most out of every moment that you have together.

    You can listen to audio or plan some road trip games for couples along the way. Though these games would not necessarily be the most engaging of games, as one person is driving and you are not likely to be pulling out Hungry Hungry Hippos to get a game in quickly. However, it will help to get to know the two of you a little better and have some laughs along the way.

    Things like podcasts and audio books are great resources to play if you are tired of the same music playing on the radio and want to learn something. You can plan a podcast for the destination you are at to learn more about the country or city. There are also a lot of road trip games for couples to play as well.

    • Would You Rather is a great game to play to learn more about one another by asking if the other person would rather insert something they would or would not want to do or insert something they would or would not want to do.
    • I Spy where you look for something around your and state “I spy something that is insert color or shape.
    • Twenty Questions where you think of a noun and the person has twenty yes or no questions to guess what it is that you are thinking of.
    • Letter Game where you say a word and the last letter in that word needs to be the first letter of the next word that the other person needs to say. To make this more difficult you would think of a category like “Celebrities” or “Animals”.
    • Car Game where you state a color of car, make of car, or license plate number or letter and every time you see that you call it out and get a point.
  11. Think of Some Road Trip Conversations for Couples

  12. Besides playing games, the two of you can use this road trip to really have some great conversation together. You can think about your future or your next trip together. Plan a bucket list and think about where you see yourselves in five, ten, or twenty years.

    Check in with each other about how you are feeling. One couple we interviewed on the Travel Couple Podcast would ask each other, “on a scale of one to ten, how do you feel?” at the end of a day. This would be a good conversation starter about how they felt either positively or negatively and help clear anything up that needed to be.

    Talk about what you think of the road trip, the country, interactions with locals, food, culture, anything about your current trip and how you could compare it to your past trips together.

    I do not think I need to tell you how you should start conversations with your significant other, but if dead air makes you uncomfortable and your are out of conversation starters, here is a list of road trip questions for couples you can start with:

    • Where do you see us in the future?
    • Ask about past.
    • Reminisce on memories together or separate.
    • What do you want to accomplish in life?
    • What do you want to accomplish on this trip?
    • Where do you want to travel to next?
    • What is on your bucket list?
    • If you retired today and you had enough money to do anything, what would your life look like?
    • If you were insert dire situation here (ex. stranded on a desert island, stuck in the wilderness, etc.), what would you do?
    • If you were stranded and could only have one item, what would it be?
  13. Have Fun and Make Some Memories

  14. Traveling and road tripping is all about the memories that you will make and be able to share together for many more years to come. It will challenge you beyond what you are used to and the two of you will need to overcome the obstacles that are presented to you.

    You will be with each other for a long time and in close proximity for hours on end. You want this time together to be enjoyable. You want it to be something that you can remember fondly of for the rest of your lives.

    This is why if and when an argument presents itself, you need to work together to move past it as fast as you can. This does not mean sweep it under the rug and pretend it did not happen. This means coming up with a strategy to really work through an argument and fix it.

    We have found that giving each other a chance to talk for a few minutes without the other one interrupting has been really beneficial to our communication when in an argument. Instead of using words that place blame on the other person, use how you feel based on the situation. This makes sure the other person does not need to defend themselves, but also clarifies how they made you feel.

    Having some quiet time with your own thoughts instead of raising your voices at one another is also another good strategy. Take a twenty to thirty minute break from an argument if it does not seem like it is going anywhere. This allows the emotions to calm down and for the two of you to think clearly.

    Make the most of your time together and move past arguments as soon as you can. This will ensure that you will have a road trip that you will both look back on positively and you will want to repeat this again in the future.


Road Trip Tips for Couples

Conclusion

As we said, road tripping is one of the most challenging things to do together as a couple when you are traveling. There is not a lot of time away from each other. You will be confined to a small space just inches away from each other for hours on end.

This is why it is crucial to plan, communicate, and enjoy this time together. Make the most of the time that you have and make some amazing memories together. Do not let a petty argument get in the way of enjoying the limited time that you may have at a destination and really take the opportunity to learn more about one another.

This will be a great challenge for your relationship.


Road Trip Tips for Couples

Advice for Your First Trip as a Couple


Travel is the best way to grow your relationship together. It will help you learn more about one another by breaking the routine of life at home. Travel will put you into situations that you would never experience in your day-to-day lives of being at home.

Home is comfortable. It is what you are used to and you know what to expect. You know the places you enjoy, and the places you prefer to stay away from. You know the language and the people. There is nothing about home that is unfamiliar, especially when it comes to the routine of your daily life.

Travel is nothing like that. Travel can be at times, uncomfortable. You do not know exactly what to expect from it and at times it can be completely unpredictable. You may not know the language of the place you will travel to and you will definitely not know the people. Everything will be unfamiliar. Yet, it is outside of your comfort zone that you will learn the most about yourselves and one another.

This is what helps you to grow as a couple and overcome obstacles. Because there will be many of those put in your path when you travel together. You will quickly learn what you need to plan for, who is better suited for different tasks, who can navigate, who can plan, who can problem solve, and who can keep the mood positive even when the most negative things happen.

Though Natalie and myself are not full time travelers, I feel that it is during our travels that we have learned the most about each other and this has helped us grow our relationship to new levels. This is why we feel so passionately about couples getting out and traveling the world together.


Advice for Your First Trip as a Couple

First Trip as a Couple

Your first trip as a couple is going to be incredible. You will learn the most about each other during this trip. It will also most likely be the most challenging trip that you take together as a couple before things become more apparent as to who takes on which role in the planning stages and during the trip.

Now when we talk about travel, we do not mean going to an all-inclusive resort where you do not even need to leave and all the meals are prepared for your leaving all of the planning and problem solving to someone else. We are talking about the travel where everything needs to be prepared in advance by yourselves or at least in the moment. This includes transportation, accommodation, food, and itinerary. This is what we mean by traveling.

Our first trip came when we traveled China and Nepal. Immediately we tested our flexibility when just weeks before our departure, the plane was rescheduled and our eight day Nepal trip turned into a three day Kunming, China trip and a five day Nepal trip. We had to make a quick decision if we should continue with the new plan or make a new one. With finding that there were no other affordable plane rides out of our country, we decided to continue with the China and Nepal trip and enjoy the short amount of time we would have in each destination.

It was the right decision, as we thoroughly enjoyed each destination and everything it had to offer. We discovered more about each other in those eight days together than we had in the previous five months that we had been together at that point.

I learned that Natalie really missed her home food whenever we went traveling so we had to make sure that we found a Korean restaurant wherever we were staying every once in a while. I also learned that she really loves finding the best food places for us to eat at while we are traveling. I discovered that I am best suited to plan the itinerary and the transportation from one place to another. I also am the one who is the luggage carrier, while Natalie is the document carrier and makes sure that we are all prepared when we get to a location.

We also learned the best ways to communicate with each other and when we have an argument that we should move past it as soon as possible in order to avoid having our trip ruined by something so small. Also, that we should always pack snacks and water for our day excursions to avoid becoming hangry.

There is so much that we have learned about each other through travel, that we felt we should discuss these tips with you for first time couple travelers. Along with what we have learned, we have also interviewed several other travel couples on the Travel Couple Podcast to discuss what they have learned about one another and to ask for their advice for first time couple travelers as well.


Advice for Your First Trip as a Couple List

  1. Plan and Prepare Together

  2. When you are planning your first trip with your significant other, make sure you do it together. Sit down and really plan out what you want to do. The main reason for this is to really understand what each other wants out of traveling.

    You may not want the same things when you travel. For example, one person may want to visit all of the museums while the other may want to relax on a beach. Make sure to choose the accommodation together so you can both choose what type of accommodation you will be staying at, whether it is a hostel, hotel, or AirBnB and the conditions of those.

    Plan the itinerary together and be very clear with each other about what you want to see and plan your days accordingly. Make sure each day has a balance of what each person wants to do.

  3. Communicate

  4. Communication is so key to a successful relationship. It is extremely crucial when traveling together as a couple. From the planning and preparation that we discussed in the previous point to the time you are actually traveling together, constantly communicating with each other is important to make sure that you are making the most out of your trip.

    Just remember that you may never visit the same place again, so make sure that you accomplish what you want to get done. So letting one another know what you cannot miss during your trip is important to your enjoyment of your travels.

    One of our couples that we interviewed on our Travel Couple Podcast talked about how at the end of each day they ask each other how they feel on a scale of 1 to 10. This helps begin the discussion of whether or not you feel like you have enjoyed your travels together and if you are holding back something that you wanted to say.

    Travel is a great way to work on your communication skills together which will help you in your relationship. There is nothing like travel to help work on your relationship.

  5. Compromise

  6. This is so important when you are traveling together. It is likely that the two of you want some of the same things and some different things from your travels. You will not want to do everything that the other wants to do and vice versa.

    This is where compromise comes in. After planning your trip and communicating to each other what you want to do, you may need to compromise on some things. This is a great way to practice what is truly important to you and what you are willing to compromise on and what you are not willing to. Again, another skill that you can work on when traveling that can be applied to your relationship.

    When you are planning, make sure that you make a mental note of what you are willing to compromise on and what you are not willing to. This will help when you are traveling as you may not be able to accomplish everything you wanted to on any given day. Not everything will go as planned when traveling.

  7. Take Your Own Time

  8. If you are traveling for just a short amount of time, you may not have the excess time to spend away from each other. Though if you are traveling for a longer amount of time together, you may want to schedule in some time away from each other to just refresh.

    It can be enjoyable to just go to a nearby cafe and have a coffee by yourself or to split up for an afternoon to do some things that you wanted to do that you were not willing to compromise on.

    This is not for every couple, but it can be a good thing to practice in your relationship if it is something that you see yourself needing. Having your own alone time is important, whatever you want to accomplish during your own time.

  9. Work and Problem Solve Together

  10. Things will go wrong when you travel. There is no doubt about that. Travel is unpredictable. That can be the best and worst thing about it. When the unexpected happens, make sure that you work together towards a solution rather than working against each other.

    Especially when it was not your fault and something goes wrong, it can be easy to just blame it on someone else. But when you are traveling and time is limited, that is not necessarily where you want to put your time and energy. Instead, work on a solution together and problem solve together. This is a great way to practice your problem solving skills in your relationship.

    It can also help you on working together and moving past things that happen.

  11. Move Past It

  12. Moving past things is important in a relationship. Instead of letting something ruin your time together, working together to move past something is just as important as problem solving. This is true when you are back home, and even more true when you are traveling.

    You have limited time when on the road and making memories. Do not let a petty argument ruin your time and memories that you could be sharing while traveling. Work to communicate, problem solve, and move past your arguments as soon as possible so that you can make the most of your time.

  13. Understand Things Will Go Wrong

  14. This may be the most important. You should both understand that not everything will go as planned when traveling. There will always be things that come up that will make your trip even more enjoyable, but there will also be things that come up that will make your trip seem like it is going downhill.

    If you go into your trip knowing that there will be things that go wrong, then you are already prepared for when something does not go as planned. Plan your trip together, but just understand that travel is all about going with the flow.


Zocalo, Mexico City Walking Tour

Conclusion

Travel is the best thing that you can do as a couple. Everything you learn about each other while on the road can be applied to your relationship when back at home. It will help you work on so many skills that will help your relationship flourish.

Planning your trip is exciting. Planning your trip with your significant other is even more exciting. The memories that you will share together will never go away. So make the most of your time together while on the road. Get out there and work on yourself and each other.

There is nothing like travel to help build your relationship together.

Relationship Building Activities Based Around Travel


Being in a relationship is hard work. There is no doubt about it. With so much going on in each of your lives, it can be increasingly difficult to make time for one another. And time is what you need to provide to one another because a relationship is always about building it and investing into one another.

If you do not invest time into your relationship, then it deteriorates. This happens to a lot of relationships over time. Nor is it something that either person wants to happen. It is not something that happens abruptly. It is something that slowly happens until you feel your relationship has become broken.

As much as we may enjoy coming home from our work and just laying down for the remainder of the night or relaxing and staying in on a weekend, this can quickly become routine. Also, these are activities that are not relationship building.

As a couple you should be investing your time into your relationship. Work already can take a lot of your time, so it is important to make the rest of your hours in the day on activities that build your relationship. What we have prepared in this post is a list of activities that will build your relationship, trust building exercises for couples, and things you can invest your time on in a relationship based around travel to make sure that your relationship only continues upwards.


Relationship Building Activities Based Around Travel

Relationship Building Activities

We believe their is no better way to build a relationship than to travel. No, travel does not need to be all about booking a flight, hotel, and planning a multi-day itinerary. It can be as simple as hoping in the car and driving to the nearest town or even walking around your city.

On the Travel Couple Podcast we have interviewed more than fifty couples who agree that travel can really help to build a relationship. For so many of these couples, travel is more about exploring their own country, state, province, or city, and when they can they hop on a plane to visit another country.


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Every week we interview a couple who is living, or is striving to live, the digital nomad lifestyle. Tune in to our Travel Couple Podcast weekly to get advice from the best!

Now that we have established that travel is not just about taking a vacation, but it can be a simple day or half day excursion, we can really talk about the different activities you can do with your significant other to help build your relationship.

With this list, we progress from the simple things that you can do with your significant other that will take a short amount of time and will not take you too far from your home to the things that are a little more complex that will take more time and take you further away from your home.

  • Have a meal at a new restaurant.

  • This can be done anywhere at anytime. It does not require a significant amount of research. It also gets you out of the house and into a new environment which breaks you from your typical routine.

    This is a great choice due to its simplicity and not requiring a significant amount of resources. It is also great because you will make a new memory together that breaks what you are used to, you can enjoy some time away together, and you may even find a new great place for a meal.

  • Learn a new hobby that makes you travel.

  • If you do not enjoy traveling, then perhaps you need a hobby that forces you to travel outside of your city. Things like snowboarding and skiing, fishing, or photography are great hobbies to learn together that will force you to get outside of your house and into a new place.

  • Visit an attraction you have never been to together.

  • This can be done in your city or the nearest city with something you have never done before. Every city has something that you can visit. Something that makes it special. That is an attraction that you can visit for an hour or two, half a day, or even making a weekend around it.

    • Beach
    • Plan a day at the beach where you can enjoy a picnic, beach games, or just enjoy the sun and the waves together. This will test your planning skills together and also provide a nice day or half day away from home where you can just enjoy each other’s company.

    • Museum
    • If you want to go for a walk and learn something new or perhaps there is a new exhibit that you want to see, then you need to plan a date to the museum. This could mean a trip to a major city or supporting a local museum, but it gets you two experiencing something new together.

    • Wine / Beer tasting
    • If you enjoy either of these tasty beverages, then organizing a weekend in wine country or visiting a local brewery is a great way to spend some time together. Especially with all of the craft breweries that have opened up in almost every city, you are sure to find one within driving distance that you can try out.

    • Tours
    • There are tours available that can show you something new in a city near you. From biking, walking, Segway, and boat tours, there are so many options for you to choose from to get out of the house and explore. Not only that, but you can even find tours available for you in a city near you.

    • Shopping Mall
    • Visiting a new shopping mall is always a nice way to spend some time together while getting some foot exercise in while you are at it. You never know what nice new shops you may stumble upon or even interesting things inside the mall you were not expecting.

  • Outdoor activities.

  • Nothing can test your relationship more than a trip to the outdoors. This can be something that really tests you to plan together and to really try something that will help to build your relationship and trust in one another. As well as get some fresh air and exercise into your lungs together.

    • Camping
    • Preparing your camping trip requires a lot of planning from packing the essentials to preparing what you are going to eat. Then you are going to need to find a campsite. However, this can be a great way to get out of the house on a weekend excursion to get some fresh air and really work on being together and building your relationship in peace.

    • Glamping
    • If you are not big into outdoor activities, but are craving an outdoor experience together then perhaps glamping is for you. Glamping is simply glamorous camping which means that you rent out a tent that generally has all the essentials that is needed much like a trailer or cottage would have. This really takes away from some of the preparing that would be needed if you were to go camping, but does not take away from the outdoors experience.

    • Rent a cottage or trailer
    • You can take it one step further and rent out a cottage or trailer for the ultimate comfort experience while in the outdoors. This is the best way to get away and into the outdoors without having to sacrifice any of the luxuries you enjoy at home.

    • Hiking
    • Hiking is always a great activity to build your relationship. Just the two of you and the trail. Just make sure that you prepare properly with water and snacks for along the way to avoid anyone getting HANGRY. Hiking is the best to enjoy together as a couple and to really connect with one another.

    • Fishing
    • This is one outdoor activity that requires a little bit of equipment to be able to do together and a small amount of knowledge. However, do not let this deter you from enjoying it together when you are out camping. It is a peaceful way to pass some time together in the outdoors.

    • Canoeing, Kayaking, or Boating
    • This one also takes some equipment that may not be available to you, though it is likely available to be rented if you are at a lake. It is a great activity to test how well you work together and to build your trust in one another.

    • Biking
    • Whether you bike from your home or you rent a bike wherever you go, it is a wonderful way to enjoy the outdoors or to see a lot more in a small amount of time while easily being able to get on and off to do whatever you want. Not only that, but it is also amazing exercise.

  • Plan a weekend away at a Bed and Breakfast.

  • Bed and Breakfasts can be charming and a wonderful activity to explore a new area while enjoying the comforts of home in someone else’s. This can be a weekend getaway to a nearby town or even a little bit further away to enjoy some place you both have never experienced before. You can even combine many other activities from the list above into this weekend getaway.

  • Plan a week vacation to somewhere new.

  • Now we are getting into an activity that requires much more planning and preparation. A vacation is the best way to get away from the routine you have fallen into back at home. Getting that week vacation from work and planning to make the most of it is a wonderful way to enjoy each other’s company, build your relationship, and see somewhere else in the world that is further away than other activities on this list.

    Go somewhere that you are going to really escape from the pressures back at home and to really be with one another. There is a lot in our lives that can really stress us out and pull us away from each other rather than build on our relationship.

    That is why really taking advantage of those precious vacations to get away and build your relationship together is really important to every couple.

  • Travel the world together.

  • The last one on the list. The relationship building activity that requires the most preparation, planning, and time. However, this one is the best way to really test and build a relationship. With more than 50 couples interviewed on the Travel Couple Podcast, in almost every single interview we have heard the same thing about how travel effects a relationship. They say, travel is the best way to help build a relationship and to get to know one another.

    It really helps you build trust in one another and to understand each other even deeper. Experiencing the world together, making memories, and doing new things that are out of the ordinary are all things that come from traveling the world with your significant other.

    This requires a lot of things to fall in line or for the two of you to force them to fall in line. Whether you are finishing school and wanting to take some time before you start your careers, you want to start a business or job that allows you to travel while earning money, or you are ready to quit your jobs to start to travel, there are a lot of things that go in to traveling the world together.

    There are so many more things that you will learn from each other on the road than you would back at home. You will learn the good, the bad, and the ugly. From the things that make your significant other upset, interests, how long you can stay 24/7 with one another, and ways to communicate better, travel can teach you so much.

    Do not miss out on the opportunity when it arises to travel with your significant other. You will learn so much about each other.


Relationship Building Activities Based Around Travel List

Conclusion

We hope that these list of travel based relationship building activities will help you to plan short excursions together that will break your routine or help provide ideas for your next weekend trip. Regardless, we think that travel is such an incredible way to test your relationship and work to build it.

As we said before, building a relationship is about investing time in it. Once you have been in a relationship for a while it can become difficult to break the routine that the two of you get into. It is important to do that and to put effort into finding new things that you can challenge yourselves to do together.

These are all things that we have worked to include in our relationship and continue to invest in one another. We truly feel that travel is one of the best ways to build your relationship. You do not even need to hop on a plane and take time off work to be able to include these travel activities in your relationship. They can be done on the weekend or even quickly after a day at work.

 

Do you have any other relationship building activities based around travel that you would want to share with us? We would love to hear them in the comment section below.

Lucha Libre / Wrestling in Mexico City


What could be more Mexican than Lucha Libre?

Well I can think of a lot of things, but this was at the top of my list of things to do while in Mexico City. To see the wrestlers of Mexico City go at it in a ring surrounded by adoring fans is just what I wanted for a night out.

We were not disappointed by this decision and it should be at the top of anyone’s list when visiting Mexico City for an authentic night out on the town.




Lucha Libre _ Wrestling in Mexico City




Lucha Libre in Mexico City

Lucha Libre is wrestling that originated in Mexico in which the luchadors (wrestlers) compete much like wrestlers would in the WWE with acrobatic maneuvers. These luchadors wear their own mask that becomes their identity. This makes for an incredible show to attend at night in Mexico City, a city which embraces the show with chants and cheers for their favorite wrestlers.

Growing up I was a fan of watching wrestling on TV and fell in love with the showmanship of these wrestlers and the story behind each match. It was in middle school in which I fell out of this spell and never thought much back to wrestling. Until I knew I was visiting Mexico and knew I had to make it to a Lucha Libre match.

Sure enough, the show was everything I had hoped it would be and so much more. It is so easy to get caught up in the hype of the crowd and begin cheering for your favorite wrestler. The show that is put on by the entertainers is intoxicating. Whether you are a fan of wrestling or not, this is such a great way to spend a night if you are looking to have a drink and a show in Mexico City.

Places to See Lucha Libre in Mexico City

There are two main places which you can see a Lucha Libre match, Arena Mexico and Arena Coliseo. The later is closer to the Historic City Center, so if you have a day planned there you may want to see if there is a wrestling match on that night so you can enjoy a night event after touring the area. If you are looking for things to do in the Historic City Center check out our post on our walking tour of the area.

Arena Mexico is closer to where we were staying which was in the Condesa area. Being in the Doctores area, the arena is about a $50 peso Uber from Condesa. We took advantage of using Uber to get around everywhere we wanted to while in Mexico City. It is safe and extremely affordable.

Arena Mexico does not look like a typical arena from North American standards. From the outside you will see several stalls on wrestling night selling Lucha Libre masks and food. There is a lit up sign where pointing you where you purchase tickets and then an entrance lined with security guards checking you before you proceed into the building.

The inside of the building looks more like an arena with the wrestling ring surrounded by rows upon rows of seats with no bad seat in the house as the upper levels of the arena were not filled.

Lucha Libre at Arena Mexico

Once you arrive, you need to purchase your tickets. We went to a match on a Friday and arrived less than half an hour before the match began and had no problem purchasing tickets. However, the match did look sold out based on no one being in the upper levels of the arena.


Lucha Libre  Wrestling in Mexico City

Tickets are purchased in a jail-like lineup with a lit up sign stating “Taquillas – Arena Mexico” with an arrow showing the entrance to the ticket lineup. We waited in line for less than ten minutes and asked for tickets in English and if they could help us. The lady behind the counter was able to speak to us in broken English to let us know the tickets that were still available and we chose the cheapest of the options as she said they were still good seats and that they were in fact seats and we would not be standing.

Tickets for the least expensive seats cost us $130 pesos each. The show began at 9:30 p.m. and ended at 11:30 p.m. Two hours of entertainment was well worth the price of admission.


Lucha Libre Wrestling in Mexico City

Once you have your tickets in hand, it is time to get your Lucha Libre mask. This is completely option, but it was something we wanted to have to cheer on our wrestlers. We settled for the ones you see in the photos and paid $100 pesos each.

With tickets in hand you walk to the entrance where security is waiting to check your pockets. Bags are not permitted and we did not try to bring our cameras and were happy with just having our iPhones to take the photos and video we could.

Upon entering past security we walked up stairs to the upper section of the arena where there are concession stands and runners that will meet you, see your tickets, and take you directly to your seat. They do this for a tip so be sure to have some pesos on hand for them. People will also take your orders from your seat and run to get your food and beverages for a tip so feel free to get comfortable at this stage of the show.

The Lucha Libre Show

The amount of flips, twists, and jumps we saw the luchadors undertake in their attempt to bring the crowd to their feet in a thunderous roar of applause is unbelievable. Considering the match we were seeing was not a big card event, we were extremely impressed by the athletic nature of these luchadors.

All told there were four different matches with eight different teams of luchadors. This included a warm-up match with a 2-vs-2 male match, followed by a 3-vs-3 female match up, a 3-vs-3 male match, and the grand finale 3-vs-3 male match.

Each luchador comes out from behind the stage and walks down to the ring with their own theme and a video playing in the background to bring the crowd to cheers or to boos to show their support or lack-thereof for the luchadors.

It was evident which team was the crowd favorite throughout these matches, especially for the last match where the main wrestler was the most acrobatic and athletic of all the participants. Each match had three rounds and they all seemed to follow the same flow of the crowd favorite losing the first round and then coming back to win the next two even though it seemed like they were on the verge of losing. There was one match that did not follow this format with the crowd favorite getting a surprise kick to the man parts to put them out of the match.

Though predictable, the luchadors sold it to the crowd and really got everybody into the show.


Lucha Libre  Wrestling in Mexico City

 

Conclusion

This was one of the best things we did while in Mexico City. There are so many historic attractions and things to do while in Mexico City, but I feel this is one of them that is often overlooked and just added in to an itinerary if there is time or if you are not tired one evening.

Instead, this needs to be added to an itinerary and show times researched in advance to make sure that you are not going to miss this chance to see the luchadors put on a show of a lifetime in front of your eyes.

Go into these matches with an open mind. Pick your favorite wrestler or team of wrestlers from the beginning of the match and lose your mind by cheering your support for them throughout the match. Join in with the locals around you and make friends while there.

The only thing that was not fun about our time at this event was when a child sitting behind us spilled water down my back TWICE and would not stop playing with the strings on my Lucha Libre mask. Still this did not disappoint me beyond enjoying the show.

Have you ever been to a Lucha Libre show? We would love to hear what you think of visiting one of these shows or if you have been to one what your experience was like. Leave a comment below!

Eco Friendly Travel Clothing Brands

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I believe as travelers we have a greater responsibility to hold true to eco-friendly products in our personal lives. It does not matter what kind of traveler you are, you enjoy this incredible world and all of its beauty that it has to offer.

From beautiful beaches to gorgeous untamed wilderness, there is so much of this world that we have seen and yet so much more of this world that we want to see. However, we have likely seen the negative effects of what people have on this world as well.

This could include the beaches overrun with garbage, cities clouded in smog, and litter left on hiking trails. We see first-hand how negative an impact that people can have on these gorgeous environments that we would love to share with everyone in the world and for our next generation to be able to enjoy it just as much.

This is why I feel as travelers we hold a greater responsibility to stand behind companies that are promoting an eco-friendly product. We have already discussed various travel products that promote an eco-friendly lifestyle, backpacks that are eco-friendly, and now it is time for us to discuss our favorite clothing that is eco-friendly.


Eco Friendly Travel Clothing Brands

Eco Friendly Travel Clothing

The truth about the apparel industry is that it is one of the worst offenders in creating more problems for our environment. This begins with pesticides used in growing plants that are used in the making of clothing and ends in the waste and treating of clothing with chemicals which are then contaminating waterways. This is why more and more brands are becoming eco friendly and sustainable in order to reverse this trend and create a better future for our planet and the people living on it.

Let us start with what makes clothing eco friendly. This begins with the materials that a brand uses to create their clothing. These materials need to be sustainable materials and the harvesting of them should also not use chemicals or other means to harm the environment.

Some of these materials include: Organic Cotton, Hemp, Recycled Polyester, and TENCEL™.

  • Organic Cotton
  • Cotton is a popular, soft, and comfortable, but it is also grown using pesticides and chemicals. Not only is this not good for the environment, but also for the farmers that are handling these substances. However, organic cotton is not. It is made sustainably and responsibly in order to sustain the world we live in.

  • Hemp
  • Hemp is durable, it uses less to make more, and can restore fertile soil. With so many positives, it is obvious that this material is becoming increasingly popular in the textile industry. Hemp uses up less space to produce more fibers, uses less water, and requires less pesticides to grow.

  • Recycled Polyester
  • What is better than using recycled materials to make clothing? Recycled polyester takes the discarded plastic bottles to create fibers that are comfortable and long-lasting.

  • TENCEL™
  • This product is made of wood pulp and produced in a process that keeps the chemicals being reused without having them contaminate the environment. This keeps everything sustainable and keeps the waste out of our waters and being reused in the process.

  • Lenzing Modal®
  • This product creates soft, long-lasting, and water-absorbent material. Not only this but it is also sustainable and reuses the solvents used in the process to create non-toxic cleaning products. The product comes from beech trees that grow quickly and produce more on their own.


La Ciudadela, Mexico City Walking Tour

In addition to using materials and a process in creating the final product that reuses instead of wasting and contaminating the environment, eco-friendly brands are also using their profits to give back to the world in order to minimize their impact on it.

There are many examples of this in many brands including planting trees, giving to charities, participating in and organizing cleanup events, and so much more. It is brands like these that we can use our money to vote for. Supporting brands with these initiatives will also put increasing pressure on other brands to follow this trend in the future.

Our Favorite Eco Friendly Travel Clothing Brands

We thought we would provide a few of our favorite brands that are working to create eco friendly clothing. These are brands that we believe are leading the way in creating clothing from sustainable materials and working to clean up the environment.

  1. tentree
  2. Tentree was featured in a previous post of ours we wrote about our favorite eco friendly backpacks. Well they made the list for our favorite eco friendly clothing brands as well.

    Their mission:

    At tentree, our goal is to become the most environmentally progressive brand on the planet. We don’t want to just reduce the negative impact of the apparel industry, we want to use it as a vehicle for change. Our purpose is to revitalize our environment and inspire a generation to believe that they can do the same.

    Our goal is to plant 1 billion trees by 2030.



    Tentree uses hemp, organic cotton, recycled polyester, and TENCEL™ among other sustainable materials to produce their products. With ten trees planted for every item purchased, the company has a running total on their website counting more than 30 million trees planted. In addition to your purchase, you are able to register your purchase and see where your trees are being planted in the world.

  3. Toad&Co
  4. This company began in 1991 as a hat company named Horny Toad and evolved into a full apparel company that it is today named Toad&Co. Over twenty years, the company has helped fund 120 environmental protection organizations and employed 400 adults with disabilities among other great things they have done for this world.

    Their mission:

    Inspire people to live their fullest lives through socially and environmentally committed clothes, that look and fit as well as they function, from the trail to the tavern and everywhere in between. Look good, do good, and remember, every day is an adventure.



    Not only that, but they also use all of the materials listed above to produce their product. They are working hard to teach people how they can use sustainable products to make the world a better place. They are also making sure that they inspire people to be socially responsible. There is not enough great things to say about a company like this.



Conclusion

As we said before, using your money to stand behind a brand that is working to create a positive impact in our world. It is these companies that show that they respect the environment and want to leave a better world for the next generation to enjoy.

Using your money to support these brands will also show the other companies that have yet to follow suit that this is something that matters to consumers and they will eventually follow along in creating a better world by working to become more eco-friendly.

This is important to us as travelers that we are supporting the brands that hope to plant more trees, organize more cleanups, and want to make the world a better place for the next generation of travelers.

Visiting Teotihuacan: The Best Mexico City Day Trip


With so much to do in Mexico City and the nearby surroundings, it can be difficult to choose the best things to do to fill your itinerary. Mexico City has history in every corner. For all of the history lovers, it is an extremely fulfilling destination. From the streets of the Historic Center to the museums and castles, it seems there are enough attractions to fill weeks upon weeks of your itinerary.

Yet just outside of Mexico city are so many more things to do to satisfy the traveler inside of you. There is no better day trip from Mexico City than that of Teotihuacan. This should be at the top of your list of things to do when in Mexico City.

Teotihuacan (pronounced Tee-oh-tee-hwa-kaan) is the site of the Pyramid of the Sun and the Moon. The former being the larger of the two in this massive archaeological site. This trip is perfect for any travelers looking to take in the history that Mexico has to offer with one of the most incredible historical sites that the country is home to.

In this post we will set you up with easy instructions on everything you need to know for your day trip to Teotihuacan from Mexico City including getting a bus to and from, what to pack, when to go and how much time you should allot for the trip, where to eat, and everything in between.


Visiting Teotihuacan_ The Best Mexico City Day Trip





Mexico City to Teotihuacan

  1. About Teotihuacan
  2. How to Get There
  3. What to Pack
  4. Where to Eat

 

Teotihuacan: Pyramid of the Sun and Moon


Visiting Teotihuacan: The Best Mexico City Day Trip

Teotihuacan was the site of a thriving population of more than 100,000 at one point. Construction began around 300 B.C.E. on these pyramids in this city, but many years later the Aztecs rediscovered the city and by the time the Spanish arrived in Mexico the site was used for religious purposes.

The Avenue of the Dead is the main stretch from the entrance gate to the Pyramid of the Moon on the far end with Pyramid of the Sun along the way. Along the sides of the avenue are what would have been living spaces.

The Pyramid of the Moon measures 300 by 433 feet and 140 feet high. At the peak of this would have been a temple. The Pyramid of the Sun measures 720 by 760 feet and 216 feet high. At its peak would have been an altar, but it has not survived.

Admission Price: $75 pesos
Photography Permit: $45 pesos


Visiting Teotihuacan: The Best Mexico City Day Trip

Upon entering the site you will walk along a short stretch of shops selling typical Mexican souvenirs like hats, clothing, and handicrafts. We purchased a couple of straw hats for $30 pesos each to block out the sun. You can also buy sunscreen if needed. Do not worry about buying souvenirs at this point as there are multiple other vendors throughout the site that you have to choose from including the jaguar sounds coming from the vendors trying to sell the jaguar head products. Also at the entrance is a restaurant and cafe, but save your appetite for La Gruta explained below.

Continuing from the entrance you will walk along a long stretch of ruins on either side of you with steps taking you up and down the ruins all the while the Pyramid of the Sun on your right and further down the Pyramid of the Moon making themselves closer. Along the pathway towards the pyramids is a mural of a jaguar. Other than that there are other ruins with explanations including one in front of the Pyramid of the Moon, multiple along the pathway, and a couple of platforms by the Pyramid of the Sun.

We arrived at 9:30 a.m. (Teotihuacan is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. everyday) and though the path towards the pyramids were not full of people, the pyramids themselves were beginning to fill up. We could see more and more people climbing the steps of the pyramids and figured our best bet was to climb the Pyramid of the Moon first as the Pyramid of the Sun was already very busy.

You can climb to the midway point of the Pyramid of the Moon and all the way to the peak of the Pyramid of the Sun. The steps going up are fairly steep and are significantly higher steps than those that you would be used to. There are ropes to help support yourself on your trek to the top. Though the Pyramid of the Moon is one straight shot of steps, the Pyramid of the Sun has multiple levels that you can take a break at because you will be short of breath if you are not used to climbing.


Visiting Teotihuacan: The Best Mexico City Day Trip

Visiting Teotihuacan: The Best Mexico City Day Trip

Though you should not get afraid of these heights, you should be careful on your way up and take your time as there are incidents of people falling and getting injured. Especially in the heat, you should be prepared with lots of water. The earlier you make it to Teotihuacan, the better to avoid the mid-day heat. The views at the top are worth every second of the climb and the heat.

From here you can walk to La Gruta restaurant or to the museum to learn more about the Teotihuacan site and the artifacts discovered there. There is also the Temple of Quetzalcoatl which is decorated with heads of serpents and is seen to be the most sacred space in the archaeological zone.

 

How to Get to Teotihuacan from Mexico City

From Mexico City, you will need to make your way to Terminal Central de Autobuses del Norte, the north bus station. The easiest way to get there is using Uber which is extremely affordable in Mexico City. We took one from La Condesa and it cost us about $70 pesos one way.


Visiting Teotihuacan: The Best Mexico City Day Trip

From there you will go to Gate 8 and find the Pyramid booth that looks like this:


Visiting Teotihuacan: The Best Mexico City Day Trip

You will then purchase your round trip tickets and be off to Teotihuacan. Just make sure that you know what time your bus is departing. You may want to buy drinks and snacks at the convenience stores in the bus station before buying your tickets as our bus was departing within 10 minutes of us buying the tickets.

One Way Ticket: $52 pesos
Round Trip Ticket: $104 pesos


Visiting Teotihuacan: The Best Mexico City Day Trip

These tickets do not have assigned seating and on a weekday the bus was about half of the way full at 8:45 a.m. The trip takes about an hour and a half and the bus is fairly comfortable.

You will be dropped off at the entrance gate where you will pay your admission and walk towards the main entrance gate past the parking area. When you are done you will return to the same spot that the bus dropped you off and wait there for the returning bus. There was a gentleman there in a suit that helped show us where to wait. Make sure you check the last return time on your return ticket. This is the final bus time and not the time of your bus, as you can take any bus on the way back to Mexico City.

 

What to Pack for Teotihuacan

The long stretch that is the Avenue of the Dead stretching from the entrance to the Pyramid of the Moon is completely open to the blazing sun. Especially when mid-day hits, the sun’s effect really starts to take a toll. If you did not pack water (at least a one liter bottle each), a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen then you may want to purchase these from the vendors at the entrance of the site.


Visiting Teotihuacan: The Best Mexico City Day Trip

These are the main four things you are going to want to pack for your trip to Teotihuacan (water, hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen). Though you may want to make sure that you are wearing comfortable hiking boots or shoes that you can climb in on uneven terrain.

Of course if you want to take lots of photos you will need to bring your camera and equipment. Everything else is up to you. Perhaps if you are a souvenir shopper you will want to bring a backpack so you will not have to carry around your souvenirs.

  • Water (1 Liter)
  • Hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Hiking Boots or Comfortable Climbing Shoes
  • Camera and Equipment
  • Backpack

 

Teotihuacan Restaurant

There is no better place to eat and experience your surroundings than at La Gruta Restaurant. It is a short five minute walk from the number 5 gate to Teotihuacan. You will walk past a few souvenir vendors through the parking long and left out of the gate before making a right and arriving at the gate to the restaurant.


La Gruta Restaurant Teotihuacan

La Gruta Restaurant Teotihuacan

You can put your name in for the waiting list, as we had to wait for 15 minutes to be seated, and take a look at their souvenir shop. You can also peer into the cave where 30 feet below people are eating their meals in the lit up cave. Yes, La Gruta Restaurant is a restaurant inside of a cave.

This is the best thing about the restaurant, the environment in which you eat your delicious food in. Once ready to be seated you will walk down the steps into the cave and to your seat. It is dimly lit to create an ambiance that is not matched by any other restaurant we visited in Mexico.

The food was excellent as well as we ordered a steak and rice dish with tortillas and chicken fajitas. With two Mexican beers to go with this meal and a corn cake for dessert, the bill was $724 pesos.


La Gruta Restaurant Teotihuacan

La Gruta Restaurant Teotihuacan

La Gruta Restaurant Teotihuacan

At the end of your meal you will be treated to a story of the La Gruta and the legend behind it and provided with a candle each to walk up the stairs at the end of the cave to place wherever you would like to make your wish. The cherry on the top of your experience at this restaurant.

 

Conclusion

We hope we were able to convince you to add Teotihuacan to your Mexico City itinerary. There really is no better day trip to make during your stay. This will be one of the best days while in Mexico City.

If you are looking for more things to add to this day, try combining it with a Lucha Libre show in Mexico City. Enjoy the spectacle of Mexican wrestling once you arrive back on the bus from Teotihuacan. Just make sure you drop off your backpack before going to the show as you will not make it past security.

If you want more things to do while in Mexico City then tune in to our future posts.

If you have any questions about visiting Teotihuacan, please do not hesitate to ask us in the comments below. Or let us know about your experience at Teotihuacan.


Visiting Teotihuacan: The Best Mexico City Day Trip

Best Eco Friendly Travel Products

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In our effort to become more eco friendly in our travel lives and our lives at home, we are working to find new products that will help decrease our pollution and footprint. We feel especially responsible to be more environmentally friendly as travelers who love to see and share in this beautiful world.

In our previous post about eco friendly backpack companies, we discussed companies that are working to become sustainable companies that give back to our earth rather than take from it. We also previously discussed the best filtered water bottles on the market that can significantly cut down on your plastic water bottle consumption.

In this post, we want to dive deeper into eco friendly travel products that will make you more environmentally conscious when on the road and thus reduce your footprint. Some of these can even be brought back home and used in your every day lives as well. You can find more ways to help you travel more sustainably here.


Best Eco Friendly Travel Products

 

Eco Friendly Travel Products

These items on this list are a mixture of products that we have used for a while in our daily and travel lives, products that we are going to begin implementing in our lives, and products that are new to us that we cannot wait to use more often in our lives.

We believe some of these would even surprise you that they are on the market and would be so easy to purchase and transition them into your lives, while others may be more of a travel product rather than a daily life product. Nonetheless, these are all products that are environmentally friendly in one way or another.

  • Reusable Filtered Water Bottle

  • Not having to worry about where you are getting clean drinking water when on the road or when camping can add to the stress of a day. It can also add a lot of weight to a backpack or whatever it is that you are carrying around with you.

    Reusable filtered water bottles allow you to filter water collected from anywhere without needing to worry about boiling water on a campsite or carrying around significant amounts of water. It is a good way to collect water from a water source when you are camping near a lake or river. It is also a good way of drinking water back at your accommodation when traveling while saving having to carry water back and wasting the plastic.

    These are a great way to help out the environment, but to also help relieve some stress that comes with traveling. They are also a great alternative at home to using one-time use plastic water bottles.



  • Eco Friendly Backpack

  • Backpacks are a travelers best friend. There is no way that you are going traveling without one. If you are in the market for a new backpack, look into purchasing one that is good for the environment. There are so many companies emerging that are creating backpacks out of recycled materials, sustainable materials, and also giving back to the world rather than taking from it.

    One such company that really stands out to us is tentree. As their name suggests, they plant ten trees for every backpack purchased. Not only that, but they also make their backpacks out of sustainable materials including: coconut to make buttons, hemp, cork for tabs, organic cotton, recycled polyester, TENCEL™ Lyocell which comes from eucalyptus trees, modal from beechwood trees, and linen from flax plant.

    They are just one company on our list of backpack companies that are working to change the world for the better to create eco friendly products.

  • Eco Friendly Packing Cubes

  • Packing cubes are the greatest thing for travelers. Why use packing cubes? Because they help you save some space when you pack while keeping your clothing less creased like compression or vacuum bags would. They also help you keep your things organized when traveling. You can use them to separate things like toiletries, clean clothes, dirty clothes, and whatever else you need separated.

    While these have really exploded in popularity online, make sure that you are purchasing ones that are good for the environment. Florious makes packing cubes from heavy duty recycled nylon, making sure that your packing cubes will last many trips to come while being made with recycled material.



  • Biodegradable Sunscreen

  • With the world’s reefs being destroyed, it is important that we are doing our part to reduce the impact on our underwater treasure. One way is to use biodegradable sunscreen when participating in any water activities.

    Traditional sunscreen is a major contributor to destroying our underwater life with the amount of people using it and swimming in the oceans causing the chemicals in the sunscreen to help in destroying reefs.

    Tropical Sands makes such a sunscreen which is water resistant with no chemical fragrances, preservatives, or emulsifiers that makes this sunscreen safe for use for water activities. It is instead formulated with green tea, titanium dioxide, and zinc oxide while not absorbing into your skin. It is the perfect choice for eco friendly travelers wanting to participate in activities like snorkeling.



  • Eco Friendly Travel Clothing

  • The clothing industry has been one of the worse offenders to negatively impact the environment from the dyes used in our clothing to the materials used to produce them. However, things are changing with innovations within the industry and companies working to leave as little of an impact on the world as possible and even working to reverse their impact on the environment.

    Threads 4 Thought is one such sustainable clothing company that uses sustainable materials including organic cotton, recycled polyester, and Lenzing Modal. Their factories ensure the best working conditions and sustainable production processes. They are also partnered with the International Rescue Committee to help in-need communities around the world.

    As with any product, you are voting with your wallet. It is best to put your money to vote for a company that is really striving to make a meaningful difference in the world.



  • Eco Friendly Towel

  • Along with eco friendly clothing for your travels, you also need to pack a towel. So, why not pack an eco friendly towel. One that will also help to make less of an environmental impact as possible.

    Nomadix makes towels made from recycled materials including 80% polyester and 20% nylon. It is the perfect travel towel as it weighs just one pound, it is quick drying, anti-microbial, and slip resistant so that it can double as a yoga mat. It is your everything towel when on the road.



  • Bamboo Toothbrush

  • A product that is used on a daily basis can be the most difficult thing to change in your life, especially if it is something you have become accustomed to over many years. Our toothbrushes use up a lot of plastic. Plastic that is not biodegradable. This is why bamboo toothbrushes are becoming increasingly popular.

    You can help the environment while keeping your mouth clean with bamboo toothbrushes. Not only is bamboo extremely sustainable as it grows quickly, but it is also stronger and harder than wood.

    In addition to all of this, the package that these come in are 100% recycled biodegradable material.



  • Scrubba Wash Bag

  • We discussed earlier how the clothing industry is a bad offender for negatively effecting our environment and how it is the dyes and materials used in our products that cause this. This is on the production level, however at the consumer level there is so much more waste produced. This comes from using our machines to wash and dry our clothing and the amount of energy that is consumed in this process.

    You can now purchase bags that act as a clothes washer, making it extremely energy efficient to washing your clothes. While it is not likely something that will be easy to implement in your daily lives back home, when camping or backpacking this is the best solution to keep your clothes clean and smelling good.

    No need to hunt down a laundromat while on the road or packing a significant amount of clothes when going camping. You now have the ability to wash your clothes at your convenience.

    The Scrubba Wash Bag is easy to use: fill with clothes, close, deflate, and rub clothes against the interior wash bag with water and soap. It is small and extremely portable and can also double as a dirty laundry bag for your clothes that are ready to be washed.



  • Solar Powered Chargers

  • Along with the wash bag above, this is also aimed at camping trips. Without a proper place to charge your electronics when out in the wilderness, you can now use renewable energy to charge wherever you go. Solar powered charging products can help you keep your phones and other USB devices charged throughout the day.

    This solar powered charger has four solar panels that fold up and can charge your phone multiple times over. If the sun is not out, you can charge it using a USB cable as well to prepare for those days without sun forecast in the coming days. You can charge up to two devices at once in this dust, shock, and waterproof charger with a built in LED flashlight if needed in the dark.



  • Silicon Ziploc Bags / Reusable Snack Bags

  • These can be the easiest thing to use in both your daily lives and travel lives on this list. At home we generally use reusable containers to store food or other items, but we have been at fault for using one-time use plastic bags and disposing of them.

    When on the road, these containers are not ideal as they take up too much space and can add significant weight to your backpacks. Small bags that can be sealed are the best thing to bring with you. That is why you should pick up bags that can be reused for your travels.

    These bags are waterproof, leak proof, sealing in the freshness of your foods or making sure that your toiletries do not leak out. They are freezer safe and hand washable made of FDA grade PEVA material. This is PVC, BPA, Silicone, Chloride, and Lead free. Of course the point behind these bags are that they are reusable and are not to be disposed of otherwise you lose the environmentally friendly part of these bags.



 

Conclusion

There are so many alternatives to what we use in our daily lives and travel lives that we can use to make our world a better place. Some of these things we have used for some time now, some we have just began to use, and others are things we are going to begin implementing in our daily lives.

We would love to encourage you to do the same with us, especially when traveling to help reduce our carbon footprint on the world.

Do you have anything that you would add to this list?

One Day in Mexico City Historic Center: Walking Tour


With so many things to do in Mexico City, it is difficult to suggest a one day itinerary. However, with so many attractions centered around the Historic Center of the city it seems like the perfect place to spend an entire day wandering around this area of the city.

There is enough in this area to provide you more than a day’s worth of things to accomplish if you are looking to see and do everything. Though we were able to make the most of our day in the Historic Center of Mexico City, we did not enter every attraction on this walking tour.

You will need to get up early and make the most of your day on this tour. Some things will not take a lengthy period of time, whereas others may take up hours depending on your style of travel and what interests you. This tour took us from 9 a.m. to about 6 p.m. with nonstop moving around and about 45 minutes to sit down for lunch and about 15 minutes to sit down for churros.

Here is our suggested Mexico City Historic Center walking tour.


One Day in Mexico City Historic Center_ Walking Tour

 




 

Mexico City Historic Center Walking Tour

  1. Palacio des Belles Arts
  2. Museo Mural Diego Rivera
  3. La Ciudadela
  4. El Mayor Restaurant
  5. Templo Mayor
  6. Zocalo
  7. Torre Latinoamericana
  8. El Moro Restaurant





Mexico City Historic Center Attractions

  • Palacio des Belles Arts

  • Estimated Time: Varies
    Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday
    Admission: Varies


    Palacio des Belles Arts, Mexico City Walking Tour

    This building is the art center for Mexico. The magnificent architecture holds some of the best theater, opera, music, dance, and exhibitions of all sort that Mexico has to offer. This is the perfect attraction for those interested in seeing a show or exhibition that is going on at the time. It may be worth seeing what is happening when you are visiting Mexico.

    When we were visiting there was an exhibition of paintings going on, but we did not have the time in the day to dedicate to this and were already going to see a lot of art exhibitions during our stay in the city. We more or less wanted to wander the grounds of this iconic building and marvel at the architecture.

    While you are here, take a stroll through the Alameda Central Park through the gardens, statues, and water features. At the opposite end of the park from the Palacio des Belles Arts is Museo Mural Diego Rivera.

  • Museo Mural Diego Rivera

  • Estimated Time: One Hour
    Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday
    Admission: $35 pesos (+ $5 pesos for permission to take photos)


    Diego Rivera Mural Museum One Day in Mexico City Historic Center Walking Tour

    This is a small museum that houses Diego Rivera’s Sueño de una Tarde Dominical en la Alameda Central (Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in the Alameda Central) mural. It is more than worth the small price of admission of $35 pesos with an additional $5 pesos charge if you want to photograph.

    Originally housed in the Hotel del Prado, this mural was moved to the current museum when the hotel was damaged in an earthquake in 1985. The mural was transported to its current location and the museum was built around it. This museum is also home to exhibitions and other conferences in the same space.

    The mural was commissioned by the architect for the hotel and Diego Rivera painted hundreds of figures of all social classes from his life and memories including his previous wives and children, as well as prominent Mexican figures.

    With this being so close to the previous attraction and taking less than an hour to see the mural, it is a must-do when in the Historical Center. Afterwards you can walk 15 minute south to do some shopping.

  • La Ciudadela

  • Estimated Time: Varies
    Hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Everyday (6 p.m. Sunday)
    Admission: None



    This is a market a short walk away from Palacio des Belles Arts. Home to hundreds of vendors selling souvenirs representing their culture and handicraft. Here you can find things like: tequila, shot glasses, lucha libre masks, leather products, hats, clothes, crafts, and so much more.

    This was one of the better markets we visited while in Mexico City with good prices. Though some merchants accept credit cards, you may want to bring some cash along. You can easily lose yourself for an hour or so wandering the narrow alleyways that are lined with shops. We arrived at 10 a.m. on a weekday and it was very quiet as shops were just beginning to open or others had no shoppers in them.

    From here, you may opt to take an Uber to the next stop as it would be about half an hour walk to get some lunch.

  • Templo Mayor

  • Estimated Time: One to Two Hours
    Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday
    Admission: $70 pesos


    Templo Mayor, Diego Rivera Mural Museum One Day in Mexico City Historic Center Walking Tour

    This was the main temple of the Mexica peoples who populated what is now Mexico City. It was destroyed and rebuilt on several occasions, the last by the Spanish in the 1500s. The remains are part of what is Zocalo, the main plaza of Mexico City.

    You can wander the walled archaelogical site and take a step back in history in the middle of Mexico City by experiencing this temple.

    At $70 pesos, this would be an excellent place to wander around for an hour or so after lunch. Though we did not enter, we did eat above it with a view into the entire site from El Mayor and walked around the outside to learn more about it. By this time it was about an hour from closing so we were ready to explore more of Zocalo and the Historic City Center.

  • Zocalo

  • Estimated Time: Varies
    Hours: Open all day. Different hours of operation for the Cathedral and National Palace.
    Admission: None


    Zocalo, Mexico City Walking Tour

    Zocalo, Mexico City Walking Tour

    As mentioned earlier, Zocalo is the main plaza of Mexico City with various historical buildings surrounding it. On one side is the National Palace. You can enter to see more of Diego Rivera’s murals, the different offices, and the outdoor space. The other side of the square is another judicial building. And on the other side is the Catedral Metropolitana de la Ciudad de México, or the Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral. A truly incredible architectural structure built on top of temples and displaying some beautiful works of art. It may be beneficial to book a tour for these attractions to really appreciate the history behind them.

    Continuing on our walking tour from Zocalo is a street on the opposite side of the National Palace which will lead you to the Torre Latinoamericana and all the way back to Palacio des Bellas Arts within about 15 minutes of walking through a crowded commercial shop-infested pedestrian street.

  • Torre Latinoamericana

  • Estimated Time: One hour
    Admission: $140 pesos


    Torre Latinoamericano, Mexico City Walking Tour

    Opened in 1956, this landmark is known internationally as it is the first of its kind to be built on top of seismic active land having had no damage done to it during a massive earthquake in the 1980s.

    You can pay to ascend to the top and lookout to the 360 degree view of Mexico City and the entire walking tour that you embarked on. There is a restaurant, souvenir shop, snacks, and a virtual reality game at the top as well.

    If you want to be able to take photos at the top, you will need to use your phone or a basic camera. Cameras with attachable lenses are not allowed and I had to leave mine in my backpack that I was able to still bring with me to the top.


    Torre Latinoamericana, Mexico City

    After your tour of this iconic landmark, it is time satisfy your sweet tooth at El Moro and perhaps call it a day.

 

Mexico City Historic Center Restaurants

With only so many restaurants you can visit in a packed day of attractions, there are two clear places to visit when in the Historic Center.

  • El Mayor

  • Hours: 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Everyday
    Price: $$$


    El Mayor Restaurant, Mexico City

    El Mayor is a restaurant on the second floor of a book store that overlooks Templo Mayor. It really provides the best view of the temple and a part of the Zocalo which is lined with historic buildings. There may be no better place to eat that serves traditional Mexican food with a modern twist, has good prices, and has a view as good as this.

    We ordered the Mole on rice (a sauce special to Mexico), Chile relleno de chicharrón prensado (a fried and stuffed chile pepper), and shrimp tacos (shrimp in tacos).

  • El Moro

  • Hours: 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Everyday (Sunday 9 a.m.)
    Price: $


    El Moro Restaurant Mexico City

    If you are looking for something to satisfy your sweet tooth, then El Moro is the place to be. It is a churreria that was founded in 1935 by a man from Spain who sold churros in the Zocalo before finally moving in to a permanent building.

    Here you can find all sorts of sweets on the menu including chocolates, shakes, drinks, desserts, and of course churros. We tried a little bit of everything on the menu including churros, a couple of other small desserts, hot chocolate, a raspberry ice cream sandwich, and a strawberry milkshake. You can watch them make everything from the outside of the shop and enjoy it in their restaurant. You cannot miss this place during your visit to the Historic City Center.


    El Moro Restaurant Mexico City

    El Moro Restaurant Mexico City

    El Moro Restaurant Mexico City

 

Getting Around Mexico City

As with many other major cities, you have a wealth of options to choose from to get from point A to point B. Mexico City is no exception.

However, our number one favorite choice to get around without a doubt would be Uber. It was incredibly inexpensive and safe with a long trip across the city costing no more than $100 pesos. And that would be a rare trip that would take close to an hour. We had heard from our host that other guests had been pick-pocketed on buses and in the subway. Once we took our first Uber, we knew that this would be our primary means of transportation in the city.

You also have public buses, the subway, and taxis to choose from. As mentioned above, you will have to be mindful of your surroundings when in these places. You will save a small amount of money and lose some time with these methods. Taxis in Mexico City looked all beat up and did not look like the type of vehicle you would want to get in to. Just make your life easier and opt for the Uber.

Another option if you are willing to have a long day would be to do the Hop-on Hop-off bus tour that is offered in most major cities. It covers a lot of great spots throughout the city. But to really make the most of your money for your tickets you will want to get up early and stay up late.


Zocalo, Mexico City Walking Tour

 

Conclusion

Though we had a full week in Mexico City, this was the best thing to recommend anyone visiting the city for just one day. A walking tour of the Historic Center will keep you active, seeing a handful of different attractions, and keeping you fed without having to get from one place in the city to another spending time and money on transportation costs.

If you follow this walking tour you will be able to make the most of your time in the city and get to see what makes it such an alluring place for any traveler. Architecture, art, history, and food, this area of Mexico City has everything you will want from it.

Best Eco Friendly Backpacks for Travelers


We are working towards becoming more eco friendly travelers. With the carbon footprint that comes with being a traveler especially with taking flights and for those who take cruises.

Becoming more environmentally friendly is something that we as consumers can do, as well as companies that are creating products for us to consume. However, there has not been a lot of pressure for companies to change their ways to become more eco friendly. Not unless they see that it is what consumers want.

Now with the emergence of an increasing amount of companies that are putting the environment over profits, we as consumers can vote with our money. The best way to go about this is to purchase products for our travels that we use on a daily basis that are working to be sustainably made, use no plastic packaging, or use recycled material to create their product.

With backpacks being so essential to a traveler’s way of life, it is one of those things that we can purchase that can also make a difference in the world if we put in some research to the company we are buying it from and the product that we are purchasing.


Best Eco Friendly Backpacks for Travelers

 

Environmentally Friendly Backpacks

We have put a list together of our favorite eco friendly backpacks that can be used for your next trip. These are backpack companies that we have tried, heard great things about, or have read great things about and we like their designs.

We include a paragraph introducing their company, their history, and the products they produce. We then share their environmental pledge behind their brand and what they are doing to be an eco friendly company. The final paragraph discusses their warranty and return and exchange policy as this is important to consumers as well.

Each of these companies have different mission statements, are trying to change the world in their own way, or have a product that is meant to be eco friendly in its own way. It is our hope that one of these companies speaks to you. That you may find something in here that you will become a brand ambassador for and help them by sharing it with your friends and family.

One step at a time will really help to make a difference in this world and help to offset our carbon footprint as travelers.

 

  • United by Blue

  • United by Blue is a certified B-Corp outdoors brand that was created in 2010 and now has flagship stores in Philadelphia. They work to create a more sustainable product and help remove pollution from our waterways. They use recycled polyester (from recycled plastics), bison (some of the ranching industry’s often discarded materials), and organic cotton to make their environmentally friendly products.

    For every bag purchased, they remove one pound of trash from the ocean. Along with their sales department, their cleanup department works to keep up with the removal of trash. Based on their previous year of sales, they work to remove the same amount in weight from waterways. So far, they have removed even more than they have pledged and continue to work towards new technologies to help with the cleanup process.

    Not only are they making a change in the world, but they also have a clear support phone number listed on their page and a free and easy return or exchange policy within 60 days of purchase. Returns and exchanges are only accepted as new items. You will have to pay for shipping on returns, though on exchanges United by Blue provides a prepaid return label. They also provide a lifetime warranty, though customers should read this policy clearly as the lifetime warranty covers the typical lifetime of the bag and each returned item will be assessed by United by Blue themselves to deem whether the product falls within the lifetime warranty.

    Our Choices


  • Patagonia

  • Yvon Chouinard founded Patagonia by creating climbing gear. It has since evolved into what it is today, creating a wide variety of clothing and accessories while still staying true to their mission. This includes causing more good than harm to our environment and to the world.

    Patagonia is working with their supply chains to promote fair trade and provide living wages. As for the environment, they donate 1% of their sales to environmental organizations around the world. In 1996, they made the complete switch to organic cotton to product their products. They also use hemp and recycled polyester in some of their products. Their website is very transparent with mistakes they have made in the past with using non-organic cotton and how they made the switch, as well as all of the growing pains involved in being a company looking to make the world a better place.

    They have a clear contact number listed on their website with a quality guarantee of their products. Returns and exchanges are accepted, though there is no clear policy without going through the process of starting a return or exchange. However, they do have several stores in North America. Repairs are completed at a reasonable rate, but they also offer repair guides on their website.

    Our Choices


  • Fjällräven

  • Fjällräven is an outdoor company that creates outdoor clothing and accessories that began in Örnsköldsvik in Sweden. They create products using materials from animals in a sustainable way. Their promise behind using materials from animals is stated right on their Our Promises page, “To treat animals with respect and dignity.”

    Fjällräven uses animal materials to create their products as they believe them to be far superior to alternative materials. With this, the company has a promise that they are tracing the source of the materials and ensuring that the animals are treated humanely and not mistreated in any way. In addition, the company understands that they cannot completely eradicate their emissions but work to support renewable energy projects. Not all products are created with 100% organic cotton, but they are continuing to work toward this.

    The company provides a limited lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects that include: split seams, snaps and buttons that have fallen off, broken zippers, and broken buckles. They do accept returns and exchanges on new items within 30 days of the purchase date.

    Our Choices


  • tentree

  • Tentree began in Canada in 2012 with Kalen Emsley, David Luba, and Derrick Emsley. They began in a basement by printing on American Apparel clothing, but quickly outgrew the basement and even appeared on Dragon’s Den to pitch their brand in 2013. By 2014 they announced the planting of one million trees and created employment for locals in developing countries. They have since reached 30 million trees, launched their tree registry program allowing customers to see where their trees are being planted, and even created a successful Kickstarter for their Mobius backpack.


    Ten Tree on Dragons' Den from tentree on Vimeo.

    Tentree has a very clear mission: to plant ten trees for every item purchased. It is the first thing that appears on their website and there is a running count of trees planted at the top right of their website, and at the time of this post counts over 30 million. They are a certified B-corp that has a goal to plant one billion trees by 2030. In addition to this, they are also using sustainable fabrics to create their products including: coconut to make buttons, hemp, cork for tabs, organic cotton, recycled polyester, TENCEL™ Lyocell which comes from eucalyptus trees, modal from beechwood trees, and linen from flax plant.

    Items purchased in the last 30 days can be returned and exchanged by starting a return or exchange through the tentree website. Exchanges provide a free shipping slip, but returns will need to be paid for by yourself. Products must be new with the tags still on and your tree code cannot be registered.

  • Millican

  • Millican was founded by Jorrit and Nicky and named after Millican Dalton, a maverick who traded his life in London for life in the Lake District where Millican was born on a farm at the Foot of Skiddaw in the English Lake District National Park, a place where they now call home. They sell bags and accessories for the true traveler at heart.



    Millican uses organic cotton, lakeland wool local to the area where they live, leather, and recycled polyester to create their products to endure the use of an outdoor traveler. Their Blank Canvas project were created from recycled and sustainable materials to support people who want to positively change and inspire the world.

    Millican has a clear repair and care guide. Any manufacturing defects will be refunded, exchanged, or repaired at your discretion. They provide a clear phone number and contact email to get in touch regarding refunds and exchanges for items.

    Our Choices


  • Matt & Nat

  • Matt & Nat (or Mat(t)erial and Nature) began in 1995 in Montreal, Canada as a synergy and inspiration between the two. It is a vegan brand which means that to animal-based products are used in their products. Bags are produced in China where they have had long-lasting relationships with and they make a point to visit the factories to ensure quality standards.

    Matt & Nat continue to experiment with different recycled materials in their products including nylons, cardboard, rubber, and cork, including using 100% recycled plastic bottles in their linings and introducing recycled bicycle tires into their materials.

    The company offers a return policy for new items within 30 days of purchase. Bags are covered by a limited one year warranty where if the item is damaged by normal use it will be replaced free of charge. Returns and exchanges are shipped back at the purchaser’s expense, unless you live in Canada you can return it yourself with prior authorization online to a Matt & Nat store near you.

    Our Choices


 

Conclusion

We hope that one of these six companies have something that you can really get behind and support. Regardless, if none of these are for you perhaps there is another company out there that is making the product for you while remaining environmentally conscious.

There are so many other products that we can implement into our travel lives and day-to-day lives if you are looking to make your carbon footprint smaller. The idea behind being a conscious consumer is to use your money to support the brands that have the same ideals as you. Vote with your money.

It is working too, brands are listening and emerging brands are already making giant leaps forward with their products which in turn puts more pressure on the bigger brands to change. This is how we can work to make a difference in the world.

 

What company’s mission statement could you get behind?

What company’s designs do you prefer?

Leave a comment below.

Lisbon to Sintra Day Trip Itinerary


Before we left for Lisbon, Portugal, everybody told us to definitely make Sintra a day trip. They were not wrong. And we will add our recommendation for your Lisbon trip to make Sintra a day trip. Leave early and come back late. You will need all the time you have for this incredible city.

Sintra is situated to the northwest of Lisbon and less than an hour by train. It extends to the coast and is dominated by a national park. There are many different beaches and natural attractions along the cost and within the city.

The city is famous for the National Palace of Pena, the first thing that we accomplished when we arrived in the city, and the attraction we would recommend to anyone visiting the city to do first. After that we had time for just one more thing in our itinerary before we left for Lisbon for the evening and that ended up being the Castle of the Moors which was an interesting step back into history to experience.

Our time in Sintra included a lot of walking and nothing but wonderful views and exquisite sites. There is no doubt in our mind that you need to make the day trip to Sintra when you are staying in Lisbon.


Lisbon to Sintra Day Trip Itinerary



One Day in Sintra, Portugal

  • Arrived in Sintra via train from Lisbon.
  • Visited Pena Palace.
  • Visited Castle of the Moors.
  • Had dinner in Sintra.
  • Departed for Lisbon via train.

 


 

What to See in Sintra in One Day

  • Pena Palace

  • This is our number one recommendation when you visit Sintra. It is a colorful palace that was constructed in the nineteenth century. Like most of the popular attractions that Sintra has to offer, Pena Palace is situated in the hills that overlook the city. It is a short taxi ride to the palace itself from the train station.

    A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Romanticist palace was built from the ruins of an old monastery. It is a colorful palace on the exterior and it is elaborately decorated inside as for much of its years it was the home to Portuguese royalty.


    Pena Palace, Sintra, Lisbon

    After paying your admission fee into the park, there is a small bus that can take you to the palace that we decided to take advantage of due to our lack of time and the amount we would already be walking on this day.

    From wandering around the exterior getting vantage shots of the surrounding territory and outdoor shots of the palace to taking a self-guided tour of the interior, Pena Palace will surely amaze and inspire you. Though we arrived midday, the pathways of the exterior were not too busy, but once we entered the palace there was evidently more people lined up and it was congested at times.

    We did take a small break and grabbed some sweets to fuel ourselves up while in Pena Palace as they do have a small area that serves a meal and desserts.


    Pena Palace Desserts, Sintra, Portugal

    Tickets cost 14 euros per person. We recommend that you get there early when it opens at 9:30 a.m. to avoid the crowds and to get the shots in that you want. It will easily consume a couple of hours of your time here, much more if you are excited about taking photographs here as we were.


  • Castelo dos Mouros – Castle of the Moors

  • Created to defend the city of Sintra by the North African Moors in the ninth century, the Castle of the Moors never recovered from the Christian conquest. King Ferdinand II restored the castle making it a ruin overrun by vegetation and a garden feature of the Pena Palace.

    From the entrance gate at the roadside it is about a fifteen minute walk through the forest to get to the actual castle. From here you can wander around the grounds freely, seeing where the water source came from below the castle to the highest points of the towers to view the surrounding landscapes. Though we did get to see some magnificent views while at Pena Palace, these views that the castle offers are still very much worthwhile for a different vantage point and subjects that are included in the views.

    It is slightly cheaper than Pena Palace to enter at 8 euros per person and has the same operating hours opening at 9:30 a.m. We chose to do this later in the day and there was barely anybody walking around the grounds which was perfect. We spent about two hours here from entering the roadside gate taking our time walking through the castle.


 

What We Missed

  • Quinta da Regaleira

  • Would we have had enough time, this would have been our next attraction due to its proximity to Pena Palace and Castle of the Moors. It is a palace that was constructed in the early twentieth century. It is a large estate that holds a chapel, palace, and gardens that you can tour. With similar hours of operation as Pena Palace and the Castle of the Moors, it would be our third choice to add to a day trip.

  • Sintra National Palace

  • This palace is a medieval Moorish royal residence from the eleventh century that has existed and housed royalty since the fifteenth century. Today it is a historic house museum. It has the same hours of operation of the other attractions we have previously stated and is in close proximity to them, so likely this palace should be reserved for another trip to Sintra or if you are staying more than just one day in the city.

  • Park and Palace of Monserrate

  • This is located further through the hills and a bit further away from the other attractions. It is a nineteenth century palace that was built from the ruins of another residence. Another wonderful palace to add to your list to tour the grounds of while in Sintra if time allows in your schedule.

 

Where to Eat in Sintra

As we mentioned earlier, Pena Palace does have a restaurant that serves meals and another area that serves desserts. We did take them up on the desserts that they had to offer close to the end of our visit there.

To go along with our time in Sintra and visiting a palace and a castle in one day, we decided to find a place with a nice environment to enjoy a meal together before boarding our train to go back to Lisbon. Metamorphosis was that restaurant.

It is located right by the train on a side street and had walls painted similar to those of Pena Palace. We enjoyed a nice meal here before catching our train back to Lisbon.

 

Where to Shop in Sintra

  • Souvenir Shops

  • Both Pena Palace and Castle of the Moors had souvenir shops. If this is what you are looking for when it comes to shopping, then you will not be disappointed.

    However, during our short tour of the actual city of Sintra we did not find any many shops or a bustling city for that matter. If shopping besides souvenirs is what you are looking for, perhaps it would be better to get that done while in Lisbon.

 

How to Get Around Sintra

  • Uber/Taxi and Buses

  • We did a significant amount of walking when in Sintra, but most of that came from touring Pena Palace and Castle of the Moors. When we arrived in Sintra from the train, we grabbed the 434 bus that connects the Sintra train station to the surrounding attractions. This costs 3.90 euros and is essential to get up the steep and winding hillside to Pena Palace. Alternatively you could grab a taxi, but driving yourself would not be advised as there is very limited parking.

    After our time in Pena Palace was up and we walked to the Castle of the Moors. From the castle to the train station we tried to grab an Uber, but when he arrived he said he could not take us and that the trip should be cancelled. After it was cancelled he then said that he could take us for double what the fare had originally said in cash. Obviously we did not go for this and we found a vintage convertible that was willing to take us down for a similar rate to what the Uber had originally displayed.

    The kicker to all of this was that we must have received a poor rating from the Uber driver that cancelled on us because the next time we tried to grab an Uber, it would not connect us with a driver. Since we were new to Uber at the time, our rating must have been really low because of this incident and when we finally did get a driver he mentioned that to us.

    Never fall for those tricks of paying more than what is displayed. He tried to take advantage of us and still hurt us through the app somehow.

 

How to Get to Sintra from Lisbon

The best way to get to Sintra from Lisbon is by train. It is inexpensive costing less than $5 USD and taking less than an hour to get from Rossio Station in Lisbon to Portela de Sintra in Sintra. It also drops you off right near the major attractions with a short taxi ride to Pena Palace, Castle of the Moors, and Quinta da Regaleira.

We love to use Rome2Rio to find out the best way to get from one destination to another.

 

Where to Stay in Sintra

There is a lot to see in Sintra and you may be interested in staying just a full day and making the trip from Lisbon like we did. We did miss out on a couple of attractions and would have liked more time as we did feel a little bit rushed, but we did not consider taking another day from Lisbon to come back.

That being said, if you are interested in staying longer than just a day in Sintra, we would recommend that you stay in the area near Pena Palace, Castle of the Moors, and Quinta da Regaleira. Booking has some incredible places that fit a range of budgets in this area.




Booking.com


 

Best Time to Visit Sintra

We visited Sintra in late April. This seemed like the perfect time to go as the weather was becoming increasingly warmer, even reaching to the point where we could relax on the beach if we wanted to. It was also not yet a high season for tourists to visit Portugal so we were not overrun at Pena Palace or Castle of the Moors.

We would definitely recommend visiting Portugal around this time or shortly after the high season in September to October.

 

Conclusion

If you are planning to stay in Lisbon then you need to add Sintra to your itinerary. This is an absolute must. You will miss so much if you skip this little city.

Bring your walking shoes, lots of water, and be prepared to take in so much of the history, architecture, and wonder that this city has to offer every one of its visitors.

If we could go back in time, wake up a little earlier, skip breakfast in Lisbon, and head straight to Sintra, we would add Quinta da Regaleira to what we did in Sintra. Due to its proximity to Pena Palace and Castle of the Moors, it would have fit in nicely to our day trip from Lisbon.

However, we had already walked a significant amount after visiting these two attractions, so take that into consideration as well. By the time we arrived back in Lisbon we were exhausted. Adding one more attraction to the list could have been the straw that broke the camels back so to speak. It may be worth while to spend one night in Sintra in this case.

Plan accordingly and enjoy your time in this wonderful city.


 

We would love to hear about your experience while in Sintra or to answer any questions you may have about your future trip. Leave a comment below!

 

Have a comment or something to add to this article? Leave a comment below or send us a response by contacting us.

 

Check out more from our experiences in Portugal here.

 

Untitled design

 

Happy travels!

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