Airport Layovers: Free City Tours

When you're traveling, there's nothing like having an 8-hour layover where you feel stuck at the airport as you're not sure what to do or if you'll have time to do it! But, there are several destinations where if you've got a layover, you can take advantage of free tours offered by the airports. Seriously! Let's take a look at Airport Layovers: Free City Tours!

1. Taipei, Taiwan.
If you've got an 8-hour layover, that's perfect for taking 2 free city tours offered by the airport. One will take you to the ornate Zushih Temple and an artisan stop, while the other packs in Taipei 101 and Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall. How to book it? Visit the Tourist Service Centre in main arrivals corridor. The tours are offered in the morning and early afternoon. 

2. Singapore.
Once you've landed at Changi airport, and have finally forced yourself to leave the butterfly garden, the video game room or the complimentary massage chairs, head on over to the Transfer Lounge F in Terminal 2 or Transfer Lounge A in Terminal 3. Here you can sign up for one of the 6 excursions offered per day, where sightseeing opportunities include Gardens By the Bay, Merlion, Little India and Kampong Glam. 

3. Salt Lake City, Utah.
If you've got more than 2 hours to spare, you're able to take a free tour of the Temple Square area in downtown courtesy of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. You'll also have time to check out the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art and/or City Creek Park. Check with one of the information desks for shuttle times.

4. Istanbul, Turkey.
If you've got more than 6 hours to spare in one of the world's busiest airports, you can take a free TourIstanbul excursion where sights include Hippodrome Square, the Blue Mosque, and Topkapi Palace. How to book it? Check with the Hotel Desk in the international arrival hall, near the Starbucks. There are 5 departures per day.

5. Tokyo, Japan.
Wow. A layover at Narita airport gives you the chance to choose from 2 free tours: shopping or sightseeing. You can visit the Museum of Aeronautical Sciences, go on a forest walk, or explore the towns of Tako or Shibayama. Shopping is done on your own at 2 malls accessible via train from the airport. How to book it? Go to the Narita Transit Program Counter in Terminal 1F.

6. Seoul, Korea.
Wow, again! If you've even got as little as a 1-hour layover, you can still take advantage of Incheon Airport's free tours, including options for temple or city focused visits, with English speaking guides. For FREE. You can book a tour by heading to the Hana Tour desk near gates 25 and 29, or by gate 8.

7. Amsterdam. Kingdom of the Netherlands
There are 2 catches here for free tours at the Amsterdam airport: first, you need to fly with KLM, and second you need at least 6 hours to spend. This unique (and completely FREE) program matches you up with an English-speaking local with similar interests (you fill out a quick questionnaire upon arrival). They'll then give you free return bus tickets and will even pay for the first round of drinks at a bar in Amsterdam. How to book it? It should come as an automatic email option once you've booked your qualifying flights with KLM.

8. Doha, Qatar
With a 6-hour minimum layover on Qatar Airways, you'll qualify for a free tour of Doha, where you can hit sights like the Zaha Hadid-designed Museum of Islamic Art, the Souk Watif and the Katara Cultural Village. And as an added bonus, these tours include a FREE visa so you won't have any immigration issues upon return to the airport. Book it by visiting the Doha City Tour desk in Concourse B.

And before you leave, be sure to check: 

6 Practical Travel Tips and 5 Ways to Prepare Your Phone for Travel.


Dreaming of Costa Rica?

Photo Courtesy of Marvin Garcia, Mardigi Tours
Is your dream vacation to visit Costa Rica? How about visiting Costa Rica on a budget? While we can't help with airfare (although we an provide a list of airlines flying into Costa Rica) we can offer you a great deal on the best affordable condo with beautiful ocean views in Playas del Coco, Costa Rica!

Where is Playas del Coco?
Playas del Coco is a small fishing village with shops & restaurants in the northwestern province of Guanacaste on the Pacific Ocean. It's just west of Costa Rica's second largest international airport, Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport in Liberia, about 20 minutes from our condo.

About Our Condo
Our condo is located in a small, quiet complex of only 17 units (not like you'll find with some other bustling condo developments in Playas del Coco). It's a 2-story condo that offers views of the beautiful Pacific Ocean and Tortuga Island from the second-floor bedroom balcony or the spacious rooftop terrace, that also offers mountain views to the back of the property.

Our condo offers a pool just 7 steps down from our door! We have spacious 10-foot-high ceilings that create an airy feeling, plus it's fully air-conditioned throughout to keep you cool and comfortable during your stay. We have a custom kitchen featuring Costa Rican wood cabinets, granite countertops and all the necessities. There's a dining room (plus a shared poolside dining area) and a living area. We offer a safe for personal belongings, a flat-screen TV and of course, free WI-Fi! The bedroom features a plush pillow-top bed so you can get a restful night's sleep after a day of fun in the Costa Rican sun.

Please Note: We have several sets of stairs leading up to our condo, plus a roof top terrace that's accessed by a spiral staircase, so unfortunately if stairs don't work for you, our condo may sadly not be the best fit :(

How Affordable is Our Condo?
We purchased our condo in 2011 and are proud to say we've never raised the rates! During high season, November to March inclusive, our rates are as follows:

  • $75 (US) per night, with a 3-night minimum stay
  • $400 (US) per week
  • $1,100 (US) per month

Photo Courtesy of Marvin Garcia, Mardigi Tours
Essentially everything you've imagined doing in Costa Rica can be accessed while staying at our condo - and just think of all the money you'll save so you can enjoy more snorkeling, scuba diving, beach combing, horseback riding, mountain biking, sea kayaking and sunset sailing. Within an hours' drive, you'll find turtle watching, zip-lining, white water rafting, surfing, bird watching and even Parque Volcan Rincon de la Vieja, with its' steamy volcano. And, we can help you arrange any tours you'd like with our friends at Mardigi Tours!

Want More Information About Playas del Coco & Rent Our Costa Rica Condo? 
Our website is chock full of information for visitors including weather, finding the best beachesdriving tips and car rentals in Costa Rica and general fast facts. Check them out! If you have any questions, please just ask ;) 

Email us today at: Wondering if our condo is available for your chosen dates? It's just a click away to find out by checking Our Availability.

Pura vida! 🐵


9 Best Coffee Cities in the World

According to the Urban Dictionary, a coffeephile is a lover of coffee. If you savor the aroma as much as the flavor, it's easy to take advantage of your coffeephileness when booking your next vacation, why not, right? Let's check out some of the Best Coffee Cities in the World to get your caffeine on. Any guesses??

Taipei, Taiwan

The original Starbucks in Seattle, WA

Melbourne, Australia

Rome, Italy

Vienna, Austria

Havana, Cuba

San Jose, Costa Rica

Oslo, Norway
Vancouver, BC

Manila, Philippines

Stay at This Hotel, Adopt Your New Family Pet

I've always been a animal advocate and love to see good news stories about them instead of hearing about constant animal rights mistreatment. So let's do it!

If you stay at this hotel and fall in love with the dog in the lobby, you can take him home!! Yes, it's true. In partnership with Animal Samaritans, a no-kill shelter in the Palm Springs Valley, the Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa in Rancho Mirage, CA, regularly features pets who are awaiting their forever homes through their Adopt-a-Pet program.

The shelter dogs are treated the same as any other four-legged guest at this pet friendly hotel: they sleep in Westin Heavenly® dog beds and can order off the Patio Pooch Menu where dog delectables include raw food, chicken casseroles, and peanut butter and banana cookies.

Plus, this unique hotel has more permanent resident animals including a terrarium, a koi pond and 2 tortoises, along with 2 Flemish giant rabbits, birds and even a bee apiary. Such a great way to encourage kids to love animals!

For more information or to make your reservation, visit: Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa and be sure to check out these exotic animal vacations: Safari in South Africa and Take a Visit to Africa Without Leaving Home!