Perhaps I should have written this a few months ago since so many take summer vacations, but I save most of my travel for later in the year, preferring to enjoy summers in New England. Regardless, these money saving travel tips remain true year round.
1. Be flexible with your travel dates. Why does everyone plan vacations that start and end on weekends? You can take the same number of vacation days and leave mid-Week. The upside is airfares are often cheaper and you have two short work weeks.
2. There have never been more lodging options. Americans tend to stick to US chains when traveling abroad, but try local chains or independent hotels. You can often read reviews of these properties on sites like TripAdvisor.com and the popularity of sites like AirBnB and GayHomestays give you even more choices if you’d like to look beyond traditional lodging establishments.
3. Check out the destination’s tourism sites. Cities in particular often have websites set up to promote tourism that include discounts to places of interest to tourists and public transportation. It is worth checking out before you go.
4. Eat where the locals eat. Every city has great “cheap eats” that locals know and love. We always go out and splurge on a few meals, but some of our best dining experiences have been at places frequented by locals. Do a little homework up front or when you arrive ask locals for tips and suggestions.
5. Check local blogs for tips. You must’ve seen this one coming from a mile away. There are bloggers everywhere now and chatting with a local on where to stay, what to see (and more importantly what to avoid) can save you more than just money.
Paris is one of my favorite cities in the world so when I read a recent article on Huffington Post Travel, I knew I wanted to share it.
While I love the view of Paris from the Eiffel Tower, I think when Sergio and I next visit, we’ll likely skip the inevitable long line and head out to Tour Montparnesse; a massive skyscraper less than two miles from the Eiffel Tower that has an open air terrace on the 56th floor – some 650 feet above the city’s skyline. Follow my link to check out the amazing view you may appreciate (and photograph) when you visit Paris – wicked awesome view.
Maverick Men Mayan Adventure: Nov 30 – Dec 7, 2014
Boston’s most notorious gay couple, The Maverick Men, are hosting 3,600 gay men on a private charter cruise that leaves from Miami, Florida with ports of call in Key West, Mexico and Honduras and you can join them.
Cole and Hunter make for great travel buddies. We enjoyed our time together last December in Brazil, but we will have to miss the cruise since we’ll be in South America. Perhaps you’d like to join the cruise and tell me all about it? More info about the cruise is here.
BosGuy, Hunter and Cole – Ipanema Beach, Rio de Janeiro
This past weekend Sergio and I packed our bags and joined friends for a fun weekend in Ogunquit, Maine. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, Ogunquit is another popular beach town for the LGBT community. It is a much smaller, less busy option to the craziness that defines Provincetown during the summer months.
I really love going to the beach in Ogunquit but if that isn’t your thing, the nearly 1.5 mile Marginal Way walk is a great alternative, as is spending time in the tiny village shopping, eating or walking down to the more quiet and picturesque – Perkins Cove. Below are some photos from this past weekend’s fun in Ogunquit.
If you have any questions about planning a day trip or longer stay in Ogunquit, Maine – feel free to reach out to me with your questions.
View of the dunes as you walk to the beach
A different kind of view – equally as engaging
Front Porch piano bar afternoon sing-along
Love the second floor deck at Maine Street Bar
Ogunquit is picture perfect no matter where you turn
If you are not from the northeast you may not be familiar with Ogunquit, Maine. However, this southern Maine, coastal town is a popular alternative to Provincetown for the LGBT community.
This weekend Sergio and I will be in Ogunquit with friends who have a beautiful home just outside the center of town and near the beach. For those unfamiliar with Ogunquit but interested in learning more, feel free to contact me or you can also check out online, gayogunquit.com.
I’ve often commented on how much I love Boston and am happy to act as any newcomer’s or visitor’s concierge, answering questions or providing suggestions. While I realize my preferences may not be yours, I thought I’d share ideas on what to see over three days in Boston. I’ve taken care to avoid suggesting places only a trust fund baby can afford. You can read my suggestions from Day 1 Here and Day 2 Here.
Day 3: Three (Gay) Days in Boston
What would a visit to Boston be without checking the Freedom Trail? This 2.5 mile walk chronicle’s America’s history in the years leading up to and during the American Revolution. Although the walk technically starts on Boston Common, I’d suggest starting your morning by splurging at The Omni Parker House dining room for breakfast just a few blocks from the start of the trail. This restaurant has been serving Boston and Boston travelers since 1855 and is the birthplace of the Boston Cream Pie. It also has the distinction of having employed Ho Chi Minh and Malcolm X.
After walking the Freedom Trail you are going to be tired so spend the afternoon taking a 90-minute Duck Tour. Before or after your tour (you decide) grab lunch on Boylston Street in the Back Bay. I’m partial to the patio of Atlantic Fish Co. if you’re not a fan of seafood or want a cheap eats alternative check out Cafe Jaffa a few blocks away.
Start your final evening by visiting another iconic Boston restaurant, The Oak Long Bar + Kitchen, in the Fairmont Copley Hotel in Copley Square. For dinner on the cheap head over to a South End neighborhood mainstay, Anchovies, for basic, affordable homestyle Italian-American that is just a few blocks away. For something a little more interesting, try Myers + Chang – a Pan-Asian Tapas restaurant on Washington & Berkeley Street. Take a taxi rather than walk – it should be about $6 from Copley; again make reservations. After dinner walk just two blocks down Washington Street to Boston’s newest gay bar – more of a Bear / Sports Bar – Cathedral Station.
I’ve often commented on how much I love Boston and am happy to act as any newcomer’s or visitor’s concierge, answering questions or providing suggestions. While I realize my preferences may not be yours, I thought I’d share ideas on what to see over three days in Boston. I’ve taken care to avoid suggesting places only a trust fund baby can afford. You can read my suggestions from Day 1 Here.
Day 2: Three (Gay) Days in Boston
Leave all the walking for the afternoon today and start your morning at the original The South End Buttery on the corner of Shawmut Ave and Union Park St. Relax and enjoy the morning hub bub, use the free wifi and people watch at this busy corner coffee shop that serves some of the best coffee in town.
In the afternoon head over to Neptune Oyster at 63 Salem Street and treat yourself to their lobster roll; it is expensive but worth it. And unlike at dinner, seats are relatively easy to get at lunch. Then go to the recently expanded The Modern Pastry to get something decadently sweet you can enjoy while you stroll down The Rose Kennedy Greenway, which offers views of Boston’s skyline, harbor and public art. When you end your walk near Chinatown, take a left and head over to Boston’s only remaining Gay Bookstore, Calamus Bookstore (at 92b South Street; open 11am – 7pm Tues – Sat and 12-6pm Sun). Peruse the shelves and support this great LGBT bookstore with a purchase or two.
In the evening go to Sister Sorel on Tremont Street (or next door if it is nice weather – Tremont 647) in the South End to carouse with locals. Skip the food here; it is the n’hood vibe that makes the place fun. While it isn’t technically a gay pub, there is always a quorum present. When you get hungry head over to Stella on Washington Street; it may seem like a tough area but it is safer than you’d ever imagine so walk like a local down W. Brookline Street until you arrive at Stella. If it is the weekend, ask for directions to the back bar where it is easier to snag a seat. After dinner head to the front bar for drinks and people watching.