Wednesday, 30 October 2013

The Need To Know - Discount Airlines

Note: I apologize for the delay in this series for the first-time or novice traveler. I will try to post more often.

Back in the sixties, flying was an elegant luxury. Airlines such as Pan-Am ruled the skies with top notch service and comfort, whisking its passengers to far-off exotic locations. As time wore on changes came about. More competition, price wars, de-regulation to increased fuel costs, consumer demand for lower prices and crazy service fees. The airline industry has not only expanded to a billion dollar industry it is constant. Rarely, if at all, planes are not flying somewhere in the atmosphere. 

This vast global industry gives passengers a few types  of air carriers, depending on the region. There is the "regular" airline where prices points and seating range from coach to business to first class, each having its own perks. Most of these are the big airlines. Many of them may also have smaller regional airlines under their umbrellas.  Another form is the charter flights which are primarily used by tour operators selling package holidays. Then there is the discount airline. 

Discount airlines can offer some amazing deals. Incredible low fares that almost seem to good to be true. Though, they are true! That is the great thing about these discount carriers. They offer cut throat rates and can help you save money. The thing is, that you need to be aware of the extra fees and charges that are the ever present sidekick of these low price "heroes".  Read the fine print and learn what their extra charges are since they will be plenty. It is the abundance of these extra fees that allow them to have lower fares. The other way they can offer inexpensive fares is by flying into smaller airports, often far from the city centre. For example, Allegiant Air has numerous flights from Bellingham, WA (USA) instead of Seattle, WA. Another is Ryan Air's service from London-Stansted (UK), about 1.15 hours from London. It just costs less to land a planes at these airports. These savings are then passed onto the passengers. You just need to allot time and money to get to these airports.

So, when you see that amazing deal offered by a discount carrier, remember to look into their extra fees. These may include but are not limited to: 

  • checked baggage within their weight and size restrictions*
  • excess baggage fees*
  • overweight/over-sized baggage fees*
  • cost of paying for checked baggage at time of booking vs at airport check-in
  • paying with a debit card vs paying with a credit card
  • exceeding the number of carry-on and personal items in cabin
  • booking online vs booking over the phone
  • advance seat selection*
  • overhead compartment use
  • purchasing of food/snacks and drinks on-board*
  • purchasing of headphones/blankets/pillows*
*Common with 'regular' airlines as well
Discount airlines can offer you some fabulous prices that can not be beat. Just do your homework to find out how to get to these smaller airports, if that is the case and know what you will be paying in total. That will leave you with less surprises. And one more thing, do your homework with the non-discount carriers as well. Sometimes they have a few charges you were not expecting either.

Happy traveling!!

One last thing. I have included a video for your entertainment. A bit of comedy about discount air carriers. It is all in fun!

Disclaimer: The information provided on "Eeva's Wanderings" is meant only as tips and suggestions. I, the author, am not responsible for any harm, injury, loss of life or property or any other misfortune that may occur should anyone act on, re-use or their interpretation of the information provided. I will try to provide up-to-date (at time of posting) information but am not responsible should it be out-of-date or incorrect. All opinions are my own and in no way are meant to mislead, defame, harm, humiliate or injure anyone.

Sunday, 27 October 2013


Hallowe'en is just around the corner and this will be the finale of my eerie series. So why not end off where Bram Stoker began his infamous tale (despite the fact that he never visited Transylvania).

Transylvania is found in the central region of Romania, encompassed to the east and south by the stunning Carpathian Mountains. It is dotted with some amazing medieval towns filled with Gothic castles, historic fortresses and stunning natural beauty.

Bram Castle Transylvania 5

The hauntingly exquisite Bran Castle. Known as "Dracula's Castle".

Photo Credit: Flickr - Vince Dovey

Thursday, 24 October 2013


These are a few of my favourite things blogs (at the moment).
I admit that some of the blogs I read fall out of my favour. Or the authors do not write something for quite some time (that holds a familiar tone..LOL). What can I say, I'm flighty at times.

Nonetheless, these are the blogs that I am enjoying. Some do belong to friends and others do not. Perhaps you will some in here that can enjoy.

My favourite blogs:

1. Bootsnall - Actually, I prefer their website as it is a cornucopia of information for the indie traveler. Their blog is usually a brief statement of their Twitter chats or snippets of what is on their website

2. So Many Places - This is, by far, my favourite blog to read. I have been following Kim for over a year and even read all her archived posts. Kim and her husband Brian sold everything and took off to travel. I enjoy her writing style and keeping up with their adventures. 

3.  Love The Fold - I came across this blog by accident. Posted by "Oldy on Foldly" it chronicles his group trips in SE Asia on folding bikes. Although I do not cycle, I appreciate his writing, photos and zeal for these journey's when they happen. 

4. Wandering Dragon - Jennifer is a good friend if mine, which is why I began reading her blog. Ends up she is a talented writer who paints a picture in my mind's eye with her words.

5. E-Tramping - I learned of this blog from Instagram. The duo of Agness and Cez posted some great photos there and I began to follow them. Their profile has a link to their blog and here I am, a fan of their work.

Others I enjoy:

6. Chrystal Clear - Another blog that I stumbled upon. I initially took interest in it because the author, Chrystal, is from the city I grew up in. Sadly though, she has not written as often as previously.

7. Wandering Sasquatch - Inspired by his wife's blog (So Many Places, mentioned above) Brian started his own blog about their travel and the ever elusive sasquatch.
8. World Wide Walkaboot - Written by one of my Couch Surfing friends, Ryan and his GF Christie, I have followed their adventures over the past year.

9. Cape to Kathmandu - Alpheus is an acquaintance I made through a mutual Couch Surfing friend and learned of his blog on Facebook. He traveled a portion of this trip with his friends through Africa. The photos alone make this blog worth reading.

10. The Bright Side - Another Couch Surfing aquaintance, Chloe has a refreshing and funny writing style. Although I have not seen her in years I do enjoy reading about her life tales.

11. Secrets In My Suitcase - Just as I was getting to know Rolla she packs up her husband and herself all the way to Paris. Partly jealous and partly sad she left I am following her on her blog.

There you have it. My rather extensive list of blogs I follow. Now they are not all updated daily, which is actually good as I would never keep up. I read these mainly on my phone on my long commute to work - great way to pass the time.

Sunday, 20 October 2013


Carrying forward with the eerie, the city of Edinburgh, Scotland is considered the most haunted in all of Europe. Within it is the most haunted spot in Scotland - Edinburgh Castle. Encompassing a history that spans centuries, this remarkable castle has seen the some of the the worst in torture, battles and imprisonment. It is not surprising that such a macabre past would elicit the notion of ghostly sightings.

Built on Castle Rock, this 'haunted' locale has been the subject of paranormal studies and ghost hunts. Reported spectral 'sightings' and 'phenomenon' include phantom prisoners, a headless drummer, drops in temperature, feelings of clothing being tugged or skin brushed when nothing is around. It is enough to send shivers down your spine. Do you dare to explore the dank, grim corridors and corners of this infamous haunt?

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons, owned by Kim Traynor

Sunday, 13 October 2013


October is a well-loved month of mine as I am able to partake in two holidays this month. First is (Canadian) Thanksgiving. A fantastical feast of delectable treats for the palate. YUM! Then comes Hallowe'en (a.k.a. Samhain). A time to dress up, eat chocolate and participate in related activities. Visiting haunted attractions, costume parties and more chocolate is plenty fun. That being said, I must admit that I am not a die-hard Hallowe'en participant. Some years I dress up and go out, others I do not. But I am rather staunch about my chocolate intake -LOL. Since we are in the scary-boo season the next several locations will be honoring the spookiness of this season.

Old headstones covered in moss and sitting askew, winds whistling through the trees and the idea that a lost soul may still linger can make a cemetery seem eerie. See them on a foggy fall day and you may be set up to get a chill. London's Highgate Cemetery is known for its old yet beautiful mausoleums, statues and headstones. It was established in 1839 but fell into a state of decay and disrepair. The 1970s saw a The Friends of Highgate Cemetery help to bring about restoration and maintenance of this historic spot.

Highgate Cemetery, North London

Photo Credit: Flickr - Seymour Krelborne

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Music and Video

Travel without music is well, like not getting dessert. It just adds to the experience. Whether you have your own playlist or a song plays randomly at that right moment, music cements those incredible moments and people into our hearts and minds for lifetime. No matter where I am I am transported back in time to a magical travel place just by hearing a song. REM's "Shiny Happy People" places a smile on my face and whisks me back to Heidelberg, Germany. "Hey Baby" by DJ Otzi has me back in Mallorca with my bestie. More recently, Kanye's "BLKKK SKKKN HEAD" has me roadtrippin' to Tofino. The power of music is indefinable.

How many times have you concocted a playlist for that weekend road trip? Have a travel playlist on your iPod or MP3 player? Or listen to music that leads you to envision yourself on your next trip? That is what I have been doing lately. A few songs come to mind. I have selected some and I have posted below. One because of the lyrics and another because of the video. Finally, a non-music video that a friend uploaded to Facebook and I love it!  Here you go:

CUPS (WHEN I'M GONE) by Anna Kendricks:

I COULD BE THE ONE by Avicii vs Nicky Romero (**has images some may find offensive**)
I like the video and think it is hilarious, except the ending.

WE ARE BACKPAKCERS (non-music video)

This is the non-music video that I saw on my friend's FB page and I so get it! This RTW trip scares the crap out of me but what is that saying..."If your dreams don't scare you then they are not big enough."


Sunday, 6 October 2013


Any moment that Greece is mentioned my mind inevitably thinks of the white washed, blue domed buildings of the island of Santorini. One of the Cyclades island group, Santorini is without doubt the most familiar of all the Greek Isles. It is located in the Aegean Sea, 200km/120mi south of the Greek mainland. It was created from a volcanic blast that destroyed what once was a lone island and created this caldera.

Santorini Photos
This photo of Santorini is courtesy of TripAdvisor

History, an arid climate, good food, stunning views and beaches of white, black and red makes this a locale one that is heaven to the senses.

Photo credit: Trip Advisor