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Headed to New York and unsure where to find the best coffees?

The image of black-clad New Yorkers cradling their cups of coffee while rushing up and down the subway has been an instantly recognisable NYC icon for decades. Put together New York's unwavering love for caffeine and rustic or Scandinavian design trends, and we have some of the best ways to relax and recharge in the midst of the city's hustle and bustle.

Cortado Please

Originating from Spain, cortado, which is equal parts espresso and steamed milk, has been an NYC coffee staple for the past 5 years. In this guide, you'll be introduced to some of the best cafes that serve the best cortados and many more in Manhattan.

But First Coffee

Clean interior and laid-back atmosphere, here are 6 locations situated on both sides of the Brooklyn bridge that do not only deliver in coffee, but also up the game in presentation.

A Summer Day in Brooklyn

Fend off summer's heat with an ice-cold latte or two in Brooklyn. From garden cafes to rooftop bars, this guide will take you to some of the unique offerings in the neighbourhood.

 

 

submitted by -- Anonymous

In the age of technology, booking trips online is an easy choice for travelers. And yet the business of travel agents in the United States soared last year.

Here are 10 reasons that help explain why that is, from a customer’s perspective.

1. Accountability
A travel agent’s job is on the line with every trip. Travel agents have a boss to answer to—or they are the boss—and they are a real person clients can speak with to work things out.

2. Knowledge
Travel agents have been doing the job for years and know all the ins and outs. Traveling to Europe for the first time? Instead of deciding where to go based on anonymous comments on a website, speak to someone who does this for a living and knows what they’re talking about.  

3. More for your money
When booking an expensive trip, travelers want to see everything and experience the best a city has to offer. A travel agent can ensure travelers dollars go a long way—and make sure they don’t miss that amazing restaurant down the street, or the special event going on the day their in town.  A travel agent knows where to go and when.

4. Setting an Itinerary
While some people enjoy “just winging it,” a travel agent can give a clear-cut schedule of what will be happening on a day-to-day basis, and keep clear records of everything that is included in the trip.

5. Budgeting
A travel agent can help map out exactly how much a trip will cost, so there are no surprises. Does that excursion on Monday include lunch, for example, or do you have to buy your own? Does it pay to take the drinks package on the cruise ship, or pay for the excursions in advance? A travel agent can guide you and save you money.

6. Insurance
Things happen. A travel agent can offer insurance in a number of ways, from guaranteeing that the hotel is safe and the company running the excursion won’t rob a traveler, to actually advising on which insurance policies are needed, from trip cancellation to medical emergencies. They also insure that travelers will have the correct travel documents, so they don’t end up missing their plane or cruise. And when things do go wrong, travel agents have the resources and the contacts to get travelers to the head of the line.

7. Resources
At the touch of travel agents’ fingertips they have resources a traveler simply does not. Yes, we have the internet, but there is so much still left unknown, especially in places that are undiscovered.

8. Exclusivity
Let’s face it, we all want to be a little bit different. A travel agent knows the new destinations and the new places in them —and often they can get their client in. Through their partners, they also often get freebies for their customers that range from a free drink to an exclusive admission to a hot event.

9. Time savings 
Spending hours and weeks researching the perfect trip can take up a ton of time during a busy work week. Travel agents will spend a little time getting to know their clients and what they are looking for, and then put together an entire vacation customized for them.

10. Leverage
Can’t book a room at a place you really want? Had a last minute addition to a trip but all the rooms are booked? No problem. Travel agents spend years developing long-term relationships, and travel companies understand how important their repeat business is. Travel agents have leverage with most hotel companies and resorts, and they are more likely to get what they want than a single consumer.

In short, if you have never visited a travel agent, you are missing out on a chance to save time and hassles and aggravation—and often, money as well.

Source: Travelmarket Report

 

submitted by -- Anonymous

If you're headed to Africa, here's handy packing list of just about everything you’ll need on your African adventure so you don’t miss key items. Use this list in conjunction with your itinerary notes to ensure you have no more and no less than you need for your adventure.

LUGGAGE

  • Soft duffle bag
  • Daypack
  • Waterproof liner for kitbag Luggage labels or ID tags 

Tip: There may be a restriction on luggage limits on your safari – please ensure that you have the luggage details from your agent ahead of time and also enquire about the feasibility and costs of taking excess luggage with you on any of these restricted luggage safaris.

DOCUMENTS

  • Document wallet or moneybelt Passports (and visas)
  • Vaccination certificates (if applicable) Travel insurance documents
  • Local currency or hard currency Cashcards
  • e-ticket or flight details
  • Map, guidebook & novel Notebook & pen

PHOTOGRAPHY

  • Camera & lenses (along with cleaning wipes for lenses) Memory cards
  • Spare batteries & charger
  • Waterproof/dustproof camera bag along with
  • A good camera strap 

BATHROOM & HYGIENE

  • Toiletry bag
  • Toothbrush & toothpaste
  • Shampoo & conditioner
  • Soap or shower gel
  • Razor & shaving cream
  • Contact lenses & solution
  • Moisturiser & sunscreen
  • Travel towel
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Washing kit (if you wish to do your own hand washing)

GADGETS

  • Mobile phone & charger
  • Universal travel plug adapter
  • MP3 player or iPod
  • Binoculars (recommended 8x40 or 10x42) 

Tip: Most lodges will provide reference materials in their camps and vehicles, so it is not necessary to bring these with you. However, we highly recommend that you do bring your own pair of binoculars in order to get the most out of your safari. 

SHOES

  • Walking boots
  • Trainers or walking shoes
  • Sandals 

CLOTHING

  • Sunhat/bush hat
  • Headscarf/bandana - for dusty dry regions
  • T-shirts
  • Long-sleeved cotton shirts
  • Shorts and/or skirts
  • Long trousers/slacks
  • Underwear (suitable bra for game drives)
  • Swimwear
  • Sunglasses
  • Socks (thermal options during winter months)
  • Lightweight jersey or fleece/light rain gear for summer months Thick jacket, scarf, gloves & woollen hats for winter months 

Tip: We recommend netural coloured clothing. Camouflage, bright colours and white are not advisable whilst on safari. 

HEALTH & MEDICAL

  • Water bottles
  • Small first aid kit
  • Painkillers, cold & flu medicine Immodium & rehydration salts Personal medication
  • Insect repellent
  • Malaria Tablets (if applicable) Sunscreen and lip balm Antiseptic wipes
  • Torch 

Do ask your Mondo Travel specialist if you have any questions or doubts; they're there to help you!

 

submitted by -- Anonymous