28 Oct Packing is HARD

[caption id="attachment_2145" align="aligncenter" width="300"] We've all been here, haven't we? Photo by Carly Peil[/caption] So, I can't be the only one who puts off packing for a big trip until the last minute. I read up on all the tips on Pinterest and watch countless videos about the best packing methods. Yet somehow, when I go to pack, I end up with a terribly heavy, overpacked suitcase and a stressed out mind. Packing is just hard, and it always sneaks up on me. I think packing, especially for a long trip, is different for each person and adventure--however, I do have some basic tips to offer! 1. Start early. Stop putting it off, okay? I know there's a lot to do in the weeks and days leading up to a trip, but if you start setting aside items a few weeks ahead of time then they are out of your way and you won't forget them. Keep a notebook with you and write down things you randomly remember you need to get or pack--don't just rely on your memory to keep track of it all, especially with all the other things you probably have on your plate with a big trip coming up. 2. They mean it...

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06 Apr Path Less Traveled

Avoiding the Beaten Path in Prague Prague is best described as an eclectic mix of old and new, where history can be seen and felt no matter where you are. Whether you are dancing the night away in a modern club housed in a two hundred year old building or eating traditional Czech food in a centuries-old restaurant along a winding, cobbled street, you will feel the past merging fluidly with the present. In the last few years people have begun to recognize Prague as a melting pot of culture, entertainment and beauty, which has increased the tourist traffic dramatically. For those of us who want to experience all that Prague has to offer while avoiding the crowds of people flocking to the most well-known venues, here 4 alternative experiences that can only be found in Prague.   Vyšehrad (High Castle) Though much less well-known than the Prague Castle, Vyšehrad is a favorite spot for locals because of the amazing view of the city, the popular beer garden located on the grounds, and the castle cemetery which is full of famous Czech people. At Vyšehrad you can drink like a local while looking at the graves of the more permanent locals.   Františkánská zahrada (Franciscan Garden)   Experience a peaceful oasis just off the famous (and famously busy) Wenceslas Square. The Františkánská zahrada is a small garden that was established in 1348 and which offers an ideal escape from the crowds without being completely removed from the energy of...

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23 Mar When travel goes wrong, because sometimes it does

Let's face it, traveling doesn't always go as we expect, despite our best efforts to think ahead and plan our itinerary down to to the minute. Most of us can recall a situation when a train was late, we missed a flight (or in my case, didn't really have a flight and lived in the airport for three days - more on this later), or we just ended up in the wrong place, and these are only the most common of travel inconveniences. The best thing about travel misadventures? They're learning experiences, and they're part of the adventure itself, often making for great stories you'll find yourself telling over and over years later. Read about our very own travel-gone-wrong experiences from the Panrimo staff and how we survived to tell about them! Ellen Knuth - University Relations Manager, Kyoto, Japan   What was supposed to happen: I was supposed to have a nice night out with friends, which I did, but with a slight hiccup. What actually happened:  I was working in a rural area in Japan, but on a long weekend, traveled to the cultural capital of Kyoto to meet-up with some college buddies. After a very long, very late evening of revelry, everyone hugged goodbye and went back to their hotels. Everyone except me, of course. Because I hadn’t booked a hotel. Resolution: With another friend who had also neglected basic travel prep, I got a room. Not in a hostel or business hotel, but in a 24/7...

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08 Sep Passport Peril

It’s time. That chance which only presents itself once a decade. Two seconds which can make or break you. It’s time to retake your passport photo. Deep breaths! Yes, the last photo was…not great, but surely you’ve learned from that, right? This time your picture will correctly resemble a savvy world traveler and not the angry, frazzled, maniacal snapshot, which caused so many immigration officials to do a double take. You’ve practiced taking plenty of non-smiling, face front, strictly beige background photos in the past few years, correct? No? And you’re aware they don’t accept instagram selfies? Uh oh… Before this gets out of hand, let Panrimo give you 5 quick tips on how to take a decent passport photo without the help of a professional photographer or makeup artist. Just remember to: Pick Your Time Are you the early bird who gets the worm, or the owl who stays up all night? Taking a good photo is much easier when you’re energized. Being wide-awake cuts down on droopy eyes, disgruntled expressions, and dark circles under your eyes. So choose your best time of day, it will make the whole experience more pleasant. Groom Appropriately Ladies: Keep the makeup natural, there’s no need for a full face of warrior paint. A little lip-gloss, concealer, and mascara will be perfect for a fresh, attractive id photo. Gentlemen: Shave. For those with permanent facial hair, be sure you trim up the ‘stache and even the eyebrows, it will look much better...

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05 Aug Hole in the Wall

Top 7 Scottish Pubs While Scotland may not command the respect that Ireland does in terms of pubs, it still boasts a respectable pub culture. And of course, while it’s incredibly difficult to do so, Panrimo has compiled a list of Scotland’s best pubs. Whether it’s in a nook down the street or one of the most recognized establishments in the city (or even country), you’ll always have a good time bellying up to the bar and grabbing a drink at each of Panrimo’s top 7 favorite pubs! 7.) Applecross Inn [caption id="attachment_969" align="aligncenter" width="347"] An apple a day keeps the doctor away, does drinking here daily count?[/caption] http://www.applecross.uk.com/inn/images/inn.jpg One of Scotland’s more remote pubs, you won’t be disappointed making the trek out to this inn. Located in Applecross on the far West side of Scotland and overlooking the water to the Isle of Skye, you’ll reach Applecross after passing through Britain’s highest mountain pass, Bealllach na Ba. But once you arrive, you’ll find a quaint little inn with a beautiful waterside location, plenty of great food, and fresh beer on draught. 6.) The Anderson [caption id="attachment_970" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Turret room = win.[/caption] http://media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/media/photo-s/01/2e/43/60/the-building.jpg Located just outside Inverness in Fortrose, the Anderson has picked up several culinary awards throughout Scotland. In addition to over 100 Belgian beers to choose from, the Anderson has also recently unveiled Knitting Nights, where skilled knitters or even beginners can kick back, pick up their needles, and enjoy a pint as well. 5.) The Halfway House [caption...

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04 Aug Enter the Pilgrim

Spain is a religious country, but it wasn’t always Christian. For hundreds of years leading up to around 1000 BC, Spain was predominantly Muslim. A strong Arab influence (think Granada) ruled the day. During this time Judaism was also heavily present. Enter the Middle Ages, a pushy king in a Spanish province, and the Bible being mass produced for the first time. Christianity rose above the other widely held beliefs, and has remained the most popular to this day. Consequently, pilgrimage is still a strongly held tradition across the country and thus we present: Panrimo's Top 5 Spanish Pilgrimages 5. La Semana Santa, Holy Week [caption id="attachment_962" align="aligncenter" width="2288"] Bring your own mask.[/caption] http://www.euroclubschools.org/userimages/Domingo_de_ramos_astorga.jpg Arguably the most important holiday in Spain, Spaniards take a week to remember the trial, deception of his friends, and suffering of Jesus Christ. Processions occur with actors walking the streets, whipping a man carrying a cross. It can get fairly intense. 4. Dia de Todos los Santos, All Saints Day [caption id="attachment_963" align="aligncenter" width="350"] Flower shops seriously love this day.[/caption] http://elgranitodearenadeishtar.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/cementerio_989711207.jpg The 1st of each November, Spaniards take time to remember loved ones who have died. Families walk to graveyards to place flowers and gifts at sites. It is a very community-oriented affair. 3. The Way of St. James, or El Camino de Santiago [caption id="attachment_964" align="aligncenter" width="800"] C'mon kids! Only 1 month of walking to go![/caption] http://frescotours.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/cd2181.jpg St. James was one of Jesus’ 12 apostles, and the first Christian martyr. His body was taken from Jerusalem and across Spain...

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01 Aug Did you pack your…? (5 Items You Shouldn’t Forget)

Take it from someone who has spent quite a bit of time traipsing about the world: you will always forget to pack SOMETHING. However, if you can avoid leaving the following items behind, your trip might go a little bit smoother. 5) Plastic Bag [caption id="attachment_954" align="aligncenter" width="400"] Do you ever feel like a plastic bag? No? Me neither.[/caption] http://img2-2.timeinc.net/toh/i/g/products/1009-plastic-bags/00-plastic-bags.jpg You probably have a dozen of these crammed in a closet right at this very moment. Though it may seem strange to bring one along on your international journey, the uses for a plastic bag are endless. Wrap it around your lotions and mini shampoo bottles to prevent spills. Use it to keep that wet swimsuit away from the rest of your dry clothing. Can’t remember which socks need washing? Segregate them to the bag. Unexpected downpour? This is the perfect way to protect your electronics! Take one along, you won’t regret it. 4) Pen & Paper [caption id="attachment_955" align="aligncenter" width="670"] Scribble, scribble, scribble.[/caption] http://www.truenorthquest.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/pen-and-paper.jpeg It doesn’t matter if you take a nicely bound notebook or a few sheets of loose leaf, paper and a pen to write with are hugely useful. (Also, very old school) Does that helpful man giving you directions want to draw a map? No problem! Do you need a way to remember the name of the restaurant your hostel buddies recommended? Got it! No smartphone service overseas? Thank goodness you wrote your friend’s contact info down! And, should the urge to sketch...

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10 Jul Tips on Tipping

In the USA gratuity has gotten a bit gratuitous. You have to wonder if it wouldn’t be better to just go ahead and raise minimum wage again so these poor people don’t have to depend on our pennies and dimes to get by. However, for as ever-present tipping is in America, many other countries don’t operate on the same rules. To avoid inadvertently offending the wait-staff, here are some tips on tipping. http://www.beausides.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Chinese-bellhop.jpg China Outside of the more European sensibilities of Hong Kong, tipping is neither expected, nor encouraged in China. The service industry isn’t trained to expect it and may be confused if you attempt to hand them a few singles. Though some tour services may allow you to thank their guides in this way, don’t feel obligated. Czech Republic Though a common courtesy involves rounding up the bill to the nearest denomination of 10 korun, no one will fault you if you refrain from doing so. (Note that in more international cities like Prague, more and more services expect a 10% tip for services rendered. Blame the tourists.) An important point to remember: tipping on a credit card charge isn’t done. England Tipping is expected and encouraged, but, as would happen in the USA, if the service is horrible you can legally refuse to do so. Keep in mind that, similar to their American counterparts, many service workers are faced with a ‘tip jar’ system, where they must evenly divide their takings at the end...

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02 Jul The Cafés I Used to Roam

Tony’s Top 7 Argentine Cafés Argentines are socialites. It’s in their blood. Even in the poorest of years, Argentines still dig deep into their sofas to find loose change and hit a bar or two, chatting with friends and family and enjoying each other’s company. But it’s the portenos—locals from the capital city of Buenos Aires—who embody the happy-go-lucky, out-and-about attitude. And they do it in fashion. [caption id="attachment_865" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Get jazzy on it.[/caption] http://media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/media/photo-s/04/91/92/5f/notorious.jpg 7. I like jazz. I love it, actually. A jazz singer on the side, I try and find live music in every city I’m in. When it comes to my preferred beats, Notorious takes the cake in Buenos Aires. Drink coffee, have a pastry, listen to the oldest or latest jazz CDs for free, or hang around until the evening hours for a live performance. It’s all at Notorious. Located at Avenida Callao 966 in the Recoleta neighborhood. 6. Though well-known now, this former opera house-turned-bookstore is a sight to see. Built in 1919, El Ateneo houses over a million books to purchase—all new—in the former viewing boxes of the opera house. Books are also where the orchestra seating was, too. Grab a coffee there and your favorite pages—many offered in English—and look up. Your eyes will love all that they take in. Located at Avenida Santa Fe 1860 in the Recoleta neighborhood. http://www.buenosairestravelplanet.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/cafe-tortoni.jpg 5. Another known and old café (I promise, the next four will not have heard of) is Café...

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08 Sep How to choose a destination for Study Abroad

[caption id="attachment_2238" align="alignnone" width="660"] Can't go wrong![/caption] After freshman year in college I went abroad for two months to Merida, Mexico. I saw a flier in a campus building I normally don’t enter: “Two Months in Mexico. Field Research. $500 Stipend.” It piqued my interest, and I emailed the professor whose name was listed below and that was that. My life took an entirely new direction and I was hooked. But what makes a student choose to travel abroad to a particular country? Reasons vary: A friend is dead-set on Tanzania, so you tag along. The price is right for Buenos Aires. 9 credits in two months for studies in Lyon. You’ve always wanted to try Chinese food in China to compare to Peking Wok Restaurant a block from your dorm...

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