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Strange & Bizarre Travel Experiences from The Travel Tart

ExpertFlyer Hot Topics — Where the Rubber Meets the Runway

Now and again we like to throw in a curve ball post just to see if you’re paying attention.  That said, we found a funny new friend whose take on travel is anything but ordinary.  If you’re from the land “down under” you may already know Anthony, aka, The Travel Tart.  We asked Anthony to share some of his more outrageous travel experiences here on ExpertFlyer — Enjoy, and check out our video interview with Anthony below.

the travel tartHi there – my name is Anthony and I run the silly travel blog called ‘The Travel Tart – Offbeat Tales From A Travel Addict’ which is about the funny and offbeat aspects of world travel.

My main reason for travelling is that I don’t want to run out of dinner party conversations! Based on my experience, I find that people love the more unusual and bizarre aspects of travel – for example, the signs that don’t translate very well into English, or the things that go wrong on the road. I personally think these beat enduring a tortuous slideshow of two thousand selfies on Facebook!

I’m always keeping an eye open for the weird stuff on my travels. So here is a list of my top 5 strange and bizarre travel experiences that I may or may not have enjoyed! There might even be some useful travel tips here as well!

Here we go!

cow's nose with peanut sauce

  1. Eat Cow’s Nose with Satay Sauce – Indonesia

I’m always up for trying the weirdest food that won’t leave me sitting on the toilet for a week! Most of the time, I end up becoming pleasantly surprised with what I dare to ingest!

One of the more unusual dishes I’ve tried is from a city called Surabaya in East Java is called Rujak Cingur.  Ingredients are as follows: sliced cow’s nose (including the cartilage), peanut sauce, shrimp paste, noodles, cucumber, tempe (a local ingredient consisting of fermented soybean cake), pineapple, and immature mango. Think crunchy and meaty at the same time! The cow nose meat is cooked on a pan with all of these ingredients, and the peanut sauce is added last to smother the mix.

Indonesia is full of these culinary gems which at first sight, seem totally unpalatable, but when you chow down on the food, it tastes great! Other examples include mixing tea with egg, and mixing shaved ice with red beans and condensed milk.

funny mall attractions

  1. See the Sheep Gynecology Statues in Australia’s Capital

The Sheep Gynecology statues are probably one of the most bizarre sculptures you will see in a nation’s capital. Normally, there are parks and statues depicting some sort of national event or founding father! These weird statues are located in a central Canberra street mall and have become popular with visitors who have their photo taken next to this strange creation.

presidential highway gore-clinton

  1. Make your own Presidential Race on the Presidential Highway – in New Zealand!

Clinton is a small town in South Otago, in New Zealand’s South Island. It is located on State Highway One down the road from the town of Gore. Someone in a local tourism board thought it was a good idea to have the section between Gore and Clinton named as ‘The Presidential Highway‘, after Bill Clinton and Al Gore came to power in the early 1990s. This highway still exists!

cafe diana

  1. Drink Coffee at the Café Diana – London

This experience is like drinking coffee at a shrine! When she was alive, this cafe was often frequented by Princess Diana, as it is directly across the road from Kensington Gardens near where she lived. The current owners of Cafe Diana have obviously capitalised on this, as the entire wall space is covered in Princess Diana Photos or newspaper/magazine articles about her life. It’s a bit weird when you first walk in there, and it feels like a pilgrimage site!

beer vending machine

  1. Drink beer from a vending machine – Japan

Japan has one of the highest number of vending machines per capita in the world. You can buy almost anything from a vending machine there – such as hot noodles, clothes and beer! That’s right, there are vending machines in the street that can dispense beer at any time that you want. You could literally have beer for breakfast!

There you go. That’s just a small sample of some of the strange and bizarre travel experiences I’ve come across! They’re worth experiencing at least once!

Bye for now!

 

 

Friends of ExpertFlyer get $20 discount on Frequent Traveler University registration

frequent traveler universityFrequent Traveler University (FTU), a popular educational event about maximizing your frequent flyer benefits, has partnered with USA TODAY this year. The University will be back in Washington, DC, from December 3-5, 2014.

Our friends at FTU have extended a generous $20 discount to fans, friends  and followers of ExpertFlyer.  Sign up today on the FTU website and use coupon code: expertflyer for $20 off per ticket.

Visit the FTU website for further details on the event’s high caliber roster of speakers, such as Ben Muzabaugh, USA TODAY Travel, Gary Leff, View from the Wing, Summer Hull, Mommy Points and many more.

Halloween Destinations for 2014

zombieSince Halloween falls on a Friday this year, some folks may be opting to get their scare on all weekend long.  We’ve compiled a list of frightful entertainment options in the top three US cities.

Chicago

 13th Floor Haunted House

Boasting two attractions this year, the Rising, a gothic Parisian graveyard, and the Dead End District, a post-apocalyptic, zombie-infested urban nightmare, 13th Floor Haunted House will send you shivering into the night.

Disturbia Screams in the Park
Rated one of the top haunts in Chicagoland by the Chicago Tribune, the haunting experience of Disturbia leads victims into a lower level parking garage where they are confronted by terror upon terror as they move through 35 interactive rooms.

Statesville Haunted Prison
No one escapes from Statesville.  The Prisoners have rioted, the guards have fled, a darkness has seized control of this Maximum Security Prison and our Warden has opened the gates for visitors. After the prisoners have processed “The Meat/Visitors”, you will be forced to find your way through 23 maximum security cells and come eye to eye with over 100 criminals that were too evil to die.

Los Angeles

 Delusion 
According the the website, this moving play immerses you in a living, breathing world as you play your part in a psychologically disturbing tale of horror, suspense, mystery and adventure. You will interact with actors, perform actions, retrieve objects, solve mysteries, choose paths and sacrifice yourself if need be to further the story along.

Los Angeles Haunted Hay Ride
The Los Angeles Haunted Hayride promises Creatures and Hellish abominations of Apocalyptic proportions this year.  The extended trail is back bringing an entirely new twenty-five (25) minute experience to those who think they’ve “seen it all.”

Alone…An Existential Haunting
ALONE is a site-specific, immersive and artistic exploration of fear, loneliness and self preservation. It’s a thirty minute walkthrough experience which you may only enter alone, and where you become a willing victim to your own inner demons. ALONE explores the deepest regions of the bizarre, and places you as a participant in your own nightmare.

New York

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow…and more
Just 30 minutes north of New York City, get scared out of your mind in Sleepy Hollow/Tarrytown.  For 13 nights, Horseman’s Hollow takes “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” to dark extremes. The 17th Century Dutch colony of Philipsburg Manor transforms into a terrifying landscape ruled by the undead, the evil, and the insane. Visitors begin walking a haunted trail, stumbling upon scary scenes of a town driven mad by the Headless Horseman.

Blood Manor 

Billed as the most intense, creepy and scream inducing haunted house in the New York tri-state area, Blood Manor is comprised of 5,000 square feet of themed rooms, corridors, and a labyrinth of passageways designed to to maximize one’s fears.

 Bayville Scream Park
If you’re a theme park lover visiting Long Island, Bayville Scream Park features five sure-to-scare haunted attractions, including  Bloodworth Haunted Mansion, Uncle Needle’s Fun House of Fear, Temple of Terror, Zombie Pirates and Evil in the Woods.

 

 

“Did you know…The Economic Impact of Tourism?”

It’s difficult to fathom these numbers, but according to research compiled by onlineaccountingdegrees.com, travel and tourism generates about 266 million jobs globally, and the total economic output generated by the U.S. travel and tourism industry equals $1.5 trillion.

See the infographic below for the full statistical analysis.

Tourism Economics

Source: Online-Accounting-Degrees.net

“Did you know…Worse days to fly & best days to book?”

Crowded Airport

(cc) Tony Hisgett via Flickr

A recent USA Today article cites the Wednesday before and the Sunday following Thanksgiving as the worst US travel days of the year.  Simply by moving your travel itinerary up one day so you depart on a Tuesday and return on a Saturday can save you as much as 30-50%.

That’s all well and good, but what are the best days and times to book a trip and what are the best resources for doing so?  According to America’s Digital Goddess, Kim Komando, airlines often announce deals on Monday evenings, so by noon on Tuesday, competitors are scrambling to match those deals.

Kim says, Tuesday afternoons are the best time to hunt for reduced airfare.  However, for leisure travelers, a study by Texas A&M University found that weekends are actually the best time to book airline tickets. That’s because airlines are more likely to lower their fares on Saturday and Sunday to attract leisure travelers.

So, what should you do? According to Kim, if you see one airline offering a deal on Monday, make plans to buy your tickets on Tuesday. If there are no deals going on, buy on the weekend.  To read Kim’s full post, click here.