Carl Turnley Travel

Carl Turnley discusses his love of and experience with travel.

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Travel Hacks to Save You Money

carl turnley travel hacks

Two of the biggest reasons given for a lack of traveling in one’s life are a lack of time and a lack of money.


Time is tough to tackle–you can plan trips in advance and take off work, but sometimes big things come up and complicate things. Coordinating schedules with significant others, children, friends, family, etc. adds another burden.


Money, however, is no excuse. You don’t have to make six figures to travel the world and explore–in fact, with the use of some handy travel hacks, you can save a good bit of money in the coming year.


With 2017 in full swing and this year’s travel trends already covered in a previous entry, it’s time to look towards not just what you can expect when you’re traveling in 2017, but how you can save money doing it.


Freeze a Bottle or Two to Save on In Flight Purchases

The 3-1-1 rule implemented by the TSA has made bringing drinks onto planes trickier in recent years. Sometimes a few ounces of water or Gatorade or an energy drink isn’t going to cut it.


A solution that seems to evade many people is simply freezing your bottles. As per TSA rules, a bottle of liquid may be brought onto the plane so long as it’s frozen solid by the time you reach your checkpoint. That’s not always a given, as wait times are often long in these lines, but freezing your drinks ahead of time will keep you hydrated (or energized) and save you money.


Check Prices Before You Buy

This one more than likely seems like an obvious way to save cash, but it’s often ignored in lieu of efficiency. Check other websites and airlines for cheaper flights, even if it means a slightly longer layover or an earlier departure time.

You also may want to consider using a site like Hipmunk, which compares prices, departure times, layovers, flight time, and combines them into an aggregate score called “Agony.” As you may suspect, lower agony flights are usually those with less in between time and more regular flights schedules.


Stopovers Can Double Your Vacation

You’ve obviously heard of layovers–they’re a flyer’s worst nightmare. You’re stuck in some random location for a few hours with nothing to do but sit around in the airport and maybe grab a bite to eat before you’ve got to return and prepare to reboard. They are a necessary evil during which you can accomplish little other than catching up on that show you’ve been binging on Netflix or knocking out a bit of work.

But stopovers are a different ballgame. If your layover extends beyond what one normally would consider to be a layover (usually 24 hours), you’ve entered the realm of stopovers. You’ve also effectively doubled your vacation.

Many airlines offer free or cheap stopovers–IcelandAir actually features free 7 day stopovers, even going so far as to provide you with a free Stopover Buddy who accompanies you for the day, showing you around the area and answering questions you may have.


Search For Free Activities In The Area

The most expensive part of a vacation isn’t always the flight or the hotel accommodations–depending on where you’re going, you may well end up spending more on food and entertainment than you do getting to your destination! To save money in this department, check your destination’s community calendar or local newspaper websites to see what free events are being offered during your stay. Often, you’ll find free live music or cultural events that catch your eye. Sites like and Eventful feature long lists of events both free and paid in any area you specify.

When you’re dining out, there’s no need to find the most expensive eateries in the area. Great, local food is often some of the cheaper food available–if you’re in Philadelphia, you don’t need to spend $25 to get an authentic Philly cheesesteak, nor do you need to empty your wallet to get gumbo in Lousianna.

Flying Solo: What’s the Best Way to Travel?

carl turnley travel


There’s something so viscerally enjoyable about stepping out of the world. Something that draws us to drop what we’re doing, take a week off of work and take a flight or a drive or a train to, just, wherever. The idea of “getting away” is instilled in us from birth seemingly. We want–no we need to get away from it all sometimes.

Sometimes, in the process of getting away, we want to not only avoid our work, our responsibilities and our cell phones, but other people. Human interaction is something we need in everyday life, but everything is best in moderation, right?

But the companionship that others can offer on trips is unparalleled. There are pros and cons to both traveling alone and traveling as a part of a group, I’ll outline some below.


Traveling Solo


The biggest advantages in traveling alone come in terms of what you’ll be doing. When you’re traveling alone, you don’t have to answer to anyone else. You can do whatever you want. You can see whatever you want. You can eat, drink, ride, fly and go anywhere you want. The trip is yours and yours alone, meaning you’re not getting dragged along to see things you’re not interested in, nor are you on the flip side, dragging someone else to see a sight they’ve already seen.

By traveling alone you’ll also have ample time to relax and focus on you. As I wrote above, sometimes it’s nice to just get away from other people for a bit. Going hiking, exploring or even out for a meal by yourself can be incredibly liberating, but you won’t know until you’ve tried.



The biggest disadvantage, which you may or may not agree with, is the potential for loneliness. There are things that are best done alone, but the reverse is also true–some things are best done with someone there with you. Loneliness can easily set in on an extended trip if you simply need someone to talk to.

Other disadvantages, such as slightly increased costs can also hurt your solo travels, but for some this is a nonissue.


Traveling With Others


Traveling as a part of a group ensures that you’ll never be lonely. Your companions will be there throughout the duration, meaning you’ll always have people to engage in activities with. Similarly, the people you’re traveling and exploring with will often be able to offer up suggestions of what to do and places to eat that you might not have thought of alone.


The biggest disadvantage would likely come in the form of a mishmash of conflicting ideas. Some people want to do one thing, some want to do another, and no one wants to do what you’re doing. Splitting off will solve this issue, but fighting and bickering can (and often does, on extended trips) persist in group travels.


No matter how you do wind up traveling, make sure that you are traveling.


What to Bring: Five Essentials for Travel


carl turnley travel

One mistake many first time travelers (and even seasoned travelers) make is overpacking.  There seems to be a way to justify packing your entire wardrobe, all of your gadgets, too many pairs of shoes, and nonessential items.  As traveling becomes more habitual, you learn that you can get by with less each trip.  Even with a lighter travel load, the following five items should make their way on every trip you make from now on.

A Small Bag for Day Trips

Traveling to an area for the first time usually consists of setting up in a hotel room and making day trips to various destinations throughout your stay.  While you are packing your suitcase, don’t forget to throw a small mesh bag into one of the compartments.  This bag will give you the ability to carry small items, toiletries, extra clothing, and travel documents with you without taking up any extra space in your luggage.  

A Compact LED Flashlight

One of the most dangerous aspects of traveling is being in an unfamiliar place after dark.  There’s a good chance you can get lost at night, or worse, get hurt from an uneven or slippery walkway.  By carrying a small LED flashlight, you can illuminate your path to ensure you will get to your destination safely and on time.


Whether you are traveling in the summer heat or in the dead of winter, super glue is a valuable asset to your trip.  Sandals are my go to on my summer trips, and there’s not many things that are more annoying than ripping the strap of a sandal during a day-long excursion.  A small bottle of Super Glue will help you easily fix that sandal and have you on your way in minutes.  

Swiss Army Knife

A Swiss Army Knife is one of the most versatile tools you can carry anywhere.  You can cut an arrant string from a shirt, file a hangnail, and open a bottle of wine for a nightcap all with the same tool.  There’s a reason they are standard issue for astronauts flying to space.

Rope Cord

A 20-foot piece of tightly-wound cord is going to save you a lot of headaches on any trip.  Tie one end to a bedpost, and then tie a knot to the doorknob to create a makeshift washiline.  Your clothing will dry overnight after you get caught in a thunderstorm.

Traveling is often a stressful time for many people.  Nobody has mastered the science of what to take on a trip, but as more people travel the world it becomes more evident of what is truly important to travelers.  If you can remember these five essential items, it will save you a lot of trouble in the long run.  

Travel Quick Guide: The Best 3 Times to Hire a Travel Agent

Today, it’s so easy to plan your entire trip online. You can book on Expedia; read reviews on Yelp. Rent a car; reserve a room. One can even virtually explore the area with Google Maps. What more could a traveler want?

To start, planning your own trip can end up being extremely stressful. You’re trying to wrap things up at work. You’re busy making arrangements at home. You barely have time to pack the things you need. The last thing you’ll want to do is arrive stressed out with no plans on the agenda.

Enter the revitalized, almost extinct role of the travel agent.

Believe it or not, the travel agent is returning in a big way.

While the industry has seen devastating cuts over the last two decades, signs show that the role may receive an encore. More than 30% of millennials say they’ll use a travel agent over the next year; a figure that’s doubled over recent years.

These stats aren’t surprising. For some trips, handling the travel logistics is easy to tackle on your own. But other times, managing the details of a large trip can send you in a tailspin. And it turns out that the one thing that online sites can’t provide–the humanness of the process– ranks high on the list of many travelers.

Take a look at the following three reasons when booking a travel agent is a great idea. Originally found on, this travel tip makes a whole lot of sense!

  1. You’re traveling with a large group

No matter how much you love your family members or friends, the last place you’ll want to find yourself is the person arranging the entire trip. To start, there are far too many details to iron out. Booking the right flights and hotel rooms alone will send you straight to an agent. Do yourself a favor and let the help of an experienced professional plan your trip. Best of all, you won’t be responsible for any hiccups along the way.

  1. You’re traveling internationally

Whether this is your first big trip abroad or the latest adventure in your never ending journey to see as much of the world as possible, international travel will always involve more logistics than domestic excursions.

Perhaps the best thing about working with an agent when planning for your trip is that you’ll be able to ask as many questions as possible. You’ll no doubt save time and energy. Working with an experienced professional will provide you with great insights.

  1. You have no idea what you want to do

Yes, the internet is full of guides and tourist to-do’s. But often times these resources leave people feeling more overwhelmed than when they started. Don’t let the vast stores of the internet overwhelm your trip details. Talk with your agent on what you enjoy doing. She’ll be able to provide options that you may not have even considered!

Classic London Attractions

The city of London, England, has been established now for roughly two millenia and, as the capital of England, is one of the World’s leading global cities.  Having prowess and prominence in the arts, commerce, education, entertainment, fashion, finance, healthcare, media, professional services, research and development, tourism, and transport, it is no wonder that London is recognized as a Global powerhouse and entity of success.

Should you ever have the opportunity to travel to this glorious city, there a few must-sees of the city. These sights, albeit tourist-y, would be a travesty to overlook on your travels. After all, they’re tourist destinations for a good reason- these locales are iconic and unique to this beautiful city, playing a part in what makes it such an unforgettable and classic destination.

Big Ben:

Even if you’ve never seen it, odds are high you’ve heard about it. Big Ben is the nickname for the stunning clock tower which is also a part of the palace of Westminster.  This neo-Gothic style tower is stunning in photos and even more breathtaking to behold in person.  Not to mention, in adding Big Ben to your sight-seeing list, you’ll be able to check off having seen Westminster Palace and the Parliament building as well, all of which embody historical feats of architecture.

Tower Bridge:

Also known as the, “London Bridge,” the Tower Bridge was completed and opened in 1894. Originally, the drawbridge was steam-powered, although today it is electrically operated, allowing large ships to pass through when they need to make their way upstream.  Just this past year (2014) the high level walkways of the bridge were upgraded with glass floors, allowing pedestrians to look down to the street, roughly 138 feet below.

Buckingham Palace:

If you’re in London, you simply cannot miss the home of the Royal Family. As I’m sure you can imagine, the home of the Queen is not typically open for visitors.  That said, if you happen to visit during the summer months, the interior is open for a short time during this season.  On this visit inside, one can viethe State Rooms, still used to entertain dignitaries and guests of state, and part of the gardens. The outdoor visitor route includes a short stroll along the west side of the palace garden, in which you can see views of the garden, palace and nineteenth-century lake.

The Queen’s Gallery is open year-round, allowing guests to view her personal collection of treasures, including paintings by Rubens and Rembrandt.  Definitely worth checking out!

These locales are just 3 of the endless things to do in London, England. Hopefully this will pique your interest and get you excited about all of the possibilities within London!

First Blog Post

Hi there, and welcome to my travel blog.  Be sure to stay tuned, there’s plenty to come!