GESSELL + LEE: EXPAT LIFESTYLE & FAMILY TRAVEL

Gessell and Lee

Latest Posts

Five reasons to visit Brazil to watch the Copa America 2019 (part 1)

Brazil is a paradise of football. Here are 5 reasons why you should go to Brazil to see the Copa America 2019 this summer.

1. Brazil is a vibrant tourist destination

As a tourist destination, Brazil will bring unforgettable scenarios, especially for those who follow the Copa America 2019.

The tournament is held in 5 cities, each of which has its own unique characteristics that you will never forget.

Copa America Brazil 2019

Sao Paulo: Sao Paulo is widely known as the city of culture, food, and entertainment. You can enjoy the food at the restaurant at Jardins, Pinheiros, or Avenida Paulista and visit museums, antique fairs, theaters to see performers, etc.

Porto Alegre: Located near Buenos Aires and Montevideo, Porto Alegre is one of the most famous tourist attractions of Brazil. You can immerse yourself under the sunset on the Guaiba River, enjoy food in the city center, and have lunch in a gau oven for tradition.

Salvador: The main attraction of this city is Pelourinho district, the place that brings tourists back to Brazil’s ancient times.

Rio de Janeiro: This is the main destination of tourists coming to Brazil. It offers beautiful beaches and some historical sites of Brazil such as Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf Mountain) and Christ the Redeemer Statue.

2. Experience the Copa America

Traveling, discovering other cultures, and making new friends are unique experiences that make you vibrate. At Copa America, you can meet people from all over South America as well as football fans from Japan and Qatar.

In addition, visiting Brazil when the tournament is taking place, you can feel the exciting atmosphere of this great sport event in the largest country of South America.

If you go to Brazil for such a big sports event, you will understand why Brazilian football is not merely a sport but it is also a culture.

The Best Travel Apps To Use In 2019 (Part 2)

  1. Hostelworld

Hostelworld does all the usual things that you expect an accommodation booking app to do, including searches, filters, and descriptions. This app offers full-screen interactive map, making it easy to work out whether there is any hostel you like near where you want to be, while all-important reviews are only a tap away.

You can get Hostelworld for both iOS and Android.

  1. Airbnb

Airbnb helps you rent individual rooms, couches, or entire apartments from locals. If you stay with local hosts, you will still be able to get the social aspect of a hostel.

Airbnb is available for both iOS and Android.

  1. Culture Trip

Culture Trip is really a chatty friend who provides you the tips of insiders on the local hangouts and many other things to do. This app publishes more than 1000 short articles per month, across a range of topics such as culture, art, film with the aim of giving travelers a quick immersive dive into the city of their choice.

All you need to do is to create a wishlist of cities you want to explore, and this app will serve up everything from bike trails in the U.S. to hotels in Tokyo. Use it before and during your trip in order to have unexpected and fresh looks at cities beyond the usual tourist traps.

  1. Skyscanner

Skyscanner is a favorite travel app for finding cheap flights. It searches millions of flights from over 1,200 sources and suggests you the best options available (maybe the cheapest route, or the easiest one). In addition, the handy chart feature shows you the cheapest time to fly to your destination and sends you notification of price changes.

  1. TripIt

This app helps organize your upcoming trip. You just have to forward your flight, car rental, hotel, and restaurant confirmation emails to plans@tripit.com and it will automatically transfer all the information to your master itinerary and you will be able to view view all your upcoming plans easily at once.

The Best Travel Apps To Use In 2019 (Part 1)

 

There is a variety of travel apps cluttering up the Apple and Android marketplaces these days. And that’s really a problem because most of them are terrible and no one wants to pay for a worthless app.

If you’ve planned a trip for the year 2019, instead of wasting a week of your life downloading useless junk, consider these 10 great travel apps:

  1. Drops

This app turns learning language into an audio-visual game, with easy-to-follow illustrations. Drops features more than 30 languages and dialects, for example, Arabic, Mandarin, and Icelandic. It also offers daily scheduled lessons which will enhance your next trip.

It’s totally free to use within daily time limits, however, a premium subscription allows users unlimitedly access to the app with its full range of topics and its mix of languages.

  1. App in the Air 

App in the Air aims to be an one-stop app for all things related to traveling, including loyalty programs, departure times, and boarding passes. The app helps you a lot by showing you in real-time how long to wait at security, check-in, and baggage claim. Moreover, this app, which can be connected to Siri, helps you  measure your bag using augmented reality to see whether it will fit in your plane’s overhead bins or not.

  1. AirHelp

Have you ever endured the pain of a canceled or delayed flight? If yes, AirHelp will be right up your alley. Both EU and US laws provide for compensation in these cases, though the details differ. However, it is such a complicated process,  and in fact, fewer than 1 percent of passengers entitled to compensation ever get it.

AirHelp makes the process simple and help you do those things in a few minutes while still waiting at the airport. Just provide your flight information and some details about the problem, and the company will take care of the rest. If the claim is successful, they will take 25 percent of the payout and you will get the remainder.

The Best Traveling Destinations For Sports Fans (part 2)

  1. Luzhniki Stadium – Moscow

With a long history, Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow is the national stadium and also the largest stadium in Russia. It has been renovated and is a landmark on its own. In terms of dining, Olymp Junior with its close proximity to the stadium is a great choice, offering delicious Russian and Azerbaijani cuisine.

Where to stay: The Swissotel Krasnye Holmy has panoramic city views, an award-winning bar, and a stylish indoor pool. While enjoying the spectacular city, you can relax with a cool cocktail at the City Space Bar & Restaurant on the 33rd floor.

  1. Carrara Stadium – Gold Coast, Australia

Carrara Stadium – also known as Metricon Stadium, the home of the Gold Coast SUNS  – is one of Australia’s greenest and most contemporary stadiums. Inside Carrara Stadium, you can find various take-away food options such as pizza, chips, fish, and sushi. However, you need to give a try to the hot beef pie – the beloved snack in Australia.

Where to stay: The RACV Royal Pines Resort Gold Coast which is not so far from Carrara Stadium is set on a 27-hole championship golf course. You can also enjoy drinks or light meals by the pool or have a full meal in one of the five restaurants of the resort.

  1. Camp Nou – Barcelona, Spain

It is undeniably easy to life in Barcelona, Spain with lively beach culture and glorious climate that dare you to live your life in the sun. For adventure, the Gothic Quarter is a great option, but for a soccer game at the largest stadium in Europe, go straight to Camp Nou which is best-known as the home to the football team of Barcelona. A sandwich with botifarra sausage, a popular alternative to the classic hot dog, is one of the most beloved snacks in this city. Where to stay: The Flateli Roger 6 is a stylish apartment which is only a short walk from Camp Nou stadium. With two separate bedrooms and a fully-equipped kitchen, it’s ideal for a group of friends or family to stay in.

The best airlines to consider when traveling with children

Whether your children are 2 or 12, navigating air travel with them is a feat. So what you can do: Choose the airline that can really work for you.

It is found that children under 12-year-old usually get bored before the minute 50 into their long-haul flight. Therefore, it is suggested to choose an airline which will help keep kids entertained. So, here are some of the best.

  1. EMIRATES

Emirates airway has teamed up with psychologist and boredom specialist Dr. Sandi Mann at the Central Lancashire University to find a way to keep kids entertained on a plane. She has identified five areas that you can blend together to help your kids have the perfect experience. Active: walking up and down the aisles. Passive: listening to music or watching films. Creative: drawing, or coloring books. Interactive: chatting, or reading books. Sensory: refreshments. The airline can help make it easier by providing soft toys, and a huge range of TV, games, and movie options. See emirates.com.

  1. QANTAS

Kids can join the Joey Club of Qantas airway and have an activity kit for the flight. Moreover, you can print out themed activity sheets that are available to download off Qantas’ website for on-board coloring-in fun. Their entertainment selection, specially designed for younger children, is broad. And if you have to stop over in an airport, look for Matilda in Qantas lounges’ Joey Club zones. And if you want to inspire them to really love flying, you can buy a mini outfit of their choices, such as Qantas captain or cabin crew uniforms at the Qantas Shop. To purchase, please visit qantas.com.

  1. AIR NEW ZEALAND

Apart from the Jet Cadets Kids Pack and a various range of entertainment on screen, the Economy Skycouch is the factor that really sets Air New Zealand apart. Three seats can turn into a bed, meaning ample room for children to spread out and use as an area to play. And if they are all worn out, they can get some naps. They also offer a menu for fussy eaters as well as bassinets to pre-book. Visit airnewzealand.com.

 

Winter Escape: 25 Places to Warm Up in Southeast Asia (part 4)

 

  1. Irrawaddy River, Myanmar 

Cruising down the massive Irrawaddy River to experience Myanmar like an old school explorer. It bisects the entire country, runs from north to south, and connects Mandalay and Bagan – the major cities of Myanmar. Sanctuary Ananda has luxury cruise options for 11 nights of slowly watching the world go by. However, there are ships for any budget – taking day trips into the river towns as well as glimpsing the impressive cultural pieces such as the Maya Tha Lun Pagoda.

 

  1. Singapore

Considered the cleanest place in Asia, Singapore doesn’t come cheap, however, traveling in Singapore is worth the accompanying price tag. This modern island has everything from an impressive skyline, including Ferris wheel to world-renowned dining experiences such as famous Restaurant ANDRE. “Since 2010, Restaurant ANDRE has been listed in World’s 50 Best Restaurants Award for six consecutive years and the Best Restaurant in Singapore,” said Wendy Huang, Marketing and Communication Manager.

  1. Si Phan Don, Laos

Laos, a landlocked country beside the more popular Vietnam and Thailand, falls under the radar of many travelers. Laos has left places such as Si Phan Don, or the 4,000 Islands, on the Mekong River seemingly untouched. Porches to simply watch the sunrise, humble roads to ride bikes, and a host of natural beauties such as flowing waterfalls and curious dolphins calling the adventurers to search for authenticity.

  1. Vientiane, Laos

Vientiane, the chronically laid back Laos capital, contrasts sharply to cities such as Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. The bulk of tourism still revolves around drinking Beerlao at sunset on the Mekong’s bank and slow-paced visits of cultural sites such as the Laos National Museum or Buddha Park.

  1. Luang Prabong, Laos

Luang Prabong, a UNESCO World Heritage site, has gracefully combined traditional urban architecture with 19th and 20th-century colonial design. It provides access to Kuang Si waterfalls, nearby mountains, and ample temples.

  1. Vang Vieng, Laos

Vang Vieng’s serene river and peaceful environment are the reason for people to flock here. The Organic Mulberry Farm Restaurant is not to be missed to go back to the basics as well as a lazy afternoon floating down the river.

Winter Escape: 25 Places to Warm Up in Southeast Asia (part 4)

 

  1. Hanoi, Vietnam

Hanoi is another bustling city of Vietnam, it’s easy to access the greenery at the nearby Hoan Kiem Lake or West Lake and a little further away Ba Vi National Park. To have authentic downtown experience, walk along the streets of its Old Quarter to admire the colonial architecture and enjoy the best traditional beef pho at Pho 49 Bat Dan.

  1. Hoi An, Vietnam

Hoi An, a transitory town on the coast, in the middle of Vietnam, is famous for its relaxing environment and tailor-made clothing. This is the perfect place to kick back and have a drink. Hoi An turns it up each lunar cycle for a vibrant full moon party which fills the quiet streets with music, traditional plays, and colorful lanterns. Book early because the event draws quite a crowd.

  1. Sapa, Vietnam

Head north to Sapa for a bit more of a perspective on rural life. Sapa can get cold in the winter, however, this northern region shouldn’t be missed when visiting Vietnam. The impressive mountains surrounding this town offer a perspective view on rural living. It is home to indigenous tribes and a traditional lifestyle. Discover the Sapa Square for colorful handicrafts or head into the hills with the local guide group – a social enterprise run entirely by local women – Sapa Sisters.

  1. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur has quickly become a destination hot spot. Because public transportation is easy and cheap, touring this bustling city is a walk in the park. After having the obligatory view of the Petronas Towers, head to Little India and Chinatown to experience this cultural amalgamation.

  1. Bagan, Myanmar

Bagan is famous for having more than 2,000 Buddhist temples that are being restored to UNESCO standards currently. This rich and historical city gets a recent increase in tourism. It has catered to foodie travelers because the various cuisine from regions near and far have been settled here. One of the most notable is Sharky’s restaurant, an artisan eatery which focuses on locally grown produce and expertly produced cheeses.

The Best Traveling Destinations For Sports Fans (part 1)

 

With many sporting events that are taking place across the world, 2019 is a big year for sports. A Booking.com survey showed that sports can sway the traveling decisions, with 1 in 5 travelers planning their trips around hot sporting events.

However, what’s a game without game-day food? So, we’re listing some of the best foods to enjoy near each iconic sports destinations.

  1. Fenway Park – Boston

There are just a few things to define Bostonians as much as their love of the Boston Red Sox – their home baseball team. If you’re in Boston during the baseball season, you really should catch a game at Fenway Park, cheering for the team with the locals. On your way, grab a pepper sandwich and a famous sausage from one street vendor outside the stadium.

Where to stay: The Hotel Commonwealth, located just a short walk from Fenway Park, offers modern rooms, some of which can overlook the stadium. You can enjoy the fresh seafood dishes at the restaurant Island Creek Oyster Bar.

  1. Wembley Stadium – London

Renowned for its majestic art, fashion, and theater scene, London is a great destination to watch sporting events, too. Wembley, the soccer stadium, is one of the most favorite stadiums of the city and the largest in the UK. You can get a quick bite at one of the kiosks on the first and fifth levels of the stadium, with a selection including burgers and pizza, fish and chips.

Where to stay: Overlooking the Wembley Stadium and setting next to the Wembley Arena, the Hilton London Wembley features a rooftop terrace and a bar inspired by the world’s famous athletes who have played at the stadium.

  1. The Field of Dreams Movie Site© – Dyersville, Iowa

Despite not being a technical stadium, the Field of Dreams Movie Site© in Dyersville, Iowa is an iconic landmark for people who fall in love with the 1989 classic. If you’re looking for something to eat, Dyersville has a lot of family-style restaurants which can offer you a quick bite or a cup of coffee.

Where to Stay: The Field of Dreams Movie Site© house is available for nightly rentals for the first time. With the perfect view of the baseball field, it is the best place to stay to watch the annual softball game on Labor Day Weekend.

Winter Escape: 25 Places to Warm Up in Southeast Asia (part 3)

 

  1. Phetchaburi, Thailand

Phetchaburi has a rich history, mystical caves, and ancient temples which attract people from all over the world. If you are planning to visit Phetchaburi, make sure not to miss the Tham Khao Luang cave and Wat Kamphaeng Laeng, which dates back to the 12th Century Khmer architecture.

  1. Legian, Indonesia

Legian, locating on the famous Bali Island coast, is a must-visit spot in Indonesia. It is sandwiched between the backpacker Kuta beaches and the high-end Seminyak. In Legian, entertainment and accommodations are mid-range priced while the scenery and surf are really priceless. You should spend time on catching the sunset at TAO Rooftop Bar and then dancing the night away at Eikon.

  1. Ubud, Indonesia

People who have read the famous book Eat, Pray, Love will recognize that Ubud, Indonesia is the setting for the journey conclusion of Elizabeth Gilbert. In fact, this part of Bali Island coast truly is as romantic as it seems in her story. Whether it’s simply getting in touch with nature or a spiritual quest, Ubud always has something special for everyone. You can make the plan for a yoga class when venturing over to White Lotus or to see the iconic rice terraces.

  1. Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

Ha Long Bay has the incredible topography which makes it become an iconic destination of Vietnam. Massive land structures shooting straight the blue-green ocean provide an otherworldly view when visitors cruise through by boat. One of the best in deals you should take is Dragon Legend tours. Try kicking back for an overnight trip to explore caves and feast on fresh and delicious seafood.

  1. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Busy streets with revving scooters and food stalls let you know that you’ve arrived in Vietnam. Especially, The Gustave Eiffel designed the Jade Emperor Pagoda, the Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Central Post Office let you know that you’re in Ho Chi Minh City. Frequently referred to as Saigon up to now, this city with a controversial past is a vibrant and modern destination nowadays.

 

3 Benefits of Traveling With Your Team

 

If you’re an athlete or a coach, you may have got familiar with long trips to weekend games, or perhaps the flight to regional tournaments. Playing sports is a really big commitment, and athletes or coaches often miss out on the other types of traveling opportunities due to their dedication to the game.

However, athletic directors and coaches can combine the passion for sports, traveling, and community service into one trip so that athletes can bond over assisting the local communities with the team’s important projects, learning cross-cultural sportsmanship with the locals, as well as exploring the incredible sites around them.

Whether it is a high school football team or a middle school swimming team, here are five great benefits of taking your group of athletes on an immersive and purposeful traveling program:

  1. Team-Building

Traveling together makes a great impact on a young athletes group. The bonds created by mixing cement for a water tank in a village, participating in a course in the jungle, or holding a sports clinic for younger athletes can benefit all teams members. The opportunity to spend time with athletes without the pressures of practicing and competition can help coaches more understand about their athletes on the individual level, and create the chances for teammates to share a unique and life-changing experience.

  1. Cross-cultural Connections
    Athletes don’t need to speak the same language to communicate their love for the sports. Playing with and against the other teams from other cultures and nations can highlight the particular meaning of a sport to a community, and discover how it relates to playing back home. Coaches and athletes can even make friends with new people or pick up some new language skills along the way.
  2. New Competition

Playing sports in another region or country means the chances of new competition and new skills. Whether it’s a game of volleyball in Cambodia, baseball in the Dominican Republic, or football in Costa Rica, there’s always a unique opportunity to share experience and skills from athletes around the world.