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We love getting questions from our friends, family, and readers and wanted to write about the most common questions we get asked about these popular and famous tourist destinations we’ve visited.
Can I take photos and videos inside the canyon?
Absolutely. We took a ton of photos and video inside the Lower Canyons. We had an awesome tour guide who gladly took photos for everyone the entire tour. This is great news for solo travelers who need a little help with some photo ops inside this stunning canyon.
Can I visit the canyon without a tour guide?
No. It can be dangerous being in the canyons as there are numerous flash floods during monsoon season. Before the mandatory tours were set in place, there have been many hikers killed in the slot canyons when the flash floods occurred as they are very powerful. Part of having these mandatory tours is for safety.
I heard these tours were extremely packed and crammed? Is this true?
Yes and no. When you first enter the canyon, there are a bunch of people in one area so you feel a little crammed. When you first climb down everyone is in such awe, which is why it’s a bit packed at first. But as the tour goes on, the crowd disperses and it will mainly just be you with your small tour group. The tour is an hour long, so you get plenty of time and space.
How cold was Banff in September?
We visited Banff the last week of August through Labor Day weekend and summer was already long gone. The mornings and evenings were in the low 40°F (4°C) and during the day it was in the high 50’s. And if you go up to any of the summits, the temperatures really start to drop. Long story short, pack for winter.
Is Moraine Lake and Lake Louise really crowded?
Yes, but we were able to avoid the crowds by getting up at the crack of dawn. If you go to these popular spots right at sunrise, you can avoid the huge crowds. Once the sun rises, the tour buses start to roll in and parking is nonexistent by 7AM. It was definitely worth it for us to get up super early to have the peaceful surroundings almost all to ourselves.
I thought the US recently restricted US citizens from visiting Cuba. Is this true?
No. Americans can visit Cuba; however, there are a couple of minor changes.
If you aren't a journalist or connected to an educational institution it's best to select the "Support of Cuban People" category on your Visa application. Make sure to book some sort of tour to fulfill the “Support of Cuban People” category. We booked our tour with FerTours and had an excellent time with our tour guide, Manuel, who spoke fluent English.
If you plan on booking accommodations at a hotel, make sure to check that they are not on the list of hotels that are prohibited by the US government. Luckily, Airbnb has not been affected and is not on this list. We stayed at an Airbnb right in the middle of Old Havana and LOVED it!
Is it hard to get a visa for Cuba?
No. The process is easier than going through airport security. There is no need to acquire a visa prior to your departure date. We flew with Southwest and on the day of our flight, we obtained our visa. Southwest had a visa counter right next to the check-in counter and it was a breeze. We just stated the reason for our travel (there are 12 visa categories) and paid $50 for the visa. The entire process took less than 15 minutes.
Can you get WiFi in Cuba?
Yes, but it’s very limited. You have to purchase a WiFi card and there is only WiFi in certain spots. Once you find a WiFi hotspot, you’ll see a huge crowd standing in a group using the service. In our opinion, it wasn’t worth it and we opted not to purchase a WiFi card. It was actually refreshing having a little internet detox.
Is it safe to travel there alone as a female?
Yes, it is very safe. Even in the alleys, it felt very safe and there were always friendly people around.
Is pickpocketing really that bad there?
Yes, but only if you are not paying attention. Barcelona has gotten really bad with the pickpocketing over the years and every tourist is being warned to keep an eye on their belongings. Make sure you keep everything in sight and especially in popular, crowded tourist areas. If you can help it, never put anything in your pockets. Crystal took Pacsafe’s anti-theft bags and she felt at ease. Luckily, she didn’t encounter any pickpocketing on her trip.
Do I need to buy tickets in advance for the Antoni Gaudi sites?
Yes. La Sagrada Familia and Park Guell are very popular sites and with Barcelona being one of the top tourist destinations in Europe, the attractions get packed fast. You’ll want to book your tickets a couple of weeks in advance. If you don’t buy them in advance, you can try to book a tour but you won’t get to enjoy the sites as much.
When is the best time to see the Northern Lights?
The Northern Lights can be seen between late August to mid April. Crystal chose April 2 - April 10 because the temperatures were starting to rise, the moon would be at it's darkest during that week and it was still in season for the Northern Lights. Use these two sites to help out with your planning: Northern Lights Iceland and Moon Connection.
Do I need to rent a 4WD if I’m driving the Ring Road?
It’s not absolutely necessary but highly recommended. You’ll feel safer driving the rugged sections of Iceland and it will be very useful when driving in snow. Check out some tips on driving the Ring Road HERE.
How much cash should I take out?
Not much at all. You’ll barely use any cash in Iceland. As a matter of fact, Crystal did not use any of her cash when she last visited Iceland because it’s a very credit card friendly country.
Is it easy to find the plane crash and is it worth it?
Yes, it’s very easy to find the Sólheimasandur plane wreckage and it’s totally worth it. You’ll be walking about 45 minutes each way in the black sand. If you have good weather, it’s a very easy walk but if you encounter bad weather, it could be a bit challenging.
6. Phi Phi Islands
How far is Phi Phi Islands from Phuket?
It’ll take abut 2 hours to get to Phi Phi Islands. From the Amari Phuket hotel in Patong (located an hour away from the Phuket airport), it took about 40 minutes to reach the marina. From there, it takes another 45 minutes to get to Phi Phi Islands. Luckily, we were on a speedboat, but if you take a ferry, it will take 2 hours. Although it’s a long journey, it’s definitely worth it.
I heard Phi Phi Islands is closed. Is this true?
Maya Bay on Ko Phi Phi Leh island was closed indefinitely to allow it to recover from the damage caused by an influx of tourism. You can read more about the closure here.
We hope these answers help guide you if you are planning on visiting any of these beautiful destinations.