JetBlue weekend getaways from Long Beach

Sometimes, you just want to get out of town for a couple of days.  And with JetBlue’s affordable, nonstop flights from Long Beach, you can jump on a plane after work on Friday and be sipping a cold drink in another state by the time the summer sun sets.  Here are a few ideas to get you started.


Airplane by Tracy Hunter is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Long Beach to Seattle: 2h 38m

Escape the heat and jet off to the beautiful Emerald City, surrounded by mountains and resting on the shores of Puget Sound.  Summers here are known to be sunny and pleasantly warm, usually in the 70s and 80s during the day.  Start by exploring Seattle’s fun and unique neighborhoods, each one with a different feel.  Wander through the Fremont market, roast marshmallows over a sunset campfire on the beach at Golden Gardens Park, or sip a cold beer at one of the dozens of craft breweries.

Long Beach to Vegas: 1h 8m

Skip the long desert drive and jump on a short flight to Sin City for a weekend away. Though the nightclub and live music scene is world-famous, you might not know that Las Vegas is also an extremely popular destination for sports competitions and conferences.  For those who can manage a weekday getaway, many hotels are half price, and you can find nonstop JetBlue flights for as low as $49.   

Long Beach to Portland: 2h 11m

If you’re looking for some great outdoor concert series, but would rather not spend hours sweating under the blazing sun, try Portland.  The cooler climate is the perfect host for dozens of concerts and festivals in and around the city.  As a bonus, most have an abundance of craft brews available, which the city is famous for.  If that’s not your scene, take a stroll around the famous Pearl District, or rent a bike to explore the Rose City’s beautiful neighborhoods.   

Long Beach to Austin: 2h 52m

If you’re a museum or music buff, Austin is a fun weekend destination.  People flock from all over the world for the famous Austin City Limits and SXSW music festivals here, as well as the nightly live music scene up and down 6th avenue.  History lovers will want to spend hours exploring Austin’s museums, including the Mexican American Cultural Center, the Mexic-Arte Museum, and the Bullock Texas State History Museum, among others.  Not sure where to start?  See what the locals recommend in Austin.


Travel Founder Interview with Frederic Simons From WorldCraze


Today we’re speaking with Frederic Simons, founder of WorldCraze. A little bit more about him and his startup from his own mouth…

1) What do you do?

frederic-simonsI am Frederic, and I created WorldCraze with my co-founder Guillaume in December of 2012. WorldCraze is a french start-up that connects travelers and consumer worldwide! We believe in the fact that WorldCraze can change the world consumption to make it more accessible and collaborative. I worked hard and today we are a team of 6 people, working on our concept, on our app, and on our website to make it better everyday for our users.

The concept of WorldCraze is simple and useful. It allows everyone to buy products that only exist in another country or is cheaper there, thanks to the help of travelers, that can bring it back to earn a bonus. For exemple, a brazilian can ask to a traveler coming back from USA to bring him back a new iPhone for cheaper, and the traveler will earn a bonus for this service.

2) Why do you do what you do?

Coming back from holidays in USA, I noticed a huge difference of price in many products, such as a pair of jeans Levi’s. I was sure there were something to do about it, because this is an unfair difference that is not justified for a same product. Besides, I also found out that many products existed only in other countries and that it was very complicated for people to offer some in another country without huge shipping costs. Also, thousands and thousands of travelers are traveling worldwide everyday in all destinations.

I had the idea to connect those travelers with consumers, through a secure and safe website. I talked about it to my partner and we launched this concept in December 2012. We already had experience in start-up that helped very much to build WorldCraze. So we began the adventure with Guillaume and we are now growing up worldwide!

The concept appealed many people that are now using it, and thanks to the low competition in this domain we can lead the european market, and are now hoping to go further.

3) What are you most excited about right now?

We saw that our concept interested many people in France and Europe, so we are now opening worldwide. We are opening in the USA and in Brazil. One member of our team is currently in Brazil because this country represents a huge opportunity since all imported products are expensive there and because they are more than 200 millions. I am very excited to expend this concept worldwide and to get many new crazers to increase our community. It is exciting to see each day new travelers with new destinations and a demand of product from all over the world increasing. It is also exciting to see that people are very satisfied with WorldCraze and to communicate with them truly, considering their advice and comments. We want to create a real connection with them, to guide them as well as they can guide us to better suit their needs.

4) What’s next for you?

I find my inspiration in successful start-up such as AirBnB or Blablacar, that had a great success worldwide and transformed the economy for a more collaborative one. I believe that WorldCraze has the possibility to transform the e-shooping into crowdshopping and to create a huge community that will help consumers, but also travelers that can earn money by bringing back products. This is a win-win concept that solves a problem many people are facing. It can change habits of consumption and help travelers as well to earn money using their empty suitcases. We have big ambition for WorldCraze so we are now working hard on it to improve it and communicate about it worldwide.

5) What cause you’re passionate about and why?

I want to make our world more fair and products more accessible to each individual in the world. With more and more travelers that have very diverse destinations, products from everywhere can reach any destination at the better price, which represents a real transformation for the world.

I am also passionate about traveling, and that is why helping travelers to earn money and to meet people thanks to WorldCraze is really important for me. WorldCraze represents an opportunity for travelers and I am working with the team now to build a blog with many destination and tips for them in different countries, to encourage them to travel more and to discover the world.

Temporary Story

The story of a 6 month journey, over 3 continents, in 13 countries — stretching across the United States, Canada, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, South Africa, Bolivia, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia.


southwest collective house

Southwest Collective: a Coworking Retreat in Portugal

I came across Southwest Collective, a one week coworking retreat later this year, and since readers here are generally the digital nomad type, I thought I’d share.

Where: Guia, Portugal
When: 11-18 September 2016

The house attendees will stay at:

southwest collective house

More info and application, head over to their website:

Having spent 2 weeks at StartUp Abroad in Bali in 2012, I can confidently say a co-working retreat is good for the soul.

PS: Coliving is one of the public groups we’ve added to Horizon’s web version ( For those interested in coworking/coliving, I recommend you join.


Best Apps for Travelers

As seasoned of a traveler as you may be, it’s hard to get through a trip without needing a little help. Sometimes plans go awry and you suddenly need to communicate in a foreign language, or book a hotel last minute. Download these free apps before your next trip to make sure you’re prepared!

Google Translate

One of the hardest parts of traveling abroad can be the language barrier. If you’ll be traveling through multiple countries on one trip, it can be hard to memorize all the different languages. Google Translate is a cure-all for this. You can translate text in up to 90 different languages, and can even take a picture from your phone to translate words in up to 26 languages.

OANDA Currency Convertor

Trying to figure out if that beautiful dress in Morocco is a bargain or will break the  bank can be a headache. OANDA solves this problem by giving you daily rates for over 190 currencies and even four different metals. You also have the option to add a percentage based on your bank’s fees to figure out what your total cost will be.

Hotel Tonight

Have you ever made a reservation, only to get to your destination to find out it didn’t go through? Maybe you like to pick up and head to a new place spontaneously, and figure out where you’ll stay once you get there. With Hotel Tonight, you’ll never be without a place to stay again. Just pull the app up to find the closest hotels near you with the best prices.

Gas Buddy

Maybe you prefer to travel slowly and see each country at your own pace in a car. Whether you’re abroad or doing a road trip in your home country, Gas Buddy shows you the best place to stop for cheap gas. You can also put in your route and calculate how much your trip will cost you.

Free WiFi Finder

One of the worst parts about traveling to a new area is not knowing when and where you’ll have wi-fi to upload those amazing pictures you just took to Instagram. With Free Wi-Fi  Finder, you can find where the nearest wi-fi locations are in over 50 countries.

Latin America

Should You Cancel Your Travel Due to Zika?

If you’ve been paying attention to the recent headlines, you most likely know that the Zika virus has become a problem. If you’re traveling to a country affected by it, this may be more than a little worrisome. What is it exactly, and do you need to cancel your future travel plans?

What is it?
The Zika virus was first documented in 1947 in a monkey from the forests of Uganda. It’s transmittable by Aedes mosquitoes, which can infect humans. A documented case didn’t appear again until the spring of 2015 in Brazil.

What are the symptoms?
The symptoms are generally mild and not noticeable by many people who are infected. This includes fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis. The symptoms only last as long as the virus is in the blood, which can be anywhere from several days to one week.

Should you be concerned?
The primary concern is for pregnant women. Zika can cause neurological problems and birth defects. Microcephaly was present in babies who’s mothers had the virus when they were pregnant. While the link has yet to be officially confirmed, the World Health Organization declared a public health emergency due to the increased cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome and microcephaly.

How can you protect yourself?
Protecting yourself against mosquitos is your best bet for not becoming infected. This includes being vigilant about applying mosquito repellent, avoiding mosquito breeding grounds such as still water, and sleeping indoors with mosquito nets. Wearing dark clothing can also attract mosquitos more than light clothing.

If you’re traveling to Latin America, South America, the Caribbean, or the Pacific Islands, it’s important to be aware of the virus. It doesn’t mean you necessarily need to cancel your plans, but take extra precautions to protect yourself against mosquitos. If you’re pregnant and planned on going on a trip where you’ll spend a good amount of time outside, you might consider delaying your trip or changing locations for the time being. There’s currently no vaccine, so protection is the most important step you can take in the fight against the Zika virus.

cheap airline

The Truth About Budget Airlines

The United States hasn’t jumped on the budget airline trend yet, but countries like Europe and Asia have embraced it. If you’re flexible to what day and time your flight is, you can get a flight for much less than a train would be. Booking a flight through a discount company can save lots of time and money, but it’s important to be aware of how a budget flight can add up.

Be Flexible With Locations

Say you want to go to Zurich, Switzerland, but the flight is a little pricey. Consider flying into the cheaper option of Frankfurt, Germany instead and then taking the train down. It’s often much cheaper to fly into certain airports depending on the location. On that note, be careful you know which airport you’re flying into. There can be several within a large city, and you don’t want to spend the money you just saved on a taxi trying to get to your hotel all the way across town. Spend a decent amount of time researching your options.

Use Different Search Engines

There are many different ones to use, and all will come back with a different price. Use a variety to compare which one has the best price. Sometimes it’s cheaper to book directly through the airline’s website, so take a look at that as well when comparing.

Don’t Make Tight Connections

Budget airlines are not known for being on time. They can often be delayed by hours, or just flat out cancelled. If you have booked several budget airlines together in order to get to a farther destination, the airlines most likely won’t refund your ticket on your later flights because your original one was delayed. Space them out several hours apart, or consider exploring the city for a day before taking another flight to your next destination.

Beware of Hidden Costs

One downside of budget airlines is they charge you for almost anything extra. If you want to choose your seat in advance, there’s a fee for that. If you have an additional bag besides your one small carry-on, there’s a fee for that. It’s best to pack as lightly as possible for flights like these to maximize your savings.


Expat Location Spotlight: Chiang Mai

As the amount of travelers working in foreign countries increase each year, so do the number of locations for them to settle in. Chiang Mai, one of these locations, is in a mountainous region of northern Thailand. It’s often rated one of the top 10 most livable cities in Asia. It has started attracting a large amount of travelers who come to visit, and end up settling there for months. There are several reasons for this.

Cost of Living

The cost of living is much lower than in other countries around the world. Even compared to Thailand’s popular cities Bangkok or Phuket, it’s cheaper to live in Chiang Mai. For a studio apartment on the outskirts of the city, you can expect to spend about 5400 Thai Baht (equivalent to $150 USD). Factor in basic utilities and the cost of food, and you’re only at $500-$600 USD per month, not including entertainment or any extras.

Increase of English Speakers

Due to a large amount of English-speaking workers coming in the past 10 years, there are now many businesses catered to those that don’t speak Thai. Although it’s recommended to attempt to learn some Thai, you can go to stores or even doctors’ offices that speak fluent English. Expat meet-up groups have also popped up all around the city, making it easy to meet fellow travelers. It provides a social outlet, and lets you connect with others in the same situation to meet up with in the future.


In case you don’t have a job where you can work remotely, teaching English is a very common choice for foreigners.  You need to apply for a non-immigrant visa, good for up to one year. You can then apply for a work visa, and an extension of stay if needed.

There are a few items to factor in before considering an extended stay in Chiang Mai. A tourist visa is required, which can be used for up to 6 months depending on how many times you leave the country. You need to exit the country every 60 days though, which will run you around $30 USD each time you enter the country. Visa fees and transportation costs aside, it’s easy to see why Chiang Mai is an affordable, livable city for expats.

Best Websites for Remote Workers

KeyboardWhether you’re working as your own boss or for someone remotely, being organized is key. Without being in an office with coworkers, it can be easy to forget deadlines to meet or virtual meetings scheduled for the week. Here’s a round up of some of the top websites to help you stay organized and on track.

When you travel often, keeping track of all your flights, hotels, and any other reservations can get overwhelming. TripIt lets you forward all your email confirmations to it and automatically imports the information into the calendar. One of the best features is you can view it all offline, so no need to worry about connecting to wi-fi in a foreign country while you’re trying to pull your hotel information up.

For those working in social media or marketing, Buffer is a life saver. It allows you to add multiple accounts to schedule content for. Set a schedule for how many times a day you want to post and when, or let their tool analyze the best times to post. The extension you can add to your browser allows you to easily add articles you come across to your queue for sharing later, or posting it instantly.

Every Time Zone
If you’re working remotely, chances are you’re communicating with people in different time zones. Instead of trying to remember where your coworkers are, add Every Time Zone to your  browser. It gives you quick access to know what time it is anywhere in the world.

This combines all your virtual post-it notes into one organized website. Evernote allows you to organize all your to-do lists and even sync them to your phone, so you can see what’s due on the go. You can also share your notes with others for faster collaboration.

Google Docs
With Google Docs, you  never have to worry about downloading a document from a coworker, editing it, and then sending it back to them. Create a spreadsheet and share the link with a coworker to edit. You’ll be able to see their revisions when you click on the link.


Exploring the Wild Blue Yonder