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Friday, October 18, 2013

Super Useful Travel Links – Halloween Edition

Can you believe October is here and already halfway over? Well, it is. If you don’t have plans for Halloween, you might want to get on that, unless your plan is to sit on the porch and hand out candies to wee ghosts and goblins. There are plenty of cool things to do over the season that can make your Halloween a little more shivery, not the least of which I showcased in my New England post. So, this week I’ve decided to give you some fun seasonal posts from around the world.

Photos of Hermitage Castle, Scottish Borders
This photo of Hermitage Castle is courtesy of TripAdvisor

If you’re headed to the UK and looking for something spoooooky to do, you could hit up the London/ Dungeon or the Tower Bridge Experience or you can just go somewhere that is actually freaky and visit one of the seven most haunted landmarks in the UK, including Hermitage Castle in Scotland. Budget Travel made this list, so if you don’t actually see or feel a ghost (as I didn’t when I was at the Tower of London and Portland’s Shanghai Tunnels or the Queen Mary), don’t blame me. If you want a second chance, here is there list of the world’s most haunted theaters.

Photos of Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia
This photo of Eastern State Penitentiary is courtesy of TripAdvisor

If getting the you-know-what scared out of you is your ultimate goal, the possibly you want to go somewhere that will actually do that for you. I am such a fan of Halloween, but haunted houses or any place that has people in masks creeping up behind me are off my list. I know they’re just normal people, but I have irrational fears and I’m willing to admit it. Many people don’t have such fears, and for you Travel Channel has compiled a list of America’s Scariest Halloween Attractions.

Photos of Bran Castle (Dracula's Castle), Brasov
This photo of Bran Castle (Dracula's Castle) is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Everyone lists Salem on their must-list for Halloween vacation destinations. Wait. Do they? Well, they should. In addition to that given – because witches! Hello! – HomeAway wants you to visit these other 9 amazing places, which they coincidentally rent vacation homes in. From the Paris Catacombs (which I’m visiting this year!) to Vlad the Impaler’s castle, there are some really interesting destinations on this list whether you visit for Halloween or not.

Photos of The Original Ghost Walk of York, York
This photo of The Original Ghost Walk of York is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Did you know that York is the “ultimate ghost town”? Yeah, me either, but according to the Guardian, it is. Stay in haunted hotels, take a ghost walk, maybe spot a specter in a basement. To hear them tell it, you can barely walk without tripping over a ghost. 500 of them have been reported, which begs the questions, who exactly do you report a ghost to? and how many sighted ghosts haven’t been reported?

Photos of Postojna Caves, Postojna
This photo of Postojna Caves is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Europe apparently has the monopoly on monsters. They’re everywhere! Okay, maybe the stories just originated there. The Brothers Grimm did hail from Germany and were masters at scaring little kids into being good lest they be eaten by a witch or some other nasty thing that hides in the woods waiting for unruly children to skip by. Lonely Planet shows you where to find those elusive creatures like the dragon and elf by doing some monster-hunting in Europe.

Photos of Narrow Gauge Railroad Inn, Antonito
This photo of Narrow Gauge Railroad Inn is courtesy of TripAdvisor

There might be some nifty Halloween events near you that are free or cheap, but if you don’t know of any or are traveling the U.S. this month, check out these free festivities rounded up by National Geographic. If you’ve got a bit of money to spend, prweb gives you 8 ideas for budget-friendly trips revolving around the holiday.

Stay here
Stay in a haunted home! Airbnb has a bunch of listings for places that feature ghosts and creepy digs. Rent a room in one and see if your paranormal senses tingle when you stay the night. If you're even brave enough to turn off the lights!

photo credit
And now for some truly scary links!
You know I make mistakes when I travel. I call them live and learn moments and then tell you all about them so you don’t do it, too, but there seem to be mistakes people make over and over and maybe don’t even know it’s wrong. I try not to do this, but sometimes you think “it’ll be fiiiine.” And really, it never turns out fine. CNN brings you 20 of the biggest travel mistakes and, more importantly, how to avoid them.

Could you imagine going to the beach and finding no sand? Well, in Florida, that’s what’s happening. Um…sort of. The abnormal weather in our country and the normal turns of the tide are naturally eroding the beaches of Florida, but at a seemingly more rapid pace than typical and beaches are getting smaller and smaller. In fact, resorts are so freaked out by the loss of sand that they are literally trucking it in from other places. So, when you look at rates for these places in the future and they seem astronomical, it could be because you’re paying for foreign sand! Crazy, right?

Photos of SoloEast Travel Chernobyl Day Trip, Kiev

This photo of SoloEast Travel Chernobyl Day Trip is courtesy of TripAdvisor

And two fun ones to leave you with
These places that have been abandoned may just be eerie to look at. They probably aren’t haunted, but you could make up stories to go with your photos if you ever visit them. I can’t be the only one who loves to see these kinds of places and hopes to travel there someday, can I?
Do you love travel so much you want to do it forever? Well, that’s just what this man is doing and he’s dead! I adore this story and wish I lived near a body of water his ashes could possibly wash ashore from. Wouldn’t you love to “meet” Gordon Scott Smith and call his lovely wife to tell him where he’s traveling now? This just might be a clause to write into your will.

Okay, that’s it for this week. I hope you found something fun here and, as always, if you found a fun travel link (Halloweenish or not) that you’d like to share, we’d love to see it. Just post it in the comments. Carpe Noctem, everyone!

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