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Have you noticed there’s no other place for teenagers to talk about travel?

Here you can read what other teenagers have to say about travel – from day trips to journeys abroad, shopping, eating, coasting, and other activities on vacation. Also, parents can read what teenagers like and dislike about family vacations and destinations so that they can plan a family trip that YOU will enjoy.


Teen Travel Talk is also interested in YOUR travel experiences. If you want to become a paid blogger and publish your travel stories on Teen Travel Talk, click “contact us” on the left hand side, fill out your contact information and tell us why you’d be a great teen travel blogger.


The Exploratorium!


San Francisco has so much to offer, its impossible to do it all in one trip. I’ve already talked about Fisherman’s Wharf, a very popular touristic place to go, but there are so many other things on the piers like on Pier 15/17.




The Exploratorium is an amazing museum filled with interactive exhibits. There are fun filled activities and projects that help teach kids (this isn’t all for kids, I’ve seen adults that had lots of fun playing with the stations, not to mention myself) about astronomy, our planet, the human body, culture, etc. using their five senses. This place is perfect for those days when you are trying to escape the rare heat of the sun or the chilly weather in San Francisco.



My favorite part of the whole museum was this spinning chair. There was a little plaque next to the chair that stated that you are less dizzy when your head is down than head up. All you had to do was sit in the chair and press the button to start spinning and keep your head down and then try it with your head up. You notice the difference right away!



This was my sister’s favorite exhibit. It’s a toilet water fountain. Psychologically, for a lot of people it is nearly impossible for them to drink out of this toilet, not for the little kids though. We all took turns drinking out of this toilet fountain.



The “Mood Lighting” , as we call it, was interesting. Does color really affect your mood? While the colors change on this bulb you feel different with each color. It really does work!

For more information on tickets and other exhibits, be sure to check out the Exploratorium’s official website. This is one of my favorite museums in San Francisco. I love how interactive it is because at most museums you aren’t allowed to touch anything, but this one is made for you to discover at your own fingertips. I can’t wait to go back and check out the new exhibits!


Where to get your ‘central perks’ in NYC


 Everyone likes a classy coffee shop, right? However, if you’re like me, the sheer amount of New York coffee shops can at times seem almost overwhelming. I’ve explored neighborhoods, read copious amounts of Yelp reviews, have asked around, and I’m still always searching for new, hip, affordable cafes to spend time at. Living in the East Village, I am slightly biased to EV and Lower East Side coffee spots, so here are the top four coffee corners in my neighborhood.

1) Ciao for Now

Ciao for Now is an established family-owned café that has taken up residency in the vibrant East and West Village neighborhoods. Serving up the classic coffee and tea, Ciao also incorporates unique pastries, soups, stir-fries, and all-day breakfast items into their extensive menu. With ingredients that are always fresh, organic, local, and homemade, this quaint café feels more like one’s own kitchen than a café or restaurant. With frequent specials such as exceptional weekend brunch, this can either serve as a quiet reading spot or a family meal affair.

Must haves: Apple-oat scone, Ginger green tea.


2) The Bean

The Bean never fails to serve up not only delicious coffee, pastries, sandwiches, and smoothie treats, but also an incredibly unique and animated crowd. Customers at the Bean are truly one of a kind, just like the café itself. With three locations in the East Village as well as one in Brooklyn, one can come for a coffee and stay all day, or pick up a snack on their way to work. With funky drinks like the Espresso Chai or NutElla Fitzgerald and crazy snacks like their Eggroll wraps, your taste buds will never be bored at The Bean.

Must haves: Dirty Chai, Kale smoothie


3) Think Coffee

THINKing about coffee that is more than just a hot steaming cup of ground beans? At Think Coffee, fair trade and community giving are top concerns at all New York locations. From Central American farming projects, to percentages of profit that are donated to local organizations, Think is highly aware of their role in global and local communities in need. Not to mention, they have a pretty sweet coffee blend to boot! Whether you’re in the mood for a decorated latte and a corner for some reading time or want to spend the day working on a laptop, this café will really help you think with its large menu and large awareness.

Must haves: Think Blend iced coffee, Grilled Cheese



4) Birch Coffee

Looking for good coffee, great food, and a chill vibe? Look no further than Birch Coffee! Priding themselves on their inventive blend of craft coffee and community involvement, Birch is becoming a staple in its various locales (which are all outside of the East Village, but they were too good to not include in this list!) With cozy atmospheres, bold coffee flavors, and out-of-this-world-good food, Birch has something for anybody looking for a classic coffee hangout.

Must haves: Egg-goat cheese-arugula breakfast sandwich, Birch blend coffee (hot or iced)


The good news? This only scratches the surface of all of the great coffee and tea in NYC. So what are you waiting for coffee-lovers, get out there and explore!


Thrifty Thursdays: How to Survive in Boston on a College Student’s budget


As a resident college student of Boston, I make up 1 person out of about half a million people in my demographic. Luckily, Boston is a fantastic city for college students for many reasons, one of those being the lack of necessity to spend tons of money to have fun during the school year and summer break. Here are my top four tips for how to survive on that minimal salary you receive from your campus work-study job, while still having maximum amounts of fun.

1) Explore, explore, explore!

Boston is known to be a fabulous walking city and while there is a severe lack of a grid system, one can waste the day away walking around all of Boston’s vibrant neighborhoods. Downtown Boston is the place to be if you want some solid seafood, a nice waterfront view, and a lot of tall buildings. If you’re more like me, some could say “hip-er” neighborhoods like Brookline and the South End might suit your fancy. Plenty of cute storefronts, friendly looking people, and even outdoor markets on the weekends and during the summertime. Just walking around and looking at the architecture is a great time, but do stop in to some of the great bakeries and coffee shops and treat yourself once in a while. My personal recommendations include Flour Bakery in the South End and Athans bakery in Brookline—the best places to get a croissant and a coffee!

The North End is Boston’s resident Little Italy and a small price can be paid for some of the best cannolis you’ll ever eat. If you’re looking for a more post-grad, particularly music-oriented area to wander through, try out Allston/Brighton right along Commonwealth Ave…you’ll be sure to run into some fellow college students. And speaking of college students, Cambridge anyone?


2) History doesn’t have to be a mystery

Boston is wrought with history, dating back to the 1600s. While some may consider it a little “lame,” walking the entirety of the Freedom Trail is still on my Boston to-do list after three years of living in the city. It’s free, interesting, self-guided, and a perfect way to make fun of tourists (slightly kidding about that one). There are many organized tours throughout Boston, but why not take it upon yourself to be the explorer while also saving some cash for adventures later on. The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library is another worthwhile option; although there is a small, but worth it, fee to explore that historical museum


3) Take advantage of free events!

Many museums in Boston offer free viewing nights, such as the Isabella Stewart Gardener, Institute of Contemporary Art, and the Museum of Fine Arts, and all are worthwhile events to observe. Boston is also known to have many free food festivals (honestly, what gets better than that?) during the summertime so watch out for those! Additionally, like in many other cities, Boston also offers many summer free outdoor movie showings.


4) This isn’t New York…nature is right at your doorstep

From the pond in the Boston Gardens, to the Arnold Arboretum in Jamaica Plain, to the Newton Woods just outside of Brighton, to the Blue Hills Reservation just outside Boston in Milton, MA, nature is plentiful in Boston. Take a bike-ride down Commonwealth Avenue and you’ll encounter a plethora of parks, green spaces, and-gasp-trees!

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The beautiful thing about Boston is that it is a relatively relaxing city for the average over-committed and stressed-out college student to chill out for a change and enjoy the nature and pace of life in one of America’s oldest cities. And you also don’t need to be a millionaire to enjoy some of the best things about the city. So, what are you waiting for? Go have some free fun!


Healing Thermal Hot Springs


On my recent trip to visit family in Mexico, we got to visit the Aguas termales (hot springs), located near Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico. The ranch is called San Carlos, where you can find many hot springs and campgrounds. My family and I enjoy our trips here because there is something relaxing about the hot thermal water. The water is known to have healing properties since it is enriched with minerals. On a side note, there is a distinct sulfur odor that comes from the hot springs, but once you are there for a bit, you get used to it.

There are many pools and watering holes, that resemble hot tubs, that vary in temperature. There is a large pool that is filled with warm water, this is the most occupied pool.

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There is another large pool, however this particular one is filled with hot, HOT water. Imagine a pool sized hot tub with boiling hot water that is barely tolerable. This one was pretty much empty, for the most part. My grandfather decided to give it a try and withstood the hotness for about 5 minutes but once he got out, he said he felt relaxed.


On one far end of the campground, a medium sized pool with warm water is located. We preferred this pool because there was lots of shade, on the other two large pools, there was no shade to be found. The sun is pretty intense here, so make sure to bring sunblock!

There is a mud pit for those who want to try the natural exfoliations. Its something that we use to be silly and we had a great time!

If you are ever south of the border, don’t be afraid to explore the road less traveled.

Thrifty Thursdays: Summer in the City (NYC edition)


Tired of feeling like you have to spend a lot of money to have a good time? I’ll be starting a weekly blog pertaining to ways that the average teenager or college student can enjoy the beauty and excitement that US cities and places of nature have to offer on a shoestring budget for the lazy and unemployed (kidding about the lazy part…watching Netflix all day during the summer totally takes a lot of effort). This summer, I will be living and volunteering in Manhattan’s vibrant East Village neighborhood, and am looking to maximize my fun and minimize my costs. Sound like an Intro to Econ class? Nope, having fun for free is actually quite simple…as long as you do your research. Here are a few categories of entertaining activities that one can partake in for free or at least a very minimal budget.


Free music

New York is bustling with free music festivals, concerts, street performances, and the Subway also has some serious talent these days as well. As a music lover, my starting point was this nifty compilation put together by the Village Voice. Check out all of the venues listed for some true variety!

My free music summer highlight has been, for the last few summers, the Village Voice’s 4Knots festival that takes place on a Saturday in July in the Southstreet Seaport. Free samples, free music, free fun! Doesn’t get much better than that. Central Park stages many shows throughout the summer as well, and most performers can be heard from just outside the venue fence…why pay to see artists like Beck and Conor Oberst when you can listen to them for free? For you Brooklynites, McCarren and Prospect Park also host some sweet summer lineups as well.


Dancing and art

Nothing but class in this category. For you artists among us, ArtForum is a great resource to discover up and coming artists in New York’s various neighborhoods. It’s also a helpful tool to use if you want to attend the multitude of free gallery opening events, many which often offer free food and drinks if you arrive early enough. If you’re like me and a classy night out at the galleries isn’t enough, stop by many of the free dancing venues in the city. One that comes to mind is Sunset Salsa in Chelsea, all the way on the West Side between 14th and 15th streets.


Food and movies

There are ways to score some free food that are more acceptable than going into WholeFoods and trying all of the samples (trust me, we’ve all done it). On any given day in New York, there are likely at least one or two food festivals happening. Sampling all of the scrumptious bites is one way to go but also check out NYEater for a list of some concrete places that cater to the thrifties among us. Free movies are perhaps more plentiful than free food and are offered at a variety of venues that include: Bryant Park in Midtown, Coney Island, Hudson River Park, McCarren Park, and many others. Check out NYCgo for more ideas!


Parks and nature

For people looking to steer clear of spending temptations entirely, no worries! As long as it’s a nice day, New York has plenty to offer. Try walking some of the East River Bridges. The Brooklyn Bridge is classic but don’t underestimate the beauty of the Manhattan or Williamsburg bridges. If parks or more of your thing, obviously check out Central Park (touristy but worthy of the title), Washington Square Park (always something happening, especially a great fountain), Union Square Park, Prospect Park in Brooklyn, or McCarren Park. If nothing else, park-hopping will help you get some much-needed New York people watching in.

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Check out some helpful websites

Research is key. I have multiple websites and online platforms that I check regularly. TimeOut New York is a big help for deciding what to do on a given day or what to do over the course of a summer. There is usually a “free” or “cheap” search tab that makes your hunt simpler, but the site also contains some great resources in case you do want to drop a couple bills for a fun night out. TripAdvisor is also a dependable choice for research, especially with the capability for user reviews and suggestions. NYCgo is another helpful site if you’re looking for more classic suggestions on how to spend your New York minutes. Whatever venue you choose, just make sure to seek out the typically unsought and unknown; that’s where the real magic happens.

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