Author: billyfreeze

Stepping Outside your Cancun “All-Inclusive”

Selvatica Tours offers zip lining packages just an hour south of Cancun It’s easy. All you have to do is show up. Cancun all-inclusive vacations have taken the hassles out of planning a trip. They pick you up, they feed you, they entertain you; You never even need to leave the resort. If you’re just looking for a pool and unlimited drinks, you might just be happy with that sort of vacation. If your tastes run for a little more adventure, then Cancun offers lots of excitement outside those local-proof gates. Within an hour or two drive there’s an opportunity to explore world class ancient ruins, dive in pristine waters, explore the local culture and even feed iguanas. Many Cancun visitors have never heard of a cenote, for instance. Cenotes are sinkholes that are  unique as well as ubiquitous to the Yucatan peninsula. If you don’t read Spanish, chances are you might drive past a half a dozen of them and not even realize it. Cenotes are the little hidden oases of Mexico and offer a nice excursion to cool off, snorkel, or explore the nature in the area. A  couple of years ago I arranged a diving trip to the Dos Ojos cenote and was amazed by the beauty of these little watering holes. They’re filled with crystal clear spring water and although there’s not a lot of...

Read More

Where’s Rudy? The Shocking True Story

When I first met Rudy I thought he might be missing an eye. It was a pirate party for a mutual friend and as we were talking I noticed his pirate eye patch didn’t really look like a costume eye patch at all. The leather looked like it might be grafted into his skin. The more I looked at it, the more I wondered whether it was some sort of well applied prosthetic or maybe some horrific eye gouging accident. I knew Rudy did theatrical makeup so later when I noticed him working at a local costume shop with both eyes intact, I was pleasantly surprised. We became friends immediately. At the costume shop he honed his airbrush skills and worked on learning magic so that he could demonstrate it to the customers. I would pop in to buy various things for my shows and we always had something fun to talk about. The costume store had been around a long time and still had it’s old catalog of costumes to choose from mixed with 8 x 10s of local performers in a giant 20 inch thick portfolio. As the shop went digital, they disposed of all the old printed pictures as well as the entertainer’s pictures. I noticed that one of the pictures had been rescued from dumpster. Mine: and it was hanging on the wall in the...

Read More

Going to Vegas on the Cheap

I just did a trip to Vegas for $250. I didn’t go to any time share meetings and didn’t stay with anyone’s family. I didn’t drive there and I didn’t sleep under a bridge. I flew there, watched two great shows and stayed in an amazing hotel. Let me tell you how I did it. I’m a travel addict. I somehow have managed to squeeze in trips in whenever there’s a lull in my schedule. Even if it’s a quick trip to Austin or San Antonio from my home town of Houston, I’ll take to the highway for dinner on the Riverwalk or to watch the bats fly off under the Congress bridge for their nightly feeding. I’ve stayed everywhere and done everything to the point that traveling to these places has started to feel a little like being at home. Being at home is not what I’m looking for, unless of course, I’m at home. Two weeks ago I took a 48 hour trip to Vegas. It didn’t cost very much more than a San Antonio trip and it took about the same amount of time to get there. When I mentioned that I was going to Vegas for just 2 days many of my friends were surprised. I suppose that a lot of people look at Vegas as a “real vacation” or a place to get married...

Read More

Hack Your Travel : Part 1- Getting on a Plane

I travel a lot. I sometimes feel like I’ve been on more planes than Edward Norton in Fight Club. After so many departure lounges and security checks, I started realizing that I had started evolving into a different kind of traveler.  I was doing things different than most of the other passengers. They looked crazed and panicky; I was chilled and relaxed. I decide to write a list for you that can make your travel less stressful. If you do these things, you will become instantly cooler and feel happier at the airport. You have my word as a gentleman….yeah, right. 1. Security– No one likes security checks at airports. Seemingly normal people turn into idiots as soon as they get to the conveyor belt. Don’t want to spend unnecessary time on the wrong side of the checkpoint. Wear flip flops or shoes that slip on and off easily. Don’t wear a belt with metal in it. Put your phone, keys, wallet and change inside your bag before you even get to the belt. You will be 3 times faster than everyone else and the smartest person in the room. 2. Be last– As soon as the plane starts boarding, people start lining up like a wildebeest migration. They stand in line for  20-something minutes worried that they won’t have room for their luggage or someone will take their...

Read More

Why Fall is a Great Time to Visit Europe

(Christmas Market in Jena, Germany Every year around September I start seeing the deals. The kids are back in school, the traveling hordes of Americans slows to a crawl and Europe goes on sale. The cruise ships don’t stick around for long. As soon as it gets a little chilly, they start “repositioning” and heading for warmer waters. Hotels that were  turning away tourists in July start selling their rooms with package tours, airlines drop prices and that’s when the fun begins. When I tell my friends that I’m going to Europe in November, they immediately show this look of concern and ask me “isn’t it cold over there”? I explain that they need to understand that  Europe is not exactly the North Pole (unless you’re in Northern Finland; but that’s a whole different story we’ll get into later) and the people who live in Europe every day don’t exactly seem to be dropping dead of hypothermia. The truth is, I love Europe in the fall and it’s one of the best times to go. Prices are low, crowds are low and the people that live there are a little happier to have you there. Just remember to bring a jacket. I’ve seen airline prices drop by half and even to a 3rd of ordinary summer prices when November rolls around.  I paid $1400 to travel from Houston...

Read More

RSS Matador

  • Hike the Kalalau Trail in Hawaii
    Not all beaches are safe for swimming. The post 20 things you should know before hiking the Kalalau Trail appeared first on Matador Network.
  • Bruce Peninsula Grotto in Ontario
    It’s completely hidden in the cliffside. The post This magical, hidden sea grotto in Canada belongs on your bucket list appeared first on Matador Network.
  • Floating capsule hotel in Japan
    Sleepwalkers should not try this. The post You can sleep in this odd floating capsule in Japan and wake up on a desert island appeared first on Matador Network.
  • Longest flight ever to depart UK
    You’ll skip an entire day. The post The longest nonstop flight ever to depart from the UK takes off this week appeared first on Matador Network.