Get Your Adventure On: How to Travel More Spontaneously This Summer

If you're anything  like us, you know the value of hitting the road just for the thrill of the wind on your face. You don't need a bunch of plans or a big bucket list -- you just hit the road with a map and your sense of adventure. To help you do more of that this summer, we've put together a list of five ways to be more spontaneous during your travels.

Image via

I once came across this quote on a travel forum: "Not planning is a good way to miss things you wanted to see." That may be true, but it misses the point of travel completely.

It's not hard to compile a list of must-visit sights and attractions before you travel. Every guidebook will have a page dedicated to the Eiffel Tower, the Statue of Liberty and the Taj Mahal. Many travelers feel like they absolutely can't miss these touristy sites.
The problem is, if you only focus your trip only on these types of places, you'll miss some of the most important travel experiences out there: the ones that are born of spontaneity and happenstance. Personally, I've been to New York without taking the boat to the Statue of Liberty. I've been to Paris without going up the Eiffel Tower. And while I did visit the Taj Mahal when I was in Agra, what I mostly remember is the crowds and the rain.
On the other hand, when I visited Egypt, I did something outside most tourists' comfort zone and rented a bicycle to explore the Valley of the Kings, which is lined with the tombs of ancient royalty. It was so hot on the way back that we had to stop into a few shops and pretend we wanted to buy souvenirs just to get some tea. This was a memorable experience that we never would have had if we'd done a "normal" tour.
The "must see" travel lists are great for boring guidebooks and listicle-driven magazines, but at Triposo we feel that they fail to capture what travel is really about.
So what is it all about?
I came across some other comments on travel forums that I think capture the real spirit of travel:
One traveler said that, "For me, stumbling across a free open-air opera at dusk in a church courtyard in an old part of Rome -- listening to the singers while swallows zoomed overhead -- was pure European magic. I couldn't follow the plot at all, but it didn't matter."
Another explained that his favorite travel experience was, "Accidentally coming upon a tiny outdoor fox shrine that had a mysterious door into a hill in Arashimaya, Kyoto, after visiting a small moss temple."
A different traveler gushed about, "That peeled salted cucumber from the guy with the cucumber cart on a gorgeous April day in front of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul. Holy shit that cucumber."
Of course, these types of experiences never make it onto a bucket list. No one sets out to have a transformative experience at a cucumber cart in Turkey or to discover a magical animal shrine. These are serendipitous experiences, the kind you simply can't plan for.
However, you can do a few things that will help you find yourself in more serendipitous situations. Here are our recommendations for traveling more spontaneously and uncovering the adventure in each place you visit:
1. Go
That's number one, and while it may seem obvious, it's worth repeating because not enough people actually do it. Just go somewhere. Then look around you and see what there is to see. You don't have to be in Paris or Istanbul or anywhere exotic. It can be Pittsburgh. They may not have an Eiffel Tower, but the company that makes the paint for the Eiffel Tower is there, and maybe that's where your serendipitous experience is hiding out. Just pick a place, get on the road and go.
2. Get Lost
Is there any sight more pitiful than a tourist struggling with his map in the wind? Sometimes I think that travel companies ought to issue an "anti-GPS." One that tells you to turn left when what you're looking for is to the right. My dad had one of these, and they've been married happily for more than 40 years (har, har.) Anyway, the point is to let go of your need for control and just follow your nose. The good news is that there is so much to see in most cities that you are likely to find something amazing as soon as you put the map down and look around you. It's not to say that a good map can't come in handy now and again (and we happen to think that the skobbler-powered open-source maps in our mobile app are some of the best out there), but there's a lot to be said for just wandering and getting lost. And anyway, as a wise man once said, "Not all who wander are lost."
To read the rest of our tips, check out the full article on the Huffington Post's travel channel.

Navigate the World’s Small, Cool Places With Our Latest iOS Update

Today we are happy to announce new features for our iOS app that give travelers like you a fresh new way to explore many of the small towns and beautiful, remote sites scattered across the globe that traditional guidebooks often leave out.

Our mission is to build a travel guide that you can use anywhere on the planet. Since people travel to many locations that are outside the major cities and towns, we’ve focused on making this version of our app the ultimate source of information about the many fun, authentic small towns, rural areas and off-the-beaten-path sites that exist all across the globe.

Here are some key new features:

  • New Towns: 22,000 from around the world have been added, with practical information like where to find a pharmacy and how to use public transportation.
  • New Points of Interest: 400,000 of them, including museums, natural landmarks and historical sites. 
  • More Attractions: 50,000 to be exact, many in some of the most remote parts of the world. Includes: hidden waterfalls, castles perched high on a hilltop and restaurants tucked away in the countryside.
  • Fresh Digs: Complete overhaul of the interface so you can more quickly find basic information or dig deeper into the details you find most interesting.
  • New Discovery Features: Reorganized to help people organically discover all the great attractions nearby by browsing through a town guide, exploring our skobbler-powered maps or checking out personalized suggestions for each area.
Check out these screenshots to see how the new app works:

Trakai is a fantastic small town located in Lithuania. Triposo now features a complete guide to Trakai,
with background information, highlights and detailed open-source maps.

Triposo provides information for curious travelers about Trakai’s Island Castle, nestled in the crystal-clear Lake Galve.

In addition to new content about small towns and regions, we’ve also added some really
cool new features for big cities:
  • Search by Time Period: Browse a city’s points of interest based on the time period in which they were built or the architect who designed, a great way to get a historical perspective.
  • Get Up Close & Personal: Zoom into a specific area in town and learn all about it, so you can get to know particular neighborhoods really well as they explore a new city.

We know, we know. The architecture feature is totally geeky, but it’s such an exciting way to explore a city. It really helps you to see it with different eyes. You can read about an architect or the style of a certain time period, and you’ll be able to appreciate the buildings and monuments and neighborhoods you visit that much more. Plus, it even works in your own town. For example, our CEO lived in Amsterdam for 10 years, but exploring the town by visiting all the buildings designed by Hendrick de Keyser gave him a totally new perspective on it.

Triposo’s app for iOS is compatible with both iPhone and iPad, and can be downloaded here. Check it out and let us know what you think!

Top 10 Tequila Bars in the U.S., Just in Time for Cinco de Mayo!

Source: Tumblr

Believe it or not, Cinco de Mayo isn’t just about drinking one too many margaritas and practicing your high school Spanish. The holiday originally started in Mexico as a way to commemorate the Battle of Puebla during the Mexican Wars of Independence. Though it’s not actually a national holiday in Mexico and is primarily celebrated in the Puebla region, it has taken on significance in the U.S. as a day to appreciate Mexican heritage and culture.  

Regardless of its history, Cinco de Mayo is a great excuse to get more familiar with the cuisine of Mexico, not to mention its classic spirits and cocktails, the most well-known of which is inarguably the tequila-based margarita. On Cinco de Mayo, the refreshing citrus cocktail is trumped only by a good, old-fashioned straight tequila shot, preferably with a wedge of lime and a lick of salt to help it go down easy.

At Triposo, we believe the best way to experience a culture is through its cuisine -- or, in this case, its liquor. This year, if you can’t head south of the border in time for May 5, check out our article on Buzzfeed to discover the restaurants and bars that are the highest-rated for “tequila” on social media according to Triposo’s algorithms. ¡Salud!

The Triposo Terrible Tourists Survey: Bad Behavior Abroad Revealed!

One of the best parts of travel is the chance to get out of your comfort zone: try new things, meet new people and have exciting experiences. Of course, it’s possible to take it a little too far. So we over here at Triposo recently conducted a survey to find out more about how people behave when they travel abroad.

Our survey covers everything from travel etiquette and manners (like hogging the arm rests and asking to switch seats incessantly) to drunken misbehavior and foreign fraternization. We talked to more than 700 respondents from 62 countries to find out what kind of terrible tourist behavior they’ve engaged in or caught others doing.

Check out some of the results below:

Social (Mis)behavior
No hotel room? No problem! Seventeen percent of respondents admitted to hooking up in a public place while abroad. Others indicated that body language was sufficient for intercultural communication, with 16 percent admitting to a hook-up with someone who did not speak their language. Overall, 70 percent of respondents admitted to some sort of fraternization while abroad. Here are our key findings:
  • 25 percent admit to a one-night stand.
  • 6 percent admitted to cheating on a significant other. (Men were twice as likely to cheat.)
  • 5 percent broke up with a significant other.
  • 6 percent admitted to soliciting sex. (All of these respondents were men.)

Drunken Behavior
60 percent of our respondents admitted to partaking in some sort of adventure that was fueled by alcohol. Unfortunately not all of these adventures had a happy ending, as 11 percent admitted that drinking led to hurting themselves or someone else. Others reported drinking led to some unsavory public behavior abroad:
  • 20 percent admitted to urinating in public.
  • 10 percent admitted to vomiting in public.
  • 5 percent say drinking abroad led to naked escapades in public.

Just Plain Bad Behavior
Some respondents told us about illegal or questionable behavior abroad, including more than 20 percent who admitted to stealing while in a foreign country, even if it was just a hotel towel. Other findings include:
  • 15 percent admitted to buying or selling drugs.
  • Almost 14 percent admitted to some form of trespassing.
  • 6 percent admitted to smuggling contraband.
  • Less than 2 percent report being arrested, though more than 10 percent reported being held at the border.
What about you? What kind of bad behavior have you witnessed (or maybe taken part in...) while traveling abroad?

Announcing: Triposo 2.0 for Android!

Exciting news today for all you Android users: Triposo 2.0 is live! In this version, Triposo has updated the app with a bunch of great new features, like live event listings, social reviews and an improved layout for tablets and bigger devices.

The new app features include:

  • Local events listings to help you find more spontaneous fun while traveling
  • Improved phrasebooks to help you communicate effectively, even when you’re out of your element
  • Redesigned location and place screens to make it easier than ever to find what you’re looking for
  • Fresh data to keep you coming back for more adventures
  • Local festivals, food and works of art in the Travelpedia to make discovering culture and experiencing new things as easy as flipping on your smartphone.
  • “Good For” and “Best For” badges to help you find what you’re looking for based on social recommendations

Here at Triposo, our goal is to give you all the tools you need to experience a new place like a local. We want to help you find interesting things to do, sights to see, food to eat and culture to experience.

Our “Practicalities” tab gives you all the practical information you will need to navigate your trip, from transport options to local hospitals to laundry facilities.

Our “Travelpedia” provides you with tons of great open-source content to help you find good food, festivals and art, as well as to learn about the history of each location.

And our “Things to Do” tab will help you find nightlife, hotels, tours, coffee shops, outdoor activities and lots more -- everything you need to build a memorable trip.

The latest update takes these features to the next level, making it easier and faster than ever for you to plan trips, find activities on the go and have all of the information you need right at your fingertips, without any heavy guidebooks to lug around. Plus, it’s all available offline, so you don’t need to worry about roaming charges or tracking down a wifi hotspot. Just grab Triposo and go!

Have you checked out the new app yet? Let us know what you think!

If you love Shakespeare these places should be on your bucket list

Now that Shakespeare's 449th birthday is approaching we decided to check for the most Shakespearian paces to visit. We attempted to automatically identify cities and towns for which the England's dramatist produced, directly or indirectly, a noticeable increase in attractiveness for tourists. We believe that visiting the places that are linked to a famous local is a great way to explore a town - so we may work in adding that option in your favorite travel app in the future.
But before we get there: here is the Shakespeare list:

London, UK, the long-time home of Shakespeare. The reconstructed Globe Theater, and the whole lot of other good theaters that are not at all ignoring Shakespeare's works today.


Stratford-upon-Avon, UK, the poet's birthplace, with the house where (it is believed) he lived as a child, and another house where his wife lived as a child. Inside Holy Trinity Church there's the Shakespeare's funerary monument. Royal Shakespeare Theatre is well worth attention too.

New York

New York, USA, with Shakespeare-in-the-Park performances and Shakespeare Garden (in the Brookyn Botanic Garden) makes it to the third place. As a little additional score booster there's the Puck Building, named after (and decorated with statues of) a character from A Midsummer's Night Dream.


Helsingør, Denmark. If we mention that the anglicized version of this name is Elsinore, no further explanations will be needed, right? And yes, there is a castle.


Verona, Italy. Similar story. The Basilica of San Zeno, the crypt of which is said to be the place of the marriage of Romeo and Juliet; Juliet's balcony; etc. A real fan would remember that there is also a Shakespeare comedy called The Two Gentlemen of Verona, about some guys who were, well, from Verona.


Oxford, UK, where the buildings of some old places, notably Bear Lane and Golden Cross, are claimed to be personally acquainted with Shakespeare. On the veracity of these claims our algorithm has no opinion.


York, UK. Yes, the old York has made it to the list too, not only the New one. It is the ideal place to go for a couple in which one likes Shakespeare and another dislikes him. In Siward's Howe earl Siward, a character in Macbeth, is said to be buried. In one of the old city gates a small museum hides, dedicated to just how wrong Shakespeare was about Richard III.

A guide to Mars

Mars is becoming more and more of a serious option it's time for a Triposo guide to Mars. The red planet is still off the beaten track (with no actual visits to date), but there's already talk of honeymoons to Mars and before you know it you can just book it on Expedia...

The Triposo guide to Mars is available as a download guide within the iOS Triposo App. The Triposo guide covers different sections, including practical information. The exploring nature has most articles -  there are huge mountains, deep valleys and giant plains. We've listed some of the remains of earlier mission to Mars under sightseeing, but as we have no exact coordinates it may be quite hard to find these places.

There's very little user generated content, which makes it hard to have a guide that's as good as the guides to planet earth' most popular destinations.

Green world

One more day and it's Saint Patrick's Day, the day when the whole world is a little green. But how green exactly? We have a heat map of the world that shows how Irish different cities around the world are. To get our map we've compared the number of bars that are Irish with the total number of bars in town that we have in our database. Then we applied some smoothing so that a small town with just one bar that is very Irish doesn't show up with a 100% score and outshines Boston where 25% of the bars may be seen as Irish.

Use the map to zoom in and see more details. With a bit of zooming, panning and patience you can see how Boston is really green, or how the Dingle Peninsula shines. Before we say "Happy Saint Patrick's Day" we'd like to thank Patrick Wied who wrote the javascript library to create the heat map. Thanks Pat! And Happy Paddyday to all!

A green world