Chile: The Pride of the Andes

valparaiso david peinsipp

As the longest country in the world, Chile encompasses a variety of geographical and cultural varieties within its own national borders. To the north, it has the most arid desert in the world. To the South, the country is largely made up on archipelagos, mountain caps, and glacier chains. Its lush green landscapes contrasted with the Andean backdrops create a picture-worthy experience for even the most experienced world travelers.

If you’re looking to enjoy the outdoors, or experience Chilean culture in its metropolitan  centers, check out the following places on your next trip.


Northern Chile has a dry, arid landscape hospitable only because of it’s proximity to the Pacific Ocean. It is abundant in natural resources, and home to the majority of the country’s mining industry. Some cities to visit here are Antofagasta, Arica, and Iquique. Antofagasta and Iquique are especially large, seeing recent immigration booms with people from neighboring cities and countries. Temperatures here are mild, ranging between 70-75 degrees for the better part of the year.

The region is also home to an array of archaeological sites and ruins of the precolonial Aymara and Inca peoples. If you’re looking to explore salt flats, and other amazing landscapes, look east of these cities and see sights like El Tatio Geysers, Valle de La Luna, and San Pedro de Atacama. The Atacama Desert has especially optimal conditions for star-gazing as well, such as high altitude, no light pollution, and zero clouds.


Chile’s Central region is the heart of the country. It is where the majority of the country’s commercial, financial, civic, and cultural centers are located. The central region also contains the majority of the country’s major cities and populations. La Serena is a beautiful coastal town North of Santiago with lush green landscapes and a wonderful collection of world renowned wineries.

Santiago of course is the heart and soul of Chilean society. The city has an awesome cosmopolitan vibe, making it one of South America’s most dynamic and first-world cities. Sight-see in the city to enjoy it’s magnificent collection of neo classical spanish architecture, alongside the city’s various music halls, theatres, art galleries, and museums. A few kilometers east of Santiago is the nation’s most popular ski resort Valle Nevado, housing tourists from all over the world.

If you’re looking for a place with a more old-world ambiance, check out seaport Valparaiso – a UNESCO World heritage site –  and its array of picturesque and ornate houses sprinkled throughout the city’s hills and valleys are absolutely stunning. Right next to Valparaiso is one of the continent’s most famous beach cities, the fabulous Viña del Mar.

South – Patagonia

Towards the Southern Patagonian region of Chile, you begin to reach the country’s various national parks, and smaller picturesque cities. Remnants of European influence are rich in architecture and culture throughout cities like Osorno, Valdivia and Puerto Montt. Since they are located in the nation’s Lakes Region, the area’s quaint architecture, coupled with the geographical blue lakes and towering mountain ranges is ideal for any postcard picture.

Of course, because of the region’s wide open natural landscapes, the area is perfect for outdoor activities like fishing, hiking, and kayaking. Definitely make a trek through the Torres del Paine National Park, where the mountain range’s three granite peaks tower above the park’s various lakes, rivers, and plains. Heading further down south towards the region’s glaciers and island archipelagos is Penguin Island, a natural breeding and birthing habitat for Penguins. Finally, visit Punta Arenas and Tierra del Fuego, the continent’s southernmost populated locations.

When in South America, definitely make a trip down to Chile for an authentically enriching South American experience. I guarantee you’ll love it! If you liked this post and would like to read more on travel, read on for more. If you’re interested in reading about other topics like law and finance, check out my Twitter @dpeinsipp for more. Thanks for reading !

Brazilian Carnival 101

carnival david peinsipp

Every year Rio de Janeiro, Brazil holds a four-day-long celebration known as Carnival, lasting from February 5th to the 9th. It is a world famous festival that takes place just before lent. It is the largest carnival in the world where over two million people take to the streets every day of the festival. These festivities are believed to date back to the early 1700’s.

Carnival essentially involves parades and parties that are filled with partygoers, floats, and other ornamentation from over 200 samba schools in Rio de Janeiro. These Samba schools are delineated into divisions and parade in accordance with each division ranking.

While these samba parades are the most iconic events of Carnival, there are other celebrations that happen on the streets of Rio. Known as blocos or bandas, free street parties happen before, during, and after the days of Carnival across the city. Generally, these blocos revolve around a band, either one that travels around a route on a sound truck or remains static in one location.

Each bloco can vary in size, attracting a couple hundred to one million people and the parties begin around 7am and last till sunset and beyond, with beach parties stretching along Ipanema beach.

These blocos may also be associated with a specific neighborhood, restaurant, celebrity, or district and may have a theme or concentration. Some may be more traditional and focus on samba and the revered history of Carnival. While other blocos may be more contemporary, like the Beatles-themed Bloco do Sargento Pimenta.

The nature of Carnival and attending a bloco is partaking in the fun, free-spirited celebrations. Many people dress up in costumes both traditional and comical. If attending, be prepared to be utterly surrounded by people looking to just have a fun, festive time. Beer is free-flowing and music is loud.

If attending for the first time, consider heading to to get all the details you could possibly need for what is happening, when, where, and what you should do!

Considerations Before Moving Abroad

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There are 5 essential things to consider before moving abroad:


Of course, if you’re planning on moving abroad, you’re going to have to find work to fund your stay, even if it isn’t permanent and just for an extended stay. You are most likely going to need to apply for a working visa at whatever country you are headed to and that acquisition process can be long and extensive, so the sooner the better when considering a move.


There are a number of ways to acquire housing while abroad, for many different situations and circumstances, at various prices and qualities. There are resources provided by organizations like a company or university that might arrange your housing for you. You can also look into Airbnb if you’re planning a shorter stay and save a lot of money on hotels. There are many rental websites for housing abroad, but one reliable one is Sabbatical Homes, where university professors rent out their apartments and homes while they are abroad themselves.


Make sure to speak to your healthcare provider before you depart. They can give you more information about your options. Its possible you may need to purchase private health insurance while you’re away.


The last thing you want while away is an issue with money or financing. Schedule a meeting with your bank before you leave. You may decide to create an account that allows you to withdraw funds internationally and without freezes on your accounts. You may also want to get a credit car that give you points for international purchases and activity. Depending on the length of your stay, you may also want to open a bank account in your new country.


Each country has its own specifications when it comes to documentation and visas and work permits. Each situation is different and unique.

America’s Best And Worst Airlines

plane david peinsipp

When traveling by flight, things can go very right or very wrong, determining the course of your travel to either be pleasant or a nightmare. So, when planning a trip, it has become paramount to compare airlines in order to get the best experience possible.

Regardless, there are no guarantees your travel arrangements will go seamlessly. However, you can do yourself a favor and assess the various airlines available to you to tilt the odds of a pleasant trip in your favor.

Every year, an Airline Quality Report is published from a collaboration between Wichita State University and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. The study measures four stats: on-time arrival flights, denied boardings, mishandled luggage, and complaints from customers. What is not considered are the plane’s interiors from a design and comfort perspective including customer service and quality.

Over 2014, the level of quality across all airlines reportedly had dropped throughout the year. However, some airlines actually did increase their stats and overall quality.

The top 5 airlines in the United States are:

  1. Virgin America: 
  2. Hawaiian Airlines
  3. Delta
  4. JetBlue
  5. Alaska Airlines

Next time you go to buy plane tickets, consider one of the above airlines, your odds of having a comfortable, hiccup-free experience will be greater. If for some reason you can’t go with the top 5 airlines in America, just be cautious about choosing one of the following airlines with the lowest stats:

  1. Envoy / American Eagle
  2. ExpressJet
  3. SkyWest
  4. United
  5. Frontier

These contenders at the bottom of the list aren’t necessarily there because they’re horrible airlines; they also happen to be regional carriers – they are the first planes to be cancelled during inclement weather.

For the entire report, click HERE and download all the stats for free!

Travel safely, smartly, and comfortably this holiday season.

Best Travel Apps

As the holidays rapidly approach, many will be traveling far and near. With technology also rapidly advancing, there are far more resources than ever before to utilize while you are in transit and abroad or just across the country or state.

Here are the best travel apps to consider adding to your smartphone. Bonus: they are all FREE!:

tripit david peinsipp


This app more or less acts as your personal travel agent. You can do it all yourself by adding all of your travel criteria (flights, rentals, lodging, etc.) to the app and make an itinerary for yourself, or you can forward all of your confirmation emails to and have them make your itinerary for you!

postagram david peinsipp


Seamlessly connect the past and the present with this amazing app that lets you take your own pictures and send them as either digital or physical postcards. The digital snail mail is free and speedy, while the physical postcards cost $.99 which includes postage.

goby david peinsipp


Never be at a loss for things to do in a foreign city with this app. Goby uses your location and finds all of the hotspots in your area including museums, hotels, restaurants, etc. Also, it finds local events like shows and concerts you can consider to add to your itinerary.

free wifi finder david peinsipp

Free Wi-Fi Finder

Running out of data? Your hotel doesn’t provide free wifi or just doesn’t provide it at all? Use this app to locate nearby wi-fi hot spots either by location or in their convenient directory.

google translate david peinsipp

Google Translate

Even if you’ve been studying for your trip to a foreign country, you still may need a little help speaking and/or understanding their language. Google Translate is an amazing app that can translate a large bulk of text quickly and even translate spoken word. All you have to do is speak to it in English and Google Translate will repeat it back in your desired language.

Travel Tour & Booking Start-Ups


So you’ve got the travel bug and you’re searching for your next big adventure. While some explorers prefer to travel at their own pace, eating, lodging, and hitch-hiking with locals, others prefer a more structured approach via walking tours, scheduled activities, and neatly organized itineraries.

These startups are targeting out inner sensibilities and quenching our thirst for wonder while packaging the best deals in just a few clicks. Check out some great options below:

Musement: Launched in 2013 and rated a best of 2014 app, Musement is a digital, multi-platform service that allows travelers to book activities, guided tours, tickets to local attractions, and more. Musement was developed as an answer to hotel, airfare, and rental websites that seemed to neglect the best parts of traveling – actually doing things! With 24/7 customer support, price matching guarantees, and secure booking, Musement is a great app to have handy for visiting the Louvre in Paris or perusing historical Berlin.

Guidelance: For all of you guided tour nerds, Guidelance has direct access to tour connections all over the world. Simply select a country of interest, enter how much you’re willing to spend, how many people will be in attendance, and whether you’d like a private tour, excursion tour, or simply Google and guidebook. You may also select whether you’d like to book ahead of time of on the spot.

Project Exploration: In conjunction with local businesses, Project Exploration provides exclusive tours and activity services, special deals, and pre-packaged trips. The website also subsections things to do in 6 categories including: adventure and thrills, relaxation and fun, water sports, cultural immersion, traditional outdoors, and wildlife and eco tourism. So whatever you’re in the mood to do, they’ve got you covered. An 8 day “Taste of Belize” tour includes a Lamanai Jungle River Tour, Beach Picnic, Great Blue Hole Three Tank Dive Trip and more.

These, compounded with already established start-up services like Airbnb and copious travel technology options has made booking your perfect trip a breeze.

Technology’s Influence on How We Travel

Just like many other aspects of daily life, technology has substantially altered the way we travel. From destination selection to documentation, the internet and technology have made it easier than ever to get around. Why hitchhike when you could easily take an Uber or Lyft across town? Worried about how many rolls of film to pack? Nonsense! Welcome to an era of cloud-based storage and more than enough space to hold videos, pictures, and memos from your latest escapade.

Using World Map on Apple Ipad2

Applications like Yelp have made it easier to find information on local establishments, including mood, atmosphere, location, hours of operation and experience. The new standard 5-star rating scale extends to food, services, retail, and accommodations. Those looking for inexpensive accommodations can turn to the local rental and couch-surfing style offerings of  Airbnb. Standard hotel and flight booking services are available via Expedia and Travelocity.

Even specialty travel forums have changed the way people move about domestically and internationally. People are more likely to accept the opinions of a fellow explorer – opinions that hold more value than those of panel judges or “experts.” The internet allows travelers to interact with one another and locals like they never have before. Websites like Pinterest provide a wealth of information regarding what to see and do in the city of your destination. More importantly, the exchange of such valuable information allows for a safer, more enjoyable experience.

Technology services that provide convenience are also popular. With multiple apps designed to control room temperature, lighting, or even turn your smartphone into a room key, travelers have more control over their travel experience. Mobile maps via Google, Apple, and Waze make finding that trendy authentic gelato shop possible with just the push of a button. The more we can pack into our phones, the less we have to carry. So instead of lugging around a backpack full of maps, keys, a compass and three rolls of extra film, many of these necessities are now right there in the palms of our hands. What’s more, the World’s Best Travel Jacket may have us all backpack free very soon.

How do you use technology to travel? Let me know in the comments below!

The World’s Best Travel Jacket

At the beginning of the summer, BAUBAX LLC launched a Kickstarter campaign for what they claim to be “The World’s Best TRAVEL JACKET with 15 Features.” While many claim to be the “world’s best” in one way or another, this jacket comes with incredible flexibility, mobility, and amenities for the modern globe trotter. This BAUBAX jacket comes equipped with the following items:

  • Neck pillow
  • Eye mask
  • Drink pocket
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Sunglass pocket
  • iPad pocket
  • Hand warming pockets
  • Earphone holders
  • Phone pocket
  • A Pen + Stylus convertible zipper
  • Passport pocket
  • Blanket pocket
  • Gloves
  • Portable charger pocket

Everyone’s initial reactions are apparent: how could this jacket ever be comfortable or practical? So many bells and whistles would surely weigh it down. However, the company’s Youtube video shows that the jacket is indeed lightweight and flattering for both men and women. Instead of fiddling with backpacks, pant pockets, or additional carryons, airport security is a breeze to walk through. Simply dump your jacket in the grey holding tray and glide through security like it’s nothing.


The jacket comes in 4 styles as a sweatshirt (100% cotton), windbreaker (water-repellent), bomber (fleece-lined), and blazer (wrinkle free). The bomber and blazer styles come equipped with a detachable hood and all 4 styles have a standard color pallet to pick from.

As of September 3rd, BAUBAX has successfully raised $9,192,056 USD with 44,949 backers. On September 1st, they became the 6th most funded campaign in the history of Kickstarter and the highest garment based crowdfunding recipient ever. Jackets perk packages range between $149 for a sweatshirt (full retain price $175) and the highest package of $1399 for a pack of 10 jackets ($1900 full retail). They are aimed to be delivered by December 2015 just in time for the holidays.

This jacket would be perfect for both domestic and international travelers. For more information, be sure to check out the Kickstarter campaign here: The World’s Best TRAVEL JACKET with 15 Features || BAUBAX


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