Day at the Museum: Checking Out NYC’s Best Museums

by Alex Schnee
( September 30th, 2014 )

Metropolitan Museum Art

I wish I could say there was one museum that was my favorite in New York, but the truth is that I really have a hard time choosing! I remember heading to the City for the first time and being astounded at all there was to see. In time, I started to narrow down which museums I would return to and which were only worth one visit. If you are planning on heading to some of the Big Apple’s famous museums, here are a few worth checking out:

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

You could spend your entire New York trip here if you wanted, so planning what you really want to see can help you save some time so you can get to see some other things in the city. The Met website gives you a list of what exhibitions are available and what you can find in each of the rooms. If you are specifically looking for your favorite kind of art, knowing which floor the works are located can be the easiest way for you to find what you absolutely need to see. (You’ll find everything from medieval armory to Andy Warhol—it’s that conclusive.)

Pollack MoMA Art

MoMA

As the capital of Modern Art in arguably the world, New York has several museums that will fascinate anyone who enjoys this era. I personally love MoMA for what they have housed there. It can get busy, and it’s not always easy to see the most popular works over a crowd of tourists’ heads, but if you are patient and wait, you’ll be able to catch a view. Thursday nights are some of the best to walk on over there—they have live performances and feature new and emerging artists dominating New York’s competitive art scene. They also offer a discount for students if you can show an ID card—score!

Blue Whale Museum

The Museum of Natural History

Departing a bit from paintings and sculpture, you might want to consider checking out the Museum of Natural History on the other side of Central Park. Most Generation-Y wanderers will remember this setting from Night at the Museum. (And yes, I am a nerd and thought that was an awesome movie.) Whether you have an amateur interest in the natural sciences (me) or if you are a science buff, you’ll love the collection of things to see and do. Tip: Don’t miss out on the famous blue whale in the ocean life hall!

These are a few of the most popular museums. Have you seen any that you would recommend that aren’t on this list?

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Some New Travel Features with iPhone iOS 8

by Alex Schnee
( September 25th, 2014 )

iPhone Travel Tips

As members of Generation-Y, we’re usually pretty on top of the newest and latest trends for our cell phones. As most of us all know (unless you are in the jungles of the Amazon Basin or hiking the Himalayas), Apple has released a new line of iPhones and a new operating system for older models. Here are some of the new features you can expect to use while on the road:

Picture editing.

Apple has always had some awesome ways to edit your pictures and their own filters to make your pictures unique, but the new iOS 8 now includes some more advanced options. You can now make your pictures easily black and white and play with the brightness of a picture—all things you had to do on a separate app. It’s also easier to access other features like panorama and time-lapse. Imagine how cool your travel videos are going to look now!

Audio messaging.

We don’t always have two free hands to text, or you might want to be able to share a special message with friends or family and you can’t give them a call. All you have to do now is press the microphone button next to the text box when you are messaging and you are able to record a voice message that your recipient can play back on their phone. You’ll need to be connected to Wifi to use this feature, but it can be a great way to convey an important message and to do it easily.

Timed selfie.

Where would solo travelers be without the ability to take a picture of themselves in exotic locations? The best part? You can now time your selfie, so you don’t necessarily have to hold the phone out in front of you. You never know when you’ll have to rely on your phone to take your picture for you, and this feature is a pretty obvious plus for that solo trip you have planned.

But keep in mind…

If you are thinking about upgrading, you’ll probably at least need an iPhone 5. Though it’s possible to update your iPhone 4s to the new operating system, it’s really not meant to deal with so many new features and you will probably have to end up deleting a good majority of your applications, music, and pictures you might have stored on there. Of course, you could treat yourself and purchase an iPhone 6, but consider purchasing the smaller model—the larger has been rumored to bend when you keep it in your pocket.

Would you upgrade your phone for some of the new features? Have any favorite applications that you like to use while traveling?

Image courtesy of Gonzalo Baeza H.

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A Few More Tips for Hiking in Glacier National Park

by Alex Schnee
( September 23rd, 2014 )

Montana Glacier Park

I spent yesterday up in Glacier National Park hiking with some old and new friends. We are having a beautiful Indian summer here in Montana, and we’re taking advantage of it as much as we possibly can. I wrote a bit about hiking in Glacier and some tips for defending yourself against bears a few weeks ago, but I thought I would talk about a few more tips when hiking Glacier. You know, one can never have too many tips!

Make sure your phone is charged.

Whether you plan on using it for pictures or you need it for emergency reasons, you should make sure your smartphone is full of battery and ready to go on your hiking adventure. It can be a pain to carry a lot of things, especially if you are hauling around some large camera equipment, but this is one thing (like bear spray) that you don’t want to really leave behind.

Respect the trail and nature.

Trails tend to be there for a reason. We would all like to think we’re intrepid explorers ready to go off the beaten path, but the truth is, any national park has been combed over—there are people who are paid to do that. We are not they. Sticking to the trail and trying not to step on any foliage and disturb wildlife is really important. Leave the exploring to the park rangers and people who are supposed to be there—that way you can preserve the park for generations to come and you’re less likely to encounter something you’d rather not.

Watch out for other hikers.

You might not think of it this way, but hiking is kind of a team sport. Part of hiking etiquette is making sure that you leave plenty of room for others enjoying the trail to pass. Simply stepping to the side and letting them through is all you need to do. (Just a warning: Montana hikers are extremely friendly and will say hello whether you feel like talking or not.) Also, if a fellow hiker on the trail doesn’t look so great and you’re worried about his or her safety, it’s a good idea just to check in—better be safe than sorry!

Leave no trace of food.

Bears have the incredible ability of finding any source of food within miles. When you leave food on the trail, you’re basically bear baiting an area where people are! Make sure that after you have your lunch everything is cleaned up and that you haven’t left anything behind.

Have any more suggestions? Have a favorite hike in Glacier or another national park?

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