London Makes An Incredible Comeback To Face Kyoto In The Best City 2019 Championship!

The Championship of Best City 2019 is sponsored by Reborn Rubber, who source and clean used wetsuits along with recycled polyester to make slim wallets. 10% of each purchase gets donated to ocean cleanup. Reborn Rubber wallets float, hold up to 10 cards and have a pocket for cash or a primary card. [What is this?]

best city 2019 final

The 2019 Best City to Visit Travel Tournament began over 6 weeks ago, with 64 cities and now we’re down to only two. Istanbul jumped out to an early lead in the Final Four but London outpaced it in the last moments of the round to win by just 4 votes. Meanwhile, Kyoto has quietly reached the Championship for the first time ever. Whether its luck continues, to win it all, depends on you.

Readers, it’s time to vote! Click your favorite cities before this Sunday, April 7th, 5pm US EST (-4 GMT). Final vote results many not be visible, check for updates in the comments below or on Facebook.


Thank you everyone who has participated, voted, and supported your cities! The winner of The Best City To Visit Travel Tournament will be announced on Tuesday, April 9th. Good luck to both Kyoto and London!

This Video Of Galapagos Sea Lion Pups Is Cuter Than You Might Imagine

The photos of sea lion pups were cute, but this video compilation will hopefully put a smile on your face, no matter what kind of day you’re having. There’s also some more information about these adorable carnivores who act a lot like puppies with flippers and very, very large parents nearby.

The Difference Between The Best Wireless Mouse For Travel: Logitech MX Anywhere 2 vs. 2s

This is a tale of two wireless mice, one newer the other older, and strangely the same price most of the time. Both travel mouses have such a close feature set, it can be difficult to tell them apart – so what exactly are the differences between the Logitech MX Anywhere 2 and the Anywhere 2s?

The answer is in the video above and if you want a full feature dive into the MX Anywhere 2, you can watch the video below or read on.

One Mouse To Rule Them All

For those of you who are looking for a good, Bluetooth wireless mouse for traveling that can be used at home or office for daily use as well, both Logitech MX Anywhere hit a sweet spot. They’re not too small to be uncomfortable as most travel mouse tend to be and although they’re smaller than most ergonomic-focused mice, most of you are probably using something closer to the size of the MX Anywhere.

mx anywhere 2 2s

So, in short if you travel frequently and only want one travel mouse (I’m looking at you minimalists) then both MX Anywhere can be it.

Slicing The Differences

Given that both of these Logitech mice often are sold at the same price of $49 (the MX Anywhere 2s is usually $99 but regularly on sale), it’s surprising how similar they are. Both come with a micro-USB charging cable and a USB Bluetooth receiver, only needed if your laptop doesn’t have Bluetooth. Neither come with a case but this co2CREA hard shell fits perfectly.

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Battery life is one, albeit slight, distinction. The MX Anwhere 2s has 70 days of battery life, the MX Anywhere 2, only 60. Wow. I know. The nice thing is a minute of charging time will give you two hours of use, good to have if you’re at an airport getting some work done.

Resolving Resolutions

Another contrast is one most users will not notice, which is the MX Anywhere 2s has a better resolution (4000 DPI vs. 1200 on the 2). What that basically means is the MX Anywhere 2s can be more precisely moved on screen. Again, for gamers, video editors, and  people using a very large screen this is an important feature – for email, typing, and web browsing – not so much.

The MX Anywhere 2s also has what’s called the “Flow” feature, letting you seamlessly use the mouse across two difference devices at once. Unless you work with two laptops or extra screens, this won’t matter much to you.

mx anywhere 2s flow logitech

Weight distribution though, will. Although the MX Anywhere 2 feels like a better quality build, the internal battery of the MX Anywhere 2s has a superior weight distribution. Those small lifts of the mouse most of us do when clicking around aren’t as awkward with the 2s.

Which One To Get?

An easy question to answer – if both the MX Anywhere 2 and Anywhere 2s are on sale for the same price, get the 2s. That’s what I added to the tech I travel with. It might not be made as well as you can see in the videos, but longer battery life, plus the other features don’t hurt. Otherwise, if these two travel mice are $50 apart like the often are, you won’t be disappointed by the 2.

Assuming this isn’t an urgent purchase, I’d suggest waiting a month or so to try and catch the MX Anywhere 2s. But if you’re sitting in a coffee shop with a busted mouse you need to replace as soon as possible, grab either version and hope for the best price.

The 2019 Best City To Visit Is Down To A Very Likely And Unlikely Final Four: It’s Time To Vote!

The Final Four of Best City 2019 is sponsored by Reborn Rubber, who source and clean used wetsuits along with recycled polyester to make slim wallets. 10% of each purchase gets donated to ocean cleanup. Reborn Rubber wallets float, hold up to 10 cards and have a pocket for cash or a primary card. [What is this?]

best city 2019 final four

The Best City to Visit Travel Tournament is very familiar territory for London and Istanbul but neither have ever won or made it past the Final Four. By next week’s championship that will remain true for one of these two cities, as Istanbul faces London, who got past the Elite 8 on a tie-breaker. On the other side of the brackets, New York City advances on its second tie-breaking win, and is set to compete with Kyoto, the Cinderella story of this year’s tournament.

Readers, it’s time to vote! Click your favorite cities before this Sunday, March 31st, 5pm US EST (-4 GMT). Final vote results many not be visible, check for updates in the comments below or on Facebook.



As we near the end of this tournament, a look back on the first city to ever win twice and back-to-back best city contests at that. Thank you for the past 2 years Granada!

Remember, the Championship begins next Tuesday, April 2nd, 2019. Good luck everyone!

When Airbnb Is Better Than A Hotel (And The Other Way Around)

Hotel Palacio Santa Ines Granada spain

There are three types of travelers who pay for accommodation: those who primarily use hotels or hostels, those who stick to Airbnb, and the very few who alternate between the two. It’s easy to get comfortable with a particular travel workflow but if you’re diehard in either the Airbnb or hotel camp, you might be missing the advantages both have in different situations.

Here’s when to use Airbnb or a hotel, depending on you travel plans.

Misconceptions About Hotels And Airbnb

Let’s lay down some ground work. First, by hotels, I mean traditional accommodation which includes a variety of services such as cleaning or meals. Airbnb lets you rent a room or an entire home from someone else, generally on a short term basis.

There’s a blurring line happening here, where Airbnb renters are becoming more professional, offering additional services – and hotels are getting into the Airbnb game as well. On the flip side, hotels are now offering more of the perks of Airbnb, such as free wifi. Consequently, Airbnb has gotten more expensive while hotel prices have lowered to compete.

hotel valladolid

Many people who aren’t familiar with Airbnb often confuse it with Couchsurfing, where you crash at someone’s place for free. Although you can rent out a single room in a home or apartment using Airbnb, you’re always paying for it. Travelers who rely primarily on Airbnb, tend to always assume hotels are more expensive which is hardly the case these days.

Last Minute Bookings: Hotel

Much like flights, booking at the very last minute can leave you with exceptionally high or low price options. You might be in luck if someone isn’t able to rent out their place but generally speaking, hotels are often a cheaper alternative in these cases – for the simple reason there’s more of them. Consequently, competition between various hotels and hotel booking engines, encouraging price competition whereas on Airbnb, there’s only Airbnb. (True, there are other home rental options but Airbnb has the most market share.)

Large Groups Or Families: Airbnb

In terms of price per person, Airbnb typically works out much better. Of course it depends on the renter but usually, for large enough homes, the total cost of the stay doesn’t increase much with more guests. In other words, if a home is listed as accommodating up to 6 people, usually then the rate for 2 people versus 6 isn’t much different. Hotels on the other hand are designed for 2-4 people – larger rooms aren’t often available in bulk, so they’re more expensive in general.

hotel swimming pool

Services: Airbnb

Many Airbnbs will offer free wifi, a kitchen, laundry machine, refrigerator, microwave, plus the attentiveness of a single owner, rather than an anonymous clerk at a customer service desk. (Except hotels also may bundle common services such as airport pickup into the price, saving you the cost of a ride.) Having all of those services can save you money over a longer stay since you can get groceries and cook, for example, but for very short trips, you might end up paying for things you never use.

Length Of The Stay: Depends

Longer stays of more than a few days tend to always be cheaper using Airbnb. Hotels charge by the night, mostly a flat rate per day that doesn’t take into account the total time you’ll be staying. Airbnbs on the other hand tend to be more expensive on a daily basis, but discounted in week long or monthly increments. For longer stays you can also contact the owner directly, circumventing Airbnb (as well as its protections) to save even further.

Late Night Arrivals, Comfort, Events: It Depends

One area where Airbnb can get a bit annoying is when you’re arriving late at night. Some owners have automated key lock boxes for guests but where it’s not an option, you’ve got to coordinate through Airbnb’s messaging system. In theory, not too difficult but if your flight’s delayed or you don’t have mobile service upon arrival, it can make communicating hard. Hotels are generally staffed 24 hours so for late night arrivals they make for easier check-ins. In cities where there’s no Uber taxi drivers will have a better idea of where the hotels are; finding an Airbnb in the middle of the night could mean a few extra turns to get lost or scammed.

granada at night

Hotels, for better or worse, are consistent in their quality, not to mention security as well. You can look up a Yelp or TripAdvisor review and have a pretty good idea of what you’ll end up with. Alternatively, cleanliness can vary more widely with Airbnbs. Some owners have lots of reviews you can rely on but even in those cases, I’ve stayed at places where the owner had an off day. They either didn’t arrange the cleaning staff in time for my arrival, forgot, or seemed hungover. An Airbnb can often get away with one bad review among many good – besides most people don’t leave as bad of reviews on Airbnb. (Owners certainly reach out to prevent it.) Hotels have a public image to maintain, full-time staff, and more prepared for a high volume of guests one after the other.

When it comes to conferences or other special events, hotels can be advantageous if you book well in advance before rooms are scarce. Select hotels usually have conference rates and discounts, tending to be closer to the event themselves (potentially saving you on daily transportation costs). Most convention centers or stadiums aren’t in residential areas, meaning few Airbnbs nearby. The Airbnbs that are close go (significantly) up in price, while those further away end up costing you in Uber fees. All of this assumes you’re in town for a short trip.

Always Check Both For Comfort

You want to avoid the habit of only checking for hotels or Airbnb when looking at a particular destination. All of the above are generalities that can’t take into account very specific circumstances, how lucky you are, and the type of trip it is. For some people, a kitchen and a laundry machine give convenience, for others, it’s a burden they’d rather leave at home.

Hotels are generally a straightforward deal, might get you reward points, but there’s less wiggle room for negotiation. You can always call directly, use corporate discounts, or look at private rooms in fancier hostels as well. With Airbnb, a reverse image search helps uncover deals, this device can uncover hidden cameras, and you can turn your phone into a hotel room surveillance device wherever you stay.

What do you prefer? Hotel, Airbnb, or neither? Let me know in the comments below!

Even So Far, Which One Of These Cities Will Break Out Of The Elite 8?

The Elite 8 of Best City 2019 is sponsored by Reborn Rubber, who source and clean used wetsuits along with recycled polyester to make slim wallets. 10% of each purchase gets donated to ocean cleanup. Reborn Rubber wallets float, hold up to 10 cards and have a pocket for cash or a primary card. [What is this?]

best city 2019 elite 8

It’s been one of the more quiet Best City to Visit Tournaments in recent years and so far, no one city has leapt in front of the pack. Kyoto pulled off a very last minute victory over Galle, Lisbon continues strong, but Auckland has made it to new Elite 8 territory. Which one of these cities will make it one step closer to the Final Four depends on your votes below!

Readers, it’s time to vote! Click your favorite cities before this Sunday, March 24th, 5pm US EST (-4 GMT). Final vote results many not be visible, check for updates in the comments below or on Facebook.





Remember, the Final Four round begins next Tuesday, March 26th, 2019. Good luck everyone!

About Anil Polat

foxnomad aboutI'm the blogger and computer security engineer who writes foXnoMad while on a journey to visit every country in the world. I'll show you the tips, tricks, and tech you can use to travel smarter. Read More


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