Amsterdam was once a place where college kids and marijuana aficionados flocked in order to enjoy herb out in the open, eliciting no more than a glance from passersby. But the times, they are a-changin'. Now that marijuana is legal in five U.S. states and the District of Columbia, American pot smokers need not cross the pond for the experience.

According to Hipmunk airfare search data, Amsterdam has fallen from the #7 most-searched international destination in 2014 to #10 in 2015. We speculated it has something to do with domestic cities like Denver and Portland (both of them) joining the small group of pro-ganja cities.

We took a look at Hipmunk data to see if there was an increase in flight searches shortly after Alaska, Oregon, and Washington, D.C. legalized marijuana back in November 2014. And there was.

Increase in Share of Searches on Hipmunk From November 2013 to November 2014

Alaska 37%
Washington DC 21%
Colorado 19%
Oregon 15%

 

With so many more options and the Amsterdam government imposing stricter regulations on herb, we thought it’s time to outline all of your pot tourism destination options along with estimated budgets for each.

Pot-Friendly Vacation Destinations by Price

Destinations Average Flight Price Average Nightly Hotel Price Estimated Cost of a Weekend Trip for Two
Colorado $300 $174 $948
Oregon $362 $150 $1,024
Washington $370 $182 $1,104
Amsterdam $1269 $182 $2,902

 

We dug even deeper to bring you estimated weekend getaway pricing for popular cities in each of our domestic pot-friendly states.

Pot-Friendly Domestic Vacation Cities by Price

Cities Average Flight Price Average Nightly Hotel Price Estimated Cost of a Weekend Trip for Two
Yakima, WA* $317 $110 $853
Denver, CO $275 $184 $918
Spokane, WA $395 $125 $1,039
Boulder, CO $275 $249 $1,048
Portland, OR $349 $178 $1,054
Colorado Springs, CO $424 $114 $1,076
Eugene, OR $419 $121 $1,080
Bend, OR $449 $130 $1,157
Seattle, WA $362 $241 $1,206
Aspen, CO $715 $310 $2,049
Vail, CO $715 $365 $2,160

 

Did we miss your favorite 420 destination? Or have you traveled to one of these locations to take a toke? Let us know in the comments below.

*It's illegal to operator a pot shop, sell, and purchase marijuana in Yakima, WA. However it's legal to possess and consume a certain amount within Yakima. The purchase of pot is legal in Union Gap, WA–only 3 miles outside of town.

  This article was posted on Hipmunk's Tailwind blog by The Hipmunk on October 7th.

Published in United States

Being in a foreign environment tends to provide travelers with a feeling of anonymity. It’s regarded as a space governed by different social rules, and while abroad people often engage in behavior that they would normally not allow. But we wanted to know just how naughty they would actually get—or at least, what they would cop up to.

From stealing food to skinny dipping, Hipmunk got the dirt (anonymously, of course) on just how badly travelers behave while en voyage. Scroll down after the infographic for even more naughty traveler behavior:

Naughty Traveler infographic

More Naughty Behavior:

  Stealing Souvenirs   12% of travelers surveyed have swiped a towel or robe.
  Supporting Stowaways   37% of travelers surveyed have snuck in an extra, unregistered guest into their hotel rooms to stay the night
  Skirting (U.S.) Laws   Travelers take advantage of activities that are perfectly permitted in their host countries, but may put them in legal hot water in the U.S.

  • 12%   Doing drugs in countries in which they’re sanctioned
  • 21%   Driving faster than any US speed limit
  • 23%   Under-21 drinking
  • 30%   Eating non-FDA-approved foods, like certain French cheeses

So, tell us. What's the naughtiest thing you've ever done on vacation? Sound off in the comments below!

  This article was posted on Hipmunk's Tailwind blog by The Hipmunk on September 2nd. Methodology: Hipmunk surveyed nearly 1,000 travelers from from July 7th through August 6th, 2015, about their travel habits and behaviors.

Published in Miscellany Articles

No visit to San Francisco would be complete without a tour of Alcatraz. I highly recommend taking the night tour. Be sure to book your tickets in advance via Alcatraz Cruises) as they sell out weeks in advance. They are the only official ticket provider and any tickets purchased elsewhere are merely AC tickets re-packaged.

A Day in San Francisco:

3:30 PM - 9:00 PM
- Ferry to Azkaban, I mean Alcatraz
- Night Tour of "The Rock"     (AMAZING!)
- Ferry back to the mainland

Aboard the ferry to Alcatraz Island
From the ferry ride to the island

Old photos of inmates at Alcatraz Island
Old photos of inmates at Alcatraz

Each corridor and space inside Alcatraz has a nickname: Broadway, Times Square, etc
Each corridor and space has a nickname: Broadway, Times Square, etc

Cool staircase at Alcatraz
Cool staircase at The Rock

The Alcatraz key system: When requested the key was sent down to the prison floor via the rope and hook
The key system: When requested the key was sent down to the prison floor via the rope and hook

The Gun Galley of Alcatraz is at the top (where the guards kept vigil, behind the metal bars)
The Gun Galley at the top (where the guards kept vigil, behind the metal bars)

Metal walkways and railings inside Alcatraz aka The Rock

Weathered door to the Alcatraz courtyard outside

Photos of friend Jesika, who came to visit for the weekend and let me test out my new 50mm 1.4 lens on her

Sunset as seen from Alcatraz Island

How about THAT sunset!

The reception desk to Alcatraz prison
The reception desk to the prison

Can't you just picture the Alcatraz inmates staring out at the world from these windows in lonely desperation...
Can't you just picture inmates staring out at the world from these windows in lonely desperation...

Sunset view through the frosted glass blocks of Alcatraz
Sunset view through the frosted glass blocks of Alcatraz

View of the Golden Gate Bridge through the frosted glass blocks of Alcatraz
View of the Golden Gate Bridge through the frosted glass blocks

The hydro
The hydro "therapy" chamber in the hospital wing...creepy!

The Hospital wing of Alcatraz prison, one of the areas open for the night tour
The Hospital wing of the prison, one of the areas open for the night tour -- very, very cool

The hospital ward of Alcatraz
Not any hospital I'd want to visit...

Old exam table in the hospital ward of Alcatraz
Exam table

There are all sorts of after hours lectures and extra features on the night tour of Alcatraz
There are all sorts of after hours lectures and extra features on the night tour -- very, very cool

The hospital ward of Alcatraz
Last shot of the hospital ward

The hospital ward of Alcatraz
This is my favorite shot from the day. Isn't it crazy creepy? Yah.

Alcatraz at night
The prison at night

  Have you ever been to Alcatraz?

Published in United States

This was my first trip to Cuba and I had a few questions that even veteran Cuba travelers couldn’t remember answers to.

What currency do I pay in? Do they exchange Canadian or American dollars?   As a traveler, they will exchange your money into Cuban Convertible Pesos (CUC almost 1:1). Cuban Pesos are local currencies that are not exchanged to travelers. We brought both American and Canadian currency with us and had no issues with exchange either at our hotel. However, they do not accept coins.

Where do I get my currency exchange?   Our flight was late at night so the exchange at the airport was closed (although we were told we can get slightly better rates here). Of course, our hotel also provided currency exchange as long as we have our passport and (duh) cash.

Who do I look for when my flight lands?   There will be someone holding up a sign of the tour company you signed up with. As you board the bus, this will be the first time you tip so be prepared to bring some American dollar bills.

Should I book an ocean view room?   At our hotel, to get an ocean view room, we had to pay an extra $10/day/person + 13% HST so we decided against it. When we arrived at the reception, I tried my luck and asked if there’s a possibility of an upgrade. She showed me a list of prices and it was for $110 to upgrade so we shook our head, but then she told us that since it’s our first time in Cuba, we can get it for $65 and of course we accepted.

Should I tip in gifts or money? How much should I tip?   I did both! Every day I left a gift – some clothes I’ve never worn, or jewelry that I never used – along with $1 CUC. For the first day of the week and the last day before I left, I left a nicer gift as well as $2 CUC.

Where should I buy those famous Cuban cigars?   There were cigars available for purchase in the hotel gift shop. However, if you have time, go for an excursion to a cigar factory! They’re much cheaper, and honestly, the tour guide will also have some sort of hook up in the city to sell way cheaper cigars from the factory workers. But that’s at your own discretion.

My flight leaves at 9pm, what do I do between check out and time to the airport?   You have two options. You can either pay extra for a late check out or have your baggage locked up while you soak up the sun! We paid the extra money for a late check out – reason being that after you’re in the sun you’d want a nice shower and possibly a nap! The public shower at our resort closed at 4pm and we didn’t leave till 6pm. Also, if you’re staying at a resort similar to ours, the resort was entirely outdoors and there’s no such thing as cooling down in an air conditioned bar/restaurant.

Are there any other charges?   There is actually a $25 CUC departure tax you have to pay before you leave the airport so be sure not to spend it all! There is no way around it.

Any other questions?

Published in Cuba

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