Olivia Harden

Travel Writer at Matador Network based in California. Writing about social justice and mental health everywhere else. Passionate about food, exploring the world, and uplifting voices of those who often go unheard.

The Strict List of Foods You’ll Be Fined for Bringing Into the US After International Travel

No one wants to start or end their vacation by spending thousands of dollars on an unexpected expense — especially when it’s cheap airport food. But two passengers recently made headlines after receiving fines of more than $1800 for bringing a Subway sandwich and, separately, McMuffins into Australia. It’s not just Australia that imposes such hefty fines. Many countries do so in an effort to keep out pests and diseases — including the United States. In 2018, a woman had an apple in her bag when

Airbnb Is Launching ‘Anti-Party Technology’ To Keep Ragers Off Its Platform

The days of Airbnb ragers are over — at least without the property owner’s approval. A temporary party ban that went into effect in August 2020 has been continuously extended. Then, in June 2022, the ban was codified into Airbnb’s policies permanently. Airbnb is now introducing “anti-party technology” on its booking platform, which uses information like the history of positive reviews (or lack thereof), how long the guest has had an Airbnb account, the length of the trip, how far the user lives

Why Are Flights so Expensive Right Now?

While budget travel doesn’t have to be a thing of the past, it’s hard not to wonder why it seems like all flights are so expensive right now. Travel isn’t immune to the skyrocketing inflation that’s moving at its fastest pace since 1981, in large part because of elevated, but lowering, gas prices. So unless you consider renting an electric vehicle for a road trip, transportation is pricey. There are a lot of factors that go into more expensive flights. These are the ones most impacting the pric

Americans Are Shocked at This Example of ‘Work-Life Balance’ in Barcelona

Spain is an excellent country for digital nomads. At the beginning of the year, the government announced its new digital nomad visa, and one index named it among the best countries for remote workers. If you need more convincing, this video from Thomas Manuel, a digital nomad and travel content creator currently living in Barcelona, created a TikTok that shows his work-life balance in Europe. Manuel ditched the 40-hour work week, and frankly, his schedule seems more “life” than work. The video

Follow These Food Rules To Eat Like a Local in Italy

It’s no secret that one of the best parts of visiting Italy is the food. There are the many regional pastas and different types of pizza. And whether it’s sipping coffee in Venice, or wine tasting your way through endless vineyards, Italy is a food-lover’s paradise. And like any country, there are certain customs around food to follow. are going to be different than what you’re used to, especially since Italians are so reverent about meal time. Even when it comes to what foods go together, you’l

Avoid This Dangerously Windy Wyoming Highway at All Costs on Your Next Road Trip

If you ever decide to take a road trip across the United States, Wyoming has some great sights to see. But head down the wrong interstate at the wrong time of year, and the decision could have drastic consequences. The TikTok account American Road Trips posted a video about one of the most dangerous stretches of road in the US: a sliver of Wyoming’s portion of Interstate 80. I-80 runs from San Francisco to Teaneck, New Jersey. The Wyoming section runs across the southern part of the state and g

Southwest Passenger Creates a Fake Person To Keep Anyone From Sitting Next To Him

Some people love the perks of flying Southwest Airlines, like the two free checked bags and the frequent sales. But if you’ve ever flown Southwest, you know the struggle that comes with grabbing the perfect seat. Arguably, the best seat on the plane is not about whether it’s in the back or the front, it’s the one where no one is sitting next to you. But because of Southwest’s cattle call seating arrangements, whether that middle seat is taken is a game of roulette. Which has led some people to g

The Last Super Moon of the Year Peaks on August 11. Here’s How To Best See It.

The last supermoon of the year has already started, and since the next one isn’t coming until August 2023, you don’t want to miss it. The event began Wednesday but won’t be visible to the naked eye until 9:36 PM EDT on August 10 when it will appear opposite the sun in Earth-based longitude until Saturday morning, according to NASA. A supermoon appears bigger and brighter because it’s within 90 percent of its closest point, or perigee, to Earth. A supermoon typically appears 17 percent bigger an

How To Use Argentina’s Black Market Exchange Rate To Combat Hyper-Inflation When Visiting

Inflation is sending plenty of people in the US into a panic. The roughly nine percent knock-up is impacting gas prices, groceries, and travel expenses like airfare, hotels, and rental cars. However, the rate of inflation in Argentina is far worse. The Argentinian peso is expected to reach inflation of 90 to 92 percent by the end of the year. So if you booked a trip to Buenos Aries or anywhere else in the region, you’re going to want to know how to make sure you’re getting the most out of your m

Former Flight Attendant Reveals the Real Reason Why Flight Attendants Greet You on the Plane

Flight attendants definitely set a tone for how a flight is going to go. Getting greeted is a nice way to connect with them on arrival, but the gesture is more than a good faith practice of customer service. Kat Kamalani, a former flight attendant of six years, has taken to TikTok to explain things like why flight attendants can’t help you place your bag in the overhead bin and why tray tables need to be put away during take off and landing. Recently, Kamalani explained what flight attendants ar

This Adults-Only, All-Inclusive Resort in the Dominican Republic Is the Epitome of Luxurious Wellness

When I arrived at the Meliá Punta Cana Beach Resort, wellness sales director Reyes Guzman greeted me with a saying: “tainotí,” which means “I wish you well” in the language of the Taino, a group of indigenous people who lived in the Caribbean, including what is now the Dominican Republic. This connection to culture and wellness perfectly captured what it’s like to stay at the resort. In May, the Meliá Punta Cana Beach Resort announced a transformation. How does a resort distinguish itself among

Paris Syndrome Explained: Is Paris Worth the Hype?

Almost everyone longing for travel has a dream destination — whether it’s catching rays on your overwater bungalow in the Maldives, going on the safari of a lifetime in South Africa, or getting swept up by the magic and romance in Paris. The unfortunate reality is that when you build up a destination in your head like that, there’s plenty of room to be disappointed when things don’t go as planned. And that has happened enough with people who visit Paris that it has its own name: Paris syndrome.

Arizona’s Seasonal ‘Chocolate Falls’ Are Taller Than Niagara Falls

If you’ve ever wanted to see something like the chocolate falls from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, you might want to take an impromptu trip to Arizona. A natural phenomenon only happens a few times a year has made its way to the Navajo Nation. The Grand Falls, nicknamed the “chocolate falls,” is located 30 miles East of Flagstaff in the Painted Desert. At its peak, the falls reach over 181 feet tall, which is taller than Niagara Falls. According to the Navajo Tourism Board, the water c

This Small Texas Town Hosts the Most Authentic Oktoberfest in the US

Fall is coming fast, which means Oktoberfest season will be here before you know it. The famed Oktoberfest in Munich is scheduled to return this year after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you’re not lucky enough to be able to catch a flight to Germany to drink beer for a couple of days, there are plenty of grand Oktoberfest celebrations right in the United States. One of the most notable is in Addison, Texas. Named the country’s “most authentic Oktoberfest” by Forbes and USA

An Inside Look at Where Flight Attendants and Pilots Sleep on Long Flights

If you’re a plane passenger who often flys economy, you know how challenging sleeping on a flight can be. Maybe you’ve dropped some dough on the perfect neck pillow to get a good night’s rest or resorted to the military sleep method. But what about the pilots and crew who are working those long haul flights? It turns out flight attendants and pilots have their own sleeping quarters. Quinten Moshy, a ramp agent and cabin groomer, posted a TikTok showing where the crew can get some rest while flyi

You Can Be Fined $5,000 and Get Six Months in Jail for Visiting the World’s Tallest Tree

Taking the wrong hike in California can now lead to a $5,000 fine plus six months of jail time. The world’s tallest tree in northern California’s Redwood National Park has been off-limits since its discovery in 2006, but that hasn’t stopped people from trying to find it, according to the Los Angeles Times. Now, park officials hope the new consequences keep visitors at bay. Named Hyperion after the Greek Titan of heavenly light, the tree was last recorded by Guinness World Records to measure ove

The Two Grossest Parts of an Airplane Seat, According To a Flight Attendant

The pandemic has made many people more conscious of the cleanliness of all parts of transportation. Even though airplanes are equipped with HEPA filters that remove 99.7 percent of germs, and airline carriers were forced to adopt more enhanced cleaning practices, many flight attendants have taken to social media to say you still shouldn’t trust that planes are adequately cleaned. Whether it’s the trash can in the bathroom or laying your head on the window to get some rest, there are some parts o

This Tulum Airbnb Loft Puts You Right in the Jungle

In Tulum, you’re going to want accommodations that emulate the best of what this beach town has to offer. There are many amazing hotels in Tulum that offer jungle-themed vibes, but if you’re looking for an Airbnb that’s perfect for a group trip, the TikTok account @bucketliststays has found the perfect Tulum Airbnb that will drop you off right in the jungle. This two-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom loft comfortably sleeps five guests. It’s located in the La Veleta neighborhood, which has two cenotes and

The Best Part About Cemetery Tourism? The Gravestone Recipes

The unfortunate reality of life is that at that at some point, for all of us, it must end. While it might be uncomfortable to think about, everyone should take some time to decide what they want to be remembered for. For some people, it’s their recipes. Rosie Grant, a University of Maryland graduate student, has recently become big on TikTok for making recipes that are memorialized on people’s gravestones. While many cemetery visits are solemn, cemetery tourism is a way to walk through the grav

Tourists Are Falling for This Scam All Over Florence, Italy

While traveling the world is a priceless experience, a common nuisance is scams. And whether you’re in New York or any other big city, the problem is rampant. It’s important to have a good understanding of common scams that often pop up while traveling. Travel influencer Kacie Rose, an American expat living in Florence, Italy, noticed a common scam she sees people fall for all the time. The video clearly struck a chord with people. And with high summer travel in Europe, many people could relate
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