Category Travel tips

An open letter to my husband re: this 16 hour flight to Hong Kong

Dear HOB, How is it possible to sleep for 16 hours straight, waking up for meals and then instantly–poof!– back to slumber?  It is a cruel time to desert me, your insomniac wife who suffers from fear of flying.  Here I am, wearing knee high compression socks and watching an insufferable movie about wedding dates.  My […]

Funniest Travel Moments of 2016

I needed a bit of cheering up today so I decided to research my end of year blog stats on the WordPress admin site.  I ignored the numbers and charts and went right to the juicy part: search terms.  These words and phrases that curious web searchers type into their search engines never fail to restore […]

Culture is capital: personal finance for budget travelers

The worst grade I ever got was in high school architectural drafting.  I signed up for the class because I thought it would be a cool elective and had visions of studying the great buildings of the world through drafting their architectural elements.  This did not happen—instead we traced pre-designed building features from templates in various […]

If I show you my vibrating alarm clock will you think I’m getting fresh with you?

Packing makes me happy and after last week’s picture deleting debacle I sure needed cheering up, so I got busy packing for our next trip.  Packing light is one of those things that’s great in theory but in practice I want to stuff too many things in my backpack.  Here’s what I’ve learned is worth schlepping around […]

That obligatory post about my travel mistakes

It’s like this; I could stay home, or I could travel a lot and make mistakes.  So yeah, I’ve made plenty of mistakes and I’m ready to own all of them.  Cringe along with me, why don’t you? This coat. I visited at least four countries in this coat with it’s gigantic fur collar.  These days […]

The charm of interstitial cities

Getting around by public transportation as a budget minded, independent traveler can be non-linear and inefficient; this is why I love it. The phrase “you can only get there by car” activates my travel machismo and sends me straight to the internet, since I know there must be a way.  An email to a tourist information […]

Paper, plastic, and ATM machines: your plan for spending money while traveling

Shout out to all my fellow cheapskate travelers: you savvy penny-pinchers have taught me so much about budget travel.  In all the focus on saving money, though, the logistics of spending money during a trip sometimes get sidelined.  Every traveler, even a cheapskate—make that especially a cheapskate—should have a money plan.  You’ll need a combination of cash and […]

Language barrier? No problem. How to communicate while traveling when you don’t speak the language

This is me in every country: “Hello, excuse me, I am sorry I don’t speak [name of language] well.  Can you please tell me where is the bathroom/supermarket/train station/cool Romanesque church?  Thank you.  Goodbye.” In spite of being a glamorous international traveler, my foreign language skills suck.  Wait, I take that back, I can roll my […]

Funniest Travel Moments from 2015

This majestic portrait from our guest house in Vadu Izei should be an object of religious reverence. We did the pee pee dance in Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges cathedral…. ….and the hands-up hairy man dance in the cathedral of Burgos. Don’t worry, we managed to avoid collisions with flying nuts and bolts in Split. Ah!  Fond memories of the Dracula […]

Hey budget travelers, where do you like to sleep?

Me?  I prefer a cheap, centrally located, private room.  These days—thank you world wide web—finding a cheap sleep is quite straightforward if you know what you want. Most people assume that since I’m a budget traveler I use hostels.  Hostels are cheap and often centrally located, but I don’t usually stay in them due to the lack […]