Tag Archives: Travel tips
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 […]
Argyle Street Chicago: get on the train for authenticity and ass cake
I recently asked for some advice from fellow blogger Sophia Hsiao, whose gorgeous nature photography has me longing to visit Taiwan. In response to my inquiry about Taiwanese cities to visit, Sophia recommended a few and added “Each city has its streets”. Sophia then listed the best streets in her recommended cities. As a smart traveler, Sophia knows you can’t just show up […]
Visiting the country of Georgia: advice for independent travelers and an attempt to answer the perennial question, is it safe?
Should you visit the Republic of Georgia? Absolutely. Can you travel independently in Georgia? Yes, but only if you do your homework. Focus your travel planning on transportation, finding great guest houses, and be prepared to respectfully appreciate Georgia’s religious culture. Transportation: Before I traveled in Georgia I was confused and intimidated by the transportation infrastructure. From the outside […]
How to travel in winter
Around this time every year I open my email to find an inbox full of cheap airfare alerts–cheap winter flights to cold weather destinations. I feel cocky seeing those cheap winter airfares. And oh yes, smug. Just for a minute or two, I indulge in contempt for snowbirds, for sun-worshiping zombies, for geezer cruisers. While they’re flipping themselves […]
Caspar David Friedrich painting or The Infamous Blue Traveling Poncho?
This could be a post about an ugly travel poncho. Or more likely, a tribute to the earnestly brooding Romantic landscapes of German painter Caspar David Friedrich. However, I’d prefer this to be be a story of how an undignified rain coat can transform the experience of traveling in crappy weather from dreary to hilarious. So, is it The […]
How to get your coffee fix while travelling on a budget
My routine is the same every morning: I get out of bed, trip on my cat, and make a single espresso in my stove-top moka pot. It’s a safe bet that you, my reader, have a similar caffeine routine (though maybe not a 19 pound cat circling your feet). So how do you satisfy your coffee […]
Why you don’t need to be rich to be a cultural tourist, and why it’s probably better not to be (really!)
I remember the exact moment: after a morning of winding our way uphill through the medieval Albayzín neighborhood of Granada in Southern Spain, we reached the San Nicholas Viewpoint. We picnicked while taking in the enchanting view of the Alhambra and surrounding mountains and I mentioned to HOB that, according to our guide book, this […]
Laundry 101: how to keep your clothes clean while traveling
If you really love me tattoo my name on your neck in fancy script name a ship after me buy me lots of shiny jewelry that will probably give me a rash wash my stinky socks in a giant Ziploc bag and hang them on hotel radiator so they’ll be dry tomorrow morning. No […]
Pack light, don’t forget the emergency lipstick
I’m on the way to the airport tonight with an 18 pound backpack. Packing light is a non-negotiable necessity for a budget traveler. If you want to be independent and highly-mobile traveler, pack light. If you want to be tied down by your luggage, be dependent on elevators and porters, and have your airline lose […]