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  • Finding Cheap Flights

    Tips and tricks on when to fly, when to buy, where to search, how to compare, and what a good deal looks like. Read more

  • Booking Hotels & Hostels

    The best hostel website, the best cheap hotel website, and everything you need to know about CouchSurfing. Read More

  • Using Your iPhone Overseas

    WiFi, airplane mode, data, SIM cards, freezing your account, travel apps, it's all here in organized fashion. Read More

  • Packing List for Europe

    Complete packing list (females) for two weeks in Europe in the fall, in just a 30L backpack. Read More

Packing List for 10 Days in Ecuador

Packing time! You guys know I love packing and sharing my packing lists with you. You also know I sometimes go on back to back trips that include lots of varied destinations, and I still manage to fit it all in a carry on. This time I was heading out for two and a half weeks: 7 days touring Northern California in an RV with my mom and 82-year-old-grandmother, and then straight from there heading to Ecuador for 10 days on an adventure travel trip.

On this trip I would be doing the following:

  • Hiking (at very high and low altitudes)
  • Wine tasting
  • Camping
  • White-water rafting
  • Jungle trekking
  • Horse-back riding
  • Bird-watching
  • Hot springing
  • Attending a press conference (where I would meet the Minister of Tourism for Ecuador)

I mention this to show the variety of activities I had to be prepared for, which meant a variety of clothing and gear. Here is what I brought, starting (as always) with the gadgets (non-clothing items): Read more

BMT 048: Generations of Wanderlust: A Conversation With My 82-Year-Old Grandmother

Generations of Wanderlust

Join me in a candid conversation with my 82-year-old grandmother as we go back in time to figure out where the wanderlust gene comes from in our family. Born in England, my grandmother Margaret Nocca went to  7 schools in two different languages by the time she was 12. She recalls her journey to the US that has roots in the second World War, and she goes further back to my great-great grandfather who used to take jobs overseas, anything he could do to stay traveling. Sound familiar? This is a get to know me and my family episode, grab a cup of coffee and settle in for story time with Granny.

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How to Travel With Only Two Weeks Vacation

FAQ: Reader Stephanie asks: “I’m a college graduate who now has a 9-to-5 day job but I’m already missing the good times on my graduation trip. Do you have any advice for someone like me who has difficulty incorporating travel into my current lifestyle as I only have ten days of annual leave?”

Yes. The first thing I’m going to challenge you to do is to make sure you are in the right job. Read more

One Week in Portugal in a Rental Car

If there is one piece of advice I can give you for exploring Portugal, it is to do it with a rental car. I was there in April for a week and had never been to Portugal before. We wanted to see all of the coast that we could, and we also needed to fly in and out of Porto, because that’s where we could get the cheap Ryanair flights to and from Barcelona.

Our main question was if seeing the entire coast would be possible in the course of a week. The answer is yes, on two conditions: that we rent a car and move quickly. Read more

Is Workaway Safe?

Reader Becky asks: “Is Workaway Safe?”

With all the promoting I do about this program, I thought this was an excellent question to start off the FAQ series. If you haven’t heard of Workaway, take your pick to learn more first:

BMT 005: Volunteering Abroad’s Best Kept Secret: Workaway

Volunteering Abroad in Mexico via Workaway

Volunteering and Working Abroad

My answer is yes, I feel that Workaway is safe. I’ve done it twice, and it has Read more

4 Budget-Friendly Day Trips From London

Feature by Julie Smith | BMT Contributor | Blogger at

Let’s face it. London is expensive. If you’re planning a trip there, you’ve probably already seen the high costs of hotels and entertainment. And if you’re in town for more than a few days, the idea of spending a day or two exploring the areas beyond the city might seem out of reach financially. Fortunately, the UK is a small country and there are many amazing places that can be reached in an hour or two on the train. Here are my best bets for budget-friendly day trips from London: Read more