Category Archives for "Travel Tips"

The Benefits of Solo Travel for Teachers

I've heard it over and over again:  "I want to travel, but I don't have anybody to travel with. "  

Many people wouldn't dream of traveling by themselves, citing safety as their primary concern.  Secretly, they also feel that traveling alone wouldn't be any fun and would get too lonely.   What's the point if you don't have someone to share the experience with?

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budget travel for grownups

Budget Travel Tips for Grown-ups

I didn’t start traveling until I was about 30 years old, so I never experienced the gap year/party hostel mode of travel. But I have always been a budget traveler, so I’ve had to learn how to balance budget strategies with making decisions that felt age and comfort-appropriate. I don’t think budget and comfort are mutually exclusive concepts, but I do think you have to know the budget travel tips and tricks that will give you a happy medium while on the road.

Read on to find out my best tips to travel on a budget as a “grown-up.” Continue reading


How I Arranged a Free Trip to Paris

Despite its being consistently ranked as one of the top 10 most expensive travel destinations in the world, most people yearn to wander the streets and museums of Paris.  And why not?  Its colorful culture, heroic history, amazing architecture, famous food, iconic Eiffel Tower and lovely language are enough to seduce most of us into wanting to go for a gander. Continue reading

2 Weeks in the Galápagos for $600

The Galápagos Islands.  They’re famous for being the place where Darwin made some important observations which contributed to his world-changing theory of evolution.  It’s a paradise for lovers of birds and wildlife and geology.  Giant tortoises, iguanas that have adapted to swimming in the ocean, Galápagos penguins and other unique and endemic species live in abundance here–and they’ve never developed a fear of predators.  You can walk right up to wild birds and they keep on doing their thing, as if you weren’t even there.  Snorkeling and diving opportunities balance out the hiking and wildlife activities for a very fun, well-rounded and educational vacation.
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Cheap Hawaii

Sometimes my readers write to me with travel-related questions.  I always do my best to help out, and sometimes share some of the questions and answers here in my blog posts.  I hope you find them helpful!  Feel free to add pointers of your own in the comments below, or ask me anything about travel.  Who knows, maybe your question will be featured in a future blog post?

Today’s question comes from S.B.:


So i’m trying to plan to travel to Hawaii for my one year anniversary.  I would love to learn how to see Hawaii for cheap. but safe because this will be my first trip away from the mainland U.S.  I want to do a lot of attractions such as beaches, horseback riding, etc.  Thanks for helping–I’m eager to learn how to travel on a budget!  ~S.B. Continue reading


My trip to Benin, West Africa.

My trip to Benin, West Africa. (The airfare cost me $86 from Denver & included several days in Paris on the way home–find out how in the teleseminar!)

If you missed my call last week, I’ve got the replay ready for you!  I’ve also added slides to it for your viewing pleasure.  Before you start watching, be sure to grab a copy of the free handout HERE.

In this call, you’ll see and learn:

  • About how I was kidnapped as a child and taken to Mexico (and a copy of my “missing” poster)
  • How I started traveling after finishing college, before I had even started my job
  • Three major lessons I have learned about travel, and how you can apply those lessons to your own travel plans to save hundreds or thousands of dollars
  • Numerous tips for safety, saving money, and increasing your travel opportunities
  • Pictures of various trips I have taken around the world

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Survey Results

Results of My Travel Survey

(c) DepositPhotos/antimartina

(c) DepositPhotos/antimartina

I received an overwhelming response to the travel survey I put out recently–much better than I expected, actually!  Thank you so much to those of you who participated!

So if you are curious about what people said in my survey, I’ll share some of my findings and conclusions and a couple of stories.  (And by the way, if you are interested in this course, CLICK HERE.)

The results were pretty interesting.  On the first question, which was “How often would you travel abroad if there were NO obstacles standing in your way,” can you guess what the most popular response was?   Continue reading

The EPoP Cooks Listener Challenge!

EPoP Podcast IconMy most favorite podcast ever is Travis Sherry’s Extra Pack of Peanuts Travel Podcast, and if you’ve been hanging around my website here looking for some good travel tips, then you’d definitely also love Trav’s podcast which always has a ton of them!  CLICK HERE to open up his podcast page and check it out.

So one of Trav’s recent podcast guests was Sasha Martin, from  A few years ago, Sasha set out to cook a meal from every single country in the world–all 196 of them–and she did it!  On her blog, she recorded her quest and shared all of her recipes.  Trav and Sasha shared a listener challenge on the podcast to get as many people as possible to cook one or both of two possible recipes.   CLICK HERE to open the show notes page for the episode on Extra Pack of Peanuts.  I was glad that both options were vegetarian, and chose to try the Roasted Pumpkin Salad with Arugula and Chevre, which comes from Argentina (I’ll attempt the Guinness Cake from Ireland some other day). Continue reading

A Unique Adventure in Baños, Ecuador (+ 5 Tips for Learning a New Language Before a Trip)

Yellow house in Baños EcuadorThe bright yellow house down in the green jungle valley below beckoned us. We were in Baños, one of the most popular tourist towns in Ecuador, walking up a dirt road off the tourist radar, beyond all the hostels, tour companies, and restaurants and into the surrounding farmlands. Huge greenhouses growing babaco fruit (which resembles a papaya but tastes completely different) and tomates dulces (”sweet tomatoes”—another tropical fruit that resembles a tomato but is unrelated) dotted the hillsides. The yellow house had a huge sign on it which read, “Cafe Bar.” We strained to see a road to the place, perhaps in the trees behind the building… But it looked like it was down there by itself, in the jungle across a river canyon, with only a footpath leading to it. Continue reading

How Checking a Bag Can Ruin Your Trip (plus: my exact packing list PDF)

A couple months back, I published a blog post on how to pack everything into carry-on luggage.  Now, recently returned from our two and a half month trip to Ecuador, I have some real-life examples of how not checking a bag saved our behinds (twice!) from being stranded in an airport overnight, hundreds or thousands of miles from our origin and destination.  Not only that, but by carrying everything with us we were able to jump into the front of many long lines and avoid what could have been hours of hassle.  FREEDOM!



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