Driving in Mexico

On my most recent flight to Cancún, a seatmate and I chatted about our travel plans.  When I said I was renting a car and driving in Mexico solo around the Yucatán Peninsula, she was nearly speechless.  I had to work to convince her I wasn’t a crazy person with a death wish.  I’m still not sure I...

Affordable Tulum

Affordable Tulum: 6 Steps To Luxury On A Budget

When is the last time you had a vacation so perfect that you considered burning your passport and staying forever?  If you’ve been to Tulum, you know exactly what I’m talking about.  If not, get ready to start plotting your passport's...

how to pet a manatee

How To Pet A Manatee Without Going To Jail

We watched from shore as a manatee’s snout popped up above the surface of the water for a breath of air.  Over and over again, the manatee surfaced, but we were too far away to get a good look.  My mom and I were at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park in Key Largo, Florida, and it was the last day of our trip to the Keys.  I started...

Machu Picchu Booking Resources

Machu Picchu Booking Resources

Located in the Andes Mountains, Machu Picchu is the ruins of a 15th-century Inca city.  The Incas built it around 1450, at the height of their empire, but abandoned it a century later during the Spanish Conquest.  UNESCO declared Machu Picchu a World Heritage Site in 1983.  It was also chosen as one of the "New 7 Wonders of the World" in an...

Affordable Small Group Tours

Affordable Small Group Tours

Ten years ago, on my first overseas trip for work, I fell in love with traveling.  I really wanted to see more of the world but lacked the experience and confidence - as well as a traveling companion - to strike out on my own.  A few other international work trips followed, but I always had handlers making sure I wasn’t jailed or...

Inca Trail photos

Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Gallery

In recent years, hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu has become a rite of passage for adventure travelers.  By hiking the trail, you enter the park from the "Sun Gate" at dawn and are able to see Machu Picchu from a high vantage point.  Trekkers can snap some amazing Inca Trail photos of ruins, mountains and llamas along the way, and get...

Snorkeling Liveaboard Packing List

For a liveaboard snorkel or dive trip, you won’t need much.  You’ll spend your days in and out of the water constantly so I think it’s important to have at least two bathing suits, and other clothes that you can pull on easily after your snorkel or dive.  Follow this snorkeling liveaboard packing list for the necessities of what to...

Thailand Snorkeling Liveaboard

Thailand Snorkeling Liveaboard

I spent an amazing 3 days/3 nights on a Thailand snorkeling liveaboard trip.  The excursion with Andaman Snorkel Discovery left from about 1.5 hours north of Phuket to the Similan and Surin Islands.  The company has recently started trips to Myanmar as well, so I’m hoping to return for another adventure.  I chose them based on their good...

How To Survive Your First International Trip

How To Survive Your First International Trip

Preparing for your first international trip can be as exciting as it is stressful. When I first began traveling, there weren't the same resources available online for new travelers, and I was a nervous mess.  I caught my coat on fire the day of my flight in a freak space heater accident at work, missed my connection in Frankfurt, and arrived...

Two Weeks in Morocco

Two Weeks In Morocco Photo Gallery

With its dramatic landscapes, fascinating history, and intersection of Berber, Arabian and European culture, Morocco should be at the top of every adventure traveler's bucket list.  I spent two weeks there in its cities, winding medinas, mountains and coastal towns.  And one night under the stars in the Sahara.

To view the Morocco Photo...

Morocco Packing List

Morocco Packing List

As usual, I did a lot of research to prepare my Morocco packing list for a 2-week trip in November.  Morocco is a country of varied landscapes and climates, meaning I was going to ride off on a camel into the desert AND see Game of Thrones filming spots, so I wanted to be ready for anything. I checked the high and low temperatures and...

Dry Tortugas National Park Fort Jefferson

Dry Tortugas National Park

During a trip to the Florida Keys, I spent a day at Dry Tortugas National Park on Garden Key, 70 miles from Key West.  It was on a trip with my mom, and honestly she planned and booked that part of the itinerary without me really even knowing what it was.  She kept talking about “dry tortugas” and I was like, sure, sure, we’re going to...

Best Travel Gear

Best Travel Gear

There is an entire industry trying to tell us we need to buy the latest and best travel gear on the market!  Over the years, I’ve learned to keep the travel-specific gear to a minimum and save my money for the trip itself.  Below are my favorites that help me pack smarter and stay organized, and necessities I...

Carry-On Size Limits

Carry-On Size Limits

Shopping for a new piece of luggage and need to know airlines’ carry-on size limits?  Want to avoid having to pay extra to check a too-big bag?  Or did you get your old suitcase stuck in the sizer at the gate, while the rest of the airport looked on in disgust?

I’ve done the work of checking the carry-on size limits of nearly 100...

Inca Trail Booking Resources

Inca Trail Part V: Booking Resource List

FYI, this post contains affiliate links, which means I might earn a small commission if you purchase from them, at no additional cost to you.  Thanks for supporting all the free content on my site and helping me pay for my cat sitter when I travel!  Visit my <span...

Machu Picchu

Inca Trail Part IV: Machu Picchu

Located in the Andes Mountains, Machu Picchu is the ruins of a 15th-century Inca city.  The Incas built it around 1450, at the height of their empire, but abandoned it a century later during the Spanish Conquest.  UNESCO declared Machu Picchu a World Heritage Site in 1983.  It was also chosen as one of the "New 7 Wonders of the World" in an...

Inca Trail photos

Inca Trail Part III: The Trek

In November, during Peru's rainy spring season, I hiked the Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu with my sister Holly.  We did the "classic" 4-day, 3-night version of the trek. By hiking the trail, you enter the park from the "Sun Gate" at dawn and are able to see Machu Picchu from a high vantage point.  If you're...

How To Create A Packing List

How to Create A Packing List

When I travel, it’s often for work or a combination of business and leisure travel, so I have to create a detailed packing list or risk dying a slow, arduous death dragging my too-heavy bags over a border in the snow.  Sometimes I even have to pack for more than one season and continent (Asia to Europe in...

Best Travel Apps

Best Travel Apps

Having the best travel apps at your fingertips can save you time, money and headaches.  Check out my favorites and download them before your next trip!

TripIt

More than any other app, this one makes me feel like a pro traveler. TripIt takes all of your booking confirmation...

Two Weeks in Morocco

Two Weeks In Morocco

I spent two weeks in Morocco with Intrepid Travel's Best of Morocco Tour. With its dramatic landscapes, fascinating history, and intersection of Berber, Sub-Saharan, Arabian and European culture, it should be on the bucket list of every world traveler.

For solo travelers or couples, assembling an itinerary for a place like Morocco - including...

Inca Trail Packing List

Inca Trail Part II: The Packing List

Having the right Inca Trail packing list and gear will help you prepare for (and survive!) the trip of a lifetime.  The trick is getting the right balance of things you'll need while taking the absolute least weight possible.  It will be different for each trekker, of course, and will vary based on what your trek company provides and the...

Inca Trail Trek Plan

Inca Trail Part I: The Training Plan

Will I Survive?

The simple answer is yes!  Particularly by following a solid Inca Trail training plan, you will survive the hike.  There are few people who don't make it (my guide only mentioned one and might have been kidding).  By using a training plan and upping your basic fitness level, you can make the long days of the hike...