The Best Gifts to Get the Avid Traveler in Your Life This Holiday

I've become that super annoying person who is impossible to buy gifts for. Basically, I don't want anything unless it fits in my backpack and has a useful function. While not every traveler feels this way, I figured I'd compile a list of things to get the avid traveler in your life. Whether you're traveling for business or an adventurer, these items make the perfect holiday gifts!

Packing Cubes

I'd never heard of packing cubes until I started backpacking. I'd read some good...

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What is a Homestay? Why Should You Stay in One?


Every once in a while, I realize that people are fascinated by what I consider the most trivial parts of my travels. This week it came to my attention that homestays are a mysterious thing. After telling a couple of women that we were staying in a homestay, they looked intrigued and said, “What is that like?” They also looked a little concerned, as if it were the third world. It was in that moment that I realized, I had no idea what one was until I started backpacking.


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Your Cheat Sheet for Bali – The Island of the Gods

bali cheat sheet guide tips customs culture

I'd met several people who claimed they didn't like Indonesia, but when I told people I'd be spending most of my time in Bali, their eyes lit up. It was as if I was talking about a totally separate country. To be honest, it does feel like its own country. The people are Hindu, they speak Balinese, they have their own local cuisine, and their own type of massage. The subculture here is so different from the rest of Indonesia, that it's hard to generalize it with the rest of the country....

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When, Where, and How to Negotiate in Southeast Asia

Every once in awhile, I realize I have a skill that I didn't know was unique. I grew up with parents who owned an antique business, and I was going to flea markets before I could walk. Negotiating is something I was exposed to at a very young age. As I got older, I'd go to antique shows with my dad as my summer job. After years of training, negotiating is about as easy as breathing air. It wasn't until I met a really sweet girl, Laurene, that I realized this is a skill not everyone has. She...

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Everything You Need to Know When Visiting Cambodia

everything to know before visiting cambodia

Before you go...

Travel Document Requirements

  • Passport - required
  • Visa for Business - required
  • Visa for Tourism - required
  • Visa for Transit - not required as long as you do not pass through immigration and remain in the airport

* I got an e-visa in advance, but have heard from several other travelers that getting a visa on arrival in the airport was extremely...

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Everything You Should Do Before Leaving a Foreign Airport

airport blog

Entering a new country can be scary. You don't speak the language, and you're so focused on finding the baggage claim, customs, and the exit that you don't really take advantage of anything the airport offers. Every time I enter a new country, I go through an "airport checklist," that way, when I leave the airport, the only thing I have to do is find my hotel. It makes life so easy that I'm not really sure how people do it any other way. So what's on my checklist you might ask?


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Visiting Singapore? Here’s Everything You Need to Know

everything you need to know about singapore

Before you go...

Travel Document Requirements

  • Passport - required
  • Visa for Business - not required for stays of under 90 days
  • Visa for Tourism - not required for stays of under 90 days
  • Visa for Transit - not required

Suggested Vaccinations

  • Hep A
  • Hep B
  • Tetanus
  • Influenza
  • ...

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8 Common Questions About Hostels Answered

Green Sleep Hostel Chiang Mai Thailand

Hostels are a funny thing. Once you’ve stayed in one, you wonder why you ever questioned them. But prior to that, you have at least one million questions. No joke, I’ve answered more questions about what it’s like to stay in a hostel than what it’s like to stay in a country. No judgment, I asked all the same questions about hostels too. So what is a hostel like? I can best describe it as a college dorm made for travelers. Here’s the answers to the questions I’ve been asked the...

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Everything you Need to Know About the Northern Train in Thailand

There are certain things that seem insanely daunting before you start backpacking. For me, one of those things was transportation. On a very limited budget, I’d be forced to take trains and buses everywhere. I never even conquered the New York City bus system and I lived there eight years. So how would I figure out public transportation in a foreign country in another language?!

Everywhere I looked online directed me to a timetable, but I never found much more information than that....

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What to Pack for Southeast Asia: A List for Female Backpackers

what to pack for southeast asia backpacker female

As a woman who used to work in the fashion industry, packing light is hard. How could I possibly fit everything I would need for one year and ten countries into one 55L bag? The trick was to make a pile of everything I wanted to bring with me weeks before I was going to leave. I left everything on my dining room table, and every day I’d take out one thing that wasn’t essential. Eventually there was nothing left to remove, and I knew I’d gotten it down to the necessities. So what made...

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