Sicily — Why I Went, and Why You Should Too

I’ve just wrapped up a long season of guiding tours in Sicily. If you don’t know much about Sicily, you’re not alone. Even if it’s the largest province in Italy, it is a place that seasoned travelers to Italy overlook. But that would be a mistake, this island is richer and more historic than Rome […]

Budgeting for European Travel

It’s a great shift in culture these days, to see more people eschewing the Stuff and choosing to spend their money on travel. Travel changes your perspective on the world and everything in your life, making it the best investment in yourself possible. But how can anyone afford it? Isn’t European travel outrageous and impossible […]

What to Wear on a European Beach

 I’ve just spent a couple of months in Sicily, enjoying architecture, museums, food, exotic culture and, um, more food. It was a busy, full of great experiences, and the weather is warming up. Being a Mediterranean island, a trip to the beach was at the top of my to-do list. But what do you wear […]

A Real Day as a Guidebook Researcher

I’m out on the road in Italy again, updating Rick Steves guidebooks. Guidebook research is fun, and many people would say that it is their dream job. I did too, that’s why I’m here. With all professions, no matter how glamorous from the outside, work is called work for a reason. Guidebook research requires stamina […]

Homemade Travel Gifts

If you’re like me, you may not like the idea of mindless swapping of useless gifts at Christmastime. I prefer to give something practical, even if it’s socks. Socks are a great gift! But maybe that’s because my feet are cold right now. Better than a deeply practical gift is one that is practical and […]

Travel Gifts for the Intermediate Traveler

In my last post, I wrote about some travel gift ideas for beginner travelers, today I have some ideas about gifts for the Intermediate Traveler. What is an Intermediate Traveler? Someone that’s been a few places and knows their way around an airport. They may not be hanging with the swank group in the Elite […]

Taking a Break from Electronics: Travel Sketching

In our electronics-obsessed world, I’ve become more and more alarmed about how our devices are changing our experiences. Let me start by saying that I’m no better than anyone else. I’m writing you on my iPhone right now, and I plan to write more about how to use technology while you travel. Electronics have huge […]

Packing Luxuries for Europe: You Don’t Need That, But You Might Want It

As all of the previous posts can attest, I am very careful and thoughtful about what I bring with me on a trip. The reasons are obvious, I need to carry whatever I choose for up to 7 weeks at a go. Minimalism is very important. Comfort is also important, so balance is the key. […]

Bringing Technology to Travel: Part One, Cell Phones

Hello from Alto Adige in Italy, and a welcome to all new readers from ricksteves.com! Rick has been kind enough to feature my blog again this month (Grazie Rick!), so I’ll be continuing my series on packing techniques through the end of October, possibly beyond. I’ll also be sharing travel tips and stories from the […]

Packing: A Delicate Subject…Travel Underwear

I have gone through all of my clothes in previous posts but there is one obvious thing missing- underwear. I have two little boys at home, so I am very aware that the word “underpants” makes everyone giggle and a little uncomfortable. ‘Panties’ is even worse, it makes me feel icky even writing it. My […]

Packing for Travel, Toiletries Edition

You may be on the same page with me so far in this less-is-more style of travel. This is probably where we will disagree. Everyone has a different hygiene routine and needs based on hair and skin etc. But hear me out. I firmly believe you can live a quality life on the road with […]

Packing Shoes for Europe: The Reality

Buongiorno tutti from beautiful Sicily! I’m sitting in a café in Palermo enjoying a cannolo and wanted to update you on how my shoes for Europe for the fall have worked out so far. Just so you know, I’ll be writing about this beautiful island as well in the coming days, so I hope you’ll […]