Travel Tips & Advice

Below is a growing collection of tips, advice, and general travel knowledge that I've accumulated and written about as I travel through different regions of the world.

  • Amazon River Boat Tips
    A collection of thoughts on how to prepare and maximize your Amazon River boat experience.
  • Backpacking With A Laptop
    Trying to decide if you should shove that laptop in your backpack? I've got a few thoughts on the subject.
  • Backpacking With Craig In The Tropics
    A general packing list for traveling like (and with) a nomad.
  • Curiosity Killed The Travel Budget
    Sometimes turning a question into an experienced statement can be costly.
  • Essential Vocab Translation Template
    I feel linguistically crippled here in Brazil, and something that I should have done long ago was list out the most common words and phrases I need to communicate (in a foreign language).
  • Facial Hair In Asia
    My friend Aldona doesn't like my (trimmed) beard. She says I looked better without out it, and has made several not-so-subtle attempts to get me to shave it. I like it (even though I don't think it's that great of a beard), and how it completely changes the way locals perceive my age in this region of the world.
  • Faux Onward Tickets
    Immigration control for some nations insists you to show them when and how you'll be leaving their country—an annoyance for many backpackers who intentionally travel without an itinerary.
  • Fixed Calculators
    Fixed: To arrange or influence the outcome or action of, esp. privately or dishonestly: to fix a jury; to fix a game.
  • Fly Under A False Name
    In the United States with a flight you can't use? Give it to a friend.
  • Google In English
    How to break free from Google's country-specific homepages.
  • Latin America Backpack Equipment Essentials
    A comprehensive snapshot of the contents of my backpack after more than 16 months of travel throughout the Caribbean, Central and South America.
  • Lockable Backpack Zippers
    Replacing the zippers on my new backpack with a lockable variety—a tale of frustration and success.
  • Pacsafe Exomesh Security System
    When your entire life has been reduced to a single bag, to what lengths would you go to protect it?
  • Passport In Room
    I follow a simple rule that goes against everything I've been told about passport management—when my backpack is stationary, my passport does the same.
  • Predictably Unpredictable
    Lindsey was stood-up by a backpacker this morning—teaching her a valuable lesson: Travelers are totally unreliable.
  • Obtaining A Brazilian Visa
    If you want to travel into Brazil, and you're fortunate enough to possess a passport from one of the countries they actually like, you won't have to worry about visa formalities prior to reaching the border; however, if you don't, get ready to jump through the hoops.
  • Salvador Carnival Exposed
    Impressions, observations, and tips from Salvador's 2007 Carnival.
  • Shaving In The Tropics
    Hot water is an amenity that budget travelers often do without, especially in tropical climates, but a few simple items in your pack can offer some relief from a cold razor against your skin.
  • Sneaking Into Machu Picchu
    A traveler's reference for how to sneak into Machu Picchu.
  • Sneaking Into Tambaba
    How to sneak into Praia de Tambaba, Brazil's only officially sanctioned nude beach.
  • Some Advice
    A few suggestions for current and future travelers...
  • Squat Toilet Tutorial
    Inspired by a young traveler who asked me what he was looking at, this is a crash course in eastern toilets—the squatty potty.
  • The Three Month Rule
    A glimpse at one of the unspoken traveler rules.