Category: Backpacking

10 handy luggage tips to make sure you don’t arrive empty-handed

Lately I’ve had a lot of bad luck with my luggage while traveling on long-haul flights. My bags were delayed three trips in a row – reaching my destination only 1 to 3 days after I had arrived. After these three consecutive luggage mishaps, I was confident the airlines could not mess up a fourth time.

They didn’t – but my bout of bad luck did not end with that fourth flight. Arriving at Paris …

Majestic Windmills of Amsterdam

Majestic Windmill by Njaj

Amsterdam is the beautiful capital city of the Netherlands. It is a city steeped deep in 17th century history through its buildings, streets and canal ways. It is home to windmills or windmolen as they say in Dutch – the language of Holland. There was once 10,000 working windmills in this region which have withered down to a mere 1000. They were once used to produce flour, mustard and oil

Top 5 Things to do in Ireland

Irelands Lush Countryside by Florian Fuchs

When you think of the country Ireland, the color green may instantly comes to mind, as do its green patchwork and grassy hillsides. Officially known as the Republic of Ireland and nicknamed the Emerald Isle, its magical scenery attracts visitors from around the globe to gaze at the jaw-dropping landscapes and to delight in the taste of its signature drink, Guinness. A trip to Ireland is truly an inspiration.

Camping 101

Camping can be a great way to get closer to your family in every sense of the word.  You’ll be able to roast marshmallows over a roaring fire, huddle together for some stargazing and finally snuggle up in your tent at the end of the night.  You can invite a few friends to join you, plan an entire weekend around your favorite hike or wine tasting festival, or just get away from the hustle and …

From Volcanoes to Ziplines: El Salvador’s Wild Side

Tour guides often refer to El Salvador as “the country of 40 minutes.”  Because it is the smallest country in Central America, flanked by Guatemala to the west and Honduras to the northwest, you can easily hike a volcano in the morning, grab lunch at the beach, and end your day with a zip-line canopy tour near the Guatemalan border.

Today, El Salvador boasts seventeen volcanoes, nine of which are active.  There are also over …

A Llama-Trek to Machu Picchu

When it comes to bucket lists, travel writers are luckier than most; we get the opportunity to cross out a lot of items.

Machu Picchu has been on my bucket list since before the term “bucket list” even came into common usage. In fact, it’s been on my list since I was a young boy, and thrilled to the adventures of explorers such as archaeologist Hiram Bingham, who discovered the Lost City of the Incas …

Going green (really green) on the Emerald Isle for St. Patty’s Day

As Ireland’s national holiday approaches, visions of all things green will sweep over the island, as well as fill the minds of Irish descendents spread across the globe, many of whom make pilgrimages back to their motherland on the ever-popular St. Patrick’s Day. Green everything in all shades is usually the order of the day, especially for those visitors looking to make their visit to the Emerald Isle, well, extremely emerald. Green beer, green clothing …

Sarajevo: Touring a Recent History

Rubble and debris crunch under my feet as I step over the remnants of a three-year war. Looking out through a windowless frame of the ruined Dom Policije Vranjače (Police House originally used as a vacation home for police officers and later as a vantage point for intruding Serbian forces), I can feel the weight of a thick fog lingering above the city. From here, atop the Trebević Mountain that still houses the 1984 Winter …

Unique Adventures in Iceland That Will Make Your Friends Jealous

It’s always fun to come back from a trip with incredible stories — not only for the fond memories, but also (of course) to be able to leave your friends and family in awe of all the exciting details. Exaggeration won’t even be necessary if you decide to partake in any of the following excursions that are possible in Iceland, because they are already so unbelievable as they are. You may even need to somehow …

Voluntourism: Giving Back without Breaking the Bank

Volunteers at a historic renovation project in Germany

Sure, we’d all love to quit our jobs, run off to some unpronounceable locale and join the Peace Corps. But what if you can’t quit your job or commit to a 27-month stint away from home? Long-term placements aren’t for everyone, but don’t worry: they’re not the only option.

At the ripe old age of 17, I decided I wanted to backpack across Europe — by myself

Hopping Through Europe’s Easter Markets

Europe is known for having an extensive and impressive array of Christmas markets, but the seasonal merriment doesn’t have to stop there. In springtime, when flowers, trees and hibernating critters begin to come out of winter hiding, new markets also start to pop up across the continent. Some are devoted mainly to Easter, and all the fuzzy lambs, cheerful bunnies and religious traditions that come with it, while others are more widely in celebration of …

Making the Most of Your Luggage

Dear Travel IQ: Packing is the bane of my life. I can never fit everything I need into my bags and I never have everything I need when I arrive. I feel like I should go without any luggage and just buy what I need when I get to my destination. Help!

Signed: Equipaje in Charlotte, NC


Dear Equipaje:

It’s the night before your plane departs for some wonderful and exotic vacation locale. …

DOs and DONTs: New Year in Valparaiso

Chilean Revelers

Valparaiso, for want of a better word, is a shanty town on the coast of Chile. Starting from its docks, sitting in that all too commonly found water, colored grayish brown by the offal of container ships, it extends up scattered hills away from the sea. The city grows up with them; it’s a bit all over the place – disjointed and beautiful. It makes up a sort of patchwork cloth of a …

Transport in Bolivia

La Paz Transport

I’m not a man designed for transport really, be that public or otherwise. My limbs are longer than they should be, my posture is terrible, and I have trouble sleeping in anything other than a bed. So it’s no surprise that my least favorite bit of traveling is that spent in actual transit. And as most know, an unhealthy amount of most traveling is exactly that: mastering the art of sitting still …