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Travel Tips & Trips

Picture%204.png Free travel tips and vacation advice to help you plan for new destinations and new experiences. Bon Voyage!

Travel Tips + Trips Archive

Have a trip or tip to share? I’d love to hear it. Email me*.

*Please type TRAVEL TIP/TRIP in the subject line of your message.

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How to Live and Work Abroad: An Unconventional Approach 

Here’s the thing: Living the American Dream is expensive.

If your income is unpredictable or fixed, as it is for self-employed and retired Americans like my husband Hank and me, the financial weight of home ownership and a rising cost-of-living can feel overwhelming and render travel an unaffordable luxury you once enjoyed. 

For us, home loose living abroad has made leading a fulfilling and worldly life attainable in a manner that’s become increasingly unachievable in the United States. 

What about you? Are you itching to launch a life abroad? It may be easier than you think. Learn how you can fund an overseas sabbatical and live abroad in my latest article for Yahoo Travel: You Don’t Have to Be Rich to Take A Sabbatical: How to Live and Work Abroad


About Ellen Barone: Consumer travel journalist Ellen Barone is the founder and publisher of and She’s currently at work on her first book - I COULD LIVE HERE.



IS HOSTELING FOR YOU? Myth-Busting Tips and Packing Must-Haves.

I asked my 22-year-old niece, just back from summer travels in Europe, to give us the inside scoop on hosteling. Learn her list of myth-busting tips and packing must-haves.

Painting by Wasfi Akab for Santa Monaca Youth Hostel, Florence, Italy, via Flickr CCL


by Madeleine Clute 

My first foray into hosteling was at the end of high school when some friends and I took a road trip to Quebec, Canada, and it’s been my preferred method of seeing new places since. Most recently, my friend Elizabeth and I traveled on students’ budgets for 30-days in Europe, spanning 10 cities and 8 countries,  primarily staying in hostelsAt this point, while I may not be the world’s greatest hosteling expert, I do feel as if I’ve gotten a good sense of how they work, and what generally to expect. 

For me, hosteling has been a lot of fun. But when I talk to friends about it, they seem apprehensive. The resistance I’ve encountered has ranged from the normal “but I’d be sleeping in a room with strangers!” to the absurd ,“but what if they’re after my organs?!” (this was after said friend watched the movie 2005 horror movie, Hostel, one too many times).

These concerns always make me sad, since I feel like hosteling is a great experience for a lot of people once they try it, so first, I’ll try to put your mind at ease about hosteling, and then, if you’re still reading, give you some tips on what to pack so you can enjoy your stay.



But I’d have to share a room with strangers!

Yes, this is mostly true, and this is what allows hostels to be vastly cheaper than hotels while still maintaining basic standards of cleanliness and safety. I would argue however, that this is much the same as living in a college dormitory, and while some fellow travelers might snore or come back inebriated at undesirable hours of the early morning, they are largely a harmless bunch and are not looking to kill you in your sleep (you survived college after all!). Every hostel I have encountered offers a “female only” dorm option, for women who would prefer to not share a room with men. If this still isn’t your cup of tea, many hostels feature “private rooms” which are basically like hotel rooms within the hostel, and are great for couples or those travelling with children. While more expensive than the dorm rooms, they are still are cheaper than a traditional hotel room. Most hostel websites will have these options/prices listed.

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Can You Be A Homebody and A Nomad? 

I’m going to be honest with you: I would have never guessed that at the age of fifty I’d be a nomad. 

Here’s the thing: I’m a homebody at heart and up until a few years ago I viewed the contentment of home and the thrill of exploration as mutually exclusive destinations.

Then my husband, Hank, and I set off on a multi-year journey with a vague plan of temporarily inhabiting Latin America and the adventure opened my eyes and heart to new truths about myself and the world around me. 

“At home” in Mexico. Photo by Rodrigo de Alba Gonzalez.

In a recent article for Yahoo Travel I share travel-tested tips for navigating a move abroad and why, after three years of home-loose living (having no permanent base) I’ve discovered that:

•  I’m more adaptable than I thought.

•  Kind people are everywhere.

•  Language isn’t a barrier to connection.

•  Living within your comfort zone is overrated.

  A car-free lifestyle is healthy and liberating.

•  That the joy that comes from feeling at home is internal and portable.

Read the full article on Yahoo ▶

What about you? How do you reconcile Home and Away? Use the comment box below to share or join the conversation or on the Yahoo article directly. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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JUST IN: New Craft Beer Theme Cruises Explore Islands and Shoreline of Coastal Washington 

The Pacific Northwest put craft beer on the map and now you can discover some of the region’s best brews on four new craft beer theme cruises with Un-Cruise Adventures.

The Seattle-based adventure cruise line has just announced new fall and spring departures in Washington’s Puget Sound and Salish Sea that bring together local micro-brew experts with adventure while cruising the scenic area from South Hood Canal to Olympic National Park and the San Juan Islands.  

The 60-guest Wilderness Adventurer expedition vessel sails roundtrip Seattle on a weeklong Explore! Olympic Wilderness & San Juan Islands itinerary from September – November and April – May.

Craft beer theme cruises are set for October 4, 2014April 25 and October 3, 2015 and April 30, 2016.

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FOR FOODIES: Top Tips for Budget Bites in Britain

Here’s the truth: The food is GREAT in Britain. Long gone are the days of bland cuisine and mushy peas.

On my last visit I enjoyed fresh, organic produce at local farmers’ markets, dined in cosy gastropubs and globally recognized restaurants and discovered a vibrant scene of fantastic street food. But with recent dollar-to-pound exchange rates it’s not a cheap place to eat.

The British summer brims and bursts with food festivals and markets that will whet any appetite.Are you or a friend headed to the British Isles for vacation? Discover how to eat well while stretching your dollars with these top tips for finding budget bites in Britain. 

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