Taking travel home with you: buying souvenirs abroad

Vagabond travel is about the experience. It’s less focused on the “stuff” you bring and buy, and more about the freedoms as an open minded traveler with a light backpack. Rolf shows us the pros of traveling stuff-less in his Round The World challenge trip, but if you know what you’re looking for and have some extra space, souvenir hunting abroad can lead to some extraordinary experiences.

I’m not talking about toting … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (6)  | February 28, 2012
Category: General, Travel Bargains

Is the kitchen sink necessary for traveling with a baby?

I’m about ready to scream. Seriously.

I’ve been reading way too many articles lately about traveling with babies and each and every one lists an enormous pile of gear one “must” have for successful travel with little ones. It’s driving me crazy.

I am very grateful that we lived overseas when our twins were born. We were surrounded by expats and every expat family we knew traveled extensively with their children and nobody ever questioned … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (13)  | February 28, 2012
Category: Family Travel

The rise of the tourist

Along with the pharmaceutical and chemical industries, tourism has become one of the world’s dominant drivers of global, national, and local economic growth.  At last tally, “the industry” – an aggregate of airlines, hotels and a slew of service businesses ranging from tour guides to street food vendors – employs a staggeringly high 200+ million people worldwide, or nearly 11% of the world’s workforce.

As previously reported, this same industry is on a … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (6)  | February 27, 2012
Category: General, Travel News

The language barrier need not prevent you from traveling

“Although ignorance of the local language thwarts exchanges of ideas, it’s unimportant on a practical level. I’ve wandered around four continents using only English and a few courtesy phrases of Tibetan, Amharic, Quechua, Albanian, or whatever. Our basic needs — sleeping, eating, drinking — can always be indicated by signs or globally understood noises. Even on the emotional level, the language barrier is quite porous. People’s features, particularly their eyes, are wonderfully eloquent. In our … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (3)  | February 27, 2012
Category: Travel Quote of the Day

Pre-trip planning, post #1: research

This post is the first in a series on pre-trip planning (see the Intro, post #2: travel insurance, post #3: gear, and post #4: technology).

I don’t start any trip with a completely blank slate. There is usually something that attracts me to a country—maybe it’s something that I’ve read, or an anecdote I’ve heard from a fellow traveler. From that initial draw, I’ll start reading more about the country.

I … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (5)  | February 24, 2012
Category: General

Complete guide for American expats returning home

Have you ever returned home, only to feel like home was more foreign than any of the exotic locales you’ve visited?  You’re not alone.  Reverse culture shock has a way of ambushing people, despite how much you may have heard about it. When we travel, we have our awareness up.  We know we must learn and adapt.  But home?  We let our guard down.  We don’t have to think too hard, because we’re back on … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (5)  | February 24, 2012
Category: Backpacking, Expat Life, Notes from the collective travel mind

One billion tourists around the world in 2012

Last week I discovered that, according to an article published on CNNgo’s website, one billion tourists are expected to hit the world’s roads in 2012. With the steady wealth increase of colossus countries China and India, an incredible number of people are going to test the existent infrastructures and push several countries around the world to achieve “tourism excellence”.


Hundreds of sites around the world, from Angkor … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (7)  | February 23, 2012
Category: Notes from the collective travel mind, Vagabonding Advice

How to make traveling with Celiac Disease (a food allergy) easier

Traveling with pre-existing food allergies can be daunting. It is like playing Russian roulette three times a day with meals. Living on the edge is part of the excitement of travel. Food experimentation however, is not a luxury you can afford if having a reaction on the road can be potentially dangerous. The good news is; recently there has been a rise in worldwide awareness of Celiac Disease.

For those unfamiliar with it, Read more »

Posted by | Comments (6)  | February 23, 2012
Category: Food and Drink, General, Travel Health

Thinking about long-term travel? Here’s where to get inspired

It was a 10-year process for me. Back and forth. Up and down. Should I do this, really? The decision to finally follow the dream of long-term travel is a difficult one, especially for those of us with an established career and lifestyle.

For me, the decision-making process was all happening in my own head, until I found some books and blogs that gave me the final boost of inspiration. These outlets provided a support … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (4)  | February 22, 2012
Category: General

Travel and treatment: a glimpse into medical tourism

Nancy made some excellent points in her post about healthcare abroad. It’s incredibly nerve-wracking to imagine serious injuries or illnesses away from home, and the fear often inhibits people from international travel.

Medical tourism, however, involves more than simply seeking treatment overseas in the case of an emergency. The idea that people can get a needed surgery (joint, cardiac, dental and cosmetic among the most popular) and combine it with vacation is turning travel … Read more »

Posted by | Comments (4)  | February 21, 2012
Category: General, Travel Health