Travel Prep

We’ve finally put our decades of travel to use! In these articles we give our wisdom on preparing for trips as well as advice from pros, including trip leaders. We look at what to pack, how to best book tickets, and more.

Study Abroad Packing: What to Bring, What to Leave Behind

Your Guide Mose Hayward Travel Nerd I’ve interviewed former students and a long-time trip leader about what you should pack — and, just as importantly, not pack — for study abroad trips. Add to that my own two study abroad experiences and a decade of living in all sorts of countries for extended periods. The […]

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Go to Brazil Just for the Dancing — How, What, & Where: Complete Planning Tips

I’ve been going to Brazil frequently for more than a decade. When people ask why I keep going back, I invariably give my very top reason (of the many possible): to go dancing. There are calculated to be upwards of 300 styles of Brazilian music and they are just fantastic—not surprising since Portuguese is the

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Solutions for Buying Train Tickets for France in Spite of Credit Card Rejections from Ouigo and SNCF Connect

Your Train Guide Mose Hayward Hexagonal Rail Nut The French train operator’s websites SNCF Connect and Ouigo are notorious for rejecting bank and credit cards from outside of France. Those from Brazil, Eastern Europe, the United States, Australia, and Canada in particular report problems with payments not going through or getting rejected. We’ve been carefully researching

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We Tested the Legitimate Train Booking Platforms for France—Here’s What Works Best for Cheap Tickets

Your Train Guide Mose Hayward Hexagonal Rail Nut I’ve been booking train tickets online for French trains for two decades, both with the SNCF’s official websites and the various good competing private booking platforms. There is now a healthy variety of alternatives for booking French train tickets that can get you e-tickets with the same

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Rail Europe vs Omio vs Trainline: Which Consistently Gets the Best Deals on Train Tickets

Your Travel Guide Mose Hayward Rail Nut We ran dozens of pan-European searches on the three top train booking platforms, Rail Europe, Omio, and Trainline, and compared the results. The goal was to find out: Which site results in better and cheaper train trips? All three of these websites are far easier to use than most

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Schemes for Cheap Train Tickets in France

I’ve been whizzing around France on TGV and other trains as cheaply as possible for over two decades. And here, my dear penny-pinching minimalists, is an insider’s guide to the best current strategies, booking platforms, discount cards, sales, and future insights for bopping around on the French train system without shedding too many Euros. Unfortunately,

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Reviewed: The Cheapest, Easiest Ways to Book Italian Train Tickets

Your Guide Mose Hayward Travel Nerd We’ve spent weeks testing websites to find out how to efficiently book the cheapest tickets for Italian train travel. We tested all kinds of routes and options, and looked at overall end purchase prices as well as the complaints about and defects with the national operator’s website, Trenitalia and

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Can I Take Fido? Top Tips for Riding European Trains With Dogs

Your Guide Beth Hoke Traveler, Dog Owner For over two years I’ve been crisscrossing Europe by train with a dog. I am a digital nomad and the dog in question is actually my daughter’s, but is with me while my daughter finishes her degree. So where I go, the dog goes. Traveling around Europe may

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Solved: The Problems with Renfe’s (God-Awful!!) Website and How to Get Around Them

Your Guide Mose Hayward Travel Nerd Oh the many, many problems with Renfe.com! I’m fluent in Spanish and have used the site for years, but I still get plenty of error messages myself. We’ve put together some of the major problems and what to do about them in this article, but basically the solutions boil

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