The Best Gift Ideas for Language Learning: Spanish, French, Chinese, and Anything Else

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Backpacking & Hostels Make for Awful, Boring Travel — And Aren’t Always Cheapest Either

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The Essential Travel Trade-Off: Less Luggage = More & Greater Adventures

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Cheap Eurostar Alternatives: Low Cost Tricks for London-Paris & More

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The Most Durable Rolling Backpacks for High School — and Which to Avoid

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The Experience Onboard Renfe AVE Trains

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Love = Murder? Balkan Romance (and Serbian Grammar!) as Understood in the Song “Ubiću Te”

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A laptop connected to the Wi-FI on an AVE train Yes there is Wi-Fi on most of the Spanish high-speed trains known as AVE. For now, these are the only trains in Spain’s Renfe train network to have Wi-Fi internet. The Wi-Fi is free on these trains; it is included in the ticket price for …

Spain’s national operator Renfe offers high-speed trains named AVE on routes between a number of major cities. They offer an excellent, comfortable, low-carbon alternative to flying. For example, the Barcelona-Madrid trip on AVE is just 2.5 hours, which makes it faster than flying when you figure in the time for getting to the airport and …

If you’re used to travelling by plane and thus conditioned to worry about the size, weight, and contents of your baggage, you’re in for a treat. Luggage restrictions for French trains are generally much more relaxed. The main rule is to not be taking so much that you can’t carry and stow it on your …

If you love someone should you kill her? Probably yes, according to one Serbian-language song. Magnifico’s tune “Ubiću Te” is a frenetic ride into romance, and translates as: “I Will Kill You.” On this blog I’ve long suggested that you should all pour yourself a rakija, eat some cupi, and learn some Serbian. But taking …

It rolls! But it’s a backpackers’ pack! And it’s also small enough to be a carry-on! This combination of features is what I’ve found absolutely ideal for my nomadism; I’ve travelled constantly with one small rolling backpack or another for the past decade. I have also been updating this article for several years as we …

Do you wish your train rides could have the same cramped seating and nickel-and-diming for extras as a low-cost airline? French train operator SNCF supposes you do; and voilà, they give us Ouigo. Ouigo is actually nowhere near as bad as a budget airline, though the experience is a bit more trying than a standard …

In our years of travel we’ve tried out loads of too-flimsy or too-bulky power adapters, and have always been hungry to find the one plug that could do it all without weighing us down. It’s the key travel gadget that makes all other travel gadgets possible. Sure, you can stop at any electronics store or …

I just got back from my sixth extended stay in my beloved Brazil, and this time I kept careful notes on the most annoying phrases one hears in this lush, goofy land of samba rock, beaches, and murder. Does listing such uniquely Brazilian language misuse serve any purpose? Probably not, other than to help me …

The French railway company SNCF is particularly and infamously susceptible to strikes. Here’s a look at the probability of strikes affecting your travel in 2019, how to plan your trip, and what to do if there’s a strike on your travel dates. In general, we love travelling by train in France and don’t think you …

I’d like to put my years of Brazilian bus travel to use and answer a few of the most common questions we get from travellers. I’m also including perspectives here from other travellers with extensive experience in Brazil, including some female travellers who were kind enough to lend their take. 1. How safe are Brazilian …