Minimalist Packing List: How to Travel the Globe for Decades with Only a Carry-On

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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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I’ve been whizzing around France on TGV and other trains as cheaply as possible for over a decade. Riding the French rails is nearly always a joy, and if you know when to book and how to work the discount cards, sales, and special offers, you can bop around the French train system without shedding …

I’ve been an avid train rider in France for the past 16 years, and frustrated with the error-prone SNCF (official French national railway) websites in their various incarnations for just as long. There are now two great private alternatives for booking train tickets that cost exactly the same as the official SNCF site (as well …

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 to the competing private train operator, …

Former students and study abroad trip leaders agree: Less is more, but don’t forget key essentials. Photo by Steven Lewis. 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 …

I’ve been booking trains in Italy for many years, and oh, the problems. Trenitalia’s official website is buggy to say the least, and the ticket machines in train stations are as confusing as the humans at the ticket counters. Worse, using foreign (American, French, etc.) credit cards can cause even more headaches. Italians have these problems …

Oh the 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 down to one simple thing: buy your tickets …

In our search for the cheapest tickets and easiest booking, we’ve reviewed all of the options for buying train tickets for Spain. We looked at the official Renfe site and compared it to a number of private portals. While Spanish trains in general are a pleasure to ride, the national train company’s own website is …

Will the Osprey Meridian’s daypack hold a large laptop, second screen, and everything for a digital nomad’s portable office? One of our readers recently purchased the based on our wheeled carry-on backpack recommendation, but she says she freaked out when she saw how … streamlined the daypack looked in real life. So she did a …

We performed hundreds of searches for train tickets on the websites of national European train companies as well as private portals. The goal: determine the cheapest and best way to buy tickets for riding the rails in Europe. We’ve been riding around Europe ourselves for a few combined decades and plan to continue to do so …

We ran dozens of searches on our two favorite European train booking platforms, RailEurope.co.uk (formerly Loco2) and Trainline, and compared the results. The goal: determine which booking experience is smoother and results in better and cheaper routes. We have found that both of these platforms are better than booking directly from mainland Europe’s national train companies. …