Posts in category

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.

Safety, Comfort, and Easy Ticket Booking on Brazilian Long-Distance Buses

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Our Best Schemes for Cheap Train Tickets in France

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The Cheapest USA Shopping Trip: Prepare Online Before You Go

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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 …

You might not be used to long-distance bus travel. But in Brazil, buses are an important and useful way to travel the country. And for a land with plenty of inconveniences for travellers, the intercity buses are generally surprisingly comfortable and pleasant. We’ll show you how to avoid the few pitfalls to Brazilian bus adventures, …

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 OUI.sncf site (as well …

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 seem like a carefree life, but it …

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, …

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 result: some quite strong opinions and …

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 …

Over a few days we ran dozens of searches on our two favorite European train booking platforms,  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 …