Therese Iknoian

Passionate traveler, wordsmith, photographer, and observer of people and place, Therese lives a life full of all the above. Trained as a newspaper journalist and a member of a Pulitzer Prize-winning news team, she now applies those skills to feed her globe-trotting curiosity – and hopes her storytelling in photos and words encourages others to do the same. Winner of multiple awards for photos and stories, Therese loves to get outdoors, be personally immersed in adventurous experiences, and have a front-row spot with her camera and notebook to document stories that offer authentic insights about a place or its people. And she’s never met a cheesecake she doesn’t have to taste, a ghost town that doesn't demand exploration, or a trail that doesn't beckon.
A guide to the best women’s travel pants with pockets

A guide to the best women’s travel pants with pockets

Women’s pants with pockets are mandatory for travel. Who wants to always carry a purse or pack? Unfortunately, great women’s travel pants with pockets aren’t easy to find – I know because I’ve tried dozens of brands in my ongoing quest for the best travel pants. Here are some of my current favorite brands.

Make travel important – transformative travel is life-changing

Make travel important – transformative travel is life-changing

It is too easy to get stuck in a grind, in a life that sucks you into a day-to-day routine that leads to being unfit and unhealthy. But, if you make travel important, travel can be your lifesaver, leading you to a fresh start or exposing you to a mind-opening experience that affects you deeply and changes your life forever. Transformative travel is life-changing.

What to do in Presidio San Francisco: adventure, views, history, dining

What to do in Presidio San Francisco: adventure, views, history, dining

The Presidio of San Francisco was once a military base and is now a 1,500-acre urban park. The Presidio is now a major recreation destination with miles of hiking trails, bike routes, and numerous scenic overlooks. Crissy Field, Fort Point, Baker Beach and numerous historic buildings housing restaurants, businesses and museums make a visit to the Presidio a must.

Discover San Francisco secret gardens, rooftop parks and open spaces

Discover San Francisco secret gardens, rooftop parks and open spaces

POPOS may sound like a funny name for something you’d munch on during happy hour, but that is so wrong. POPOS stands for “Privately Owned Public Open Spaces,” a.k.a. San Francisco secret gardens, urban parks, and city open spaces. Whether you as a traveler call them POPOS, secret gardens, or rooftop parks, they are ideal respites and secluded open spaces when wandering and touring cities for anyone who just needs to rest weary feet or simply take in the surroundings or do a little people-watching – for free, and often in a really pleasant venue.

Cajun cooking class with Spuddy: real Cajun gumbo recipe

Cajun cooking class with Spuddy: real Cajun gumbo recipe

Cooking up the best authentic Cajun gumbo is not hard, but it does require a few pointers. Spuddy Faucheux at Cajun Cooking Experience near New Orleans shared his world of cooking with us in a personal Cajun cooking class. Now, we’re sharing the cooking experience and his authentic chicken and sausage gumbo recipe with you.

Road trip safety essentials for travel during COVID-19

Road trip safety essentials for travel during COVID-19

Since COVID-19 is likely going to be around for a while, even after vaccinations, safe road trips may be the best answer to see new places. With our road trip safety essentials list, you can avoid relying on restaurants and make less frequent trips to stores so you can focus on having fun and traveling well.

What Chernobyl looks like today: the Chernobyl disaster in photos

What Chernobyl looks like today: the Chernobyl disaster in photos

What does apocalypse look like? To see what Chernobyl looks like today, I visited the Chernobyl disaster zone in early 2020, nearly 34 years after the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the Ukraine exploded. The disaster forced tens of thousands to leave their homes, many more to perish from radiation exposure, and countless others to suffer from disease.

Plan a trip to coastal Maine: A MidCoast Maine travel planner

Plan a trip to coastal Maine: A MidCoast Maine travel planner

Explore MidCoast Maine on a coastal Maine road trip. Sit in a classic Adirondack chair and enjoy coastal breezes, eat fresh lobster while taking in ocean views, visit with local craftsmen, and explore back roads winding through quaint Maine towns. Our MidCoast Maine travel planner will help you organize your vacation.

What to do in Fresno on a Highway 99 road trip in California

What to do in Fresno on a Highway 99 road trip in California

Located along Highway 99 in the Central Valley, Fresno doesn’t immediately grab you as a place worth spending much more than a night. But appearances can be deceiving. There are quite a few historical, cultural and culinary gems waiting to be explored in California’s fifth-largest city. Read on to know what to do in Fresno.

Learning night photography is a journey

Learning night photography is a journey

Travel photography is a skill that takes a little focused diligence – but one that will come in handy for taking better photos on your next vacation. Learning night photography takes you and your photography skills to another plane – one that teaches you a bit about yourself and your camera too.

Nazi Mauthausen concentration camp was notorious

Nazi Mauthausen concentration camp was notorious

The Mauthausen Memorial in Austria offers a sobering look at Nazi terror during World War II. The former Mauthausen concentration camp, located not far from the Danube River, was one of the Nazis most notorious camps. It is estimated that of the 190,000 prisoners held at Mauthausen during the seven years the camp operated, at least 90,000 died. 

Virtual travel experiences to tour the world when you can’t leave home

Virtual travel experiences to tour the world when you can’t leave home

Virtual travel experiences are available all around the globe. It is possible to travel virtually from home for planning or pure enjoyment. We’ve assembled a comprehensive guide to the best virtual tours around the world, including museums, art exhibits, live concerts and theaters, national park tours, street art tours and virtual tours of various cultural destinations and sights.

A tearful goodbye to Berlin as COVID changes the world

A tearful goodbye to Berlin as COVID changes the world

The coronavirus upended the entire travel world seemingly in days. Hurrying out of Berlin, I felt like an evacuee – not that I really know what that feels like – but here I was being forced to leave somewhere I didn’t want to. I felt like Pac-Man scurrying away from the hungry ghost called COVID-19.

Discover the secret Ostannya Barykada restaurant in Kyiv

Discover the secret Ostannya Barykada restaurant in Kyiv

Ostannya Barykada restaurant, also known as the Last Barricade restaurant, is a hidden secret worth discovering in Kyiv. It is not just a restaurant with historic décor and astounding, creative, all-Ukrainian food and drink. Think of Ostannya Barykada as a gastronomic space in a museum that gives a huge bear hug to the essence of Ukraine.

Understanding German Christmas market drinks – a short guide

Understanding German Christmas market drinks – a short guide

German Christmas market drinks, options and choices. Having a Gluhwein at a German Christmas market seems an easy choice: hot mulled red wine in mug. But do you want a shot with that? Or a different flavor? German Christmas market drinks have become big business. So many choices. We’ll help you decide and know how to ask for what you want.

How to get from Spain to Tangier Morocco

How to get from Spain to Tangier Morocco

The trip from Madrid Spain to Tangier Morocco is not difficult and not that expensive, using the Spanish train system called Renfe and the ferry company called FRS. And you get to pass across the Strait of Gibraltar, the narrow body of water that is the only entrance to the Mediterranean Sea from the Atlantic. 

Enchanting Botanical Nights at the Berlin Botanical Gardens

Enchanting Botanical Nights at the Berlin Botanical Gardens

Botanical Nights in the Botanical Garden Berlin make visiting a botanical garden something full of mystery, magic, intrigue, musicians, lightshows and fun. Plants, trees, greenhouses and ponds come alive during Berlin’s Botanical Nights. The cover photo for this story was awarded a Gold Medal by the North American Travel Journalists Association for travel photography.

Travel hacks for fighting germs in public spaces – updated March 2020

Travel hacks for fighting germs in public spaces – updated March 2020

Fighting germs when you are traveling is an ongoing battle. Who wants to get sick and have to stay in a hotel room, or worse, end up in a hospital when traveling? That makes fighting germs (like the new coronavirus) No. 1 on your to-do list when traveling since you can’t avoid public places! Here are our top travel hacks for fighting germs in planes, trains, public bathrooms, hotel rooms, and more.

Is Morocco safe? Insider’s guide to traveling safely in Morocco

Is Morocco safe? Insider’s guide to traveling safely in Morocco

Is Morocco safe to travel in? Many people wonder. We talked with Open Doors Morocco to get traveling tips on travel safety in Morocco. Morocco is an African country with French roots, a conservative culture and Muslim religion, and it intrigues travelers with its culture and landscape certainly, but travelers still wonder about safety. We can tell you that Morocco is very safe if you travel smart. The cover photo won a Silver Medal from the North American Travel Journalists Association for travel photography.

Great carnival parades in Europe: Think small (Updated February 2019)

Great carnival parades in Europe: Think small (Updated February 2019)

Known in the United States as Mardi Gras (actually French for “Fat Tuesday), the traditions of excessive celebrations and outrageous carnival parades prior to the pre-Easter fasting during Lent date back many centuries in Europe. But you don’t have to head to the crowd-filled streets of big towns like Germany’s Cologne or Dusseldorf, France’s Nice, or Switzerland’s Basel to experience some great carnival parades in Europe. And you don’t even have to indulge in excess!

Packing light for summer travel: 10 easy packing tips

Packing light for summer travel: 10 easy packing tips

Every time I hear somebody say what a struggle it is to take only one piece of luggage on a trip, I wince. Really, packing light is not hard, especially if you are packing light for summer travel. Packing so your luggage is lighter and smaller just takes a little change in mindset. Here are 10 easy packing tips.

Newseum: Washington DC museum for news, politics & history buffs

Newseum: Washington DC museum for news, politics & history buffs

Whether you are a history enthusiast, news and politics buff, or a student or fan of media and first-amendment rights, the Newseum is a must-go museum in Washington, D.C. Even though the spectacular Newseum is not free, it offers an insider look at all things news, current events, past history and First Amendment. There is something for everyone, not to mention great lessons for students visiting Washington, D.C.

Migraines and travel  – Tips for headache relief when traveling

Migraines and travel – Tips for headache relief when traveling

When traveling, the last thing you want is a pounding migraine headache. But like it or not migraines and travel go together for a lot of reasons, including the emotional and physical stress of travel, dehydration, and lack of sleep. We have migraine traveling tips to help you be aware, be cautious, and be prepared.

Stasi Museum Berlin brings alive Stasi terror

Stasi Museum Berlin brings alive Stasi terror

The Stasi Museum Berlin brings alive the terror lived by GDR’s residents for 41 years before the Berlin Wall fell. Inside the Stasi museum walls a visitor is reminded why the Stasi secret police force of former East Germany was one of the most feared agencies in Europe.

Transformative travel – learning while traveling

Transformative travel – learning while traveling

I arrived at my photography workshop eager and excited for learning while traveling, but also more than a bit nervous. “Why?” asked one of the instructors earlier when I mentioned that I was a bit anxious. “We don’t bite.” Transformative travel is a marvelous thing for learning.

Dutch Flat 4th of July water hijinks and parade

Dutch Flat 4th of July water hijinks and parade

Dutch Flat 4th of July celebration is a parade with water hijinks and loads of fun! Historic Dutch Flat in California boasts a population today of about 200 (“If everybody’s home,” a local adds) but the numbers swell on July 4 for good reason — the town is FUN!!!

10 top tips to help you sleep better in hotels

10 top tips to help you sleep better in hotels

If there is one thing I am keen on when traveling, it is a getting a good night’s sleep in a hotel. Over the years I’ve figured out a few traveling tips for sleeping better in hotels, like when making a hotel reservation, ask for what you want.

Poignant Korean War Memorials: Honoring Uncle Ara

Poignant Korean War Memorials: Honoring Uncle Ara

Korean War Memorials are always on my list to visit when traveling. My Uncle Ara disappeared on Oct. 23, 1951, less than a year into the Korean War. A part of an air mission with nine Super Fortresses, his B-29 bomber was one of six attacked by Soviet MIGs.

Flying in comfort: What to pack and wear

Flying in comfort: What to pack and wear

Your ticket is booked, your seat is selected, and you’re packing your bags for upcoming travels. But will you be flying in comfort? And we’re not talking getting an upgrade to premium class. Here are a few things we do and pack to help make flying and arriving more comfortable no matter what class you are flying.

How to relieve travel stress when flying

How to relieve travel stress when flying

No matter if you are traveling for business, to visit friends or family, or on a dream holiday, travel stress can take a physical and mental toll. Here are the tips we use to relieve travel stress whenever we are flying.

A Croatian lady and her figs

A Croatian lady and her figs

The fruit grown in Croatia and the farmlands reminded me of my childhood. When I happened across this woman dressed in traditional garb sitting quietly at the side of the road beside her tray of drying figs, I had to stop.

A traveler’s guide to European coffee culture

A traveler’s guide to European coffee culture

We have experienced coffee culture around Europe. And we’ve sampled the many various ways of serving the caffinated elixer, from nearly syrupy dark tablespoons of caffeine in doll-sized cups to huge bowls of espresso and frothy milk. It’s what you do as a traveler – enjoy a cup of local coffee as the locals enjoy it.

Forestiere Underground Gardens: Fresno stop for curious travelers

Forestiere Underground Gardens: Fresno stop for curious travelers

The Underground Gardens tourist destination offers an intriguing tale for all ages that is well worth a stop. The Underground Gardens is what it sounds like: A weaving labyrinth of caverns, rooms and passages all dug underground and filled with fruit trees, vines and plants in spaces that open to the sky. This oddity was built – or shall we say, dug – by Italian immigrant Baldassare Forestiere for about 38 years starting in 1906.

Rocky Mountaineer luxury train trips in Western Canada: Do it your way travel tips

Rocky Mountaineer luxury train trips in Western Canada: Do it your way travel tips

The Rocky Mountaineer website is detailed and the staff helpful. However, it can still be a bit baffling to decide what route to take. Turns out the “most popular” one may not be the “best,” depending on your definition. And you also can “have it your way” with any Rocky Mountaineer luxury train vacation you choose. Just ask! We did – and we’re sharing a few Rocky Mountaineer tips to help you get the most out of your luxury train holiday in Canada’s Rocky Mountains.

Rocky Mountaineer luxury train planning and travel tips for Western Canada

Rocky Mountaineer luxury train planning and travel tips for Western Canada

The Rocky Mountaineer train trip through the Canadian Rocky Mountains is an adventure of a lifetime, remaining for many a bit of a luxury indulgence. Before you book your Rocky Mountaineer train trip, read our insider tips detailing which class of service is the best for you – gold, gold plus, or silver. Choices are so important in making the most of what for many is a bucket list item.

Entranced by light on a Hurtigruten stop in Honningsvag Norway

Entranced by light on a Hurtigruten stop in Honningsvag Norway

I was entranced by the light. Honningsvag is of course beautiful in a simple way, but mid-day in November in northern Norway the sun is already pretending to set. This time of year there is only twilight for a few hours mid-day. The light sparkles off the windows of the homes and paints the hills with a red glow.

Airline acts of kindness do happen – more frequently than you imagine

Airline acts of kindness do happen – more frequently than you imagine

Because we do fly a lot, and talk with so many other passengers and frequent travelers, we think it is worth pointing out there is another side to the story: Despite the avalanche of news regarding despicable behavior by some airline employees and by some passengers, there are always two sides. We would like to humbly point out that airline acts of kindness can and do happen, on an almost daily yet too often unreported manner.

Louvre Museum: Historic meets modern in Paris

Louvre Museum: Historic meets modern in Paris

Depending on who’s talking, the Louvre Museum in Paris is the second-most-visited site in the French city. And the world’s most-visited museum, with nearly 10 million people touring the grand halls in 2016 (although that number slides up and down a bit from different sources). This, for example, is where the Mona Lisa resides.

Start saving money on travel today with these 7 easy tips

Start saving money on travel today with these 7 easy tips

Growing up, my parents were keen on getting the family traveling to see as many places across the Western states (and beyond) they could afford – from national parks, to amazing cities, to monuments, coasts and caves. And they were also experts at saving money on travel…they had to be. I learned from them, and now, can share what they taught me plus a few more tips of my own to help you save money while traveling right now.

5 great Berlin street food markets

5 great Berlin street food markets

As the burgeoning and bustling capital of Germany, Berlin offers an addicting restaurant scene with any international or trendy cuisine you may desire. But in keeping with its gritty, artistic ways, Berlin has a superior street food market scene. We show you 5 great Berlin street food markets you won’t want to miss.

9 tips to guide your visit to Arlington National Cemetery

9 tips to guide your visit to Arlington National Cemetery

The first time I visited Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C., was when my Uncle Ara Mooradian, MIA in the Korean War, received a memorial service in 2004 with full military honors – horse-drawn caisson, soldiers on horses, 21-gun salute, Missing Man Formation, the whole deal. I have a tie to Arlington that may be different than many, but that doesn’t mean your visit to Arlington National Cemetery will be any less memorable.

Pray for peace: Riot of colorful prayer flags in Shangri-la

Pray for peace: Riot of colorful prayer flags in Shangri-la

Most tourists end up on the Shangri-la main square where the huge golden Prayer Wheel and glittering Golden temple sit. Amazing, yes. But I had been eyeing a small temple I could not quite make out on a low hill on the edge of town. “What is that?” I kept asking and never quite got a satisfactory reply. Michael and I headed up and out of town on our break, thinking we’d just explore a little bit. And what a fantastic temple it was.

Stay safe when traveling in trying political times, but please travel!

Stay safe when traveling in trying political times, but please travel!

No matter which side of the political spectrum you are on, 2017 and beyond may mean U.S. citizens will need to take a few added precautions abroad to stay safe when traveling. But this advice doesn’t mean you should rethink traveling. Just the opposite in fact. Now, perhaps more than ever before, travel is essential to demonstrate to the world that American citizens as a whole are good people.

Six things to do in Washington DC that are often overlooked

If you have a trip to Washington, DC, coming up soon, the Smithsonian Museums are a standard to fill time. How about a change of pace? Here are six things to do in DC that many visitors overlook – including The George Mason Memorial, The National Gallery of Art free concerts, the U.S. Botanic Garden, the Air Force Memorial, and the National Archives.

Photographing red flowers on barren trees in Kirkenes

Photographing red flowers on barren trees in Kirkenes

On a few hour break from our Hurtigruten ship, the Midnatsol before it would depart the dock to head back south along the Norwegian coast toward Oslo, we took a little walk through Kirkenes. We came across red blossoms on a tree, beautiful in the snow. Learn how Therese took the photo and how the beauty of Kirkenes inspired her.

Rose Hill Cemetery at Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve

Rose Hill Cemetery at Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve

The San Francisco Bay Area hills are spotted with numerous parks where one can hike or picnic, often with great views of the rolling countryside or even the ocean. Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve east of San Francisco has another secret worth a traveler’s exploration: the Rose Hill Cemetery dating back to the Gold Rush.

Gifts for traveling kids (and their parents)

Gifts for traveling kids (and their parents)

Kids are travelers – as are their parents – and sometimes a little safety, education, or entertainment for little ones on the road can be a great choice when you are looking for holiday gifts. Here are a few picks of gifts for traveling kids from HI Travel Tales and our traveling friends.

Travel to Colombia, a destination with a warm welcome

Travel to Colombia, a destination with a warm welcome

Travel to Colombia offers renewed possibilities for adventure and tourism fun that many countries do not. First-time Journeys International travelers Judith and Clive Kamins talk with us about their February 2016 trip to Colombia. Although Journeys newbies, the retired seniors from Chicago have in fact “touched every continent except Antarctica, as our grandchildren remind us.”

Monk on a walk at Huating Temple, Kunming, China

Monk on a walk at Huating Temple, Kunming, China

On our daylong adventure to get to Dragon Gate, we climbed steep stairs and ventured into caves and small temples – what a worthwhile trek! At our last stop at the end of the day at Huating Temple, I ambled silently around the pond. It was very quiet, I felt peaceful, and no tourists were in sight since it was only minutes before 5 p.m. when the gates would close.

Top 6 things to do in Kunming, China

Top 6 things to do in Kunming, China

If a visit to China takes you to the Yunnan province, you will most likely end up passing through Kunming, the region’s large and quite bustling metropolitan area. Here are six top things to do in Kunming on a stopover, whether you are traveling there to visit the city itself, or need a few days to acclimatize to jet travel or altitude (Don’t forget that Kunming is 6,200 feet elevation).

The gold panning world championships – not just about panning for gold

The gold panning world championships – not just about panning for gold

Since HI Travel Tales is based in California’s so-called Gold Country, we naively thought that this was the center of the panning for gold world. You know, Sierra Nevada gold rush, gold discovery at Sutter’s Mill, gold miners, ‘49ers, and all that jazz. Boy did we learn a thing or two, like gold panning is a world-wide pursuit and there is even a world championships each year.

Avoiding jet lag: tips from travel experts

Avoiding jet lag: tips from travel experts

Jet lag is nearly inevitable, really, when you travel at today’s pace across multiple time zones. Man was meant to saunter thousands of miles, not jet between continents to suddenly find himself propelled into tomorrow or reliving this morning. Avoiding jet lag is really all about minimizing jet lag’s effects. That is indeed possible, but some of what you need to do may seem counter-intuitive.

Hong Kong airport layover: Getting into Hong Kong is so easy

Hong Kong airport layover: Getting into Hong Kong is so easy

A good number of flights to and from various Asian cities experience a Hong Kong airport layover — for a few hours or even much longer, like our layover of 17 hours. No need to hunker down in the airport, though. Hong Kong has made taking a quick trip into town such child’s play. So go ahead, pop into Hong Kong for a meal, a walk, the famous Hong Kong waterfront light show, or even a night’s sleep.

Wagging Bambi tails at Jardin des Plantes in Paris

Paris is a city that is filled with parks – more than 400 — from postage stamp size ones on street corners to sprawling green spaces, like the Jardin des Plantes with its 28 hectares (69 acres) that were first planted in 1626. The most beautiful thing about this plant-filled wonderland for visitors? It’s free.

Creative, tasty meals at Basque Ogi Deli in Elko, Nevada

When you’re driving along Interstate 80 across frequently spectacular yet periodically desolate Nevada desert, eatery choices can be, well, less than inviting. So when we first found this amazing deli in Elko – now called Basque Ogi Deli, but it was “2 Dames and a Deli” when we discovered it – we were utterly delighted.

Historic Gold Rush town Michigan Bluff off beaten path

Historic Gold Rush town Michigan Bluff off beaten path

Situated at about the halfway point of the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run, Michigan Bluff is a California Gold Rush town so tiny nobody even bothers to count how many people live there. Could be about 20. Give or take. An old mining hamlet that once teemed with thousands of gold-seeking pioneers, this is what they call in true Old West cowboy slang a “one-horse town.” No, there’s not much there, but that’s what makes it charming and worth a stop for a hike or a walk when in the Sierra Nevada Gold Country.

Haunting history on Berlin Underground tours

Haunting history on Berlin Underground tours

Underground city tours always seemed to be a tourist come-on to me, but then I discovered Berlin Underground tours. Not a for-profit business, not a tour that drops you off in a gift shop, not a tour that starts in a bar and highlights raucous partying, this is the real deal in Berlin’s Underground.

Artist’s war memorial at Berlin Bethlehemkirchplatz

Artist’s war memorial at Berlin Bethlehemkirchplatz

The memorial on the Berlin Bethlehemkirchplatz (Bethlehem Church Square) is actually the work of Spanish artist Juan Garaizabel to commemorate the Bohemian Bethlehem Church. This small church was built for Bohemian evangelical refugees in about 1735 and was a center of the community. It was destroyed by bombing in 1943.

Visit Dragon Gate in Western Hills Xishan Park outside Kunming

Visit Dragon Gate in Western Hills Xishan Park outside Kunming

Not every must-see travel destination is so easy to get to. And that can make the journey even more of an adventure. Dragon Gate in the Western Hills Xishan Park on the outskirts of Kunming, China, is one of those. The reasons we can list are many – green hills with forested walking paths, a breather from the sensory chaos of the city, temples and pavilions dating back to the 11th century, views of the region from about 8,200 feet (2,000 feet above the city itself), winding stone staircases, strolling monks…

Busy bee in Hamburg’s Planten un Blomen garden

Busy bee in Hamburg’s Planten un Blomen garden

A visit to the Planten un Blomen Garden on your Hamburg tour is a must, whether you are a flower and garden lover, adore open spaces, enjoy dancing water fountains, or just want a nice place for a stroll or picnic. Now, not many non-Germans head there – obvious in the fact that the official Hamburg tourism website doesn’t have the garden’s page translated into English!

Sunrise on the Thompson River in Kamloops, Canada

Sunrise on the Thompson River in Kamloops, Canada

Taking the Rocky Mountaineer train across Canada means early starts and, sometimes, long days too. But what better way to experience the morning than slithering out of Kamloops on the Rocky Mountaineer train on a unique scenic journey along the Thompson River.

Spending Money in China: How to shop, bargain and tip

Spending Money in China: How to shop, bargain and tip

When it comes to spending money in China as a traveler, there are any number of strategies, insights and challenges. Do you tip? How much should you bargain and where? How much is too much to spend for something? As we noted in our article about getting money in China (“Travel Guide to Managing Money in China”), dealing with the necessity of using and spending money in a foreign country is always a challenge. But it’s not a challenge that cannot be mastered smartly with a little thought and preparation.

Travel Guide to Managing Money in China

Travel Guide to Managing Money in China

When traveling to China, figuring out how to deal with money (exchanging foreign currency and buying things) can be equal parts mystery and frustration. We’ve traveled to Mainland China multiple times over the past decade, most recently in Spring 2016, and learn something new about getting and managing money in China each time.

Calling Sweden. Talking to a ‘random Swede’

Calling Sweden. Talking to a ‘random Swede’

Calling Sweden? You mean the entire country? Yes, you once could call Sweden and talk to a “Random Swede” and ask this random person picked randomly in Sweden about some random thing. We bit on the Swedish Tourist Association’s new promotion, The Swedish Number. We’re all over random. And it was randomly funny! Listen in.

Celebrating Buddha’s birthday festival in Seoul a travel highlight

Celebrating Buddha’s birthday festival in Seoul a travel highlight

Widely celebrated in many Asian countries, Buddha’s birthday festival in Seoul, South Korea, was one of the highlights of our visit there. We took part in temple celebrations, Buddha blessings and washings, were awed by colorful lanterns and candles, and attended parades. Here are our insider tips to make the most of your Seoul visit and enjoy Buddha’s birthday festival celebrations during your visit.

Food and drink on Hurtigruten cruises in Norway

Food and drink on Hurtigruten cruises in Norway

You’ve booked your dream Hurtigruten cruise up the coast of Norway. Time to get ready for the onboard experience. Of course, a key part of this experience is food and drink on the Hurtigruten cruises in Norway. We learned by doing, and we hope you can also learn about Hurtigruten food choices and Hurtigruten drink options from our personal experiences.