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The Best of Laos: My Favorite Experiences

Every year, there's a country or two that captures my interest more than the others I've visited.  I thought Switzerland would be the "winner" by a landslide in 2014 but I was wrong.  After spending 10 days in Laos, my reaction is that I simply want to explore even more of this small nation.  I only had time to visit three cities, but I had one fascinating experience after … [Read More]

Overlooking a town and the Atlas Mountains from my "private" kasbah

How to Avoid Tourist Traps

For the longest time, I thought the best way to have an authentically local experience was to avoid touristy cities.  I've gone out of my way to visit places like … [Read More]

Featured Posts

The Biltmore Estate.

Tips for Visiting the Biltmore Estate

Ever since I moved to Virginia, I've been compiling a bucket list of things I want to see or do within driving distance of home.  I've crossed off several items already (related posts include Grand Illumination and Primland), have plans to check out two more … [Read More]



We had an early morning departure from Quito to head south to Baños.  This town was by far the most touristy out of all our stops!  There were souvenir shops abounding!  We had lunch at our hotel and then had time to drop our things off and get … [Read More]

Tracking Your Miles and Points

I have a great reader question to share today since I think it will be able to help many travelers out there. "Hi-- I just joined Marriott miles. We both will earn tons! What is the best way to keep track of ways to earn miles? I'm keeping a page in my … [Read More]

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The Incredible Value of Hotel Points

I just finished a 2-night stay at the Holiday Inn in Munich, for a visit to Oktoberfest (and part of a longer trip through Germany). I have mixed feelings on hotel points because I feel that a lot of time you miss out on a lot of the local culture by … [Read More]