My Travel Bookshelf: Armchair Traveling in March 2014

If you subscribe to my weekly newsletter, you already know that I’m feeling a little tired from all the travel I’ve done lately.  It’s the “good” kind of tired and a first world problem that I’m happy to have.  I’m planning a really quiet weekend with plenty of downtime, but that doesn’t mean I’m giving up traveling.  Nope — I’ll just be going around the world without leaving my living room.  Here’s what I’ve been reading lately, including a great book and tons of great blog posts.  Snuggle up this winter weekend and enjoy!

Book of the Month: The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson

Can you imagine traveling to one of my favorite cities in 1893 in order to visit the World’s Fair?  These days, international travel may seem normal to you (after all, you’re here reading my blog!), but a hundred years ago, festivals like the World’s Fair may have been the closest thing to international exploration that people could enjoy.  This book interweaves two very different storylines: one around the fair itself and the great deal of planning and architectural achievements that went into bringing the fair to Chicago.  The second story is much darker, detailing the acts of a serial killer who claimed his victims from the World’s Fair and murdered many of them at the nearby hotel he owned.  This isn’t an easy read, but it’s a darn good one.

Blog Posts from Around the Web:

5 Things No One Ever Tells You About the Northern Lights at Jdomb’s Travels
I went to Iceland earlier this winter with the hopes of seeing the Northern Lights.  Unfortunately, cloudy skies ruined our chances to see anything until the final night.  Onboard a Northern Lights cruise in Reykjavik Bay, we technically saw them though the show was nothing like what I had in mind.  Jdomb’s advice and observations are spot-on, so read the article before you plan a trip.

Do you see that faint vertical line in the center?  That's not just bad photography; that's really as good as it got on my Northern Lights tour.  Half amazing, half let-down.

Do you see that faint vertical line in the center? That’s not just bad photography; that’s really as good as it got on my Northern Lights tour. Half amazing, half let-down.

The Ultimate Mid-Atlantic Travel Resource Page by Packed Suitcase
I’ve seen a lot of the Mid-Atlantic, especially in the past four years while I’ve lived in Richmond.  However, Chris has done a much better job at sharing her stories of the region.  Her resource page is a great one for anyone who lives in the area and is looking for inspiration on weekend getaways.  Don’t miss her roadtrip recommendations to places that are a bit further afield from her home base in DC: I can vouch for several of the same destinations, including gorgeous Fallingwater in Pennsylvania.

The Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania, near Fallingwater.

The Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania, near Fallingwater.

You’ve Got to Prepare for the Rain by Ever in Transit
Over the years, I’ve gone to Grand Cayman on a record-cold day, toured Ketchikan in a downpour, and most recently, showed up at an ice hotel with a pair of lightweight hiking pants instead of the waterproof, windproof outer shell I thought I had packed.  This short but sweet post sheds light on making the most of a bad weather day while traveling…whether literal or metaphorical.

The Girl and Globe Blog Posts from March 2013:

Last-Minute Spring Break Ideas
Last year, I made my spring break plans last-minute, heading to Memphis for an unconventional but super-fun getaway.  If you’re also one to procrastinate, check out the four destinations I highlighted as last-minute options and how to use frequent flyer miles to get there without breaking the bank.

Playing Vacation Roulette
When you want to go everywhere, sometimes it’s easier letting someone else decide where you should go next.  Get Going is a really fun booking website where you narrow things down to two destinations and it books one of them for you!  Better yet, your indecisiveness will lock in extra discounts on airfare, making it a fun and affordable way to choose your next adventure.

You Should Go to Asheville
Big cities like New York and San Francisco often get all the hype, but I’ve found that smaller cities usually offer plenty to do with a more laidback vibe.  Asheville is one of those cool cities, full of good food and the amazing Biltmore Estate, but I’ve got more reasons than those for you to visit.  Check it out!

The Biltmore Estate.

The Biltmore Estate, North Carolina.

This post would be much too long if I included every book and blog I’ve been reading lately, but I’ll be sharing more summaries in the future.  For now, get comfortable, start reading, and share your own suggestions in the comments!

I always recommend checking your local library for a free copy of my recommended books, but if you choose to purchase it through my Amazon store, I’ll receive a small commission.  Your support is greatly appreciated.

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Editor and Lead Author at The Girl and Globe
Becky loves hiking and the outdoors, reading a good book on a rainy day, practicing yoga with friends, cooking with Sinatra in the background, relaxing with her husband and a good glass of wine, and above all: travel. Read more about Becky.


  1. Katie says

    Thanks! I added packed suitcase to my rss feed. I’m always on the lookout for new travel blogs I’d like.

  2. says

    Visited Iceland in January, tried to see the Northern Lights twice… unfortunately the cloud were too thick the nights I was there. I heard people there the night before we arrived saw something.

  3. Christopher Howell says

    Hey, Becky! Great article you have here. I usually do the same as you do with the Vacation Roulette you mantioned above. I usually go to a website like and see what is the best deal for today. After that I search for cheap flights with RayanAir. There were some weekends that i went just like that to Amsterdam or even Barcelona. It is also a good idea to see for last minute offers. They are incredibly good offers out there :)

  4. says

    Hi Becky, I just noticed this link trackback come through WordPress. Thank you for including my dad’s sweet post in your roundup! I’ll email him and let him know you liked his story. He’ll appreciate that :)

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