How to Pack Not Like a Noob

And if your travel partner is your paid porter, then it doesn't matter how much you pack, so disregard this whole article. Just make sure to tip him well, an extra dollar for each extra ounce. (That ought to encourage you to pack lighter!)

Friends will often ask me how to pack for a two week/two month/two year trip. It’s funny – I think most folks are genuinely under the impression that they should be packing way more for a long trip. This is totally false and ridiculous, though. Pack as though you’re going to be gone for just [...]

Japan on a Budget, Dirty Vagrant Style

Okay, so I couldn't afford to eat here, but the views alone were well worth the short train ride from Kyoto.

Japan isn’t an expensive country. Did I just blow your mind? I should qualify that.  I know a lot of people who want to visit Japan but have heard horror stories about how expensive it is. Frankly, it’s bollocks. Japan really doesn’t have to be an expensive country. If you’ve traveled in Scandinavia or the [...]

Accommodation Extremes

This is the view from the boat upon which I did not spend the night.

  We once stayed with a crazy lady who screamed at us for using some of her toilet paper. Shockingly, that didn’t even make the list of our best and worst accommodation experiences. Without further ado: WORST: Lehua:  A lot of the details from this story are going to be fuzzy, because it starts with [...]

Sleeping in Airports

A row of chairs with no arm-rests! Every airport sleeper's Holy Grail.  [Credit]

We’re writing this article because we (and I presume you, too, if you’re reading this) are dirty and broke. Let’s face it – airports are just about the worst, ever. Nobody sleeps in airports because they really want to do it, but you’re a cheap bastard. Accept that. Airport hotels are ridiculously expensive, because they [...]

Why Are Travel Writers (And, More Generally, Travelers) Often So Obnoxious?

And then some travel writers lie about how they actually get there

We’ve all met ‘em before. Sometimes you encounter people on the road (or in the blogosphere) who are so head-deskingly stupid, so skin-crawlingly creepy, that all you can really hope to do is give them a nice high-five to the face (suggestion: don’t. Some impulses should not be acted upon.) Also, that’s not entirely fair. [...]

Cooking with Hosts (Including Recipes)

Before the feast arrived (and a few of the guests)

  I’ve had some killer experiences cooking with and for hosts. These times have been some of the most memorable of my trips, sometimes for good reasons and occasionally for bad. In my greatest host-cooking experience, our host allowed three people to commandeer her kitchen in order to cook a huge dinner party for fourteen [...]

Svalbard and Norway on a Budget: Dirty Vagrant Style

This goat looks unimpressed with Norway's scenery. He must be blind.

I don’t like to pick favorites, but Norway might be my favorite country (please – don’t hold me to that). The only problem? It’s so damn expensive. After spending a few days in Bergen, I started to think that only rich old people ever really venture to this country – backpackers would have to be [...]

Strange Foods to Try (or Avoid)

It is usually much snottier than this.

Hákarl is an Icelandic dish that most of you have probably heard of. Anthony Bourdain called it the single worst, most disgusting and terrible thing he has ever eaten. Gordon Ramsay puked after eating it. Icelanders like to punk foreigners by presenting it to them, but it’s also associated with strength and virility. I tried [...]

Traveling Solo as a Female


When people ask me if I get scared about traveling solo, I always immediately think this: I love my country – I love the food (when you know where to look), I love the big mountains out west and the little maple shacks out east and I love plenty of things in between. I love [...]

The Open Road: Your American Road Trip

A national park (Crater Lake Park)

The road trip has been a rite of passage for Americans since the popularization of the automobile. For many people it holds the promise of freedom. The archetypal American road trip has become a cliche, yet we still can’t help packing our bags and hitting the road. If you are about to have a road trip, [...]