Tips & Tricks

Tips & tricks for traveling, from choosing the right gear to the best ways to save money on vacations, and more.

2020 Kyoto Cherry Blossom Guide & Sakura Season Viewing Tips

This guide to sakura season in Kyoto, Japan covers our favorite cherry blossom spots, best temples & shrines, tips & tricks for avoiding crowds, plus a 2020 cherry blossom forecast. We also take a deeper dive into the topic, highlighting hidden gems where you’ll find fewer people and no busloads of tour groups. (Updated February […]

2020 Yosemite Firefall Best Dates & Viewing Tips

Yosemite National Park’s Firefall at Horsetail Fall is a natural phenomenon visible for ~3 weeks in February 2020. This post offers tips based upon my experiences, best dates & viewing locations, new parking restrictions, California weather, and more that could impact Firefall. (Updated January 28, 2020.) First, you can read about my experience last year in […]

Tips for Christmas at Universal Studios Japan

“Crystal Christmas” is a holiday event at Universal Studios Japan celebrating the holiday season, running from November 14, 2019 until January 13, 2020. The holiday festivities at USJ’s Osaka park include a nighttime show, one of the most spectacular Christmas trees in the world, and lots of treats. In this post, we’ll share tips for Universal’s […]

Things To Do In Joshua Tree National Park

This provides info on my favorite things to do in Joshua Tree National Park, and tips for accomplishing it all. Since it’s the closest National Park to Los Angeles (see our Ultimate LA City Guide for more on visiting), Joshua Tree is an easy stop on a California road trip. For me, this is the […]

Transportation Tips for Getting Around Kyoto

Kyoto is incredibly easy to explore by public transport (trains, subways, buses and taxis) or under your own steam (by bicycle or walking). This is a guide to getting around Kyoto, with information on the best way to get to each part of the city. It covers things like our favorite railway lines in the […]

Tips for Visiting Hollywood, California

Hollywood. Tinseltown. Showbiz City. This post offers planning tips for visiting the neighborhood in Los Angeles that has a reputation as being the epicenter of the film business, a glamorous spot to rub elbows with celebrities. With the Oscars showcasing the glitz and splendor of Hollywood tonight, I thought this would be a perfect post […]

Keyhole Arch “Light Show” on Pfeiffer Beach in Big Sur

For a few weeks each year during the Winter Solstice, the sunset casts an ethereal glow through Keyhole Arch on Big Sur’s Pfeiffer Beach that is absolutely breathtaking. This natural phenomenon doesn’t have fixed dates, but if you’re in Monterey, California in December or January, it’s a must-see. In this post, we’ll share tips for […]

Free Southern California eBook & Newsletter

Our free travel newsletter features updates about California, Japan, Europe, the U.S. National Parks, and other places to visit, vacation planning tips, and free downloadable wallpapers. Most importantly, it includes our FREE 101 Things to Do in Southern California eBook. After subscribing via the form below, you’ll receive a confirmation email. After you confirm, you’ll automatically receive […]

Top 10 Things To Do In Glacier National Park

Here are my tips for visiting Glacier National Park, and my top 10 things to do in the area around the park in Montana. This post specifically covers my favorite things of what I did on my trip to Glacier, and should not be viewed as comprehensive. You’d need a month or more to even […]

Things To Do In Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Looking for tips and the best activities in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park? Here are our top 10 picks for things to do in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, plus photos highlighting the Big Island’s top attraction. Located on the Big Island of Hawaii, HVNP is about 45 minutes from Hilo Airport and 2 hours from Kona […]