Tips & Tricks

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

2023 Yosemite Firefall Viewing Guide: Best Dates, Reservations Info & Tips

Yosemite National Park’s Firefall at Horsetail Fall is a natural phenomenon visible in winter. This viewing guide offers info & tips from my experiences, best dates & locations, 2023 reservation requirements, parking restrictions, California snowfall & more. (Updated January 14, 2023.) First, you can read about my last photography attempt in Firefall Snowy Weekend Photo Report from […]

2023 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. 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 January 14, 2023.) This guide assumes multiple […]

2023 Grand Cayman Island Planning Guide

The Cayman Islands are the Caribbean’s most picturesque place, popular with travelers and cruise-goers. This vacation planning guide offers tips for visiting Grand Cayman, best & worst things to do, where to eat, hotel & resort recommendations, beach photos, and more. (Updated January 14, 2023.) The Cayman Islands are once again open to all forms […]

When to Visit Kyoto, Japan: Best & Worst Times (2023)

When to visit Kyoto to avoid crowds, experience seasonal beauty, and enjoy the top festivals is important for first-timers to Japan. There will be no single worst or best time–it depends on your priorities. (Updated January 8, 2023.) In this guide, we’ll narrow down your options to help you assess when is the best time […]

November 2023 in Kyoto, Japan: Crowds, Weather & Events

November 2023 is Kyoto’s peak fall color dates, great weather, special events & night illuminations, and festivals at temples & shrines. Despite heavy crowds, it’s an excellent month to visit Japan, and you’ll have too many choices for seasonal things to do during a November trip to Kyoto. Note that exact dates listed below are tentative and based […]

October 2023 in Kyoto, Japan: Crowds, Weather & Events

October 2023 is the start of fall in Kyoto, Japan. Leaves begin to change color, weather improves, and big festivals celebrate the season. It’s a great month to visit to enjoy lower crowds, special events & night illuminations, with lots of things to do in the city, its temples & shrines. This guide to October […]

Guide to Christmas at Universal Studios Japan

“NO LIMIT! Christmas” is a holiday event at Universal Studios Japan from mid-November through early January. The holiday festivities include a stage show, record-setting tree, decorations in Super Nintendo World, and more. This guide shares our tips for USJ’s winter entertainment, plus our experience and photos. Dates have not yet been set for Christmas 2023 […]

10 Best Beaches in Laguna Beach, California

Laguna Beach has the best beaches, oceanfront, and public parks in Southern California. Located along Pacific Coast Highway, the city is home to one of the prettiest shorelines in the world, a perfect slice of paradise. This list ranks the top 10 beaches, plus tips for avoiding crowds, enjoying postcard perfect sunset scenes of SoCal, […]

FREE Email Newsletter Sign-up & Planning eBooks!

Our free newsletter offers info & tips about our favorite places to travel. Right now, the big question we’re trying to update and answer is when will Japan reopen in 2022? Beyond that, the newsletter offers the latest travel news, vacation planning guides, step by step itineraries, tips & tricks for your trips, and more. As […]

Keyhole Arch “Light Show” on Big Sur’s Pfeiffer Beach

A few weeks each winter, a natural phenomenon lines up sunset through Keyhole Arch on Big Sur’s Pfeiffer Beach. If you’re in Monterey, California in the winter, it’s a must-see. This post shares peak dates, photos, and tips for experiencing this ethereal “Light Show.” (Updated January 5, 2022.) The light comes through the Keyhole Arch […]