Tips & Tricks

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

October 2021 in Kyoto, Japan: Crowds, Weather & Events

October 2021 is the start of fall in Kyoto, Japan. The leaves begin to change color, the weather improves, and big festivals celebrate the season. October is a great month to visit to enjoy lower crowds and a good calendar of special events & night illuminations, with lots of things to do in the city […]

2021-2022 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 July 10, 2021.) Before we get started, let’s discuss the phased reopening plan […]

Top 10 Things To Do In Glacier National Park

Here are my tips for visiting Glacier National Park, and top 10 things to do–from hiking to eating. This guide covers my favorite things I’ve done on trips to Montana, and isn’t be viewed as comprehensive. You’d need a month or more to even approach doing everything in GNP, and even then you’d miss plenty. […]

When to Visit Kyoto, Japan: Best & Worst Times in 2021 & 2022

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 in 2021 or 2022 to visit, and when you should travel to Kyoto depends in large part on your priorities. (Updated March 26, 2021.) For […]

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 March 26, 2021.) This guide assumes multiple […]

November 2021 in Kyoto, Japan

November 2021 will bring Kyoto’s peak fall colors, cool temperatures & great weather, a full calendar of 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. In this […]

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, photos highlighting the Big Island’s top attraction, and lava flow & eruption info. (Updated March 16, 2021.) Let’s start with the latest developments. First, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park […]

10 Best Beaches in Laguna Beach, California

Laguna Beach has the best beaches, oceanfront, and public parks in Southern California. In fact, its miles of coast along Pacific Coast Highway might be some of the best in the world. This list ranks the top 10 beaches–plus whether they’re currently open or closed. (Updated March 15, 2021.) While this quiet little beach town […]

Tips for Hiking to the Hollywood Sign

You can hike to the Hollywood Sign via a few different trails in Los Angeles, including Griffith Observatory. This post offers our recommendations for the shortest route, easiest & best paths, what to avoid, and other tips for hiking to the Hollywood Sign. (Updated March 14, 2021.) More accurately, this is how to hike to […]

2021 Yosemite Firefall Best Dates & Viewing Tips

Yosemite National Park’s Firefall at Horsetail Fall is a natural phenomenon visible for ~3 weeks each winter. This post offers tips from my experiences, best dates & viewing locations, new reservation info, California snowfall, and more. (Updated February 2, 2021.) First, you can read about my most recent photography attempt in Firefall Snowy Weekend Photo Report from […]