Tips & Tricks

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

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 December or January, it’s a must-see. This post shares peak dates, photos, and tips for experiencing this ethereal “Light Show.” (Updated November 11, 2020.) As with so much, things are […]

Things to Do in Acadia National Park

Looking for the best things to do in Acadia National Park or tips & tricks for visiting Bar Harbor, Maine? Here are our top 10 recommendations including scenic drives, hiking trails, and breathtaking views. We also share photos & thoughts from our experiences in Acadia National Park. (Updated September 16, 2020.) Before we get going, […]

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 September 8, 2020.) While this quiet little beach town […]

Grand Cayman Island Planning Guide

The Cayman Islands are the most picturesque place in the Caribbean, popular with vacationers and cruise-goers alike. This guide offers tips for visiting Grand Cayman, including best & worst things to do, where to eat, where to stay, my photos, and more. (Updated September 6, 2020.) Before we get started, let’s discuss the phased reopening […]

Things To Do In Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the best places to visit in Colorado, with excellent hiking, beautiful views, and stunning wildlife. Here are our top 5 picks for things to do in the park, along with tips for visiting, important info, and more to prepare you for a visit to RMNP. Located within driving […]

Newsletter Sign-up & Free Planning eBook!

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? We’re also monitoring news on California, Europe, and the National Parks. Beyond that, the newsletter offers the latest travel news, vacation planning guides, step by step itineraries, tips […]

Why This Year Is Perfect for a National Parks Trip

With states relaxing stay at home orders and the United States beginning the slow process of reopening, many people are dreaming of a much-needed vacationing. This post will offer our “sales pitch” for the U.S. National Parks, which we view as one of the best road trip travel destinations for summer and beyond. While it […]

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 […]