On the Cheap

Budget-friendly Sofia, Bulgaria

Word to the wise: get here before the tourists do.

Most travelers are unaware that Bulgaria is one of the best travel values in Europe and its capital, Sofia, is one of the cheapest cities to visit. The country has more green space than most ...

Ohio's best-kept secret: state park lodges

An unexpected find in the Buckeye State.

Last summer, I stayed with a close friend of mine for almost three months in a small city called Stowe, Ohio. Not once during my local travels and explorations of the Buckeye State did I ...

Ten days from Cairo to Beijing

Russia, Mongolia and China via the Trans-Mongolian Railway.

Russia is one of the most challenging countries in which to travel on a budget. Oh sure, your ruble might still go a pinto’s puff further out on the street than your yen, but you’ll ...

Adventures in Myanmar

Chaungtha Beach to Ngwe Saung Beach, by scooter.

We arrived in Yangon, Myanmar (Burma), in November. Instantly the heat had us deciding to take a bus to Chaungtha Beach, the most popular beach among Burmese vacationers and the closest to Yangon. Accommodation in ...

In the know in Mexico City

Visit vibrant Bellas Artes and other less-touristed attractions.

Mexico City can be daunting to outsiders. The metropolis is endless, making it impossible to ever cover the whole city without living there. But many from the U.S. still visit “el D.F.” (the Spanish acronym ...

Cheap art in L.A.

Museum tour via Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner.

An old friend and his fiancee were flying into Los Angeles from Texas in July, on their way up to Santa Barbara. They were staying one night in L.A., and asked me to join them ...

When in Lisbon

Couchsurf, spend less euros and soak it all in.

If you’re dying to go to Europe but discouraged by the value of the euro, consider Portugal, where you can actually spend less than $50 a day. Portugal’s capital city, Lisbon, has stunning Moorish castles, ...

Alabama: more than just college football

For those of us living in Southern California, Alabama is not what one might call a vacation destination. Driving along Highway 59, I can’t help but think that if history had run a different course, ...

Mesmerizing Ometepe

Lush (and inexpensive) volcanic island in Lake Nicaragua.

Approaching the island of Ometepe is a bit foreboding. As the ferry moves nearer and nearer, it's too easy to invoke movie images of Jurassic Park or King Kong. The tops of the two volcanoes ...

Ensenada by bus

Here's an easier way to get your Baja fix.

Many travelers still want to visit Baja California, but are concerned with safety or even bored with Tijuana day trips. A great alternative is to skip Tijuana and head to Ensenada for a weekend stay. ...