Sure, you know to tip at a sit-down restaurant, but what do you do when the barista flips around that iPad screen and you need to decide how much to tip on a latte she hasn’t even made for you yet? Counter-service tipping via tablet is now mainstream, but do you really need to give? I found data on how many people really tip. [Click headline to read article.]
Category Archives: Travel Writing
NYT Sunday Review: How Guilty Should You Feel about Your Vacation?
Airplanes are responsible for a significant greenhouse gas emissions. Overtourism is threatening our cultural heritage. Airbnb and other vacation rentals are destroying neighborhoods. Should you really be traveling? [Click headline to read story.]
NYT Travel: A Whirlwind, Round-the-World Tour of Queens
Colombian empanadas, Tibetan momos, Greek gyros, Chinese hot pots, Korean noodles — Queens is the most diverse, and cheapest, place to eat in New York City.
Leaping Caimans and Tasty Piranha in the Wild Amazon
Though I’m partial to budget travel, spending some money in the Amazon goes a long way. With a guide and a good boat, you can experience wildlife, local culture and stunning waterscapes that solo travelers could never reach. [Click headline to read full piece.]
New York Times Travel: Taking the $57-a-Day Challenge in Prague
In a temporary return to the Frugal Traveler column, I visit Prague on a budget the equivalent to an average local worker’s salary, and find it’s plenty to eat Czech food, stay in a decent guesthouse, and visit one cultural attraction a day…but not quite enough for beer. [Click headline to read full piece.]
New York Times Travel: 36 Hours in Salvador, Brazil
Carnaval is right around the corner in this energetic city, where traditions — culinary, musical, literary and more — reflect a deep Afro-Brazilian heritage. Here’s my suggested weekend itinerary. [Click headline to read full piece.]
Life & Money: Six Great Destinations You’ve Never Heard Of
I’ll do pretty much anything to promote my new book on travel. Like, for example, link to it in this very sentence. But I draw the line when a TV or podcast interviewer asks me on to discuss, say, “the hottest new destinations for 2019.” Even considering such a list is travel writer malpractice. Why would you recommend a place bound to be overpriced and packed with tourists? Instead, I’d rather be invited to recommend places that are not hot this year, or next year…and may never be. [Click headline to read full piece.]
New York Times Arts: The Physical and Spiritual Art of Capoeira in Bahia
Together with the photographer Rose Marie Cromwell, I attended Permangolinha, a retreat run by capoeira master Cobra Mansa at his fascinating property in rural Bahia state, in northeast Brazil. There he raises cacau, coffee, cupuaçu, and some crops that don’t start with “c” following the guidelines of permaculture. Read more about it and see some incredible photos and videos not by me here.
New York Times: Five Ways To Up Your Spontaneity Game
The best travel moments happen through serendipity. And serendipity isn’t dumb luck. You can make it happen. Click here to read the article.
New York Times Travel: Don’t Let TripAdvisor Kill Adventure
Right now millions of Americans are traipsing around the world creating the stories they’ll be telling captivated dinner guests and captive grandchildren for decades to come.
But as user reviews are added by the millions, social media becomes a substitute for live interaction and cheap international data tames a once-wild world into digital submission, the good travel yarn is in decline. Greater access to information means fewer impromptu decisions and fewer surprises. [Click headline to read full story.]