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Welcome Gutsy Traveler!

We’re a National Geographic author, an educator and an entrepreneur. Join our travel blog for tips and inspiration to journey around the world.  
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Chasing the Midnight Sun in Norway. Hut-to-hut hiking and Freedom Camping.

Hut-to-hut hiking and Freedom Camping is the way to go in Norway if you love the outdoors and want stay on a budget. Last summer my partner and I hiked above deep fjords, slept in comfy huts, drove scenic remote roads, soaked in panoramic views of sheer mountain faces...

Berlin on a Budget

Berlin is top of the list for cities that are “in” right now and here's how to do it on a budget. Twenty-six friends from California, New York, and London joined my partner and me last summer to share the cost of a modern, industrial loft for a week. We cooked many...

Rodeo Fever at the Calgary Stampede. Giddy Up Cowboy.

I’ve always loved rodeos, and the Calgary Stampede in Alberta, Canada was on my bucket list for years.  I finally dusted off my cowboy boots and joined daredevils, horse enthusiasts, music lovers, families, and wannabe cowboys, at the western extravaganza....

Revel in Barcelona and Beyond

Barcelona’s sensory-rich food scene, stunning Gaudi-designed architecture and glitzy nightlife lure big crowds in the summer. Last year over 18 million tourists descended upon the Catalan metropolis of 5.5 million people. If you want Barcelona to yourself and you want...

Yellowstone Country wildlife. Welcome bear cubs, bison calves and wolf pups

Spring is an exciting time of the year to see Yellowstone wildlife, especially newborns. If you ask the locals, most residents of northwestern Wyoming’s Cody – situated east of Yellowstone National Park – will tell you the season truly begins when the babies make...

Paris Tips for women, solo travelers, romance.

  Paris promises something for everyone – sophistication, beauty, culture, history, cuisines, art, escape and that nebulous quality called ambiance and tips from a resident help you capture it all. Hopefully when you visit Paris you’ll carve out time to do more than...

Loving Lucerne

Along the shores of Lake Lucerne, ringed with snow-capped peaks, couples promenade arm-in-arm as the sun dips behind the mountains. Families, catching the last light, head home pushing strollers past docks decked with flower boxes spilling red geraniums. Seagulls...

Cruise the Croatian Islands or the Greek Islands

Crystal clear seas and more than 1,000 islands lure sailors to cruise the Croatian Islands or the Greek Islands every summer.             My husband and I chartered a 42-foot Jenneau sloop for a sailing holiday among these idyllic islands. Our two teenage daughters...

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Best Walks in San Francisco. Secrets From the Locals.

The best walks in San Francisco are free.  As local residents, here are our secrets. Golden Gate Bridge Walk The Golden Gate Bridge is the icon of San Francisco and is considered to be one of the most beautiful bridges in the world. Luckily, visitors have the...

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Mellow Mendocino – A favorite San Francisco getaway

There are many reasons San Franciscans drive north along the rugged, dramatic coast to Mendocino. With so may San Francisco-based IfOnly experiences, its hard to believe anyone would ever want to stray. Some of us seek distance from our stressed lives; others room for...

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In Bali new friends lead to a magical memory

In Bali, I was reminded that there are all kinds of people who transform a ho-hum trip into a magical memory. One morning as the roosters announced a new day, my husband, two daughters and I met Mahdey, our hiking guide, in the hotel lobby in Ubud, Bali. He grinned...

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Family travel on a Disney Cruise

My Mickey ears were cast aside in my teens when I graduated to American Band Stand and Woodstock. Later in life, as a parent, I bought new ears on our numerous family visits to the Disney parks, but I thought our Disney days were over when our daughters reached their...

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Royal India: Rajasthan’s Hidden Treasures

Love it or hate it, India ignites the imagination and unsettles the soul. After 8 fabulous trips to India, you can guess how I feel about it. One of the most luxurious experiences of my life, shared with my daughter, was staying at historical palaces in Rajasthan. My...

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10 Easy Ways to Avoid Gaining Weight on a Cruise

Some sources estimate that cruisers gain 1-2 pounds per day. There are always a few dedicated gym-goers on every cruise, but most of us go on cruises to relax, not to chain ourselves to an elliptical between ice cream binges. To hedge your bets for an enjoyable,...

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California road trip through the vineyards

Many travelers think only of Napa or Sonoma when they plan a California wine road trip.  Don't miss out on Santa Barbara County, where the “mountains meet the sea”. Santa Barbara County has a 200- year history that was put in the spotlight by the indie hit film,...

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Changing Women’s Lives in Turkey with Exercise.

I'm going to tell you right away what the best part of traveling and my job is: meeting amazing people when I travel. I looked up a friend-of-a friend in Istanbul recently and was really glad I did. Part 2 of the Ordinary Women, Extraordinary Feats Series.Part 1....

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Travel Insurance. Travel Anxiety. Yes or No?

Is travel insurance is really worth the cost? What a tough question because every trip and every traveler has different needs and different levels of comfort. Know Before You Go: Before traveling out of your home state or internationally, take time to check with your...

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California Wine Country. Where to hike, bike, sip.

I live near California Wine Country, not far from Napa and Sonoma, and I love to be active by day and sip and eat  sinfully by night.  Based upon dozens of trip to wine country, here are my suggestions of where to hike, bike and sip in dozens of wine regions.  Visit a...

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