How to Spend 48 Hours in Innsbruck

Innsbruck was not in my original trip itinerary and I’m SO glad I worked it in. It’s truly one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever seen, with magnificent mountain views everywhere you look. In a matter of minutes, you can take the funicular and cable cars up into the mountains for endless hiking trails. I couldn’t believe that people actually get to live there!

5 Ways to Improve Your Hostel Stay

People seem to have strong reactions when I tell them I stay in hostels on my travels abroad. Some folks envision scenes from “On the Road,” while others are just plain horrified. It’s true that staying in hostels requires a few concessions, but it can also be an amazing way to travel. Follow these tips to make the most of your experience.

Switzerland on the Cheap

Switzerland is known for being a particularly expensive travel destination. I met many people making a stop in Switzerland for a few days as they traveled throughout Europe, who would complain about the high costs of food and attractions. This is understandable, as you can easily drop CHF 35 on a casual dinner or CHF 15-20 on a mojito (yes, I actually saw this happening). However, with a combination of the Swiss Travel Pass, shopping for groceries rather than going out to eat, and staying at hostels, suddenly this beautiful and jaw-dropping destination actually feels do-able.

Visiting Oban & the Scottish Islands

Oban (pronounced “oh-bin”) is a sleepy little resort town on the western coast of Scotland. My travel companion and I were drawn here primarily for the tours of a few nearby Scottish Islands but found a few gems that made me glad we stayed a couple nights. To make it nearly impossible to get lost, pretty much everything is on Breadalbane Street.

Edinburgh & the Highlands

A top priority for us was making sure to see Edinburgh Castle, one of the most popular sites in the city (and for good reason). Particularly if you’re traveling peak season, I recommend going early to beat the crowd and make sure you have plenty of time to explore. The castle opens at 9:30am; we went around 9:15 and there was already a large crowd, though the line went quickly. Tickets cost about 16 pounds apiece, which includes an optional guided tour, viewing of the royal Scottish jewels (lower your expectations if you’ve seen the jewels in London), and seeing a cannon dating back to 1861 fire at 1:00 to inform ships of the local time.