DIY Travel

After 35 years of traveling independently, let us help you determine the best things to do on your trip.

Pausing in Plovdiv

Pausing in Plovdiv

Plovdiv is full of great outdoor cafes, shops, and restaurants….oh and there’s some Roman ruins as well. Don’t miss it.Plovdiv is full of great outdoor cafes, shops, and restaurants….oh and there’s some Roman ruins as well. Don’t miss it.

Top Travelers Reveal Their Best Trips Part 2

Where will you go next year? Part 2 of Travelers revealing their top destinations is here!

Albania is Jim’s top pick of the places we visited last year. We took a great little road trip to some fantastic places and it just surprised us how warm and friendly the people were as well as how much there is to see packed in this small country.  If you haven’t been, make plans to go. Last week we published some epic places to go in our Part 1 of Top Travelers Best Destinations, and this week we have even more. 

70th Anniversary of the Liberation – Auschwitz and Birkenau

70th Liberation Auschwitz

January 27th marks the Anniversary of the Soviet Army’s liberation of Auschwitz. As far as anniversaries go, this is one of the more somber ones to be recognized. As it should be. A visit to Auschwitz is filled with a sense of dread and heavy mood that still, today, even on a sunny summer day, clings to the crumbling brick and mortar of Auschwitz and Birkenau. It is a hard place to visit with its ghosts and memories. A very blunt, in your face reminder of the atrocities carried out there over 70 years ago. But a reminder we need and a memorial for those lost. When you go, plan for about 90 minutes for both sites. You’ll need to …

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Bursa and the Birth of the Ottoman Empire

Bursa World Heritage Site

In 2014, Bursa and Cumalikizik were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Bursa is the fourth largest city in Turkey and has for centuries been a center of trade. It was well-established on ancient trade routes trading, especially known as a center for  Chinese silk; eventually some wily tradesment conspired to acquire some silk worms, creating their own silk industry. Silk scarves are still some of the best buys you can find in Bursa. Cumalikizik is about a half-hour drive from Bursa. It was inscribed as a typical Turkish village which contributed to the wealth of the bigger city.  Today it is mostly popular with Turkish movie producers as it is quaint and colorful with village ladies selling homemade foods, embroidery, …

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National Children’s Museum

National Childrens Museum

December 14th is the anniversary of the National Children’s Museum in National Harbor, Maryland.  A museum designed for children eight years old or younger, which has done a fantastic job teaching children about the world.  Jim and I visited the museum over the summer, because one of my travel photographs was chosen for their Our World exhibit.  Since adults must be accompanied by the correct age children, we were treated as VIPs and given a private guided tour. What a great way to introduce young children to their world.  As they enter, they can pack their suitcase with clothes and head off for adventure.  When they are traveling, they wander through an African market, try on clothes from different cultures, …

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How to Get the Most Out of Athens in Two Days

Athens in 2 days.

A major stop on any Mediterranean cruise itinerary, Athens still retains its charm while throngs of sweating tourists invade it on a daily basis.  There is so much to see here, that a couple of days, let alone a couple of hours off of the ship just aren’t going to completely cut it, but it will give you a good taste! Here’s a couple of choices on how to see and experience Athens in two days and if you are only doing a stopover, in one day. We started our time here happy to be able to take an easy and cheap bus ride to the center of the city, or specifically to Syntagma Square.  It’s the last stop and …

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Cruising the Icefields Parkway, Canada

Cruising the Icefields Parkway Canada

The Icefields Parkway connects two of the UNESCO inscribed Rocky Mountain National Parks, Banff and Jasper. I had never heard of it before planning our road trip last summer to the Canadian parks, but once I got up there I noticed that it was not a well-kept secret. RVs from Canada and the U.S. were everywhere, as were many other vehicles especially motorcycles. However, this did not decrease the vast beauty that surrounded us on this magnificent ride.

Make Your Own Swiss Army Knife in Brunnen, Switzerland

Mountains, cows, cheese, chocolate. These are all things that I readily associate with Switzerland. That and one more thing, the Swiss Army Knife.  And that is the reason Jim and I booked another weekend in Brunnen, Switzerland, to make our own pocket knives. Even though we drove down there in the dead of winter, we found lots of fun things to keep us busy in this small town not too far from Zurich and bordering the gorgeous Lake Urner. Brunnen, Switzerland – Home of the Victorinox Vistor’s Center Sometimes in winter we look out at our gray German skies and wonder where we can go to cheer us up. Winter is the perfect time to find things to do inside, …

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Exploring Tbilisi: Our Top Ten List

Exploring Tbilisi: Our Top Ten List

I have to admit, when Corinne first came up with the idea of going to Georgia I was a bit hesitant. I don’t know what it was but for some reason I just wasn’t comfortable with the safety and security issues in the region. There had been a civil war in the country in the past two decades that had never been fully resolved. After some research, we cemented the plan to do a Georgia road trip, and of course we started in the capital city of Tbilisi. Enjoy this travel guide to Tbilisi and it’s top ten sights. Is Tbilisi Worth Visiting? As we were researching Georgia, all we found were positive reports with many sights to see and …

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The Secret Passages of Tempelhof

Chasing the Ghosts of the Past in Tempelhof

The first time I went to Berlin was in the 1980s, during the cold war. At that time, the USAF was using Tempelhof as its main base in the divided city. That one huge building housed the entire Air Force Base: airport operations, maintenance facilities, commissary, a bowling alley, chapel, lodging, schools, even a basketball court. It is a behemoth of a building, circular in design and several stories high with secret passageways, hidden bunkers, and, perhaps, even a a ghost or two. Flash forward a few decades and we were back in Berlin, this time for a tour of this incredible iconic structure. Ghosts From The Past in Tempelhof Airport Berlin? According to our Tempelhof tour guide, Ernst, if …

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