DIY Travel

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

The Best Accommodation and Hotels in Japan

Hotels in Japan are run the gamut, but all of them are welcoming like this one in Kusatsu Onsen.

When budgeting for travel around Japan it is imperative to think about your accommodations. Hotels in Japan run from small and cheap to sprawling and extremely expensive. Many of the hotels are just a place to spend the night, but other types of accommodations in Japan,  like capsule hotels or ryokans,  provide a full on Japanese experience, and we fully recommend you try different types of stays while you are here,  so you can get a true picture of Japanese travel culture. We’ve compiled a list of not only our favorite places to stay in this amazing country, but we’ve enlisted the help from some other travel pros as well.  We’re sure you will find the best stays for your …

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Top Places In Europe To Visit In Spring

Top Places in Europe to Visit in Spring.

Traditionally folks travel to Europe in the summertime, but visiting some of the hot spots in July or August means lines, crowds, and lots of waiting. I’ve found that traveling to Europe during spring, fall, or winter really lets you get a less frustrating experience. Spring, in my opinion, is the best time to visit Europe, and it means bright green leaves on the trees, soft breezes, cheaper rates for hotels, and fewer tourists to get in the way of your great photo! It’s one of my favorite times of year to go south as the beaches are empty, but the temperatures are warm enough for a great walk and getting some sun on my face. Some of my favorite …

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Real Men Love Beer Spas!

Real Men Love Beer Spas

Living near the border of the Czech Republic we have the opportunity to visit and explore western Czech on a regular basis. We’ve come up with the perfect weekend in Prague, taken the waters in Karlovy Vary, and just meandered around the farming villages and countryside during the fall, even going to a great folk festival one weekend on the Slovakian border. One thing we discovered on our “spa” trip to Karlovy Vary was an interesting twist on the traditional spa visit in the form of a beer bath! I’m not much for the trendy idea of sitting around with an avocado paste clearing out my pores while cucumber slices revitalize my eyelids. In fact, I’ve never done much more than a …

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A Visit to Matsumoto – Castle and Art

Matsumoto Castle with red bridge - number one thing to do in Matsumoto

On a clear, sunny day, we decided to leave our comfy living room couch to take a day trip a few hours north to see Matsumoto. We’d heard tons about this small city, especially about its famous castle. We quickly learned that you can easily spend a full day, or even a weekend, in Matsumoto. We’ve been wanting to take advantage of the warmer weather, and this town is considered a city of the arts, mainly because it is the birthplace of Yayoi Kusama. We were so ready to visit Matsumoto and her castle and art museums, a must-do while in Japan, even though we were going to have to go back for the world famous Ice Sculpture Festival in …

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Winter in Matsumoto and The Ice Sculpture Festival

The Matsumoto Ice Sculpture Festival and competition is a great reason to take a weekend and head to Matsumoto. Competitors carve their sculptures overnight in frigid temperatures, and the results are stunning. Click here to find out more about Matsumoto in winter.

When is the Best Time to Visit Japan? Comparing All 4 Seasons in Japan

Autumn in Japan sees the fields of red buckwheat bloom in Minowa.

Japan. Exotic, futuristic, traditional. It’s on everyone’s bucket list, because it has so much to offer. The main question is, when is the best time to go to Japan? It’s a good question. Which season has the best weather? What festivals are the most interesting? What kinds of food are eaten each season? These are all great queries. And the answers? Anytime is the best time. All four seasons in Japan have their pros and cons. Summer is hot and muggy, but the festivals and fireworks are amazing. Winter is cold and snowy, but the skiing and bathing in hot tubs makes it all worthwhile! To help you plan your trip to Japan, we’ve asked travel bloggers to add to …

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Attending a Japanese Baseball Game

You won’t be far into your visit to Japan before it’s obvious that baseball is the number one sport of the country. On afternoons and weekend, young boys are uniformed up and going to their local games or practices. On TV, baseball players are selling you everything from after shave lotion to automobiles, and there are stadiums in every large city. Jim and I are not really huge sports fans, but the national sport is part of the culture, so we do try to attend a game of some sort wherever we go. While we lived in Europe we attended a few World Cup Games, as well as something even more local like the Inverness Highland Games in Scotland, and …

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