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About Us

About Us

A Little Bit About the Wanderers…

BetterWander.com thrives on the contributions of a vibrant team of travel writers and editors.

Our Purpose

To inspire a life of travel and exploration.

Our mission

Making travel simple by providing expert advise.

Values

Passion: We are very passionate about travel and love sharing all of our advice and expertise with you.

Authenticity: We are true wanderers ourselves and speak from personal experience.

Courage: We love challenging ourselves and hope to inspire you to do the same.

Our Mission

We are here to …

Help you plan your next adventure

We offer detailed destination guides that advise you on the best time to travel, the best things to do on and off the beaten path, and how to experience the culture in a unique way. Our how to travel guides go a bit further on the technical details and help you iron out the practicalities of your trip.

Advise you on the best choices to make

There are so many options out there and we can help you make the most informed choices. From accommodation recommendations and tips to finding the right travel gear, we are here to help.

Make you a better wanderer

We’d like to think that by sharing our own experiences, we will make you want to to get out there and live some of your own!

Why Better Wander?

Better Wander is not a travel agency. We are not looking to sell our next big trip in the hope of getting a fat commission. We are an informational travel website. This means you will receive our most honest opinions rather than those that will try to nudge you in a specific direction.

Like you, we are passionate about travel. And like you, we are just trying to discover the best way to experience different cultures and place and the most comfortable, cheap and easy way to travel. We know exactly which questions you need answered, because they are our questions too.

Our expertise comes from the diversity of our team. We are each of us specialized in a certain topic or way of travel. Our website is for travelers of all experience levels and aims to provide you with the know-how as well as the desire to get out there and experience the world for yourself!

Are you taking that big, first step?

Are you new to travel or are you looking to push yourself a little further than before? Great choice. It can be pretty intimidating but there is a real thrill in taking that first step and it is one you will never forget. If you are keen to get started with some great tips before delving into our articles, read on!

Stay at a hostel or couch surf

If you are traveling alone for the first time, or even for the 10th time, you will love staying at hostels. You will have your instant set of like-minded people right there as soon as you arrive. Book a bed in a dorm and talk to you roommates about their plans, about your plans, and see if you have some common ground to explore together.

If you are not exactly a “group person” and prefer to keep social interactions more authentic, try couch surfing. It is free and you will be welcomed into a local’s home. Couch surfing has been around for a while but it is still a great way to travel, especially if you are on a budget and traveling to more expensive places.

Travel light and embrace simplicity

A lot of people might advise you to pack for all occasions and just make sure you are ready for anything. If you are just heading out there, you are likely to believe them. But believe us when we say that you will feel pretty silly, pretty soon.

Take our advise and travel light. Embrace simplicity in your clothes as well as your gear so you won’t stand out and you will make the trip a lot easier for yourself. If you have forgotten something, you will be able to buy it where you are going too. Just make sure to bring what is actually essential to you such as certain medications. These might be more difficult to come by elsewhere or more expensive.

Travel ethically

Tourism can be a bit of a strain on a country but when done right, it can actually be beneficial or at least not harmful. Here are some tips:

  • Do not interact with wildlife in any way. If you are at a sanctuary or wildlife park that encourages you to ride elephants, feed the animals or take photos with a sloth or bird, they are not following ethical practices and you should avoid them. In fact, try hindering them and inform the online community about them.
  • If you want to photograph the locals, ask permission first.
  • Ban the plastic. Research about the local tap water and bring a reusable bottle.
  • Look into bringing all-purpose, biodegradable soap, especially if you are going camping or traveling to less developed countries (they might not have reliable pipes). Not only will you save a lot of room in your bag, you also won’t harm the natural surroundings.
  • Invest in smaller, local initiatives and businesses rather than the big touristy ones. A lot of countries and cities are suffering because the prices go up significantly with tourists investing in big tours and luxury travel, making it more difficult for the locals to afford living in their own town.
  • Take public transportation or walk as much as you can.

Practice common sense

Although it is always important to check on the general safety recommendation for the country you are about to visit and make sure you know about the places in a city to avoid, common sense is your best friend wherever you go. Keep these tips in mind:

  • Carry copies of your passport and credit cards on you. To prevent getting your passport stolen, leave the passport in the hotel / hostel safe and take the copy with you instead.
  • Use a money belt for the most important documents to keep under your clothes.
  • Dress modestly even when going out.
  • Use Uber if you are out late in the city rather than walking.

Take note of your country’s embassy information

Make sure you know where your embassy is located and write down the telephone number. If you live inside the US, you can sign up for the free Smart Traveler Enrollment Program where you can receive updates on safety and security information when going abroad.

About the Founders

We believe a travel story has more than one perspective.

So, we created a group of wanderers to give you a unique and diverse set of personal experiences. Some of us are highly experienced travelers while others are still figuring out the moves, perhaps just like you.

We met the same way a lot of travelers meet… in a hostel. We were all staying at Hostel Angelina in Dubrovnik, Croatia. While we were lounging in the common room, we gravitated towards each other as the evening progressed. We were solo travelers, keen to connect with other people, and soon learned that we were all there for very different reasons. While some of us couldn’t wait to go hiking, others were there to visit some of the local festivals, explore the historical towns and hunt down Game of Thrones sets. There were also some who wanted to brave the famous Croatian winds on a sailing trip and visit the islands. Motivated by each other’s stories and excited to try something new, we decided to do all of those things together.

As we delved deeper into our love for travel, we discovered that most of us have had the desire to start a travel blog at some point. We just never took that step. Gradually, the idea formed that perhaps it would be more interesting if we combined our efforts and became a community of writers rather than just one person. Since we were all so different and had a blast doing what we normally wouldn’t do, we decided that this was the message we wanted to send.

Follow your impulses, but also move beyond them.

About the Team

Since our first meeting in Dubrovnik, our group has already been expanding a little and we have been welcoming more writers looking to share their expertise.

We have experts in every field from budget travel to finding hidden gems, world travel, selecting the right travel gear, destinations guides, transportation, and so on. We hope our passion for travel will help you take that big leap into the world!

CACIE WRIGHT


BUDGET TRAVEL

Cacie has traveled throughout Europe on a budget, and knows all too well the frustrations of looking for a good deal. She is now making her way throughout the United States doing the same thing. With a passion for travel, she loves being on the move. And, now she’s sharing her budget travel tips with all of you!

barry juma


GETTING THERE

With years of exploration under his belt, Barry has developed a hunger for new experiences, ones that can only be gotten beyond borders. Barry loves the freedom of travel, the wisdom one gets from it, and the new relationships on develops. This is why, as a writer, he desires to share these experiences and too, perhaps, encourage others to open their minds to learn new cultures and religions.

ALIZABETH SWAIN


LOCAL HOTSPOTS

Hi there! I’m Alizabeth Swain, a Maryland-based writer who loves traveling, experiencing new cultures, learning new languages, connecting with new souls, and trying new foods! There have been so many places in the world that have touched my soul and I’m so excited to help you find discover the things that light your soul on fire!

justin caldwell


TRAVEL Gear

Justin Caldwell is a freelance writer and editor based in Olathe, Kansas. Though he travels primarily domestically with his family, he has spent time in other countries absorbing the culture.  He and his family love exploring his own country and discovering those less often visited places found off the beaten path (and he comes prepared with the best gear). He also writes on subjects ranging from cryptocurrency to smart home technology to whiskey.

jodie chiffey


TRAVEL GEAR

Jodie is an avid traveler who loves camping and hiking. With over 10 years experience tackling some of the best mountain ranges in Europe and North America, she has now got her sight set on conquering Asia. Over the years, Jodie has worn and used her fair share of travel gear, giving her valuable insights as to what is worth taking when backpacking.

Alexandra Gavrilescu


INTERNATIONAL ADVENTURES

Alexandra is a keen traveler. She loves to discover new places, plan trips, and tell you all about it. In her articles, Alexandra provides useful answers to common questions regarding travel budgets, finding the best travel deals, accommodations, travel expenses, planning a trip, saving money on flights, travel guides, and many other topics that I am sure you will find helpful. All the tips and detail she offers are tested and proven. With her help, you will save a lot of time and you won’t feel overwhelmed by long Internet searches. In her role as a travel blogger, Alexandra allows you to spend more time doing exactly what you love most: traveling.

Mieke LEENDERS


WORLD TRAVELER ON A DIME

Mieke is a writer and traveler from Belgium. After obtaining her master’s degree in art history, she spent several years working as a freelance writer, project worker, animal volunteer and hotel shift-leader. After she saved enough money, she quit her job and decided to travel through Asia and Latin America. While she was working as an assistant teacher in Costa Rica, she met her favorite student and now husband during an English conversation class. Mieke is currently residing in Costa Rica where she reconnected with her love for writing and is eagerly planning her next adventure.

haley parker


 secret hotspots

Haley is a part-time traveler who has visited over 10 countries. With experience in everything from traveling across the United States in a van to backpacking in Thailand to staying in exotic resorts, Haley can provide the right tips and tricks to help you have the trip of a lifetime.

Why am I giving advice on the Better Wanderer?

My passion is travel. I was raised traveling to new exotic locations growing up and it’s carried over into my adult life. I think everyone should experience the life changing trips I have. If I can make it a little easier for them to take the leap by giving all the advice and knowledge that I’ve acquired over the years, why wouldn’t I want to help?

Where was the first place you ever traveled to?

The first big trip my parents ever took me on was San Diego, but I was way to small to remember that trip. My first big solo trip was to Thailand.

Where’s your next vacation planned to? 

Well I’m currently in Nicaragua. So I currently don’t have my next vacation planned. On this trip I have been traveling all the countries in Central America, including Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras.

What’s one thing you always make sure to pack with you, no matter where you’re going?

My camera! I have a Nikon Z6 II mirrorless camera. I love taking photos that I can share with the world to hopefully inspire them to travel more.

Do you have any advice for someone getting ready to take their first trip? 

It’s never as scary as you think it will be. Even with all the experience, I hate traveling, going to new places always makes me nervous. Every single time I come back thinking “I don’t know why I was so scared to travel here.” There is always someone there to help you when you don’t know what’s going on or what you’re doing. People are more kind than we give them credit for.

What are your social media links?

Basically, all of my handles are @haleysvoyage

Instagram.com/haleysvoyage

Facebook.com/haleysvoyage

Pinterest.com/haleysvoyage

https://youtube.com/channel/UCXKgJ8QbbHMnf1BYIZi3teg

Coty Perry


HIDDEN DEALS

Why am I giving advice on the Better Wanderer?

Tony Robbins said, “if you want to take the island, burn the boats.” While I’m not 100% sure if he created that quote, it stuck with me. I want to help people realize that travel doesn’t have to be complicated, risky, or scary. Traveling is one of the most exciting things you can do and the experience you’ll gain will carry into your everyday life.

Where was the first place you ever traveled to?

My first “big” trip was Playa Del Carmen, Mexico in 2016. It was the first time I traveled to a place that wasn’t your typical resort or hotel. I stayed outside of the resorts, ate with the locals, and had one of the most memorable times of my life.

Where’s your next vacation planned to? 

My next memorable trip is New Orleans. I am a huge Saints fan and am completely obsessed with NOLA so I am extremely pumped for this trip.

What’s one thing you always make sure to pack with you, no matter where you’re going?

Dramamine because I get motion sickness. It makes flying a challenge but I’ve learned to put it aside because my goals are worth it!

Do you have any advice for someone getting ready to take their first trip? 

This might be contrary to what a lot of people will tell you but I recommend OVER-planning. While it depends on where you’re going, it helps to have reservations and plans before you get there. If you’re trying to figure out what to do and plan things while you’re there you may find that excursions, activities, and restaurants are all booked. Have an itinerary and plan ahead of time.

What are your social media links?

https://www.linkedin.com/in/coty-perry

christine lindstrom


digital nomad

Christine Lindstrom is a freelance writer and digital nomad who has made travel her lifestyle. She has explored parts of Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Central America and is currently traveling in the United States in an RV with her husband and three kids. She is passionate about helping others learn to travel well and overcome common challenges, especially women and families.

HARON OMAITA


ROAD TRIPS

Haron Omaita

Haron Omaita is a freelance writer from Nakuru, Kenya, who specializes in ghostwriting, guest blogging, copywriting, proofreading, and editing. As a keen traveler and whole foods aficionado, he also contributes insightful travel and tourism articles to Better Wander. He’s mad about road trips, soccer, and reading.

julie thompson


 travel gear

julie thompson

Julie was born and raised in the midwest and has traveled coast to coast. She enjoys researching the best travel gear and unique local sites to provide the best vacation experiences for her family and friends.

Lauren Staehle


experiences

lauren staehle bio

Lauren is a Washington, DC native who spends her free time traveling and eating her way through the city. She works in marketing for government travel during the day, and at night writes for various travel and food sites as well as her own blog. So far, her favorite destinations have been Ios, Greece and Paris, France, and she looks forward to traversing more of the globe with friends and family.

ROSIE Greaves


SMART DEALS

Rosie Greaves bio

Rosie Greaves is a professional freelance writer and content strategist who specializes in all things lifestyle and business. You can also find here work on Reader’s Digest, Cake and Lace, and Love You Tomorrow. Budapest is hands down the favorite place she’s traveled to.

tiara croft


city guides

Tiara Hyams Beach

Born in Los Angeles, California, Tiara now resides in the Gold Coast of Queensland, Australia. Her favorite part of traveling is being able to view a city like a local, finding the best places to eat, and she is always on the lookout for a beautiful beach. She has spent the last 10 years visiting big cities with iconic monuments, remote villages with limited resources, and everything in between. Whether it’s weekend getaways with her husband and dog, or adventures to places she’s never been before, Tiara enjoys taking advantage of learning more and more about the world around us. Her biggest travel advice to everyone is “Just go!”

tammy wunsch


 travel planning

tammy w new

Tammy Wunsch loves wine, vineyards, and travel. Her blog, ExpatWriter.com, prominently features these three topics, as well as information about living the digital nomad life. Tammy is the author of “The Navarre Brotherhood,” an adventure novel about a search for the Knights Templar treasure. She lives in the Quiet Corner of Connecticut and spends her free time working on a sequel, planning her next trip, and seeking out new wines to share with friends

Why am I giving advice on the Better Wanderer?

This will sound a little cliché, but I love to travel. I have traveled to over 40 countries as a solo traveler, with a friend, and as part of a group. I love it all. I truly enjoy discovering new cultures, tasting authentic cuisine, and viewing the history and architecture of foreign lands. I hope my excitement and joy for travel shines through in my writing and helps another person discover their own excitement and love of travel.

Where was the first place you ever traveled to?

The first place I ever traveled to internationally was to France. I was in high school and participated in a three-week exchange program. We started the trip with a tour of the Loire Valley and I was immediately entranced. After the Loire Valley, I stayed with a family for the exchange and attended classes in Paris. I can still vividly recall the sights and smells of the city and how history just seemed to come alive everywhere I looked. I knew then that I would be a traveler for life.

Where’s your next vacation planned to? 

My next vacation has now been postponed three times-twice due to COVID and the last time due to a new job. I had planned to spend about nine weeks in Europe, both as a tourist and also to explore potential future expat destinations for myself. I had planned to tour Scotland for three weeks-Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, and the far northern section where part of my novel, The Navarre Brotherhood, takes place. I had then planned on spending three weeks in the Bordeaux region of France as it is an area that I have never visited. I have heard so many wonderful stories about the region that it is definitely one of the next places I will go. For my final three weeks, I wanted to explore Portugal, specifically Lisbon, Porto, and Lagos. The trip may now have to be spread out over three trips, but they are definitely next on my itinerary.

What’s one thing you always make sure to pack with you, no matter where you’re going?

When I travel internationally, I make sure that I have a universal charger and a credit/debit card that does not charge any foreign transaction fees. I also pack an extra battery pack in case I am nowhere near an outlet to charge my devices. You never know when you’ll need to rely on Google Maps to navigate through a strange city, and this can really eat up your battery charge.

Do you have any advice for someone getting ready to take their first trip? 

There are a few things I recommend to people getting ready to take their first trip. First, take out half of the clothes you were planning on bringing. You may have to drag your suitcase over cobblestones or heave it up onto a train. You’ll be happier with a lighter load and you can always do laundry or rinse things out in your hotel room. Second, research where you are going and prioritize what you want to see. There may not be enough time to see everything, so make sure you see what is most important to you. Finally, you don’t need to become fluent, but learn a few words of the language where you are going to travel. Yes, a lot of people speak English, but they are also very appreciative that you have attempted to learn some words and phrases to communicate with them.

What are your social media links?

I can be found at LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tammywunsch/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TammyWunschAuthor

Personal Webpage: https://tammywunsch.com/

Nicholas Morris


 travel planning

Why am I giving advice on the Better Wanderer?

Traveling is my passion, and I have been moving all over the world for the past four years! I want to share all the advice I’ve learned along the way, to help others learn from my mistakes!

Where was the first place you ever traveled to?

The first place I ever traveled to was the Oregon coast when I was still in Middle School. The massive cliffs along the ocean and the beautiful waterfalls changed my perception of traveling forever.

Where’s your next vacation planned to?

My next vacation is planned for Columbia. I’ve always wanted to venture in to South America, and now that Columbia is becoming a safer, more tourist-friendly destination, it’s at the top of my list!

What’s one thing you always make sure to pack with you, no matter where you’re going?

No matter where I’m going, I always pack my drone with me. I love being able to see the world from an aerial perspective, which changes my interpretation of the land. Plus, I get to come home with some solid photos I can always remember it by.

Do you have any advice for someone getting ready to take their trip?

From all my years traveling, my biggest advice is to keep an open mind about the world around you. New cultures are going to shock you, in ways you can’t yet imagine. When the going gets tough, I always like to dive deeper in. Eat the food, meet the locals, and explore! Also, don’t forget to relax… That’s why you’re on vacation!

What are your social media links?

You can find me on Instagram & Youtube below!

instagram.com/intricateexplorer

youtube.com/intricateexplorer