A Little Bit About the Wanderers...
BetterWander.com thrives on the contributions of a vibrant team of travel writers and editors.
To inspire a life of travel and exploration.
Making travel simple by providing expert advise.
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.
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
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.
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 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!
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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 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.
Chidi writes for varieties of industries and has worked with clients in many industries including the travel industry. She is passionate about travel and helping travelers find useful tips to make their trip to any word destination hassle-free. Having experienced the adrenaline rush that comes with traveling to an unknown destination, she hopes that her writing will make it a lot easier for travelers to enjoy their trips to world destinations. Chidi has worked with many clients all over the world.
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 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 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 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 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.
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 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