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Focus on Off-Season, Budget, and Cultural Travel

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Off-Season Travel in Europe by Volker Poelzl
Portugal's southern coast
Portugal's southern coast gets few visitors in the winter.
Most travelers choose the warm summer months to visit Europe, and there are indeed many advantages: The days are longer and the weather is warm and dry, allowing for a variety of activities outdoors. There are also a plethora of cultural, music, and art festivals all over the continent. On the other hand, traveling during high season also has many drawbacks: Airline tickets are far more expensive, trains are crowded, hotels fill up quickly, and the cost for room and board is also higher. In addition, regardless of where your destination, there will be large crowds everywhere; travel off-the-beaten-path in Europe during high season has become more and more difficult over the years. If you are seeking a less crowded and more affordable trip to Europe, you might want to consider a visit during off-seasons such as spring or fall. You will be able to take advantage of lower prices, fewer tourists, and you will almost certainly enjoy a more intimate travel experience which includes more contact with the local people and culture... Read more
Orvieto, Italy in the Fall
Shoestring travelers go to great lengths to stick to their budget: finding inexpensive lodging, getting cut-rate airfares, and taking the cheapest local transportation. One often-overlooked variable, however, is the time of year they visit a particular destination.

In any area that attracts a lot of tourists, high season is expensive. In some cases, downright outrageous. High season can be as long as summer, or as short as New Year's Eve weekend, depending on the location. In any case you are sure to pay top dollar. Whether it's a Thai party beach during the full moon, Goa around the Christmas break, or Europe in the summer, this is the time when prices shoot up and you'll find little to no room for negotiation.

Low season is often low for a good reason, however. Prices are cheap, but they often deserve to be. Hurricanes are blowing around the Caribbean and Florida, Egypt feels like the inside of an oven, the Andes are obscured by clouds. Many beach towns all over the world are literally boarded up in the off-season. It can be a good time to work on a novel or to meditate, but many find the lonely streets and bad weather during low season to be a downer... Read more

Euro Friendly France by Christina Rebuffet-Broadus
Come hell or high Euro, travelers cannot resist flocking to France. Maybe it is for the crusty baguettes (despite rising food prices) or frosty skiing in the Alps and Pyrenees. For the past few years, travel to Europe has become progressively more difficult for those outside the Euro zone. But this does not mean that you have to revert to a "staycation" or put France on your list of retirement savings blowouts. With a touch of inside knowledge and a splash of French phrases, you will soon be enjoying more than a few French freebies... Read More
As an artist I never seen to get enough of visiting art museums and so when winter arrived I started looking for inexpensive flights to Europe and this year it was Amsterdam to visit the Rijksmuseum and the nearby van Gogh Museum... Read More
How can you climb the French Alps, wander through Roman ruins in Turkey, cross the United States or explore the Australian outback on a shoestring budget that would make even the most frugal backpacker blush? The answer is surprisingly simple: with a bicycle... Read More
Cycle in Czech Republic
Contrary to popular perception, it is not only the Dutch who are cycling fanatics. As soon as Spring approaches, Czechs of all ages come out en masse on their bicycles, ranging from pre-war models to the very latest in modern technology... Read More
Wine Tasting in Moravia by Pearl Harris
Wine-Tasting in Moravia
Moravia is in the eastern third of the Czech Republic, bordering on Austria, Slovakia and Poland, and containing 94% of the country's vineyards. Abounding in wine cellars and hospitable accommodations, it is an embarassment of riches for the visitor seeking the best locations for a Moravian wine tasting... Read More
Once considered a strictly up-market destination, the Caribbean island nation of Antigua and Barbuda is more accessible for frugal travelers than ever before. The coastal resorts that have kept the visitor secluded from the island are now facing stiff competition from locally owned and operated outfits offering a Caribbean experience that is second to none (but for a fraction of the price).  So pack light and leave your savings account untouched because an Antiguan holiday is more affordable than ever... Read More
I have recently returned from a month in Rome and people are commenting on how I have lost weight-not the usual response when returning from the land of pasta, vino, and gelato. But then this was no ordinary month, this was an "intensive CELTA" month... Read More
Seeing Vietnam by Karen Kaiser
Vietnam is truly an exotic destination that has turned up on many travel itineraries in recent years and lies next door to Cambodia and Laos. I had lived in Vietnam in the mid-1970s and wanted to go back to photograph Tet Trung Thu—the Moon Day Festival—a holiday for children that I remembered celebrating, featuring colorful balloons and lanterns, special toys, moon cake, and parades. I also wanted to see more of the country, something that I was unable to do during my previous experience in Vietnam... Read More
Travel Insurance
"I wonder how much this is going to cost," I muse silently as I sit in the spacious hospital room in northern Thailand. I have called this room "home" for seven days now, while my boyfriend endures and eventually recovers from a bout of crippling Dengue Fever... Read More
...Moving here to central Warsaw from the warm, brightly lit dorms, the ever-open libraries, the facility-fullness of Princeton University has proven somewhat of a stark and strenuous transition. Though it is not the first time, it is for the longest period and under the most solitary circumstances that I am abroad. And I am growing into myself more every day.

A Polish maxim states simply, “Travels shape.” Undoubtedly this is valid, in the sense that, when abroad, one takes in tiny parts of a new culture to add to oneself. Qualities, mannerisms or preferences collected like souvenirs become ornamental or, sometimes, fundamental additions to a given character. But traveling also makes a person infinitely more malleable, understanding, tolerant–and appreciative–of small things that, earlier, never seemed to matter at all. Level sidewalks. Stoves. Warm weather. Cool weather. Company. Solitude... Read More 

Taking Photos in Citiies
Cities are among the most challenging environments for travel photographers. Urban centers provide fascinating subject matter for pictures, but successfully creating a lively city portrait with your camera is no easy task. A lot of travelers just take photos of famous landmarks, their travel companions, or both of them together. It's a lot of fun to show pictures of you and your friends in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, but travel photography is much more than just a collection of pleasant memories and photographic souvenirs... Read More
Transylvania Facts, Not Fiction
Senior Travel Columnist Alison Gardner
Alison Gardner
While considering a visit to Transylvania, I grew impatient with myself that the first associations cluttering my mind all tumbled from the pages of Bram Stoker's 1897 horror novel starring Count Dracula: the insane, blood-drinking, enemy-impaling nobleman who terrorized allies and enemies from his crumbling Gothic castle in the mountain forests of present-day Romania... Read More
The Cote d'Azur on a Budget
Budget Travel in Europe Columnist Kelby Hartson Carr
Kelby Carr
Simply utter "Cote d'Azur," and it tends to conjure up images of the elite, rich, beautiful, and even the glitterati of the Cannes Film Festival. This lush and lovely area of France, however, is just as financially accessible to those on a budget as some of the world's much less glamorous destinations. Yes, you can visit the French Riviera on a budget, and do so in style... Read More
Don't Take Your Regular Cell Phone Abroad
Resourceful Travel Columnist Tim Leffel
Tim Leffel
When Eileen Kugler and her husband spent a month volunteering at a school in South Africa, they got a nasty surprise when returning home: a "staggering $440 bill" from AT&T Wireless. They thought they were being prudent. They spent extra for an international plan before leaving and only used the phone to communicate occasionally with their elderly parents. Like most who are telling a story like this, they are shocked that so little conversation time could result in such an outrageous cost... Read More
Wandering Women Traveling Together
Women's Travel Columnist Beth Whitman
Beth Whitman
In recent years it has become more and more acceptable for women to travel without their husbands, significant others, or children. However, this trend does not mean that women are all traveling solo. While I have enjoyed my solo travels tremendously and I am a big advocate of women hitting the road on their own, I have also experienced the immense joy of traveling with other women... Read More
Living Abroad by Freelancing on the Web
The Professional Hobo Columnist Nora Dunn
Freelance on the Web
...For the past two years, I have traveled the world as a freelancer, needing nothing more than an Internet connection to pave the way. I don't fuss with work visas and the associated mind-numbing red tape and cost; a tourist visa suffices since my income is earned "offshore" and I am generally considered a benefit to local economies by bringing in outside money and spending it... Read More
TAzine Editorial
We are proud to launch TAzine as a monthly Webzine which continues the 31-year tradition started by Transitions Abroad magazine. TAzine features many of the same columnists who wrote for the magazine, a growing group of new columnists, while featuring many freelance writers who wish to share their experiences and expertise within the context of our trailblazing coverage of work, study, travel, and living abroad.

Founded in 1977 by Dr. Clayton Allen Hubbs, Transitions Abroad magazine was the only print publication dedicated to work, study, living, volunteering, and immersion travel abroad. Its purpose—in print and now as a Webzine—is the dissemination of practical information leading to a greater understanding of other cultures through direct participation in the daily life of the host community.

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