Travel Shopping Guide

The Cheap & Easy Dinner Tradition I Brought Home from Portugal — Europe on a Bite-Sized Budget

We've written before about the ingenious practice of Abendbrot — it's German for "evening bread" and is the very simple but lovely idea of having bread with butter, sliced meat, cheese, and vegetables for dinner. I was recently reminded of this tradition on my recent trip — not to Germany but to Portugal.


The 3 Best Things to Buy in Seattle — Bite-Sized Guide: Seattle

(Image credit: Charity Burggraaf)

From salmon and crab to berries and wild mushrooms, the Seattle region's natural resources make it an eater's paradise. For visitors, a week eating here can feel like a fantasy — but how do you capture all those magical bites and take them home? I can't beam you back to your favorite restaurants, but I can tell you that some of Seattle's best bites actually do travel well.

Skip the Space Needle-shaped keychain and the dried flowers from Pike Place Market — here's what you want to stuff in your overhead bin on the flight home.


I Sold All My Belongings to Travel the World. Here’s What I Kept. — Travel Intelligence

At age 42, I whittled my life to nine boxes to cram in a friend's basement. The worst part was selling the kitchen gear I'd amassed over 25 years of being a food nerd. From my tagine to a Thai mortar and pestle to unusual utensils, it was a gut-wrenching lesson in how much cooking tools are part of how I feed my soul. But in my new nomadic life, I didn't have space for non-essential ephemera, so into someone else's home it all went — save for a few select items.


7-Eleven Is Totally Different Outside the U.S. — Summer Vacations for Food-Lovers

In the United States, 7-Elevens are packed with chemical-laden snack food designed with shelf lives, not human lives, in mind. These convenience stores are last-resort pit stops, stocked with old, wrinkled hot dogs rotating in perpetuity inside plastic containers.

But, as I recently discovered, this is not the case in other parts of the world. The truth: Elsewhere, 7-Eleven is actually kind of awesome.


The Best Place to Buy Paris Food Souvenirs Is the Airport — Summer Vacations for Food-Lovers

Paris is so unbearably delicious that you want to take everything with you — just stuff all that amazing food in your bag so when you're home longing for the city you can at least console yourself with a taste of it. And you totally should! A plate of oozy, wonderfully stinky French cheeses isn't going to cure the malaise of missing Paris, but it's a start.

But listen: You don't have to spend your precious hours in Paris lugging around assorted and sundry food items. You can't exactly flit around the Marais if you're loaded down with bulky bags overflowing with wine, fragile pastries, and meltable chocolate, am I right?

Take it from me — you want to limit the storage of that cheese as much as possible. If you've ever exited your hotel elevator to wonder what that stench is, only to find it's wafting from your room, and specifically your refrigerator where you've stashed a particularly pungent cheese, you'll get it.


3 Rules of Travel Souvenirs (or How to Avoid Bringing Home Junk) — Summer Vacations for Food-Lovers

One of my very favorite parts of travel is bringing that experience back with me and enjoying it in my home. Sometimes we need a dose of a different destination (i.e., to imagine life outside of crying toddlers or sticky kitchens), when getting on a plane isn't in the cards. That's why every time I travel I set aside part of my trip budget for a special find that triggers memories whenever I need to be transported (even for a second).

It might be an occasional thing, like when I wear my sandals made by a cobbler I stumbled onto on the island of Capri. But what I really love is when the places I've been in the world make their way into my daily routine. Every morning, for example, I make myself a cup (or two) of cafe con crema with the Moka Pot I bought in Rome. With every sip, I swear I'm transported back there for a hot minute. Or there's the perfume I discovered in Tulum; it's become my signature scent because it makes me feel like I'm walking on a beach (even when I'm changing diapers).


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