15 Spectacular Cruises for Travelers Who Hate Cruise Ships

Not a fan of cruise ships? Sail down the Amazon River, travel Norway's Fjords, or island-hop in the Caribbean without the crowds and buffets of a major cruise liner.

If you’ve ever drawn gasps from a horrified crowd with “I don’t like cruises,” then this article is for you. The massive modern cruise ship industry isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Even before COVID-19, the idea of setting sail with Norovirus nightmare stories, questionable ethics, social directors, and daunting environmental impacts turned off sustainable and slow travelers, rights activists, and introverts. Despite the drawbacks of big cruises, there is a certain magic in pulling up to port at a new destination. Those who steer clear of the big ships don’t have to miss out. These top cruising alternatives offer do-it-yourself options for classic routes, new destinations, authenticity, a reduced carbon footprint, and don’t shake down the local economies. Time to set sail!

10 Better-Than-Europe Experiences You Can Have in the U.S.

And if they're not better, they're pretty close to being just as good.

Let’s start by addressing the obvious elephant in the room: yes, it’s impossible to substitute a European vacation with anything other than, well, a European vacation. But hear me out, it is possible to come pretty darn close. There are at least 10 European-inspired activities you can participate in throughout the United States. Some pay homage to the original experience by going to great lengths to replicate it, while others sneakily manage to one-up their European counterpart. In some cases, Mother Nature has simply outdone herself in North America. In others, it’s the companies and destinations that have discovered how to outshine the overseas competition by homing in on the very best attributes of each experience while eliminating some of the frustrations. From encountering fewer crowds to increased access that gets you up-close-and-personal with some of these marvels, you’re bound to see the beauty (and convenience) of these U.S.-based alternatives to European vacations.

8 of the World’s Most Decadent Pizzas

That’s (more) a’more!

Some pizza makers approach their recipes with something akin to minimalism. A classic Neapolitan pizza, for example, is topped with tomatoes, mozzarella, and maybe a little fresh basil. Others have clearly gazed upon an empty plane of pizza dough and recognized it as a blank canvas. A medium through which the most unbridled of culinary desires may be unleashed. Here are some of the most decadent pizzas the world has to offer.

10 Things I Really Wish I Knew Before I Moved to Japan

Future ex-pats, you have been warned.

Japan has been a hot destination for ages and, even now, everyone’s still clamoring over each other to snag a temporary visa. Back in 2016, I was one of those thirsty hopefuls, disembarking at Narita Airport eager to write a chapter in my story that would go something like this: Clumsy Lost In Translation Westerner who doesn’t know Hello Kitty from Pikachu (hopeless, bless him), meets guys with futuristic haircuts who lure him into drag racing (cars, not queens) and is crowned in a glitter-filled ceremony as the Tokyo Drift King and nation’s sweetheart. As is probably evident, the information I’d garnered beforehand did nothing to set realistic expectations. All the travel guides I’d read and advice from pals who climbed Mount Fuji once contained zero mention of workplace culture or grocery stores. It was all hedgehog cafés, Shibuya Crossing, and geishas. So, my advice to new ex-pats is to stop scrolling through cherry blossom photos and watching YouTube videos on Tokyo. Here are 10 things that I think will actually benefit you before departure–but just because these were my experiences, doesn’t mean they happen to everyone, and certainly doesn’t mean they’ll actually happen to you. From one ex-pat’s perspective, here are some things I was surprised to learn:

Beat the Heat With These 11 Water Safety Tips

As temperatures rise, so do the number of people heading to beaches and pools to cool down. Here's how to stay safe next time you head to the water.

The dog days of summer are here, and a number of areas around the U.S. (and the world) are experiencing record high temperatures, which means people are heading to water in droves to beat out the heat. Whether it’s the pool, the ocean, a river, or a water park, it’s good to keep water safety tips in mind, especially if you’re traveling with children. According to the American Red Cross, drowning is the number one cause of death for children. Here are 11 tips on how to stay safe as you cool down this summer.