Today, we continue our series where we sit down to interview fellow Travel Bloggers and (hopefully) get them to give up some of their best travel tips for you, dear reader. Next up, we get to bend the ears of Michael Schuermann, who runs The Easy Hiker
Mike taking a hike in Sedona
1) What is it about traveling that makes you smile?
(More a wry smile.) When I see people do something they quite clearly do not enjoy, like pulling their bored and tired kids through an art gallery, out of a sense of “holiday duty”
2) What is your favorite place in the world?
New York as a city, Northern Arizona in terms of the landscape, but if you ask for my favorite travel destination, I generally prefer places where I have not yet been.
3) What place would have to pay you to come back and even then you’d have to think about it?
The Philippines – not because I did not love the country (I spent more than two years of my life there) but because they have blacklisted me and would probably throw me in the slammer if I ever tried to get back in. (It’s a long story.)
The neon lights of Broadway in NYC
4) What is the best piece of advice that you’ve been given about traveling?
It is not worth travelling half way around the world to count the cats in Zanzibar.
5) How has traveling changed you as a person?
I don’t think it has, neither do I think travelling should be approached that way. Let’s not expect too much from a two-week holiday, shall we? Foreign countries will only ever change you when you cease to see everything through the eyes of a visitor.
6) Have you ever volunteered during your travels? If so, what did you do? If not, will you ever?
No and probably not.
7) What is the best piece of advice that you can give our readers?
Come home in one piece. It’s the first rule of travelling – and the only advice I ever give to our son when he sets out on his own.
Enjoying the view in Sedona, Arizona
8 ) Since this is a budget travel blog, what is your best budget tip, bar none?
Whenever feasible, avoid hotels and rent a short-term holiday flat instead. That way, you can save a lot on your meals, particularly breakfasts. Hotel breakfasts are rarely good value. Better to save your money for one nice dinner than to spend it on three or four overpriced breakfasts.
9) Where do you plan to travel this year?
Hiking in the Black Forest, possibly in the Pyrenees. New England in the fall.
10) What are the three things that you could never do without during your travels?
A companion with whom I can share and exchange observations, a camera (ever since I started blogging), and my Gitanes (can’t get them in some places, least of all in the US).