Jessica Spiegel

Jessica Spiegel

I'm a writer & a tourist.

I'm a freelance writer, copywriter, & editor who specializes in travel (especially Italy), makes logistical details easy to understand & fun to read, & produces clean work in a timely manner.

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Stupid Travel Arguments (And Why We Should Stop Having Them ...

These travel arguments often divide people who have more in common then they might like to admit, and always do more harm than good. If we all agreed with travel writer Rolf Potts when he says, “the value of travel doesn’t come in comparison to other people, but in terms of how it enhances your own life in any number of ways,” then these arguments wouldn’t last. But there’s just no getting away from them, it seems.


Travel Math: 7 Equations for the Indie Traveler | BootsnAll

Travel experiences don’t always fall into neat categories; we’re all different and we experience the world through our own unique lens. Still, there are travel truisms that are abundantly clear – and yet poeple spend inordinate amounts of time arguing over semantics.

Since mathematics is all about avoiding the gray areas, we thought we’d put some of those travel truisms into equation form to demonstrate how easy it is to stop having stupid travel arguments and focus instead on what really matters – the traveling.


5 Reasons to Visit British Columbia that Have Nothing to Do With the ...

Instead of thinking of all the Olympics-related events in and around Vancouver come next February/March, I’m focused on all the exceptionally cool things about BC that people who pay attention only to the games will miss.


Don't Wear Black to Cafe du Monde (& Other New Orleans Travel Tips)

Long before I’d ever set foot in New Orleans I’d heard the phrase “don’t wear black to Cafe du Monde” enough times to take notice. Once upon a time, that bit of advice had to be explained – the beignets are covered in piles of powdered sugar, you see, and it’s nigh unto impossible to eat them gracefully without looking like your cocaine recovery program isn’t going so well – but these days a few photographs of the fare on offer at Cafe du Monde is enough to underline the wisdom of the advice with no further explanation.
New Orleans itself, on the other hand, often requires quite a bit of explanation.

I dearly love New Orleans, for reasons I can’t fully articulate, and in an effort to make sure that you have a chance of falling in love with it like I have I offer you these tips – a few NOLA DOs and DON’Ts.


How Not To Get Ripped Off When Using an ATM | BootsnAll

For most travelers, the days of carrying travelers checks as a primary source of funding on vacation are long gone. Some may still use them as emergency backup, but most people these days have grown accustomed to the convenience of simply finding a bank machine in whatever city they find themselves in and pulling the local currency out from their account back home. Despite the rise in credit card and bank fees for these transactions, there’s still no beating using local ATMs when it comes to simple convenience.

The trouble is that thieves aren’t always as stupid as the ones on COPS, and some of them have cleverly designed what are referred to as “ATM skimmers” to swipe your card and bank information as you swipe your card. These skimmers are utilized by thieves all over the world, so it’s good idea to pay extra attention to that bank machine before you put your card in the slot.


Four Things You Think You Know About South Africa | BootsnAll

South Africa carries with it some pretty hefty baggage in this regard – it’s far away from so much of the rest of the world that what we “know” about South Africa comes to us largely through brief news snippets, sweeping movie landscapes, or apartheid documentaries on the History Channel.

You know there’s more to South Africa than that. You just don’t know what.


TSA Rules: Outsmart Security with Non-Liquid Alternatives to ...

Before the TSA ban on liquids on planes, I never thought much about the tiny bottles of lotion or old tubes of lip gloss buried in the bottom of my purse. I didn’t think twice about taking my full-sized toiletries in my carry-on bag. I happily bought perfume at the Duty Free shop during international layovers. Then, after the TSA ban took effect, I just started packing all my liquids into my checked bag. But these days, when nearly every airline is charging for even one checked bag, more and more travelers are trying to travel with only carry-on luggage – so how can you achieve carry-on-only utopia while still bringing the necessary toiletries to keep yourself well-groomed on your trip? After all, there’s only so much you can squeeze into one of those quart-sized plastic bags…

The answer is simple – use these non-liquid alternatives to your liquid toiletries.


The Mexican Coast You Didn't Expect: Four Reasons to Visit Mazatlan

Mazatlan may not rank as highly anymore with tourists headed to Mexico as cities like Cancun or Cabo San Lucas, but it’s a great option for a winter getaway that won’t break the bank or make you succumb to the all-inclusive resort world that could leave you feeling empty inside.


Groundhog Day: Weather Predicting Traditions Around the World | BootsnAll

The weather-predicting powers of the groundhog never sounded completely ridiculous to me until I was explaining the American tradition of Groundhog Day to an English friend during my semester abroad in Nottingham.

“You mean to tell me a furry creature pops out of a hole in the ground and you let its shadow tell you what the weather will be like?”

Yes, in fact, that’s exactly what we do.


8 Ways to Avoid the Single Supplement as a Solo Traveler | BootsnAll

Single supplements are the bane of the solo traveler’s existence – but they can be avoided. Here are some ways you can travel solo without paying what amounts to a penalty fee for doing so.


5 Creative Uses for a Bidet | BootsnAll

One of the great adventures for anyone who’s a first-time traveler outside
the United States comes not in the form of a new cuisine or a new language, but
rather in the form of a new piece of plumbing. I’m talking, of course, about the
bidet. Sure, countless people the world over consider it a normal part of any
well-appointed bathroom, but many Americans walk into their first foreign hotel
room’s john and think, "That’s funny, why is there a second toilet in here? And
why doesn’t it have a lid?"


9 of the Strangest Bone Churches of Europe

You don't have to be a horror movie fan to find Europe's many bone churches fascinating, like BootsnAll writer Jessica Spiegel does....


Best BootsnAll Travel Photos: July 2011

If travel is a great teacher, then...


World’s Most Expensive Beverages

If your pockets are deep and you want serious bragging rights at your next cocktail party, then belly up to the bar with BootsnAll writer Jessica Spiegel for a look at the world's most expensive beverages....


BootsnAll’s Favorite iPhone Apps for Travel

Jessica Spiegel has gathered all the iPhone travel apps lists that have been published on BootsnAll into one list - it's a collection of some fantastic, funny, and downright useful apps for some of the world's most popular travel destinations....