Partners & ads

How this site makes money—and what it means for you, the reader

Let us make one thing clear: I am first and foremost a journalist. My primary goal is, and always shall be, to provide the best travel information and advice possible.

However, journalists have bills to pay, too.

How this site makes money

Yes, this site makes money. Not a ton, but still...

There are excellent websites out there that are run by hobbyists and do not make any money, but I do this for a living, and I have been a full-time travel writer for more than 20 years. I am a professional—and that means at this site you will get professional-grade advice, reviews, and trip-planning information.

Although is a travel information site, not a travel agency, I understand that most people combing the Web for this kind of detailed travel information to help them plan a trip to the U.K. are at some point probably going to want to actually, you know, take the trip.

They want to book airfares, search for tours, maybe buy a couple of good guidebooks. And, of course, everybody has to pack at some point, so luggage and travel gear like quick-dry pants and electrical plug converters are a given.

That's why I have carefully selected several partner sites where you can get the bulk of your travel shopping done at once.

Again, I put journalistic integrity first. I recommend these services only because they are genuinely superior—they represent the best consolidators, aggregators, discounters, and specialists in the business—not because I get paid to do so.

Yes, I do get a small commission if you end up buying your tour or backpack or hotel after clicking over to a partner from my site (that, along with the Google ads, is how this site earns its keep).


  • This doesn't cost you one penny extra, since any commission comes out of their profits, not the amount they charge you, and...
  • I have only partnered with sites that best serve the traveler in the first place—companies that, in fact, I actually use myself.

How I pick my partners

You'll notice I have one major partner for gear, REIREI—but that's mainly because about 90% of what I pack for my own trips comes from there. (Moving to within a mile of an REI store was a glorious day for me—and a terrible one for my bank account.)

Ditto for, a hotel booking site that not only actually beats the rack rates at most hotels, but also represents far more of the kind of smaller, inexpensive, mom-and-pop hotels that I prefer than any of the other major booking engines.

And, yes, I put my money where my mouth is. I have used to find and reserve lodging, for both personal and professional travel, in destinations from Utah to Florida, Bath to Bangkok to Bologna.

I nearly always end up booking my rental cars in Europe through—not because they are a partner, but because I am a tightwad, and they almost invariably offer the lowest rates.

Same goes for the bigger-ticket items, like full tours. Years before I ever became partners with either company, I sailed the Arctic on a G AdventuresG Adventures boat, and when my parents (experienced world travelers who ordinarily would never dream of taking an escorted tour) found themselves suddenly in possession of two tickets to Japan and no time to plan (I know; wish that kind of thing happened to me), I sent them to Intrepid TravelPartner. They came back raving about the experience and started shopping for another tour to take. It's been more than a decade, and they still keep in touch with their Intrepid TravelPartner guide via email.

I work for you, not my partners

I am a bit of an old-school journalist, and still feel like my first and most important duty is to my readers. I work for you, the traveler.

To make things crystal clear, whenever this site features an outside link in a sidebar, I will put a little "P" button (or, in the case of in-text or compendium review of multiple companies, outfitters, or tour operators, a button with the word "Partners") denoting those with which this site is partnered and from which I will earn an affiliate commission should you choose to click over and buy something from them. I'm guessing you probably clicked on one of those "Partner" buttons to get to this page in the first place.

Yes, it clutters up the design, but I am trying to be as open, honest, and transparent as possible here.

You will, however, notice that I also recommend many, many other sites with whom I do not have a partnership—often ones that are direct competitors to my partners. Sometimes, I even recommend rival sites above my own partners.

Other web publishers have called me foolish for this, but to me, offering solid, trustworthy travel advice some first. Monetizing it comes last.

Thank you for your support.