Welcome to DIY Abroad

Ever want to plan a trip on a budget but don’t know where to start?  Ever try to use a travel agent or coordinator without really knowing what you’re actually paying for? Ever wonder why some destination norms are so different from what you are used to, but were unaware prior to your trip? The…

Pack Rats Beware

When most people travel they want to bring everything but the kitchen sink.  For a domestic road trip, that may work if your car is big enough.  However, when traveling overseas, packing too much stuff is inconvenient and cumbersome.  In the US, everything is big; cars, houses, hotel rooms, bathrooms/WCs.  Everywhere else, not so much….

Malta, Maltese Islands

Malta is the largest of the 3 archipelago Maltese islands in the Mediterranean between Sicily and the North African coast.  Malta has a rich history that dates back over 6000 years.  There are two main languages spoken. English and Maltese.  Mostly everyone speaks English, so it’s easy to get around.  The main cities are quite…

A Traveler for All Seasons

It’s always challenging planning a vacation.  But once you put together a draft itinerary of where to go and what to see, it gets easier from here on out.  Most people live in a world of work, school and other obstacles that prevent us from picking up and going anywhere at any time.   If you…

Ischia, Italy

Ischia is a volcanic island in the Tyrrhenian Sea about 20 miles off the coast of Naples, Italy.  Ischia is home to the many mineral rich thermal waters, roman ruins on the sea floor, pescatarian delights and the Aragonese Castle.  This island was founded by the Greeks around 700 BC, and was used as a…

Location, Location, Location

When trying to figure out where to go, keep in mind that the destination should try to encompass all the interests of the traveling parties.  For instance, for one of our trips, my husband, Paul, was interested in visiting some World War I battle sites.  I wanted to tour the wine country, castles and relax at…

Peñíscola, Spain

Referring to my Location post, we found the exquisite town of Peñíscola completely in error.  While planning our Spain trip, I was looking at a map of Spain to find a seaside town to rest in for a few days.  When I saw Peñíscola, I couldn’t resist.  I looked it up and even watched a…

Ieper (Ypres), Belgium

Ypres was pretty much destroyed during World War 1.  The history, before, during and after the war is truly fascinating and definitely worth researching before you go. Outside of the town we found the Hooge Crater Museum.  The museum was interactive and explained what happened in Ypres and the surrounding areas during World War 1. …

Madrid, Spain

Madrid has such an amazing energy.  The food, the Cava, the people; the city is always bustling.   What’s interesting about Madrid is that although it is bustling, it is very laid back.  Being inland, it almost has a coastal feel based on the vibe and flavor of your surroundings.  The best part of Madrid is…

Ghent, Belgium

Driving to Ghent can be quite tricky once off the highway.  After a few twists and turns down some archaic streets, we found Gravensteen Castle.  We parked, fed the meter (since we didn’t discover the Belgian Parking card yet) and walked up the road to the castle. It was quite early so we didn’t have…

Verdun, France

There’s nothing like driving through and touring the Champagne region on your way to visit Verdun, a major battle site from World War 1. In 1916, the battle of Verdun lasted 9 months and claimed over 300,000 lives, with another 300,000 wounded.  There are many worthy battlefields and museums to visit in Verdun, as well…

Brussels, Belgium

We arrived in Brussels right after their annual pride festival.  It was an amazing sight with all the buildings glowing in rainbow color at night.  We stayed in the Grand Place area, which is a safe and convenient alternative to other areas.  Brussels is a walking city, so avoid driving there if possible.  The metro…