Adventure Adviser


I’m not a cruiser or a yachtie, but I love getting a good look at the land from the water when I travel. Can you recommend some memorable–and affordable–public ferry rides in North America?

My friends and I are always careful to be bear-safe when we camp in bear country. We store our food in bear barrels, and we don’t leave our dirty dishes and open food containers sitting around. But we’ve been known to linger around the fire for a beer or three. Should we be worried about attracting hungry animals with our brews?

The sinkhole that swallowed a Florida man while he slept in March has me imagining the ground opening up beneath me while I hike or camp. Am I watching too much cable news, or are sinkholes a real danger?

I don't eat out a lot, but when I do, I like to order local. What are your recommendations for farm-to-table dining?

I want to hike part of the Appalachian Trail with my 16-year-old son this summer. We plan to go for a week. What are the best stretches for a trip like this?

When I travel, I like to bring my shoes with me and sneak in a run during my free time. What U.S. cities have the best, most convenient trails for visitors?

I saw the video of that awful hot-air balloon crash in Egypt. I’m going on a trip to Switzerland soon and am thinking of taking a hot-air balloon ride while I’m there. How safe are they?

I often buy flight and baggage insurance when I get plane tickets. Am I doing the right thing?

I’m going backpacking through South America in a few months. I expect to get kind of grubby, and won't have regular access to showers. What’s the best way to stay clean and not stink without taking a bath every couple of days?

I want to take a trip to somewhere in Central America where I can see the rainforest and spend some time on the beach. Should I go with Costa Rica or Honduras?

How do I get cheap airline upgrades from economy class?

I'm going to be visiting some old college friends in the great state of Colorado in the coming weeks and am looking for something I know everyone will enjoy doing. Help?

Now that the weather’s starting to warm up, I’m planning to start training for a marathon this year. My goal is to qualify for Boston. Which races would give me the best chance for doing it?

My college roommates and I are planning a last-minute spring break ski trip, but we don’t know where to go yet. Which resort has the après ski scene for the college or post-college crowd? It has to be somewhere in North America, preferably out West.

Maybe you can answer this age-old question for me: How do you wash your clothes when you’re traveling?

I travel to China twice a year for work, but never escape the sprawling cities. I’d like to extend my stay next time, and go hiking, or snorkeling, or mountain climbing—something outdoorsy. Where should I go?

I want to climb one of the Seven Summits and have narrowed the list to Aconcagua or Kilimanjaro. I’m in excellent shape and an experienced hiker, but not a mountaineer. Which one would you recommend?

Whenever I buy plane tickets, I also try to buy carbon offsets. I see it as my way of canceling out my environmental impact. Am I making a difference? Are they worth the money?

I’m in my early 20s, and am a lifelong skier here in the East. How do I become a ski patroller?

Yes I know plane travel is extremely safe, but still, I’m not a fan of flying. Lately I’ve been reading about the Dreamliner 787 and its problems. The whole situation makes me nervous. When it’s back up and running, will you be willing to fly on the Dreamliner without fear?

I'm a pretty sustainably minded person and for my next vacation, I want to go to a low-impact resort that's not too insanely far from home. What are the best eco-lodges in North America?

I’ve always wanted to watch the Northern Lights over the night sky. Where’s the best place to go see them?

I want some sun, sand, and drinks with umbrellas in them this winter. What are the most overrated and underrated Caribbean destinations?

I always struggle with how much to tip people in other countries. I’m headed on a big trekking trip to Nepal in a couple of months. What is your tipping advice for overseas travelers?

I go to Puerto Rico occasionally, can’t help but notice the huge stray dog problem. Many of the dogs are so friendly and pretty darn cute. How can I adopt one from there and bring it home?

I’m headed to the Swiss Alps for a ski vacation in a month. There’s one question that’s been nagging at me. What do I do if I lose my passport overseas?

What are the best strategies for finding decent airfare?

I just read about how two climbers died on Aconcagua from altitude sickness. I have plans to go to Everest Base Camp this year. Altitude sickness isn’t a concern there, is it?

It seems like every week I read about some scary shark sighting or attack. I love swimming in the ocean and take a tropical beach vacation every couple of years. How much should I worry about a shark attack?

This may sound silly, but I plan trips to mountain towns around the brews that flow from their taps. What would you say are the East’s best craft and microbrews that come from mountain towns?

Settle a bet between me and a buddy. He said there are a couple of pretty good places to ski in the South. I say there’s no such thing as good skiing in the South. Who’s right?

As an environmentally conscious person, should I feel guilty about flying on commercial planes? How can I minimize my impact?

I’m headed to Colorado this winter for a backcountry ski trip. I heard marijuana was recently legalized there, but I’m not sure of the details or when it goes into effect. So my question is, when I go to Colorado, can I buy pot?

I’ve been to Key West and it’s great, but I’m looking for an undiscovered island alternative in Florida. What are my options?

What travel books should I put on my holiday gift shopping list?

Greg Melville shares his tips for saving money on the slopes

I’m about to take a three-month trip through Asia to “find myself.” My parents want me to get medical insurance, but I don't think it's worth the money. What’s your take on medical insurance for travelers?

Where are your favorite places to cross-country ski in the Northeast?

My husband and I are going to Florida this winter for a two-week trip. We want to take Tico, our Golden Retriever, with us. What’s the best way to fly with a dog?

I’m a backpacker and gearhead who's moving to Charlottesville, Virginia. What are the best outfitters for me in the Southeast?

Start planning where to warm up this winter. We’ve made it easy with these 15 adventure-packed, off-radar island hideaways.

Autumn is my favorite time of the year to hit the beach. The weather is fantastic, crowds nonexistent, and—most importantly—the low-season prices are cheap. These seaside escapes combine great fall conditions with easy access to adventure, whether you like to fish, hike, bike, or paddle.  St. George Island State…

What’s your thought on the new law allowing you to carry firearms in national parks? I bring a handgun when I backpack in Yellowstone, but my girlfriend thinks it’s pointless.

I’m headed to Vegas for a long weekend with some buddies, but we don’t want to spend all of our time at the casinos and we don’t play golf. Where can we go for outdoor adventure?

I live in Dallas, which is a hub for American Airlines. American often has the cheapest flights, but I'm a little nervous to book reservations with them, given all the bad press they've gotten lately. Should I be?

I’ve always wanted to go to Cuba, and I’ve heard the government has eased travel restrictions. How do I do it legally?

I’m a mountain biker, hiker, and trail runner. Every time I travel, it seems like I’ve got to pack two huge suitcases to fit all of my gear. My shoes alone take up a crazy amount of space. Any advice on how I can travel lighter?

I live in the Midwest and want to get to another part of America for some epic road biking. I’ve ridden in the Colorado Rockies a bit. Where else would you recommend?

Which major city has the best camping?

As an avid hiker, I often stay in huts. I’m kind of freaked out about the recent outbreak of the hantavirus at Yosemite. How much should I really worry, and what can I do to avoid it?

I’m planning a getaway weekend to Asheville, North Carolina, sometime in the next couple of months. What should I do while I’m there?

I’m staying at a cabin outside of Lake Placid, New York, for a short vacation. What should I do in the Adirondacks while I’m there?

I’m saving up for my dream trip to Machu Picchu. What tips would you give to a first-time visitor?

I started taking fly-fishing lessons earlier this year, and I’m already starting to get the bug—so to speak—for the sport. What are your favorite fly-fishing rivers in the Northeast?

I’m planning a cross-country road trip this fall. Any suggestions for good driving music?

I’ve always dreamed of climbing Mont Blanc, but I'm rethinking it after the recent incidents there. I’m not a mountaineer, but I’m an avid hiker who’s in great shape. How doable is it for me, and what’s the best route?

I want to get in shape for the fall marathon season. What are the best adult running camps in the U.S.?

I’d like to head up north for some outdoor fun. What are the best Canadian mountain towns for active, adventurous travelers?

I'm headed to San Francisco to visit my buddies, and I want to do some mountain biking while I'm there. What are the must-ride trails in the Bay Area?

Where in Colorado can I learn to stand-up paddleboard in whitewater?

I’m going backpacking through Europe and Southeast Asia later this summer, and I have a question for you. When you hit a big city, do you fly by the seat of your pants or do you make a plan for what you’re going to see and do?

I travel a lot for work, mostly to major American cities, and don’t get as much opportunity to get outdoors as I’d like. What are some of the best urban parks for outdoor exercise?

I plan to go backpacking on a beach this summer in the Pacific Northwest. Do you have any recommendations?

I’d like to take an outdoorsy and earth-friendly vacation in Europe. What are the top eco-lodges there?

I’ll be in Boston this summer and I’m a decent runner. What are some fun and competitive road races I should consider entering?

I live in Minneapolis and have begun to take up rock climbing. Where do you think are the best places to go bouldering in the Midwest?

I’ve got three days to jet away to Jamaica with my wife. What should I do while I’m there?

I want to go zip-lining—but in the wilderness, not in some amusement park. What are my best options in the U.S.?

I’ve always wanted to go trekking in Scotland. What are the best paths that combine great natural scenery with history?

I want to escape to a cabin in the woods. I'm looking for someplace that's really isolated, but close to lots of recreation and a small town where I can grab a decent bite to eat. What do you recommend?

I just graduated from college and I'd like to do some traveling this summer. What are the world’s best towns for backpackers who like outdoor adventure—and partying?

It would be even more pretentious of me than normal to try to name the absolute best adventure travel poems ever written—but I’m willing to try. These five classics should be placed near the top of any armchair voyager's list. As for how to interpret them, you'll have to decide…

I’m about to take a month-long road trip with a couple of buddies. We’d like to turn it into a junk food tour of America. Where can we find the best hamburgers?

I want to take my girlfriend for an outdoorsy, romantic weekend in a state or national park in the Northwest. What are your suggestions?

What are the best stretches of road for taking a spring bike ride in the Midwest?

My buddies and I want to take a car-camping spring road trip through the Southwest, beginning and ending in Las Vegas. What do you recommend?

I'm training for my first marathon, and I'd like to run it in a fun place. What are the best marathons in cool destinations?

I’ve some vacation time coming, and I’d like to escape to a Mediterranean island for some adventure. Where should I go?