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Rediscovering Travel: A Guide for the Globally Curious

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  187 ratings  ·  40 reviews
Having captivated millions during his five-year tenure as the New York Times’s “Frugal Traveler,” Seth Kugel has become one of our most internationally beloved travel writers. While his famously unassuming journeys around the globe have forged a signature philosophy of whimsy and practicality, they have also revealed the seemingly infinite booby traps of vacationing on the grid. ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published November 13th 2018 by Liveright
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Literary Soirée
Oct 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“Rediscovering Travel” is an amazing companion for those who want to see the world by Seth Kugel, beloved in his six-year fifty-country tenure as the New York Times’s “Frugal Traveler.”

Geared to newbie and veteran globetrotter alike, “Rediscovering Travel” shares Kugel’s own tales of perfectly imperfect adventures, while helping readers seek their own. He is especially adept at helping travelers make the most of new digital technologies without being hamstrung by them. With vivacity
Oct 07, 2018 rated it liked it
I received this book from Goodreads.

Let me just save everyone some time.

Rediscovering Travel: A Guide for the Globally Curious is almost all lecture and no fun- at least in the beginning.
If you want to read Seth Kugel drone on and on about how his way of travel is better than anyone else's, read the book cover to cover.
But if you're just in it for the useful tips, skip to the last few chapters.
Mar 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
An interesting perspective on travel. Kugel makes some points that really resonate and others where I am in disagreement. He tries to be understanding of other's perspectives most of the time, but occasionally there are moments when his bias shows through. This happened most particularly when he dismisses the idea that people can have valuable travel experiences that do not involve meeting new people, which basically dismisses the idea that other people can get pleasure out of things he does not ...more
Bryan Summers
Sep 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Right in my wheelhouse. Kugel wrote the frugal traveler column for the New York Times. This is about how to have spontaneous adventures while traveling. I loved it.

One of the best times of my life was backpacking around Eastern Turkey and Northern Iraq. I didn't have a hard schedule. I mostly wandered around meeting a lot of people. At one point I was dropped off in Erbil, Iraq, seven miles from my destination. I could see the citidal high above the city and just kept walking towards
This probably falls somewhere between a 3 and a 4 for me. I agree with a lot of what the author has to say about seeking out the things that are of particular interest to you rather than ticking off a list of "must sees" in an area that maybe wouldn't make your list otherwise. As a woman, I wouldn't however feel comfortable taking a lot of the chances Kugel takes while traveling. At any rate, I found this to definitely be worth a listen and inspiring for future travels.
Jan 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
I agree with much of what Kugel has to say about the travel industry and with his travel philosophy. I do fall in the camp of female readers though who would not feel comfortable doing many of the things Kugel does (I don’t know many moms who are going to show up in a random location with no plans and then accept overnight accommodations at the homes of strangers they meet on the street). Not a criticism of him, just an acknowledgment that his way may not be right for everyone.
His points on tou
Jan 28, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, audio, travel
I loved Kugel's weekly Frugal Traveler columns in the Sunday NYT. This books reflects his pleasure in travel and offers interesting anecdotes, strong opinions, and practical advice--and everything reflects his sense of humor. If found Appendix 2 with the information on risks of travel and the appropriate preparations for any travel to be particularly useful. This is perhaps better read than heard.
Oct 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
I won a Goodreads giveaway copy of this book - Go me! I tend to just rate and not write reviews, so I'll do my best.
I wanted this book because we've been trying to travel more with our kids before they graduate. I'm a planner, and as a family we lean more towards independent and quirky travel rather than group tours and standard American hotel brands. This book not only scratched the travel bug itch, but gave a lot of good advice and covered some thought provoking topics. I got some really saav
Shawn Fettig
Feb 12, 2019 rated it liked it
For people who don't travel, this reads as a "Do; Don't Do," but for those who do travel, all of the author's suggestions seem to be common knowledge. A few nuggets of useful advice, but nothing too insightful.
Apr 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: world, philosophy
This is one of the rare books that discuss travel philosophy and does a decent job with it.

Plainly said, this is a coherent and well-written rant from Seth Kugel. He discusses the positive and negative transformations in travel over the past few decades. This, in turn, puts the meaning of travel into question: what is a traveler nowadays? Why do we travel? How has the mentality towards travel changed?

Kugel tackles these questions from various angles, drawing from his personal experience and fa
Kathryn Davidson
Aug 10, 2019 rated it liked it
The author feels that there are are several forms of travel: 1) for relaxation, 2) for status and 3) for exploration. He advocates that one travel to explore, and that instead of exploring the famous landmarks, that one try for more "authentic" or "organic" experiences by wandering off the beaten path, where the people will be friendlier than they are where there are tourists, and so one might get to peek into what people really live like there rather than the tourist version. The stories he sha ...more
Mar 23, 2019 rated it it was ok
The first four chapters is all about don't be afraid to explore, be spontaneous, interact with locals, don't schedule too much, be open, be curious, don't relay on technology, shed herd mentality, don't let user reviews guide/ misguide you, don't follow a guidebook, avoid cliché, and there is no must-see in travel it is all about your taste. Obviously, some of these ideas won't work for everyone (those traveling with kids or solo female travelers) and everywhere (relatively unsafe countries). ...more
Chris Jaffe
Jan 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Kugle is a travel writer (he does The Frugal Traveler for the New York Times) who gives his perspective on travel here. There is a mixture of two items in this book: 1) an overall critique of how people travel, and 2) Kugel's own travel preferences. Those aren't exactly the same things as Kugel at times points out that what works for him won't necessarily work for everyone. He's generally successful at being aware of when he's talking about Item 1 or Item 2, but the line between the two areas is ...more
Mary Keen
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I heard an interview on NPR with the author talking about his unscheduled stop in a small town in very rural Hungary. I've been in various parts of Hungary, so was interested.
The first chapter re his stay in Mezobereny was great; he'd known nothing about the town and area and had no Hungarian language. Altho' there were some challenging moments, he seemed to recommend this type of random travel.

I read Ch 1 a couple of times, but only dipped into sections in the rest of the book
Apr 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
"For me, and perhaps for others, the constant itch to go somewhere comes in part from the frustration that our worldview is largely shaped by the thin sliver of Earth we inhabit for most of the year—geographically, professionally and socioeconomically—and the knowledge that so many other slivers exist that we could never see. In this sense, travel is an imperfect substitute for what many of us dream of doing: to live somewhere radically different, to inhabit an entirely separate patch of this pl ...more
Jan 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
As a lover of travel, I can't say that I learned much new from Kugel's book. However, I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is a seasoned traveler - much like Kugel and his sense of adventure - or anyone who wants to expand their experiences. The author was the "Frugal Traveler" and has authored several travel books. In "Rediscovering Travel" - he shares his own stories, his ventures off the beaten path - and ways to lose the 5-star resort type of vacation. He unearths and explains the t ...more
Steven Krikava
Pretty good, but not great

I am a fan of the author, Seth Kugel. I enjoy watching his video program ‘Su Amigo Gringo’ on YouTube. And I liked his columns when he was the travel editor for the New York Times. So I wanted to like this book. Parts of it are funny and clever and helpful. Other parts are long, repetitive and pedantic. For me, I liked his advice on how to use social media more effectively. I also liked his advice on street food and dining while traveling. Really, though, that could ha
May 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of the beat books on travel. Seth has a series of essays on various aspects of travel in todays day and age. While he does have a certain bias but he does give sufficient points to ponder on. It is a book which you can spend a lot of time reflecting on . I liked the comparison on travel through the ages and how the modern tourism industry has shaped up.

Would recommend for everyone to read in the next travels
Thomas Ryan
Nov 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An excellent well balanced look at modern travel — why we do it, how we do it, should we do it, and given the yin and yang of technology and globalization, the way to perhaps do it better. Seth Kugel comes off as both a wee bit jaded and very pragmatic in his approach to travel. Highly recommended, especially the first part on his philosophy of travel and the later chapter on technology and travel.
Darius Ostrowski
Feb 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
Not bad, but it kinda made you feel guilty and that you were wasting your time if you didn't get "real" per Mr. Kugel's recommendations. It seems that he wasn't sure if he was trying to tell travel stories or tell you how to travel (cheap, local, spur of the moment), so he did a little bit of both.
May 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Excellent book on travel- cuts to the chase on travel bargains that are not bargains, looks for authentic experiences although I am not quite that ready to stay as cheaply as he does but I am in agreement that $300-700 a night hotels are not in my league ever! I liked his advice on practical practices of guides, tours, tickets etc!!
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Seth Kugal's book has inspired me to get off the beaten path a little more. My husband and I used to stay in cute B&B's but save been staying in chain hotels more and more (gotta get and use those points). For our upcoming trip to France I booked a B&B, and a cheap one at that. Get into the culture more, Seth says. The B&B a my first step in doing just that.
Oct 02, 2019 rated it liked it
This book had some very amusing anecdotes, and I enjoyed his commentary about the joys of public transportation and street food, but I didn't find anything new or noteworthy here. Since I've always been a budget traveler, I found the author's advice obvious - but maybe that's just a compliment to his good sense.
Apr 19, 2019 rated it liked it
I went into the book thinking it would be a lot more stories about intriguing places to visit that maybe I haven’t been before… Instead it was a guide to traveling more mindfully. Lots of thought went into the book; it’s well written. Based on my travel experience and style, there wasn’t a ton too learn.
Oct 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: travel
The author gets a bit preachy at times but as a traveler, I found this book interesting, thought provoking, and I loved reading his stories - as a former Frugal Traveler, he has a lot of interesting ones.
Apr 21, 2019 rated it it was ok
Maybe because I've been traveling for a while now, but this book didn't really introduce any new concepts or ideas for me. I was hoping to have this book inspire me to travel even more, and it was just kind of blah. Two stars.
Matt Wills
Jan 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ryan Moore
Oct 27, 2019 rated it it was ok
His stories were good. Otherwise, there were plenty of rants about things you shouldn’t do as you travel. The general feeling of being beat about the head if you don’t agree with his travel ideas.
Apr 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Great reminders of what we should be looking for in our travel experiences. Although I’m never staying in a random stranger’s home!
Dec 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
I am not a traveler but would be if it were possible well Ottis book gives many ideas and suggestions. It is as fun to read about the author travels and experiences.
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