About this blog

The staff at Viator are passionate travelers. When we’re not busy talking about our last trip, we’re busy planning our next adventure.

In that spirit we’ve created the Viator Travel Blog. It’s a place where we can discuss travel, discuss what’s new on Viator.com, answer your questions, and generally post and discuss news, features, wishlists and more about the world we live in. At Viator we believe that travel has the power to make the world a better place. This is our place on the web to share our passion and inspire all of us to make that next trip.

Travel Blog Editor

Viator’s Travel Blog is managed by Katie Hammel. Born and bred in Detroit, Michigan, Katie lived in Seattle and Chicago before settling in San Francisco with her husband and two chubby cats. When she’s not searching for the best travel tips, stories, and inspiration for the blog, she’s planning her next trip to Napa Valley, Iceland, or Berlin – three places she considers among her favorites in the world. In addition to contributing to this blog, she has also written for BBC Travel, Travel + Leisure online, the San Francisco Chronicle, and AOL Travel.

Featured Travel Writers

Karen Attman has been living as an expat in South America for twenty years, traveling and eating her way through numerous countries. Some of the memorable moments of life in the tropics have involved scorpions, giant flying cockroaches and tarantulas, as well as watching flocks of parrots fly by at dawn and being awed by the bizarre lost-in-time look of the Tepui Mountains. Now living in Bogota, Colombia, she writes for magazines, newspapers and online publications in the United States, Europe and South America, and chronicles her Colombian food adventures at FlavorsofBogota.com.

A longtime Chicago resident, Katie Aune recently spent 13 months traveling and volunteering in the former Soviet Union – a journey that included running a marathon in Estonia, traveling the length of the Trans-Siberian Railway, teaching English in Russia and Tajikistan, volunteering with the national tourism board of Armenia, living with local families in Azerbaijan, and trying her best to speak Russian on a daily basis. You can read more about her adventures on KatieAune.com or follow her on Twitter or Facebook.

Jeff Bartlett is an adventure photographer and writer based in Jasper National Park. He loves active travel. His memorable trips include cycling across Argentina, ski touring in Norway, and hiking around New Zealand. To keep track of Jeff’s adventures, follow PhotoJBartlett on Instagram or subscribe to his blog, The Adventure Freelancer.

Christine Cantera is a freelance writer and has been based out of Italy and France since 2002. She has written for Men’s Journal, Fortnighter, Condé Nast, and has cooked her signature pasta dish on Italian morning television. Christine’s personal travel writing nom de plume is Miss Expatria. Breakfast and wine are her two favorite food groups.

Katie Coakley is an impulsive traveler who writes about the places she saw, the people she met and the beer she drank, not necessarily in that order. You’ll find her SUPing on the Gulf of Mexico or high in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado when she’s not glacier climbing in Iceland, SCUBA diving in Borneo or riding the rails in Vietnam. She chronicles her adventures online on Instagram, Twitter and at Katie on the Map.

Emily Chu is a bilingual editor and writer from Vancouver, BC. She has lived in Asia, North America and the UK and is currently based in Shanghai. Now in her seventh year in China, she has been the editor of both English and Chinese magazines and contributes to international travel and lifestyle publications and websites. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter, @emilymchu.

Erin deSantiago is a travel and food writer who currently splits her time between the Netherlands and Belize. She has also lived as an expat in Taiwan and has a love for all things food, wine and Disney. Erin travels the globe in search of the best culinary finds and manages to visit all the international Disney Theme Parks on an annual basis. She has been published in a variety of online publications and is the primary author of Belize’s official visitor magazine, Destination Belize, for 2013.

Gina Douglas Tarnacki is a freelance writer, online marketing professional and avid traveler. When she’s not busy finding a creative way to squeeze in a few more vacation days so she and her husband can explore the world together, she writes about balancing travel with a career and relationship on her blog, One Day in a City.

After growing up in Vermont, Mike Dunphy took up travel immediately upon college graduation.Joining the Peace Corps, he spent the following decade traveling and teaching in Eastern Europe and Turkey. In Istanbul, Mike began working for a Time Out magazine and decided to redirect his life into journalism. First, he earned a master’s in publishing and writing at Emerson College, then moved to New York to pursue the dream. Luckily, the job keeps him traveling and well-stocked with adventures to write. To read more of Mike’s work, visit www.michaeldunphy.com.

Kyle Ellison is a freelance travel blogger whose wanderings and adventures are cataloged on his blog kylethevagabond.com. He is consistently drawn back to Southeast Asia by the diving, the weather, and the heaping plates of pad thai. He may or may not be writing from beneath a coconut palm on Rabbit Island.

Jessie Festa, a New York native, is a world traveler who is always looking for a new adventure. She stays active through dance, hiking, and cycling and loves nothing more than her backpack. Follow her travels around the world at jessieonajourney.com and epicureandculture.com.

Born in Ethiopia, Lily Girma had her first passport at age six and hasn’t cured her wanderlust since. She is now a published freelance Travel writer, Photographer and Guidebook Author, just back from Belize after completing her first edition of MOON BELIZE travel guidebook (Moon Handbooks by Avalon Travel/Perseus Books, due out in Fall 2013). She splits her year between Washington DC and the Caribbean, and rarely separates from her camera. Read more about her adventures on her blog, Sunshine and Stilettos.

Carolyn B. Heller is a Vancouver, BC-based writer specializing in travel, food, and culture. She’s written two books, Moon Handbooks: Ontario and Living Abroad in Canada, and contributed to more than 50 travel and restaurant guides for publishers including Lonely Planet, Fodor’s, Moon, and Zagat/Google. She’s a regular correspondent for the Forbes Travel Guide, and her articles have appeared in LonelyPlanet.com, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, FamilyFun, Real Weddings, Hotel-Scoop, and Perceptive Travel, among others. Follow her adventures at www.cbheller.com or on Twitter @CarolynBHeller.

Sasha Heseltine has circled the globe, feeding orphaned wallabies on South Australia’s Kangaroo Island, getting lost off-roading in the Sierra Nevada, diving with manta rays in the Maldives, and hot-air ballooning in eastern Poland. Back home in the UK, she runs a local website, reviews hotels and restaurants for local media, and writes about her travels for national print and online publications. Sasha’s website is SashaHeseltine.com.

Hudson Hornick is a New Orleans native who, after spending time in the Caribbean, Europe, and various parts of the US, has now settled down in Santa Barbara, CA. When not traveling, he’s typically writing copy or planning his next big escape. In the past, he has worked for Amazon.co.uk, Groupon, and various others. You can find him at http://www.alchemyondemand.com.

Cailin O’Neil has been the host of the travel web series “Travel Yourself” since early 2009 and currently travels the world hosting, filming, editing and producing the whole series herself. When not on camera she is also a food, travel and video blogger on two of her own websites – www.thetasteoftravel.comwww.travelyourself.ca – and works as a freelancer in the Film and TV Industry in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Dana Rebmann is lucky enough to call Northern California wine country home. Weekends spent exploring the San Francisco Bay Area outnumber those at home, but her favorite trips require a passport and typically a destination with warm sand and blue water. She refused to believe you have to stop traveling when kids come along and has successfully trained her family to pack a carry-on bag with just minutes notice. Along with travel, Dana writes about food, wine and anything fun. Dana’s also a regular contributor to San Francisco’s 7×7.com and CiaoBambino. Find her on Twitter @drebmann.

Mike Richard is a Rhode Island native, web designer and travel junkie with an unhealthy addiction to backpacking and seeing the world. He absconded from corporate life and, since 2006, has edited, written for and kept the gears running behind the scenes at Vagabondish. He has spoken professionally as a featured panelist at the annual TBEX (Travel Blogger’s Exchange) conference. His other credits include “Woman’s World magazine contributor” and having once been interviewed by Tyra Banks (seriously). You can often find him on Twitter @vagabondish.

A native of Albuquerque, Lydia Schrandt moved away from the United States in 2008 and has lived in seven countries on two different continents since. After spending four years in Asia, Lydia made the move to South America, where she’s experimenting with “slow travel” — living for 3 months at a time in various cities and countries. Her photography has appeared in Frommer’s, National Geographic Traveler, Travel + and Time Out Beijing, and she’s a senior photo editor for the USA TODAY Travel Media Division. See her work at lydiaschrandt.com.

Jessica Spiegel is a Portland-based freelance writer and social media strategist with a penchant for all things Italy. She has a passion for cities with bad reputations, is an enormous fan of public transportation, and if she never hears the “tourist vs. traveler” argument again it’ll be too soon. Jessica’s website is jessicatravels.com, and she’s on Twitter @andiamo.

Zoe Smith is a British travel writer currently living in rural France and has written for publications like Journeys Magazine, the Daily Telegraph and CNN, as well as working as a writer and researcher for the Rough Guide guidebooks and a seasonal horse trekking guide. With an emphasis on slow and eco-friendly travel Zoe believes the journey is as important as the destination whether it be galloping horses through the Ecuadorian Andes, hitchhiking across Indonesia, camel trekking through the Sahara or taking a road trip across Europe. Links to her other works can be found on her website: www.zoeclaresmith.co.uk/

Kirsty Stuart left her London-based office job in the summer of 2012 in a perilous bid to write more and travel more. Her plan worked and these days she travels the world while helping other travel writers and free-spirited entrepreneurs do the same via her website: www.freelancewritersonline.com.

Marie-Eve Vallieres is a native Montrealer trying to balance a deep love for her hometown and an unquenchable thirst for travel and discovery. She has been to over 20 countries, lived abroad in both France and the U.K., and is always on the lookout for authentic experiences wherever she travels — especially if it involves chocolate. She can be found at EuroTripTips.com and aMontrealerAbroad.com.

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