Linda and David Aksomitis are the creators of travel blog, guide2travel. The travelogue articles are from around the world and focus on adventure with a twist of history. Linda and David have been traveling since the 1980s, and started travel writing in 2000. David joined her on a full-time basis in 2013. If you’re 39 and holding, you’ll find lots of attractions and destinations to help plan your holidays.
TA: How many years have you been traveling and what got you hooked?
Linda & David: We’ve been traveling since the 1980s when we raced snowmobiles throughout the snow zone of Canada and the United States. When we gave up the racetrack, Linda continued to travel as a speaker and trainer, and started travel writing in 2000. David joined her on a full-time basis in 2013.
TA: Do you specialize in a particular type of travel?
Linda & David: Our tagline is: Adventure with a twist of history. Most of our adventures are soft adventure of many different types from whitewater rafting (not so soft!) to hiking. After snowmobile racing for a decade, we do a lot of motorsports and history of machine type museums and attractions. We also both grew up with horses and in agriculture, so the old West figures prominently in our travels. Linda is particularly drawn to the Cold War and David to World War II, when it comes to those eras.
TA: What is the best vacation you’ve ever taken?
Linda & David: Actually, we have a tie! The first is Trek Over the Top, which is an annual snowmobile ride from Tok, Alaska, to Dawson City, Yukon. The year we went it was -42 degrees so the 200 miles were a challenge. However, the hospitality and fun we found in the Yukon was amazing. Our second was a week of snowmobiling in Gaspe, Quebec, where we packed everything — even Linda’s laptop so she could teach — onto snowmobiles and rode for five days with a local guide. Like the Yukon, Quebec was so welcoming that we had a blast.
TA: What’s one thing you ALWAYS pack when you travel?
Linda & David: Laptop — I’ve tried using mobile devices, but find for my online teaching that even though it’s bulkier, the laptop is required.
TA: If you could only give a traveler one piece of advice, what would it be?
Linda & David: Make sure you have a data plan wherever you’re going, so Google Maps can be your guide. Even on road trips, we find the car’s guidance system has gaps so we need to use Google as a backup.
TA: What are some of your favorite travel blogs and communities?
Linda & David: I’m a member of NATJA and find it a great community of travel writers and bloggers. I’ve also participated and been a speaker in the TBEX community of travel bloggers, and enjoyed my time there.
TA: What would be your #1 recommendation for a place to travel in 2019?
Linda & David: Our #1 recommendation for 2019 travel would be Eastern Europe. We loved our time in both Poland and Hungary, and would love to explore many more countries. For anyone on a budget, Poland is an especially good choice. And of course, no matter what historical era interests you, Eastern Europe is a good choice. We spent three days in Krakow and six in Budapest, so we’ve barely touched the surface of all the amazing sites we’d like to see.
TA: Is there something you think most travelers worry too much about?
Linda & David: Yes, most travelers worry too much about language barriers in the destinations they’re considering. Nowadays, there are lots of apps you can use on your smartphone to help if you run into something you really can’t figure out. However, we’ve always found people are helpful, from the lady who helped us decide which train to take on the subway in New York, to any number of waitresses who’ve figured out what we wanted to eat from Quebec to Sweden to Poland.
TA: What’s a travel scam travelers should be wary of?
Linda & David: We’ve discovered, as have many travelers, that if something’s too good to be true, it probably isn’t true. So, whether that means avoiding taking a “cheap” tour or not accepting free drinks from strangers in a bar, we’ve never run into problems traveling.
TA: Which country has surprisingly good food?
Linda & David: We found Poland to be the most surprising when it came to great food. Our favorites included local specialties like perogies and potato pancakes. Mind you, from pasta right through to fresh-caught trout, every meal was good. And the local craft beer was perfect on our bar hopping adventures in Krakow (one of Europe’s hotspots when it comes to evening entertainment — but what’s not to love about bars tucked away in 500 year-old cellars?).
TA: What’s something that other tourists do when traveling that drives you crazy and why?
Linda & David: One thing tourists do that is annoying is complain about the food being different than “home.” Food is a big part of everyone’s culture, so to me, sampling different flavors is important in getting to know a destination. Of course, sometimes hitting a McDonald’s can provide a taste of home, but otherwise I think it’s important to keep your mind open to what experiences a destination has to offer, whether that’s food or a new perspective.
TA: Which underrated destination deserves to be more famous?
Linda & David: North Dakota is often underrated, but we’ve had many interesting trips through the state. We’ve always found it to be a friendly place to visit and if you’re on a budget, it’s a great fit too. There are a number of fascinating, often undiscovered attractions, like the open air museum we just visited this summer in Kenmare. The collection of agricultural toys was phenomenal! Plus, the geography of North Dakota is very diverse, from the badlands to the prairies, so the scenery is always changing.