Book Review: ‘The Food Traveler’s Handbook’

Full disclosure: I know Jodi Ettenberg, author of “The Food Traveler’s Handbook.” I’ve eaten with Jodi and explored cities with her; she’s even inspected the spices in my Istanbul sublet apartment. Rather than let my friendship with her just guarantee a great review of her book, I will use it to vouch for the fact that she’s the perfect person to write a food guide for travelers: intrepid, resourceful, curious and (of course) always hungry.

On the road full time since 2008, Jodi has explored the world through food on her blog Legal Nomads. To keep costs down and her palate happy, Jodi strives to eat as locally as possible, chasing down the best street eats, cab driver hangouts and mom-and-pop restaurants. With this handbook, she shares her tips and resources for eating well, cheaply, and safely anywhere in the world. The guide is peppered (pardon the pun) with anecdotes from Jodi and other travelers (blogger Nicola Twilley recommends revisiting a market at different times of the day for different experiences), quirky facts (how about a 1742 recipe for ketchup that will keep for 20 years?!) and guidelines for local dining culture (you’ll keep getting your coffee refilled in Jordan until you learn the proper way to shake the cup and signal you’ve had enough). The book is infused with an enthusiasm and passion for food that’s contagious, and you may quickly find that planning a tour of the world through dumplings seems like a must.Jodi’s travel style may not be for everyone – some people crave familiarity and easy comfort, especially when traveling, and the prospect of eating a mysterious dish at a tiny food stall might be daunting. But for those looking to expand their horizons through food, connect with locals while traveling or just get a good meal without risking food poisoning, “The Food Traveler’s Handbook” is worth tucking into. Just be wary of reading it on an empty stomach, or you might find yourself, as I did, propelled out of bed at 8 a.m. with a strong craving for soup.

The Food Traveler’s Handbook” is available in paperback and as an e-book for Kindle. Additional books in the Traveler’s Handbooks series include guides for Career Breaks, Solo Travel, Luxury Travel and Volunteer Travel. Additional resources for food travelers can also be found on Jodi’s blog here.

[Photo credit: Jodi Ettenberg]

Free eBook promises a world of travel secrets and a donation to charity

It all started with a blog post. Katie Sorene of Tripbase, a Web site that gives you personalized destination recommendations, posted her three “best-kept” travel secrets and then asked five more bloggers to do the same.

The project mushroomed from there, with 500 secrets from more than 160 travel bloggers around the globe, including celebs Peter Greenburg, Rolf Potts and Johnny Jet, and the decidedly unfamous Leigh Caldwell (that’s me), who shared some Orlando travel secrets.

Now the California-based company has taken those travel secrets and turned them into a free e-book series with a charitable twist.

For every download of the free Travel Secrets e-books which were released today, Tripbase will donate $1 to Charity: Water, a nonprofit that builds freshwater wells, sand filters and other devices to bring drinking water to millions of folks around the globe who have a hard time getting it.

“We set out to make people’s passions and travel finds serve a purpose beyond sharing the memories and recommendations,” said Reuven Levitt, CEO of Tripbase. “We’re working with Charity: Water because people around the world still don’t have access to potable water and every bit helps save lives.”

Tripbase hopes to raise enough money to build four freshwater wells and provide an entire school with drinking water. All you have to do to help is download the book. For free.

And who wouldn’t want to know where to get the best risotto in New Orleans or how to find a deserted beach in Morocco anyway?

The Travel Secrets e-book series is designed to be an ongoing project. If you have a travel blog, Tripbase wants your contribution for updated versions of the books.

How to Monetize Your Travel Blog

Chances are, if you’re reading right now then you’ve probably once thought about abandoning your current office job, hitting the road and never returning home. Maybe you’ve even set up your own personal travel blog that has earned a few hits and gotten rave reviews from a few dedicated readers (thanks mom!).

Could you actually make the jump into a profitable, commercial blog though? Could you generate enough creative, interesting content to get enough people to return, browse around and click on some ads? Maybe. But where to start?

Nomadic Matt, the serial traveler/entrepreneur/twitterer has put together an e-book on the topic. As the owner of the (profitable), he’s got all sorts of experience in e-marketing, optimizing his site for hits and revenue and working the system to make money off of his blog — so he’s compiled all of the information into this book.

If you’re new to the industry and technology it’s probably worth a read. You can buy a digital copy of the book at, the site from which he claims to earn $3,000 a month with these tactics