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About Sand In My Suitcase

Welcome to Sand In My Suitcase!

To dive right in, start here.

This award-winning blog is about luxury travel (splurgey and affordable).

Exploring both exotic and close-to-home places. The wonder of discovering different cultures. Tasting the world via food and wine. Dreaming where to go next.

All interwoven with a twist of adventure!

Who we are

We’re Janice and George Mucalov, once practicing lawyers, now travel writers – much more fun, don’t you think?

Passionate travelers, we’ve been roaming the globe ever since we were young. George was born in Romania and raised in Germany. Janice was born in England and raised in Australia. We met in Canada.

We started our travel writing careers as travel journalists, contributing to leading print magazines and newspapers like USA Today, Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, South China Morning Post, Islands, Vancouver Sun, TravelAge West and AAA Carolinas GO.

In 2012, Janice launched this luxury adventure travel blog, with George’s enthusiastic support.

Today, it’s a top-ranked source of trusted travel content, welcoming some 3 million readers annually.

Best travel blog

Sand In My Suitcase won 1st Place for “Best Travel Blog” in the 2017 Society of American Travel Writers (Can. chapter) annual awards.

And we’re tickled that we’ve won many more travel writing and blogging awards too!

Janice Mucalov

Founder + Chief Luxury Writer

Driven by wanderlust and an unapologetic taste for traveling in style, Janice is perpetually on the hunt for bucket-list places and experiences to write about. She’s the planner. And the worrywart. Her happy place? Paddling a SUP board.

George Mucalov

Editor + Co-Publisher

George is Janice’s travel companion, researcher, editor and more. Curious about the world, he’s a history and culture buff, stoked to learn about the people and places they visit. He’s said to sound Irish, though he’s never been to Ireland. Yet.

Our travel style

We confess – we’re luxury lovers.

Yes, that includes swank villa resorts with private pool suites. But also more affordable boutique inns oozing charm and character.

We’ve visited Mexico (especially Los Cabos) so many times, it’s almost our second home. (For more Los Cabos goodness, see our Cabo Visitor blog.)

And we know Hawaii intimately.

But we also love all the gorgeous places in Italy and unique Greek islands and venturing off the beaten path. (Hello Sri Lanka!)

Discovering all the fun things to do in Victoria (where we live) – and other beautiful places in Canada – is always a joy as well.

Oh, we should mention we also have a crush on cruising, especially small ship and river cruises.

When we travel, you’ll find us hiking, snorkeling and bicycling.

Sussing out cool museums. Gaping at UNESCO sites. Strolling city streets from end to end (poking our heads into this and that).

And taking lots of photos!

Ethnic cuisine and good wine? Losing ourselves in long conversations with local guides and people?

Also a big part of the enjoyment of our travels – which we like to share with you, our readers.

Meaningful travel

We’re not totally hedonistic though :-).

We try to travel responsibly. And if we can, we prefer to write about hotels, cruises, tours and experiences that help in some way to make this world a better place.

We also like to donate some of what we make each year from our travel writing and blogging to Doctors Without Borders.

Travel writing memberships

We’re both members of the Travel Media Association of Canada (TMAC).

Janice is also a member of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) and the North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA).

We write what we honestly think

All views and opinions expressed in our travel articles and posts are our own. And we dish on the good and tell you about the not-so-good.

We adhere to the codes of ethics for professional travel writers set by SATW, TMAC and NATJA.

See our Editorial and Disclosure Policy for more, including how we create and write content.

Dive into our travel blog!

Okay, that’s enough about us.

Go now and take a peek at our travel blog posts. Start here! This will take you to our destination travel guides, most popular posts and more…

If interested in advertising or partnering with us, see our Media Kit.

To contact us, please send an email.

About the authors

Luxury travel journalists and SATW, NATJA and TMAC “Best Travel Blog” award winners, Janice and George Mucalov are the publishers of Sand In My Suitcase. Between them, they’ve traveled to all 7 continents. See About.

Find destination guides, global food-and-wine stories, luxury hotel reviews, articles on cultural explorations and soft adventure trips, cruise reviews, insanely useful travel tips and more!

T. Peskin

Thursday 25th of January 2018

Hello, I saw your Pinterest board Travel The World and it led me here! Love your travel blog and all your amazing photos. I wanted to see if I could possibly be added to the Pinterest board as a collaborator. In any case, we now have a new travel blog to read through in the wee hours of the night!!! Thanks so much for the consideration!


Tuesday 1st of March 2016

So glad l found your blog! Great site and photography. I look forward to diving into the posts :-)

Janice and George

Tuesday 1st of March 2016

Thank you! We're happy you enjoy our blog...

Hung Thai

Friday 19th of February 2016

Hi Janice and George, fellow Pacific Northwesters, just dropping by to say that you have an amazing site and I look forward to reading more. I created a group for travel bloggers who want to connect with each other and would like to invite you to join. Have a great one!


Friday 18th of December 2015

Very nice blog with pleasant writing. Hope you will continue this for a long time!

Chaitali Patel

Monday 30th of November 2015

Stumbled upon your blog and now look forward to keeping up with your travels around the world! :)

Janice and George

Tuesday 1st of December 2015

Happy you enjoy our blog :-)