Welcome to Sand In My Suitcase, our luxury travel blog with a twist of adventure!

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

Our travel articles and photos are published in leading U.S. and Canadian magazines and newspapers like TravelAge WestIslands.comThe Vancouver Sun, Cruise & Travel LifestylesThe Province, NUVO, Taste of Life, Interval World, Travel Professional, USA Today.com and AAA Carolinas GO, and we’re tickled that we’ve won several travel writing awards.

But the reason you’ve come here is our blog, Sand In My Suitcase.

“Best travel blog”

We started our luxury travel blog over five years ago. It won 1st Place for “Best Travel Blog” in the 2017 Society of American Travel Writers annual awards and the Silver honor for “Best Independent Travel Blog” in the 2015 annual North American Travel Journalists Association awards (along with other awards).

A little luxury, a little adventure, lots of tales

We write about luxury adventure travel (and have a particular penchant for small ship and river cruising).

Yes, that includes luscious five-star hotels and deluxe cruises with suites and butlers. But also expedition ships and more affordable boutique inns oozing charm and character. Venturing off-the-beaten-path. (Mozambique and Komodo Island, say hello!) Even getting a little, er… sandy sometimes, knowing there’s always a soft return.

When we travel, you’ll find us hiking, kayaking, bicycling, scuba diving and strolling city streets from end to end (poking our heads into this and that).

We’re scuba diving in Komodo National Park in Indonesia. It’s good no Komodo dragons live underwater!

Janice never says “no” to a spa treatment. Ethnic cuisine, good wine and 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 our readers. And if there’s an English book store or coffee shop around, George will find it.

Giving back

We’re not totally hedonistic though :-).

If we can, we prefer to write about hotels, cruises and tours that help in some way to make this world a better place. We donate 10% of what we make each year from our travel writing and blogging to Doctors Without Borders.

Professional travel writing memberships

We’re both members of:

Travel Media Association of Canada (TMAC).

Janice is also a member of:

Society of American Travel Writers (SATW)

North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA)

Magazine and newspaper writing awards

Among the top travel writing awards we’ve won for our magazine and newspaper features, Janice has taken home a 1st Place (Gold) from NATJA for her article on cruising like Cleopatra on the Nile River. We’ve won many other awards too from NATJA, TMAC and other organizations for our stories on canoeing with crocodiles in Zambia, sailing in style on an Indonesian phinisi and more…

We write what we honestly think

All thoughts, views and words expressed in our travel stories and posts are our own. We adhere to the codes of ethics for professional travel writers set by SATW, TMAC and NATJA. See Disclosure for more.


Some posts contain affiliate links. If you click the link or make a purchase (like booking a hotel), we get a small commission to help keep this blog running (at no extra cost to you). See details in our Disclosure policy.

Enjoy our luxury travel blog and articles

Okay, that’s enough about us. Go now and take a peek at some of our travel tales… Start here. Or go straight to:

Our travel blog posts

Our travel articles published in magazines and newspapers

If interested in advertising or partnering with us, see our media kit. To contact us, please send an email.

Thanks for visiting!


  1. 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!!! Our pinterest is beardandcurly (as well as our blog and other social platforms). Thanks so much for the consideration!

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

  3. 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!

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

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

  6. I tried contacting you on Instagram. I’m writing a post for my blog at Postcards & Passports about my favorite IG accounts and their related travel blogs. I’m specifically highlighting outstanding photography. Would you be willing to send me one of your favorite travel IG photos to use in my post? I will give you full credit for the photo, write a short bio about you from info on your blog, and include links to your blog and IG accounts. Hoping to publish within a week. If you’re interested, please email me at my email address above. Thanks!

  7. Hi Janice and George,

    I’ll be doing a post within the next few weeks and I’m hoping to get contributions from a few bloggers. The subject will be the most over-rated places according to different bloggers. If it can be supplemented with nearby alternatives that would be a bonus. The idea of the post was inspired by our visit last weekend to Bran Castle (a real disappointment – one of the most overhyped places we’ve been). I may counter that with a suggestion to go to Rasnov or Peles castle (which we are planning to visit this coming weekend). Another example for us was Neushwanstein Castle in Germany which was just too touristy. We much preferred the Ehrenberg Ruins right across the border in Austria.

    So basically: What touristy destination do you think is a real tourist trap and what would you recommend instead? If you’re inspired you can list more than one. It doesn’t have to be a site, it can be a country, a popular destination spot, etc. A place that really disappointed you.

    Would be great if you could contribute something. It can be a short paragraph accompanied by a photo or two (the disappointing place and the place you recommend instead). I’m hoping I can get contributions from 5 to 10 of our favorite bloggers. I’m hoping that I can put it together and post it by mid-next week so if you would be able to submit something by next Monday it would be great. I’ll of course link any of your posts on the locations in question.

    Please let me know if you’re interested. As I say, you can keep it short – would just be nice to include you.

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