Explore. Experience. Engage.

Powered by our sister site, Family Vacation Critic

Meet Our Team

Sarah Schlichter, Senior Editor
Sarah SchlichterSarah, our resident travel expert, has visited more than 25 U.S. states plus dozens of countries including Belize, Guatemala, Morocco, Canada, Dominica, the U.K., Norway, France, the Netherlands and New Zealand ... just to name a few.

Sarah's always game for a hike or bike ride, and her favorite attractions include churches, art museums, and charming inns and B&B's.

IndependentTraveler.com's Senior Editor hails from Maryland and now resides in Pennsylvania, where she sings in a local community choir and enjoys experimenting with different international recipes (which has twice resulted in accidental kitchen fires -- no humans or animals were harmed). The smell of Sarah's delicious Moroccan couscous ignites a wave of envy in the office when she brings in leftovers for lunch. (Write a trip review and she just might give you the recipe!)

Best travel moment: "Watching the sun rise over the Sahara Desert."

Dori Saltzman, Editor-at-Large
dori saltzmanDori has visited 30 countries on six continents and has even been to a country that doesn't exist anymore (Czechoslovakia). In addition to her many travels, she also lived for three years in Romania and two months in Chile. A top priority for much of her travel revolves around up-close-and-personal animal encounters. So far, she's had the chance to hug a panda, feed a tiger, live with penguins, and swim with wild dolphins and manatees.

Dori currently lives in New Jersey with a Romanian husband and cat.

Dream vacation: "A three-week trip to Africa involving the Great Migration and volunteering at a cheetah sanctuary."

Brittany Chrusciel, Associate Editor
Brittany Chrusciel Brittany peaked early in her travel career when she circumnavigated the globe with Semester at Sea in 2008. Since then, she's successfully attempted to maintain as many countries traveled as years lived. A river cruise through Germany with her German grandmother, a road trip up the coast of Australia with her best friend and living like a local in Grenada with her mother are some treasured travel memories.

Brittany currently lives in Asbury Park, NJ, and enjoys the eclectic local culture and music scene. She can't imagine what it would be like to live more than a few minutes from the ocean.

Dream vacation: "A cruise to Antarctica so I can tackle the 'final frontier' continent and experience its otherworldly landscapes."

Ed Hewitt, Contributing Editor
Ed, who has visited every continent except Antarctica, has been dishing out indispensable travel tips for IndependentTraveler.com since 1996 in his popular column, Traveler's Ed. He is nearly fluent in Spanish -- and can fake it in Italian with a little practice. His favorite way of traveling is "improvised travel," which means he shows up at a destination and wings it from there. This approach hasn't failed him yet!

Our active columnist has competed on seven U.S.A. rowing teams and set a couple of world records on the rowing machine. He currently runs his own rowing Web site and resides in New Jersey.

Worst travel moment: Letter to Northwest Airlines

Ashley Kosciolek, Editor
Ashley KosciolekAshley names the Bahamas, Poland and the Czech Republic as some memorable destinations she's visited. She speaks a bit of German, Spanish and Polish, and adores cruising, beach vacations and genealogical travel.

Ashley grew up in the Pennsylvania Poconos and now lives in New Jersey. When she's not planning her next cruise or fixing grammatical glitches, Ashley likes reading, jogging, collecting gnomes and watching "Glee."

Dream vacation: "If I had unlimited time and funds, I would travel Europe for a year and explore everything!"

Chris Gray Faust, Contributing Editor
Chris Gray Faust A travel writer for more than a decade, Chris has visited more than 60 countries, all 50 U.S. states, and much of Canada and the U.K. Her favorite place? Wherever she's going next.

With a nomadic past that includes addresses in 10 states as well as downtown London, Chris has special ties with New Orleans, where she's a member of the Krewe of Muses, a Mardi Gras parade organization. When not on the road, she lives in a renovated barn in Bucks County, Pennsylvania with her husband, two cats and a papillon named Monet.

Dream vacation: "A camper van road trip around Australia."

Danny Diaz, Web Developer
Danny has trekked around the U.S., and to Canada and the Caribbean, and his favorite travel companions include his wife and two children. If Danny's on vacation, you're likely to catch him on a cruise.

Danny lives in New Jersey, where he plays in a band and hangs out with his children. Fun fact: Danny can play almost any instrument!

Best travel moment: "Not letting the kids know we were going to Disney World until we woke up that morning, went to the airport, hopped on a plane and got on the bus in Orlando to take us there from the airport. They had no clue where we were going until we got on the bus in Orlando!"

Laura Sterling, Community Manager
Laura has been Community Manager of IndependentTraveler.com for more than 20 years. Her favorite travel destinations include Venice, Walt Disney World and San Francisco. Laura was introduced to cruising as a part of her job, and it is now one of her favorite forms of travel.

Cecilia Freeman, Assistant Community Manager
World traveler Cecilia has visited a whopping 42 countries. Cecilia's favorite way to see the world is by sea -- she's an avid cruiser. Although Cecilia is an experienced traveler, she admits to overpacking for every trip.

Cecilia, who is originally from Louisiana, now lives in Denver, Colorado.

Best travel moment: "Climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge on New Year's Day 2002."

Host BonjourHost Bonjour, Message Board Moderator
Host Bonjour has been to many interesting destinations including Italy, France, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Hong Kong, China, Macao, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Mexico and numerous spots in the U.S. When she's not traveling the world, Host Bonjour shares her valuable travel know-how as a Moderator on our message boards.

Trilingual Host Bonjour (who speaks Italian and French in addition to English) hails from the New York City area and currently resides in Brooklyn, where she works as a certified public accountant. Bonjour cites climbing a glacier in New Zealand as one of the most challenging things she's ever done, and is brave enough to have hit the road solo on many of her adventures.

Dream vacation: "South Pacific (Cook Islands), back to South Island New Zealand, India, Greek Islands, back to Paris (extended stay), Ireland (where grandpa is from and how I got my citizenship) and then home."

Host Ciao, Message Board Moderator
Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Holland, England, France, Canada, Mexico, Ireland, Scotland and Liechtenstein are some of Host Ciao's memorable travel destinations. Plus, Ciao has visited Italy a whopping 13 times! When Ciao isn't exploring The Boot, you're likely to find her at home in Illinois, connecting with fellow globetrotters on our message boards as a Moderator.

Host Ciao enjoys using public transportation to see museums, churches, ruins and galleries in new and interesting cities. Having spent 46 years dealing with teenagers as a volunteer teacher, publications adviser and cheerleading coach, Ciao is capable of handling virtually any challenge while traveling independently.

Dream vacation: "A month or more in Rome and then another month or two (or more) to wander in my favorite parts of Italy -- this would be my dream come true. Can I add that I would like to do this without going in debt? Ah well!"


Thank You For Signing Up!

Please Note: To ensure delivery of your free e-letters, please add news@independenttraveler.com to your address book.

We're committed to protecting your privacy and will not rent or sell your e-mail address. By proceeding, you agree to our privacy policy and Terms of Use.