About James

(aka The Savvy Backpacker)

City Guides


I’m James.

I created The Savvy Backpacker waaaaaay back in 2010 to help people plan their budget travels through Europe.

My mission is simple: I want to help you travel around Europe without spending a fortune.

I was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri but I’ve lived in Madison, WI, Richmond, VA, New York City, and Paris.

I studied abroad in England at the University of Leeds in 2007 and I’ve visited multiple countries throughout Western and Eastern Europe. In the summer of 2010, I studied French at Middlebury College through their intensive summer language course.

In the summer of 2011, I found a job in Paris so I packed up my stuff into two suitcases and moved to a tiny 7th-floor studio in the City of Light.

I have a Master of Business/Advertising from Virginia Commonwealth University. Before that, I was in the U.S. AmeriCorps (the domestic version of the Peace Corps) where I worked for an organization that helped provide food to underprivileged people in Missouri and Kansas.

I also published the book The Savvy Backpacker’s Guide to Europe on a Budget in 2015 with Skyhorse Publishing (but the information on this website is much more up-to-date).

Got A Question? Hit Me Up!

I love hearing from my readers.

Email me directly at james@thesavvybackpacker.com

Note: I do my best to answer all questions but I don’t always have time to answer complicated questions.

The History Of The Savvy Backpacker

It all started in 2006.

I was researching my first European backpacking trip.

I quickly realized that most budget travel websites offered very little well-researched content. I spent countless hours wading through hundreds of websites but I never found one site that gave me all the information I wanted.

Then I went on my first trip to Europe.

As a solo traveler, I got a lot of opportunities to talk to other backpackers. I picked up helpful information from more experienced travelers, and I learned things the guidebooks never talked about.  After a few months of travel, I noticed that many of the novice backpackers were struggling with the same issues I faced when was just starting out.

When I returned home I was often asked for backpacking advice from my friends and I got the idea to create a high-quality site about backpacking in Europe — a site that I would want to actually use. My vision was to build an online resource that was well-designed, user-friendly, and contained a wealth of information.

This is how The Savvy Backpacker was born way back in 2010… and it’s grown little by little ever since.

I hope you find it useful!

Contact Me

Have a question? Send me one of those fancy emails to james@thesavvybackpacker.com

See me on LinkedIn and Twitter and Facebook and my Google Author Page.

Want to Work With The Savvy Backpacker? Sweet! Check out our Advertising and Partnership Page

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