Introducing: Before You Go, Read…

Knowing an area’s history can add exponentially to a trip, which is why Fresno makes her kids read the Horrible History books.  Almost every location is the subject some fabulous historical fiction and non-fiction.  Since we’re avid readers, Fresno and I decided that we would do a series where we review the books that have helped make our travels even more interesting.

I know y’all are big readers, too, and you’ve travelled places we’ve not yet gone.  We’d love to hear your suggestions for books that are good pre-trip reading for specific locations.  You can comment here, or shoot us an email at kate at fromfresnototimbuktu dot com.

First up:  Naples, Italy  Check back this weekend for my book suggestions to set the scene for your time in this beautiful, ugly, wonderful, frustrating city.

fabulous photo by:  Santi B

Don’t Fear… One Way Tickets

This summer I’m sending my husband on a very short trip, but one he has been dying to take since… forever.

Shanghai?  Kuala Lumpur?  Sydney?  No.  No.  No.

 

Definitely not Marrakech.

A fantasy and gaming convention.  You’re welcome, honey.

But of course, I want to get him there cheaply, and I don’t want to waste our precious airline miles on it.  Done and done – how?

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In Which I Grind My Teeth and Make Terrible Faces

I love travel.  I love exposing my kids to travel.  I love that my family is absolutely insufferable when watching the movie European Vacation.  I know that sounds snotty, and I don’t mean it to.  I put a job’s worth of time into getting the most out of our travel, because goodness knows that we’re not at an income level to be able to just throw down the Visa card whenever a place strikes our fancy (case in point – Australia and New Zealand.  My kids are DYING to visit those two and we have not been able to find a way to swing it as of yet.  But, you know, goals are good).

We have not yet resorted to a Third World minibus vacation, but I'm sure it is coming.
We have not yet resorted to a Third World minibus vacation, but I’m sure it is coming.

Because we are not independently wealthy, we pay close attention to sales, promotions and airline points.  It is those airline points which are today causing the ridiculous headache, and I have vowed they WILL!  NOT!  WIN!

Continue reading In Which I Grind My Teeth and Make Terrible Faces

Dressing the Part

In my spare time I like to dress children as alternates for the It's a Small World ride.
In my spare time I like to dress children as alternates for the It’s a Small World ride.

I’m not even going to continue to try to make the case for yoga pants as the world’s best travel outfit.  It’s like arguing over the deliciousness of freshly made French croissants – it just IS.

But yoga pants on the airplane are one thing – we still need to plan out what to pack for the rest of the trip.  Unless you’re going to Vegas, you will need to actually pack clothes.  But what to pack?

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A Closer Look at Expedia Miles

Right outside a hotel we booked via Expedia.  The most important thing here to Surly is the UFC poster.
Right outside a hotel we booked via Expedia. The most important thing here to Surly is the UFC poster.

Go ahead – sing the Expedia theme song.  Right now.  I know you know it.

Now that is out of the way, let’s move on to the why of Expedia.  It’s actually very simple – of all the aggregators I’ve tried for hotel, car, and flight reservations, Expedia is the furthest reaching and the most easily tweaked.  While I adore Kayak’s little map with pictures of special price deals (gives me ideas!), there have been several times I’ve been able to find and book flights on Expedia that I could not find on Kayak.

Plus, Expedia has a points program – Expedia Rewards.  But right up front I’ll say that if the points program is your main reason for choosing Expedia, don’t bother.

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