Can we just discuss for a moment here the fact that a picture of someone reading from the Kindle app on their iPad is nowhere near as artsy and appealing as a picture of someone reading an actual book?
I love Trip Advisor – I do. I really, really do. And I never make a hotel booking without first checking what Trip Advisor contributors have to say about that hotel. There are always the odd reviews out where people have an ax to grind, but if you read the reviews with a practiced eye, you will get a very good idea of what to expect.
I’m sure you’ve heard that what you do on the first day of the year will set the pattern for the year to come.
Actually, you may not have heard it, and I may have made it up. I did try searching that phrase, but I couldn’t find a Google link, which seems to indicate that I just randomly decided that it is a thing. Whatever. It’s a good thing.
It has come time for our family to visit our home. Home being, in this case, California. Which, to be fair, is most people’s idea of a vacation. So that’s kind of like winning the travel lottery, really, and it can be quite a money-saver when it all comes down to it.
We’ve traveled enough that we have definite airport preferences – because any traveler can tell you exactly how much an airport can make or break a good visit. Everything – from services, to concession hours, to cleanliness, to available connections, to the attitude of employees, to outside traffic, to the prices of rental cars – EVERYTHING in an airport adds up.
And when I say everything, I mean everything. Like Ebola hand washing stations. Those definitely add up.
Several months ago I went to hear a talk about travel. This one, one which I’ve had a chance to quote several times since, dealt specifically with the issue of travel safety. Plus, we got to play with some fun toys.
Because not every travel destination is the beautiful, safe beaches of Hawaii.
On the other hand, the vast majority of the world does not house terrifying specters of Jack the Ripper, just waiting to pounce on unsuspecting tourists and go all Sweeney Todd on their innards, either. Still, it doesn’t help to be prepared. But how does one do that?
There’s a lot more to travel than knowing what to go see and booking a flight to get there. There are visa issues, of course, and those can be horrifying. Then there’s the whole food thing – what can you eat? And are you sure?
It boils down to this: if you know a little about the culture of the place you are going to visit, you can probably figure out a lot of stuff that might stymie a tourist who isn’t as interested in a spot of adventure.
And sometimes the best way to know what to do is to know what *NOT* to do.
I’m a planner.
I use travel books like doctors use latex gloves – which is to say that some of them area great and sometimes I’m allergic to them and have to find a reasonable latex substitute.
I’m a HomeAway junkie, I’ll own it. Whenever we decide to make a trip, HomeAway is my first stop to find accommodation. We’re usually traveling with at least three children, and like any parents we like a little bit of privacy.
Two weeks in single hotel rooms with two double beds and a roll-away is a recipe for disaster. Also death threats. Possibly sanitarium time. Definitely a need for a vacation-from-the-vacation.
That’s where my obsession with HomeAway comes in.
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?