Tag Archives: travel basics

When Trip Advisor Goes Wrong

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.

Continue reading When Trip Advisor Goes Wrong

You Shall Travel All Year!

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.

How I spent New Year's Day 2016
How I spent New Year’s Day 2016. Also, watching episodes of Rome.

Continue reading You Shall Travel All Year!

Goodbye, Dear Airport Friend

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.

**Meanwhile, in Sierra Leone…

Continue reading Goodbye, Dear Airport Friend

Eh, It Will Be Just Fine

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.

Or the beautiful, safe beaches of California.  Which, as we all know, are best enjoyed with food in our teeth.
Or the beautiful, safe beaches of California. Which, as we all know, are best enjoyed with food in our teeth.

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?

Continue reading Eh, It Will Be Just Fine

Things No One in Zambia Would Say

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.

Continue reading Things No One in Zambia Would Say

Hotels and Apartments and Campsites

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.

Our HomeAway rental in Rome included this baby donkey in a side yard.  For real.
Our HomeAway rental in Rome included this baby donkey in a side yard. For real.

Continue reading Hotels and Apartments and Campsites

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?

Continue reading Dressing the Part