I will totally own it. I’ve said it. I say it, in fact, every time we travel. “Let’s do what the locals do!”
I mean, locals go to the Dubai Mall, right? That counts. And Angkor Wat. Those are totally local things.
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.
Last night my husband broke into one of my nightly monologues (I feel the need to narrate everything that has happened that day to him, since he travels quite a bit for business) with this, “I know you’re really excited about our December vacation, but I honestly don’t really care what you decide we’re going to see. You’ve always chosen good places, I’ve loved all of our travel. I’m sure this will be wonderful as well.”
Dude. Buzzkill. I know that half-an-hour on this hotel vs. the other hotel might seem like overkill to the uninitiated, but I love figuring this stuff out.
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 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).
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!
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?
This is a Putzi fly larvae. It’s gross. It was in my living area.