Category Archive: Tips

Money Issues that Get in the Way of Traveling

It seems like I just return from one trip and I start planning the next.  Actually, I always have several travel ideas in varying stages of research, and it’s just about matching up time, location, and finances. Finances!  It’s the f-word for travelers, and can be one of the primary stumbling blocks to travel.  Some people sacrifice time in order to get more money, but then forget about the freedom that money was supposed to buy.  It’s so easy to get caught up in the no time-no money continuum that vacation plans go right out the window. I think most people can come up with a plan to save up money (set a goal, break it down into manageable amounts, start saving), but it’s a little harder to to deal with the emotional components of travel and money.  If there […]

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How Do You Compromise on Travel Destinations?

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. . . no, I’m not talking about Paris in the Charles Dickens era, I’m talking about traveling with a group of family and friends.  Or even traveling with your spouse, partner, or best friend. If you want to lie on a beach and soak up some rays, does your spouse want to go white water rafting?  Do the kids want to move into an amusement park, while you want to check out some art and architecture?   Do you want to get in touch with your spiritual side while the rest of the gang wants to go the ballpark every day? If you only want to do what you want to do, traveling solo is your best option.  But since there are times you will share travel experiences with […]

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10 Practical Beauty & Fashion Travel Necessities

When you’re traveling, the elements conspire against your body, skin and hair. Let’s face it, airplanes beat up our bodies as well as our spirits.  Fashionable and practical don’t have to be mutually exclusive!  Here’s my top 10 list that I think fit in both of those categories, proving that you can look good and feel good when you travel: Water – You’ll have to buy a bottle inside of security, or refill an empty bottle that you’ve brought from home, but this is the very best thing you can do for your skin, hair, and general well being.  The airplane sucks all the water out of you so remember — hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.  My current choice:  I’ve tried a variety of water bottles, trying hard to be green, but just haven’t found one that quite does the trick.  For […]

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7 Family Vacation Destinations that are FUN & Educational

Looking for a way to combine family travel with a little educational and cultural experience as well?  There are a number of cities that can fill those specifications, blending lots of fun things to do with a quality cultural experience. There’s nothing wrong with combining plenty of relaxing downtime with an educational experience.  Learning can be fun, and when I see families who go the extra mile to make it, I know that the experiences will stay with their kids for a lifetime. These US cities meet the test of having both educational and FUN attractions and things to do.  If you can’t enjoy spending time in these destinations, you’re just not trying to have a good vacation! Here are my Top 7 U.S. cities for educational and cultural family travel: Boston: History tops the chart in this city, with […]

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How to Plan for an Active Vacation

Active travelers know that if they want to enjoy their favorite activities while on vacation that it may take plenty of advance planning.  Whether you’re looking for a tee time, tennis lessons, or ski weekends, you’re going to have to do a little bit of research and planning. Here  are a few pointers to keep in mind when you’re selecting where to go and stay: What’s my skill level?  Do I want a black diamond ski run, or is the rope tow just fine? Are you looking for lessons, whether it be to learn a new activity or to hone and advance one that I currently enjoy.  Do you need to work on your backswing or to learn to horseback ride? Will there be any special equipment that you need to bring along?  Golf clubs, skis, snowboards, etc., can often […]

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Backpacks & Airplanes: Code of Conduct

Backpacks, once the “luggage” of choice for college-aged travelers, have become mainstream, with travelers of all ages preferring to travel light, with everything they need literally on their back.  It’s simple, avoids checked bag fees and waiting time, and forces travelers to pack light. When carrying a backpack onto an airplane, however, there are inherent dangers.  After traveling millions of miles, and seeing backpacks in varying sizes and design, I’ve  seen far too many people injured by backpacks. So, how about we all adopt the following Backpackers Code of Conduct for Air Travel: I will walk straight down the airplane aisle, knowing that when I turn from side-to-side someone sitting or standing behind me may inadvertently get thumped by my backpack. I will turn my head to look behind me before stepping back, knowing that the person behind me may […]

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Prepare a Car Kit Before Heading Out on Your Road Trip

Memorial Day weekend is the official launch of summer for many people, and despite the high gas prices and still sagging economy (or maybe because of them), this is likely to be a summer of car trips.  Whether its a long holiday weekend away, or a week or two on the road, car trips can be an affordable vacation. Before you head out on the road you’ll need to make sure that your car is in good working order.  A properly working vehicle is always important, but making it a priority before a vacation can help prevent unpleasant surprises while out on the road.  From well working brakes and properly inflated tires, to properly aligned headlights and working windshield wipers, this is the time to go through your car maintenance check list. Because stuff does happen, putting together a basic […]

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Is a Vacation Rental Right for You

I’m not a traveler cut out for a location independent lifestyle.  I love having a home to return to.  A place to live and enjoy.  My home is a wonderful place where I have creature comforts that allow me to live, dream, plan, and have fun.  It’s a base of operations for the various parts of my life to come together to make me. . . me!  It suits my personalities and needs, and at this point in my life, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ve found that the desire to have a base of operations carries over into my travel style.  While a traditional hotel might be great for a conference or a quick stay, more and more I’m leaning toward a home approach – somewhere with a little more room, privacy, and sufficient amenities that I […]

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15 Steps to a Stress-Free Vacation

Your reservations are in order, your bags are packed, you’ve got money, and are ready to go. But wait! Before you head out the door — did you forget anything? Getting ready for a weekend getaway is easy, but there is a lot more to do to get ready for an extended vacation. With summer nearly upon us, a lot of people are planning for extended periods of time away from home, but sometimes getting out the door can be the hardest part. Whether it’s to that beach house for a couple of weeks, Europe for a month, or some time spent driving cross-country, there are things that need to be taken care of before you leave. Use this checklist for advance planning and you won’t worry about a thing as you close the door and head out on your […]

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5 Extras for Your Beach Hotel

If you’re a sun-loving vacationer, you probably pay attention to weather reports, predictions, and warming trends at the destination where you’ll be.   In fact, that information may be critical in deciding whether you’ll be going to a particular destination and a particular time. If you idea of a vacation paradise is to spend your time by the pool, on the beach, or picnicking in the warm sunshine, you still need plan for the possibility that it might — gulp — rain.  Or be cloudy, or cold, or worse.  And that means you’ve got to have plans for some indoor activities.  Even if the weather is outstanding, you’re going to have to come out of the sun at some point. I hear many people say that they don’t want to spend much money on their beach hotel because they’re never going […]

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