Even if you travel a lot, its easy to forget some of the basics of Trip-Taking 101. I know, because I’ve made all the “freshman” mistakes myself over the course of my travel-writing career.
And these days, despite — or because of — all the ever-changing technology and options available to travelers, it sometimes seems like you need a graduate degree in travel logistics just to get ready for a trip.
That’s why I’m glad to run this guest post by Jim McKinley with some simple reminders of what you can do to prepare for your next vacation, whether it’s halfway around the world or the next state over.
Which reminds me, I still need to make a bunch of hotel and train reservations for my trip to Europe next month…
By Jim McKinley
No matter… Continue reading
Today’s guest post, by Aussie-expat writer Brittnay, is about some ways to save money while traveling in Europe — which can be a very expensive destination these days. I’ve added my own comments after each tip, usually to expand on them a bit.
While these tips only scratch the surface of the topic, they’re all valuable ones to keep in mind while planning your next European vacation.
Although travelling through Europe can be expensive, it doesn’t have to be.
We’ve put together five tips that have allowed us to visit 21 European countries in the past two years! Using these tips enable you to experience the cities and towns you visit more like the locals do — and that’s usually a good way to save money.
- Get a City Welcome Card
City… Continue reading
For baby boomers, saving money on accommodations can be tougher than for young travelers.
Dormitory-style hostels and CouchSurfing may have much less appeal than for those in their 20s or 30s.
Camping — at least the type (unlike “glamping” or glamorous camping) that leaves you trying to get a decent night’s sleep in a bag on the ground — can be tough on the back (with legitimate concerns that you might not be able to straighten up at all in the morning).
But, as guest poster Jesse Miller contends, “It’s still possible to enjoy a five-star housing experience without paying a five-star price.” The key, Miller says, “is to live like the locals do. This means avoiding more traditional options (such as pricey hotels and resorts) and immersing yourself in opportunities to interact with the… Continue reading
These days, traveling always seems to cost more than you think it will — or should.
Expenses add up, even after you’ve bought the airline or cruise tickets, perhaps pre-paid your hotel or rental car bills, or even booked an “all-inclusive” vacation.
It’s those little “extras” that can be killers: the pricey cups of coffee in that chic cafe, the seemingly irresistible shopping finds, the spur-of-the-moment decisions to splurge on…whatever.
And yet, those splurges can amount to some of the most memorable moments of a trip.
So, what to do to ensure you don’t return home from a vacation stressed out by credit card debt and a dwindling bank balance?
How careful are you about protecting your vital information while traveling? If you’re like me, you’ve left yourself vulnerable from time to time — maybe tapping into someone’s else’s unsecured network to use their Wi-Fi, or using an ATM on a busy street that presents an easy target for thieves to steal your PIN number, if they’re lurking nearby.
So far I’ve managed to avoid those types of disasters, but I came across this list of tips for protecting your personal information on the road that convinces me I’ve been more lucky than smart about it. The list comes courtesy of Experian’s ProtectMyID (www.protectmyid.com), and I’m going to start paying closer attention to its warnings:
- Get Your Own Hotspot: Consider a portable router to create your own Wi-Fi hotspot for your electronic devices and that of any… Continue reading
Do you come back from vacation more stressed out than when you left?
Based on a survey of world travelers by author Shawn Achor and “happiness researcher” Michelle Gieland from the Institute of Applied Positive Research, “poorly planned and stressful vacations eliminate the positive benefit of time away,” as Achor recently wrote in the Harvard Business Review.
(See my previous post on travel and happiness for more detail on these findings.)
Achor contends there are four main ingredients that you should add to your vacation mix to result in a happy travel experience:
* “Focus on the details”: Nearly three quarters of travelers found the most stressful part of travel to be “figuring out the details,” according to Achor. “Travel uncertainty, transportation, wasting time figuring things out on the trip, and being unfamiliar with the location”… Continue reading