Friday, March 23, 2012

Arrivederci! Adios! Caio! Ta-ta!

Hit the road jack!
Friday! Woop woooop! To wrap up "travel week" I thought I'd share some tips which have served me and my fam well during vacations. My merry jet setters, consider the following:

Before you leave: 
- Splurge on pre-arranged transfers. It can be stressful getting from an airport to a hotel in a foreign city. Often transfers don't cost more than hailing a cab and the advantage is you're greeted by a nice person holding a sign with your name, ready to take you where you want to go (and those signs make you feel way cool).
- Scan your passport. Carry a copy in your luggage and email it to a "home base" person. In the event your stuff ends up lost or stolen, copies will help get you back on track. 
- Rent a car (if maps and signs are in a language you understand!) Some of my greatest sites and eats were found on the way from A to B. 

While you're there: 
- Ask hotel staff their favorite places to eat, drink and hangout. Concierges are great, but sometimes they steer you to places that have a deal with the hotel. Mix in advice from locals with recommendations from hospitality professionals. 
- Don't be afraid to not plan! This is tough for Type As like me, but if you know your "must do" activities you can a. spread them out so you're never too busy or b. pack them in so you have whole days for relaxing and exploring. 
- UNPLUG! Unless you absolutely need to stay connected, put away email, facebook, twitter and texting. Be mentally, physically and technologically on vacation; it's more awesome that way.
- Carry your hotel's business card. Very helpful in taxis. 
- Send postcards. People love knowing you thought of them, even on vacation. (Extra fun =  "embellish" the scenes they depict with your own doodles!) 
- Be cool. Maybe you and mom get lost without money or a phone in Spain or you come down with terrible mono and need to rest on every bench you see in the museum (maybe!) It's ok. Be smart and safe, but have a sense of humor when your fam is out of dry clothes because for some reason you didn't think it would be "that rainy" in the rainforest. 

When you get home: 
- Do something with all those pictures! I highly recommend Snapfish photobooks; the quality is great, you can add captions and pictures just look better in person. 

May the odds ever be in your favor :) 

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