Angela and Richard Dickensen have logged thousands of miles
vacationing around the world over the past 20 years. They now make their home in the Sarasota Keys on Florida's beautiful
West Coast, and contribute to AstroHoroscopes and several other publications by E-mail while on the road.
Always call to verify an arrival time before picking up someone from the train station or airport. Take a seat. Ask for assigned seats when reserving your tickets, for both your departure and arrival flights. No risk is a good thing. Be sure to ask yourself if you want to risk traveling without cancellation, health, and baggage insurance. Verify if your credit
cards provide some coverage, many do. May I see some identification please? It's always a good idea to travel with a passport when leaving your home country. Which way to....? The easiest and often most reliable advice on anything comes from those who have experience. I have learned everything I know
about traveling from fellow travelers, travel agents, locals, etc. For example, when I am wondering what to eat at a restaurant, I
will ask the server what are the most popular dishes. How do I get to..?
Just ask, it's free! Whatever it is you need or want to know about,
there is usually a person nearby who will be of some assistance. Where to, sir?
Getting a driver for at least 1 day is a wonderful way to seek out
little known beaches, great local food, a guided tour, etc. Ask
the concierge, front desk, or any taxi driver for rates. Only go
with someone who you hit it off with from the start. Strike up some
conversation before hiring them and get the rates straight before
driving anywhere. What to expect?
Read up on where you are going. Even one paragraph can be of enormous
Needle in a Haystack. Tie a colored piece of yarn around the handle of your bag to
help make identifying it on the carousel much easier. Zip-it. Pack any container or bottle that may leak in a separate zip
lock. Double bag it because a single ziplock may leak. Lock-it. Lock your luggage zippers together with a small combination
lock. It doesn't stop someone from getting in if they wish, but
it often will cause them to select another bag without a lock. At
the very least it keeps the zippers from opening accidentally. Check-in. Don't check your bag anywhere but at the ticket counters. Spend Wisely. At $1.00 tip per bag, if it's heavy, or if you are with your
children, save your back and use a porter.
Am I Rock Star Material? Airport limousines cost approximately 10-20% more than taxis.
The upside is that limo drivers are often better mannered, will
usually handle your luggage, and the cars are often larger and better
maintained. Moreover, you can book them in advance for both your
departure and arrival. It is a good feeling to arrive and have a
driver waiting with your name on a sign. Although this mode of transportation
is often seen as being for business people and for those with extra
cash, the truth is that it is an excellent value for money when
compared to an entire vacation budget. Remember, it's the little
things that make a holiday memorable. This is the place where...
A private guided tour is a great way to get access to local knowledge.
Get a referral, bargain on price, and you are likely to get great
insight into what you would otherwise almost surely miss out on. Smell the Roses.
Use your time away to do those thoughtful little things you don't
normally get to do for yourself or for others. Order flowers to
the room, seek out favorite foods, order a massage to the room or
give your partner one, go skinny dipping, whatever. These are the
moments to take advantage of, this is what we remember. We work
hard to afford holiday time, spend it wisely.
Airplane food. During flights of over an hour, pack something to drink and
some food in your carry-on bag. They can't even give you an aspirin...
Pack headache relief and any other medication in your carryon. I lost my... Pack anything you would be heart broken to lose in your carryon
For example, when returning, keep your camera and undeveloped film
in your carryon so if your luggage is lost you still have your memories. Wanna be cool?
If you are traveling south, pack your sandals, bathing suit, and
lotion in your carryon If your luggage gets to your hotel later
than you do, you can be waiting for it in comfort by the pool or
at the beach.
Don't make yourself an easy target.
Don't take unnecessary risks. In order to avoid being one of thousands
of airport theft victims, try to keep what you are carrying attached
to your body. Always have the strap of whatever you are carrying
wrapped around your leg or arm. In the case of larger suitcases,
keep them very near and be wary of individuals offering to carry
your bags. Be certain that you only hand your bags over to individuals
who are clearly identified as airport staff. Don't take unnecessary
risks. Remember when there is doubt there is no doubt.
My ears hurt!
When traveling with young children, pack sugarless gum, and juice
in boxes (sucking the juice through a straw is a great way to clear
ears), snacks, and something to keep them busy. Don't wait for the
ears to hurt, it is harder to relieve the pressure then. Get them
sucking or chewing a minute or two before the plane goes up, and
before it goes down. My tummy hurts! If your child has some difficulty with flying that causes nausea
or vomiting, give them Gravol about 40 minutes before flying. See
directions on label for correct dosage and timing. It will help
to prevent nausea, and side effects are usually limited to sleepiness. Chill. Most of the time it is wise to wait before the other passengers
have either gotten onto or left the plane before embarking or disembarking.
With children this is even more important. Waiting. If waiting is unpleasant for adults, it is positively horrendous
for most children. The reason for this is their sense of time is
different than ours; what feels like 15 minutes to us feels like
an hour to them. So do whatever you can to avoid long lines. When
you foresee that the kids will need to be patient have something
for them to do, even if only for the sake of your fellow travelers.
(Handheld video games and books work.)