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"You can always go back."

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I think I'll write a book entitled "You Can Always Go Back," especially for inexperienced travelers who want to jam 6 cities into a week.

It will remind people that unless they're departing from the East Coast, they will be zonked by jet lag to a greater or lesser degree. (From where I live in eastern Washington, the time difference will be nine hours, and the flight will cross the entire United States and then the Atlantic Ocean.) I'm no good at all for the first day and am still not entirely up to snuff until about the third day.

It will have a chapter on the fact that one can't count the flights from the U.S. and back as part of those 7 sightseeing days and that one has to allow half a day to a full day to check out of the old hotel, travel to the new city, and check into a new hotel. Remind them that they can always come back to see what they missed the first time.

It will tell them to consult a guidebook and not to expect someone else to tell them what to see.

I will strongly suggest that they bring only a 22" suitcase.

There will be a chapter on what to wear, including a subsection entitled "No, you can't wear a bikini top and shorts into St. Peters" and 'another "Wear comfortable shoes even if they're ugly."

Also a chapter on hotels--that you get what you pay for. You probably won't find a nice hotel in London for 100 euros. There will be no swimming pools, hot tubs, probably no air conditioning in the hotel, unless it's one of those soulless business hotel.

Food will be different. If you don't like the food, suck it up--or go to the nearest McDonald's. You'll find plenty of them quite easily.

Don't bring dollars and expect to get a good exchange. Don't use a pre-paid card. They're generally a rip-off.

If you can't afford to pay $5..00 to get 350 euros out of an ATM, you can't afford to take the trip. Again, suck it up.

A chapter on terminology: Don't use the expression "a trip of a lifetime." Don't refer to yourself as a "noobie" or a "foodie." Don't say that you need "advise" (verb), when what you mean is that you need "advice" (noun.)

There! I feel better. I'll undoubtedly think of more later.

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