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"You can always go back."

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Jun 4th, 2012, 02:27 PM
  #1
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"You can always go back."

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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Jun 4th, 2012, 02:32 PM
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I feel better, too.
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Jun 4th, 2012, 02:46 PM
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My own pet peeve is people who plan activities every fifteen minutes with no thought to how things work in the real world, particularly transportation problems owing to accidents, labor actions, or on railways in the UK, the "wrong kind of leaves on the line".
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Jun 4th, 2012, 03:03 PM
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Peg..I knew you'd come through..put me down for a copy to "lend" to friends you've targeted so well. Hope you inlude my #1 peeve...."Gawd! Read a map! Paris is not a day's ride to Dubrovnik..suck it up!"
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Jun 4th, 2012, 03:27 PM
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Maybe you should entitle the book Suck it Up.
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Jun 4th, 2012, 03:27 PM
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I agree with all of the above except one item. I see no need to pack everything I need for a 3 week trip into a gym bag.

I need fresh, clean clothes, outfits for a variety of purposes, and like to take my own toiletries and medical kit and ...

So I always check a bag. Sometimes 24" and sometimes 26". Have never had one lost or delayed in more than 90 trips to europe. (Although they are always conspicuously marked.)

I think not having what you want with you is a mistake. I don't wash things in a sink, and I see no purpose in paying a hotel $12 to wash a pair of panties that only cost me that to begin with.

And have never had any trouble finding a cart or a bellman to haul the bags around. (Caveat: we almost always travel by car - unless just doing 2 major cities. And I'm strong enought to lift the bag onto the train easily if need be - although I always prefer to have a man to do so.)

I strongly agree that people (whose native language is English) should not ask for "advise". And would love it if they would learn to spell itinerary. (I have collected 17 different misspellings. Why not say schedule if you're not sure or your computer doesn't have auto spell check?)

Now - about maps - everyone should get one!
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Jun 4th, 2012, 03:33 PM
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Maybe you should add a chapter for those travelers who aren't able to go back as it turns out...there are a few of those folks around these days.
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Jun 4th, 2012, 03:34 PM
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I agree, Dukey... there are lots of folks who really can't go back.
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Jun 4th, 2012, 03:45 PM
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Right on, Dukey and Grasshopper...in my many decades of extensive/intensive worldwide travel I never thought I'd be one of those who really can't go back. Now it's true. My dear wife can no longer travel except for very restricted local stuff. Luckily and happily, in our views we pretty much "did it all" as they say.
stu
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Jun 4th, 2012, 03:45 PM
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how about a chapter on pre-planning your trip and not counting on tour guides to do it for you. these are the same people that complain that they felt too rushed and were annoyed the guide was speaking in 4 different languages
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Jun 4th, 2012, 03:55 PM
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You also need a chapter on "languages of the World" or no, not everyone will speak English.
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Jun 4th, 2012, 04:01 PM
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I thought about the spelling of itinerary after I'd posted. Wow! 17 misspellings. Surely a record.

I traveled with my sister for 8 years, but now she's unable to travel because of physical limitations. We both love to read the trip reports she did for our last couple of trips, so that she can re-live them. I don't like to think about a time when I won't be able to travel,

My big problem with anything larger than a 22" is that it's too heavy for me. It's a struggle to get it into the overhead on the train or plane, and hauling it up stairs isn't a lot of fun, either. It is easier when I travel by car, but I don't always do that.

I do wash things in the sink. My sister took a great picture of our room in Rome with my socks and underwear hanging from every horizontal surface. I don't think I do without anything I need.
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Jun 4th, 2012, 04:02 PM
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Jet-lag kills me and I travel light. Most of the time we stay in apts., so washing is not a problem..
If I need something we did not bring( an umbrella, for example)
I buy it.
Don't make itineraries or mind the ATM charges. I NEVER wear ugly shoes.
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Jun 4th, 2012, 04:03 PM
  #14
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Johnny, the solution to the problem of others not speaking English is simple. You just speak louder.

I do enjoy countries more where I speak the language--Spain, Germany, and of course the U.K. and Ireland.
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Jun 4th, 2012, 04:07 PM
  #15
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Oh, I left out a chapter: "Use the internet instead of asking these fool questions."

I remember how pleased I was when hotels began to have websites, and I could check out a hotel, read reviews, make reservations, find out about weather, etc., on the internet, instead of calling or writing or just winging it and taking my chances on hotel availability.
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Jun 4th, 2012, 04:15 PM
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How about it can be a nice, even great, restaurant, hotel, perched village, you-name-it, w/o having to be the very best in the whole wide world.
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Jun 4th, 2012, 04:21 PM
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Remind them that they can always come back to see what they missed the first time.
Don't use the expression "a trip of a lifetime"


Although most Fodorites travel to Europe repeatedly,for many people a European trip is a once in a lifetime experience. It really is their "trip of a lifetime," as cliched as that may sound.
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Jun 4th, 2012, 04:58 PM
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Know why you're going to a place rather than asking "What are the top, don't-miss sights in ____?"

Don't book your flights before you've figured out exactly where you're going, how many days you'll need in each place to see what you want to see, and how much time it will take to get from place to place. A cheap fare is not a good deal if you then have to spend time and more money getting to where you really want to go.

I recommend two chapters specifically about using Fodors forums:

"We are not your travel agent" that would encourage people to do a minimum of research before starting a thread that asks the same questions that have been asked and answered a jillion times.

"How to compose a first post with a useful title." I can't count the number of times I've responded to the OP with the usual questions: When is this trip? How many days is this trip? What is your budget (in numbers, not vague adjectives)? Recent awards for least useful thread title: "Where to begin?" and "Europe Summer 2012"


And an inclusion to Pegontheroad's chapter on terminology, never refer to California as Cali.
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Jun 4th, 2012, 05:05 PM
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Here's one that will ruffle some feathers:

If you hire a tour guide, even a private, highly compensated one, you're on a tour, not traveling independently!
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Jun 4th, 2012, 05:23 PM
  #20
 
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Another chapter to add. 'How to be gentile with posters asking these perceived foolish questions.'
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