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Travel advice and suggestions You Never Used/Have Yet to Use

Travel advice and suggestions You Never Used/Have Yet to Use

Old Jun 8th, 2021, 09:51 AM
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I can't think of any advice that I've never used/will never use, but I don't pack light, I almost always check my luggage, and I like to stay up late and then sleep in when traveling. I don't mind one-night stops as long as there aren't too many of them. I'm happy to rent a car, take a taxi, hire a driver, take the train, walk--whatever seems most convenient, not what's considered "the best" or the least expensive.

Once I downloaded one of those day-by-day itineraries that a Fodor's poster so generously--and regularly--shares. Got to the destination and thought, nah, we're just gonna do what we feel like, and I tossed the itinerary. Never even glanced at it. Turns out I really wasn't interested in someone else's idea of the best, most scenic drive, etc.

OTOH, I welcome flight-routing advice, especially for safaris and similarly complicated itineraries.

I try not to give advice, just share what I have done and what worked for me/what didn't. I like to think of it as a benign form of nostalgia, schlegal.
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Old Jun 8th, 2021, 10:22 AM
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I always thought the money belt was a funny piece of advice. I guess if you are staying in youth hostels or something. I mean, have you ever used a money belt wandering around your own town? Or a visit to NYC, or Atlanta, Los Angeles, Chicago? If you are going somewhere truly dangerous a money belt isn't going to help. If you are going to pretty much any regular big city, why wouldn't you take a purse/wallet like the people who live there do, and you yourself would do if you lived there?
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Old Jun 8th, 2021, 10:42 AM
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Don't drive for 3 days after flying trans Atlantic. WHY?

I've brought a screaming, crying baby up to be a grumpy teenager. Sleep deprivation is in the job title, 20 minutes power naps are king.

best advice I've ever had
1. Don't drink booze and fly
2. Fly Singapore Airlines
3. Don't fly Ryanair
4. Don't argue with US immigration
5. In economy class , once boarding is complete - work out where there are 3 empty seats together, once in the air and when the fasten your seatbelt sign goes off, make a 30m dash for those seats , push anyone else out of the way. Lie down on the 3 empty seats ....bingo First class on the cheap.

Last edited by BritishCaicos; Jun 8th, 2021 at 10:47 AM.
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Old Jun 8th, 2021, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by flygirl View Post
I always thought the money belt was a funny piece of advice. I guess if you are staying in youth hostels or something. I mean, have you ever used a money belt wandering around your own town? Or a visit to NYC, or Atlanta, Los Angeles, Chicago? If you are going somewhere truly dangerous a money belt isn't going to help. If you are going to pretty much any regular big city, why wouldn't you take a purse/wallet like the people who live there do, and you yourself would do if you lived there?
I usually use a money belt for things that I would be truly screwed if lost during a trip. I had my pocket picked twice. Once in Rome by some kids where my wallet was returned after paying the kids a modest ransom for their “honesty” that being the days before credit cards and having just Amex checks and no cash in that wallet, and once in Jerusalem where still having those items in the belt saved time, aggravation, and the rest of our trip.
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Old Jun 8th, 2021, 11:20 AM
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BC, I'm passing tip #5 on to friends, but only if they are not on our flight.
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Old Jun 8th, 2021, 11:26 AM
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I have a black leather passport cover. It is just large enough to protect the pp. I thought I had it in the front left pocket of my trousers when I sat down on the black naugahyde/fake leather seating at my departure gate and propped my feet up on my luggage. The pocket opened to the side, vertically, as opposed to horizontal pockets on jeans.

I did a pocket check and realized my passport wasn't there. I looked at and around the seat, the luggage pockets. No luck. I retraced my steps: gate agent, restroom, airline club, TSA, check-in, reported it to airport police, back to TSA and airport club again, gate agent, then back to my seat. The woman who was now sitting there raised her right cheek and felt underneath, nothing. She raised her left cheek and her husband said "what's that" and pulled out my passport/ The black cover had made it invisible on the black seat.

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Old Jun 8th, 2021, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Coquelicot View Post
BC, I'm passing tip #5 on to friends, but only if they are not on our flight.
I have only been on a couple of flights where this was possible. One was a return flight from Hawaii and another on a flight to and from Santiago Chile. In both instances, the plane was half empty and we availed ourselves of the empty rows. It was pretty nice,although still not equivalent to a good business class.
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Old Jun 8th, 2021, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by charsuzan View Post
Suggestion I have never used: Pack and wear old clothes and toss them after wearing. I do not wish to wear old clothes. I wear them to garden or clean the house.


I am getting better at packing light.
You have misunderstood the concept, unless you’re gardening in pajamas or cleaning the house in silk blouses.
Every clothing item has “one last wear” ~ the idea is to plan when and where that will be.
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Old Jun 8th, 2021, 12:24 PM
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Some stuff I do that goes up against advice often given.

- I bring jeans when traveling
- I check bags if needed
- I almost never take public transit to/from the airport
- I never wear a money belt or take other precautions I wouldn't take at home
- I don't try to learn the language for a one-off visit
- I never stay at B&Bs
- I drink on planes
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Old Jun 8th, 2021, 12:25 PM
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Wow, what a great bunch of responses.

Gail. You decided you could go to Italy and not go to Rome. I decided I could go to Italy and order a cappuccino at any time of the day, including after noon which was supposedly a cultural no-no. My thought was, that doing business is a negotiation. I am making an offer, not delivering an ultimatum a la 'Your cappuccino or your life". Ergo, vendor can counteroffer or decline, with no offense on either side. To date, I have never been turned down. For cappuccino I mean...

Schlegal - I want to hear about your favourite tourist trap. I wonder, is it a trap if we are happy to be trapped?

Macross - you "count the travel days as part of the adventure." If you ever go into the tee shirt biz I will order one from you with that as a slogan.
BTW - who are kara and Nate?


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Old Jun 8th, 2021, 12:32 PM
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I don't pack light, either, and I am not one of those carry-on only people. I just can't do it. There are a certain number of items I have to have with me. Even if I don't wear a few of the pieces on the vacation, I will still bring them next time, because one never knows. I don't want to shop for clothes, especially bathing suits, while on vacation. It takes me a long time to try on and find clothes at home in the US that look nice on me. What looks nice on the rack doesn't necessarily look nice on me. I did downsize, though, from a 28-inch suitcase to a 24-inch suitcase!!! So my husband and I each have our own carry-on (mine is small, a gift from my daughter), and we each have our own 24-inch checked suitcase. Waiting at the carousel for luggage doesn't bother us, even when a few times the luggage didn't arrive when we did. But it was always delivered to our hotel the next day!

I do like getting advice on the minimum number of nights/days to spend in a location. It gives me a baseline with which to work. Then I will add or subtract days depending on what we like to do, and I try to include a day for just wandering around neighborhoods, relaxing at cafes, and people watching. I do like to visit "touristy" places and the well-known highlights. But I also like to find unknown travel gems, too.

Never heard the advice that someone mentioned upthread about wearing old clothes on vacation and then throwing them away! UGH! Most of the photos I have of us are when we are on vacation, so I want to look nice in the photos. As someone else said, I wear old clothes to clean the house and work in the garden!
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Old Jun 8th, 2021, 12:33 PM
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After reading all of the responses from people who don't pack lightly, I am determined not to let spouse see this thread.

Tired of carrying his stuff, I instituted a 'we no longer share bags' rule. You pack it, you carry it. Or roll it, or lift it down the stairs, or whatever.

I underestimated his cunning. He bought a round topped rollaboard, I got a flat topped rollaboard. The idea was to put my daypack on top of it for my ease and comfort. He of course has a CPAP machine that goes in its own little case. Which is flat bottomed. Which now goes on top of my rollaboard - so I now carry some of his stuff no matter what. As I struggled down the Paris Metro steps once, I thought, just remember how much better you sleep Sue grace a that CPAP machine. And the load felt a little lighter...

Kleeblatt. I used to always fold my clothes but I have to confess, the advice to roll it turned out to be good - for me anyway. I have seen videos of people who interleave folded clothes to prevent wrinkling.

Macross. I used to pack in Ziplocks, and I still put shoes and whatnot in them, but I have discovered packing cubes. I am now a 'cuban.'




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Old Jun 8th, 2021, 12:34 PM
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Last edited by thursdaysd; Jun 8th, 2021 at 01:10 PM. Reason: Wrong thread
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Old Jun 8th, 2021, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by travelgourmet View Post
Some stuff I do that goes up against advice often given.

- I bring jeans when traveling
- I check bags if needed
- I almost never take public transit to/from the airport
- I never wear a money belt or take other precautions I wouldn't take at home
- I don't try to learn the language for a one-off visit
- I never stay at B&Bs
- I drink on planes
I love your list! Some of the things that you do that I do as well are:
Drink on planes!
Bring jeans
Check bags
Take taxi to/from airport.
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Old Jun 8th, 2021, 12:41 PM
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Sue, I love the packing cubes, too!
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Old Jun 8th, 2021, 12:47 PM
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One piece of advice I did take that turned out to be unnecessary is "earth tones on safari".
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Old Jun 8th, 2021, 01:30 PM
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My most gleefully ignored advice is the ever present intrepid traveler tip not to book a hotel ahead of time and, instead, to find a place when you arrive by stopping into various places, asking to see the room, and then negotiating the price once you see it, or asking to see a different room. This is typical advice in the backpacking set (which has historically been my budget group).

The advisor always admonishes that not doing this makes one a fool and a sucker.

This advice is most often given for travel in C/S America or in SE Asia.

There is so much I dislike about this advice I could rant for a year. It's trotted out constantly.
1. I want to know I have a place to stay and the internet provides more than adequate info to research ahead.
2. I have no interest in dickering over a few dollars on my vacation. I hate bargaining.
3. While there are often places where the rooms are appreciably different, it's never at a level that matters to me and I do not have the personality style that can comfortably request to see a bunch of different rooms (see above about hating to bargain).
4. If I'm not going to ask to see multiple rooms, you can bet I am not going to go through multiple hotels/BandBs/etc. in a destination. I don't have that kind of time on vacation and I'm not schlepping bags all over a place to find a place.

I am sure the advice is sound for people on gap years or who are spending months backpacking. I'm not able to travel that way. Even if I could, my personality doesn't mesh with that much asking/rejecting/back and forth.
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Old Jun 8th, 2021, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by CounterClifton View Post
Like Dukey, I've ignored the minimum day rule on many occasions. The logic being all the "packing and unpacking" it saves but yeah... I'm fine grabbing a shirt and my toothbrush out the next morning and leaving the bag packed. I love to dawdle, sure, and often I don't bother to see any of the must-sees as we loiter for days. It's nice. But sometimes there's a lot to get to and not as much time available as I'd like. And I've never found a lot of wisdom in the "you'll be back" justification for "slowing down" . Maybe... but I haven't been back to anyplace in 20 years so.... it kind of feels like they're talking about themselves and not so much us and our trips.
Yeo. Seems to me that the "you'll be back" wisdom is justification for not "slowing down". Seeing more places gives you a better idea of where you might go back to.

I believe that many of the "slow down" people didn't take that advice when they were younger. They traveled fast and, as they continued to travel, they learned that slowing down was better for them as they got older and experienced. My advice leans toward letting the newbie travelers learn that for themselves. IF that is what, in fact, they learn. I am a slow learner, apparently, and not a slow traveler.

I think that some people must be spending a lot more time shopping than I do.

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Old Jun 8th, 2021, 01:49 PM
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Macross. You are right, there is usually a way to see something without renting a car, although it might involve hiring a taxi. As it is, we never did get to see the "Keringhuis' aka the Maeslant flood barrier or Maeslantkering just west of Rotterdam in the Netherlands. Not because I couldn't figure out a way to get at least reasonably close by public transit, but because we would be 'in transit' between two stops that day and I couldn't figure out where we could leave our bags off while visiting the site. (The terrorists have done a nice job of ensuring that it can be very difficult for the rest of us to find rental lockers in train stations.)

There are times when a car would be a PITA and times when it would be darned useful. But while 'you won't see anything' is probably just someone's attempt to distill advice into a simple and easy formula to follow, making travel itinerary and packing plans is like making soup - one can vary the recipe a lot and still get something edible.

Goddesstogo, melnq8 and others - lots of decisions against packing lightly. I think it is like taking a tour versus DIY - there are benefits and tradeoffs to each approach. I concede I have never regretted the advice to pack lightly - I don't mind seeking out laundromats. I like the excuse to have downtime just listening to the washer squish and spin. To write postcards, notes on where we've been, etc., while I wait for the dryer to finish. Of course, there have been the times when I couldn't find a laundromat, like in Muerren, Switzerland, where we ended up dumping the laundry into our hotel room bathtub and agitating the clothes with our feet, grape-squishing style. Fortunately being Switzerland in June, the heat was on in the room and our bathroom clothesline did nicely, supplemented by a hairdryer and a little creative draping over radiators.

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Old Jun 8th, 2021, 01:54 PM
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