We start a new feature here today, The World's Greatest Travelers™ tip of the day.
The idea is to impart on travelers everywhere a little unconventional wisdom, tips and
quotes that will hopfully increase your Travel IQ--or just have more fun traveling!
Occasionally they will be peppered with Top Ten lists. Comments welcome.
So here goes...
Day 23 Travel Tip of the Day:
Travel Tip #267 - Expert savvy travelers know that that admission price of
New York City museums is totally flexible and based on your willingness
to pay. Forget that suggested posted price...just name your price and they
will let you in. I promise. Yes, even for a buck!
Day 22 Travel Tip of the Day:
Travel Tip #688 – If you really must take a cruise, book the shore excursions
yourself (DIY) without the help of the cruiselines. It is really easy to do and book
them when you arrive with locals and you will save a ton of money, as well as
escape from all your cruise buddies for a day too! Shore excursions are huge
revenue streams for cruise lines and the markup is obscene. One friend told
me he booked a day to Angkor Wat for two for $3,500…in 15 minutes I had it
priced at $364--cars, guides, flighs, grand hotel. Nuff said, DIY!
Day 21 Travel Tip of the Day:
Travel Tip #233 - NEVER ever stick your thumb in the popular weeping column hole in
Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya) located in Istanbul, Turkey. There is no glory in the hole
as your finger will smell for days and you might consider cutting it off! Yucky.
Day 20 Travel Tip of the Day:
Travel Tip #401 - Always, repeat after me: always check your hotel and restaurant
bills...believe it or not, people have been known to pad the bills of customers they will
never see ever again! An extra side order here, a movie you didn’t order there, an
extra beer…it all adds up! For some places--no names on the advice of
counsel--it seems that it is a business model.
Day 19 Travel Tip of the Day:
Travel Tip #873 – Whenever possible, always return home one full day before
you are required to jump back into action after a lengthy adventure. It gives you a short
breather and time to decompress, get reacquainted with loved ones, unload your bags,
open mail, get some familiar groceries, reflect a little, do laundry, and maybe get (or at
east try to get) a good night sleep too.
Day 18 Travel Tip of the Day:
Travel Tip #342 - Once home from your adventure, study your photos well,
especially your worst pictures—they are your best teachers of what to do and
what not to do. Learn from your mistakes. (Also, please, never show
all your photos to friends and family--keep the reject pile to yourself.)
Day 17 Travel Tip of the Day:
Travel Paradox #23 - Countries where people have smaller cars have much bigger
vacations than people in countries with bigger cars. Hmmm...you might be wrong Cadallic Man!
Day 16 Travel Tip of the Day:
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any
direction you choose. You're on your own, and you know what you know. And you are
the one who'll decide where you'll go. Oh the places you'll go.” - Dr. Seuss
Day 15 Travel Tip of the Day:
Travel Tip #101 – Remember that the bargains you obtain are only possible because of
low wages paid to the producers of goods and services in poorer places. Happily pay the
Gringo Tax cheerfully. Don’t quibble over a few cents! Never try to cheat poor, ignorant
and desperate people. It is still a bargain for us. Karma...
Day 14 Travel Tip of the Day:
A few Travel Truisms:
-whenever you finally book, the price goes down the next day!
-planes are usually late departing—except when your flight is arriving a few minutes late...than
your connecting flights will be on time!
-you will always forget something that you should have remembered to bring on the way to the airport!
-your luggage always arrives last!
-housekeeping will always knock when you are napping or in the middle of, well, you know…
-despite weather forecast, you will experience bad weather on arrival!
-your camera will run out of batteries at the wrong time!
-your wakeup call will be late!
-you will arrive home before your postcards do!
-the more expensive the cost, the longer the TripAdvisor review!
Day 13 Travel Tip of theDay
Travel Tip #341– Yapta.com is a wonderfully subversive site for travelers in the market
to by airline tickets but want to hold off buying them until they are as cheap as possible.
And after you do purchase them, Yapta will notify you if the price drops and help you
get a refund too! (Yapta.com made the 101 Best Travel Websites for 2014!)
Day 12 (Happy Thanksgiving Day) Travel Tip of the Day
Travel Tip #45 - When your get the urge to go, start looking at a calendar and find a chuck of time.
Be flexible. To save money and avoid busy travel periods, be flexible. Here are few things to
consider: 1) The best time to travel is the so-called shoulder seasons (spring and fall before and
after the traditional summer vacation period) and between US thanksgiving and
Christmastime (aka Dead Week). 2) Conversely, unless you like crowds and over-paying, avoid
at all costs the Travel Bottleneck Periods, including: statutory long weekends (Easter weekend,
Memorial Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving weekend, Christmas holidays) and the busy and expensive
summer holiday season (between Memorial and Labor Day weekends). 3) Remember important
family occasions like weddings, reunions, graduations and potential births. Find your sweet spot, circle the
calendar, commit to it and inform the boss.
Day 11 Travel Tip of the Day:
Travel Tip #444 - Avoid China’s twin semi-annual Golden Weeks: Chinese Lunar New Year
in late January, and National Day usually early October. Again, everyone is off and moving...and
you have not seen a traffic jam until you see 1.3 billion people moving here and there. It is a
cluster fuck like you have never seen on par with India's every 12-year Kumbh Mela.
You have been warned.
Day 10 Travel Tip of the Day:
"I don’t know what’s worse: suffering homesickness when traveling or
wanderlust when not?" - William D. Chalmers
Day 9 Travel Tip of the Day:
Travel Tip #318 - Do you occasionally have a senior moment and forget your
hotel and/or room number--they all look alike, right? If you have a smartphone/digital
camera, take a photo of the front of your hotel...you will never have a problem explaining
to taxi drivers where you are staying again! Ditto your room.
Day 8 Travel Tip of the Day:
Travel Trip #564 - When in transit or just basically traveling, take to heart these three (okay four)
basic rules: never stand when you can sit, never sit when you can lie down, and never pass up a
chance to use the bathroom…and mostly never be without toilet paper in your daypack!
Day Seven Travel Tip of the Day:
Travel Tip #210 - Word to the wise: I always make sure that I leave my loved ones on the right terms.
Have great sex the night before you fly. Leave some fun notes for the kids. It will help everyone and
you will sleep better too. And just in case, their final memories of you are good.
Day Six Tip of the Day:
Travel Tip #345 – When booking anything, remember that everything is
always negotiable! Always ask, is that the best price today? Should I come back
tomorrow for a better price? They might offer you a "deal," seeing if you'll snatch
it while knowing it's not the lowest price they can offer. Always express hesitance
and wait for them to sell you. If you think you can do better, walk away saying you’ll
have to think about it. Bottom line: Don’t ever be afraid to ask; because as I tell my kids,
if you don’t ask--you don’t get! This works buying flights, booking hotel rooms, on rental
cars and markest the world over...don't be shy!
Day Five Tip of the Day:
"Travel has never been so urgent, even necessary, as it is today." - Pico Iyer
So much misunderstanding. So much ignorance. And yet we live in a highly interconnected globalized world.
A solution: Go travel!
Day Four Tip of the Day:
I am always asked simple questions; like which I would recommend
Either/Or? Here is my latest list of Either/Or choices I would choose:
JFK or EWR? (JFK)
Florida or Hawaii? (Hawaii)
Rome or Florence? (Florence)
LA or SF? (SF)
Paris or London? (Paris)
ATL or O'Hare? (ATL)
10 day trip or three 4-day trips? (10 day trips)
Louvre Musee or Musee O'rsay? (O'rsay)
Europe or Asia? (Asia)
Vienna or Berlin? (Vienna)
Croatia or Cinque de Terre? (Croatia)
Panama or Mexico? (Panama)
Hong Kong or Singapore? (HGK)
De Gaulle or Heathrow for connections? (De Gaulle)
Window or Aisle? (Window)
Turkey or Greece? (Turkey)
Prague or Budapest? (Budapest)
Australia or New Zealand? (NZ)
Beijing or Shanghai? (Beijing)
Dubai or Las Vegas? (Vegas...easier to get to and you can kiss in public!)
Bangkok or Singapore? (Bangkok)
Bali or Phuket? (Bali)
France or Italy? (Italy)
Amsterdam or Copenhagen? (Copenhagen)
7-day cruise or 7-day resort? (Resort)
Disneyland or Disney World? (Save your money & stay home)
Buenos Aries or Rio di Janeiro? (Rio)
Machu Picchu or Angkor Wat? (Machu Picchu)
Tanzania or Zambia? (Zambia)
Uganda or Angola? (Angola)
China or Vietnam? (Vietnam)
Nepal or Tibet? (Nepal)
…I could go on.
Day Three Tip of the Day:
Travel Myth #1 - There is a right way to travel. Wrong, there is no right way formula to travel. There is no cookie cutter one-size-fits-all approach to travel either. There is only your own personal Goldilocks Theory of Travel. Some folks love to sleep on the beach, while others are adrenaline junkies. Some are cheap and busy, others wealthy and lazy. Some like the tried and true and hang with the herd, while others head off to parts unknown by themselves. Some folks just need a few days, while others take a whole year off. There are no right ways to travel, and one way is not better than the other; it is wholly subjective, personal and an individual choice. Just like art. There's slow travel, hyper-travel, event travel, culinary travel, cultural travel, etc. I say, just travel.
Day Two's Tip of the Day:
The Travel Mindset #1 - The hard fact of life is that you are only getting older and closer to death. Accept it. That said, YOLO (You Only Live Once)...now is the time to travel; not next year, not after you retire, not after the world goes to hell in a hand basket--now! Shit happens, and frankly, you never know where the roller coaster we call life will take you. As Woody Allen says, "If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans." So, planning a trip for a year from now is great, but don’t put off travel as you and the world are rapidly changing…and it will only cost more later! No matter how short your trips, make taking them a lifelong habit.
Day One's nugget...and it is always best to start at the beginning I think:
"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing." - Helen Keller