Friday, March 26, 2010
5 Things Blog Along,....Traveler
So it's Friday! I don't know about you, but I am so glad it's the weekend! It's funny that the topic this week is about traveling. I told my mom last night that there are times when I wish I could just pack my bags and go somewhere, far away from all my adult responsibilities. Do you ever have those moments? Then after just saying you would like to run away, you snap back into reality and think,...wow, I need to get a grip. You then take a deep breath, smile and move on. Just shows that even us moms need a break once and awhile to renew ourselves so that we can continue to give to our husband and children. But on a lighter note, I have always been a traveler and can't wait to plan my next big adventure. (still deciding where that will be this summer/fall) Here is one of my favorite pictures I have taken in my travels. This was the view while driving in the hills of Scotland.
1.) Layering -I am always cold. Airplanes are the worst! (Well except the one time I was flying back from Africa and was stuck on a plan for hours without AC and had a large sweaty man seated next to me!) I like to wear a tee, a button up cardigan sweater and then a jacket with a light weight scarf of some sort. That way I can peel off a lay or two if I am hot, and if I get chilled, put it back on. A cute pair of earrings and a hair band to keep the hair out of my face, and I am set!
2.) Camera & Journal - While traveling I have found that I loose track of time. I have so much fun living in the moment, that I forget what days I have done what. I try to write down a story or two in a little travel journal after each day spent somewhere fun. I also find that when I get home my camera organizes and keeps my time accounted for. It's a way to reflect back after my trip and look at pictures I took, to see what I did on what day and remember all the fun I had. A memory keeper per say! Plus I am also a big scrapbooker (although I haven't had much time for this hobby lately) and it helps me create a keepsake of my time somewhere. If you aren't much interested in scrap booking but want to keep your pictures organized from a trip, there are online sites that you can create a photo book for you. I have used snapfish.com and love their work. The layouts are easy and you can be as creative or simple as you like. It's perfect for a coffee table!! A fun way to show people where you went on vacation, without having the "family slide show" stigma.
3.) Online Research - The Internet is filled with all kinds of travel ideas, discounts and tips. Tom and I have a timeshare in FLA and so we are able to exchange our week to visit other places. RCI has an amazing site that we use to research our next big trip. Plus they have extra vacations you can buy that are super cheap (sometimes less than $200.00 a week for a 5 star resort accomidating a family of 6 or 8 if you're lucky). I am always excited to see what they come out with every month on their sale page. Unfortunately, you have to be a member to use their services. But they do offer a way for you to buy points to use on their site, if you don't own a time share.
Another fun thing to do is to research the city you are traveling to before hand. Get an idea about what you would like to see and do. Plan ahead! When we went to London England a few summers ago, they had an awesome tourist site that sold London Passes that you could purchase ahead of time, that saves loads of money when you visit attractions in the city. It saves you time from standing in line to buy tickets, plus VIP treatment to the front of the line for tours. (That alone is worth getting the card!) Other major cities have these passes, but you have to purchase them ahead of time, to get them.
If you plan on flying anywhere, I recommend checking out kayak.com Tom and I have found some amazing deals on this site! It filters through all major airlines to find the best price.
4.) Cross the Body Purse- Like this one from Handbags.com I couldn't live without mine. It's the perfect size to hold your passport, wallet, sunglasses, travelers checks etc. But the best part is, you can wear it cross your body, so you have your hands free, and it zips up! No need to worry about someone reaching into your bag while you are not looking to steal your things!
5.) Ask Locals- I have found that some of the best places to go and see were suggested by locals from that city/town. There have been many photo sessions and memories made due to a suggestion from someone that "lives" there. I remember having lunch in this hole in the wall restaurant that would never have been featured in a book, but had the most amazing food. Or the time we got a beautiful picturesque view of the city by going to visit a grave yard! (who would have thought?) I am convinced that you need to stay "with the people" to get the best experience. Tom and I rented a flat for a week in Edinburgh Scotland, right off the main street. We were able to interact with those "from Scotland" and not just a hotel staff member who pointed out the touristy spots. They have these "extended stay flat rentals" everywhere in Europe for very reasonable prices. People who live the summer in different parts of Europe rent their flats out to earn some extra cash. We got a large flat with two bathrooms, a kitchen,(we cooked locally grown/produced food instead of eating out every night) living room and dining area for less than we would staying at a hotel. (Just keep in mind that everything is smaller in Europe) Check it out! Here! We experienced Mexico by staying out in the dessert sleeping on mats. (maybe not something you would want to do for a luxury get away, but it was an adventure to us!) But the point is, experience the culture by immersing yourself in it! Eat what they eat, listen to their music, read about their history and visit with the locals! (If you can) These memories will last forever.
Don't forget to visit the other girl's Blog Along Posts!