Monthly Archives: March 2017

Travel hints from lessons learned

Lessons learned about airline travel and luggageHere is a travel hint that came from my experience traveling in four continents, many countries, cities, towns, and islands, not to mention, in planes, buses, trains, trolleys, tuk-tuks, taxi’s, ferries, and on camels and horse and buggies.

Let’s take airline travel, because this might be the hardest to adhere to.

Before planning a trip, consult with the airline company and the country, that will not only be your destination, but for the landings in route, because you’ll need to know the carry-on-luggage and the booked-on luggage rules for the items you want to travel with. This not only applies to containers of liquid, food, medicines, but to nearly all forms of technology.

The rules change often depending on what is going on in the world at this moment in time.

I can give you one example that nearly caused me to miss a plane.

I was late in arrival to the airport in Croatia, because I miss-read the ticket departure time.

When I got to the ticket counter, the boarding lady, I nicknamed Cruella Deville, growled, “You are late. You are going to miss the plane. Put your luggage up here”, she directed.

“You have a battery inside the bag. You must remove it,” Cruella frowned. This was the first time in six months of flying on many airplanes that I faced this particular problem.

So, I tore into the bag, underwear going this way, tops that way, pants over there, and my Kindle fell out, but no clock – that was the culprit, I thought. Or was it the Kindle?

I was frantic.

Out came winter gloves, the Icelandic sweater, wool socks, rocks, seashells, pajamas, and a hot pink towel.

“Oh, come on,” I sighed to myself. I left the Kindle out, thinking that may have been the problem, but couldn’t find the clock.

“Let them look at it again.” She pointed to the men who would give it a second look.

“No, there’s no time, “she quickly changed her mind. “Just close it up, and let’s go.”

I tried shoving my life back into the bag, and now the bag seemed too small to accommodate all the stuff I had just thrown out.

“Can you help me close this up, please?” I pleaded with one of the agents.

He did help me zip it up, and then I was on my way with Cruella’s stiletto heels clipping on the tile, with me in tow.

“Do you have your boarding pass and passport?” She turned with that look again.
“Yes,” trying not to let her bullishness win.

I handed the customs agent my passport, and she and Cruella exchanged words, leaving me out.

“Oh, no, my camera.” Suddenly it was not hanging over my neck.

Well, I’m not going to tell you what she said then. But, the camera was located and I was the last person to board the plane and got the worst seat: the last one in the back.

Lesson: read the boarding time correctly so you’re on time. Find out exactly what you can have in the luggage on board and the carry-on-luggage, as well, for each airline in every country.

This is just one of the many lessons learned while traipsing all over the world.

 

 

 

 

Senior traveling on the cheap

I’m going into the 80th year of my life on earth, and enjoy the benefits of old age. I have noticed many seniors like myself, who are kept busy with hobbies, and going places.

On the other hand, I see folks who assume that once they reach a certain age they need to put theirselves “into” what is expected of those who have been blessed to live a long life.

I tend to break out of that closed up thinking, and did so, first, when I quit my news reporting job at age 74 and left the U.S., for some places I only thought about going while I was already ‘on the road’.

If you find yourself wanting to get off the couch and get out there, it can be done.

There are many opportunities for senior tours, or you can do what I did, and “just wing it”.

I did not own a house, and left an apartment so I could use the funds I would have to pay rent or a mortgage, to be used on the one-year journey. All I had was social security, a bit of savings, a gift from a friend, and had the first three places lined up before I left. The rest was planned by using my computer and available wifi coffee shops to book the next place. I found the cheapest way to get wherever I wanted to explore, and stayed mostly in hostels. Of course, I was more often that not, they oldest person in those hostels, but it was mostly an enjoyable time.

You can go back through this blog and view some of my adventures.

 

Travel Hints

Here are some travel hints to help you get where you want to go with careful attention to your budget.
1. Register for Couch Surfing at www.couchsurfing.com.
2. Check out hostels for stays such as www.hostelworld.com.
3. Travel as light as possible. You can always purchase needed items wherever you are and that’s part of the fun of traveling.
4. Do online research for the best deals in travel and hotels before you leave and while on the road. Good deals pop up all the time.
5. Learn to say please and thank you in every language of the place you visit. You will be treated better.