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Welcome, everyone! Here's where I blather about writing, life with my wife BA, and my two basset hounds! I love to hear from readers, so comment here or email me!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Julia's Best Travel Tips

I love to travel. I go anywhere I can, anytime I can. I've traveled both domestically and abroad. I love Malaga and London, hate NYC and Atlanta. I have been in cabs and on trains, have been dragged across Rome with a man named Orlando carrying my suitcase and I've eaten squid ink pasta in Venice and gluten free Falafel and pita in Portland. Over the last fifteen years I've learned some great tips for having a good trip.

Don't go with someone you don't get along with pretty well. I've been to Italy 3 times, and every time there was one person who dragged down the fun level. Now, that's not to say anyone was a jerk, but if you don't see museums at the same speed or if one person wants to shop and sun on the beach and the other wants to hit historical sites and sights, you're gonna have a problem. I can't wait to go to Italy with my wife. We travel well together.

Don't get into the cab with the crazy Russian driver. I learned this in LA. Our party split into two cabs and BA and I got the crazed man who decided it was a competition. He damned near killed us. However, we have found that if you get a cabbie who will chat with you then talk! Don't just sit there. We've learned all about 1950s French Quarter NOLA, downtown Pittsburgh during the steel era, how thw Queen's Guard in London all learn to talk through closed lips so they can pick up women, and how police work pays in Houston, TX. From carriage drivers we've learned that they used to use homing pigeons to get football scores to the newspaper in Texas, that mules are more surefooted on cobblestones than horses and that the bull fighting ring in Malaga Spain is their pride and joy.

Pay for the better hotel. Don't stay in a cheap hotel. Get the best one you can afford. Not luxury, unless you're into that, but a good, clean, comfortable hotel. After a long day of walking about, the last thing you want is to come back to a gross bed and nasty carpets. Do your research online, make sure the hotel has the amenities important to you. Pool? Beach access? Room service? Gluten free food. You don't have to compromise in this competitive day and age.

Eat and travel and expect things like a local. I can't tell you how many people I've seen say, "This isn't like home." Lord, people go all over the world and eat McDonald's. Seriously, y'all. Bust out. Don't eat the menu touristica, as they say in Italy. Wander off the beaten path. Try the weird seafood soup. Go to the food truckk court. See the real.

There's so much more, but I'm out of time.




1 comment:

Katherine Halle said...

YES 100% to all of this!!! SO MUCH!!! I can't even tell you how much I agree with ALL of these tips! Also...PACK LIGHT. That's probably the biggest/hardest lesson I learned during our three years in Europe and my almost 17 years as a military wife. Each trip I get better and lighter :D

Thanks for this lovely post! It made me smile on a gray overcast day <333333