Half of the fun of a travel destination is the research. Thanks to the internet we have excellent sources on almost every travel destination in the Universe. And if you discover a new travel destination… you have many readers anxious to read about your travel experiences.
Depending on my travel time, I start with a simple outline of where I want to go. I begin my search by googling the area and look for travel hot spots and off the beaten path destinations. I then bookmark those pages of interest and copy and paste onto my personal Gmail, which I can view if the hotel has a computer or print them out in a folder… and I am good to go.
I then start looking for travel special deals, and if traveling by airplane, I key into Skyscanner.com website, which is very fast to get a number of comparative quotes. This is quick and easy and can save lots of time. From there you can choose to go to the airline webpage and look for special prices. Book it print it out… and your good to go.
The next step is to choose a hotel, which can be tricky and time-consuming. One such hotel showed the ocean right next to their swimming pool and it was a fifteen minute ride by taxi to the ocean. If the hotel destination is in a beach town for example… you might ask how far is the hotel from the bus station or airport and do you have free pickup–and if not, how much should I expect to pay for transport?
When a hotel requires an upfront deposit… don’t give them more than two nights in case the hotel turns out to be “The Hotel from Hell”… which I have stayed in quite a few times. These hotels had decent reviews, but were not fit for a dog to sleep in.
Upon arrival I always ask to see the room before signing in. Some chemical salesman must have sold the same bad-smelling spray to about 65 percent of all of the hotels in the world.
Of course they are trying to mask the smell of spilled beer, and smoke even in a non-smoking designated room. My nose is so intense I could probably get a job as a Hotel Room Sniffer and make a handsome living. I can smell three-day old smoke, stale beer, and a myriad of other smells not polite to mention.
Other things to look for… is the exact location of your room. One time I hiked more than 600 yards through treacherous steps, with no hand rails in the rain, to find my room, however the hotel had a modern beautiful reception area and you had no clue you were staying at the other end of the earth.
I also choose to stay on the first or second floor in case of fires or disasters so I can get out. I know this may be a bit extreme and those who like the penthouse view may think this is just plain crazy, however this is one thing I have made a point of always doing and rarely make an exception.
When I was a single backpacker on a very limited budget.. I would seek the best hotel in the town or city and then find cheaper accommodations just two or three blocks from the Ritzy Hotel. In the morning I would return to the fancy hotel, order a cup of coffee and toast, and enjoy the ambiance of real waiters and waitresses, white tablecloths, fresh flowers, matching silverware, cloth napkins, and watching a kaleidoscope of people dressed in safari outfits, beach shorts, Polo embossed shirts, Rolex watches, business suits and some women in their finery… with elaborate hats to match their outfits.
Often times music filled the restaurant with a live guitarist or piano solo. After people watching and enjoying a real cup of coffee… I would plan my travel day for the next destination, just hangout exploring the sights, take photographs of the local culture and architecture, and refresh in their elaborate clean restroom.
Essentials for any Travel Trip:
One lightweight backpack or canvas travel bag
two copies of your passport in separate locations
security wallet for your money and lock on your travel bag
small flashlight and plastic whistle for emergencies
sensible cotton clothing you can roll up plus 2 sets underwear
comfortable walking shoes, hat and sunglasses, swim suit
small pill-box for prescriptions or vitamins
small first aid items like band aids and sunscreen
lightweight sheet/blanket can use on plane or cover on bed
cell phone with wake-up capability and digital camera w/extra battery and extra memory card plus battery and cell phone charger. And finally hand wipes, toilet paper, and mosquito repellent.
FOOTNOTE: Almost every traveler brings way too much stuff… which is not only hard to handle and costs more on the airlines. Think of this way… you may be riding an elephant, walking on a bamboo bridge, wading in the water from a pumpboat and hopping in and out of tricycles, buses, jeepneys and taxis, riding a horse… maybe even a water buffalo or camel. You can always purchase a few nice t-shirts… if your travel mate is tired of looking at the same outfit.
QUOTE: “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine
THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW:Many people are afraid of the world beyond their door, yet the vast majority of humans are not thieves, murderers or rapists. They are people just like you and me who are trying to get by, to help their families and go about living their lives. There is no race, religion or nationality that is exempt from this rule. How they go about living their lives might be different, but their general goals are the same.
THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO SAVE:Your travel memories.
ZENTRAVELER SAYS:Travel with your eyes wide open grasshopper… don’t be a techie junkie locked onto your cell phone, laptops, tablets, and your ears covered with blaring headphones.
From here to Infinity is a relatively short ride! The next leg takes eons and eons as you fly through the Barycentric Dynamical Time Zone! …and on and on and on.
Follow the Zentraveler Blog often for Travel, Health and Zen-like stories and such. Where else can you get a three in one blog for the price of free?