How Do You Spend Your Vacation?

Planning your around the world trip? Great. So am I. Just not sure when I’ll take it, though.
In the meantime, how do you spend your vacation time? Do you arrange your time around holidays? Are you flexible? How about exploring in your own back yard?
If you live near a city or an area with things to do…even a weekend can be a “vacation”.
Feel like volunteering? You can volunteer to off the beaten path locations with international organizations that operate in less touristy areas. One I recently read about in Brave New Traveler is called GlobeAware. Check it out thoroughly before you sign up.

Pack Smart

Before you travel…make a list. Then check it twice. Think about activities you have planned. What’s the weather going to be like? Will you do laundry? Can you wear something more than once? Can your clothing pull double duty?

Keep your toiletries tiny. I know TSA has their 3 ounce size requirement for carry on luggage. You can find many small bottles of necessities in most stores. If there is something special you need or small reusable bottles…check out www.minimus.biz which sells more than 2,000 travel sized items.

When you are packing that suitcase, layer carefully. In a wheeled suitcase put heavy items like shoes at the base by the wheels. Work your way up to the handle end for better balance.
Put a dry cleaning bag on each layer of clothing so items can move around and not wrinkle. Then fill in every little space with scarves, socks or small items.

Beauty Tips

You’re headed off for a summer trip. Flying? If so check out these “beauty tips” to arrive at your destination looking and feeling great after that long flight.
Use a water rich moisturizer before your trip and the day of your trip. This will help your skin looking fresh and will help stop the moisture loss.
Choose water, energy drinks and juices to combat the dry airplane air.
Wait until shortly before you land to put on makeup.
Wear loose clothes for comfort. Wrinkle free is great.
Catch a nap…wear a sleep mask to help block out the light.
If you will be sitting for a long time, flex your ankles in an up and down motion to aid in circulation.
Wiping your hand with moisturizing tissues or baby wipes is great for cleansing, refreshing and cooling.

More Vineyards

Flowers and vineyards just go hand in hand.

Salvestrin Winery…sunshine…relaxing…just doesn’t get any better than this.

Some grapes just need to be cut and left for fertilizer…these won’t grow up or find their way to your glass.

These will…yum

Tight clusters

Weekend in the Vineyards

Vines standing tall in their summer green at The Terraces Winery in Napa.

Clusters packed tightly under the leaves.
Special barrels in a special room…yummm.

Flowers and bees everywhere.

Olives…

Can’t wait to taste these…in a few years.

Before You Leave Home Tips

If you know you will be visiting museums, zoos, aquariums or similar attractions while on vacation…join your local one before you go. Many times memberships transfer across the country. Sometimes you can get a reduced rate, other times you pay nothing.
Ask what the benefits are and tell your local one where you are going. They may even have hints for you.
Heading to a city with an upscale restaurant you are just dying to try? Then again, you know you really don’t want to pay those kind of prices? Make a reservation for lunch. Many times lunch prices are half what you would pay for dinner.
Check out the visitors bureaus when you arrive in a new city. Ask for discounts, coupons or suggestions. Some cities have websites where you can print your own coupons before you leave home.

Grand Canyon Boat Trips

Heading to the Grand Canyon this summer? Want to experience it from a different perspective?
How about a Colorado river rafting trip? Book in advance as the National Park Service only gives permits to 16 outfitters.
Some may have spots available to last minute travelers so it’s a good idea to check with several companies. When you book, your outfitter will give you a list of requirements as well as what other arrangements you need to make.
You have several options when it comes to boat types… inflatable rubber rafts, motor boats, oar boats, paddle boats and hybrid trips with different boats. Depending upon your group size and type, pick the one that works best for you. Research before you pick your boat.
Also, think about how much time you want to spend on the river. You can do one to three day trips in the lower canyon or up to 18 days. This may include a hike down to the river. But do remember you will need to come back up!
The upper canyon is narrower with trips ranging from three to over six days.
If you’re up for it…put yourself at the mercy of the Colorado River and enjoy the Grand Canyon from a mile beneath the rim.
And…yes I know the photo at the top is not of the Grand Canyon. Anyone know where it is?