Travel Tip

When traveling, keep only necessary documents, identification pieces and cards in your wallet or purse. I mean…do you really need your San Francisco Museum card when you’re traveling to Florence, Italy?

Anything that has your identification on it and is not needed for your trip, leave it at home.

Traveling Tip

First tip:

What’s one of the most important things you can do when traveling?  Keep your home safe…

Make sure someone is watching or taking care of your house. Nothing says there is no one home like newspapers lying in the driveway or a stuffed mailbox or a lawn that really needs mowing. (unless of course you always live like this!)

Be careful what you post on Facebook or Twitter. Telling everyone that you are leaving for three weeks in Europe may be an invitation for someone you don’t want checking out your home. You can always post those photos once you get home.

IcelandAir

Is Iceland on your travel list?

Did you know that when flying IcelandAir from the US to Europe, you have the option of adding a stop over in Iceland at no additional cost to your original plane ticket? If time allows, what a great way to experience a country you might never have otherwise seen. Check out the Blue Lagoon or the Northern Lights.

Of course, this forest floor is not in Iceland. Know where it is?

Travel Documents

These suggestions may help you when traveling.

Scan your passport and any other travel documents you use and give them to family members or friends. Make sure you can easily get in touch with them. Also, email a copy of your itinerary to them. This works in case you lose something or in case of a disaster, when they need to know where you are.

If you are traveling to a new country, check out where the embassy is located. It’s much easier to have the address in your phone or in your folder of documents than it is to try and find it in an emergency.

Taxis, Business Cards, and Fees

When you check in to a hotel, grab a business card and put it in your purse or pocket. It usually has the address and almost always has the phone number on it. That way you won’t wonder if it is located on Jefferson Street, Jefferson Court, or Jefferson Avenue.

Plus, you can show it to the taxi driver for your return trip to the hotel from the restaurant or wherever you have been.

It’s also a good idea to ask the hotel concierge the approximate cost of a taxi to your destination. It never hurts to know what your fare will be.

Dirty Clothes

You know you will have dirty clothes when traveling. But, why make your whole suitcase smell like dirty socks? Pack a lightweight laundry bag and throw a couple of dryer sheets in it.

If you don’t do any laundry while traveling, at least your dirty laundry smell won’t permeate your suitcase until you arrive back home.

Great Lake

This is NOT Lake Superior. Anyone know where it is?

Lake Superior is the largest of North America’s Great Lakes at 31,699 square miles. Did you know it contains more water than all of the Great Lakes…combined?

Lunch at The Terraces Winery

Amazing lunch at The Terraces Winery yesterday.

Even the stick figures had fun…

Timm outdid himself on all the courses.

Wines before, during, and after complimented all the wonderfully prepared food.

Polenta and honey cake with fresh berries…what a way to end the meal.

Rental Car Questions

If I am renting a car in another country, can I use my US driver’s license? Usually, in English speaking countries…yes. Many other countries require an International Driving Permit. Be sure to check with the rental car company before you leave the US as the IDP must be issued in your home country.

Will my GPS work in Europe? Most GPS devices will work, if you purchase a European chip. Install it and the maps will appear just like you are used to in the US.

Do I need any special insurance? Check with your auto insurance company to see what is covered by your own policy and if they recommend purchasing extra insurance at the time of the rental.

Will I know the road signs? Check with your guide book or on the Internet to see if there are any special rules for driving. You can also ask your insurance company for any tips. Road signs are fairly self explanatory and well marked. Round abouts or traffic circles may be confusing the first time you encounter one, but they make so much sense once you get used to them. You just need to understand who has the right of way in one.

Happy driving.

Renting a Car

If you are considering renting a car on your next trip to Europe, here are some things you may want to consider.

Book in advance. We always decide how many days we will need the car, where we will be picking it up, and where we will be returning it. This gives us time to ask about any discounts (motor club, senior citizen, airline affiliations, etc. ) they may have and to comparison shop for the vehicle we want or need on our trip.

We have noticed that in many countries the vehicle will have a manual transmission. Sometimes automatics are available but for a much higher price. Think about your comfort level with a manual transmission and the roads you will be driving. And…if you are going to England or Australia, be sure to think about driving on the  left side of the road.

More tips to follow…