Celebrate California

Spend some time in 2017 in California celebrating multiple places and many sights throughout the state. Where do you go? Check out these places…

Sacramento: the new Downtown Commons, with entertainment, shopping, restaurants, and hotel

Yosemite: Mariposa Grove with its 500 giant sequoias reopens in the summer of 2017

Palm Springs and Joshua Tree National Park: named California’s Low Desert by Lonely Planet

San Diego: the San Diego Zoo opens a new eight-acre exhibit with African plants and animals

Napa Valley: new hotels, restaurants, wineries, and breweries

There are no shortage of places to discover this year.

Celebrate with Canada

The entire year, 2017, is a celebration in Canada. Actually, 365 days of celebrations for the country’s 150th anniversary of the Confederation.

Throughout the year 19 urban centers will host celebrations, highlighting Canada’s history, natural beauty, and people.

Montreal will honor its 375th anniversary, having events and festivals all year long. Many of these are free!

National parks in Canada will offer free passes in 2017.

Help Canada celebrate!

You Only Brought One?

You know you need to bring a universal power adapter to Europe. Right?

So, you add one to your list and throw it in your carry on. Right?

Great. That will let you plug in exactly one of your devices. How many devices do you need to plug in? Probably more than one. Right?

Phone…tablet…another phone…camera battery…you get the idea.

Instead of one power adapter, pack a wall plug which offers two to four USB ports. You can then charge your devices when you need to without waiting for one to finish before charging the next one.

Translate That Menu

Is your high school French good enough to read some of the menu but not quite all the menu? You can say thank you in Italian. But, can you figure out what the sign says?

Try Google Translate for either Android or IOS. It’s free.

If you need to convert English words or phrases into French or Italian for instance, both spoken and typed, this is the app for you.

In addition, the camera mode can translate the written text into English.

This works online as well as offline if you download translation databases. To save some time and a bunch of data, download languages in advance.

SIM…When Do You Need It?

First of all, do you know what a SIM card is? As a traveler, you should.

A Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card is a portable memory chip used mostly in cell phones that operate on the Global System for Mobile Communications network. Your SIM card holds your personal information, including phone number, address book, text messages, and other data.

If you want to change phones, remove the card from one handset and insert it into another. 

Some travelers say to buy a SIM card once you land and switch over to it then.

Others say to buy one before you leave as you may need to use your phone before you have the opportunity to buy one. If you need to call another traveler to tell them your flight is delayed, if you need to call the hotel, or a variety of other reasons…having a SIM card already activated is a plus.

Getting one in advance may cost a little more, but you’ll be ready to call once your plane lands.