This week's "Travel Tip" is don't cheat your feet!
When it comes to your feet, DO NOT skimp out! If there's one article of clothing that's vital to the success of your trip, it's your shoes. Just bite the bullet and dig deep into your wallet. But, it's not just about spending money. It's about buying right!
As is often the case, my wisdom came at a price. I was stupid once and learned from my mistakes. Now you are the beneficiary. Like that old saying...
"Good Judgment Depends
Mostly on Experience,
And Experience Usually Comes
From Poor Judgment."
To make my long Washington, D.C. story short, suffice it to say that I paid a lot of money for the wrong type of shoes and my feet were absolutely killing me the entire time!
Fast forward to England and, armed with the experience of my poor judgment, I made a wiser decision. I Googled and learned. Then I went to REI, got help, and bought the right pair of shoes for my feet and for the type of walking I'd be doing. It made a world of difference!
I don't want to offer specific advice because everyone's needs are different, but I will ask you to consider the temperature and precipitation in your destination, as well as the weight of the shoe. Consider also getting a shoe that rises above your ankle. That said, any further advice I'll let you get from the professionals.
"Trier is a southwestern German city in the Moselle wine region, near the Luxembourg border. Founded by the Romans, it contains several well-preserved Roman structures like the Porta Nigra gate, the ruins of Roman baths, an amphitheater just outside the center and a stone bridge over the Moselle River. The Archaeological Museum displays Roman artifacts."
"The Porta Nigra is a large Roman city gate in Trier, Germany. It is today the largest Roman city gate north of the Alps."
"Trier and its amphitheater resembled many Roman cities of its time in that many infamous gladiatorial contests occurred there. The theater which was dug into the side of a hill was erected around the 2nd century A.D during Antoninus Pius' rule. It could accommodate approximately 20,000 spectators and was built into what was the cities wall. When Constantius Chlorus moved to Trier, Germany around 293 he renovated the amphitheater."
Use Travel-Friendly Debit Cards Instead!
This week's "Travel Tip" is don't bring your money to Europe! lol :-D Okay, that's clearly a joke. Obviously, you'll need to have money with you when you travel to Europe. What you don't need to do is carry much paper money or coins in your pockets on the way over.
Don't go to the bank to exchange your Dollars for Euros. Here's why...
There are more reasons, for sure, but that's some of the better ones.
So, what should you do? Find a debit card that is designed for travelers.
Personally, when Laura and I went overseas, we used our Capital One 360 card. That is certainly not the only card which is traveler-friendly. I've heard many great things about the Chase Sapphire credit card. Just be sure to check their fees and limitations because that's a credit card, not a debit card.
Have you been on a Viking River Cruise yet? If not, you're missing out on something special!
Simply put, there's no better way to get closer to your destination than via a riverboat. Not a coach bus, not a train, not even a rental car. Contact me to learn more.
This week's "Travel Tip," is to look for restaurants with handwritten menus that only have a few selections and are written in the native language of the country you're visiting. That is if you want to find the most authentic dining places. If not, stay with the touristy places. I'm sure they'll be fine, too. NOT!
This week's "Travel Tip," is to get a good guidebook!
Inevitably, no matter how much I think I know a place, I come up empty-handed every now and then. Of course, it's always when you want it to happen least! So, come prepared.
I believe in guides. I believe in experts. And, I believe the right guidance from the right person is invaluable. But, what's right? For me, right usually comes in the form of Rick Steves guidebook. But, there are many great ones out there, like Frommer's, Lonely Planet, Rough Guides, DK Eyewitness Guides, and others.
The important thing is that you're not taking your advice from popular opinions, like those on TripAdvisor. TripAdvisor is only good, in my opinion, when there are tons and tons of reviews and they all point in the same direction - good or bad. If it's unanimous, that's not to be taken lightly. But, everyone's got an opinion, informed or not.
The guidebook writers I mentioned base their opinions on thousands of hours of travel and make comparisons based on having tried myriad options. They're not just pulling it out of thin air with nothing to compare it to.
Take Joe Schmo. Mr. Schmo went to Edinburgh once, stayed at one hotel, ate at a restaurant or two, took one car service, and only went to the most touristy of places because, without a good guidebook, he didn't know there were better places he could have gone. Mr. Schmo returns home and thinks, Edinburgh sucks. I'm never going back there. Then he jumps on TripAdvisor and rants about how bad everything was.
Then take Johnny Guidebook. Mr. Guidebook has been to Edinburgh dozens of times, has stayed in many hotels, B&Bs, and castles, has eaten in every major dining establishment as well as a lot of the minor ones, has taken every form of transportation imaginable, and knows every nook and cranny in Edinburgh. He knows where to go and where to stay away from. He knows what's a tourist trap and what's an authentic, immersive experience. Mr. Guidebook returns home, gathers his notes from his latest trip to Scotland, organizes his thoughts, compares his experience with his many trips to Edinburgh in the past, then sits down at his desk and begins to write a thoughtful, wise, energetic, inspirational story about how amazing Edinburgh is!
Who's opinion seems more valid to you? Joe's or Johnny's?
Don't be a Schmo! Get a good guidebook!