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Some Travel Tips

George Reporting...

sunny 70 °F
View WOA: GANDA TRAVEL 2014 on woa's travel map.

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As we take a little ocean side break from our nearly 8 month long travels,
it's probably a good time to share with you some travel tips:

We are in lovely Albissola Marina located between Savona and Genoa Italy.
The temperature is around 70 degrees and mostly clear skies. The
beach is just outside next to a very long artistic boardwalk
made up of ceramic tiles created by artists from the mid 2oth
Century.
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As you know, we sold everything (including our house) and strapped
everything we have on to our backs to go see some of the world.
For many, this is a "dream come true" and I'd be hard pressed to
argue with that. However, traveling the way we do can be challenging
in many ways. We are approaching nearly 100 stops for about
30 weeks of travel. That's averaging over 3 stops per week. You
can imagine the level of effort it takes to nail down transportation
and accommodations for each one of those stops. This kind of effort
can wear you down and we find it necessary to make a 'long' stop
of about a week or maybe two. Even these breaks seem short as
nearly everyday is filled with some new sightseeing adventure or
another.
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Even though it is beautiful outside and the beach beckons, I'm currently
happy staying in the hotel room watching old MTV videos, writing
a bit and taking long naps. I can't tell you how good it feels to just
sit around and do nothing for a few days. I'm trying not to think too much
about our next destinations but instead not 'think' too much at all.

I suppose there is a considerable amount of mental energy that goes
into traveling like this and it can catch up to you at some point.
I've started to dream a little bit about lying around the house
and sleeping in all day and occasionally tending the garden. Does
that make me sound like an old man? lol I know that a few days of
doing nothing will make me antsy to go out and explore places and
that is precisely what I can use now. Andrea? She's always in motion
and is out by herself looking for adventure and hopefully lunch for
the two of us. She has so much energy that it makes it hard to keep
up with her!

Oh where was I? Oh yeah, tips on traveling.
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Traveling Home and Office (Smart phone in my right pocket btw)

After 8 months
Some Travel Tips:

Baggage:
Use a travel bag that you can wear like a backpack but also
carry like a suitcase. If it has wheels, then you can cart it
around when necessary. Make sure it's a bag that is regulation
size for carry-on to an airplane. These bags hold a lot and
you will be surprised at what you can include for a year long
trip.

Have an all-weather day bag to carry on the front of you which
includes all your most important items ie. docs/passport/computer
etc.

Money:
Try and ONLY use a chip credit card that doesn't charge international
fees and gives you points. For example, I use Capital One and
charge no fees of any kind and provide points so you can easily
pay yourself back later for some of the travel costs.

When you get cash using your check card, take out as much as you
can and be frugal with it. Try using your credit card whenever
possible so you can avoid cash withdrawal fees.

Setup your accounts so you can pay any bills via online.
Quick and easy and no hassle in whatever country you are in.

Create a monthly budget for yourself and stick to it. If you
saved some money, you can splurge a little the following month.
If you had an expensive month, live a little more conservatively.
You'll have fun either way.

Free Fifi is available in most airports
and also near any Starbucks or McDonald's.
Also try the WiFi at free museums or simply set your phone to grab an open WiFi signal
to pull down email and map info.
In actuality, there is far more free wifi than I would have hoped for. I haven't felt the need to purchase a data card.

Favorite travel websites:
Booking.com (www.booking.com)
I started with them from the beginning and they have given me
no reason to use anybody else. It's easy to use, you get great
hotel information for each city and a map to show you were you
could stay whether next to a park or train station. Use their
site enough and you will get discounted hotel rates the more
you use it. Free with signup.

Rome to Rio website (www.rome2rio.com) tells you how to get from point A to point B
via different modes of transportation and shows you the costs. Free

Google Flights Map (keyword: Google Flights) shows you costs to fly between any two
airports in the world and the costs. Now includes train
information and costs.

Favorite apps:
Currency Converter. Free
Google Maps. Free
Google translator. Free. Drawback is that you need wifi.

Pharmacies abound. Don't bother trying to bring liquids or
soaps through airport security. Just wait until you get to
your next country and buy small travel size toiletries.

Try and stay in one place for a week or longer otherwise you'll
burn yourself out stressing out over where your going everyday.

Get yourself a nice massage now and then. Lugging around 25lbs of stuff
nearly everyday can wreak havoc on your bones and muscles.

Try and book rooms with a fridge or mini kitchenette. Then go grocery
shopping at a local store and bring food back. You'll save a few bucks
and you'll feel a little bit cozier knowing there's grub in the fridge.

Try and book hotels that offer free breakfast. Many times this
is a great deal and you can eat enough to last you an entire day.
Tipping the staff is not necessary but send a positive message
anyway.

Most hotels have pretty good gyms that hardly anyone uses. Take advantage
of them to help keep your strength and energy up. But also use the pool
for a swim and feel free to just lounge around if you need to.

Always take a few free toiletry items from the hotel bath just
in case you need them down the road.

When flying, wear a pair of pants that don't require a belt. Nothing
more tiring than taking of your belt and putting it back on in front of strangers.

Oh yeah, take long breaks. Your mind and body will appreciate it.

Electronic tips:
Buy an extra large storage sim for your smartphone and load up
all your favorite music. Bring head phones so you can enjoy
them wherever you are in private.

Bring an ultra-small laptop so you can make travel arrangements,
check email, do research, write blog posts etc. rather than just using your smartphone all the time
otherwise you may go blind.

Get a flash drive with at least 32GB memory and store as many as
20 of your favorite films or TV shows so you can watch them while
taking that 2-3 hour flight using your laptop.

Skype is great and works better than ever. Using hotel/tour bus free
wifi you can Skype from your laptop or even on your smartphone with a far-off loved one
so you don't feel so disconnected from friends and family.

If you are like me and prefer to watch English language programs
on Youtube via a big screen, bring an HDMI cable so you can hook
up your computer to the hotel TV. Most hotels now use flat-screens
with various ports. You might even be able to power your phone
or camera this way too.

Auto Laundromats here have become increasingly hightech. You might
be able to find some that automatically inject detergent for your
wash cycle and they even offer free WiFi. Valencia had a great one
in the middle of town.

Indeed, be as nice and courteous to everybody you meet no matter how little they
deserve it. It'll keep you out of trouble and your attitude will stay positive.

These are just a few tips we've decided to share. There are quite a few others but we'll save those for a future time.

Remember John Lennon
& Maya Angelou
and all those who try to make it a better world.

Go Warriors!
Free Tom Brady!

Posted by woa 06:55 Archived in Italy

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