Browsing Tag

International Travel planning

Inspiration

Never Put Off Tomorrow What You Can Do Today – Traveling On Your Own Terms

February 20, 2011 • By

Recently, I was asked to write a guest post at Baby Boomers Traveling by another travel friend, Doris Gallan.   I soon realized that it was actually a continuation of a post that I wrote last month, “How to get out of your own way and live the life you want“.  With Doris’ permission, I am posting it here.  I hope that it inspires someone to reach out and grab life with gusto:

I was raised in a household of ten kids with two parents and as you can imagine, freedom of movement was a scarce commodity. I think that is where my first yearning for wide open spaces came from. It’s difficult to live life feeling confined, so I suppose that gave rise to my desire to be unencumbered; unrestricted. I had always been interested in geography because I learned so much about places so far removed from the reality of my life. It was like a pleasant dream to politely acknowledge, but I never believed that it would or could possibly come true.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to visit Paris – the venerable city of lights. Like so many would-be nomads, I allowed the dream to sit unfettered in the deep recesses of my mind. I never allowed myself to believe that it could become a reality for me. It was safer to let the years drift by; to craft excuse after excuse as to why it was OK to not do a single thing that would get me closer to that elusive goal. Until one day, I had a ridiculously simple epiphany: “Just Do It”. Nothing was going to happen until I made it so. No travel agent was going to come knocking to see what my plans were. I believe so many of us are sitting, waiting for supernatural signs to tap us on our collective shoulders. It will not happen that way. As with anything worth having, you have to work for it, to plan for it….that is truly the only way it will come to pass. It’s about taking a leap of faith, of believing that you have as much right as anyone else to live dreams previously unfulfilled.

Traveling

That is my main purpose in starting my travel blog, A View To A Thrill. It is a call to action to anyone who has the desire, but perhaps, not the knowledge to explore this vast world that we live in. It is an appeal to believe in the possibilities; to believe in your own ability to navigate through this life on your own terms. Rest assured, there will always be naysayers; those that can think of every reason on earth as to why you’ve left your senses. You will be surprised to see that their protests are usually deeply rooted in their own self-doubts. And yes, there are those who will think that you see yourself as high and mighty simply because you want to expose yourself to different cultures, different experiences, different….anything. It goes against their predictable and limited expectations and some would even ask what are you running from?

When I travel, I never put restrictions on myself. If there is something that I want to do, I do it anyway…even if some folks thinks it’s for other people. If I want to go to a country music concert, I’ll go. You’d be surprised how many people (black and white) would find it odd that I enjoy country music. Never let others define you and tell you what you should be doing, do what pleases you. I think older people are probably most guilty about towing the party-line. Sometimes, you have to risk being judged or even mocked. If you have unconventional tastes, own it! You only go around once, live it to the fullest! I’ve always said, unless you pay my mortgage, utilities and buy my groceries, you don’t get a say in how I live my life. Conformity takes the color out of rainbows, harmony out of a song and the joy out of living.

Traveling

My goal is to reach out to those who want to travel on a budget without sacrificing comfort and also to provide guidance to those who want to travel, but never have. To that end, my blog focuses on the reality that most people are living paycheck to paycheck. In these economic times, it is even more important to share ways of traveling on a budget. It’s about making adjustments, even sacrifices to your current lifestyle. There are lots of tricks to save money without even trying to or learning how to deny yourself when you see that pair of jeans that cost more than a fancy winter coat. It’s not going to be a piece of cake, but the reward will be worth it. Just as important, is the person who wants to travel, but has no idea of how to get started. My desire is to share some of the things that I wish others had told me about when I was just starting out.


Budget Tips, Reviews, Travel Advice

The Best Search Engine For Finding Lower Fares, Hotel and Car Rentals?

November 24, 2010 • By

Search Engine

While attending the Travel Bloggers’ Exchange convention in New York this past June, I was invited to a presentation for a revolutionary, but relatively new flight search aggregator called Momondo.  I was vaguely familiar with the company because innovations in the travel world are usually spread like wildfire through the social media realm.  We (my daughter and I) were running a little late because we were caught in the moment while viewing the phenomenal skyline from the top of 30 Rockefeller Center.

Luckily, we weren’t very far from our destination at 1290 Avenue of the Americas.  The company hosting the event, Kintetsu International (the Japan specialist travel agency), was kind enough to provide saki libations and crudites, fresh fruit slices, sushi and sushimi for all of the invited travel industry professionals to snack on.  It was interesting to find out that the particular brand of saki that we were served was available in 50%, 60% and 70% proof.  Knowing my low tolerance for alcohol, I decided to sample the 50%, god help me if I had tried the 70.READ MORE


Newbie How-to's, Travel Advice

The Newbie’s Guide To Applying For A U.S. Passport

August 27, 2010 • By
U.S. Passport

Photo credit: jamesheywood.com

Now that you’ve decided to take the plunge to do a little traveling across the border, you should know that there have been several changes regarding the issuance of U.S. Passports in recent months which will affect your travel plans.

All U.S. citizens are now required to have a Passport card in order to cross the borders to Canada or Mexico. To travel anywhere else outside the U.S., you will need a standard Passport.

When should I apply for a Passport?

My advice is to go ahead and apply for your passport if you have a reasonably good idea that you will be traveling internationally in the coming months.  You can never predict a delay of some sort happening, so don’t chance missing your flight by putting this off.

How long will it take to receive my Passport? READ MORE


Travel Advice

How To Dust Off Your Old Traveling Shoes…… When It’s Been Awhile Since You’ve Hit The Road

May 10, 2010 • By

It’s been longer than I care to admit since I’ve traveled period, much less, internationally. As avid travelers can relate, you will begin to get stir-crazy and feeling the walls caving in on you after awhile. So, what should you do when you have neither the time nor money to make that hop across the ocean or even across state lines?

Traveling Shoes

Photo credit: open.salon.com

You dream, plan, ruminate about your next adventure that will take you far away from the maddening crowd! After a lot of soul searching and absolutely too much time on our hands, we decided to try a less “citified” locale for our next adventure. Initially, the plan was to visit Ireland until my daughter suggested that we try Latin America this time around. She didn’t have a particular preference but she made a good point that we’ve been there, done that now it’s time to take a break from Europe.

Traveling Shoes

Photo credit: Transitions Abroad

We are considering Peru, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Argentina and Brazil. Whenever we travel, we try to maximize our stay by visiting nearby locales. We figure if we’re going to travel that far, we may as well make it count! It’s just a small matter of checking out online travel agencies (or a local travel agent that you trust) for deals to multiple cities within close proximity. You will be surprised to see what’s available and how much money you end up saving.

Traveling Shoes

Photo credit: Overseas Adventure Journey

Get inspired!

Sometimes, you have the desire, but no clue as to where you want to go. Think about your favorite foreign language. Mine is French and as corny as it sounds, it inspired me to make getting to Paris a major goal for myself. Are you into foreign films? Where is the setting of said film? That could be a potential spot for your next getaway!

Traveling Shoes

Photo credit: Contiki.com

Start checking out travel magazines at the library or go to travel websites like Lonely Planet, Frommer’s and Fodor’s among others. You will find yourself whisked away to faraway lands and will be able to visualize being there. Allow yourself to explore places that you not only probably would have never considered, but maybe never even heard of. This is the time where you must resolve to be open to all of the possibilities. The world is a big place and there’s so many wonderful places to pick from.

Traveling Shoes

Photo credit: San Francisco Sentinel

Focus, Focus, Focus!

By now, you should have a general idea about what part of the world you’d like to visit. Hopefully, you’ve narrowed your choices to a select few. Try to learn as much as you can about, say, your top three picks. Do your own legwork; learn as much as you can about each location; ask friends who are in the know for advice.

Traveling Shoes

Gradually, begin to start a process of elimination for each place. Ask yourself why either place wouldn’t work out. Is one too expensive? Is another area experiencing unseasonably bad weather? Is one location better suited for the activities that you are interested in? This may seem a little backwards, but when challenged with lots of great potential vacation spots, you will find yourself having to find reasons to disqualify certain candidates from consideration. Focus on what it is you truly want to do and select accordingly.

Traveling Shoes

Get with the program!

First of all, get your financial house in order. As soon as you’ve made the decision, start putting money aside if you don’t already have a vacation fund set aside. Take inventory of what you will need to get ready for your adventure. Will you need to apply for a visa? Is your passport (assuming that you have one) up to date? Remember most countries want you to have at least 6 months left on your passport or you may be denied entry.

Traveling Shoes

Photo credit: www.fitforeurope.com

Arrange to have the post office hold your mail for delivery until the day you return, or if you are concerned about the mail carrier skipping your house everyday and thereby causing others to become suspicious of your whereabouts. Alternately, you can have a trusted friend come by to get your mail. However, in my opinion, that would be even more of a red flag to me. Board or arrange for the care of any pets that you may have. Making sure that you have covered all your bases on the home-front will assure that you will be able to have a wonderful worry-free vacation. Bon Yoyage!

Traveling Shoes

Photo credit: www.zawaj.com