Posts Tagged With: Top Tips

Palermo, Sicily- Pickpockets

I don’t want to bring the party down or anything but I thought I should mention the annoying thing that happened to Boyfriend when we were on holiday.  We were traveling on the bus from our hotel in Palermo to the Palermo train station, looking like mega tourists with all of our luggage and pale skin.  The bus was super crowded and every one was bashing into everyone else, after a few stops I realised that I was an idiot and we had got on the wrong bus (d’oh). When we got off boyfriend realised that his wallet was missing. Continue reading

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Planning A Trip- Tips

I like traveling but I love planning….I think I enjoy planning a holiday more than actually being on it…that’s my issue and often my boyfriend’s, but maybe I can use my crazy to help others?

And you may think you like being spontaneous and don’t want to plan every minute detail of the holiday…my response to you is how are you getting from the airport to your hotel?

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Travel Insurance

Here are a few things to consider when purchasing travel insurance:

  • What kind of a holiday are you going on?
    • Adventure, sight seeing, gap year
  • Who and what do you need cover for?
    • Just you, the family, anyone over 70
  • Do you have medical conditions?
    • Make sure you declare them
  • What’s your budget?

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What to Wear to the Airport

So what do you wear to the airport?

Well clothes, guys, I was kind of hoping that went without saying.  But anyway.  There are some variables to consider here but here are some tips:

  • Footwear
    Comfortable shoes, well of course I would recommend you always wear sensible shoes but especially when you might have to do a mad dash to check in on time, wander aimlessly around the airport for 3 hrs trying to find a decent vegetarian sandwich, or sit for 10hrs with no leg room.
    Also, if you wear anything approaching a boot make sure they are easy to get on and off as you will have to remove them as you go through security.   I would say don’t wear boots but if they are an integral part of your holiday clothes then you probably should as it will open up some space in your suitcase for other books.

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Top Travel Tips- Things To Pack

Just some ideas of what to pack when you’re on holiday.  I did a post a while ago about things to pack in your hand luggage and I thought I would expand on that.

Plug adapters- because they have different electricity in foreign lands

Chargers- chargers are handy for charging things

Spare underwear and socks- obviously you need some for everyday and then an extra pair for accidents

Nice shoes/sandals- for going out to dinner, assuming you wear trainers on the plane

First Aid Kit- basically plasters, some pain killers, insect repellent, tampons, condoms etc

Laundry bag- preferably cotton not plastic

Plastic bag- for dirty shoes





Categories: Europe, Random, UK, USA | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Top Tips For Visiting Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik, Croatia was my best holiday and I really recommend a trip there, here are my top tips if you do decide to visit.

  • Dubrovnik is hilly!  Be prepared for some walking around and walking up and drown plenty of stairs.  If you have trouble walking  then plan ahead with your transport but be aware that cars and buses can’t actually go up steps and at some point you’ll have to get out and walk!
  • Dubrovnik is hot!  In the summer the temperature in the old town can get around 40 Celsius.  We went in September and it was it did get up to 30.  The one day I forgot to apply sun block I got really burnt on my legs and was in pain for the rest of the week!
  • Dubrovnik is expensive- or at least eating in the old town can be.  There are some nice places there but in some restaurants it was just silly with sea food dishes costing over £100!
  • Explore the sea- go swimming, kayaking, and scuba diving.  The water is clear and blue and beautiful and you can dive right in.  If you are an experienced diver than there are sunken ships you can visit.  Watch out for sea urchins though!
  • Visit Mljet– definitely the best day of the holiday was our trip to Mljet where most of the island is a National Park and you can hike, cycle, and swim.
  • Visit Nishtas- it’s the only vegetarian restaurant in town and it’s yummy!  It’s in the old town, and it’s very small so you need to book in advance.
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Top Tips For Visiting Las Vegas

Here are my top tips for visiting Las Vegas:Las Vegas

  • In downtown Vegas avoid the Fremont Street Experience- it’s sleazy Vegas with naked girls in the street, instead check out The Container Park nearby which has little shops, restaurants (including a vegan one!), a stage, and a giant praying mantis that had fire shooting from it’s head!
  • Head into the big fancy hotels like the Wynn, the Venetian, Mandalay Bay etc for the free entertainment like extreme decoration and shows but not for the very expensive restaurants!
  • Watch the volcano erupt in the evening at The Mirage or the fountain display at the Bellagio, the acrobats at Circus Circus, the recreation of Venice at The Venetian (including canal and gondolas), and get discount vouchers for Madame Tussaud’s before you buy your tickets.
  • Gamble- it’s fun, and very Vegasy!  But the casinos are all dingy with little natural light so you can’t really tell how long you’re in there for so watch out you don’t end up wasting the entire trip stuck inside.
  • There are plenty of free parking places in the big hotels and casinos so just park up and wander around in and out of the nearby places before getting back in the car and driving further down.  The Strip is the Las Vegas Freeway and so it’s a busy road, you have to cross the roads at the designated crossings (usually bridges right over the road) and I wouldn’t recommend chancing it anywhere else.
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Visiting China- Chinese Toilets!

My trip to China was in May 2009.  My sister and her boyfriend lived over there for a year and I took the opportunity to visit her and a totally different country.  When sister met me the first thing she did is hand me some tissues and hand sanitizer in case I ever needed to use a public toilet.

Chinese public toilets are plentiful (unlike the UK) largely, I assume, because a lot of restaurants and cafes don’t have their own toilets.  The first Chinese style toilet I used was in a large fancy building, I don’t know what the building was but you could book tours to look around, as a result the toilets were immaculate and the cubicles very spacious.  But that doesn’t change the fact that Chinese ‘toilets’ aren’t actually toilets, they are holes in the ground over which you squat.

The actually squatting was not, for me, a problem. How elderly or disabled people successfully people used them was lost on me but, given the large amount of urine all over the floor of all the subsequent ones I used it seems like a lot of people do have trouble using them.

Chinese Toilets

The dirtiness was the problem, how do you pull down your trousers or skirt and hold you bag and squat without getting your stuff covered in the urine and dirt on the floor?  Also there was no toilet paper (the pipes are too narrow in China for tissue to be flushed down them) but the tissues people had used were placed into overflowing bins in the corner of the cubicle.  These were not the efficient sanitary bins provided over here but rather waste paper baskets.  And after you leave there is often no soap and occasionally no running water.  My sister said I was lucky the cubicles had doors.

In one public toilet I used I was charged 0.5Yuan to use the facilities (5p) and was given a square of newsprint to use as toilet paper.  For men the price was 0.1Yuan because they do not require toilet paper.  Nor do they have to disrobe and squat so I was being charged 5 times as much for a much less pleasant experience.

There are some Western style toilets, like the ones at my accommodation in China, and I think the Beijing Olympics had a strange effect on the country as the government tried to prepare the country for Western visitors despite the fact that they didn’t seem to actually sell any tickets to any…

Anyway, this is all I have on Chinese toilets but travelers to the country are advised to take tissues and hand sanitiser!


Categories: Asia, Shanghai, Top Tips | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Top Tips For Visiting San Francisco

We spent three days in San Francisco and here are some of my top tips if you’re planning to travel there.

  1. Be careful where you park!  We got towed and had to pay about $700 to get the car back which wasn’t a good start to the holiday.  We park on the street and apparently broke three rules; we slightly blocked someone’s driveway, we were facing the wrong way, we hadn’t angled our wheels on a hill.  We weren’t aware of the last two being serious rules and we thought we had left enough space for people to exit their drive but apparently not.  They didn’t try to find us they just called for a tow because that’s how they do things in San Fran…an expensive lesson to learn.  Pay attention to red lines on the curb which indicate where you can not park, leave a few feet each side of a driveway, watch out for street cleaning times when you can’t park on the street, and pay for parking in designated lots to be on the safeside.

    Kids Playing Tennis

    Kids Playing Tennis

  2. Wear sensible shoes!  San Francisco is very hilly!
  3. Be prepared for changeable weather. It was actually very nice and sunny when we were there in April but I bought some gloves and sunglasses at the same time when I was there because there was a strong breeze coming from the sea.
  4. Buy and eat salt water taffy- it is delicious!  And comes in many flavours!
  5. Don’t bother going to the Japanese Tea Gardens in Golden Gate Park- it’s small and you have to pay to go in.  When you have the whole huge park to explore for free it’s just silly.  There are a lot of Japanese people and influences in San Francisco because of the large numbers of Japanese men who went there to work on the railroads etc so you can find Japanese food elsewhere easily.  Boyfriend is being argumentative and saying he enjoyed the Tea Gardens and it was worth the money, he liked the ‘huge, weird bridge thing you had to climb over’.
  6. Take the early ferry to Alcatraz to avoid the crowds and get something to eat before you go as there isn’t anything on the island you can buy.
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