European tips #2




Different countries, and continents, have different cultures and customs. And when you’re visiting a place, it’s a good idea to know the kinds of things they expect from you, and also what you can expect.

  • You will want to remember that Europe is not a third world place. You will have no problems finding a grocery store or a drug store. As a matter of fact, you might even want to pack light and buy clothes once you get there.
  • Some people think that Europeans are in general more liberal. While that might be true across the board, it isn’t true everywhere, and it certainly isn’t true true of every single person. Many countries over there are led by conservative parties these days. You might just want to be careful what you say.
  • Like him or hate him, Mr. Trump is pretty much synonymous with the United States. People over there are going to want to know your thoughts. It’s up to you whether you want to try to laugh the question off or give them a serious answer.
  • Remember the whole Brexit thing? The United Kingdom decided to leave the European Union in 2016. However, they are still working on all the details of what all that will mean. All that really means for you is that you should have no problems going between the UK and the continent.
  • If you need to make your trip ten days or less, you’re probably going to want to limit yourself to one country, and maybe just two or three cities in that city. Trying to fit everything in one trip is going to wear you out.
    • The rumor that Europeans do not tip is simply not true. They do tip, but usually less than we do here. Tipping 10% is likely the best bet.

Celebrate the royal engagement?

I’ve heard that some entrepreneurs take the whole time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day off. And to be honest, I can kind of understand that. I will work tomorrow and then be off the rest of this week just as way of reminder.

Okay, I love British drama. I can’t decide whether I like Pride and Prejudice or Downton Abbey more. And I also really like The Crown, but I’ve never been one to keep current on the royal family. However, when I saw this piece in the travel news about the royal engagement, I was intrigued. Yes Prince Harry is engaged to an American named Meghan Markle. In honor of this, Trafalgar is setting up a royal tour of England. Let’s look at that today and probably tomorrow as well.

  • You will be flying into London your first day. On this day, you will be getting in and settled. And there will be a tea served where you will be getting to know your fellow travelers as well as your tour guide.
  • On the second day you will be free to enjoy a leisurely breakfast. After which you will be touring places like Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace. After that you will be free to decide what you want to do the rest of the day. Shop at the famous stores. Explore more on your own. It’s really up to you.
  • Day three you will be exploring Windsor Castle. This is one of the places the queen still comes and works. You will spend the entire day here, but will be free for lunch.

I am going to pick this back up tomorrow. I would love to know your thoughts or any questions you might have.

Bachelorette getaway #2

I have several other things I would like to get to today, which  guess is pretty typical for a Monday. So let me do this first to make sure that it does get done.

Last Saturday we started talking about bachelorette getaways. Let’s continue that discussion today.

  • It is always a good idea to get to know any new destination you are going to go try out. And this is something that I would be more than happy to help you figure out if I’m helping you put this trip together. Figure out some rough ideas of what you might like to do while you are on your getaway. Again, you may want to check with the bride to get her input. With everyone together, you might want to have your bridal shower, especially if you’re planning on doing a more intimate shower.
  • You’ll want to plan your events around what the bride and everyone else likes. If most everyone likes to sleep in, don’t really plan anything until afternoon. Is the bride going to be comfortable with going out for drinks? Are there traditions your group has, like maybe you watch a certain movie every time you get together? Or maybe you like cooking together. Think of those things and include them.
  • Sometimes all we girls really want is to have time to talk and catch up. You may want to get some nice foods for everyone. If a lot of your guests are on a budget, this may be a great way to go.Or maybe your group is just especially close, and you don’t want all the distractions of somewhere you don’t know well. Still, you will at least want to plan a nice meal out or a shopping excursion.
  • Alternatively, if most of you are established in your careers and have some extra cash, you may want to check out an exotic location. Is there somewhere your group has dreamed of going together? Again, you will want to discuss these options with the bride and find out what works best for her.

I think I am going to stop here. Please let me know your thoughts on this.

More about Buddymoons


I have to be honest, what I wrote yesterday got me curious about the whole concept about this. So that’s why we are going to look at this more today.. Sadly for many couples, getting married is not some huge change in their lives. They have been living together before marriage, and so going on a vacation together may not seem all that special, even if they do go to some exotic place. Friends, and even family, can make the trip even special.. Okay, let’s look at some etiquette for these things.

  • Unless bride and groom are rich or extremely popular, they are not going to invite everyone they know. It is best not to talk to anyone about it until you know they have been invited.
  • Remember that this is the couple’s honeymoon and let them have their privacy. They are going to need their own suite, and you probably should keep out of there.
  • The couple wants to spend time with you, they wouldn’t have invited you if they didn’t. But they are going to want privacy as well. Be respectful of that. Hopefully you are going to know and enjoy the other people in the group.
  • With that said, it really does help everyone when the couple makes a schedule. This will help clear up any miscommunications.
  • The group also want to be considerate of other couples. Who knows? This trip might produce another engagement which might lead to another buddymoon.

Let me know your thoughts on this.

Tipping at hotels


My family’s stays in hotels were mainly the times we were moving from one city to another, either that or on an occasional soccer tournament. We stayed with family or friends whenever we would go on vacations.. And I must confess that most of my knowledge about nicer hotels comes through reading travel news or things like that… But today let’s look at some advice on tipping.

The practice of tipping people work in hotels goes back to before the Great War. The richest people would either stay with a family friend in their grand house, or if that was not an option, they would stay in a fancy hotel. Hotels would basically provide room and board for their staff, just like a servant would get in a grand house. Tipping allowed these people to get some treats for themselves.

Obviously that way of life started deteriorating around the time of the Great War. Hotels started paying their staff more and more as time went on. And now, I feel like tipping is mostly done in nicer hotels.. Now let’s take a look at how much is recommended.

  • Tip a person helping you with your bags a couple of dollars for the first bag, and a dollar more for each additional bag.
  • You’ll want to leave the maid staff anywhere from two to five dollars a day, depending on how well they clean. You’ll want to throw in a little more if you have a kitchen in your suite.
  • In general it is not expected for you to tip the concierge, unless they go over and above the call of duty.

I would love to know any thoughts or questions you might have about this..

Airbnb etiquette

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In general, people know how to act when they stay in hotels. Be polite to your fellow guests. Try to be quiet, especially late at night and early in the morning when most people are sleeping. Nicer hotels usually have people who would like to be tipped… But what are the rules when it comes to this new thing called airbnb? Please read on to find out.

  • It is wise to know exactly what you are getting into before you leave. What will be the bed situation be like? Do they want you to bring your own towels, or are they going to let you use theirs?. Many times, people are actually living in these homes. Unless they say otherwise, use their kitchen but eat your own food.
  • Many times these people are going on a vacation of their own. Please discuss your arrival and departure times with them. Clear communication will make things easier on both sides.
  • What did your mother always used to say when you were growing up? “Please leave a place cleaner then when you came .” Here that means, put your stuff away, throw your garbage away, put food away when you aren’t eating.. This is basic common courtesy.
  • Sometimes the people leave, but sometimes they’re right there with you. Please follow their rules. Find out where they want you to eat and where is off limits. Know when they want the house to be pretty quiet.
  • And remember to say thank you. Write a note saying how much you enjoyed staying there. Write a review to let other people know about your experiences. You might even want to leave a tip or a gift card..

I would love to know what other thoughts you might have.

When should you travel for Labor Day?

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A lot of people are going to be traveling for Labor Day weekend. In case you don’t know, that is two weekends from. Do you have your travel plans in place? Do you want help making any reservations? If you do, please let me know. I would love to help you plan something.

But getting back to the main point of this post, there will be all kinds of people out on the highways. The airports are also going to be overcrowded. Traveling Wednesday or Thursday of that week will make things less hectic for those that can do that. But no matter when you travel, here are some ideas that might help.

  • If you are flying, try to get to the airport as quickly as possible. It’s less stressful on everyone if you have plenty of time to check in, and do all the pre-flight stuff.
  • If you have children, please make sure to have plenty of snacks and things that they enjoy doing.. And even for adults in your group, long rides, no matter the vehicle, can get boring. And there is no real reason to be bored, there are games you can take along. Sometimes my family even made up games on the road.
  • Play nice.. Whether you’re on the road, in your own car, with your own family, or traveling with a lot of people you don’t know, most people don’t like the traveling, they just want to get where they are going. Do your best to smile at everyone. Let other people go before you.

Great hotels to visit for Thanksgiving

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I’ve been pleasantly surprised that I am accomplishing things day by day, even with this and that to do in the evenings. I think my brother and his wife will arrive for Thanksgiving late tomorrow or sometime Friday. I’m still not sure if I am going to try to do anything Monday or Tuesday, but I’m not going to work when we’re up at my sister’s house.

I’ve heard people say that they want to change things up this holiday season. If you are one of those people, maybe you’d like to just go to a hotel for Thanksgiving? If that is you, here are some suggestions.

The first one we are going to look at is JW Marriott Essex House which is in New York City. They have a fitness center there for you to use as well as a full service spa. But while in the city you are going to have the opportunity to watch the Thanksgiving parade live. You might want to take in a Broadway show. The hotel also has a great Thanksgiving buffet that is opened from one to seven.

San Diego’s Marriott Del Mar also has a fitness center, an outdoor pool, and twenty-four hour room service. They will be serving guests a Thanksgiving buffet as well. You will have all of your holiday favorites on this buffet.. Let me know if you are interested in either of these.

Manners around the world


Hopefully now that I’m ready to work, things will go a little smoother. I’m kind of just having a Monday, but anyway…

As parents, you are probably at least trying to train your children to have decent manners. But manners are not the same in every country. Some of these may make you laugh.

  • Germans consider it rude to cut your potatoes at the dinner table. You will always want to to mash you potatoes.
  • In America it’s kind of a joke we have to “eat and run”. But in Spain, you do not want to do that. Take your time to relax, to enjoy the company of whoever you are eating with. And yes, this does apply throughout the week.
  • Britain considers eating asparagus with your hands to be the proper way. And as we know, Britain expects you to do everything properly.  This eating with your hands is especially true when you are dipping your asparagus in a sauce.
  • Mexicans do not want to see anyone using a fork to eat tacos. Please use your hands.

Maybe you’ll want to wait until your children are older and able to understand that different countries do things differently sometimes. I’d love to know your thoughts on this.

Virgin Island beaches

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I’m not sure what is going on. I’m really excited about some different things with the business, have some different ideas I want to pursue. But as fast as my mind would like to go, my body is moving slowly… First, I’m trying to collect as many e-mail addresses as I can to receive E Newsletters about travel. Please let me know if you are interested.. Second, for those who are in the Columbus, Georgia area, I am going to be looking into the idea of starting a travel club. I am going to need to do a lot more investigating into all this… But first, to get my regular things done.

The Virgin Islands have many beautiful beach across their different islands. Today let’s look at a couple.. First, let’s look at tCinnamon Bay Beach, which is one of St John’s longest beaches.  Those that are into water sports can enjoy a wide variety of activities. Those that are not into playing on the beach all day can explore a museum which house different archaelogical findings.

We are going to look at another beach on St John, and that is Trunk Bay Beach. This beach is especially known for its beauty, with a lot of coconut palms. There is a self guided snorkel tour you and your family can enjoy. And there is a snackbar and grill. And they have public restrooms you can enjoy.

Please let me know if any of this interests you.