Travel tips


Booking Tips from a Travel Ace

What luck to find a travel agent who knows just how to smooth the way for an elder in Peru.  I’ve been on a mission to get my 85 year old mother to Machu Picchu since told me she’d always wanted to go.  Jacquie Whitt fixed us up for April, but  could only suggest international flights for getting there and back.  Even with her suggestions, we almost had panic attacks over booking the tickets.  There are just so many details to get right and so much money blown if it’s wrong.  Too late I thought, Jacquie books trips all day every day.  Ask her how to get it right.  Here’s what she said: When I book plane tickets: * […]


Where to Eat in the Inside Passage

“I think a banana is a good gift,” a rafting guide told me.  The more I listened to Alaskan guides, the more I realized that food is an issue in those parts.  Transportation costs make food pricey up north, and customs regulations much compound the problem.  Another guide talked about buying berries in Canada and having to pull over and finish eating them before she reached the border. A camper I know was so disgusted at having to give up her oranges “to protect Alaska’s citrus orchards” that she smuggled a few tomatoes through the next checkpoint.  I would never do anything […]


Smart Travelers Speak “Stupid”

Two of our friendliest fellow passengers are Ray and Nedy, who both immigrated to the United States from the Philippines. Before I tell you about their travel smarts, I have to tell Ray’s story.  Baby Ray was born during World War II, and when the Japanese invaded, he was put in line to be bayoneted.  Just as his turn came, the soldier fell dead.  He’d taken a bullet from an American sniper. Ray and Nedy learn everyone’s names, especially staff members.  They believe in using the local language, even if it’s only a few words.  To reinforce the rudeness of […]


Fitting In 2

Can you spot the American? Before our trip, a friend said that she wore leather shoes on her trip to Europe because Europeans don’t wear tennis shoes everywhere like we gauche Americans.  Looking like an American seems dicey.  So many people love to hate us, and when we’re liked, it’s usually because we are so easily parted with our dollars.  So I paid top dollar for a pair of non-athletic shoes and then wondered if shoes would really do the trick. IF Steve and I remembered to take off our Vantage badge and headset receiver and camera when we left […]