BH travel tips?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
SrGrumpy
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Re: BH travel tips?

Post by SrGrumpy » Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:47 am

THY4373 wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:43 am
Exterous wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:27 am

-GPS works just fine without cell service.

-Download Google maps ahead of time for cell-less navigation

Unless something has changed very recently Google Maps *walking* navigation requires data service, downloading the maps in advance does not resolve this issue. There are other apps that provide walking navigation offline.
That advice surprised me as well. I use maps.me for walking around - download map in advance, obviously.

ronno2018
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Re: BH travel tips?

Post by ronno2018 » Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:52 am

neilpilot wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 2:15 pm
ronno2018 wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 9:41 am
For vacations we find home exchanging to work great. You do need to sign up for a service -- we use www.homeexchange.com but there are several others I believe.

Drawback is you need to clean your house and make space in your closets, document all home services for temporary visitors (where to put out trash, how to use DVR,etc).
We considered house exchange, but my wife does not want to let a stranger use our home. We would not only need to clean, but we'd need to carefully store valuables and private documents.

So, since retirement, we've arranged to house & dog sit in exchange for free accommodations in areas we wanted to visit. We've done this 5 times in the past 10 months, and in 2 of the 5 cases we also had free use of the homeowner's car. Our last house & dog sit was in SW France for 2 weeks, and we drove all over and had a great time. In the morning we walked and fed the dog, feed and water a cat, and were then free drive all over as tourists the rest of the day. It was also great to come home to a well equipped house rather than a hotel room. Easy to save on meals.

This is the web site we used: https://www.trustedhousesitters.com/su/uXTgZDcX
Wow, that is an awesome option - great info, thanks!

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Bylo Selhi
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Re: BH travel tips?

Post by Bylo Selhi » Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:32 pm

Freefun wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 9:51 am
Exxoficio underwear. Only 2 pairs needed. Hand wash and very quick dry. Also use wicking shirts.
1. This applies in general to synthetic (as opposed to cotton) fabrics, e.g. also socks, shirts, pants, etc.
2. Hang wet/damp clothes in the shower overnight to dry.
3. Bring along a couple of lightweight nylon clothes hangers and/or some string or elastic cord for 2.
4. A quick way to wick water out of wet clothes after washing is to wrap them in a bath towel. They'll still be damp but will dry much faster when you hang them in the shower.
5. For underwear/socks wring out the wrapped towel. (You may not want to do this with shirts/pants because it will wrinkle them.)
6. If underwear/socks are still a bit damp in the morning, put them on when you get out of bed. Any discomfort will be gone in a few minutes as body heat completes the drying.
Copies of paperwork on me - passport, emergency #'s & contacts , global assist #'s.
I also store PDF copies of all travel related documents in my Dropbox (or eqivalent) cloud account. This also includes stuff like credit card and other insurance related docs that explain what to do and who to call in an emergency. Same with credit card car rental CDW info in case of high pressure selling from the agent. All personal files are in a ZIP file and password-protected (in addition to the cloud account's security.) In case of need everything is accessible from my smartphone. If I lose the smartphone I can still access all this stuff from a desktop computer at my hotel, a police station, embassy/consulate, etc.
Buy local sim cards in most countries- almost always cheapest option. I have backup phones that can hold 2-3 sim cards at the same time (useful when I know I'm changing countries several times).
Agreed. My phone accommodates two SIMs. One is my regular Canadian SIM; the other is a country SIM. That makes it easy to switch SIMs when I arrive at the border or at my destination without having to fumble with tiny SIM cards.
1. Make sure Data Roaming is disabled in your phone Settings for your home SIM to avoid rapacious roaming charges. Many carriers will disable international roaming altogether if you call and ask.
2. Note that you can now generally roam throughout the EU using a single country SIM from a member country.
3. Prepaid Data SIM Card Wiki is a great resource.

Exterous
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Re: BH travel tips?

Post by Exterous » Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:45 pm

THY4373 wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:43 am
Exterous wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:27 am

-GPS works just fine without cell service.

-Download Google maps ahead of time for cell-less navigation

Unless something has changed very recently Google Maps *walking* navigation requires data service, downloading the maps in advance does not resolve this issue. There are other apps that provide walking navigation offline.
Navigation while walking has been possible with google maps and GPS for years. If you want directions while walking then you'll either need data, use the driving directions which may or may not be the best option, or a different app.

rjbraun
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Re: BH travel tips?

Post by rjbraun » Sun Apr 15, 2018 1:26 pm

climber2020 wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:54 pm
For those of you who hand wash your own clothes, a Flexo-line is a useful tool that doesn't take up much space and weighs close to nothing.
Unless you wring your clothes out really well, I would think you could end up with water dripping onto the floor as the clothes dry. I know people also like to squeeze out the dampness with a towel. Personally, I prefer to travel with plastic clips that I can usually hang from something in the shower or bath area, thereby letting the drips pool in the shower or tub. When the stuff may still be damp (but not dripping)I can transfer the hook to a closet rod, door knob, etc. If there's an in-room hair dryer I may use it to expedite the process of removing dampness.

I've been using the plastic hooks shown below for years. I was worried the plastic would break, but that's not happened at all so far. I just clip them back on the card, and then stash the card in my (soft) luggage.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0001ZYPW8/re ... merReviews

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VictoriaF
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Re: BH travel tips?

Post by VictoriaF » Sun Apr 15, 2018 3:33 pm

Coinsinthefountain wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 3:02 pm
If you’re going to use an ATM to get cash in the country’s currency be sure your spouse has an ATM card too, preferably in his/her own name. A bank ATM in Greece ate my card on a holiday which would have left us with very limited funds. We found another ATM and used my wife’s card with no problem. Yeah, you can call toll-free numbers on the back of the card (which you won’t have if the card has been eaten) but there’s no way someone at the help desk is going to get money to you quickly.
I travel alone, and instead of a spouse I carry two ATM cards from two different banks. I also follow the following practices:
1. I use an ATM next to a bank, rather than a stand-alone. If something goes wrong, I enter the bank and ask them for help.
2. I use ATM only during working hours. If I need the bank's help, I want them to be open.
3. When I travel to the same location repeatedly, I change money before I leave that location, rather than upon arrival. That way, if something goes wrong, I resolve it in the U.S. shortly afterwards. For example, I keep at home several hundred Euros, several thousand Czech kronas, and some currency from the U.K., Canada, and Switzerland. When I arrive to these countries and regions, I have plenty of cash and don't need to use the first available ATM. When I leave I replenish my currency supply.

The reasons for my approach:
1. I have read plenty of Brian Krebs articles about ATM scams to risk it during foreign travel.
2. When you arrive to a new country, you are the most vulnerable. You have had poor, if any, sleep on a long flight. Your circadian rhythm is violated. You are tired and need to get to your hotel and rest. This is not a good time for any critical decisions and actions. And so I'd rather keep some foreign cash losing small amounts of interest than rush to a rigged or dysfunctional ATM and spoil a trip.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

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climber2020
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Re: BH travel tips?

Post by climber2020 » Sun Apr 15, 2018 3:39 pm

rjbraun wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 1:26 pm
climber2020 wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:54 pm
For those of you who hand wash your own clothes, a Flexo-line is a useful tool that doesn't take up much space and weighs close to nothing.
Unless you wring your clothes out really well, I would think you could end up with water dripping onto the floor as the clothes dry. I know people also like to squeeze out the dampness with a towel. Personally, I prefer to travel with plastic clips that I can usually hang from something in the shower or bath area, thereby letting the drips pool in the shower or tub. When the stuff may still be damp (but not dripping)I can transfer the hook to a closet rod, door knob, etc. If there's an in-room hair dryer I may use it to expedite the process of removing dampness.

I've been using the plastic hooks shown below for years. I was worried the plastic would break, but that's not happened at all so far. I just clip them back on the card, and then stash the card in my (soft) luggage.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0001ZYPW8/re ... merReviews
Oh - I absolutely do the towel trick. Every piece of clothing gets wrapped and squeezed in a towel before it gets hanged up, otherwise stuff takes at least twice as long to dry. In most climates, my travel clothes are completely dry in about 4 to 6 hours.

Most of the time, I don't need the Flexo-line since almost every hotel has a sufficient amount of hangers. The line comes more in handy in places like rural Asia where you may not get many hangers.

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VictoriaF
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Re: BH travel tips?

Post by VictoriaF » Sun Apr 15, 2018 3:45 pm

neilpilot wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 2:59 pm
VictoriaF wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 2:48 pm
Get Global Entry. It will let you to board faster via TSA PreCheck and to go through the customs faster on you return from abroad.

Victoria
I suspect that, like me, many Bogelheads are old enough to often get free TSA PreCheck from the airlines and are too cheap with their $$ and time to get Global Entry.

The solution: download the free Mobile Passport app. It has allowed us to clear US Immigration and Customs at JFK and BOS at the speed of Global Entry.
You may be right about the Bogleheads. But I am not old enough to get PreCheck based on the age or frailty. And I don't carry a mobile phone.

During the accumulation stage, I was very careful with my money. Now in retirement, I am much more focused on the experiences and gladly pay for conveniences. For my current Global Entry I paid the full cost. When it expires and I need a new one, I might get a credit card that covers it. I think Chase Sapphire Reserve does it.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

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ram
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Re: BH travel tips?

Post by ram » Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:02 pm

[/quote]
For my current Global Entry I paid the full cost. When it expires and I need a new one, I might get a credit card that covers it. I think Chase Sapphire Reserve does it.
Victoria
[/quote]

Yes. CSR covers it. The net fee comes down to $50 in the year you use it for Global entry. [450 - (300+100)]
Ram

THY4373
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Re: BH travel tips?

Post by THY4373 » Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:05 pm

Exterous wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:45 pm


Navigation while walking has been possible with google maps and GPS for years. If you want directions while walking then you'll either need data, use the driving directions which may or may not be the best option, or a different app.
Most folks are going to assume navigation on a cell phone app is going to include directions unless it is called out otherwise. I was just clarifying for those who might not realize that Google maps goes "dumb" as far as walking directions goes without a data connection.

aprilcpa
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Re: BH travel tips?

Post by aprilcpa » Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:36 pm

climber2020 wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:54 pm
leftcoaster wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 9:17 am
Let’s share some BHish approaches to travel.

aprilcpa wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 9:42 am
I would love to hear some tips about traveling with shoes. We tend to pack at least two pairs of shoes - one pair of boots and another pair of everyday shoes, which makes it difficult to travel with only a carryon.
I can usually get by with a single pair of shoes on most trips, unless I'm going someplace really cold (uncommon) or doing some serious hiking. Usually either Chacos sandals or a pair of running shoes. What purpose are the boots for? Shoes take up a ton of space regardless of packing technique, so the best method is to just take the one pair on your feet.
We need either hiking or riding boots because when we visit places there is usually snow or we are going horseback riding. We also do lots of hiking so I want to make sure we have an extra pair of shoes in case our feet need a rest (lesson learned from earlier trip).

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Watty
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Re: BH travel tips?

Post by Watty » Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:16 pm

A couple;

Being flexible on where and when you go can save you a lot since you can buy what is on sale. Knowing when something is a good deal and quickly deciding to do it is important since the deal might not be available next week.

In most locations outside of large cities staying a few extra days will not cost you a lot more than the cost of a moderate hotel so I try to travel for at least three weeks at a time.

When getting prices for hotels on some place like Expedia for several nights, also check for one more night since occasionally there will be a special that gives the extra night free. For example the fourth night might be free.

For one way rental cars check the prices going in both directions. When they have an over or under supply of cars the prices can be dramatically different and you may be able to travel in the less expensive direction.

Airport car rentals often have lots of extra taxes and fees to it can really pay to rent a car at a different non-airport location. I have even had a one day rental from an airport, then the next day I dropped that car off at a different location and picked up a week long rental without the airport taxes, I dropped that car off at the airport on my way out of town.

To get to the airport I will sometimes get a rental car at a suburban location near my house the day before, then drop it off at the airport when I catch my flight. It varies greatly by rental car company but I can often do this for less than $40 which is a lot less than most alternatives especially when several people are traveling together.

A couple of things where it actually is a good idea to spend money;

I have gotten into places where I have run out of water and held back at paying several dollars for a bottle of water that I could get at a grocery store for a quarter. That was a mistake since I got dehydrated and grumpy and ruined the afternoon. Now if I run out of water I just buy the overpriced water.

I am usually pretty good at finding bargain hotels but in a few cities like London or Paris everything is pretty expensive and a lot of lower price places have dodgy reviews or are in bad locations. In cities like that I go on and pay for a decent mid range hotel in a good location with good reviews.

denovo
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Re: BH travel tips?

Post by denovo » Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:17 am

Watty wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:16 pm
y;

I have gotten into places where I have run out of water and held back at paying several dollars for a bottle of water that I could get at a grocery store for a quarter. That was a mistake since I got dehydrated and grumpy and ruined the afternoon. Now if I run out of water I just buy the overpriced water.

I paid $5 for water this afternoon, and I can't sleep. So it balances out. Either feel grumpy in the afternoon or sleepless at night.
"Don't trust everything you read on the Internet"- Abraham Lincoln

Freefun
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Re: BH travel tips?

Post by Freefun » Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:20 am

If you travel often the Clear might be worth the expense. Much faster than pre check but really noticeable during peak hours. If you don’t fly frequently at U.S airports then probably not worth it.

Cost is 179 I think - but if you’re delta member it’s 99. That’s plain delta and since it’s free to join - anyone can get clear for 99. Elites save more money all the way to diamond where it’s free.
Remember when you wanted what you currently have?

jerryk68
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Re: BH travel tips?

Post by jerryk68 » Mon Apr 16, 2018 6:06 am

My adult children and I use the iphone app "Find Friends". It’s a location app that gives the precise location of your iphone to approved iphone users. Some people find this creepy but we do not.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: BH travel tips?

Post by DaftInvestor » Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:38 am

As someone who traveled 2 to 3 times a month on business for several years and never checked a bag - but recently went on a European vacation with a spouse who was going to check a bag, I decided to check one as well - I understand both sides of this debate.
If you are taking multiple flights and trains throughout your travel dragging around a 26" roller can be a pain. There is also a freeing feeling of getting off a flight and being able to just move right through immigration without the need to stop at the baggage carousel and hope your bag made it. On the other hand - on my recent vacation - I found it freeing to NOT have to be so limited in what I could/couldn't bring based upon a carry-on limitation. It was nice bringing along an extra pair of shoes and plenty of clothing options for various types of activities. In our case we only changed locations a couple of times in 2 weeks so the number of times we had to drag cases around with us was limited. I don't quite understand folks who want to spend their evenings after long days of touring washing out clothes for additional wearing times. The last thing I want to do at the end of a long day with a great meal is go back to my room and wash clothes in a sink. Also - unlike perhaps others here - I actually do sweat after long days so regardless of how "odorless" clothing claims to be - if I am out touring all day my odor may still be apparent at the end of the day - I am not wearing those clothes a second day. (Based upon some of the folks I have sat next to on planes and the odors they have generated I do know some of the people who think re-wearing or rinsing out clothes is sufficient are sadly mistaken.).

My tip: if you are into travel photography and have a DSLR dump the standard neck-strap that came with your camera and get a sling strap from a company like Black-Rapid for travel. Its an amazing difference having your camera always at the ready on your hip versus pulling it in and out of bag or trying to carry it around on a short neck strap.

THY4373
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Re: BH travel tips?

Post by THY4373 » Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:57 am

DaftInvestor wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:38 am
The last thing I want to do at the end of a long day with a great meal is go back to my room and wash clothes in a sink.
I usually have 3-4 days of clothing changes. I guess it varies on one's pain but I don't find doing laundry every 2-3 days to be particularly burdensome. Especially because most of my clothes when I travel are clothes designed for hand washing and rapid drying. Also a lot of times I stay in AirBnBs which most often have some sort of laundry facility. But I agree with you it is most certainly a trade off either way (a pick you poison situation).

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JupiterJones
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Re: BH travel tips?

Post by JupiterJones » Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:42 am

URSnshn wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 4:42 pm
I would love to travel with no check in baggage. But how? There is the whole liquids thing issue - so I end up checking one bag that I could do without. I can see using substitute bottles for a weekend, but what about longer trips when you're going to places that are unlikely to have some of the products you use. Would love some tips on this.
Well the obvious tip would be to just use different products.

Unless you're going to someplace really out in the wild, or it's a case of specific medication, you're going to be able to find any sort of toothpaste, shampoo, body wash, earlobe cream, toe wax, or whatever, that you'd ever need. Will you find your exact preferred brand? Maybe not. But hey, that's the fun of travel... getting to explore the things that the locals eat, drink, and floss with!

I have distinct memories of wandering around a Slovenian department store looking for washcloths. And once trying to figure out what aisle in a Salzburg grocery store had aspirin. (Answer: None. You have to go to an Apotheke for it over there.)

It's a neat adventure to shop like a local. 8-)
Last edited by JupiterJones on Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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JupiterJones
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Re: BH travel tips?

Post by JupiterJones » Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:53 am

UpperNwGuy wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 2:23 pm
I go to Europe or Latin America twice a year, and I always check a 50 pound suitcase with enough clothing for two weeks. I try to carry on as little as possible. After I take my seat on the aircraft, I amuse myself by watching all those folks with the oversized backpacks trying to squeeze them into the overhead luggage compartments.

It's a symbiotic relationship between checkers and carry-on-ers I guess. We like to amuse ourselves by passing by all the people at the luggage carousel waiting for their 50-pound suitcases to (hopefully) show up, while we get a head start on exploring the town. :D
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JupiterJones
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Re: BH travel tips?

Post by JupiterJones » Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:59 am

midareff wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 10:05 am
We travel with flexible shoes such as Skechers with socks and stuff packed inside them.
Yeah, that's the secret. If you take advantage of the space inside a shoe to put socks, underwear, a rolled-up belt, etc., then a packed pair of shoes really doesn't take up too awful much extra space in the bag.

Using some sort of shoe bag/cover helps hold in the stuff you put inside them, as well as keeps the dirt from the soles off the rest of your clothes. Here's an example of the kind I use: https://www.amazon.com/Lewis-N-Clark-Dr ... B0049B25TK

Now a packed pair of shoes can add weight (especially for we large-footed fellows), but you can always arrange to wear your heaviest, bulkiest shoes when you're on the move, packing the lighter ones.
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neilpilot
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Re: BH travel tips?

Post by neilpilot » Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:10 am

JupiterJones wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:59 am


Using some sort of shoe bag/cover helps hold in the stuff you put inside them, as well as keeps the dirt from the soles off the rest of your clothes. Here's an example of the kind I use: https://www.amazon.com/Lewis-N-Clark-Dr ... B0049B25TK
Here's the shoe bag I use, except I pick them up free at Kroger. I usually pack a few extras :happy

https://www.amazon.com/Thank-You-T-Shir ... B00FZQZJGE

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DaftInvestor
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Re: BH travel tips?

Post by DaftInvestor » Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:26 am

JupiterJones wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:42 am
URSnshn wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 4:42 pm
I would love to travel with no check in baggage. But how? There is the whole liquids thing issue - so I end up checking one bag that I could do without. I can see using substitute bottles for a weekend, but what about longer trips when you're going to places that are unlikely to have some of the products you use. Would love some tips on this.
Well the obvious tip would be to just use different products.

Unless you're going to someplace really out in the wild, or it's a case of specific medication, you're going to be able to find any sort of toothpaste, shampoo, body wash, earlobe cream, toe wax, or whatever, that you'd ever need. Will you find your exact preferred brand? Maybe not. But hey, that's the fun of travel... getting to explore the things that the locals eat, drink, and floss with!
So you save 10 minutes at the airport by not having to wait for a checked bag but then have to go shopping for basic necessities? Similar to the "Don't want to spend time doing laundry" thing I mentioned above - seems like a trade-off (and one that might favor a checked bag to many people).

UpperNwGuy
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Re: BH travel tips?

Post by UpperNwGuy » Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:30 am

JupiterJones wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:53 am
UpperNwGuy wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 2:23 pm
I go to Europe or Latin America twice a year, and I always check a 50 pound suitcase with enough clothing for two weeks. I try to carry on as little as possible. After I take my seat on the aircraft, I amuse myself by watching all those folks with the oversized backpacks trying to squeeze them into the overhead luggage compartments.

It's a symbiotic relationship between checkers and carry-on-ers I guess. We like to amuse ourselves by passing by all the people at the luggage carousel waiting for their 50-pound suitcases to (hopefully) show up, while we get a head start on exploring the town. :D
Ha ha ha! I'm retired, so I have lots of time. In fact, after retrieving my checked bag, I often have breakfast at the airport before taking a taxi to my hotel. In most European cities the hotels won't give you a room until mid-afternoon, so the time between an early morning arrival and hotel room availability is mostly consumed with finding an off-airport ATM to withdraw local currency and enjoying a long, relaxing lunch.

THY4373
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Re: BH travel tips?

Post by THY4373 » Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:41 am

DaftInvestor wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:26 am

So you save 10 minutes at the airport by not having to wait for a checked bag but then have to go shopping for basic necessities? Similar to the "Don't want to spend time doing laundry" thing I mentioned above - seems like a trade-off (and one that might favor a checked bag to many people).
I don't have to shop of any basic necessities at least not in the first two weeks and anyway I am usually in a store long before that for snacks, bottled water (if tap is not drinkable) and the like. Also sometimes beating the rush by not waiting for bags has a much more significant savings than 10 minutes if it allows you to get through immigration and customs before the crush of folks who are waiting for their bags. This is especially true if you are one of the first to deplane which I most often I am thanks to points hacking allowing me to be at the front of the aircraft.

SrGrumpy
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Re: BH travel tips?

Post by SrGrumpy » Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:53 am

DaftInvestor wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:26 am
So you save 10 minutes at the airport by not having to wait for a checked bag but then have to go shopping for basic necessities? Similar to the "Don't want to spend time doing laundry" thing I mentioned above - seems like a trade-off (and one that might favor a checked bag to many people).
Perusing foreign supermarkets is a highlight of every trip. I was going to list it as a separate travel tip.

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VictoriaF
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Re: BH travel tips?

Post by VictoriaF » Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:08 am

denovo wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:17 am
Watty wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:16 pm
y;

I have gotten into places where I have run out of water and held back at paying several dollars for a bottle of water that I could get at a grocery store for a quarter. That was a mistake since I got dehydrated and grumpy and ruined the afternoon. Now if I run out of water I just buy the overpriced water.

I paid $5 for water this afternoon, and I can't sleep. So it balances out. Either feel grumpy in the afternoon or sleepless at night.
At home, I drink S.Pellegrino that I buy at Costco in large boxes. But when I am traveling, I drink free water that comes from a faucet.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

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Pajamas
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Re: BH travel tips?

Post by Pajamas » Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:16 am

SrGrumpy wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:53 am
Perusing foreign supermarkets is a highlight of every trip. I was going to list it as a separate travel tip.
You can "tour" grocery stores in other countries on YouTube. Also places in the U.S. like Alaska or Chinatown in New York City that can be interesting to people who don't live there. Not the same experience of course, but still interesting.

Glockenspiel
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Re: BH travel tips?

Post by Glockenspiel » Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:19 am

leftcoaster wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 9:17 am
Let’s share some BHish approaches to travel. Here are a couple to start...
  • pack to purge old shirts, socks, pants, underclothes? Travel with them and discard after use. Yes, you can drop them at goodwill on the road if you insist.

This is terrible. I would only do this if you're discarding items you already own that need to be discarded. I wouldn't BUY items just to discard them. It contributes to the terrible labor practices of the clothing industry.

SrGrumpy
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Re: BH travel tips?

Post by SrGrumpy » Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:21 am

VictoriaF wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:08 am

But when I am traveling, I drink free water that comes from a faucet.

Victoria
A false economy in many countries, although foreign hospitals often make for interesting sightseeing diversions.

URSnshn
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Re: BH travel tips?

Post by URSnshn » Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:24 am

leftcoaster wrote: ↑Sat Apr 14, 2018 10:17 am
Let’s share some BHish approaches to travel. Here are a couple to start...
pack to purge old shirts, socks, pants, underclothes? Travel with them and discard after use. Yes, you can drop them at goodwill on the road if you insist.

Glockenspiel wrote:
This is terrible. I would only do this if you're discarding items you already own that need to be discarded. I wouldn't BUY items just to discard them. It contributes to the terrible labor practices of the clothing industry.
I think it is a great idea and recently did this. If you're going to toss away clothes, but can get one more day's wear out of them - give it a shot. It free's up space for the trip home. You don't necessarily have to buy items at all.

SrGrumpy
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Re: BH travel tips?

Post by SrGrumpy » Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:24 am

Glockenspiel wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:19 am
leftcoaster wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 9:17 am
Let’s share some BHish approaches to travel. Here are a couple to start...
  • pack to purge old shirts, socks, pants, underclothes? Travel with them and discard after use. Yes, you can drop them at goodwill on the road if you insist.

This is terrible. I would only do this if you're discarding items you already own that need to be discarded. I wouldn't BUY items just to discard them. It contributes to the terrible labor practices of the clothing industry.
Not terrible at all. You misread the OP - who specifically mentions old clothing items. Obviously no one here would buy new clothes with the intention of discarding them on the trip.

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climber2020
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Re: BH travel tips?

Post by climber2020 » Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:33 am

THY4373 wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:41 am
DaftInvestor wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:26 am

So you save 10 minutes at the airport by not having to wait for a checked bag but then have to go shopping for basic necessities? Similar to the "Don't want to spend time doing laundry" thing I mentioned above - seems like a trade-off (and one that might favor a checked bag to many people).
I don't have to shop of any basic necessities at least not in the first two weeks and anyway I am usually in a store long before that for snacks, bottled water (if tap is not drinkable) and the like. Also sometimes beating the rush by not waiting for bags has a much more significant savings than 10 minutes if it allows you to get through immigration and customs before the crush of folks who are waiting for their bags. This is especially true if you are one of the first to deplane which I most often I am thanks to points hacking allowing me to be at the front of the aircraft.
Having just a carry-on can also prevent missed connections. A couple of years back, we ran from one end of Santiago airport to the other after clearing immigration and made our connecting flight with less than 10 minutes to spare. Next flight left 2 days later. Waiting for a checked bag would have stranded us on mainland Chile for at least 48 hours.

DesertDiva
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Re: BH travel tips?

Post by DesertDiva » Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:36 am

Here are my personal guidelines - what I do is:
  • use one suitcase or carry on piece, which forces me to question the utility and necessity of everything I pack.
  • assume each item of clothing will be worn twice and limit myself to 2 or 3 colors that will coordinate.
  • ensure that clothing is travel-friendly (no wrinkles) and will roll up easily in packing cubes (love the ultralight packing bags from eBags).
  • think carefully about what shoes to wear or pack - think comfort and support.
  • pack an external battery for emergencies.

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Re: BH travel tips?

Post by Glockenspiel » Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:43 am

-Be flexible with travel dates (traveling during shoulder or off-peak times can save a lot of money.
-In the same vain, flights on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays seem to be the cheapest. I always look for mid-week flights.
-I almost always prefer an AirBnb or VRBO, as they have more space than a hotel room, provide a kitchen space, and typically have laundry service. In my opinion, these 3 things provide a much more comfortable travel experience.

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Re: BH travel tips?

Post by Bylo Selhi » Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:15 pm

UpperNwGuy wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:30 am
In most European cities the hotels won't give you a room until mid-afternoon, so the time between an early morning arrival and hotel room availability is mostly consumed with finding an off-airport ATM to withdraw local currency and enjoying a long, relaxing lunch.
Related tips:

1. European hotels will gladly let you check your luggage for free until you return in mid-afternoon. So even when we arrive in Europe in the morning, we drop by our hotel right away and leave most of our stuff there. Most hotels will also let you store valuables in their safe during this period.

2. We carry something like this AmazonBasics Stowable Ultralight Packable Day Pack to hold items like a jacket, water bottle, etc. that we might need during the day. Also useful throughout the trip for the same reason.

3. If you arrive in a new city early in the day, then after doing 1. consider getting on a half-day city tour. It's a great way to get your bearings in a strange city. It also introduces you to sites (museums, art galleries, castles, etc.) you may want to visit during your stay.

THY4373
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Re: BH travel tips?

Post by THY4373 » Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:46 pm

climber2020 wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:33 am

Having just a carry-on can also prevent missed connections. A couple of years back, we ran from one end of Santiago airport to the other after clearing immigration and made our connecting flight with less than 10 minutes to spare. Next flight left 2 days later. Waiting for a checked bag would have stranded us on mainland Chile for at least 48 hours.
Excellent point and with carry-on you know your baggage has made it with you on a tight connection. It was actually a tight connection in Bangkok that caused my checked baggage to be lost for 3.5 days that finally got me to try the one bag idea.

ResearchMed
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Re: BH travel tips?

Post by ResearchMed » Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:58 pm

climber2020 wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:33 am
THY4373 wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:41 am
DaftInvestor wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:26 am

So you save 10 minutes at the airport by not having to wait for a checked bag but then have to go shopping for basic necessities? Similar to the "Don't want to spend time doing laundry" thing I mentioned above - seems like a trade-off (and one that might favor a checked bag to many people).
I don't have to shop of any basic necessities at least not in the first two weeks and anyway I am usually in a store long before that for snacks, bottled water (if tap is not drinkable) and the like. Also sometimes beating the rush by not waiting for bags has a much more significant savings than 10 minutes if it allows you to get through immigration and customs before the crush of folks who are waiting for their bags. This is especially true if you are one of the first to deplane which I most often I am thanks to points hacking allowing me to be at the front of the aircraft.
Having just a carry-on can also prevent missed connections. A couple of years back, we ran from one end of Santiago airport to the other after clearing immigration and made our connecting flight with less than 10 minutes to spare. Next flight left 2 days later. Waiting for a checked bag would have stranded us on mainland Chile for at least 48 hours.
One way we have reduced travel stress is to rigorously avoid tight connections.
We'd rather spend some extra time relaxing between flights, often at a nice lounge, free due to travel perks of some charge cards, but even if just in a regular waiting area at airports without "lounges".
And at times when the next flight isn't convenient (e.g., 2 days later) or if there is a cruise leaving with or without us, we'll fly in at least one day early. (During travel times when there is both the chance of heavy travel *and* bad weather - such as Christmas/New Year's in many location - we'll even arrive two nights early. IF our preferred/planned flight is cancelled, then the chances of getting on a subsequent flight are not as good as during other travel times.)
We use the extra time either to explore the intermediate city (even if we've been there before; there are almost always "places of interest we haven't seen yet"), or just plain "relax": sleep in take an extra nap mid-day, and start the rest of the trip much better rested. (Or, we catch up with "online stuff" that didn't quite get done before we left home...)

Making this change has been surprisingly "freeing": we hadn't quite realized the amount of stress there was about "if our flight is delayed another hour, we'll miss the next connection" or "if that storm hits the day before our flight, and our flight is cancelled......"
And it has also been surprising how much we've enjoyed an extra day in even a familiar city. We simply "play tourist" and see it in a very different and new way.

RM
This signature is a placebo. You are in the control group.

dbr
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Re: BH travel tips?

Post by dbr » Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:42 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:58 pm


One way we have reduced travel stress is to rigorously avoid tight connections.
We'd rather spend some extra time relaxing between flights, often at a nice lounge, free due to travel perks of some charge cards, but even if just in a regular waiting area at airports without "lounges".
And at times when the next flight isn't convenient (e.g., 2 days later) or if there is a cruise leaving with or without us, we'll fly in at least one day early. (During travel times when there is both the chance of heavy travel *and* bad weather - such as Christmas/New Year's in many location - we'll even arrive two nights early. IF our preferred/planned flight is cancelled, then the chances of getting on a subsequent flight are not as good as during other travel times.)
We use the extra time either to explore the intermediate city (even if we've been there before; there are almost always "places of interest we haven't seen yet"), or just plain "relax": sleep in take an extra nap mid-day, and start the rest of the trip much better rested. (Or, we catch up with "online stuff" that didn't quite get done before we left home...)

Making this change has been surprisingly "freeing": we hadn't quite realized the amount of stress there was about "if our flight is delayed another hour, we'll miss the next connection" or "if that storm hits the day before our flight, and our flight is cancelled......"
And it has also been surprising how much we've enjoyed an extra day in even a familiar city. We simply "play tourist" and see it in a very different and new way.

RM
Those things are exactly what we do as well.

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Re: BH travel tips?

Post by KNomad » Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:52 pm

Save places you like or that are recommended to you in Google Maps. I repeatedly travel to certain cities for work and save restaurants, bars, hotels and attractions that I've enjoyed in Google Maps. When I'm out to dinner somewhere, I can look at my phone and see that there is a bar around the corner that I've been to before. Make me seem like I really know what I'm doing when I'm with clients.

I use those saved places to recommend places for friends and relatives to visit when they go to a given country and if I get recommendations from someone I'll save in Google Maps as well.

I also use Google Fi as my cell provider since it has no data roaming charges in 100+ countries.

Also, book flights directly with the airline when possible. If things go wrong, it's generally much easier to deal directly with the airline as compared to dealing with a travel agent.

SrGrumpy
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Re: BH travel tips?

Post by SrGrumpy » Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:57 pm

Invisi8 wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 2:27 pm

I had a neck wallet, but didnt use it because it was obvious under my shirt and around my neck. Next time might get a money belt instead, a little more inconspicuous IMO.
Some tips here about hiding money. The blogger is similarly skeptical about a neck wallet as well as the ubiquitous money belts. He recommends a security belt. I've never done any of this stuff, or the dummy wallet, tbh.

https://www.thebrokebackpacker.com/how- ... ravelling/

UpperNwGuy
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Re: BH travel tips?

Post by UpperNwGuy » Mon Apr 16, 2018 2:44 pm

Bylo Selhi wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:15 pm
UpperNwGuy wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:30 am
In most European cities the hotels won't give you a room until mid-afternoon, so the time between an early morning arrival and hotel room availability is mostly consumed with finding an off-airport ATM to withdraw local currency and enjoying a long, relaxing lunch.
Related tips:

1. European hotels will gladly let you check your luggage for free until you return in mid-afternoon. So even when we arrive in Europe in the morning, we drop by our hotel right away and leave most of our stuff there. Most hotels will also let you store valuables in their safe during this period.

2. We carry something like this AmazonBasics Stowable Ultralight Packable Day Pack to hold items like a jacket, water bottle, etc. that we might need during the day. Also useful throughout the trip for the same reason.

3. If you arrive in a new city early in the day, then after doing 1. consider getting on a half-day city tour. It's a great way to get your bearings in a strange city. It also introduces you to sites (museums, art galleries, castles, etc.) you may want to visit during your stay.
Yes, I already do all those things. I leave my bag in the hotel's bag storage room until my room is ready. I have a nice small backpack that goes with me as I wander the city checking out the areas near the hotel and grabbing a leisurely lunch. I've been to Europe or Latin America 32 times in the last ten years, so I've developed a method of international travel that works well for me. As I wrote earlier, I have a completely different method for domestic travel, and it includes carrying everything onto the aircraft with me.

UpperNwGuy
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Re: BH travel tips?

Post by UpperNwGuy » Mon Apr 16, 2018 2:49 pm

SrGrumpy wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:57 pm
Invisi8 wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 2:27 pm

I had a neck wallet, but didnt use it because it was obvious under my shirt and around my neck. Next time might get a money belt instead, a little more inconspicuous IMO.
Some tips here about hiding money. The blogger is similarly skeptical about a neck wallet as well as the ubiquitous money belts. He recommends a security belt. I've never done any of this stuff, or the dummy wallet, tbh.

https://www.thebrokebackpacker.com/how- ... ravelling/
Here's the most important thing: do not attempt to remove money, passports, or credit cards from a neck wallet, a calf pouch, or a money belt in a public place, because you will have advertised to anyone watching you where you keep your valuables.

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JupiterJones
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Re: BH travel tips?

Post by JupiterJones » Mon Apr 16, 2018 3:44 pm

DaftInvestor wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:26 am
So you save 10 minutes at the airport by not having to wait for a checked bag but then have to go shopping for basic necessities? Similar to the "Don't want to spend time doing laundry" thing I mentioned above - seems like a trade-off (and one that might favor a checked bag to many people).
Well, I'd phrase that as I get to go shopping. But yes, all of these things are trade-offs, and that boils down to what things you mind and what things you don't mind. Different for everyone, of course.

I will say, though, that a lot of the objections the "heavy" travelers have to traveling light are based on things that, in most cases, they think they wouldn't like. They're often not speaking from a basis of having actually tried traveling light, just on how they anticipate it would go.

The light travelers, on the other hand, have almost always had heavy traveling experience to compare things to. They can evaluate the trade-offs using personal experience. You don't hear too many stories of people regretting going light... or of anyone coming back from a vacation wishing they'd brought more stuff. (Or, as Rick Steves puts it, "You’ll never meet a traveler who, after five trips, brags: 'Every year I pack heavier!'")

It's basically a Green Eggs and Ham situation. Yeah, it seems weird to a lot of folks. I get that. But call me the "Sam I Am" of light travel, because I think most people would actually really like it if they tried it.
Stay on target...

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Re: BH travel tips?

Post by michaeljc70 » Mon Apr 16, 2018 3:50 pm

When pushing the limits of my carry-on, I've run into the situation where my bag won't fit in the overhead bin. That leads to having to take individual things out on the plane or stand there trying to use brute force both of which can be embarrassing. I've started putting a few things in a plastic bag in the front pocket of my suitcase when overstuffing it. If it doesn't easily fit in the bin I just take the plastic bag out and put it next to my suitcase in the overhead bin. I've never had staff at the gate make me put my carry-on in the test device at the gate.

dbr
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Re: BH travel tips?

Post by dbr » Mon Apr 16, 2018 3:52 pm

JupiterJones wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 3:44 pm
DaftInvestor wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:26 am
So you save 10 minutes at the airport by not having to wait for a checked bag but then have to go shopping for basic necessities? Similar to the "Don't want to spend time doing laundry" thing I mentioned above - seems like a trade-off (and one that might favor a checked bag to many people).
Well, I'd phrase that as I get to go shopping. But yes, all of these things are trade-offs, and that boils down to what things you mind and what things you don't mind. Different for everyone, of course.

I will say, though, that a lot of the objections the "heavy" travelers have to traveling light are based on things that, in most cases, they think they wouldn't like. They're often not speaking from a basis of having actually tried traveling light, just on how they anticipate it would go.

The light travelers, on the other hand, have almost always had heavy traveling experience to compare things to. They can evaluate the trade-offs using personal experience. You don't hear too many stories of people regretting going light... or of anyone coming back from a vacation wishing they'd brought more stuff. (Or, as Rick Steves puts it, "You’ll never meet a traveler who, after five trips, brags: 'Every year I pack heavier!'")

It's basically a Green Eggs and Ham situation. Yeah, it seems weird to a lot of folks. I get that. But call me the "Sam I Am" of light travel, because I think most people would actually really like it if they tried it.
Over the years of traveling for work I slowly migrated to to the check the bags approach. Most of my work travel was for longer visits, especially in environments needing some equipment. After awhile it seemed to me easier to check bags rather than drag everything all over the place and struggle for bin space, especially on the ubiquitous connecting flights. These days we are quite content to check bags and not try to carry around any more than easily fits under the seat in front of us if necessary. My wife actually wants it there. A good tip, of course, is to always have those bags packed with enough to get by at your destination for a day and a night including some outerwear, umbrella, etc. and anything you just can't afford to lose.

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Re: BH travel tips?

Post by VictoriaF » Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:57 pm

SrGrumpy wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:21 am
VictoriaF wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:08 am

But when I am traveling, I drink free water that comes from a faucet.

Victoria
A false economy in many countries, although foreign hospitals often make for interesting sightseeing diversions.
I have visited Nepal, Ecuador, Peru, Mexico, and Guatemala without hospital sightseeing. My more recent trips were to Central and Western Europe. The only place where I was particular about my water was Karlovy Vary in the Czech Republic where I was drinking free mineral water from public fountains.

Victoria
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Re: BH travel tips?

Post by midareff » Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:20 pm

JupiterJones wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:59 am
midareff wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 10:05 am
We travel with flexible shoes such as Skechers with socks and stuff packed inside them.
Yeah, that's the secret. If you take advantage of the space inside a shoe to put socks, underwear, a rolled-up belt, etc., then a packed pair of shoes really doesn't take up too awful much extra space in the bag.

Using some sort of shoe bag/cover helps hold in the stuff you put inside them, as well as keeps the dirt from the soles off the rest of your clothes. Here's an example of the kind I use: https://www.amazon.com/Lewis-N-Clark-Dr ... B0049B25TK

Now a packed pair of shoes can add weight (especially for we large-footed fellows), but you can always arrange to wear your heaviest, bulkiest shoes when you're on the move, packing the lighter ones.
Yeah... we pack shoes in plastic bags for cleanliness. For travel I use (and just added a few pair) elastic waist men's poly warm up pants with deep zipper pockets. Much pick pocket security in these. I've also been known to pack and take stuff that stay's there.

MathWizard
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Re: BH travel tips?

Post by MathWizard » Mon Apr 16, 2018 6:14 pm

If you wear glasses, bring along a backup pair (the pair you had before the current ones) in a
hard plastic glasses case.

On my last business trip, I stumbled, my glasses flew off, and my suitcase landed perfectly on them.
Luckily this was heading home, and though the frames were badly bent, one lens was still usable
so that I could read signs for public transportation and departure boards.

I called my wife to bring my backup glasses to my local airport so that I could drive home.

Exterous
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Re: BH travel tips?

Post by Exterous » Tue Apr 17, 2018 9:42 am

THY4373 wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:05 pm
Exterous wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:45 pm


Navigation while walking has been possible with google maps and GPS for years. If you want directions while walking then you'll either need data, use the driving directions which may or may not be the best option, or a different app.
Most folks are going to assume navigation on a cell phone app is going to include directions unless it is called out otherwise. I was just clarifying for those who might not realize that Google maps goes "dumb" as far as walking directions goes without a data connection.

Perhaps - but for clarity saying walking navigation requires data is an incorrect statement. Not everyone travels in areas where google directions are possible (or other map options for that matter) and navigate by GPS position relative to their offline google map

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lthenderson
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Re: BH travel tips?

Post by lthenderson » Tue Apr 17, 2018 10:13 am

ResearchMed wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:58 pm
One way we have reduced travel stress is to rigorously avoid tight connections.
I agree and attempt to do this every time but it doesn't always work out. We purchase tickets months in advance online and by the time the day of our departure has rolled around, our well thought out schedule has been adjusted three or four different times by the airlines so that they can fill their flights as full as possible. Last time I went to the Pacific rim, our three hour layover in Japan became a fifteen minute sprint!

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