Monday, January 15, 2018


1. No matter how much you think you're going to need a suitcase full of a different outfit for each day of travel by day three you're going to be tired of opening and repacking your suitcase. Yesterday's outfit begins to look just fine for another go-around. I ended up wearing the same shirt for the last four days of our vacation and no one complained or seemed to notice
2. Always have your daughter wrap her cosmetics and toiletries in sealed plastic bags unless you want your clothes to smell of lilac and rose.
3. European air travel demands very strict weight and size limits on your luggage. Buy a travel scale and weigh everything before you get to the airport and end up having to repack all of your bags in the middle of the check-in area redistributing personal garments so the weight on every piece of luggage manages to register under the weight limits designated by the airlines.
4. Never find yourself with five checked bags, three carry-ons along with three personal items that barely fit under the seat in front of you when you're only three travelers. It's just not right.
5. At a spa, if you're unsure of the protocol or dress code just ask. It saves on the embarrassment of having put your thong on backwards.
6. When out searching for a restaurant pick one where the locals are seated. If a restaurant is located in front of a major tourist attraction or it has a hawker outside trying to lure you in, run in the opposite direction.
7. Designate a meal planner each day where you haven't set up a reservation in advance. There's nothing more frustrating than having the inability to come to a consensus on what and where to eat. If you don't you'll all get frustrated and end up with room service or worse a silent dinner with three angry people.
8. In a foreign country always ask first "Do you speak English?before you just start babbling away. It makes them more comfortable and willing to help and you might even get some great tips on the best place to buy wine even in your own backyard.
9. Never be afraid to mingle. Getting to know the locals, your hotel staff or your fellow travelers is one of the best rewards of visiting places you've never been before. You may even get a cocktail whipped up in your honor and named after you.
10. Make friends that will last a lifetime!

1. You should always take a strong umbrella anywhere you go in Holland
2. Leave the navigation to a millennial (that would be me), especially in our case where Papa and Daddy tend to end up going in the opposite direction of the one we're supposed to be going when confronted with walking directions on the GPS.
3. You never have enough underwear. Laundromats take too long and deduct travel time. Sending your personal garments out is way too costly. Wash them in the sink and then use the room hairdryer or heated towel bar if where you're staying has one to get them dry enough to wear a second time, or in Papa's case ask for an iron and end up in the breakfast room ironing my underwear in front of the rest of the guests at our hotel.

1. Tuscany, especially Buonconvento and Armena are just as beautiful in winter as in summer.
2. Savour...really savour every single moment.
3. Take some time to go off on your own to explore or have a latte without the rest of the family. "Me Time" can be just as important as together time on a long holiday.

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