2 Must have travel apps!

Here are 2 of my favorite mobile apps that I utilize on a regular basis for travel and yes they are FREE!

Worldmate:  It will store all of your flights, hotels, train reservations, car rentals etc.  It is super easy to utilize.  You simply email your confirmation details to trips@worldmate.com and it stores everything together.  It allows you to export your trip details to share your itinerary with family, friends, or anyone else who might want to know where in the world you might be.   It supports online check in and alerts you if you don’t have a hotel reservation for any dates in your itinerary.  You can access it via the website or mobile device.  It does everything but make your coffee!

Triposo:  It provides a mini travel guide for many destinations around the world.  I typically download the specific city or country I am going to weeks in advance so I can “save” my list of places I want to visit.  My favorite feature about this app is that it allows you to access maps offline with GPS feature.  In other words, I don’t have to find wifi or utilize expensive data plans to access GPS map functionality.  This is extremely helpful for those rambling streets that change names and you suddenly find yourself lost.  It also provides suggested walking tours or customized walking tours including places from your “saved list” which is an amazing feature!  This can literally save me hours of work trying to find the places I want to visit on the map and coordinate options to plan out my days.

My Island Hopper Bonanza voyage begins this weekend!!!  I will be traveling just over 19,000 miles in 11 days.  Phew!  Thank heavens I saved my air miles and I will be in business class the entire journey drinking champagne.  I will have more frequent posts during my trip so watch this space.  For all my loyal subscribers I respect your email inbox and you will continue to receive only 1 email per week.

After my years working abroad spending Thanksgiving away from family I have made travel is my new tradition.  I have spent Thanksgiving in some amazing locations including Iguazu Falls, Mendoza, Buenos Aires, Bali and for that I am forever grateful.  I wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving!

Here are few highlights from last year’s Thanksgiving in Bali.

Nov 2014: Bali
Nov 2014: Bali








Seek your adventure!


It is all Greek to me?

Israel: March 2014

Have you ever struggled to read websites in a language that you do not speak?  I often find myself doing research for a trip and looking up local events on a website I cannot read.  Good news there is a quick and easy solution!  Many of you may already use this but past weekend I was talking with a friend who was not aware of this trick so I thought I would share it.

Thank goodness for Chrome translate option for your browser.  You simply complete the setup then every time you visit a website that is not in a language that you are familiar with it will ask if you want it to be translated.  It actually will save your preferences.

Check out the cute little YouTube video in the link and you will be reading Japanese websites today.   Please keep in mind that not everything will translate perfectly but it will most likely get you 90% of the way there.

Bon voyage.  Gute reise. Ασφαλή ταξίδια. Viaggi sicuri. 안전한 여행  Säkra resor. 
Bezpečné cesty. Teithiau diogel. आशा है आपकी यात्रा सुखद हो

Or as they say in English ” Safe Travels”.  For the first person to identify all of the languages above without utilizing a translator I have a prize for you.

Seek your adventure!

What’s in my suitcase?

So for a big trip I will start packing usually 2-3 weeks before; my project manager personality takes over here;  I will start by simply setting specific items in the guest room.

Packed and ready to go!

#1 Packing cubes:  Hands down one of the best travel inventions ever!  It is a lot like the iPhone; I don’t know what I ever did before they existed.  It allows me to organize clothes and better yet it compresses the volume so more actually fits into the suitcase!  I put absolutely everything in my suitcase into a packing cube.  There is nothing left to roll around freely.  Warning these cubes are addicting, several friends and the majority of my family members have joined my addiction.

#2 Walking shoes:   It is very important to have comfortable walking shoes especially if you are traveling internationally.  Most Americans don’t really walk anywhere on a daily basis.  However in many countries it is very easy to live without a car.  Wait what?  There are people in this world that live without a car. Huh!  So get ready to move those legs and ensure you have comfortable shoes on.

#3 Flat packable water bottle:  I always carry one of these so it can be easily stored away when not in use.  I hate paying for water in countries that have perfectly fine tap water.  Save your money for beer.

#4 Earplugs: You never know when you will be on a plane next to the crying baby or a noisy hotel room.  I have had good luck with this brand.

#5 Face clothes:  Many countries do not have washcloth size towels.  I like this brand because they start out dry and you just add a little water which is nice for travel as it reduces spaces.

#6 Collapsable duffle bag:   I mentioned in a previous post but it can come in handy for transporting travel purchases on the return journey home.  I have also utilized it to toss things into when moving on to the next city catching a train / taxi / bus etc.

#7 In Flight Seat Pack:  For long flights I always ensure I have organized myself a small in flight personal amenity kit.  In business class most airlines still provide an amenity kit and on a few airlines you can still find amenity kits in coach.  Regardless I hate fumbling around in the dark looking for my headphones, cough drops, contact lens case, mints, etc.  This handy seat pack can actually hang on the tray table hook as well.

#8 Clothes:  It depends on the destination and schedule of events but majority of trips I generally focus on bringing clothes that are practical and versatile for the trip.  Think layers and recycle clothing articles during the trip  i.e. one sweater that matches most things.    I usually have one outfit for evenings out black skirt/pants and dressy top so if I end up going to a nice restaurant or theatre I am prepared.

Ask yourself “Am I actually going to wear this on the trip?”

On several trips I have done “disposable clothing” where the clothes only get a one way ticket.  It may be clothes that I was getting ready to donate anyway or hit the super clearance racks.  This can be very handy for quick overnight trips however this strategy has yielded interesting results.  Last year in Indonesia on an overnight trip my friend and I both left behind our clothes that were worn the previous day in 100+ degrees.  While we were waiting for the taxi to the airport  a gentleman came running over with our clothes.  He was quite bewildered that we would intentionally leave behind our belongings however we requested that he donate them.

Let’s pack!

So once I have gathered everything I think I need for the trip I begin to prioritize.   For anyone who knows me from a professional level you will appreciate that I apply the Must – Should – Could agile principles to my suitcase.  I start filling the packing cubes with anything that is an absolutely “must have” take on the trip and if capacity allows I add in some “should have” or “could have” items.   Now let’s go to the airport!

Seek your adventure!