All of Deb’s tales of travel and tech


See shows or attend events thanks to Goldstar discount tickets

Do you like to see shows or attend events in the places you travel?
Do you like to see shows or attend events at home, but still wish to save up some money to travel?

If you live in — or will be visiting — the United States, Goldstar may be your solution to seeing shows or attending events under either condition. I’ve been referring people to this website/service since 2002, actually pretty much immediately after they started. And wow, I can’t believe it took me so long to realize I hadn’t shared this here!

Goldstar-featured

Conair Travel Smart TS263

Best hair dryer for travel – Conair Travel Smart

Travel with a hair dryer is viable. Even when living out of a single carry-on bag for an extended time. I know because I am doing it. And I’m so happy that I am!

Bottom Line: From my experience, any American who would like to travel with a hair dryer will be wise to take a Travel Smart® hair dryer by Conair. Specifically, the blue 1200-Watt Tourmaline Ceramic Hair Dryer, Dual Voltage, model TS263. (SRP $29.99)
(Unless it is replaced by an even better model when you read this.)


Travel experience gold

[Written while in Ireland. Posted after I’ve left Ireland.] Today was a unique, successful, rewarding travel-in-Ireland day. Where did I go? Mostly I sat at a table in the common area of a hostel in Dublin. What did I do? Mostly I sat at my computer and read email, then wrote up or posted reviews for TripAdvisor and this blog. But that’s now what was special or notable. What sights, scenery, buildings or landmarks, did I see? None. I saw the kitchen, the dining, and sitting tables. When I went out to the supermarkets I didn’t veer right to admire the huge old train station. I didn’t take photos of the beautiful pub next door.  I didn’t see any of Dublin’s cool Talking Sculptures. So what made this a great Irish experience or travel day? The answer to that is… a conversation with a security guard who wouldn’t even tell me […]

Dublin & Bray Ireland on map

Best Liverpool hostel or low-cost hotel — Sleep Eat Love

Sleep Eat Love hostel-hotel in Liverpool, England UK, provides a choice of dorm or private room — a great-priced place to stay that’s less costly than the other hotels in Liverpool and is well suited to grown-ups. This new-in-2018 Liverpool hotel-hostel has created a sweet spot for travelers (or travellers). It provides a cultured hostel environment and mood with the quality of a hotel and a great social opportunity for those who wish to meet fellow travelers. I absolutely loved my stay here and highly recommend it as the place to stay in Liverpool.

Terrific location. Less than 1/2 mile from The Cavern Club. Only .9 miles from Albert Dock and even less to the Ferry Cross the Mersey. Supermarkets and an entire mall is right nearby, as is the don’t miss Royal Court Theater.
Great staff. Comfortable.


Exploring The Matthew – the ship that sailed to North America

In 1497, approximately 17 men led by Captain John Cabot sailed out of the Bristol Channel, Bristol, England under Henry VII. On June 24, 1497, they arrived in “New Founde Landes.” Today we call that Newfoundland, Canada.

Christopher Columbus, on the other hand never reached North America. Oh, the things you learn while climbing around on a ship as you travel. Especially on the replica of such a historic ship. It’s hard to imagine this tiny ship making such a voyage.


Packing a hard-bristled brush 1

Once in a while, we who travel come into a packing dilemma and have to either give up the item or become creative.
For me, that was this hairbrush.

The issues:
It has too long a handle so it didn’t fit in a fabric pencil case, makeup case, etc.
The spikes grip everything they touch, eating clothes and everything else — including any typical fabric they’re wrapped in.
It takes too much precious room.

The solution…


Two apps for dealing with time zones as you travel

While traveling we sometimes have to coordinate between wherever we are and something back home. Whether it’s wishing a happy birthday, paying a bill, or doing something for your client as you travel, the timing can be confusing. Here are some ways for MacOS and iOS users to make that all easier.

I could start by telling you about the solution Siri provides, and of its fails. But this first solution is reliable and easy and more flexible than Siri, so with thanks to its developers, I’m leading with it. Keep reading though, to see what Siri might do for you.

Coordinating times with synchronize for iOS…

synchronize app

Enjoying simple kindnesses in Thornbury

When he returned with a USB adapter I jumped from my seat. He told me there’s an outlet right beside my table. I was able to get to over 60% by the time I was done eating. I said I’ll bring it back in a moment and he said to keep it!

I will carry this charger with me daily. Around the house. When I go out. I will truly remember this kind man every day that I’m in his country. And long afterward.


UK Cellular (Mobile) service for travel – easy with giffgaff 1

You might travel well without phone service, but having it can greatly expand your experiences.

Are you traveling from the United States or another non-EU country and into the UK? Are planning to stay in the UK or perhaps in the UK plus EU for a few days? If so — yes, even for just a few days — it can easily pay to get yourself a local SIM card and local mobile service. It certainly does if you travel long-term.

But what service and what plan? A contract (aka post-pay) is out. Should you get pre-pay or pay-as-you-go? What happens if you run out of calling minutes, texts, or data?

This is the narration of my own experience getting cellular service (aka mobile service) as I travel in the UK.


Pub food at The Swan in Thornbury Bristol UK 3

Meals at pubs are a part of experiencing England. When you find you’re hungry and there’s a pub around, you’re usually in for a treat, even if you don’t adore the food. My first pub food this trip was in Thornbury, a suburb of Bristol in the south of England, a small town you’re likely not to get to but I’m sharing it with you anyway because it’s worth seeing the menu.

On my first solo visit to the town of Thornbury, I happened upon The Swan for my first pub meal. In this post, I share the pub and its menu as well as my own first meal. (Sorry you can’t taste it online.)


Will your Amazon purchase be what you expect – or counterfeit?

If you’re shopping on the Amazon website, you need to read this!

As you prepare to travel are you looking at travel supplies, items, or clothing on Amazon?
While slow traveling or digital nomading, are you thinking of buying something at Amazon because it can be sent to you?
Are you living in a country that lacks certain products and using Amazon to get them?
I’ve been reading articles and press releases from TheCounterfeitReport.com for a few years now. The things they report are always disturbing — and important! Wherever you live, if you end up with a counterfeit power cable, your device may become damaged, and even fire is a possibility. If your SD card is counterfeit, you may lose your cherished travel photos. And what good will a fake not-waterproof raincoat do for you on wet travel days.

In everyday life, counterfeit products are a disappointment, perhaps with a serious cost. But as you travel, your loss may well be even greater. So, I want you to be aware of what’s going on at Amazon. (Other sale sites too but today the focus is on this most popular website.)

Rather than try to write this all for you, I have received permission to reprint the press release in full. 
I hope you’ll read it.

The-Counterfeit-Report_logo

A favorite travel top by KikiSol

Once in a while, you happen upon clothing that’s absolutely perfect for travel. Here’s one that’s a go-to top for me in 2018. It’s a brand called KikiSol and this top is called Storm — Black Back and White Jagged Tee. I love KikiSol’s fabrics; they are “printed by hand.” The top has depth and feeling. Plus, it’s cotton! I LOVE cotton clothing — it’s healthy and comfortable.

It takes up almost no space in any travel bag.


Best Burger Stand in San Diego – Angelo’s Burgers – Encinitas

I asked my long-time San Diego area friend if he had a recommendation for a good meal at a good price. A burger would be good, I suggested. Immediately he knew what to recommend:
Angelo’s Burgers in Encinitas
A very good burger for a very good, price — unlike many other eateries along California oceanfront towns, he added.

This is a quintessential Southern California Burger Joint — but with so much more.
It’s a beach town experience without today’s high beach area prices.
And the food’s really good.


Free Shakespeare performances in Southern California 1

I’m visiting a friend in San Pedro, California so tonight… I got to see Shakespeare By The Sea, an excellent performance of The Winter’s Tale.
Fantastic. Minimal set. Beautiful costuming Old English but spoken so it was understandable. Drama, comedy, oh-no moments… I was engrossed.
Tonight was just the 2nd night of the season which runs through August 18, so if you’ll be in the area, you have time to plan.


Vicky & Ben: Ben at Villa in Alicante

Vicki and son Ben: Alicante Spain

Backpacking through Europe sounds so fun and romantic, doesn’t it? The reality is that it’s gritty, tedious, and exhausting. I do pretty well in the daytime, fueled by espresso and optimism… We’ve come to the realization that we don’t like big cities. When your traveling companion is 10 years old…


Vicki and Ben: Tuscany gelato

How Vicki & her 10-year-old son decided to travel in Europe for 10 weeks

This is the first installment of Vicki B & her 10-year-old son Ben on the road.
While researching it I learned that we could take a four-hour scenic train ride to London. Llooking at the map, I saw that it was just a short ferry ride across the English channel and there’s France! And look – it’s just a short skip over to Italy! Our one-week itinerary slowly morphed into ten weeks.