Travel Tips

We all learn a lot as we travel and good travelers share tips to help others. Many of the things I figured out or learned from others can easily apply to “regular life” as well.
So what you find here is a range of tips:
• best practices while showering
• learning from other people’s theft experiences
• tips on dealing with uncomfortable situations
• language tips or dealing with language barriers
• maybe some photo tips…

We’ll see what I think of to share here with you as time goes by. To read any full post, click it’s header.


Travel regulations by country during Covid

Travelers and want-to-travelers want to know: Where can I travel now/next month/in November/in 2021? This map, published by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), doesn’t predict the future but it helps you know what rules for flying into a country are in place at this time. You can use it for free during the Covid-19 crisis. It doesn’t show announced openings or land or sea info though. It’s called the Interactive Coronavirus (Covid-19) Travel Regulations Map (powered by Timatic).


More tourist scams

No matter how you travel or where you travel, somewhere there are scammers waiting to take what’s yours. Don’t let scams ruin your travels, holiday, vacation. Be wiser than them by knowing the scams.


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

synchronize app

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…


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

Stick Deb showing

How to shower while you travel 6

I know… the title of this post is rather odd. You know how to shower. What could you possibly have to do differently to shower while you are traveling — unless you’re camping out and your shower is a jug of water hanging in a tree?

 

The answer is nothing — unless you want to be sure you won’t get caught with a head full of shampoo or a body full of soap.

Picture this. You’ve been on the plane,  bus, or train for hours. Or you’ve been walking for hours. Or you’ve been at the black-sand beach or out gazing at pyramids in the hot air. You get back to your hotel, hostel, guest house, CouchSurfing.com host, or the home of your far-removed long-lost relative.

You turn on the hot water….


Returning home from your travels 1

There’s an interesting travel consequence you might not think of. It hits you when you return home from your first travels.

When we think of traveling, we think of the culture shock we feel as we experience new cultures. However, as a traveler, you come to expect the differences. In fact, you may welcome them and seek them out. But we don’t expect to feel a culture shock when we return to our home country, town, city, or even neighborhood. We expect to feel something… perhaps many things, but I’m not sure we expect to feel… well, read on.

Here’s what reminded me to finally write about this issue.
Recently a woman in an online women’s travel group posted a query stating that having returned to the United States after traveling for 9 months she has felt nauseous, headachy and exhausted. It’s been over a week but she still feels like she is jet-lagged and stuck with a cold, perhaps in an uphill battle getting re-acclimated to her home country.


Israel to California for only $108.64 and 20,250 miles

People have asked me to share some of my how-I-get-places tips so here’s another. I’m flying from Israel to California for only  $108.64 and 20,250 miles. Here’s how.

This isn’t about “travel hacking” or gaming a credit card company and it’s not playing games with airlines. It’s simply a matter of time, mile requirements, taxes, patience, and flexibility.


Less tech is more travel experience

This blog is called Tales of Travel and Tech, but I’d like to remind everyone that traveling doesn’t mean taking all your tech with you on your vacation.

Want to maximize your travel experience? Then skip the tech!
Most of the time, that is. Not all of the time.
There’s plenty a bit of tech can do to expand your travel, but not if it blocks you from experiences!


More packing tips: space-saving travel substitutes 3

It can be difficult to leave luxuries behind. Fortunately, in some cases, you don’t have to. There are often alternates to those nice things.

I’ve already written about how many things a sarong can do.

Here are some more of my substitutes. My goal is to take up very little space and weight.

Don’t worry: I am not going to tell you to cut a neck and arm holes in a plastic garbage bag to make a rain coat.


Thoughts on travel hacking 2

…disappointed that she was in China and her friend didn’t want to experience it …couldn’t care less. Then I realized! She wasn’t with “travelers. She was with “travel hackers.”

It’s one thing to take advantage of a great New Card offer and get $50,000 bonus miles — giving you a free flight from say, the USA to Europe. It’s not easy to save for a vacation and we all need vacations. And a new card now and then is legitimate. But go on that vacation and enjoy the place you’d selected! Travel overland while you’re there and see the place. Take a train or bus and talk to the locals! Experience the place! Savor the locale, the people, the foods, the languages, the experiences.


Advice in moving to a new town

Recently, a young man posted a query on LinkedIn, seeking advice on relocating for a job — his first job out of college/university.

This part of his query called to me for two reasons. First, because as a traveler I am always walking into new locations and situations. Also because I’d also relocated with less than 24 hour notice, in order to take my own first job in broadcasting.

Curious about my advice? I’ve posted it here.


Counting 1 to 100 in Hebrew - by age

0-100 in Hebrew — by age

It’s always important to learn at least basic numbers for countries you visit. Here’s the most fun you’ll have being introduced to the numbers 1 to 100 in Hebrew! And even if you don’t want to learn Hebrew, it’s a great video. It took Tom Ross and It took Maya Cohen three journeys to Israel to make this video. 101 people, one from every age between 0 – 100.


Identify your belongings in a unique way 2

I bought 3D Slick paint that works on fabric. My intention was to use it on my backpack. But as I started to practice using this paint, decided to give my equipment a nicer looking identification than just my name written in permanent marker

I love that I have a unique identification method. Plus, it’s fun to take an artistic break once in a while.


Pack a sleep mask — my choice is Nidra mask 5

When you travel, you don’t get to control the darkness in your room. There’s always that gap in the curtains or a room is pretty but not pretty dark.

So I did sought out the best possible mask and best value for the money. My choice is the Nidra Deep Rest mask. Light-blocking, but lightweight. (You know I love that!) MOLDED so it lets me sleep in darkness but be able to open my eyes fully. And best yet, it doesn’t create eyebrow wonkiness.


Cooking on the road: inexpensive meat becomes a great cut

As you travel you may crave a soft steak but you need to watch your budget. (Or, due to language, not order the desired cut from the local butcher.) I have not tried this trick, but apparently there is an easy and very inexpensive way to soften that tough cut of meat, making it a much nicer and more edible experience.

This episode of Cooking with Jack Show can help you out with that. Any steak, some kosher salt and some time…


Travel with children: Custom coloring activity idea

As friends talk about the issues of traveling with children, I am reminded of the travel kit I made for a four/five-year-old child because he and his dad were heading onto a very long airplane flight.

Rather than just giving him some coloring books, paper, and crayons, knowing he’d soon be asking “what should I draw” or “may I have more paper,” I created play scenes for him — my own take-off on coloring and Colorforms®-like scene play.


Theft by taxi driver in Panama City, Panama – Lic Plate 588431 2

As with all stories of theft, I post this story to help good travelers remain safe as they get to know the world. I strongly believe that if more people in the world knew more other peoples of the world, there would be more trade and less war. I want people to travel safely and give themselves the opportunity to get to know local people wherever they go. This story of robbery relates the theft of two clean, honest, well-presented European travelers by the driver of an official (or official-looking) Panama City taxi (license plate 588431). Both are good sized people, in shape, not overweight, not tiny or weak looking.


Thefts by USA, TSA

On Monday, December 10, 2012, TravelMole.com reported about a TSA agent leving JFK International Airport with iPads he stole from passenger luggage. The story is “TSA agent caught red-handed with stolen iPads.” Regarding action against the employee, the story says: Transportation Security Administration spokesman David Castelveter told ABC News that the TSA has “taken the steps to begin processing [Henry] for termination.” “TSA holds its employees to the highest ethical standards and has zero tolerance for misconduct in the workplace,” said Castelveter in a statement. What I do not understand is why the TSA does not have a simple rule: You steal, you lose your job! Granted, the USA is a country where we stupidly are not permitted to say something negative if asked to give a job reference, so a second rule is needed: You steal, you lose your job and the theft becomes a criminal record! It is […]