Category Archives: Travel

Travel Tips: Finding a good hotel

Travel Tips: Finding a good hotel via @WineTrvFoodHow do you find a good hotel? Sure, you can look at various review sites, but maybe there are somethings you don’t think about when finding a good hotel in a strange city. Here are a few strategies I use to find a good hotel:

Finding a good hotel tip #1: Proximity to Starbucks.

Hotel coffee usually sucks. When traveling, the local chains might not be what you like, but Starbucks are the same pretty much everywhere you go.  Even if you aren’t a coffee drinker, you can use this tip.  Seriously, have you ever seen a Starbucks in a bad neighborhood? It’s rare.  If you can find a hotel near a Starbucks, you’re probably in a good part of town. Continue reading

Is your car road trip ready?

Road trip checklistSummertime means road trips for millions of Americans. Before heading out on that 8 hour drive, you should check your vehicle to ensure it will make the trip. Here is a quick road trip checklist of what to do or look for on your car before a lengthy trip:

Road trip checklist #1 Check the tires for wear.

Do they look worn out? After you’ve been driving for two decades, you’ve seen your fair share of bald tires. Still not sure if they are up to speed? Do the penny test. Take the coin and put it in one of the gaps between the treads with Lincoln’s head down. If you can see the top of his head, you need new tires. Continue reading

5 things not to do on an airplane…this means you, buddy.

Things-Not-To-Do-On-AirplaneMost of these are basic manners and/or common sense, but a reminder is always helpful.

Thing #1 not to do on an airplane: Get up before drinks have been served.

Unless it’s an emergency, it’s best to wait. Otherwise you could end up like the poor sap on my flight to Las Vegas who got stuck behind the cart for 10 minutes waiting to get back to his seat.

Thing #2 not to do on an airplane: Hog the space in the overhead bins.

Seriously, you get to put one item in there and that’s it. Unless the plane is miraculously not full (almost never these days), you are being rude if you put your coat, your rolling bag, and your personal item up there.  Two of those things need to go under the seat in front of you. Continue reading

Birthday Travel: Where would you go?

Birthday travel: Where would you go?Have you ever gone anywhere special for a milestone birthday? Some people have large parties, I would rather take that money and spend it on a vacation.

For my 30th birthday, my family went to Las Vegas. It was a great time. We stayed at the Venetian. We had a lovely dinner at some restaurant that I can’t remember, but I know it was at the Venetian. I wore a pretty pink dress and was happy. Continue reading

5 Easy Staycation Ideas and Tips to Make Your Summer Fun!

Five Staycation ideas and tipsSometimes, you need a break, but you don’t have the time, or the money, to go anywhere exotic and far away.  Enter the staycation! I’ve included a few staycation ideas to help you plan a mental getaway this summer or any time of the year, really.

Staycation tip one: No chores

That’s right.  Don’t do any chores.  OK, maybe make your bed if it really bothers you like it bothers me, but otherwise, forget cleaning and scrubbing.  Just relax.

Staycation tip two: Go out to eat

You don’t have to go somewhere fancy with white linens on the tables, just don’t cook and try somewhere new. Continue reading

Three hotel stay tips: how to stay clean

hotel stay tipsHere’s the thing: Hotel rooms are dirty.  Sure, they might look clean, but trust me, they aren’t. I’ve got a few tips to satiate the germaphobe in us all. Read on if you want to know how to stay clean in a hotel room!

Hotel stay tip #1: Lysol everything

Seriously, I carry small cans of the stuff with me when I travel and spray down the whole freaking room as soon as I put down my luggage (not on the bed). Start with the TV remote, then move on to the bed. Pretty much spray down any surface you might touch…especially the door handles and light switches. Continue reading

Travel Goal: Visit all 50 United States

Travel, Goals, United States, AmericaMost people seem to think travel should involve far off, exotic places.  I aspire to see Iowa.  Seriously. One of my travel goals is to visit all 50 states.  So far, I’ve been to 25.

I set this goal one day after reading a blog post about life goals.  The term “bucket list” seemed too dark.  I liked the positive vibes and came up with a 50 state travel goal. Continue reading

Family Connection Travel: Santa Barbara Mission

The other day was DNA day, which got me thinking about family.

Previously, I lived in California. My father’s side of the family settled much of California. They came up from Mexico (which as then part of Spain) in the late 1700s and founded many of the big cities. One such city is Santa Barbara. About 5 years ago, I visited there for the first time.

What a lovely place! If you live in California, I highly recommend you visit. If you don’t…I still recommend you visit. Continue reading

Five Road Trip Tips…say that five times fast.

5-Road-Trip-Tips-WTF-AmyA year ago, I went on the road trip of my life. I packed up my Beetle and moved from California to Minnesota to move in with my then boyfriend (now husband). I picked up a few road trip tips along the way. Like don’t drive through Wyoming in months that aren’t June, July or August or you’ll get trapped by a snowstorm.

My family was big on road trips when I was growing up, so I’m a pretty seasoned road tripper. Is that like a Day Tripper? Now I’ve got that song in my head. Continue reading

Travel: Best hotel room amenities?

Best hotel amenities, good amenities, hotels, coffee, robes, bottled waterAnyone who has stayed in a hotel more than once has that one favorite hotel room amenity that makes them happy when they see it. Sometimes it’s an unexpected item or brand in the bathroom that makes you squeal with delight…ok, maybe just for a few seconds.

Best hotel room amenities: Amy edition

For me, it’s a Keurig brewer.  In fact, when I’m researching hotels and they state that the brewers are in their rooms, I bring my own coffee.

I’ve seen robes, bottles of water, and yes, even wine.  The wine wasn’t free, but it was in the room, which was very convenient. One hotel room had a makeup remover and show cleaner in the bathroom. Definitely unexpected, but appreciated.

I would like to see little bottles Lysol.  Yes, I know. Hotel rooms are supposed to be clean, but let’s face it. They’re not.

At this point, hairdryers, irons, and extra pillows/blankets are to be expected. WiFi should also be all in hotel rooms.  It should also be free or at least already included in the price. How hotels get away with charging extra for it is beyond me.

Hard to find best hotel room amenities

Oddly enough, it’s difficult to find shower caps. It seems that you have to request those from housekeeping most of the time. I do know that you can usually request toothbrushes, razors, and even sanitary products from housekeeping.  Hyatt Hotels have a list of what you can request for free, or even borrow.

Oh, let’s not forget…bedside plugs to charge your smart phone or tablet. Seriously, why don’t more hotels have this amenity? It seems so simple, yet so hard to find.

So, what’s one of the best hotel room amenities you’ve experienced?