Where To Travel Based On Your Zodiac Sign (Travel & Leisure)

This caught my attention. Travel advice based on your zodiac sign. “Let the stars guide you to your next vacation” is the opening to this Travel & Leisure Magazine article Melissa Locker. Use personality traits described by your horoscope in travel planning. I’m a Leo. The advice for me is:

Leo (July 23 – August 22)
These lions are known for their fiery energy and flair for the dramatic. Leos love to be where the action is—the biggest party, the most fun, the most drool-worthy setting—and ideally as the center of attention. When it comes to choosing a vacation spot, think FOMO-inspiring trips that will look great on Instagram and sound even better on paper.

Ideal vacation: New York City, yachting in the South of France, hitting the clubs in Los Angeles, or party hopping in Ibiza

What’s your zodiac sign? Read the article – Where To Travel Based On Your Zodiac Sign

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Last-minute travel tips for your Christmas getaways (WP)

The Washington Post has some tips for traveling by car in the DC metro area during high traffic times. From the article:

“The key to your Christmas getaway this week may turn out to be a bit of last minute fine-tuning in your preparations.

Let’s start with the majority of you who will be driving away from the D.C. region.

Public school calendars bind many travelers. At Christmas time, schools in the D.C. region break at different times. Some begin winter break Monday. Others will dismiss students Thursday, and some are open until Friday.”

Check out the article – Last-minute travel tips for your Christmas getaways

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3 Things You Must Do Before A Road Trip!

The Passenger156 blog posted a short checklist for your next road trip. It’s very important to do number 3! From the post

“Preparing for a road trip can be overwhelming. You have to pack clothes and accessories for yourself and your kids in addition to making sure the house is squared away. There’s always something that we forget to do. Whether it’s putting a hold on the mail, or stopping by the ATM the day before, you’re bound to forget something important. Here’s our list of gentle reminders for your next road trip.”

Check it out – 3 Things You Must Do Before A Road Trip!

Road Trips: Drive Your Car or Rent

 

dreamstime_xs_29500523 - Car ValueA lot of road trips can kill the value of your car. I had a conversation last night with a friend who was not a happy camper! He’s trying to sell his car and was shocked to learn the car lost $12,000 in value in 2 years. Why … a lot of road trips. He has a short commute to work but he hits the road at least once a month for weekend stays.

He purchased a used car two years ago with 11,000 miles on it. He paid a little over $18,000 for the car. Today, the car has 91,000 miles and was appraised at $6,000. Wow! That’s a lot of value lost in 2 years. Should he have rented cars for all those road trips?

The question you have to ask yourself is do you care about the value of your car? What type of car owner are you? Are you the type to buy a car and drive it until it dies? If you are, you probability don’t care about car value. One day you’re mechanic tells you it’s time to replace the old set of wheels. You call some nonprofit to tow it away and buy the next car. You don’t need the value on the old car to help buy a replacement car. If this is you, go road trip crazy and drive your own car.

Drive my car or rent a carIs your car leased? Or, do you plan to trade-in your old car for a replacement? If the answer to either question is yes, your car’s value is important. Here’s what you need to think about.

How many miles do you drive per year? The average American drives 12 – 15 thousand miles per year. Let’s use 15,000 (or 15K) as a nice round number. Miles driven is not the only factor in determining the value of a car but it’s an important one. At the end of each year you own your car, how many miles did you drive? If you added less the 15K, GREAT. You slowed the rate of decline in value. If you added more than 15K … OUCH! It’s like tying a brick to your car’s value. Bottom line … if your road trips will take you over that 15k mark in any one year; fly, take the train or RENT A CAR. Don’t put those miles on your car.

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Hotel Stay: Why You Should Tip Housekeeping Every Night

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I saw the above tweet and had to check it out. It’s an article on the Groupon website called “Why You Should Tip Housekeeping Every Night and Other Hotel Tipping Etiquette” by Jorie Larsen. In the article, Jorie Larsen spoke with manners expert Lizzie Post (cohost of the Awesome Etiquette podcast). Read the article to see the complete info-graphic on hotel tipping.

My favorite part was tipping the housekeeper. Lizzie’s advice goes as follows:

Should you tip [the housekeeper]?: Yes.
How much?: It depends on the number of people staying in your room, although $2 per night is fairly standard. Larger families, or those staying in a large suite, should tip more, up to $5 per night. When deciding how much to leave, Post says to “consider the amount of work housekeeping has to do.”
Should I tip every night or once at the end?: “Tipping nightly ensures the tips go to the people who actually clean your room,” Post says.
Where should I put the tip?: On your pillow or nightstand. Better yet, place it in an envelope clearly labeled “Housekeeping,” then leave it on your nightstand.
What if I’m staying at a B&B or small inn?: It’s up to your discretion, but feel free to ask the inn’s staff what the tipping standards are. Generally speaking, you should leave a tip if there is hired help to clean the rooms.

dreamstime_s_48685237 - Hotel HousekeeperI often get into discussions with friends who don’t tip housekeeping at all or who only tip at the end of their stay. I hope this ends the discussion for my friends that don’t tip. Follow the wisdom of Lizzie Post and start tipping!

For my friends who tip at the end of the stay … STOP IT! There are times when a different person cleans your room each day. If you tip all at the end of your stay, you are over tipping the last housekeeper and not tipping the others at all. When I stay at a hotel, I leave a $2 or $3 tip on the desk with a note that says “tip for housekeeper”. I want it to be clear to the housekeeper that it is a tip for him or her.

How do you handle tipping the housekeeper?

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Restaurants and the Bathroom Test

RestaurantI eat in restaurants often. I like trying new restaurants, especially when brunch is served. I never worried about sanitation in the kitchen or if my server washed their hands. I just enjoyed the food.

TV shows change all that. Try watching shows like Restaurant: Impossible on the Food Network,  Hotel Impossible on the Travel Channel or Bar Rescue on Spike TV. I was shocked at all the unsanitary hotels, bars and restaurants out there. I always knew there are unsanitary places but seeing it on TV brings it to life. How can you tell when you walk into one of these places?

I got up to use the bathroom on one of my restaurant visits. It was really bad. The floors were dirty, the paper-towels had run out and the soap was empty. It hit me, if I can’t wash my hands, my server can’t wash his hands either. Then I realized, if a restaurant does not take the time to clean and re-stock the bathroom, why would I think they clean the kitchen? If I see roaches or other critters in the bathroom (and I have), I bet there are critters in the kitchen as well. I decided a really bad bathroom is a good sign I should get out of there BEFORE I eat a meal.

Why worry about a restaurants’ bathroom? Bathrooms are used by customers. Some restaurant managers don’t care or are too busy to make sure the bathroom is clean and stocked. If a place customers see is a low priority for cleanliness, what’s the priority for places NOT SEEN by customers? It’s a red flag at least!

My sister-in-law works in the restaurant industry. She has another test. Look up at the air vents in the dining room. If they’re dirty, so is the kitchen. Do you have a test? If so, please share …

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Planning Family Vacations (The Labor of Love Podcast)

Labor of Love PodcastI listen to a fantastic episode of The Labor of Love Podcast! It covers the ups and downs of planning family vacations. Episode 18 – “Family Vacations”. The description is:

Wait, aren’t we supposed to be relaxing? Lori talks to travel expert Wendy Perrin and writer David Valdes Greenwood about how to survive — and even have fun! — on your family vacation.

Get great ideas to keep the stress down before, during and after your next trip. Go listen to this podcast right now!

What’s a podcast? / Real Simple Magazine / Panoply Podcasts

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