like a pro
How to make that summer
trip smooth and safe
IF YOUR VACATION this year
involves a long car trip, here’s
a quick list of essentials.
By Shel Zolkewich
IT’S THAT TIME of year when the familiar
chatter around the dinner table begins:
“Where should we go this summer?” Perhaps
it’s the year you ;nally visit Carlsbad Caverns.
Maybe there’s a family reunion in New
Orleans. Or maybe the bucket list would get a
little shorter with a visit overseas.
For all its beauty and bene;ts, travel can
sometimes take a wrong turn. To help you
avoid a trip you remember for the wrong reasons, we’ve assembled a list of tips to keep you
smiling while you’re on the road. And who
better to offer travel secrets than North
America’s travel writers and editors?
Pay for premium
Lola Augustine Brown, travel writer and
TravelMindset.com, says you get
what you pay for when it comes to hotel stays.
Sometimes it’s best to add a few dollars to the
budget for accommodations.
“If you’re traveling with your kids, consider booking a room on the hotel’s premium floor, which gives you access to
complimentary food and drinks pretty much
The Costco Connection
Visit your local Costco before any road
trip for everything from navigation systems
to beach towels to smart snacks. Using
Costco gas stations along the way will
save you fuel costs.
24 hours a day, and various other perks such
as a personal concierge to sort out all your
travel plans,” she said. “It is a little more
expensive, but can make your stay go a lot
smoother and make everyone feel like VIPs.”
Kiss the cook
Adrian Brijbassi, managing editor of
Vacay.ca, says booking a hotel with a kitchen
space—no matter how small—can save the
hassle and cost of searching for a breakfast
spot in an unfamiliar town.
“More and more hotels are providing
their own kitchens, a feature that many time-share owners have long enjoyed. ;e bene;t
of having a kitchen—or at least a microwave
and fridge—is that it gives you the option to
further control your food costs. A trip to the
grocery store soon a;er check-in will give
you a stockpile of choices for late-night
snacks or an all-out gourmet feast if you
choose,” he says.
Rehydration and restrooms
Zebunnisa Mirza, travel editor of
; eLoop.ca, o;ers some practical advice for
an overseas trip this summer.
“If you’re traveling through European hot
spots, always carry a water bottle in your purse
[or backpack]. Nearly every restaurant will
refuse to give you tap water and will charge you
for bottled water,” she says.
Mirza also has a tip for when nature calls:
“In European hot spots, you’ll likely ;nd your-
self paying to use public bathrooms. If you’re
dressed neatly and you ask very nicely, most
hotels will allow you to sneak into the lobby-
level bathroom for a quick break.”
Look like a local
Evelyn Hannon, editor of Journeywoman.
com, heads to a grocery store when she arrives
in a new city.
“I make a small purchase just so that I get
a shopping bag with the store’s logo on it. To
avoid looking like a tourist and to ;t in, I leave
my backpack at the hotel and carry my camera
and maps in this grocery bag. ;ieves are far
less prone to steal my shopping bag than to
grab my backpack,” she says.
Doctor on call
You may need to extract a sliver, curtail
the e;ects of an unexpected allergy attack or
tend to blisters on your trip. Invest in a small
waterproof bag and stock it with antibacterial
cream, tweezers, blister patches and tablets
for what ails you.
Never unpack it, keep it with your travel
gear and toss it into your daypack for the
adventure ahead. C
MAY 2013 ;e Costco Connection 39
writes about the outdoors, travel and food when
she’s not playing outside, on the road or eating.