Benign Surveillances


Whenever I travel, one of my favorite pastimes is to people watch and I’m sure it is safe to say it is the same for you too.  Touring and sightseeing popular places give me the ability to do just that.  Unnoticed by others, I would observe their antics, behaviors and mannerisms while I rest.  Some of the best places I have done this include, but are not limited to are the Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain in Rome, Rialto Bridge and St. Mark’s Square in Venice, Las Ramblas, Sagrada Familia and Parc Guell in Barcelona to name a few popular venues where there is heavy foot traffic.

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As I study tourists whom I meet, I have found they are inquisitive by nature, and want to know all about me.  What makes me tick?  Who am I?  Where do I come from?  What makes me special?  These and many more questions may be on the minds of those you meet as you travel also.  Whether I travel with strangers in a group or meet locals for the very first time solo, we want to exchange information about each other.  We want to get to know who the other is.  From the moment residents lay eyes on you, they too can tell that you don’t belong, you’re a foreigner and that you do not fit into their regular mold.  What brings them to these conclusions?  Mostly the way you dress, your accent or language is a big give-away, and certainly your wide-eyed stares and interest in unfamiliar things and surroundings. Whatever the identifiers, you can tell from the quizzical looks, smirks, finger points, or other gestures, that they have burning questions on their minds about you.  Some may even muster enough courage to ask you questions outright.

Throughout my international travels though, there is one question that I have been asked repeatedly – Where are you from?  Sometimes I hesitate to give an answer based on who is asking or the context from which it is asked.  Other times, I readily respond either giving a long or short answer.  Besides nationality, there are other burning questions like:  Are you traveling alone? Where do you live? Can I touch your hair?  Case in point, I recall traveling on a long distant bus from Vietnam to Cambodia and on that trip, I endured finger pointing, stares, some ‘who-are-you’ smiles and even one passenger as she was going down the aisle dared to touch my hair.  It was long ride and I was the only black person on the bus, so I stood out like a sore thumb.  I wasn’t afraid but I felt as though I was a novelty (or maybe a celebrity 🤣) to my fellow passengers, and they had never seen a real life black person up close.

I get it, they want to know more about me, and judging from my differences, they can’t tell whether I come from a particular country of Africa, Jamaica or Wakanda😂.  If I say I live in the USA, my non-American accent begs additional questions, so I give more explanations.  Many times, when I call my island home by name, they don’t know where in the world it is.  However, if I mention Rihanna a knowing smile takes place.

Community Peeps, people watching is a relaxing, non-intrusive activity that one can engage in to past the time on their journey.  Is it an activity you like to participate in?  What are your thoughts about these benign surveillances?  You may have more questions than answers, but always remember while you are watching someone, another, somewhere maybe watching you.

Readers, as usual, I invite you to click follow to receive timely updates, select like to show your love and support.  Share this post on your social media site.  Write your comments in the box below.  Your interest, time and attention are always appreciated.  Thank you for reading.

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Airport Tchotchkes


Airports are amazing places to enter.  It is as if you step into a little city bustling with people scurrying in every direction or just leisurely strolling from store to store. A diversified selection of store types line the halls from end to end, intermittently punctuated by seating areas and departure gates. Browsing the shops is an activity for people engage in to pass the time during unexpected delays, and for those who either arrive with ample time to spare before departure, in between flights, or on long layovers.  Passengers are seen browsing brand-named stores, souvenir shops, gift shops, magazine/book stores and, if so inclined, may even receive services like shoe-shines, massages, spa treatments, etc.  It is also the place where diners may enjoy cuisines of their choice at the many restaurants and familiar fast-food eateries nearby.

I love to wander in and out the stores too, admiring the goods, but with no real intention to purchase anything.  Hardly would my travel budget allow for the extravagance of airport spending.  Some stores carry high-end products with a price tag the cost of a round-trip ticket to a different destination 😀.  Seriously, the costs of the items even with the duty-free conditions still can be outrageously pricey, and then there’s the tchotchkes.

The displays are succinctly arranged to catch the eye of the late shopper, and travelers who wander up and down the hallways.  The offerings at the wide range of stores appeal to shoppers for various reasons. Some may be last-minute decisions, or the “I had no time to shop” reason.  So then, whom do you think would be more likely to shop at the airport? I pose the well-to-do, the business traveler, or the wanna-be big spender who buys irrespective of price tag.

Honestly, I don’t think the majority of those who make purchases at the airport go there with the intention to do so.  Granted, duty free discounts on items may sweeten the deal, which the retailer hopes will help to draw prospective consumers in.  The price markup of most goods is usually two to three times higher than those in regular stores.  The reasons for the high prices may be debatable, but one can only guess a factor may be because of the prime real estate.  Whatever the reasons, I am often amazed at the offerings, and the brisk sales that occur in the stores.

Though I am not a big spender, don’t have deep pockets, or a last minute shopper, (I purchase my souvenirs/gifts before coming to the airport) I do confess to airport spending a few times.  Not because I saw an irresistible item and couldn’t live without it, but mostly to get rid of spare change, especially if most of the leftover currency is coin and maybe a few bills.  The balance of cash usually affords nothing more than a few ‘sweet’ treats from the confectioner’s aisles.

Community Peeps, are you an impulsive airport shopper? Is purchasing airport tchotchkes before boarding your flight a favorite pastime?  Share your experiences on airport shopping in the comment box below. If you’ve bought something on vacation you simply could not resist, but which you regret now, talk of it too in the comment section.

Readers, as usual, I invite you to click follow to receive timely updates, select like to show your love and support.  Share this post on your social media site.  Write your comments in the box below.  Your interest, time and attention are always appreciated.  Thank you for reading.

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Crossed Lakes, Rivers and Seas


The main attraction on a customized itinerary is the sightseeing.  Getting to the place of interest and adventure may mean using different paths other than driving the open road or flying the clear blue skies.   Cruising along waterways is an option that holds lots of fascination and wonder for the traveler.

Recently I was watching a movie and recognized a place, landmark buildings and a hive of boating activity, that instantly made me recall my experiences there.  Some things trigger memories, good or bad.  Thankfully, it was a good memory, and hence it provided the inspiration for this post.  A scene in the movie was along the waterfront of the Bosporus Strait in Istanbul, Turkey.  I can still remember the strong smells emitting from the Spice market nearby as I walked in wide-eyed amazement at the range of spices displayed in the vendor stalls.  Also, walking the underground tunnel to take a boat ride on the Bosporus and watching the ships sailing up and down the channel.

Reminiscent of the many places I’ve visited, I realize I’ve crossed lakes, rivers, seas, some well-known and others not so famous. Each holding their own fascination and unique appeal. Whether the bodies of water are man-made or a God-given part of nature, tourists are often drawn to enjoy the benefits. Some may gather on the banks to worship, to swim, to enjoy the ebb and flow of the rippling waves, the peaceful serenity, or just to witness the awesomeness and power of these natural wonders.

Famous and unique waters I have cruised on, swam in, twinkled my toes in as I walked along the banks, spent refreshing moments near, or just simply admired includes:  the Dead Sea in Israel, Ganges river in India, Tonle Sap lake in Cambodia, Lake Mead in Arizona, Sea of Galilee in Israel, Kowloon Bay in Hong Kong, Mekong Delta in Vietnam, Thames River, London and the Rhine in Germany just to name a few.  Here are some photos (credits within photo edit) of these places.

Community Peeps, the adage holds true – “all rivers run to the sea,” but time and space would not permit me to mention or showcase everyplace I have visited.   Maybe you can comment on your experience at one of these locations or mention one that is not here.  I would like to know of new and interesting places so please feel free to talk of your favorite water-hole in the comment box below.

Readers, as usual, I invite you to click follow to receive timely updates, select like to show your love and support.  Share this post on your social media site.  Write your comments in the box below.  Your interest, time and attention are always appreciated.  Thank you for reading.

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Safety A Priority


Have you ever heard this saying, “The more things change the more they stay the same?” It is certainly true of the safety information process when we fly.  From the time you enter the airport to the time you board the aircraft; many savvy changes have been adopted to replace the ones we used many years ago.

We have seen upgrades to first and business class and even to coach.  Some for the better.  Others?  Well…  You might probably be sprinting ahead thinking of all the changes that have occurred.  I suggest these: seating, baggage, boarding, TSA processing, etc. just to name a few.

One protocol that remains no matter how quickly the TSA lines are navigated, what boarding letter (A – E) assigned, what seat assignment given, or how well the two allowed pieces of luggage are stowed away, is the practice of –  the safety demonstration.  It must be done just before take-off.

Believe it or not, flying is not my favorite form of travel.  Unlike driving my car, I am acutely aware that once I leave the ground I am no longer in charge.  Therefore, attention to details and any safety instructions given becomes paramount for me.  In the air, I trust that God will take me to my destination safely, but I pay strict attention to the Captain, Co-pilot and stewardesses whenever announcements are given while taxiing.  However, to my dismay, many times I witness others preoccupied with all the on-board attractions/distractions.  Hardly are the safety-cards in the seat pockets reviewed (this observation is not a blanket statement) as the cabin crew go over the safety regulations, but many are busy making themselves comfortable, chatting, eating, etc.

Even though most airline carriers are hi-tech and use the immediate seat-back screens to get their safety messages across, a stewardess must still stand in the aisle to demonstrate the process.  From my observations, it seems what’s more important is flipping through the in-flight menu/catalog, looking out the window and generally not paying attention to the safety spiel.

Yes, it may be rote for the frequent flyer, but one that they certainly cannot afford to ignore, no matter how often they fly the open skies, and one that the infrequent flyer can’t dismiss.  I cannot tell whether the technology is a more effective way to grab the attention of the traveler, but what I can tell you is I hardly ever see the safety cards in the seat pockets removed and reviewed by fellow passengers.

How seriously do you follow the instructions?  Do you look around for the exit doors when pointed out?  Do you check under the seats to see if the life-vest is there?  Granted, the seating process becomes a bit harried at the end to prepare for the take-off.  It is not the opportune time to poke around or pull the seat up to find the life-jacket, thereby delaying other passengers from sitting.  However, you might find paying close attention may make the world of difference in an emergency.

Community Peeps, do you pay attention to the stewardesses’ safety methods?  Do you prefer the directives given via in-flight entertainment screen or by person?  Please share your thoughts in the comment box below.  In closing, I think it is still a good idea to pay attention to the safety guidelines and demonstration, and be able to identify where the exit doors are if necessary.  What are your observations?

Readers, as usual, I invite you to click follow to receive timely updates, select like to show your love and support.  Share this post on your social media site.  Write your comments in the box below.  Your interest, time and attention are always appreciated.  Thank you for reading.

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Itinerary Planner

 

 

Affordable Love


With Valentine’s day looming, thoughts of romance and candlelight dinners for two are all that may be on the mind of the person who is on a tight budget and can barely afford to spring for dinner, but who wants to carefully plan a surprise for their sweetheart.  The task of making the day special isn’t made any easier by retailers for those couples who wish to express their loving sentiments to each other.  Red and white theme displays, gifts of chocolate, long-stemmed roses, cards, jewelry and other memorabilia strategically placed throughout stores, I’m convinced, are there to capitalize on the emotion – love.

Some couples may have more financial latitude than others.  They may go to greater lengths or adopt signature ways to impress their sweethearts and celebrate their love.  One such way would be to fly away to a destination of their choosing, particularly, a remote island.  Jetting off to an island on any given day is wonderful, add in romance and it is a match made in heaven.  A weekend of bliss, fun and frolic would be a priceless treat of devoted attention for the surprised partner.  Cupid’s arrow strikes again.

Therefore, it is necessary to recommend pointers to help the cash-strapped or deep-pocket traveler on how to cover all their bases before they leave.  After all, who knows, either type of traveler may suffer from the same effects of cupid’s arrow (love has a way of doing that) and may forget pertinent to-dos for the trip.  While it may not be the intention of the partner who is doing the surprising to overlook specific niceties, they may find themselves ‘surprised’ and in a predicament if they fail to plan.  For sure, Murphy will be the uninvited guess who says, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”

So as not to obfuscate the details of the trip and to get started, you should follow these basic tips for your day or weekend de amor.

Write down everything, including thoughts that pertain to making the day special and memorable.  Make a checklist which will help to keep you on track.  Tick items off once completed.  Keep a list of contacts and share the itinerary with a family member or a close friend.

Days ahead of the adventure, secure passports in carry-on bags, double-check that tickets, car service and other arrangements are confirmed.

Pack an overnight case or weekend bags.  Keep them out of sight.

Day of departure to airport, pick up partner.  Blindfold (optional).  Brief on a ‘need to know’ basis.  Just before pulling up to the airport entrance, go over the immediate details of the trip.  Board flight with a mindset that you will enjoy every minute (attitude is everything) of the surprise get-away.

Community Peeps, have any of you been surprised on Valentine’s day with a trip by your loved one?  What was it like?  Please share the surprise experience in the box below.  We would love to go down memory lane with you.  Keep the intimate details to yourselves 😍.

Readers, as usual, I invite you to click follow to receive timely updates, select like to show your love and support.  Share this post on your social media site.  Write your comments in the box below.  Your interest, time and attention are always appreciated.  Thank you for reading.

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Itinerary Planner

Questionable Comportments


Vacation is supposed to be the time you spend relaxing, exploring your surroundings, and letting your hair down in a positive sense.  It is the time you have long waited for, saved monies to splurge, eager to execute the customized itinerary, to sample new cuisines, and other interesting prospects.  However, vacation is never a time, whether at home or abroad, to behave badly, lose your common sense and sound judgement.

If you people watch while on vacation, you will observe many types of behaviors played out that you can rightfully assume wouldn’t normally happen at home.  Being the “fly on the wall” would probably help to bare out what I am saying about two news articles I recently came across which spoke of vacationers who made poor choices and had to pay a price for their decisions.  You may have a lot of questions, like I do, but the bottom line is this, because one is in a foreign land, or in a place where they cannot be easily recognized, does not give them the liberty to behave in a reckless manner, that may cause harm to self or endanger the life of another.

While inebriated with alcohol or some other mind-altering drug, the tourist who thinks they are having a grand time under the influence, may have lost the capacity to be in full control of their mental faculties.  Inhibitions are loosened and what would be considered sport becomes offensive.   Still liquor, believe it or not, is not the only incriminate to be considered for some egregious behaviors but also, peer pressure.  Yes, adults experience peer pressure too.   A visitor wanting to impress friends, might decide to show-off in an instant, but looking back in hindsight, they would see it was foolhardy and detrimental to their well-being.  Also, because of their so-called ‘success’, they could influence others to follow suit and do the same lunacy.

Two examples come to mind as I talk on this matter.   A visiting family to New Zealand recently caused a stir.  The account of the family’s audacity, disrespect and disregard for the people, property and laws of the island-nation rippled out from the community onto international territory via social media and news headlines.  Their obnoxious conduct preceded them as they traveled from city to city.  Local authorities and hospitality workers were alerted to be on the look-out for them (bad news does not lack a carrier).  Read about the whole incident here.

Another traveler on board a cruise ship decided to jump in front of laughing friends from the balcony of the ship into the aquamarine waters below.  While the depth of the water is not questionable, or their ability to swim since they jumped, I wonder if they considered the possibility of lurking sharks nearby, or the strong undertow currents that could have drag them away.  Those possibilities may or may not have entered their thoughts.  I don’t know.  What I do know is that a dare-devil stunt like that should not be acknowledged as brave or ballsy by those who watch the video but flat-out absurd. Read about the jumper incident here.

Videotaping with the hopes of ‘going viral’ seems to be another reason people do what they do these days.  But why risk life or limb just to be viewed repeatedly?  Are the bragging rights worth the trouble?  So, what type of tourist are you?

Community Peeps, there are many types of travelers, but only one standard of behavior expected of all tourist.  To obey the rules and carry yourself in a manner that is acceptable and respectful to the host nation.  Have you witnessed questionable comportment of those you travel with?  Please share your thoughts on the subject in the comment box below.

Readers, as usual, I invite you to click follow to receive timely updates, select like to show your love and support.  Share this post on your social media site.  Write your comments in the box below.  Your interest, time and attention are always appreciated.  Thank you for reading.

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Itinerary Planner

Win-Win


Win or lose?

That’s the biggest question I am contemplating after a customer contacted me with a recent travel request.  Travel Itineraries exists mainly to sell bespoke itineraries to persons who have little to no time in pulling together interesting attractions/activities of places they are about to visit.  TI appeals to the business person, timid traveler, first-time traveler, solo traveler, budget traveler and anyone who does not want to deal with the stress of researching, picking and choosing attractions, sites and adventures.  A prolific travel site,  TI is capable of planning from soup to nuts an itinerary that will give lasting memories for vacationers.  In a nutshell, this is what I say on the Itinerary Request Page to introduce my travel planning skills to potential customers, “Do you like to travel, or better yet, travel often but can’t find the time to build a detailed itinerary that will be engaging and enjoyable?  If that description sounds like you, don’t worry or stress.  I can plan a bespoke itinerary that will ensure you cover all the basics of a great trip: things to do, places to go and sites to see.   Interested?  Fill in the form below to get started.  Just do it.”  Also, it is a place where you can read a blog of my adventures on foreign and local soil, tips, recommendations, ideas and news related to travel.

Last week I received my first sale of the year from a new visitor to my website and was excited to start the year off with the request.  As I read the customer’s specifics, I quickly realized the buyer did not understand what Travel Itineraries was all about.  They already had their plan and wanted me to map it so they could save time and gas.  At first, I considered plotting the route but eventually decided against it because that is not what TI is all about.  Obviously, their lack of clarity surrounding my services was no fault of their own, and I regretfully made an apology, offered a refund and referred them to a travel website that could better support their particular need.

Why then do I ask win or lose? I could look at the situation as just another experience.  But in my humble opinion, there are three invaluable lessons I can definitely learn from dealing with the shopper.

  1. AWARENESS – While the prospect may have had some misunderstanding concerning TI’s services, it reminds me that more work can and should be done to bring about awareness, clarity, highlight services and skills.  TI should grasp every opportunity to enlighten its readers/viewers of its capabilities in its many forms and formats via technology.
  2. NEW IDEAS – Innovation will keep TI fresh and relevant.  If customers are asking for certain services, then I should consider how I can possibly accommodate and market to them by tweaking and improving offerings as needed.  Who knows, a bright idea may lead to other avenues, though not originally a part of the plan, but one that will broaden TI’s perspectives and scope.
  3. REFERRALS – While I would like to meet the needs of all potential clients, there are times when I will have to say no.  However, the rejection should not be given without offering a recommendation of help.  To suggest another travel related company to the client as an option is just a way to say I network with other travel businesses, and I am familiar with the industry players.  There are other travel partners in whom I take delight in recommending their services especially if I have used or know of them personally.

Community Peeps, overall I would say it was a win-win.  I was happy to refund the money and to redirect the client.  They are referred to as client because of their response to my actions.  I believe I have won their respect and I hope in the future they will consider TI for their tailored travel itinerary.  Do you think so too, or do you think I lost?  I am interested in knowing.  Please comment in the box below.

Readers, as usual, I invite you to click follow to receive timely updates, select like to show your love and support.  Share this post on your social media site.  Write your comments in the box below.  Your interest, time and attention are always appreciated.  Thank you for reading.

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Itinerary Planner

Plight, Fight or Flight


I don’t know which is worse, the effects of an impending snow storm or the effects of the government shutdown on airports and other entry/exit points.   Neither one is a favorite action for the traveler who may have planned a bespoke itinerary months ago and are eagerly looking forward to executing their trip down to the last detail.  Now, it might be looking like a toss-up in the face of uncertainty.

Today begins a three-day holiday weekend (Martin Luther King holiday) and the forecast indicates the Northeast will be blanketed with lots of white, fluffy powder from the sky.  Also, today marks the 28th day of no work and no pay cheque for federal workers, the longest closure in history.  Both conditions will indeed serve up the same impact on the besieged traveler.  Both acts (weather and shutdown) will cause delays at airports.  The predicted bad weather may snarl traffic, hinder flight take-offs and landings at most area airports.  The federal work stoppage may cause long wait times for processing, increase security vulnerability, and close unmanned stations due to personnel no-shows.  Whilst heavy snowfalls are not an anomaly at airports during the winter season, the impact of the shutdown is.  TSA and other pertinent airport workers are working without pay, sick-outs have been reported and processing times have become more extended.  What does it all mean?  How should one handle the situation?  Cautiously.

The same plan you use to handle the snowfall interruption, may be adopted to manage any delays with your ground procedures.  Before leaving the sanctity of your home check local news for updates.  Plan ahead.  Arrive early for your departure.  Be prepared to spend more than average wait times to be processed.  In either situation, be patient and empathetic to those serving you.  After all, they may be overworked, and stressed about their circumstances too.

Community Peeps, I may not have the perfect solution to these problems.  Also, I understand how difficult and disappointing it would be if you had to cancel your trip due to either situation.  However, neither issue compares in scope to the plight, fight or flight of government workers who face job loss, and tough times making ends meet for their families due to no pay.  Neither settings offer a good start to even the best tailored vacation itinerary possible.   So, what would you suggest?  What tips would you give to the traveler in these circumstances?  Please share your thoughts on the matter in the comment box below.  I would like to hear from you.

Readers, as usual, I invite you to click follow to receive timely updates, select like to show your love and support.  Share this post on your social media site.  Write your comments in the box below.  Your interest, time and attention are always appreciated.  Thanks for reading.

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Itinerary Planner

My Weight Issue


If you think my weight issue has anything to do with physical weight, you are barking up the wrong tree.  The issue lies with my suitcases and not with fat.  The latter, though not a desired lifestyle attribute, is a challenge that can be remedied with diet and regular exercise.  However, the same cannot be said about the weight requirements for baggage by major airlines today.

I recall not so long ago when airlines allowed passengers to check two pieces of luggage, each weighing a whopping 70 pounds.  That heft dropped to 60, and now we are eeking by with 50 pounds.  In some cases,  depending on the airline that number can drop lower still even to the teens (last year, my bag did not meet the weight rule, and I incurred an extra expense I did not like).  These days carriers insist passengers pay for every piece of checked baggage.  The current weight measures have been accepted without much ado from travelers but puts many vacationers, especially those returning to their homeland and families in a stressed position. Packing the gifts in their bags for their loved ones, plus their personal items and maintaining the required weight is a stress the exuberant traveler would prefer to do without.

To say this weight issue is a nuisance for the expat traveler would be the understatement of the year.  Especially during the holiday season, the strain of trying to stay within the baggage guidelines is keenly felt when you try to take special tokens of appreciation to your friends and family.  You pack, unpack, roll, tuck and flatten.  Then you drag out the bathroom scale weighing and re-weighing hopeful your bags are near or on the weight target.  Frustrated, you give up, all the while praying and hoping your gifts and or personal belongings are not in jeopardy of being confiscated and dumped.

Over the years, I have found ways to deal with the weight issue.  Of course, I want to share the tips with you.  They will not alleviate all your weight fears but I hope they will help to ease some of them:

Check-In – Arrive at the airport early.  Not just within the required two-hour time frame, but three – four hours ahead of your flight.  While this plan may not always work, it is still worth a shot.  Often, I’ve encountered ground staff who will overlook one – five pounds over the limit.  If you are late, your excess pounds may become a glaring violation that cannot be ignored.  So, in order to comply with the weight condition, the check-in agent may ask you to re-pack excess pounds into other bags, or dump stuff which is never a predicament you want to be in.

Luggage – Choose the right kind of luggage.  Backpacks and large purses for the women are all you need to carry your essential items.  Most backpacks have many pockets and can be extended or reduced in size.  They are made with light, durable material which is flexible and easy to manipulate. The backpack or large handbag stores easily by fitting into the overhead bin or under the seat in front of you.

Clothing – Wear your heaviest items such as sneakers, jacket, sweater and jeans.  You will never look out-of-place wearing these items on board.  The cool temperature in the aircraft is always on full blast (to me it is, 😊).  You can always peel off the jacket and sweater before arriving at your destination.  Choose to pack clothing made of these fabrics:  silk, chiffon, polyester and rayon.  The lighter the better. Always seek to eliminate carrying bulky or heavy clothing.

Round-trip Packing – When traveling, don’t pack only for those at your destination, but for those at the return point too.  After all, it is highly likely that you will have friends and family on both ends of the spectrum for whom you will want to bring a souvenir or two.  Choose to pack old pieces of clothing you are willing to part with and toss once on location, and which after use, you can make room for new items/gifts you may purchase.  Also, leave clothing behind every time you visit.  This will allow you to have two wardrobes, at home and abroad, besides you would not have to worry about toting your clothes back and forth on future trips.

Community Peeps, it is never easy deciding what to pack.  However, having two wardrobes in two different places has lifted much of the anxiety I used to suffer whenever I traveled home.  This winter’s holdalls were merely a carry-on and a large purse (backpack), but no checked luggage.  Admittedly, the one caveat to having no checked bags is, no wait time to pick up bags from the conveyor belt.  I was able to clear customs and exit without delay to begin a great vacation in the Caribbean.  Peeps, what has been your experiences with overweight bags?  Fill me in by commenting in the box below.

Readers, as usual, I invite you to click follow to receive timely updates, select like to show your love and support.  Share this post on your social media site.  Write your comments in the box below.  Your interest, time and attention are always appreciated.  Thanks for reading.

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Itinerary Planner

Finish Strong


In just a few more days we will usher in a brand New Year full of potential for greatness, success, change and a fresh start.  Out with the old in with the new.  So, with expectancy, hearts and minds will, without question, begin to think of resolutions, goals, promises, changes, and new beginnings as they contemplate the future and ponder the question “what will it bring?”  To answer this question, the only sobering answer can be “time will tell.”  At this point, a look in the rear-view mirror is futile since nothing can be done to change the past.  What is done is done.

I do not make resolutions but prefer the idea of goal setting.  There is a difference.  I am under no pressure or obligation to complete or stick to a task by a specific deadline.  You may disagree with me, but I feel no urgency to complete a particular goal just because I added it to my yearly list of to-dos.  If it is not feasible in one year, it is simply carried over to the next, and the next, until it is accomplished (hopefully in my lifetime 😊).  Whenever it is completed it is then checked off my list.

I do not refer to my list either as a “bucket list.”  What? Am I supposed to kick the bucket after I’ve fulfilled the list?  Words have power and I am careful about what I say so that my words don’t become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

It is customary to add to my list travel plans and 2019 will be no different.  God willing, my sights are set towards Europe, Africa and the Caribbean in random order.  Time and money are not the only two factors to consider in making this happen.  Where there is a will there is a way.  Local travel will include a cruise which I hope will take me to the final continent – the last frontier.  As the year progresses these ambitious plans will be fleshed out to include specific places, dates and times.  Therefore, stay tuned to hear more on my adventures at home and abroad.

2018 has been an awesome year for Travel Itineraries.  Through the ups and downs it continues to grow daily.  Consistency, clear focus and dedicated persistence have been the underpinnings of its progress.  The weekly posting has led to a community of peeps who are loyal and interested.  For this I give God thanks and am truly grateful.  To bare out what I am saying and to show the growth here is some data which will put it into perspective:

2018 vs 2017 Stats

Visitors from 110 countries have viewed the website.  This year, TI received several alerts from the website’s hosting platform that highlighted unusually high activity.  In my attempt to finish strong, like you, I wonder “what will 2019 bring?”   Only God knows and as I said before time will tell.

Community Peeps and viewers, for the coming year I wish you and yours abundant blessings beyond your expectations.  Go forward in faith and embrace all the potential for good.  Be kind, thoughtful and generous with your words of affirmation and encouragement.  May the New Year find you healthy, happy and bring you lots of success.  As you set travel plans please consider using the services of yours truly for a bespoke itinerary which will give you memorable experiences.  Travel safely.

Readers, as usual, I invite you to click follow to receive timely updates, select like to show your love and support.  Share this post on your social media site.  Write your comments in the box below.  Your interest, time and attention are always appreciated.  Thanks for reading.

More times,

Itinerary Planner

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