Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Obsessive-Compulsive Behavior

Ok, somebody stop me. There is such a thing as being over-prepared, right?

I tend to gather lots of information before I go somewhere. I put it all in a Word file and print it out before I leave. It's my own personal mini-guidebook of sorts, heavy on the food info. Add to that print outs of train schedules and let's not forget copies of all the hotel confirmations.
This time, I've put it on the Lifedrive, printed out copies of each city for my Mom to carry and emailed copies to myself.
Did I mention that each city's notes was packaged in it's own labeled ("PRAGUE") zip-lock bag?

And then I wonder, should I give her the hotel confirmations? Can I trust her not to lose them?

What is wrong with me?

Next, I printed out a copy of my passport and a list of all of our hotels to put in an outer pocket of my suitcase, in case I have to check it and in case it gets lost. Plus a copy of the hotel list for Mom's suitcase too (her luggage does have a tendency to get delayed).

Help me. The travel tyrant is rearing her ugly head again.

36 hours and counting.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Links for Vienna and Prague


Vienna Tourism-Helps you creat a custom itinerary.
Trip Advisor Vienna Forum
10 Day weather forecast for Vienna


Trip Advisor Prague Forum
Living in Prague-Tons of info from someone who lives there. Has some design problems but the info is good.
10 Day weather forecast for Prague

Packing it in...

My plan is always to do carry-on. I just don't like to give over my stuff if I can avoid it. Plus, once on the ground, it's much easier not to be dragging a ton of luggage around.

Here's my process...

Start by laying everything out. Of course it's different for South East Asia than it is for Europe in winter.
For this 12 day trip I have:
4 pairs pants (Jeans, Black wool pants (dressy for dinner), grey cords and black Dockers)
4 cashmere sweaters (warm but lightweight-Blue, Burgundy, Green and Black)
4 long sleeve t-shirts
2 short sleeve t-shirts
1 dressy shirt
2 pair Black slip-on walking shoes (loafers and trainers)
1 pair Black boots with 2" heel
Bathing suit and flip-flops for spas
assorted undies and socks
silk long underwear
Black wool coat
Gloves and Scarf

I put it all in large zip lock bags and squeeze the air out and it comes down to this with room to spare...

What I'm wearing on the plane is to the left. I also take a t-shirt, undies and socks in a small zip lock bag in my smaller carry-on just in case I have to check the roll-aboard and my luggage gets lost or delayed (it's happened!).

All of the other misc stuff goes into the smaller carry-on bag except guidebooks for later in the trip and a small day bag. I make sure that all toiletries, and electronics (see tech toys below) are never checked. Hint: never separate your charger from your camera- it's a recipe for disaster.

When all is said and done, here's what I have for the trip:

Monday, February 19, 2007

Tech Toys for Travel

I admit it, I love travel gadgets and tech toys. Those of you who know me, know I've been traveling with a digital camera, and sometimes a laptop for almost 10 years.

This next trip, I'll be taking the Lifedrive, a wireless keyboard and a digital camera.
I also recently bought a new toy, a USB card reader for SD cards.I bought it here.
With this, I can take the card out of my camera, and (hopefully) plug it into any USB port in an internet cafe where I can send emails with photos or update here. Or, take documents off the LD, put them on the card, to access them in internet cafes.
I can also take that same card, put it into the LD and send emails from there with photos if I have wi-fi access.
This would also be a good option for people who want to off-load or save photos from their cards to a photo website.

The PDA is loaded with music, audio books, my complied travel notes for the current trip (restaurant recs, sightseeing), Metro software, money software, checklists, etc. The calendar has my itinerary and I can access the internet if I can find wi-fi. This PDA thing is new to me, so it will be interesting to see just how "paperless" I can be.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Cool websites for Budapest

I just found a really neat website for planning travel to Budapest.
It's http://www.budapest.travel/-en/
What I like is this; click on one of the categories like "restaurants" or "sightseeing" and it gives you a bunch of selections to choose from. Then, select one, and it gives you all the details, hours, location etc.
But here's the best part; click on the button that says "add this record to my notes" and you create your own mini-guidebook which you can print or email. What's fantastic is that you don't have to register or give any personal info.

Some other great Budapest sites:
Chew.hu- Fabulous Hungarian Food Blog
Budapest Tourist Guide - Good info on sightseeing, expecially the various markets and thermal baths
Trip Advisor Forum for Budapest
10 day weather forecast for Budapest