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Tip 95: Buying Souvenirs

It can be easy to buy souvenirs for yourself of others if you collect specific trinkets such as t-shirts, bottle openers, magnets, etc.  However, many people do not have collectibles and yet we want to remember the trip.

Consider buying something that you will regularly use, and it will remind you of the trip every trip you use or wear it.  For example, buy jewelry native to your destination, perfume or soap that reminds you of a local scent, or a dress/shirt that will remind you of the trip.

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Tip 94: Retreat/Wellness/Spa Vacation

There are many great locations to go to for retreat vacations that can be all inclusive with activities, accommodations, and meals that are healthy. Several websites can help you find the most popular destinations, here is one: https://www.travelandleisure.com/worlds-best/spa-getaways-in-us#golden-door-02.

Two of the three of us on the podcast visited location #6 Lake Austin Spa Resort, which was one of the best vacations we have had. These locations can be for couples, girl’s trips, or a solo vacation if you need some alone time.

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Tip 93: Research Restaurants in Advance

There are a many ways to research restaurants in advance to find new places to try and determine if making a reservation is important. Consider going online to Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives to find great local places you may not ordinarily select. Emeril Lagasse has restaurants in several cities that are amazing – check in advance to see if there is one in your destination city; make sure to book a reservation well in advance. Utilize Yelp to find restaurants that are highly rated – I found a wonderful Thai restaurant in Toronto this way. Make a reservation through OpenTable, even at the last minute to avoid a wait, or ask the concierge at your hotel for a recommendation and reservation – sometimes they can give you discount coupons too.

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Tip 92: Expect Rain

There are locations that are known for a daily shower or summer storms.  Pack accordingly so that the rain does not ruin your trip and create unnecessary hubbub trying to figure out plan B everyday. Consider packing plastic ponchos (they take up virtually no space so pack a few of them), an umbrella, and lightweight rain jacket with a hood.  They make rain shoes as well that feel like tennis or hiking shoes and are quite comfortable – I bought a pair when taking a vacation to Niagara Falls because you walk through quite a bit of water and it can easily rain. Consider packing a waterproof disposable camera too as you may get some good pictures, even in the rain.

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Tip 91: How Much Cash Should I Bring?

It can be difficult to know how much cash to bring when going abroad.  Generally speaking, exchanging about $200 USD is a good idea, unless you know you are going on quite a few excursions where you will need to pay cash.  There will be ATMs wherever you go and the exchange rate is usually good. You can always exchange any unused cash once you return. Remember, from Tip 85, exchange some small bills/coins so that you can use it right away when you land.

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Tip 90: Experience the Force of Mother Nature

Although the Kilauea volcano on Hawaii Island has been active for many years, it is only recently that she has put on quite a show with lava flowing on the surface of the ground. With safety concerns in mind, this is an excellent opportunity to witness the power of Mother Nature.

The easiest way to see the best show is to take a helicopter tour and fly above the lava activity. There are many helicopter tour providers available, such as Paradise Helicopters and Blue Hawaiian Helicopters. Kona and Hilo departures are available. For those staying on other Hawaiian islands, a quick inter-island flight to Kona will allow you the opportunity experience what may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

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Tip 89: Don’t fear volcanos

Many have heard the frightening media reports of the active volcano, Kilauea, in Hawaii. Although Mother Nature is wreaking havoc in an isolated area of the Big Island (called Hawaii), most of the island chain is experiencing no effects of this continuing lava activity. Don’t be concerned about an upcoming trip to the Hawaiian Island chain. If you’re staying near the volcano (in the Hilo area), call ahead to ask about the impact of vog (volcanic haze). Otherwise, relax, enjoy a Mai Tai and get excited about your Hawaiian vacation!