Podcast

Episode 10: Island Vacations

 

Show notes:

 

 

    • Molokai
      • Molokai: The Novel by Alan Brennert
      • Kalaupapa tour (Sandy likes the airplane option vs the daredevil donkeys) – historic location where Hansen disease (lepers) patients were relegated in the early 1900s
    • Hawaii Island, also known as the Big Island

manta_ray

 

 

    • Tip: take Toilet paper with you – you can’t rely on it to be available at tourist stops, restaurants or on bus tours
  • Iceland
    • Blue Lagoon hot springs
    • Be prepared to pay a lot for most food; lamb and seafood are the way to go as they are native
  • Indonesia – Lombok
    • Black “Sand” beach

img_7589

  • Australia – Sydney
    • Bondi Beach

 

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

    • Sydney Harbor bridge climb

 

 

  • French Polynesia
    • Bora Bora

 

 

Girls Trip 2017 - Sarasota, Florida!
Podcast

Episode 7: Girls Trips

Show Notes:

1. What are positive benefits of Girls Trips?
2.  Why do we feel guilty about taking Girls Trips? What are other obstacles?
  • Mom guilt is hard to overcome but it is worth it for the whole family for Mom to get a quick recharge
  • Money and time are other challenges
  • Prioritizing self vs family or home expenses and spending money on self vs family//home
3. How to overcome obstacles?
  • Start small – consider a driving trip that is only a few hours from home and not as costly
  • Divide and conquer on the tasks
  • Make a goal to get away and budget ahead for the trip
  • Decide how you want to split costs and track spending
4. How are Girls Trips different than other trips?
  • Sometimes I don’t do much planning at all…it’s so rare to just “show up” as many people share the burden of planning.
  • Less stress only worrying only about myself (and cheaper than taking the whole family!!)
5. Girls Trip Favorites:
Best trips for large groups?
  • Rebecca – somewhere near home so more people can afford to go
  • Michelle – a retreat hotel with a lot of variety in options
  • Sandy – consider vacation home rental with a lot of bedrooms and common shared space

Budget-friendly?

  • Rebecca – Vegas (#sorrynotsorry) – recommend Priceline for good hotel deals
  • Michelle – Driving trips with nearby free festivals or museums
  • Sandy – Visit friends and take advantage of some nights with no hotel; Pagosa Springs was a recent favorite near a friend’s house in Colorado Springs

Most relaxing?

  • Rebecca – Napa
  • Michelle – Any beach
  • Sandy – Lake Austin¬†near Austin, TX

Best city?

Quick and impactful?

  • Rebecca – French Lick, Indiana & Downtown Indy (where we get to mention riding elephants again…oh, and a biofreeze massage)
  • Michelle – Sarasota & Epcot Food and Wine Festival (Orlando)
  • Sandy – short cruise from Florida to Bahamas

Spiritual rejuvenation?

  • Rebecca – Memphis – Graceland but more seriously the Civil Rights Museum
  • Michelle – Trips to a faith-based conference with sightseeing on the side
  • Sandy- Lake Austin
All time favorite?
  • Rebecca – Maui
  • Michelle – Maui; Lake Austin gets honorable mention
  • Sandy- French Polynesia island cruise including Bora Bora

Next up?

  • Rebecca – Lisbon, Portugal & the Canary Islands
  • Michelle – Palm Beach, Florida
  • Sandy – Asheville, North Carolina
6. Parting advice on taking a fabulous girls trip?
  • Save a date and book well in advance; unless you pay upfront for a hotel, you can usually cancel very close to your travel dates without penalty
  • Create a schedule of events with variety; make plans that suit nearly everyone’s needs and then just go with the flow – not everyone may want to do everything and that’s ok
  • Agree on a budget and secure some of the costs so you have real commitment
  • Don’t sweat the details – you’ll have a blast even if some small things go wrong

 

 

MicroBlog

Tip 77: Have copies of Passport

Luckily we haven’t needed it yet, but we scan and email ourselves copies of our passports before a big trip.

My parents like to take physical copies with them, but I have decided electronic copies are ok for now.

What has worked best for you? Have you found this helpful in the event a passport is stolen or lost?

MicroBlog

Tip 76: Ask the hotel for available upgrades

You don’t know what is possible until you ask. When checking in, see if there are options to upgrade for a better view. Often there is a cost, and you might find it’s not worth it. But sometimes the upgrades are complementary so it never hurts to ask!

Why miss out on the beach view, if you can help it!

MicroBlog

Tip 75: Cuba travel advice

Yesterday we shared a tip on making sure you carry toilet paper with you while visiting the island. That was honestly the best advice we got prior to our trip so it felt worthy a separate post.

Here are some other tips:

  • You will need a visa if traveling from the US. Airlines and cruise lines sell them. They are about $75/person and can be issued immediately.
  • CUC (Cuban Convertible Peso) is the main currency. There is another option, the Cuban Peso, bur that is more for locals. The CUC is pretty much dollar to US dollar but the exchange taxes the conversion of US dollars something like 13%. It is more advantageous to convert from Euros so we had planned ahead and brought those instead. Also, US banks cannot concert the cash for you so it is something you have to do once you are in Cuba.
  • As of this writing, you can bring back 100 cigars and 1 liter of rum duty free per adult traveler. It is best to buy both from official retailers to avoid fakes.
  • There are hundreds of classic cars for hire relatively inexpensively. A fun way to view the city!
  • Drink only from sealed, bottles beverages.

Havana highlights:

MicroBlog

Tip 74: Take Toilet Paper to Cuba

This may sound like super odd advice, but I was so thankful the cruise line gave us a heads up before we disembarked at Cuba. Sadly most charter buses (cruise excursions, included) and restaurants in Cuba did not have toilet paper. Also, many tourist stops and restaurants charged a dollar for access to a bathroom. Best to be prepared and carry a roll with you!