Traveling Thursday – Frommer’s

Oh Frommer’s, how I love your website and all it’s many helpful tools for travelers.
First, let’s talk about the walking tours. When we traveled to New Orleans a few weeks ago, we took two organized tours but I also printed out a copy of the Garden District walking tour from the site. It was easy to follow the instructions and very informative. While I’m a believer in organized tours, I also like to mix it up with some independent exploration and this was a great way to do that. There are walking tour itineraries for a great number of cities. Chicago, Nashville, Atlanta, Boston, Rome and Hong Kong are just a few. Many cities have multiple tours.

This brings me to the city guides. There is so much information on these pages including attraction and restaurant recommendations, tips for getting around, special listings for active pursuits, suggested itineraries and listings of available side trips.

There are other sections on trip ideas and tips/tools.

This site is a great resource for any traveler. Be sure to check it out.




Traveling Thursday – Make a list

Last month when Mr. McB and I were headed to my parents for the weekend, I forgot to pack his underwear. I’m a veteran traveler. I’ve packed our bags countless times and yet I almost always work off a list for this very reason. In this case, it was easy and inexpensive enough to run out to the store and correct my mistake but that’s not always the case when you forget something while traveling. This is why you always make a list of what needs to be packed. Always.

As soon as you start thinking of what you want to take, start making that list. TravelSmith has a great printable checklist that can be downloaded from their site. I know many frequent business travelers who use lists like this to create their own custom packing list spreadsheet using their most frequently needed items. They just cross off any unneeded items and add a quantity for those things that they are packing.

The Universal Packing List site is an interesting way to start generating ideas for things that you need to pack and tasks you need to take care of before your trip. There are also a number of apps for this very purpose.

This list could also come in handy once you’re on the trip too. It’s a great way to make sure you haven’t left anything behind when it comes time to pack up and go home. If your luggage is lost and you need to file a claim, the list can be very helpful. Without it, you might not remember to list all the items that were in your bag.

Happy packing and don’t forget the list!


Traveling Thursday – Try a little haunted history

As the temperatures drop and Halloween decorations appear in our neighborhood, I’m reminded of how much fun it can be to add a haunted history tour to your itinerary.

Just like a great teacher who uses an engaging story to educate the class, good ghost tours are a fun way to learn about an area’s history and culture. These tours often tend to focus on “forgotten” history or personal histories set against the backdrop of history’s big events like the Civil War or natural disaster. I find that these tours can really help to add context to what I’ve read in the history books.

From our experience, some tours are better than others. If you really want to have an educational experience, try a tour that is brought to you by a history museum, architectural society, or some other scholarly group. Often these organizations use ghost tours as a fundraiser during the month of October.

If those options aren’t available, do a little digging on the company that offers the tour. Some operators are more interested in giving their guests the ghost “hunter” experience instead of focusing on the stories and history. Ask questions and find the tour that fits your needs and interests.

No matter what time of year you’re traveling, consider a little ghost adventure of your own with a haunted history tour.

Traveling Thursday – Flying with Oxygen

It hasn’t always been easy for passengers on oxygen to attempt air travel. Now passengers are allowed to bring FAA-approved portable oxygen concentrators on board domestic flights or international flights starting or ending in the United States.

Passengers do still have to abide by a number of guidelines including advanced check-in, medical documentation, and batteries charged to 150 percent of the flight time.

To learn more about the procedures for flying with oxygen, please visit the FAA’s site and the Airline Oxygen Council.