Travel Thoughts by Kim
Answers to your Adventuring questions!
I get so tickled when someone sees me out and about somewhere and stops me to tell me how much they enjoy reading my travel articles and blog posts. Quite often, I also get questions….many times it is the same questions that it seems like most people are most curious about. So, I thought I’d take this edition of “Travel Thoughts By Kim” to answer some of those questions.
I’m going to warn you, though…..I may sound a bit like a broken record because my initial answer to most questions almost always starts with “it depends….” Hahaha! So here are some of the most FAQ’s I tend to get and my attempt to briefly answer them for you.
Book On My Own or Use a Travel Agent? OK….I’ll get it out of the way and try to not say it, again….it depends!
I frequently use Mitzy Peglow at Orleans Travel – mainly if I’m going to be doing anything that requires a lot of coordination or I need advice about the location and the best options. Most of the time, I know what I want, I just want her to help me make sure I don’t get the pieces all wonky. I always use her to book cruises and the associated flights and transfers, but I play around with the shore excursions and book them myself.
If I’m just booking transportation (air, train, etc.) and lodging, I usually will take care of that myself because I can do it in my jammies at night on my computer. As for the sightseeing and other activities, I will use Google, TripAdvisor, etc. to see what sparks my interest. From there, I make lists of things to do and book any specific tours I want to do. I really enjoy the research part and looking for cool and interesting things to do wherever I go. I also love it when friends know I’m going somewhere and give me suggestions of things to do.
Guided Tours or On My Own? Both! I love booking transportation and lodging with just a list of points of interest and a rental car with little or no solid plans. That way, I can be flexible and drive around and let myself get sidetracked – I tend to find the best things when I can just stop for whatever catches my eye.
But, I also really like guided tours because I learn so much more about where I am and what I’m seeing than I would if I didn’t have a tour guide. One thing I love to do, is take guided City Tours – especially Hop-On-Hop-Off tours. I get a lot of interesting information and get to see highlights of the city overall. Then, I can go back on my own to anything that I want to take a deeper dive into. So – yeah – lots of times I will book a guided tour at the beginning of a trip and then take what I learned and spend the rest of the trip having fun on my own. It also depends on where I am – some places don’t lend themselves to just winging it or aren’t safe to just wander around like a tourist.
Planes Trains or Automobiles? All of the above! If I want to get there quick and leave the majority of my time away to the sightseeing, I’ll fly. But, I absolutely LOVE traveling by train. Buses are OK – especially group tour buses that have scheduled sightseeing and overnight stops to break up the time that I’m stuck on a bus. I also really enjoy having my own car and driving….but, the older I get, the shorter the distance gets that I’m willing to drive to – especially alone. I find my max time behind the wheel is about 4 hours, now.
Hotel or B&B? Yep, I’m gonna say it again – it depends! I am a bit partial to Bed & Breakfast Inns. I find them quaint and comfortable. They are usually a bit pricey, though, so if I’m going to be gone more than a few days or plan a lot of other parts of the trip that could have substantial costs, I’ll usually book a hotel. Hotels are usually best for big cities, while B&B’s are best for smaller, historic towns. Most B&B’s are older homes that have been renovated for that purpose and have wonderful hosts that try really hard to make your stay enjoyable. Whatever you choose, I recommend you read the comments on TripAdvisor or Expedia and look for trends of what may be problematic. I take most negative comments with a grain of salt – there are some people you couldn’t please no matter what you do or are really nit-picky. But, I do look for trends or some comment that sticks out as something I’d really be concerned with.
Cruise or All Inclusive Resort? Good question! Until a few months ago, I would have had no point of reference to make that comparison – I am a cruise lover. But, I have now been to an All Inclusive Resort in Costa Rica and LOVED IT!!! If you do your research, you can find All Inclusive Resorts that are comparable to the cost of a cruise – both will depend on the company, where you’re going, and what your plans are, so price isn’t necessarily a deciding factor. What I love about cruises is that you get to visit multiple ports of call and see a lot more places without having to move your luggage between the different places and I absolutely LOVE being on the water. What I loved about the resort I stayed at in Costa Rica is having everything in one place and the option to venture out to see more of the country I visited on multiple days. So, it depends on what I want out of the vacation.
Do I Always Travel Alone? Sometimes it seems that way, but no! I have been on a lot of amazing trips with friends and the best part about going places is sharing it with friends. But, if I want to go somewhere and my friends don’t want to or can’t go…..I just go! I enjoy it either way and whether I’m with friends or alone, I always seem to meet interesting new people. I also belong to the Busy Buddies group and have been on other group trips that were great fun. And….I always say that when I go on a cruise, I go with a couple thousand of my closest and dearest friends! Hahaha
I hope my articles give you all some things to think about when considering travel and that this one, in particular, was at least somewhat helpful. If you see me out and about, feel free to stop me and let me know if you enjoy my articles, ask me questions, or tell me you went somewhere because you read about my adventures.
This link is about a recent Canandaigua Wine Tour Day Trip I took with the Busy Buddies Group.