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Travel Tips

Open any travel related periodical or insert, and chances are that, in addition to glowing enticements to visit sites far or near, there will be some degree of tips from supposed experts. Sometimes the expertise is limited to lessons learned by the author about specific destinations; sometimes it’s more general ‘rules of thumb’ (not the green kind).

Case in point: the spring edition of CAA (Canadian Automobile Association) Magazine devotes several pages to recommending travel locations for 2018, with brief comments from CAA travel specialists. Some remarks are more insightful than others.

For example, in considering potential travel to Sweden, the CAA representative observes that a trip timed in fall or winter provides a good opportunity to see the Northern Lights – which one may well witness also in northern Canada or Alaska at a much less cost of time and money.

On the other hand, the commenter on a trip to Ireland makes the less obvious suggestion to not depend on a smartphone quality camera if one wants pictures which do the lush, green landscape justice.

In relation to venturing to South Africa, the advisory makes the practical points about the need to have some cash on hand, due to ATM access limitations, and to check with one’s bank concerning the use there of debit or credit cards.

Accepting there is value in guidelines about specific locales, there are some more generic versions of advice out there which one may encounter…

  • When traveling to a country where the native language is not one’s own, understand that it’s not incumbent upon native speakers to cater to one’s delusions
  • When traveling in groups in less secure locations, be wary of dependence on the ‘buddy system’, lest one be the buddy left exposed in the face of danger
  • There may be sober reasons why ‘the road less traveled’ is in fact less traveled
  • Ancient archeological sites are not customarily invitations to tourists to uncover souvenirs
  • There are countries where ‘the web’ refers to lodgings of large members of the arachnid family
  • Accept that being a ‘green’ footprint minimizer involves more than simply being in steppe
  • Make sure local water looks as see through as the picture on a water bottle
  • Remember that drivers of small cars overseas do not necessarily have matching size tempers
  • Stonework should not be cut from foreign roadways simply because it would make a nice backsplash in one’s kitchen
  • If renting an attic apartment, be wary of rooms where concave dimensions are the motif

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