1. Pee whenever you see a bathroom, you never know when you will see another one
2. Almonds are a girl’s (and boy’s) best friend, and is more important than even lipstick (So if you have to make a choice, choose wisely). Regardless of the size of the city you are flying into, never assume that there is a welcome committee waiting for you with a smorgasbord of food…..especially if you are vegetarian
3. Always have a bottle of water in your bag, except if you are going through an airport; in Thailand, even the empty bottle is forbidden
4. Hospitals can be hazardous for your health – when you do not speak the local language.
5. All over the world people love tourists, until the tourist runs out of money.
6. Around the world, many stores have two price tags: the local price, and the American (UK, Canadian) price
7. The rating of most tourist destinations is determined by the availability of food, alcohol, and sex (and not necessarily in that order).
8. Years ago we rated airlines according to their level of comfort, today we rate them by their level of frugality….and we call it economy.
9. As the earth’s population and the individual’s body size increase, the service and space in aircrafts decreases at an equal pace, proportionately.
10. When travelling, anywhere, pack half the crap and twice the money
11. Never set your bags in the trunk of a cab, you lose your bargaining tool
12. Most cab drivers are clueless about the city in which they operate; it seems to be a prerequisite for employment in this occupation. Strangely enough, though, they know quite well all the scenic routes.
Image Credit: Alyssa Satara’s Instagram
13. Red-eye flights are quite economical in the smaller, South Asian countries. But just be sure someone is collecting you at the airport, because if not, then your taxi fare will be perhaps 4 times the cost of your flight, since transportation options will be slim to non-existent
14. Most hotels are more than likely connected with some of the top photo-editors in the country; they can make a shanty-town room look like something out of Architectural Digest.
15. In Europe you need to check your change; in Asia, you must check the notes; in South America you have to check your pocket; and in general, you should check your attitude, as internationally, there is an undisclosed ‘bitch fee’ that applies to every transaction.
16. The best party cruise line is the Carnival Cruise; the best destination line is Holland America Cruise line (they are under the same umbrella company, Carnival Corporation). The best cuisine is in the Caribbean; my favourites being Negril (Jamaica), and Cabarete (The Dominican Republic). And the best experiences you will have in your life, in terms of emotional diversity, taking you to your highest highs and lowest lows, will be in India.
17. For flights, hotels, and cars, the best deals are online; for everything else, the best deals are made with the person, at the location, in the moment.
18. If you have a connection on an airline, that is one hour or less, and you miss that connection (due to airline delays), the airline is responsible to get you another flight, at no additional cost. If it is an international connection, then it means that customs will be involved, so make sure that there is more than 1.5 hours in-between flights, or you will more than likely miss your connection, and in many cases there is only one flight daily. And though they are liable (provided that they booked this ticket, and not you), there will be a major tussle for the airline to assume the associated costs, being hotel and meals.
19. Do not try to repeat a phenomenal vacation, that is why it is called ‘phenomenal’ – because it is a once in a lifetime experience!
20. Which brings up the point: Holiday romances are just that – “holiday” romances! They are designed to work only under those circumstances.
21. If you are in a foreign country, remember this – you are a foreigner; you are not in control, they are! Adjust your attitude accordingly (oh, wait, did I mention that before? Yeah, well perhaps it needs repeating!), that could determine if you leave the country in an aircraft or a body bag….either way, the locals won’t give one rat’s patootie!