I have to share this fun post on travel tips by Eliza Watson, based on her book series The Travel Mishaps of Caity Shaw. First, let me explain a bit about the series. Then read on to find witty, yet downright sensible tips to consider when you start to plan your next trip. Caity’s Travel Tips is featured monthly in Eliza Watson’s newsletter.
The Travel Mishaps of Caity Shaw series begins with Caity’s first trip abroad when she travels to Dublin in Flying by the Seat of My Knickers. She is hoping to escape debt collectors, an overbearing mother, and haunting memories of a controlling ex. She’s then off to Paris in Up the Seine Without a Paddle and back to Ireland for the holidays in the latest book, My Christmas Goose Is Almost Cooked. Caity has no clue where her journeys will take her. She’s just hoping to find herself along the way.
Caity’s Travel Tips
Insight From a Newbie Traveler
When Saving Money on a Vacation
Isn’t Worth the Price You Pay
I live with my parents so my family and friends know I’m a financial wreck. I can’t afford to travel for fun, but they apparently want me to be able to make informed decisions if I ever can. They warned me about the following travel tips that sounded like good advice to them but went horribly wrong. Sometimes saving money cost them more than dollars.
Pack light, leaving plenty of room for souvenirs. When my aunt Dottie’s friend visited Morocco, she tossed away clothes to make room for a ton of bargain souvenirs. The day Dottie landed in Morocco, the country came out of a major drought. The only day it didn’t rain, it snowed. Having taken her friend’s advice about packing light, my aunt didn’t have enough warm clothes and had to use most of her souvenir money to purchase rain gear and sweaters. She now recommends bringing a collapsible carry-on bag for souvenirs.
Stay at a hotel in the suburbs for cheaper rates. But what if the public transportation system goes on strike? When the Paris metro shut down, my cousin Amber had to pay in-demand taxi drivers outrageous fares to get into the city. After spending more time in grid-lock traffic than visiting tourist sights, she finally found an available hotel in the center of Paris. She and her friend shared a double bed for $100 more a night than if she’d booked a room in advance by the Eiffel Tower.
Book the cheapest flight so you have more spending money. My aunt Dottie booked a flight to Rome with two connections because it was $300 less than a non-stop one. She missed the second connection and waited eight hours for yet another connecting flight. She arrived in Rome a day late, two days before her luggage. She saw four airports and three department stores—purchasing replacement clothes—but missed her pre-reserved tour of the Vatican. Poor Aunt Dottie has received a lot of questionable advice.
Travel off season for lower rates. Our neighbors took a Caribbean cruise in August. It rained the entire time and the water was so choppy they couldn’t tender in to three ports-of-call. The rocking ship also caused a lot of seasickness. Not exactly smooth sailing.
Take an overnight train to save on hotel rooms. My mom’s friend Patsy booked overnight trains while traveling through Europe. Unaware that she would be sharing her sleeping compartment with strangers, she ended up sharing a bed with her luggage for security reasons. She woke up one morning surrounded by breathtaking views of the Alps, another by the lavender fields in Provence, France. After that, she was up half the night staring curiously out the train window wondering what she was missing.
You might miss a lot when trying to cut costs too much on a dream vacation. Sometimes it’s worth paying extra for convenience. One thing I’ve learned while traveling for business is that maintaining your sanity is priceless.
About Eliza Watson:
When Eliza isn’t traveling for her job as an event planner, or tracing her ancestry roots through Ireland, she’s at home working on her next novel, bouncing ideas off her husband Mark, and her cats Quigley, Frankie, and Sammy. Eliza also writes romance novels under the name Eliza Daly. Learn more about her books and sign up for her newsletter at elizawatson.com
Read our post on quotes about Ireland here Ireland: Quotes to Stir Your Soul & Tempt Your Wanderlust
Share your travel tips learned through mishaps in the comments below!
Till next time, Sandra