THERE are many things that inspire us to pack our bags and head off overseas.
It might be a travel documentary we watched on TV, it could be a book we just read, an advertisement promoting a great deal, or it may just be viewing friend’s posts on their latest trip.
Presently I have friends in all parts of the World, and they are bombarding me with photos of their latest favourite town, restaurant, or tourist stop-off.
I am not complaining in the least and I enjoy scrolling through the photos and reading their travel notes.
Their photos have now enticed me to book a tour through Scotland and to one day hire a Mustang convertible and drive Route 66 in America.
For the first time I have also been captivated by the idea of going to New York and Washington after a friend’s rave reviews for the two cities just a week ago.
On the American trip I was warned it is even more expensive in the States because of the push by everyone to now get a 20% tip via a credit card machine they shove in your face.
It seems they don’t want cash; they’d rather have you tap your card so they can set the tip amount.
It is always helpful when you get to hear first-hand what you may encounter during a trip so you can be prepared.
A warning to watch out for the “I just found a diamond ring” scam in Paris saved me from potentially handing 300 Euro to a stranger who said they would be pleased to give me their lucky find which was worth thousands.
In fact, it was a complete fake and worth less than 10 Euros. When I called them out on the scam and started to take a photo of them, they sprinted for the nearest railway station.
Scams aside, knowing the best restaurants, the best tours you can take, where to stay and what to avoid is invaluable information to have when you plan your trip or call your travel agent to do it for you.
Going online to look at other tourists’ reviews is well and good, but it is far better to listen to a friend’s advice than to be guided by a complete stranger who could well have had a hidden agenda behind their negative post.
The inside oil and the right tips can make a trip.