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Hotel Room Horrors

You did your homework researching the best place to steal away your honey for a week. You found a great package and checked out your favorite review sites, drinking in as much info as possible before paying the bill. Trouble is, you arrived to a hotel that looks like it hasn’t been painted since Reagan was in office and that beautiful balcony overlooking the ocean is also overlooking a roof littered with rusty air conditioners.

What’s a girl to do?

  • room with a viewBefore you book read the fine print and be sure you’re getting the room you’re paying for – deluxe, superior and luxury can mean very different things.
  • Ask your travel agent to list the room categories from least to most expensive – ask when your room category was last renovated.
  • Even if you’re working with a travel agent, don’t be afraid to call the resort directly to ask your questions.
  • On the hotel’s website, you’ll see the cosmetically beautified version. Search Pinterest and Instagram and TripAdvisor.com for citizen reporting.
  • Search Google Images to see what pictures people have uploaded to their blogs and social media.

And remember, hotel upgrades aren’t always a possibility. If you truly want a more expensive room, book one.

Have a travel tip to share with your GoGirlfriends? Send us your tips, tricks and strategies and we'll publish them here. Email us or connect with us on Twitter and Facebook. Let's continue the conversation!

Plan an Afternoon Break at Disney World

tips to survive the amusement parkIf you’re spending more than one day at the Walt Disney World parks, try to avoid a marathon session from morning to night. Arrive at the parks for opening, but take a break in the early afternoon to help prevent exhaustion or tempers flaring later in the day. Go for a leisurely lunch, a swim or even a nap. You’ll avoid the biggest crowds in the parks, escape the heat during the hottest part of the day and give everyone a chance to de-stress and recharge. Head back to the rides later in the day with cooler temperatures, shorter lines and a refreshed family.

Tip courtesy the founders of TweenHood

@Katisma and @AppHipMom

Have a travel tip to share with your GoGirlfriends? Send us your tips, tricks and strategies and we'll publish them here. Email us or connect with us on Twitter and Facebook. Let's continue the conversation!

 

Overcoming Jet Lag

tips to overcome jetlagIf you’ve crossed more than one time zone during a flight, you know how it can mess up your mind and body. For me, jet lag strikes worse when I’m traveling east and regardless which direction I’m heading, the trip home is always more taxing. Try these tips to minimize feeling like a troll when you’re traveling.

  • Rest up before you leave home. Start adjusting your bedtime by a half hour each day the week leading up to departure. Dr. Breus says our bodies need one full day of adjusting for each time zone we cross.
  • Stay hydrated and rest during the flight. GoGirlfriend contributor, Ashley Welton, has a great list of carry-ons to keep you healthy.
  • Adhere to the local time zone. It might be tempting to crash when you arrive but stay up until it’s time to go to bed so you’re not up at 3 am twiddling your thumbs.
  • Take a shower or bath before bed. Raising your temperature in the water and then slipping into cool sheets relaxes your muscles. This trick always works for me.
  • Forget prescription cures. Drugs like Ambien can give you a sleep hangover and interfere with your ability to enjoy your destination.

Have a travel tip to share with your GoGirlfriends? Send us your tips, tricks and strategies and we'll publish them here. Email us or connect with us on Twitter and Facebook. Let's continue the conversation!

Pack Like a Travel Writer

When I want to, I can economize a week of travel into one cute little carry-on bag.

how to pack adviceStart by putting outfits together, laying them on the bed if you need a visual. Ensure that each item can do double duty with something else in the pile. All skirts and pants must go with all the tops – shoes too. Dresses are the only slackers. Pick accessories around your staples. Bright scarves and unique jewelry can transform an outfit.

Then look at the best case scenario. What can you live without? If it might be cold, pick one wrap or coat that will serve you in multiple situations. Do you need a different outfit for your return trip or will the same one do? Can you wash undergarments in the sink? When in doubt, leave it out. When you're ready to put everything in your bag, roll the clothes - a tip an uncle in the military taught me. Roll your clothes as tight as possible and stuff undergarments and jewelry into shoes. Every last inch of real estate should be filled.

Take enough toiletries to get you started but remember they can also be bought at airports, drugstores and malls. Like you needed an excuse to go shopping…

Have a travel tip to share with your GoGirlfriends? Send us your tips, tricks and strategies and we'll publish them here. Email us or connect with us on Twitter and Facebook. Let's continue the conversation!

Crime-proof Your Rental Car

It’s no secret thieves target tourists … and renting a car can open more opportunities for you to fall victim. Try these tips to keep your car – and yourself – safe.

  • rental car damagesDon’t leave valuables in the car. If you need to leave things in the car, put them in the trunk.
  • If you have a hatchback and it’s empty, roll back the cover so thieves know it’s empty.
  • Look local. Throw a local paper in the back window and keep your maps and brochures out of site.
  • Choose a parking spot in a well-lit area or near pedestrian or vehicular traffic.
  • Be wary of being robbed while at a stoplight. Keep windows and doors locked in areas that make you feel uncomfortable.

Have a travel tip to share with your GoGirlfriends? Send us your tips, tricks and strategies and we'll publish them here. Email us or connect with us on Twitter and Facebook. Let's continue the conversation!

Cruise Mismatch – You Picked the Wrong One

My husband and I once chose a 2 week Royal Caribbean cruise (we love that cruise line). Trouble is, more than 75% of the cruisers were over 75. People that age tend take longer cruises because time off work is no longer an issue. It was nighty-night for most of the ship before we finished our dinner at 10 pm. And there were three deaths on board…

We’ve been on the opposite side of that disillusion too – tucking in early in hopes of waking up at dawn for a day of adventuring. But then rowdy neighbors kept us up all night.

What’s a girl to do?

Start researching cruise review sites like CruiseCritic.com. They have extremely detailed information about the ships and ports of call and as an added bonus (because bonuses are always nice) they have very vocal and helpful community.

TripAdvisor.com is another favorite of GoGirlfriend’s, though reviews are not as extensive in the cruising area. And don’t forget about independent blogs and websites that make it their business to be travel specialists.

From there, talk to your travel agent and be honest about the kind of vacation you want. Kirsty Connolly (travel agent and GoGirlfriend contributor) makes knowing insider info her priority.

Finally, tap into the power of social media. You never know when a friend of a friend of a friend might be able to help steer you to the ship of your dreams.

Have a travel tip to share with your GoGirlfriends? Send us your tips, tricks and strategies and we'll publish them here. Email us or connect with us on Twitter and Facebook. Let's continue the conversation!

What’s More Important – Polite or Polished?

I know some people who travel in their business suits so they arrive meeting-ready. What’s more, they believe being well-dressed conveys importance, which results in better service.

I fly in comfy clothes and shoes that allow me to walk the length of the airport (for exercise between flights). My business suit (a wrinkle-free dress) gets packed in the carry-on, which I slip into in the washroom before I leave security.

I get great service.

The moral of this story? The service you receive has more to do with the smile you’re wearing and kind words your sharing than the cut of your jib.

Have a travel tip to share with your GoGirlfriends? Send us your tips, tricks and strategies and we'll publish them here. Email us or connect with us on Twitter and Facebook. Let's continue the conversation!

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