Monday, June 3, 2019

Dr. Mary Travelbest in National Parks, USA #5

 Dr. Mary Travelbest National Parks USA

Image: Hiking the National Parks in Utah. Bryce and Zion are excellent choices....

Welcome to Dr. Mary Travelbest’s Bucket List Travel.
We share the travel tips and guide you, sharing our missteps along the way.

In this episode: FAQ: What to do when you get sick on the road? Destination: National Parks: USA and Canada, Mistake: Getting a hair cut in Hong Kong  Tip: Go where the locals go.

What do I do when I am sick while traveling?
Skip strenuous activities.
Take a long, hot bath or shower.
Eat foods that are gentle on your stomach.
Drink lots and lots of water, juice and tea.
Do you have insurance? Check with your health insurance firm before you go and get some if you need it. Out of the country, especially check this.
My Mexico City Experience
Food poisoning in Taipei

Today’s Independent Destination: National Parks, USA
Why? Because they are not to be missed. Our national heritage. Why our country is so special. You will love America more after visiting.
Our trip in 2018 and all about it…

$80 lifetime pass, plus a $10 handling fee. ...
Please note that the price of the lifetime Senior Pass increased to $80 on August 28, 2017.
For U.S. citizens or permanent residents age 62 or over.
May be obtained in person at a federal recreation site or through the mail using the application form.

The National Parks are such a great value for us independent travelers. If you are over 62, you can get a lifetime pass. Five free days in 2019, entrance only!

In Canada, you can also get an annual pass, and that can save you a lot of time in line, too. We bought a family pass last year in Banff, which was also good for other National parks in Canada. This is the Canadian Rockies. We visited the Banff Springs Hotel and had a wonderful experience. Lake Louise Ski Resort was a “bucket list” place for me.  We stayed outside the park. A single park pass gets you to all national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas operated by Parks Canada. The Discovery Pass provides unlimited admission for a full year at over 80 Parks Canada places that typically charge a daily entrance fee. Visit the Parks Canada Passes and Permits website.

Today’s Mistake-Getting a haircut in Hong Kong.
It was too short. I looked like a man. When I tried to get a bathing suit in a hotel, they gave me a men’s bathing suit, not a woman’s. That was not so good.

Today’s Travel Advice-Go to where the locals go. It may be a bar, a cafĂ©, the local library or church. Find out what the local people do in their daily lives. You don’t always need to visit the “touristy” places, just to say you were there. Consider your personal needs, desires and interests. Follow them. Take a city bus or subway. I’ve always been able to get back to where I started, so that’s how to avoid getting lost, re-trace your steps. Ask the locals, they want to talk to you, for the most part.

Dr. Mary Travelbest Seychelles

Dr. Mary Travelbest Seychelles

Welcome to Dr. Mary Travelbest’s Bucket List Travel.
We share the travel tips and guide you, sharing our missteps along the way.

In this episode: Faq on what you should share on social media?  Destination: Seychelles, Travel Mistake, Travel Tip

FAQ What ways should you be careful in terms of sharing about your travels on social media? What should you be careful about for the content you post and your replies?

Social media is a blessing today, but for some it is a curse. Here are some tips for using it while on the road.
Social media distracts from the real experience, so consider how you interact with those you are with and those you could be talking with instead of trying to get the best social post to strangers.
Get your research from friends before you go. Ask. Where should you go? Stay? Eat? Visit?
Once on the road, limit your social media to when you really need to connect. Otherwise, take a break!
You can catch up later. Be where you are.
Wait to post. Don’t always try to get things on, but be patient and even wait until you’re home. You don’t want others to know you’re away, because your home could become a target for burglars.
Give yourself a time limit daily for how long you will be online.
You may need your devices for directions and run out of energy, so limit yourself.
Don’t share photos of people who you don’t know. Consider the privacy of others when you post. And don’t embarrass others. Use the Golden Rule. Do onto others also works for social media.

Today’s Independent Destination: Seychelles
It’s in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of East Africa. The best times to visit Seychelles are AprilMayOctober and November. These months represent the transition times between the hot and humid northwest trade winds (from November through March) and the cooler southeast trade winds that define April through October.
One thousand miles from the coast of Kenya, more than 100 small islands, north of Madagascar. First language is French Creole, followed by English.
Some language issues. Lush vegetation, Coco de mer or sea coconuts, Tortises, scuba diving, nude beaches, mini mokes, bed and breakfasts, oxen instead of cars on many islands.
The small islands can be reached by boat, and that’s easy to arrange. I would recommend visiting the island, La Digue
It’s known for its beaches, like Anse Source d’Argent, dotted with granite boulders, on the west coast. To the south, isolated Anse Bonnet CarrĂ© Beach, with calm, shallow water, is accessible only on foot, as is Anse Cocos Beach, in a protected bay on the east coast. La Digue’s diverse wildlife can be seen in the Veuve Nature Reserve.

Today’s Mistake-Missing my flight.
In Seattle, I slept through my flight and woke up after it had left.
In Chicago, I was stuck in a cab too long and missed my first solo flight to San Diego.
In Tahiti, I missed my flight by 12 hours. With a paper ticket in hand, the travel agent had written down 1pm, but the flight really left at 1am. And I missed the boat to get there, so I had taken a flight just to get to the airport that day!
Don’t make these mistakes, but if you do, you will still be ok. Take the next flight you can. Talk to the gate agent at the airport and try to be patient and kind to others while you go. The journey is part of the adventure and how you handle it makes a difference.

Today’s Travel Advice-Eating out. What should you eat when on the road? First thing, don’t drink the water in a country you don’t know. Bottled water only. You can go to the finest dining to the local street food, whatever your appetite and budget allows. Bread is always a good food to eat, and usually fresh fruits, especially when you peel the skin first. Ask first.
If you don’t understand the menu, you look at what other people are eating. Maybe someone in the kitchen speaks your language. In China, I had to point at what other people were eating and ask for that in sign language. I still don’t know what it was.
The water likely has bacteria, and locals have the immunity and you don’t. Don’t rinse your mouth or brush your teeth with it. Carry pills to treat the water. Carry a few ounces of water in a small bottle. You don’t want to be sick.

Dr. Mary Travelbest Independent Travel Fiji


Welcome to Dr. Mary Travelbest’s Bucket List Travel.
We share the travel tips and guide you, sharing our missteps along the way.

FAQ: How do I reduce my stress on my travel?

Stress can become distress very easily. Distress is what you want to avoid, right?
Firs, take a deep breath and practice your breathing. Once you have your own body in check, you can move on to the rest of the travel changes. Keep your eye on your phone and your wallet. That’s a big thing in a strange city.
Don’t be scared. There are other people just like you, in a new place and they are not scared, so you don’t need to be. And stop the worrying. That’s not going to get you anywhere.
Preparation cuts stress to a minimum. Lay out your clothes for the next day. Have a bedtime routine, even on your travel days. Keep a journal. Smile. Sing. Dance. Move. All these will help reduce stress, and limit the distress to nothing.

Today’s Independent Destination-Fiji

You will land in Nadi, and the capital is Suva.
Get out to one of the 333 islands as quickly as possible. You don’t need to make a reservation for most places, but you can if you feel more comfortable.
Two major islands have places for you, but there is a spot on a small island just waiting for you to relax on. I spent time on Treasure Island, and remember saying “Bula” so many times that week in Fiji. Bula means the same as Aloha does in Hawaii or “Hello”. So get used to it and enjoy the experience.
I learned how to windsurf, and you can snorkel, scuba and hike all over the country.

Today’s Mistake- The wrong hotel room. I came back from the pool and went to the wrong hotel room, and did not know my mistake. The key did not work. We had some problems with the key that day, so I assumed the same problem happened. But in reality, it was my error. I called the front desk to help with the key, then looked at the room number, and saw that I was one building away. So, I tried to call back, but was put on hold. So, I went to my building and to the phone there and called again. Before anyone answered, a person came off the elevator, and they were there to help me. I was so embarrassed, and guilty. I thought the key was wrong, but it was just me!

Today’s Travel Advice- Bring a lot of memory on your phone. You take photos. You create videos. You want to save these. Be sure to have a lot of memory on your phone before you go. You may need to clean it out ahead of time, so do that now. Save it on a thumb drive and you will have this when you return. But you don’t want to get an error message that says your memory is used up, right? Be prepared with twice the memory you need. What is a good amount? Go to a store that sells phones and they will tell you if you need more memory and how to clear your space.

Dr. Mary Travelbest Mexico Baja

Dr. Mary Travelbest in Mexico Baja

Send us your Travel Questions....

Welcome to Dr. Mary Travelbest’s Bucket List Travel.
We share the travel tips and guide you, sharing our missteps along the way.

FAQ-Why should I go by myself? Should I go with a friend instead? Won’t I have a better time since I can share that experience with another?

Independent travel is for all, especially if you DON’T have someone to go with. Don’t let that stop you from going.

Today’s Independent Destination-Ensenada and/or then the Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico. Wine tasting.

On the way there, stop at The Door of Faith Orphanage and say Hi.
The way to get there is Highway 1, the toll way, and exit at La Mision. Directions below.
·         Take the southbound 5 or 805 freeway to the San Ysidro border crossing south of San Diego.
·         After you cross the border, move to the right and head up the FIRST ramp on the right   Follow the signs to the Ensenada/Rosarito Toll Road – also called the Scenic Route.   After about 2 miles, the first right (ramp) will put you onto the toll road.
·         Keep following signs toward Ensenada and Rosarito. You will remain on the toll road for approximately 50 mins. You will pass through two toll booths. About 25 minutes beyond the second tool booth you will see a sign for La Mision and/or La Fonda Hotel and Restaurant. Take the off ramp and turn left onto the “free” road.
·         The orphanage is 1½ miles (2 km) up the dirt road on the left side.
 Baja, is a rustic wine destination that’s already being called the Napa of Mexico.
 Napa (pricier, more developed).
Hire a Tour Guide
Boca Roja
Club Tengo Hambre: Started by two Mexico-focused bloggers, this hip gastro tour company dubs itself a “roving supper club.” Its organized wine and craft beer tours of the Valley include pick up and drop off in San Ysidro — the group will walk across the border together — transportation to each of the stops, and tastings and meals at up to six establishments.
Baja Wine and Dine Tours:
Drive Yourself
The majority of the drive from San Diego to Ensenada is a picture-perfect cruise along the Pacific Coast on a paved toll road. Bumpy dirt roads connect the wineries in the Valley, however, so be sure your car can handle the terrain. Logistics vary based on whether you are renting a car or driving your own vehicle: I drive my own vehicle.
Uber has made it easier than ever to explore northern Baja without a car, even if you’re coming in from San Diego or Los Angeles. Expect prices to increase for rides that involve border crossings, and double-check that your data plan will work in Mexico if you’re going to rely on Uber.
Uber in the Valle: Time Your Border Crossing
The Valle de Guadalupe is close to San Diego, but crossing back into the U.S. often involves long lines and hefty wait times.
  • The U.S. Customs and Border Site offers real-time updates on waits for drivers, commercial vehicles, and pedestrian and land ports of entry. Use the site to monitor traffic and head to the border when wait times are minimal.
  • Take the Ready Lane:  select identification — including passport cards, Global Entry cards, and Sentri passes — may use the Ready Lanes, which are slightly faster than the general lanes. The system works by detecting RFID chips in the cards; standard U.S. passports do not comply.
  • Apply for Sentri: If you expect to travel across the border frequently, consider applying for a Sentri card, the land-border version of Global Entry. Candidates who pass an advanced screening and pay a fee may use an express entry lane for five years; all passengers must have Sentri.

Today’s Mistake-Getting sick in Taipei. Food poisoning. 24 hours of misery. Don’t eat shellfish if you have any doubts about the food. Street vendors may be ok, since they may be here for many years and know better than a “restaurant”. You never really can tell.

Today’s Travel Advice-How to meet other people.
Good company in a journey makes the way seem the shorter, Izaak Walton, 1593-1683)
Wear a smile, ask for time of day, if they have an accent, ask them where they are from, share a common problem, tell a joke, comment on the weather, ask about a news event. Research an interest, such as scuba diving. Then make appropriate contacts when you arrive.
I wrote letters to advertising agencies in Hong Kong, China and Taiwan telling them of my pending trip. Then I called agencies and went to visit the people who worked there. My circle of friends quickly multiplied.
Be your best to be polite and friendly and hope that they will meet you halfway.
When you travel independently, people will come to you. They seek you out. They will be happy you were there to talk.