Travel Independent Spectrum Level 3


Dr Mary Travelbest Independent Travel Guide:  Travel Independent Spectrum Level 3 travel: independent to a different state or nearby country

In this episode : The  FAQ Where can I learn about the arts in a new city that I visit?    Level 3 travel independent to a different state or country. The mistake is about a terrible experience in a foreign currency and the tip is to learn some new words in a foreign language before you go.

FAQ: Dorothea asks:  Where can I find out about the arts before I visit? What is the best way to soak in the culture, especially if you don’t know where to begin?

 Start by reading a lot and a little planning. Which arts most interest you?

Is it music? If so, then you should consider seeing some live music on your trip. When I was in Hannibal, Mo during the lockdown, the local town came to life on Monday nights with an orchestra playing on one side of the street and the audience on the other side of the street. I was delighted with this concert experience, and you would also love that, I’m sure. That was pure happenstance. I happened to be there.

If you like sculpture, find out what is the best known or most interesting sculpture and seek that out.

If you prefer dance, then research where are the live dances being held.

If you want to see a film, then you seek out those opportunities, lately which would be at a drive-in theatre.

Culture is a wonderful way to learn about a region, even if it is close to home during Covid.


Special edition episode:  Travel Independent Spectrum Level 3: Traveled independent to a different state or nearby country: For Example, Canada, Hawaii or Alaska, or some parts of Mexico and the Bahamas.


Passport required, international visas, driving


Your travel has advanced to the middle spot in the Travel Independent Spectrum. Level 1 was about getting started with a drive to another city, and in Level 2, you went to another region or state. You are now at Level 3 and you are more accomplished than most travelers, even if you don’t realize that yet.

To advance to level 3, you have been seeing different parts of the USA, different regions of the country and now you are ready to do more exploring out of your bubble of the nearby states. And you don’t necessarily need a guide to show you the way.


Dr Travelbest recommends checking with the CDC and state department websites before traveling to these Level 3 destinations. Show notes have links for you.

Now it’s time to focus on the geography and the climate of these regions as you plan your trip. Timing of your travel is key to it being the most comfortable and enjoyable for you. There is also something to be said for economy, so supply and demand will be a factor, especially if you don’t like being in a crowd.

Level 3 is for the more advanced and adventurous traveler, so get ready for some bigger slices of fun, with a little excitement. We will learn more about US states such as Hawaii and Alaska, where you don’t need a passport, but also in this category are Canada and Mexico, where you do need a passport. During Covid-19, there are restrictions on travel to these places mentioned here. We’ll cover them in a minute.


At Level 3, You are becoming a more invested traveler at this point, as you are not going to be in a “known place” all the time in this journey. This journey is mostly with airline travel, and you may see extremes in temperatures. The climate in Hawaii or the Bahamas, for example, is mild and balmy or tropical. The things to be looking for are hurricanes and other weather-related seasonal changes. There is a seasonal swing, so be sure to review this before you make your final plans and what any cancellations may involve for your trip, especially if you are independent.


For Alaska, you will experience spring in June, Summer in July, and fall in August. If you travel there in another month, you will be in winter, so consider going in July for the best weather and longest days so you can do more while it’s light.


Mexico has many areas that are very easy to navigate without a guide. Start by practicing some of your Spanish phrases so you will be able to learn the basics. We’ll offer language tips on other episodes, but don’t neglect this for your trip to Mexico. You can start with a city like Puerto Vallarta, Cancun or Cabo San Lucas and get around easily without any major concerns. If you are more comfortable with speaking Spanish, I would venture to Mexico City or Ensenada. Fun Fact, Ensenada has more doctors per capita than any other city in the world. They are known for their medical tourism.


Canada is perhaps easiest to navigate if you want to drive. You can cross the border in several places near US cities, even for just a few hours. I’ve crossed into Canada from Seattle, Detroit, and Montana. Many cross from Buffalo and near Boston, too.

You may be flying into these airports for your trip. I’ll recommend Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver airports for a smooth visit.


You will need your passport and be sure to follow the rules posted as they may have changed. To prepare, visit the websites for Canadian travel for US passport holders.

In the show notes, we will share an app to complete before you go to the Canadian border, which can speed up the process faster.


Currently, there are travel restrictions in Hawaii and Alaska. Check the Show Notes for links and to stay up to date, including travel with pets to these places. I was in Alaska in 2019 and Hawaii in 2020, and there have been barriers to protect these regions established by their state governments.


Today’s Mistake- Not respecting the currency of another country.

Certain people in Kenya airport did not want to give up their money to the Kenyan police and what happened to them.

Today’s Travel Advice- Vocabulary starters are useful


Learn the basic words of that country: Bathroom, water, hotel, stop/go thank you, please.

How can you learn the words fast?

There are several free language tools you can get from your internet search, and some that come with a fee, too. My advice is to search for the ones that you trust, based on previous reputation and cost/value. Some of the “free” apps may be so complicated to sign up that it’s not worth your time. Check the reviews before you invest.

Here’s a list of some apps that I have used and others that I hope to use in the future:

Google Translate, Rosetta Stone, Duolingo, LingQ, Babbel, Busuu. And others. I also suggest watching TV and movies from the country you plan to visit. I watch Spanish TV, for example and listen to Spanish Radio stations to get prepared for my visits to Spain and Mexico.

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