This time of year, when the temperature drops and the leaves crunch beneath my feet, I begin to dream about faraway places I’d like to explore. Sitting in front of the fireplace with a good book in hand usually involves reading about yet another destination to add to my bucket list. Along with the pictures and information comes a list of things to remember when I embark on my journey. I reached out to authors across the globe to ask about their best tips on traveling.
Gail Gritts is a children’s author and devotional writer in England. You can connect with Gail on Facebook at truestorykeepsake or check out her devotional blog on www.besidethewell.co.uk
- Travel is a nasty business. I carry hand sanitizer and stuff my pockets with tissues and every spare paper napkin that comes my way. Nothing worse than being caught on the seat, or in mid-squat, with no graceful way to retreat.Travel is not an accurate science.
- Squirreled away in my bags are little treasures of nuts, jerky, granola bars, and packets of trail mix for when food is sparse or distasteful.
- Travel is an adventure. Go with the flow. You can get lost without trying. I have found myself atop Welsh mountains with only sheep to ask for directions. I’ve mistakenly ridden public transport out from Rome for so long I could see the Seven Hills and still found my way back. And, though the Forbidden City is rectangular, I managed to wind upon a crooked alley with suspicious looking street vendors who spoke no English.
- Travel is a memory shared. A good companion, who will enjoy the journey and laugh when things get crazy, makes the stories all the more fun to tell.
NANA PRAH is a Ghana, Africa resident and an author of contemporary, multicultural romances. Her books are sweet with a touch of spice.
Here are my tips on how to travel alone. Sometimes you want to travel, but nobody is willing to go with you. I say pack your things and head out anyway. When travelling alone there are some basic things you should do. Have fun – isn’t that the point of going? Visit as many places as you want. Since there’s no one to hold you back or say they don’t want to go somewhere, you’re free to do what interests you the most.Get a selfie stick. It’ll help when you want to take pictures of yourself with glorious scenes in the background. Engage. Meeting and talking to others gives you greater insight into both the people and the best places to visit.
Pamela Fagan Hutchins is the author of the bestselling What Doesn’t Kill You Romantic Mystery Series. She also received the coveted Silver Falchion Best Mystery Winner and Best Cross Genre Novel Award. Having lived in the Caribbean and traveled there a number of times since, she can give you some award-winning tips.
1. Bring plenty of cute coverups or comfortable outfits to wear over your bathing suit. It’s gauche to visibly wear your bathing suit in town.
- The trade winds can be chilly at night. Bring a sweater. I ended up buying long-sleeved shirts or jackets when I traveled to other islands, because I’d always forget!
- The plump, sweet-smelling mangoes on the trees look tempting, but the peel is poisonous and can do a number on your insides, and some people rash on their outsides too. Enjoy them in a restaurant or take the time to handle them wisely.
TRAVEL TIPS from Donna Warner by way of Ontario, Canada!
Suitcase Packing: Use a zip-lock, airtight, waterproof plastic bag to hold rolled items of clothing. My Samsonite (www.spacebag.com) bags compress clothing, allowing me to pack twice as much in my suitcase. This can save paying extra baggage fees. In the hotel room, I set these bags into drawers so my personal items don’t touch the same surfaces that many people have placed their clothes in. I often put a complete ensemble outfit (under and outer garments and accessories) into one bag for quick dressing and when removed, my clothing is wrinkle free.
Hotel Exits: When you reach your room, count how many doors you are away from the exit stairs. In the event of a fire, smoke rises to the ceiling, and you can’t see the exit signs. You cannot take the elevator and must use the stairs. If the hall is full of smoke, you can feel your way down the hall, counting the doors to locate the stairs to escape.
Holiday Excursions: Book through the resort or cruise ship you are with. Stay clear of locals offering to show you around and remember, there’s safety in numbers when sight-seeing.
Donna’s two crime thriller novellas are co-authored with award winning mystery author, Gloria Ferris. Targeted takes place in the Caribbean; Death’s Footprint in Canada’s historic Quebec City. Currently, a freelance fiction editor and author/entrepreneur, Donna was communication manager of a national research network, taught adult education courses, and tutored ESL students. She resides in Ontario, Canada and is a member of International Thriller Writers and Crime Writers of Canada.
Cara Bristol is a USA Today Bestselling Author and a “nester” married to a wanderer. When she’s not writing about exotic, romantic adventures in outer space in her science fiction romances, she and her husband visit the exotic places on earth. They’ve been to Thailand, China, Turkey, Egypt, Greece, Croatia, Italy, Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary, the Panama Canal, Costa Rica, and many more places. Here are some great tips for your next trip.
My husband and I have been all over the world, mostly by cruise ship. We like the convenience of unpacking once, and frankly, we’re lazy travelers. We buy guide books, but never read them. We dislike research, and we like having everything done for us. With cruising, all you have to do is get yourself to the departure airport, and the cruise company will take care of the rest! One of our favorite booking sites is vacationstogo.com. Go to the site, click on “90 day ticker” and you can find cruise deals that are up to 80% off. You can search by travel date, cruise line, destination, length of cruise.
My latest release is Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2. https://books2read.com/u/3L9aYM
Daniella Bernett lives in New York and is the author o
f the Emmeline Kirby-Gregory Longdon mystery series, which features a journalist and a jewel thief. Lead Me Into Danger, Deadly Legacy and From Beyond The Grave are the first three books. When she traveled to Iceland last summer (Yes. I want to go there too!) I wanted to drain her brain of what I should visit.
Iceland, country of fire and ice. The breathtaking natural landscape ranges from mountains and lava fields to waterfalls and glaciers.
- Best time of year to travel is June/July when there is 24 hours of daylight. Alternatively, if you want to see the Northern Lights, then go in November/December.
- Dress in layers to be prepared for different types of weather. Wind jacket, fleece and umbrellas are required.
- Must-see sites: Godafoss (Waterfall of the Gods); Gullfoss (Golden Waterfall); Geysir Hot Spring Area on the Golden Circle; Pingvellir National Park; Blue Lagoon Geothermal Spa
Ian Mackenzie is a South African author living in Johannesburg. He writes adventure fiction based on periods of Southern African history. He has spent his life in Southern Africa having grown up in Johannesburg and lived in what was once Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) for 8 years. He gives a pretty colorful picture of his homeland.
South Africa is a beautiful country offering a wide variety of tourist attractions in western tradition and by international standards provides exceptional value for money.
The busiest airport on the African continent (and the springboard to the rest of South Africa) is O.R. Tambo, situated just outside Johannesburg. A variety of efficient, modern airlines service all main centers from there.
South African game parks are among the best in the world and offer big game viewing from your own car or from tour Land Rovers organized by the many tour operators engaged in the wild life business. The biggest and best-known game getaway is the Kruger National Park, situated in the East of the country, on the Mozambique border. The roads throughout the park are excellent and provide an extensive network carved through the virgin African bush. Kruger is a huge wildlife sanctuary where hundreds of species of birds, insects and wild game roam freely in their natural habitat. The park’s accommodation facilities vary from ultra-luxury lodges to self-catering back packer camp sites.
- Within two hours’ drive of Johannesburg, is the resort of Sun City, an entertainment mecca boasting three luxury hotels, where you can take your pick of casinos, para sailing, water skiing, hikes and game viewing. Right on the doorstep is the Pilanesberg game reserve which accommodates the Big Five of African wildlife. (Lion, Elephant, Rhino, Leopard & Buffalo).
- Coastal resorts offer some spectacular beaches and beautiful scenery. Cape Town is a world heritage city with the famous flat-topped Table Mountain and the wine routes. This coastal region is home to some of the world’s finest wine estates and tours around the Cape Peninsular to these estates, is a must for travelers. Travelling up the coast from Cape Town going east, you’ll drive through the Garden Route, 500 kilometers of beauty, providing travelers with a wide variety of sightseeing options.
- The national road network throughout the country is of an extremely high standard but are subject to toll charges. Toll gates operate at distances of between 50 and 100 kilometers apart and the average toll per gate is around ZAR 50.00 (approximately US$ 3.50).
- Hotels in South Africa fluctuate in quality from inexpensive boutique to world class 5 star establishments comparable with the Ritz or Hilton in New York or Paris.
- Caution is advised if you decide to walk around main city centers. Crime is a factor to consider and it is unwise to walk the streets at night or unaccompanied at any time. Leave valuables at you hotel and if you need to carry cash, keep it in small amounts in different pockets. Make sure your camera is secure. Be alert.
Some websites to explore:
Next time I’ll have author Jason Fort join us for some important safety tips to remember while traveling. Besides writing about terrorism and teaching self-defense classes, he is a police officer. You’ll be glad you checked in with him. There are more travelers which will be giving us some important information about travel too. I hope you’ll continue to follow along as we explore the world.