Walking Vacations

Walking Vacation Tramps Into Staycation Land Part 1

Walking Vacation Tramps Into a Staycation dusseldorf 210678 1280 Rhine Friendship autumn walk 300x199 Walking Vacation Tramps Into Staycation Land Part 1

Walk and transform your staycation into a real vacation in as little as an afternoon. When you are on a staycation you often  miss out on  the most important element of going on vacation in the first place.  You totally skip the part about doing something new and out of your the ordinary. The result is just an ordinary day.  For many the need to save a few bucks forces them to go staycationing, which only result in nothing more than two weeks spent cleaning the dust balls from behind the couch and the crud from under the fridge. It’s not that getting those chores done in and of themselves is a bad thing, but doing them hardly makes for either an inspiring vacation or life changing experiences. The things you want from a walking vacation are wonderful memories, relaxation of body and mind, inspiration, broadening of your world perspective, and new life experiences…a few new friends would not hurt either. To stay home without a plan to actually vacation is pretty much not vacationing. So let’s fix this and formulate a plan to have a real vacation for our staycation.

Get Your Plans On Paper

Where to start? Start just where you would if your walking vacation required travel. You need to know what you can do and then you need to decide which opportunities you want to take advantage of.  So, get on line or out the door and start looking at your home town as if you had never been there before.  Go ahead and grab brochures for restaurants, hotels, cities, etc.  Don’t forget to pick up a few local events papers and calendars.  Google for web sites, businesses, local maps, events, bus schedules, parks, beaches, rivers (boating), places to get some sun, places to see a show, places to go for a walk (trails), places to shop, places to meet people, places see a sun set or sun rise, places for breakfast, brunch, lunch, tea, dinner, late supper.
You want to plan your walking staycation in every way just like you would if you needed to travel to your vacation, right down to packing a suitcase and living out of it. Why? Simple. What you pack is what you plan to do. No fudging on things. If it’s in the suitcase (your bathing suit, horseback riding lessons, etc.), then you have to do it and by correlation what’s not in it, you don’t touch (clean under the fridge, clear the garage, normal laundry…this and dishes might be the only real exceptions, etc.)

Eliminate the Ordinary By Panning the Extraordinary

Plan your itinerary, right down to making some dinner reservations or booking/penning in a time for a ferry ride. You want to avoid those places you go all the time.

For instance most people are very regular in their habits, so the trick to a successful walking staycation is to do what you don’t normally do. Say on a normal day you go to a great coffee shop every morning on the way to work. At lunch you hit the same sandwich place. On the way home it’s the gym, kids at school, grocery store to pick up what you forgot in the weekly shopping or ran out of early because your teens have decided its open season on the continents of the fridge and then home to chores till dinner.  Real vacations demand you change things. Let’s start with that morning coffee. While on staycation, walk down to that begle shop and read a local paper from the newsstand you never go to.  At both places talk to the people behind the counter, just like you would if you were in France. Find out about the local area from them. It may surprise you that you don’t really know everything about your home. You will undoubtedly find new bands, new plays, new events, and new art shows/galleries that have opened. While there get a new type of bagel that you have never had or eat it with something you have never tried before. Remember, you are on vacation. Old routines are on hold for the duration.

Same Coffee Different Cup

The point is that what you do must be new and different from what you normally do. Do you drink Americanos? Have a Duppo espresso instead. If you either sit at a table indside or never have time to stay? Now’s your chance to lounge about, take a window seat or enjoy a sidewalk table outside. Watch the people. Read your paper. Eat …Slowly.

Get Ideas From Others

Stuck for ideas still?  Well, then get out there and ask for ideas from family, friends, and even strangers. Of course you can go on line as well. There you can find a wide array of sites and video blogs with tips and ideas.

Blog, Blog, Blog…

Blogs can save you an incredible amount of guesswork and time.  They range from the frugal based  like Thrifty Little Mom and Living Well Spending Less to the advice how to do that like “How do I plan a fun ‘stay-cation’?”,  “10 Tips for a Successful Staycaton” and  “Getting the Most of a Vacation at Home”.

Then There’s Always Youtube…

On line sources like Youtube provide a great resource of people, places and ideas for your own staycation, even if they don’t live where you live.  You could even go so far as the Glass family even, who went so far as to announce their plans on Youtube  and tell people to tell them what to do with their staycation. A bold move, but when you want ideas it will provide.

GLASS POSSE INVITE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWyvyFs5d-M

What Happens on Staycation …

You don’t have to hit the perfect walking vacation. It can even have many of the daily chores. What you need more than anything else though is to get the frame of mind. The type of frame of mind that turns the ordinary into an adventure or a funny story.  Witness a nice sample of staycation bliss…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-y7B1DbJ1oo

1,000 Ideas

There are thousands of ideas out there. Some great v-blogs and even a few TV shows that can  really get the idea details stirring around n your head. These ideas can help your staycation remain a cheaper alternative to a full travel based vacation.  At the same time it will still give you the relaxation and memories that is the essential reason you want to go on vacation in the first place.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2cM8L9Gx7fs
So many ideas out there. Just take your time and plan your staycation as if it is a walking vacation and the rest will fall into place. 
Walking Vacations misty fog walk pathway rock walkway nature ground

Travel by foot, six easy steps to a walking vacations. Part 2

Walking Vacations Plan The Last Steps

girl 293315 1920girl woman street life downtown black and white Pixabay 200x300 Travel by foot, six easy steps to a walking vacations. Part 2How are your walking vacation plans comming along?  I know it’s been a bit since we talked last about taking a walking vacation, but I wanted you to have lots of time to think and dream.  In our sedentary society taking a physically active vacation is not an easy thing.  Now is the time to look at the next two steps.

Step Five-All You Gotta Do Is Ask

You need to ask yourself two simple questions. What do you want from a vacation?  Where do you want to go?  Most people let time slip by and never decide exactly what they are shooting for on a vacation or how to spend it. Sure they daydream about some far off  someday isle but they often never purposefully decide to go to London, walk the Appalachian or Cascade trails, go to Lapland, tour the Portuguese maritime museums, walk every street in Berlin, etc.  These unfortunate masses never take the time to figure out if they want relaxation, adventure, or to feel as if they have finally contributed to something other than just the tearing of another page from the calendar.  They never take the time to find out if their personal best vacation is really a tour of Rome or fixing up an old house.  That’s because they never ask themselves what it is they need from a vacation. They never find themselves asking if the vacation did what all good vacations should, restore your soul and rejuvenate your life.  At vacation time, they just go somewhere and do something. They never look to see if that something satisfies what they need and as a result most people come off of vacations with little more resiliency than when they started.  Today is a good day to look for that part of you that needs car. Take another walk and allow yourself to plan what you need. What type of vacation will make you feel the best or fulfill some need? The answer may surprise you.   Take that vacation through Rome where you will stroll slowly through the ancient streets. Take up the challenge to hike the entire length of the Cascades.  Maybe you will  only be walking along sun drenched beaches between naps on your beach chair.  The place you go may not even change, but your approach you take to it will. The choice is vast and totally yours. Just ask.

Step Six – The Last Step?

office 266562 1280 Pixabay 300x171 Travel by foot, six easy steps to a walking vacations. Part 2What is your final step? Plan your dream.  Take all those questions about what you need and ask yourself what type of  vacation will satisfy those dreams.  This is your plan. It is  important only to you, so make it your own.  Don’t disappoint yourself.  Go into great detail. You can even turn your planning into a daily refreshing act that will help you cover every aspect of your personal adventure.

killarney 204401 640 Street view pixabay1 300x205 Travel by foot, six easy steps to a walking vacations. Part 2For example, are you walking the by-ways and country roads of Ireland in your head as you stroll around town?  Great.  Start your efforts off by transforming your daily walking vacations so they prepare yourself physically and mentally for the wonder of your trip ahead.  Look up various trails and roads you want to walk and then plan daily walk so that you cover similar terrain and distances. Take time on the walks to think through all the various aspects you will need for your trip from what toiletries to bring to what events to see. Take a pad with you so you can take some notes.

You have time, so plan where on those trips you are going.  Your walks will not only give you time to think through the details of your trip, but also condition your body for a more active physical effort. Just planning to go and treating your daily vacation will give you a longer vacation. In fact it might be a year or two to be able to get the free month, money and conditioning needed for you to tour Ireland the way you want, so use that time wisely and productively. That two year break is really a lucky break.  After two years of planning, it is very unlikely you will miss anything  you most want to do from plays to historic sites.  If you are a shopper, adding in some all day markets will be a great plus. You will also have already thought about how you are going to get all those great purchases home.  Little additions to your walks like a stroll around downtown might provide you a chance to learn a little about architecture. Then your walks amongst the old buildings in Ireland might not blend so much and give you a richer vacation and life. You can take some time to dream of your first days in Ireland. There are a thousand and one things you can do to prepare and lengthen your holiday with no real muss.

Done right, you will find yourself arriving home from your grand tour and amazed at how dull life is without it. The only cure of course will be another grand tour, so back to step one. Repeat as often as you can before your life comes to its close because the very best vacation of all is one that lasts your entire life.

 

Here’s a great vid to kick-start your walking vacation plans.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NmSBBYeKbmI

bike rental for Schlern Alps tour

Vacation Bike Rental, Tours and More

Bike Rental a European Vacation Plus

cambridge 1400027394 225x300 Vacation Bike Rental, Tours and More
PublicDomainPictures / Pixabay

Bike rentals in Europe provide probably the cheapest and most convenient transportation you can use on vacation, aside from your feet. In some cases they even are faster than other means, such as when there is some form of transportation strike. Little hint: if you are going to Europe, check to see if there is some form of transportation strike or negotiations going on. The French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and Greek transportation strikes are legendary. They will also mess up any local commuting you might want or need to do during your stay.

First Place By Defacto

Such problems are often avoided by just using the alternate plans most travelers use. The first is easy.  You just put up with the lousy service, or even non-existent service, at times.  Just go when the metro deigns.

Second Place taken in Stride

Then there is alternative number two. You can walk everywhere and ignore those pesky busses and tubes. Unless you have forked out a fortune for a central hotel, that’s not a plan for most alternative travel people.  You are just too far away from such pricey convenience.

Third But Not Last

Being more than walking distance to your vacation activities often means that you can rent a car. This is a great idea, if you can afford it, have a valid international license, and want to travel longer distances.

The Winner On a Roll

However, for those among us who want convenience, moderate speed, economy and a few health benefits on the side, the best alternative out there is to rent a bike. And fortunately when you go traveling there are a ton of great options for renting a bike. All you need is to choose one that suits your needs, whether they are pure transportation or part of some grander self-directed tour scheme.

Transportation and Commuting

For basic transportation, the city offerings are outstanding.   Paris has 10,600 free to use public bikes through it’s  Vélib’ service—a pun on “free bicycle”

Bike Rental is in the Cards

400px Paris 06 2012 Velib 2883 WikiPedia Velib 2012 GNU 200x300 Vacation Bike Rental, Tours and More You will need a credit card with a EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa) microchip in it like all European cards have. Your card is required to unlock the bike from the rack and track who is liable for it till it is returned, but you will not be charged for the rental. You will have to check with your bank for this, because most US banks don’t have the imbedded chips. There have been improvements since the system was set up.  A New York Times article  said that JCDecaux who setup the bike system is working on taking non-chip cards. They have updated the kiosks to accept US-issued American Express Cards (no chips). Also, some hotels do sell short-term subscriptions (see below) to US travelers. Check with your hotel to see if they do.

Paris is Not Alone

Lyon, Brussels, Vienna, Helsinki, Oslo, and Copenhagen are just a few of the European cities with bike rental programs. Here is a quick find list of these programs.

Paris

1024px Station Velib DSC 3497Paris France station Velib Place de la Bastille Wikipedia CC bySA 3.0 300x199 Vacation Bike Rental, Tours and More The Vélib’ program requires that you buy the service on a daily (€1), weekly (€5), or (€29) yearly scale. Under the program you can take all the half-hour rentals you want, but you will be charged a fee if you use it longer than a half-hour per trip. There are over 750 (more?) stands throughout Paris, so finding a ride is not all too difficult. Daily and weekly subscriptions are available at any station (they are found every three or four streets throughout Paris.). To access, just insert your card and PIN, then you will be asked to create an access code (instructions are in 8 languages –find them). The machine will spit out a Vélib’ card. From there on it’s easy. Just wave the card across the any bike stand screen and enter your access code. Choose your bike from the list of those available. You have only a minute to press the locking button on the bike, so you might want to hustle. The first half hour rental is free, but the second half hour is €1, the third €2, and every half hour thereafter is €4. You can rent a bike as many times as you like, but kids under 14 cannot use them. To return the bike, simply go any station and reattach it to an empty stand. You will get a flash and beep when it is properly locked up.

Lyon

The Vélo’v system in Lyon charges €2 for each 30 minutes after the first free half hour. Other than that, the system is much like Paris’ Vélib’.

Brussels

VilloTerminalAndMap Wikipedia CC BY SA 3.0 225x300 Vacation Bike Rental, Tours and More Cyclocity (cyclocity.be), is a bit of a letdown compared to Paris’ Vélib’ system. It only has 250 bikes and 23 stations throughout the city and it costs a bit more, though still cheap. Short term subscription cards for day (€1) or week (€1.50) can be purchased at all stations. The rentals are €0.50 a half hour. Sign-ups, rentals, and returns are the same as the Vélib’ and Vélo’v systems.

Vienna

Citybike tourist cards cost €2 a day and can be obtained either at your hotel or either of the two issuing offices. ( Either Royal Tours, Herrengasse 1—3, or at Pedal Power, Ausstellungsstrasse 3) You can use your card to pick up a bike at any of 50 city stations, usually located near the subway stations. Pick up and drop off are virtually the same as in Paris and Lyon with one slight difference. You will need to swipe your card through a reader instead of waving it in front of the terminal screen. The Citybike system is a little different with the rentals prices as well. They expand your free period to a full hour instead of just half an hour, but a second hour will cost you €2, the third is €3 and from the fourth hour on you’ll be charged €4 per hour thereafter. Unfortunately you can only rent one bike per card, so couples, families and groups traveling together will need a separate card for each member. The rental is limited to 120 hours and after that time the bike is considered lost. Lost cards will be charged €10. More information can be found at citybikewien.at.

Helsinki

In Helsinki rents its bikes in the summer only. There are 26 stands around the city to rent from. The system operates off of €2 coins, so no cards are required. Just drop your deposit and the lock opens. Your deposit is returned when you lock it back up. This gives you the luxury of no real set time limit, but you do have to stay in the city limits. Other than that, the sign-up, rent and return instructions are like the other bike rentals above. Go to hel.fi for more information.

Oslo

Oslo’s Bysykkel program comes with some changes. The tourist rate is 70 kroner ($10) a day. You must stay in the city and the rentals are limited to three hours maximum, but you can extend the rental for fee when you return the bike to the station. Rental hour are from 6 a.m. to midnight. You have 30 seconds to get your bike out of the rack once you have paid, but you can return your bike 24 hours a day. The lock light for a properly returned bike will turn to green from red.

Trondheim, Norway

Trondheim’s program allows everyone to bike for free like the Oslo Bysykkel program. Drop your coin into the lock and go. Your deposit will be returned with the bikes return. You can find out more for many Norwegian cities at adshel.no.

Copenhagen

1024px Danish public bicycle CPH Wikipedia CC Bu 3.0 300x225 Vacation Bike Rental, Tours and More The Danish capital rents 1,300 rent free bikes between May and mid-December from 125 City Bike stations in the central part of the city. Just deposit DKK 20 coin (about $3) and away you go. You do have to stay in the city. Your deposit is returned when you return the bike. Details at . http://youtu.be/L_RDBlzqnh8

Read more:

Rent a Bike in Europe for Nearly Nothing http://www.budgettravel.com/feature/rent-a-bike-in-europe-for-nearly-nothing,2492/#ixzz31WnpH9f4

Back Road vacations tours http://www.backroads.com/award-winning-tours/France

Walking Vacations Local, Wilderness or Around the world

Walking Vacations

Travel Pixaby royalty free 300x169 Walking Vacations Local, Wilderness or Around the world
Take a hike on your next vacation. Walking Vacations make life come to life.

Take a walking vacation. It’s like a Backpack Vacation sans the heavy pack and even the woods if you are inclined.  Yep, that’s right, I’m telling you to take a hike but the only thing you will really need is good shoes/hacking boots and a plan for where to go. Not only is it more economical than many vacations you could take, it is educational, fun and you might even lose a few pounds doing it. You can scale your trip from a local excursion to multiple international travels.

Kristen McKenzie

I read an excellent article by Kristen McKenzie over at the HotelsCombined.com blog  that can get you started with walking vacations. Kristen shows how easy  walking vacations really are. They are just out your backdoor.

Vancouver BC Where Walking Vacations Are Found

Now your home may not be as large as Kristen’s former home of Vancouver BC, but the same ideas of taking a walking tour of your own home apply. Specifically, just because you live locally doesn’t mean you know it all. Go find out what you don’t know about your home, then walk there, learn and enjoy.  The simplicity is the most attractive part. After you have your feet wet, there are hundreds more trips world- wide you can easily take with a little research. You will quickly fill your itinerary with a variety of  walking vacations that can range from simple camping trips to the lake  to large scale family travel through Europe to hiking tours  and bike tours  of all sorts.

Places to Stay

Kristen’s first must know is where to stay. She mentions the Opus Hotel, Rosewood Hotel Georgia and the Fairmont Pacific Rim. Some of Vancouver’s finest. Why do you want to look into this? Well, you might want a weekend away close to home some time, or friends from out of town could visit, or the big reason, you will one day your travels will eventually take you far from home and you are going to need survival skills. This helps develop them.

Food to Eat

Second must know on the list is food.  She names  Carder’s patio in Coal Harbor for the Vancouver views, the hearty breakfast and best brunch is to be had at Cafe Medina  and Gas town’s Salt Tasting Room is one of Vancouver’s best hidden treasures. Wine bars found in a back alley of Vancouver’s historic Gas town district.

Where to Walk

And of course we come finally to what we’ve been waiting for… what to do.  Yep, we get to walk but not just any walk. Kristen hits us with the most famous Vancouver trail of them all, the “Grouse Grind” on the North Shore’s Grouse Mountain. I love this entire 2.9km trail, with its 2,000 sadistically wonderful steps you must clamber over. It’s a hard grind, but getting to the top is fantastic. Of course if you are not a crazy hiker or a former Marine like me, then you can fork out $40 for the gondola. Check the web site for the latest information and any seasonal trail closures. The mountain is also home to lumber jack shows, zip lines, a grizzly bear habitat, great skiing and some of the most mind blowing vistas you will ever come across.

Next time…

Then for those who prefer concrete beneath their feet, or at least park trails, there’s the entirety of the city to walk. Vancouver is one of the best walking vacations that you could every dream of taking, but that’s for later and another walking vacations article

Vacation Videos Three Wolter’s World Must Watch and Love

 Vacation Videos  Watch ‘em and Love ‘em

tv ghetto04 8262013 stockphotosforfree e1398478361432 300x234  Vacation Videos Three Wolters World Must Watch and Love
We want Wolters World vacation videos

There is a plethora of vacation videos, video tours, and vacation video blogs out there. You cannot enter any chat room or Google anything about vacations without being run over by a horde of contenders.  Fortunately there are some who are so spectacular in the breath of their experience, style and ground knowledge that you have to tell someone else or burst.  There are three such blogs that spring to mind for these elements. They all have all three qualities and I have already talked of two of them ground knowledge (VidTour) and style ( Sonia’s Travels). However, for experience there is only one choice and that is Wolter’s World and here, in true Wolter’s World fassion, I will give you four videos you are going to love on Wolter’s World…and one that may annoy you a bit.

The Vacation is the Experience - WoltersWorld

Mark has been traveling the world for over 15 years. In that time he has lived or traveled to a wide diversity of places, including the USA, Germany, Norway, Brazil, Argentina, Portugal, Lithuania, Austria, Australia, Eastern Europe, China many more. His passion is helping people. As a result of his experience and his passion combined,  his videos really make a trip overseas less of a shock and more of a pleasure. The first thing you will find the is unique on WoltersWorld is Mark’s 5 Things You Will Love and 5 Things You Will Hate video series.

WoltersWorld Site

http://www.woltersworld.com

YouTube Channel: WoltersWorld.

http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFr3sz2t3bDp6Cux08B93KQ

Favorite  Vacation Video

Actually I have two favorite vacation videos, so you are getting both.

First is Europe by Train. Like Mark, I am a train nut and was delighted that someone besides me had these thoughts about train travel.  He pulls no punches, including the opening picture of him and his family. You have to see this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8wWX3itHoA

Second is the 5 Things You Will Love & Hate about Berlin, Germany. Berlin is one of my favorite cities, but I have not been there in years, but he makes me so want to go back.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBPkyF5UcH8

And in homage to Mark’s great work, I do have one video that I don’t like.

That video is:  Visit the USA: Five Things to Love and Hate about Visiting America. Hate is defiantly too strong a word, since I really love every video he has done, but it’s the only one that really annoys me for one reason only. I already know everything he talks about here and it’s the only video of his that I did not learn at least one thing from. Oh well, when you are dealing with a Babe Ruth type player, it’s still a treat to see him bunt to first base.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOJVX_RnN74&list=PL838AB93AF649FDC2&index=8

 

 

 

 

Hard Rock Hotel Vacations Bring Music to Life

 

Hard Rock Hotel Vegas-Get Some Real Sleep

Hard Rock Free 1 300x201 Hard Rock Hotel Vacations Bring Music to Life
Hard Rock Hotel restores the music to your life.

 

Hey, there you are at the Hard Rock Hotel Vegas. Time to kick it and party. Forget sleep. The late night tables in the Hard Rock casino and shows are calling.  Ignore all those studies that show how people are actually more tired and sleep deprived going home than when they arrived. Dr. Roger Cadieux, a clinical professor of psychiatry at Penn State University’s College of Medicine, said in one sleep deprivation study (Wellness Junction ), “Americans easily add to their sleep deficit before the start of their vacation. As a result, they make it much more difficult to recharge their depleted batteries in the course of their vacation.”  Surely, that doesn’t apply to you though your mind rationalizes. You can sleep when you get home from your rest-up in this nirvana of the 24 hour party. Right?  Ignore all the mumbo jumbo.  It’s game time.

Sleepless on Vacation

But that nagging specter of sleep deprivation stays before you.  You know you will sleep less this vacation than you do at home. It’s going to wreck all your fun…or is it? Is there a way to escape beyond slavishly going to bed at nine like a good little tot and emerging from between your silken luxury sheets before six? You rebel at such a puerile choice. You are here to party and the party is at night.

Ancestrally Correct

It seems that our ancestors might very well have agreed with your choices and in fact might not only encourage it but actually have figured out a way to have both a party and a fully rested body.  Research from Roger Ekirch, professor of History at Virginia Tech,  shows that our ancestors prior to 1800 did not sleep in one big eight hour chunk of time. His research shows that our ancestors actually slept twice a night and suffered no ill effects from it. In fact they were actually more rested than you as you strive to get eight hours (and fail—current studies show the average 6 hours and 27 minutes daily  ) In those days one often slept for three or four hours, awoke for several hours of nocturnal activity that ranged from contemplation to evincing love affairs, meals and even visiting friends, before returning to bed to rest till dawn some three or four hours later. This was actually the normal pattern for most people prior to the industrial age. From the evidence Ekirch has compiled, we find that such a pattern does not lead to sleep deprivation. In fact, for the chronically sleep deprived westerner, it might prove a god send to correct their rushed life styles.

Test Ground Hard Rock Hotel Vegas

The benefits seem a great deal, especially since you have a great chance now to put the idea to the test. Not a bad thing here in Vegas, where often the best hours for shows and the hotel casino games seem to happen after everything warms up some four hours into the evening.  And if it works out, you might even be able to easily adapt it to life back home too. What’s the worst thing that could happen? You might wind up being fashionably late and well rested to party hard Hard Rock Hotel style.  Not a bad deal for slack sack time.

 

 

Bloedel Reserve Zen and Country Inn Vacations

Let Go Procrastination: Country Inn And Suits Zen Vacations

Vacations of Zen and Country Inn

Bloedel Reserve 14 Royalty and use Free 300x199 Let Go Procrastination: Country Inn And Suits Zen Vacations
Zen and Vacations can heal your tired mind and body.

Are vacations really a  Zen hotel experience? Quite likely, if you pay attention you will find a habit that you can use everywhere, not just at Country Inn and Suits. Whether at home, work, a Swiss ski slope or even another hotel, Zen is the practice of letting go.

Zen In Practice

Zen practice improves life by letting go of habitual distractions that prevent us from achievements and happiness. Procrastination is one such habit.

Mindless habitual procrastination gums up your life by disengaging our minds from our choices. A roll of the dice and life does the rest. Sometimes it’s box cars. More often, though, procrastination is a bad bet because to avoid life’s traps you must consciously choose to avoid them.

What Does Leo Say?

Leo Babauta of Zen Habits  teaches how he ended the habit of procrastination by letting go. Babauta, a self professed procrastinator, states “The end of procrastination is the art of letting go.” He procrastinated until the last minute throughout his life, thinking he worked best under an expiring deadline. The reality was such work was inferior. He was also missing deadlines… a lot of them. The stress filled his life with greife. It was not until he saw procrastination’s false distractions filled a need in his life that he was able to let go and gain more control.

 Vacations Become Zen

Achieve the same in your life and improve your vacations by using your Country Inn and Suits down time to practice a little zen thinking. From the comfort of your room, you can start your practice of letting go and then take it with you back into the world.

The simple process Babauta used.

1. Look at your day. What holds your attention? What is the need it fills in your life? Are you constantly in need to check facebook, e-mail, news, and other false needs? None of these must be done items will actually move your projects forward. You need to see the temporary pleasure they give and widen your perspective to allow you to see the pain  such things will bring later.

2. Answer the questions of: Who do you want to be? Not what but who.  What is the life you want to live? Set your direction.

3. Watch for your urges that guide you toward the procrastination habits you are avoiding. Often you are just avoiding the hard for comfort and familiarity in the easy.

4. Let yourself adjust to the discomfort. As you become acclimated, much like jumping into a hot bath or a cold swimming pool, you will find that nothing bad will happen from the discomfort. You will find the reality that many good things actually come when you are uncomfortable. You can then smile, breathe and let go of your fear of the discomfort. With that you will be free of your procrastination. One step at a time you become who you want to be.

Vacations can be wonderful, but Zen vacations  at any hotel, motel or inn will give you more than just some wonderful memories and some travel deals. They will give you the gift of Zen and peace that you can take back with you into your daily world where it will improve your life for years to come.

 

 

Vacation

Vacation Videos from VidTour You Want to Watch

Vacation V-blogs Everywhere But Which to Watch?

 

tv ghetto04 8262013 stockphotosforfree e1398055593655 300x168 Vacation Videos from VidTour You Want to Watch
Vidtour videos save you time and frustration in Europe.

Vacation videos from across the web seem to cover every inch of ground possible…save one, the ground itself. How do you get from your hotel to the metro? Then how do you get from the metro to the museum or the  sportsplex you want to go to afterward?  A little pre-trip research of the ground itself can ease your transition into a new city, country, people and culture. Experience is what makes your visit more of an ideal,  instead of a nightmare. While it is true that getting lost in a foreign land is part of the challenge, fun and learning you want to experience in Europe, letting a tourguide first show you the major, and some of the minor landmarks, is a huge advantage and time saver. Only one site among all the video travel sites out there actually let you see the ground in a manner similar to what you will actually see when you are walking about  and that’s Vidtur.

Vidtur-European Videos

http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgc8nCTfLIKEVrnlobx7b9A

Here are two of my favorite Vidtour videos. I love all their videos but I think these two best show how much better your  trip will be once you have watched some of their videos for where ever you choose to visit in Europe. Rick’s guides and videos offer reviews and synopsis of every aspect of daily living in Europe so that you can blend in with the natives. He wants to give you more than just how to take advantage of travel deals, cheap flights and discount vacation packages.  Rick’s vids are more than a bunch of hype. His background street level knowledge will help you know if any of those cheap vacation packages you find on the net are really worth the savings.   Vacation deals are only deals when you really know what you want to experience and you are getting that experience at a great price. If you are not, then you are likely not getting the quality deal you deserve.

Traveling to Paris on a budget – the best tips

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQtBOgCVjiI

Summer in Paris, France – Quartier Latin 2012 - 10 minutes walk around

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_AGK-rI-mGc

Rick’s vast and detailed information about Europe and traveling on the continent,  is the reason I placed Rick Steves’ Europe on the short list for ground knowledge. He has video correspondents who have traveled Europe extensively as well as those deeply enriched in specific countries in Europe.

Welcome to Rick Steves’ YouTube Channel

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZkvwXqTlAU
You can be a tourist or you can be a temporary European while traveling in Europe. Giving you a choice of how to travel  is what Rick Steves and his team aim for.  Rick’s lectures teach you how to enjoyably blend so that your trip is everything you want it to be. Understanding the cultural nuances in Europe will allow you to keep your trip cheap, relaxing, enriching and easily repeated in years to come.  Sure there are cheap vacation packages out there. A lot of last-minute vacation deals too. The trick is knowing if any of those last-minute vacation deals are really deals and that requires more background and street level skills than many synopsis and reviews ever give.

Rick Steves’ Lectures: European Travel Skills

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4V6VVuwBfM

 Learn the travel skills you need to really enjoy all of Europe with the ease of a native.

Rick Steves’ Lectures: France – Travel Skills

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kfPteY9SW8

To travel  in France like a local, you have to know what you don’t know you need to know before you go. That’s where Rick Steves French skills videos are so important. Every country as little nuances that make it unique and enjoyable to the initiated. For the uninitiated, such differences can challenge and even ruin your entire time.

Rick Steves’ Lectures: in Italy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0g9vEeA0VM

Meet the Italian people and ‘Melt into Italy’. That is the best travel philosophy and strategy for going to Italy according to Rick Steves and he’s right.  Your trip should give you more than it costs. So many great vacation planning vids out there. Each one is a chance to lay the groundwork for a more successful vacation experience to anywhere in Europe you might desire to go.

cropped-sleeping-89197_640-Pixaby-Royaty-Free1.jpg

Hotels the Top Experiences…Unlocking the 10 Keys Part 3

Hotels and motels sometimes have problems.flowers 276014 1280free use Pixabay 300x190 Hotels the Top Experiences...Unlocking the 10 Keys   Part 3

 

Today one of these problems is yours. So let’s get started with a quick review of where we are at. You have your story and what you want.  You are in control of your end of the game. You have a manager button holed and he has heard your plea. Now is the time to…

Key 7 Be patient, Hotels Really Like It When You Do This

 

The situation will often be solved immediately. Staff of most hotels tend to be customer service professionals who want to have satisfied guests. With that in mind, some problems are beyond their control or take time to fix. No one on staff wants the elevator to break down and it will take a bit of time for the plumber (even one on 24-hour call) to come and fix that broken shower. If you are pressed for time, such as needing a shower before a business meeting, ask for a backup plan, like being able to take a shower in another room or the spa.

Key 8 Be persistent

 

If you find yourself in a situation where the person with the power to fix the problem appears to be unwilling to help, ask again. Ask a third time if needed. And even a fourth and fifth time or more.  The number of times is irrelevant.  Stay polite and cool.  Keep stating your need for a solution in a persistent manner.

Key 9 Be flexible

 

From time to time your solution is not an option for the hotel. Ask for alternatives and consider them with an open mind. Is your vacation ruined by losing some imagined view? Let’s hope not. Find the humor in the situation and stay positive.

Key 10 Take it home

 

The best resolutions happen at the hotel.  There is a chance though that the staff might not be able rise to your expectations. To that end, you should think like a reporter and keep notes of the Five W’s. You will need to note what happened, who you talked to, when and what was said.  Back home, you can call the credit card company (always use one for your stays) and write a letter to the hotel’s General Manager. It should take a couple of weeks for a reply but most hotels will respond with an apology, a partial refund, an offer of a reduced rate in the future or some other form of compensation. For chain hotels, do not escalate your letter writing to the chain’s CEO unless you fail to get satisfaction from the hotel staff.

When you have a complaint, remember that hotel staffers are normal people with normal human imperfection; things go wrong more than anyone likes and that more than likely this problem will be fixed without ruining any of your vacation. In fact it could be a positive little adventure to laugh about later. Remember, to revisit and praise (in writing is good) any hotel , motel or inn that solves your problem in an efficient manner.

Hotels

3 Vacation Videos on Sonia’s Travels Must Watch and Love

3 Vacation Videos You Must Watch and Will Love on Sonia’s Travels

Another vacation  no just visiting laura in the hollywood hills  5917367360 612 × 612 Wikipedia public domain 150x150 3 Vacation Videos on Sonias Travels Must Watch and Love Today we are talking style in vacation videos.  No video blog I’ve ever watched has had better style than  Sonia’s Travels. She has wit, class, great ideas to help make your travels more enjoyable, and of course style. But don’t take my word for it. Go to her video blog and see for yourself.

Sonia’s Travels

http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqZ2HZqow7l35qrhH-DBo4w

Sonia Vacation Videos

While there you need to watch three of my favorite Sonia vacation videos.

First up is Sonia’s “About Sonia’s Travels”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_6uldisWr0

For a great overall intro to the lovely Sonia and her travels, you could not get a better trial run than ‘About Sonia’s Travels’.  In less than five minutes you will have joined the fan club. Don’t wait. Click the link above and watch. No need to describe her. It’s right there in front of you and I can not do her proper credit. You will just have to see for your self.

Travel Tips Vacation Videos

Travel Tips: Learn Languages & Shooting Sonia’s Travels!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29axZ6sD0xA

My second favorite v-log, well it’s not really second, but that’s because I enjoy all her blogs. However it’s one of her insight blogs: Travel Tips: Learn Languages & Shooting Sonia’s Travels! This v-log has probably one of the greatest insights into both her video blog philosophy and herself. The big plus here is you can see how she has changed up her presentations and made them really entertaining. I liked that. But what I really liked was her tips for languages, and not just because it very much agrees with my but because so few people actually recommend that you learn more than one foreign language. Brilliant. Go. Go. Go. Watch.

Dann kommt der Dritte. (Then comes the third.)

Travel Berlin: Prenzlauer Berg – Boho Chic

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUbYZAnImzA

If you have never been to Germany, let alone Berlin, this is a great place to start dreaming. One of Sonia’s greatest strengths is that she takes you into the everyday of the places she visits to see life away from the touristy areas, though she does cover some of them as well. You get to meet the people and see the life in those lands. It’s why you want to travel. Mit Sonjia die Welt lebendig.(With Sonjia the world comes alive.)

 Wait More Vacation Videos

Ok. I said three, but I am going to add two more for fun. The first:

Travel France: Swimming under Roman Ruins in France

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1os4eBOF7zU

Watching this one brings out one of her best traits. She tells you things you will not find in the travel guides, like you really want to bring your bathing suit when you go.  This I did not know about this particular location. Now I am better armed when I go there. You will be too. And now, as all good things eventually must, my last recomendation. It is also her most recent one. It’s short, simple, brilliant, and totally doable. Go. Enjoy.

One Last Video

My next installment is coming soon…it promises to give you what you do not know. But I will leave you with this one last vid, everybody likes to save money.

Travel Tips: Save Money in 2014!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bStNx3BwndA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hikes, Adventure and Travel