Five tips for summer travel

Split, Croatia

With summer travel season kicked into high gear, many of you may be thinking of planning an end-of-summer vacation. Having recently visited Canada (my home country), Italy, Germany and Croatia, I have built up a collection of helpful travel tips to share. Whether you’re headed to the Adriatic Sea or simply planning a short weekend trip away to a neighboring country, these five tips can help you make the most of your future travels: 1.    Live like a local Rent a real apartment. As much as I love great hotels, there’s nothing better than coming home to your own flat after a long day of sight-seeing. You can shop at local grocery stores and markets, wine and dine where the locals drink and eat and observe what life is really like for local residents. An added bonus, you can almost always rent flats for a great price and get a lot more bang for your buck, especially in comparison to hotels situated in touristy hot spots.  2.    Go on a food/wine/beer tour While I don’t typically have the attention span to go on a sight-seeing tour, food and drink tend to add a little excitement into the mix. My fiancee and I are always looking for ways to meet new people during our travels and so far we’ve found these types of tours to be very interactive, while also offering a little something extra for the palate! Food and drink tours are not only great for couples, they are also fun for friends travelling together, or, perhaps even the solo traveler. Typically, these tours will take you to local eateries, bars, breweries and neighborhoods where you can eat and drink like a local. Tours we’ve tried and enjoyed:

Brussels Beer Tour is fantastic for people who are interested in learning about beer and trying new beers (including Trappist beers brewed with standards and quality by monks in the monastery) . The image below was taken at the Brussels Cantillon Brewery  where we had the opportunity to try sour flat beer, the original beer without all of the additives that we’ve come accustomed to today.

3.  Do your Homework There’s no bigger let down than arriving at your hotel and/or apartment only to discover that it’s a total dump in a bad location. My advice, always check TripAdvisor (my cherished go-to travel guide) and see what the ratings and reviews say. TripAdvisor has also proven to be a helpful restaurant guide and can direct you to places with great service and food. Aside from using trusty TripAdvisor to look up restaurants and hotels, it’s worthwhile to research your travel destination prior to arriving as well. You definitely want to avoid the mistake of paying double the price for a tour ticket, or planning a shopping day in Brussels on a Sunday when everything is closed! Yes, guilty as charged for those two! 4.    Sign up for a hotel rewards program It’s well worth your while to compare and contrast between the different loyalty programs that hotel sites offer. We signed up for ‘Welcome Rewards’ with Hotels.com, where you can get one night free for every ten hotel bookings. You’d be surprised how fast 10 nights add up! So far, we’ve saved a great deal of money on our travels redeeming free hotel rooms. 5.    Take notes Purchase a small note pad that you can bring with you on your journey and jot down notes about funny things that happen and restaurants that you would return to (or if you’re more tech savvy, use your smartphone). Down the road, you’ll be happy that you can remember which trip you were on when something, perhaps, a little out of the ordinary happened..or if maybe, you’re trying to recall the name of the restaurant that served you the best pizza of your life!   Safe  travels, -Jamie ″A traveler without observation is a bird without wings.” – Moslih Eddin Saadi  

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2 thoughts on “Five tips for summer travel

  1. Two personal exeeriencps come to mind Many years I had set up and primed a pump for a Friday case that canceled due to a technicality of some sort. I left the pump thinking that the case might go after all, then forgot all about it.17 days later I was called to the hospital for a blown septum and mitral valve, and of course was the last one to the dance. There my pump sat, with the surgeon opening the chest no choice but to proceed. No problems with the circuit, the oxygenator (Terumo SX-18, probably), etc, during a 4+ hour pump run, and the patient walked out of the hospital 2 weeks later with no bugs. Fast forward to this week. Our policy is to reset the pumps after each case so there is a dry set up ready at all times. It’s covered, but there is no time limit in place. A pump primed on the previous Wednesday (case canceled) was used this week, once again for an ER, with no problems. If there are any future complications I will post them As with many other standards this one is all over the map. I am really curious about the logic of having one policy for cpb circuits, and a very different one for ECMO, as do many institutions.I would like to see a survey done, but in the interest in having support for whatever policy each staff/institution chooses to apply. I have been following this subject since that case lo those many years ago. I have never seen anyone report ANY growth in all the different permutations that have been tried through organized study or experimentation. I think the more papers and surveys we have that prove the point that sterility may be not a function of time in this case only helps all of us, no matter how conservative you choose to apply it to policy.

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