::Blogs I read::....sending-postcards::

May 31, 2010
While I'm away backpacking, cloud-hopping, and wave-riding; check out this blog. It's written by this precious couple, Alex and Mina . They sold it all, got married and embarked on an around the world trip. Follow them via:
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Hot Topic: Flying with children

May 26, 2010
This article makes me think of my childhood. My mom didn't allow me to misbehave at home, so in public there was the same expectation. Now I wasn't an angel. There was the time I practiced my gymnastics in Sears at South Park and ended up in the emergency room and that one time I decided to jump rope on the bed with a necktie. I can't forget the time I ripped off hundred of tags on random articles of clothing in a department store to play cashier with at home. So as a non parent, on the issue of flying with children, I am torn.
For the most part, *parents know their kids, but children are unpredictable. I've been on a plane, where a 10month old was in complete chill mode from take off to touch down, but I have also witnessed my mom SHUT IT DOWN on Amtrak when a child (and the parent) was being disruptive. The reality is, even though your child is the center of the universe at home, on a crowded plane there is minimal compassion.
By Christopher Elliott, Tribune Media Services

What do you think?


* I didn't just make this up. I have a degree in social work and know a little something about human behavior.
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May 25, 2010

“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller

Happy Travels,
M.
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:: Forgotten Expenses::

May 21, 2010

1) Roaming Fees: Make sure you check with your cell phone provider for international roaming charges. My carrier charges $1.69-$1.99 per min and $0.50 per text message.

2) Hotel Business Center: These vary as well. I just called my hotel in DR and it's not that bad. $4.00 for 15mins. That is more than enough time to check and send emails.

3) Postage: I have a list of about 15 people to whom I'm sending postcards. Most postcards are usually .50 each. I have no idea how much postage is going to cost. So I'll guesstimate for .75 for cards to the US and $1.00 to other countries.

What are some expenses you forgot about on your last trip?

Thanks for reading,

Meredith

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:: The pink sand of Bermuda is calling::

May 19,2010


I've finally decided on where I want to go in honor of turning 30 next year.
Let the research began.
photo courtesy of google images
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:: Proceed with Caution: Shopping while Traveling Pt2::

May 12, 2010

Part 1 was about shopping for myself, this entry is my 8¢ on buying souvenirs for friends/family.

First and foremost, everyone can not get a gift from every trip! That's just the reality or at least MY reality. It's not financially or physically feasible that each and every friend, cousin, neighbor, and co-worker get a gift. This does not mean I don't love and appreciate them and more than likely they are on my postcard mailing list.
In general, I put alot of thought into my gifts and it's not any different when I travel. I try to gift things that are practical, personal and functional. For example, my bestie is a Tea Enthusiast, so it was only appropriate that I gifted her a traditional tea set from Kyoto. My dad is simple. A baseball cap or a polo shirt. My mom is extremely difficult to shop for PERIOD. In Japan I lucked up. I got her white and pink, floor length, Kimono-style robe and she loved it. That's her late-night Bejewled playing attire! She also likes mugs, magnets and artwork.
I look for local music to gift a friend who is a music producer. He instructed me NOT to buy him a t-shirt. So people like him are easy, what they want or nothing at all. I usually don't buy things for children. Instead, I send them a postcard. Kids like to get mail, but this year I'm breaking that rule. My cousin just had a babyboy and I am smitten with him.
Only 19days til my vacations start......
Thanks for reading!
Merdi
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::Tip #2:: Currency Converter Calculator

This little thing comes in really handy for me during international trips. Even though I check Yahoo Currency Converter and have a general idea of the exchange rate, I like to know exactly what am spending in local currency and USD. I purchased one from the luggage store at my local mall. One of my biggest fears is to be on a trip and run out of money and that is what happened in Japan. Not a good look. I think I still owe my cousin 3344.58 yen. I got you girl! However, it was a lesson to always over budget and under spend.

Now that lodging, flight, and my excursions are paid for, it's time to calculate spending money. I've looked at the exchange rate trend for Dominican Peso for the last few months and it hasn't changed much, so it probably will be around the same in June. The peso oro is the currency of the Dominican Republic.


$1USD = RD$36.80

$500 USD = RD$18,400

Example: I buy pair of earring for RD$500, I paid about $ 13.65USD.


Some cellphones have a converter application, but I usually don't carry my phone out and about. This one cost approx. $15. It's the size of a credit card, fits in my wallet and simple to program.
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