FD 249 – Panties are So Overrated!

Made Ya Look! Ha Ha…No panties here, but there is a story.

Panties
Ha, Ha!

Ok, if any of you are watching me on Facebook you will see that the time has finally come.  I have resigned my position here in Kabul, Afghanistan.  Yeah for me! :)  This job was just getting too crazy.   I was expected to make wine from scratch, using one foot to squish 2 grapes and make a whole bottle, all that while chewing bubble gum, patting my head and jumping up and down.  Sounds like the definition of chaos doesn’t it.   On a positive note I will say that I have met a ton of great people and will miss them dearly.

It has been seriously quite on LizForADay, because my work was killing me.  I could not bear to look at my computer screen in the evening when I got off.  I know once I finally get out of here my mind will be free.  I just want to go, but my flight doesn’t leave until tomorrow.  That’s a bummer.

My boss really expects me to keep working after I told him I quit.  What a crock of shit. (Sorry for the foul language)  I will wash my mouth out with soap later.  That is only if the ingredients are all natural of course.  You really are trapped here until they let you out.

Any who, back to the Panties thing.  When I packed all my stuff, I made a conscious decision to not take any old underwear or socks with me.  So basically as I wear them, I am tossing them.  That may sound strange, but who whats to start the next chapter in their lives like that, basically with ragged stuff.  Not me! The people who will be in danger is the garbage pickers.  :)  Ha!  Even I had to laugh at that.  :)

Consider that a travel tip! Don’t say you never got anything out of reading my crazy post. :)

Tonight I will be having diner with some of my work family as a final farewell.  I wish I could go up to the posers and tell them not to pretend with me and begone. Those are the folks that say they really hate to see you leave, but are secretly sharpening the knives to take you out when you go down a dark alley.  Dark alley, because the are cowards and they don’t want anyone to see them.  (Sorry for the Rant)  Unfortunately, my mom taught me to be nice and when I talk about my work family I’m not talking about them.  Those Dirty Dogs!  (Sorry…..Let it go Lizzy….Let it Go!)

So I’m off to have a little adventure before heading home and I will let you all know how things turn out.

Panties
Night, Night Time

Your Lurvly and Fantabulous Lizzy :)

Tonight TV Show “Once Upon A Time” [otw_is sidebar=otw-sidebar-6]

Panties questions:

Seriously does throwing away underwear after you wear them sound crazy when you are traveling? :) You know my answer.  

FD189 – Hotel Booking Tips to Peace of Mind

Hotel Booking Tips
Travel Tips

Hotel booking tips may not seem like something you need.  Let me tell you I could have use some of these tips myself when I started traveling.  Booking a hotel is never easy.  Searching the internet can give you tons of choices, but it can still be a crap shoot.  I know you all are itching to see my hotel room in Bali, but you will have to patient.  I’m a bit behind on my postings because the internet is a bit slow when it comes to uploading pictures.  Plus I wanted to make sure I shared some great travel tips with you.  So here ya go….

16 Hotel Booking Tips to Give you Peace of Mind ……..

  1. Ask a friend to recommend (I’m a poet and don’t know it.) :) You would be surprised how many of your friends have been where you want to go.  The best recommendations are first had acknowledgements of great places to stay.  Don’t be shy, ask!
  2. Carve out time to research.  The internet is really a terrific source of information.  It actually can be a bit overwhelming, but hang in there.  There are some great deals to be had & you can get exactly what you are looking for. The walk in rate for a hotel room can be off the hook high.  There is never a need to walk in.  You can book a hotel stay with your smart phone from the hotel parking lot if need be.  You should never have to pay a full walk in rate.
  3. These hotel booking tips are a must.  Stay within your price range, don’t forget tax.  People don’t think about the tax when budgeting their vacation.  Taxes can dive the room rate way beyond what you had planned to spend.  Taxes/VAT around the world where I have stayed range from 20%-30%.  Yes that is a lot, but it is true.  Make sure those darn taxes are within your budget.
  4. Book in advance.  I guess that goes with number 3.  Not only will you save money, but you will have peace of mind knowing that a comfy bed is awaiting for you at your destination and the pillow has your name written all over it.  You don’t want to be stuck in a town with a huge convention going on without a reservation.  Plus, again, you get exactly what you want by booking ahead. Here are a couple of internet booking sites I use Travelocity.com , Expedia.com & Booking.com
  5. Specify Smoking or Non Smoking.  Remember these hotel booking tips are based on my first hand knowledge.  I worked in the hotel industry and know that it is great to state you preference for room type when it comes to what type of smoke scent you would like in your room.  However, this is just a request.  If you are the last room to check in you will get whatever is left.  Although most hotels will move you to your preference the next day.
  6. Know the cancellation policy.  I always make sure that I can cancel my reservation if needed with little to no penalty.  Watch out!  Many rooms booked on line are non refundable, but you can find some with great cancellation policies.  Sometimes you have to pay a bit more per night.  If you think it won’t happen, well think again.  It can happen, so why not play it safe.
  7. Stay above floor 1 and under floor 7.  I just don’t like staying on first floors, so that is a personal preference.  However the under 7 rule is a safety precaution.  Did you know fire truck ladders can not go beyond the 7th floor?  So stay low if possible.
  8. Look for hotels with safes in room. This is not a deal breaker.  Often safety deposit boxes are available at the front desk. You may not see them, but ask. You could also bring a real lock that is not TSA for locking things up in your bag while you are out having fun.  Just make sure it will fit before you leave home.
  9. Get the amenities you want.  Don’t leave it to chance.  When you book rooms online you can choose filters that let you search for rooms the way you want them.  Searches include location, room types, price ranges, internet, fitness center and the list goes on.  Know what you want and filter it.
  10. Stay close to amenities.  If you want quite, stay outside the city limits.  Just know that places will be harder to get to.  You will probably be able to take some type of taxi, bike or shuttle service.  Make sure you ask about this.  I personally like to stay in the city, so I can walk, walk, walk.  Believe me taxi service can add up over the length of a trip.
  11. Shuttle service.  This is one of the overlooked hotel booking tips most people don’t think about.  Having a shuttle service that picks you up from the airport, takes you places in the city can be a huge cost savings for you.  That is money back in the budget to do things you want to have fun doing.  Always ask if your accommodations include this smart extra.
  12. Are meals included? Here is another smart move on your part.  Try to find a great place with breakfast or dinner.  On this trip to Bali, I was able to get breakfast in the morning and tea service in the afternoon.  That is money that can stay in your pocket.  Don’t discount meals.
  13. Room service.  Are you a late night person?  Then you may want to consider staying somewhere with 24 hour room service.  It may not seem important until your stomach starts eating itself and there is no where to get food.
  14. Gratuities. Here again gratuities may already be a part of your end of stay billing.  Personally I have never left a tip in the room.  It is best to catch the person that services your room if you want to give them a tip.  Plus I think it is so much better to give a big thank you with a smile to go along with money.
  15. Consider guest houses. Personally I think guest houses can be a better deal if you can find one with everything you need.  The staff focuses on your needs at a more personal level.  You may have to give up some of the amenities that you are looking for.  There are definitely some good deals on guest house if you are not too picky.
  16. It’s ok to haggle.  Internationally most countries will allow you to bargain with them on the price of the room.  Even if they don’t budge on the room rate, you could possibly get some extras thrown it.  That is like money in your pocket.

Fun Factoid hotels don’t have 13 floors.  For obvious reason.  :)  Good luck if you find one that does, and you get put there.  :)  Really they don’t.  Hotels know people see them as bad luck,  so why take the chance of having unsellable rooms.

That’s it for the Hotel Booking Tips.  You will have a good nights sleep where ever you go if you follow the tips above.  Trust me on this one.  :)

Your Veteran Hotel Booker Lizzy :)

Hotel Booking Tips Questions?

Do you have some great tips to add?

What tip would you consider at the top of your list?

Hotel Booking Tips
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FD186 – Grabit Button Love / Swap & How to Make Your Own

Swap is good for all of Nov 2012

Coming Up – Hotel Review for Premier Inn Oasis Dubai Hotel

FD187 – Packing Tips for the Expat on the Move

I  didn’t blog yesterday because I was busy wrapping up all the hanging chads in my office & room.  That is so appropriate for someone who lives in Florida, isn’t it?  I was suppose to change rooms & then I wasn’t, then I was & then I wasn’t.  AWWWWWW… :-x  OMG all my crap is still packed, but I didn’t move.  So when I get back I have to unpack everything.  I have come to the conclusion that I have too much stuff.  You know how hard it is to admit that. :(  I am in no way in denial.  Oh well…

Note:  I wrote this while I was on the plane so excuse the switching of word tenses.  I am going from past to present to past tense.

My thoughts for this morning….

I am so ready to get the heck out of here.  Now I just need to do some meditation to let go of all the crap that I am leaving behind.  I don’t want to think about it but sometimes I can’t help it.

Working overseas and going on vacation is like jumping off a cliff (the cliff being work) and jumping into cold water (the vacation).  There is nothing in between to buffer the transition.  Everything inside of you wants to hang on the that darn cliff like your life depended on it.  And then again sometimes work is like a bad dream that haunts you when you are sleeping and sometimes during your waking hours. Here are some packing tips to alleviate some packing stresses.

Packing Tips for the Expat on the Move…..

1. Make sure all your travel docs are in order.  This really should be done well in advance.

Packing Tips Indonesia Bali Ubud
Travel Docs up to date.

2. Make sure you inform your credit card company/companies and banks to let them know where you are going.  I was able to do this online.  I just had to fill out a simple form with dates, what country I would be visiting and contact info. Yours may require something different. If you have a decent bank, they will cut your card off, because of unrecognized usage.  Mark my words on this one.  Been there, done that.  :)

3. This is where you need to have mad skills.  If you think you need everything that you use on a daily bases, you are wrong.  You don’t.  I only packed twice this go round which is great for me.  So gather everything you WANT to pack together.

4. Now downsize.  Take some of that stuff out of the pack pile.  Believe me you can do without it.

Packing Tips Packing Try

 

5. Put everything in your bag.  And I mean everything to include your tooth brush.  I was able to get everything in on this step.

Packing Tips Winter Coat in Bag
This is my winter coat in space bag. Had to take it because it will be cool as all get out in Kabul when I get back.

 

6. Take everything out again.  Yes that is right, dump it out.  Don’t worry it will not take that long.  Just think about it.  Surely you can ditch a few more things.  :roll:

7.  Very Important, the close factor…Everything & I mean everything must go in plastic.  This is recycling at it’s best.  I always have some bags hanging out just waiting to be reused.  This is the perfect venue.  I also actually purchased some Space bags that are made specifically for putting in your luggage.  They are great, but not necessary.

I also reuse my Ziploc bags so I have tons of them also to use for packing.  You can put your socks, underware, tolietries and the kitchen sink if you have not downsized it out into plastic also.  When you get done your bag will look like your grandmothers sofa that nobody sits on, that has that thick layer of plastic, that is in the living room nobody uses.  :)

Packing Tips
It is about 12 items in that bag. I did good.

It is better to be safe than sorry.  Besides your bag will be super organized & easy to close. Hence the close factor.

8. Next, don’t be afraid to lock up everything.  I know that anybody can get in those TSA locks, why make it easy for the criminals.  Just remember not to put your grandmother’s engagement ring or your birth certificate in your check in bag.  BAD, BAD, BAD idea.  A criminal will take as much time as they can to get the good stuff.

Packing Tips Luggage Locks
As you can see I have a lot of locks on this bag.

9. One of the best investments you can make is to get a portable scale.  If you have a bad back, this won’t work for you.  As you can see from the image above the is a hook that you use to suspend your luggage from.  The reading is quick so if you are strong enough it should not be a problem.  Just be careful and all will go well.

Packing Tips Portable Handheld Luggage Scale
This is the handheld luggage Scale I used. I needed my bag to be under 23Kg and it was actually 22.5Kg.

Since I travel so much I invested in this baby and it has paid for itself by saving me over baggage weight fees.  Make sure you always go online and check out what the airline weight limits are for the carrier you will be taking.

Sad story…

It is a story that I hate to tell, because it brings up feelings of embarrassment.  :oops:  This is where you benefit from “Life as I Live It”  Or should be living it.  :)  I don’t want you to pay an arm and a leg..so here it is… When I went to Africa, on one leg of the trip, I had to pay over $400 for over weight bags.  Which in my defense was because the airline had lost my bags and they did not return it to me for 4 days.  So I had to get some more clothes.  Big mistake as you can see.

Yes the tears were a flowin that day.  I couldn’t believe it.  So don’t do as I did.  :(

10. Don’t wait until the last minute if you can help it.  That is a sure fire way to forget something.  Have your bags by the door or in the car ready to go.

This is what works for me, You should try it, It just might work for you.

Stay tuned for Part II  of today’s post.  I need a nap.  :)

Also don’t forget to join in on the Gabit Button Swap.  (Grabit Button Luv/Swap)

Your Expat on the Move Lizzy :)

Packing Tips Questions?

Do you have some packing useful packing tips to share?

Do you have a packing disaster stories?