Monday, April 22, 2013

Tips from a Travel Fanatic by Patricia Sands

Rambling Reads would like to welcome author Patricia Sands to the blog today, as she gives us some advice on traveling.  Before you know it, many of us will be hitting the road for summer vacations. :)

Tips from a Travel Fanatic

As everyone who knows me is aware, I LOVE to travel. It does not matter how near or far, by what means of transportation, or how long we are staying away. I will be packed in a flash and ready for the adventure!

I thought you might be interested in some of the tips I have learned along the way.

Packing – There appears to be ongoing debate about how to pack your clothes. Bundling? Rolling? Flat? I found bundling really annoying unless everything was going to be immediately unpacked. In that case, it might be a good choice for you but I don’t think it saves that much space. Looking for items in a bundling-packed bag didn’t work for me.

My preference is to pack flat and tuck shoes around the edges of your case. I also like to use the plastic vacuum bags for t-shirts, sweaters, beachwear and undies/pjs. They allow you to put more in your bag but be careful not to use too many or your bag may be overweight. The air gets squeezed out for more efficient packing but the weight of the clothes remains the same. I learned that lesson the hard way!

I always pack an extra plastic vacuum bag for dirty laundry on the way home and one of those fold-up-into-nothing duffel bags you can use on the return trip if your retail therapy gets out of control!

Use clear plastic baggies for toiletries and travel jewelery (never take your good baubles!) and other small items, such as electronics. That way you can easily locate everything and if you have to unpack for customs, it makes things easier for everyone … less ‘stuff’ to unpack and repack. Also, officials can easily see what you have.

In the last few years my husband and I have tried, as often as possible, to travel each with a carry-on and a computer backpack that has room for my camera, kindle, etc. I’m amazed how well it works – particularly if you are going to be staying where laundry can easily be done. We find it’s such a freeing feeling to have all we need when we get off the plane and not have to hang around for luggage.

Remember you can only take small quantities of gels, creams, toothpaste, etc. Buy what you need when you get where you are going.

Here’s my basic packing formula. First, make a list! Decide on a color combination that you like. I generally stick to black and white bottoms in the summer and black and gray for colder climes.

For a two week basic trip (spring/summer/fall) with no sports involved and laundry access – 5 bottoms (wear one on plane), including one pair of jeans and one pair dress slacks, 2 tops per bottom (most of which will work with all bottoms), two sweaters, one shawl (can be dressy), one all-weather jacket with hood (which I may end up wearing on plane). 7 pairs undies, 2 bras. 2 light pjs. 1 crushable hat. If I think I will need it, I will pack one dress and one bathing suit + sarong. Flip-flops for beach. Walking sandals or trainers. Casual but dressy shoes. On plane wear comfy flats or casual runners.

Travel to cold places or in winter calls for different planning and we always end up taking a suitcase as well as our carry-on. Trips that involve tennis, golf, etc have their own special challenges. I’ll leave that for another time and hope you found some good ideas here!

Here are a couple of good travel info links:

Happy trails! Bon voyage!

Surprise, shock, and a shift in life as she knows it tumble into Katherine Price’s world when least expected. The future she envisioned suddenly vanishes, leaving little to focus on beyond her career and the caregiving her elderly widowed mother might require.
Fate has other plans for Katherine.
June in Provence is full of promise when Katherine arrives from Canada, eager to feel renewed by her surroundings. Endless rows of lavender prepare to burst into pink and purple blooms. Fields of sunflowers flow in golden waves among vineyards and olive groves. Ancient hilltop villages beckon. It’s the postcard setting she envisioned, but is that all she needs?
After a year of heartbreak, Katherine has impulsively agreed to a home exchange in the south of France. Colorful locals, a yellow lab named Picasso, and the inspiring beauty of the countryside breathe new life into her days.
Seeking to shed the pain of betrayal and loss, she struggles to recapture her joie de vivre and searches for the answer to a haunting question: is it too late to begin again?
As Katherine explores the romantic cobblestone lanes of medieval towns, the beautiful boulevards of Paris and the sun-kissed Mediterranean coast of the Côte d’Azur, unimagined possibilities present themselves. 
An enduring story of hope and change in life’s later years is woven through the author’s love-letter to France. Like a well-travelled friend, Patricia Sands invites readers into a world she loves and entices them to linger. 

"Be prepared to fall in love with Provence! This is a story that will draw you in with its vibrancy in setting and characters. A must read for any woman with a desire for romance and travel." Steena Holmes, author of Amazon bestseller Finding Emma
Patricia Sands lives in Toronto, Canada most of the time, Florida some of the time, and the south of France whenever possible. With a happily blended family of seven adult children and, at last count, six grandchildren, life is full and time is short. Beginning with her first Kodak Brownie camera at the age of six, she has told stories all of her life through photography. Her debut novel, The Bridge Club, was published through iUniverse in August 2010 and her second novel, The Promise Of Provence, will be released in early 2013.  Her stories celebrate the rewarding friendships of women and examine the challenges life often throws in our paths. Becoming a published author at this stage of her life was not on her agenda but she knows now she will never stop writing.
Patricia is a popular speaker with women's groups on the subjects of writing and self-publishing. At other events (as one half of Sommers & Sands) along with her speaking partner, author Susan Sommers, through keynotes, workshops and conferences, audiences are encouraged to embrace change and see challenges as opportunities. "It's never too late to begin something new," she enthuses. "As the saying goes, just do it! Be a possibilitarian!"