By Tom and Anita Kando
We have traveled a lot. Been in all five continents. Learned a lot, both from our mistakes and from our successes. Now, when we see people spending their travel time and money the wrong way, it upsets us. Such a waste.
The biggest mistake people make when they travel is LOCATION. There should be a travel adage similar to the one in Real Estate - Location, Location, Location.
We don’t mean that you should choose one country or region over another. No. What we mean is that once you have selected your destination, it is imperative that you locate yourself properly.
And this means, first and foremost, a CENTRAL location. You MUST STAY where the action and the beauty are.
The first time we took our children to Venice, in order to save ourselves a few Euros, we stayed in Mestre, an industrial suburb. This was a mistake. We realized this on subsequent visits to the fabulous water city. In Venice, you want to wake up to the sound of cooing pigeons, medieval church bells, and the ethereal near-silence of a car-free city. You want to have breakfast on your balcony and look down upon canals, vaporetti and gondolas. Staying in a modern high-rise hotel in the suburbs is a waste of money. Might as well stay home and rent a video.
It’s the same thing wherever you go. Take Las Vegas - also a fabulous city, regardless of what your snob friends who have never been there might tell you: friends of ours stayed in some Travelodge-type hotel near the airport. How stupid!
For $30 more per night, they could have gotten a room at any of the mega-hotels on the strip - the Treasure Island, the Luxor, maybe even the Bellagio. When in Vegas, don’t EVER stay anywhere but on the strip. There, you will swim, eat, relax, shop, see shows and be in awe of the world’s largest hotels, their special effects and artificial environments. Truly one of the Seven Wonders of the world.
In Hawaii it’s essential to stay ON THE BEACH. That is, at a hotel where you can walk out of your bedroom in your bathing suit and dive into the surf, twenty yards away. Don’t skimp. Pay the extra $60 per night.
In Paris, stay within the first 10 or 11 arrondissements. In Rome, stay within walking distance of the Forum or the Pantheon. In Sidney, we stayed in Kings Cross. Some feel that the area is too racy, but we found it colorful and fun.
You say, Ha! Easy for you to say, fat cat! But we ain’t fat cats. We still manage to stay at hotels for under $100 in many places, and we can’t remember the last time we paid over $200. We don’t travel like kings, we just travel smart.
Plus, think of this: often when you try to skimp by staying in an outlying area, you end up spending a fortune on cabs, car rentals, parking and other transportation. In most cities - Vegas, Rome, Amsterdam, Sidney, Tokyo - a car is a terrible liability.
In sum: go where the action is. Go CENTRAL. If you don’t, you’ll miss the essential experience for which you came.leave comment here
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
By Tom and Anita Kando