Live and Learn

  • Plan to arrive in a strange place in daylight, with more than enough time to get to your final destination while it is still light.
  • Do not become separated.  Traveling by car is treacherous in a strange place, even though you think you know the way.  Decisions must be made with little advance warning.  Two cars will almost certainly become separated in heavy traffic, and then you can count on hours to become re-united.  Save yourself the hassle and get one car, even if you have to sacrifice flexibility.  We never wanted to separate and go our own ways – much to our surprise.
  • Rent your car with a credit card that will provide collision insurance, and deny all the rental car company’s insurance the law will allow.  Call your credit card company to be sure.
  • Have change for tolls.
  • Learn to use a Garmin – and use it.  Yes, Garmin makes mistakes, but not as many as you will, as Southern European road signs are tiny and clustered in groups of 50 or so, and sometimes point you down a dead-end street.  You might as well get a portable Garmin so you can take it with you on foot if you want to.  I can recommend the Nuvi 50.
  • Flight availabilities change quickly, so make all reservations at once.  Get together in someone’s house and get your airline tickets together, or name someone to get them all at the same time.
  • Make use of public transportation and taxis when possible.  European trains and taxis are wonderful and on time.
  • If you can swing it, private bedrooms are a real plus!
  • We believe God loves a happy traveler.  So, if you are us, budget an extra $400 for wine alone (that’s about a bottle a day per person).  Italian wine is plentiful, excellent and cheap, but even so . . .
  • Make use of your local cook if you can.  The meals were a real bargain, and the quantities fed us for two days each.
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