Archive | July, 2011

We’ll need music

27 Jul

There’s one other thing you need when traveling, that I forgot to mention on my previous post… Music!

This is essential. Imagine you’ve watched all the movies your eyes can handle, or you want to cancel the other passengers’ or airplane noise, or simply to make time in that plane go by faster… Yes, you can listen to the plane stations but even better is having your own playlist. Here are 3 suggestions to have your favorite music with you at all times:

We all know iTunes…

Drag on Tape is an application where you can make a “mix tape” of videos you’ve searched (i.e. Youtube). So here you have both music and videos.

And there’s Spotify. The hot, new trend for music lovers. Quick and easy playlists plus you can share your music with friends. personally I’m using this one. It’s relatively new but so far I’m really liking it.

* membership required & in some cases purchase is necessary

Prague, Czech Republic – Intro.

25 Jul


Ahoj, Dobry Den!

This is my first time coming to Prague, and I could not wait.

I won’t lie, at first we found it a bit difficult…  A lot of people don’t speak English and some things, like menus (or part of them) are not translated.  But by the second day we understood certain things, and words, and were able to go about our day without problems.  Plus we did find some wonderful people (in restaurants, hotels, streets, etc) who did their best to help us in English, and showed great hospitality.  To those people I would like to say  Děkuji (thank you).  This was a wonderful trip.  

Hoping you enjoy yours, as much as I did, here are some tips:

  • Make copies of your passport, driver license, and credit cards.  Keep these in a separate place from the originals.  
  • As in any country, when in crowded places, keep your purse, and belongings, secure.  Tourists are the main target for pickpocketing.  
  • Bring a European adaptor and/ or converter.  The difference you ask:
    1. Adaptor works for appliances and plugs that stand the 220V outlets.
    2. converter will be needed if your appliances and plugs are for less volts than that.  Avoid burning your camera, phone, etc, or, even more, the hotel like in “Just Married” (with Ashton  Kutcher and Brittany Murphy).  :p
    You might think this is a joke but, I did see one person at the lobby asking for a hairdryer because theirs burnt – they should have used a converter…
  • Check the weather.
    This will help you decide what to pack but, remember that weather is unpredictable, especially in the summer time.  So, if traveling during this time of the year, pack for hot days but bring some things for layering in case the weather changes again.  For example, we were expecting cold weather and, when we got there, that same day it changed and it was hot.  Two days before we left, we needed our sweaters.  Thankfully, we followed our own advice and were fine.  Also, bring an umbrella because here when it rains, it pours.
  • Bring comfortable shoes, you will walk a lot!
  • Remember to set up your phone for international traveling.
    Get an international plan for the time you’ll be abroad.  If you have an iPhone, make sure your ‘enable 3D’ feature is turned off, as well as the ‘cellular data’ feature, and the roaming, so you don’t get a surprise phone bill when you get back home.  If you have a blackberry then you’re in luck with your trusty BBM – always free, no matter where you are.
  • Once you get to the Prague airport, since the exchange rate is not the best there, just exchange a small amount of money for the taxi and immediate things you might need.  Then, in the city, shop around for a good rate, and never exchange from people offering on the streets.  Some places accept cash only so make sure you do this ASAP.
  • Most places serve drinks, even cocktails, at room temperature.  You have to ask for ice, which in Czech is Led.
  • Restrooms are marked “WC”.  Have coins ready, in some you will be asked to pay.  Usually 5 or 10 crowns.
  • When paying at restaurants, if you chose to leave a tip, tell the server to add it to the total.  In some places they will bring you change based on that.  Apparently  it’s not custom to leave it at the table like in the States.
  • When taking a Taxi, make sure you call this number 14014.  This is AAA company and their drivers are more tourist friendly, and speak English.  If not, you might have a hard time communicating with the other companies’ drivers and end at the wrong place.
  • Take advantage of tours, or have an itinerary to organize your day.  This, plus carrying a map, will help you see everything you want without getting lost.  Hey, with the time you saved finding your way, you might even be able to do and see a little more.

Oh, and remember your camera!  You will want to capture every sight.

On my next posts I will take you to the places I got to see, and where I ate, and hopefully help you plan a future trip.  Believe me, you will also love this amazing city.

Time to Fly…

21 Jul

Delta Airlines was the winner for this trip…  They had the flights at the times we needed and cheaper than just about every other airline flying to Prague, Czech Republic.

Yup, this is the  destination I’ll tell you all about – Prague! –  but first, a little about how we made it there.  About 14 hours it took…  

We started our journey at the Fort Lauderdale airport.  Very organized for international travelers.  The young guy at the counter was extremely helpful trying to sit us all together in a full flight.  At the end it wasn’t possible but at least we were near each other.

We had a connecting flight in Atlanta and same experience for both flights.  Both on time, they were able to store our dresses (for the wedding we were attending)  without a problem.  Staff very friendly and ready to help in whatever they could.

From Atlanta to Prague, since it’s a longer flight, we got complimentary drinks. Including beer and wine.  We also got dinner, your choice of chicken or pasta (I know, sounds like that old commercial)  I chose the pasta, a plate of tortelini with a cheese sauce – not bad…  On the side you get a ‘house salad’ with Italian vinaigrette dressing, bread with butter, crackers and cheese, and a chocolate chip Blondie for dessert.  A whole meal!  Once we’re done with dinner they prepared the aircraft for ‘bed time’.  If you’re not sleepy or can’t sleep on a plain, you can choose to see another of the movies they show – 3 total and a couple of TV series.  In the morning you get breakfast…  Warning!!! Stay away from the english muffin with egg, it tasted like cardboard.  Thankfully they also included a banana and orange juice plus your choice of coffee, tea, water, etc.

Movie selection included:
Country Strong
King’s Speech
Harry Potter
Diary of a Wimpy Kid
And more for both kids and adults.

Based on this trip, Delta has good service, competitive prices, customer friendly crew, food, drinks and movies, everything you’ll need especially during long flights.

Prague awaits…

Stay tuned…

20 Jul


I love traveling, and every time I get to do it I come back home and tell my family and friends all the things I saw and did, most of them documented with pictures. 

For a while now, my sisters have been encouraging me to write/ blog about these trips.  I don’t consider myself a writer at all but, have finally decided to listen to them and give this a chance.  Hopefully you will find something interesting, helpful, or even inspire you to go somewhere when you read it, and see it through your own lens, whichever color it may be.

For now, I’ll start with my two recent trips…  Who knows, maybe I’ll remember some past ones or even add from my ‘day to day’ life.  Who says that with every step we take we’re not traveling towards something or somewhere?