Tracker1312 spent $2,200 per person, including air fare, on a two-week honeymoon in England last fall. Above, the Lower Avon River in Bath.
Photo: Dennis Johnson, Lonely Planet Images
by Wendy Perrin
Readers have been sharing such nifty nuggets of advice in our "Comments" threads lately that from now on I'm going to highlight a few each week:
(1) On whether it's safe to drink the water on flights within foreign countries:
wrote, "Always treat the food and drink on the airplane as you would the food and drink at your departure airport. In the third world always drink carbonated and break the seal yourself (so you can be sure the bottle was not reused). And no ice. Coffee and teas don't get hot enough to be sure they're safe."
(2) On stretching your dollar in Europe:
Tracker 1312 wrote, "My husband and I went to England last October for our honeymoon and rented a self-catering apartment, with the most gorgeous view of Bath, for $100 a night. That was with a weak dollar. We bought train passes at RailEurope.com, also in U.S. dollars, and because the trains are efficient and pretty fast, we took day trips from Bath to London, Cardiff (Wales), and Bristol. The train tickets were $400 per person for unlimited travel over 15 days anywhere in England. This included transportation when we arrived, as we took the train from Gatwick Airport to Bath and from Bath to Heathrow. It was even good on the Heathrow Express. We ate at pasty shops and a hole-in-the-wall fish 'n' chips place on the Upper Boro Walls, where we ate for $10 for both of us and had more food than we could finish. Overall, we spent, not including airfare (which was $700 roundtrip), about $1500 per person on the trip."
(3) On whether European cruises represent good value for your dollar:
Anne Campbell of ShipCriticBlog wrote, "I personally believe that cruisers can save money only when they plan ahead. Spend time on Google researching the sightseeing opportunities in port so you know what you're going to do before
disembarking the ship. And, you can decide to eliminate unnecessary purchases which drive
up the tab: alcohol, gambling, cruise line logowear, spa treatments (overpriced and below par in quality), art auctions. A dozen years ago cruise lines made money from the price of a ticket. Today it's almost entirely from onboard revenue, so there is pressure aboard ship to spend unnecessary money."
(4) On toyless ways to occupy your kids on planes, including guessing games:
Mechteach wrote, "Don't forget the ever-popular 'find the doggie' (or kitty, or R2D2, or Harry Potter) in the Skymall catalog."
(5) On the travel tips gleaned during lunch with Paula and Mike Hlastala, the Seattle couple who won this year's Behind-the-Scenes Hot List Experience:
WhataTrip wrote, "I'm a member of Omni Hotel's 'Select Guest' program. It doesn't cost
a dime to join and once you've filled out your guest preferences such as room type, feather pillows, daily newspaper, complimentary Wi-Fi and morning beverage service, all future stays are tailored to your preferences. If you are traveling with kids, request the turn down service with complimentary milk and cookies."