Welcome to Dear LaurenGlobe, where readers pose questions about travel directly to me, LaurenGlobe!  If you’re interested in submitting a question, please click here to Ask LaurenGlobe!

Dear LaurenGlobe,
What is your favorite thing about traveling?
Travel Curious

Dear Travel Curious,
Everything. The planning, the anticipation, and the actual experience. I love returning home even, as it gives me an appreciation for my everyday surroundings. I don’t like, however, feeling like I wish I was back where I just visited. Still, every place I go, even just domestic travel to a city I’ve been to before, adds to my knowledge about life, and I always return a slightly different person, and always for the better. Thanks for asking!

Dear LaurenGlobe,
I love you!!! Where are you going this summer?  What are you going to see?

Dear Vicarious,
Wow! Thanks for the love!
This summer I am traveling to Italy and Washington, D.C. While in Italy, we’ll be visiting Milan, Rome/Vatican City, Florence, and Venice.
I hope to hit my favorite museums in D.C. and will be visiting my good friend. I might even see some interesting 4th of July events, and will get to see a lecture by the famous historian, Gordon Wood.
I’ll be traveling to Italy with my husband and my father. We’ll take a day trip to Lake Como from Milan, and hopefully, we will meet up with my friend’s niece and her fiance who live there. In Rome, we will see the Vatican museums and historic Roman sites, and meet up with two Deacons of the Catholic Church for dinner. In Florence, we’ll have time to relax and see the Uffizi Museum, and in Venice, we will take a boat trip on the lagoon at sunset.
I’m already thinking ahead to next summer. I’ll be taking a tour group of students to Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Venice before returning home.
I hope your summer is filled with many exciting adventures!

Dear LaurenGlobe,
Why do people like to travel abroad for holidays when going through customs and airports is not a nice experience in most countries and can ruin a great holiday experience?
Holiday Travel Humbug

Dear Holiday Travel Humbug,
You have an excellent point. Sometimes, customs can be a lengthy processes that can be a source of stress, especially if you have connecting flights or other time restraints. In addition, traveling abroad can mean additional stressors, like worrying about currency and making sure your passport and required visas are up to date.
I think most people who chose to travel out of the country for major holidays, however, feel like the pros of traveling during the busy time of year outweigh the cons. Some people are tired of the same old holiday festivities, especially for holidays like Christmas when children are grown and adults can’t figure out what they want to do. Many people are just adding variety to their traditions. Some people are actively escaping their family! Staying home and dealing with family leads to different types of stress, or least can for some people, but the stress of traveling seems to be a worthy sacrifice in the name of a relaxing vacation.
I think, ultimately, those who end up with a bad travel abroad experience may not have planned enough by giving extra time for airport delays and customs or thinking of issues like currency, etc.
Those who do plan ahead, however, tend to have a great experience. They make many memories, will always remember the trip, and feel like they get more overall from the experience than they do from staying home.
If you ever need help, don’t hesitate to submit another question!

Dear LaurenGlobe,
Any suggestions for where to stay in Key West?  I would prefer somewhere without children and I don’t mind walking.
Adults Only

Dear Adults Only,
It kind of depends on your price range, but, luckily for you, Key West has a lot of awesome places to stay that are 21 and up. 21 and up can mean a variety of things in Key West, from nudist hotels to “We don’t want to see your kids while we’re drinking and tanning.”
My two favorite Key West spots are The Eden House and Orchid Key Inn.
The Eden House is about a 15 minute walk from Duval Street, and feels like a tropical oasis. There is almost no street traffic and has an incredibly relaxed tropical vibe.
The Orchid Key Inn is right on Duval Street, but you don’t hear the street noise at all. Food, drinks, and entertainment are all around you, and the hotel itself has a great mid-century modern vibe, wonderful staff, and an excellent happy hour!
Thanks for asking, and if you’re in doubt, yes, you should go to Key West!

Dear LaurenGlobe,
Is travel better going through a company, or is it better to plan travel on your own?
Yours Truly,
Easy Traveler

Dear Easy Traveler,
The answer depends on what you’re looking for. If you are looking for the cheapest way to travel, then price hunting and planning your own trip is the way to go. If you’re looking for high-end, then definitely planning your own is the best choice.
If you’re looking for something in between, then you have to weigh your options. Does traveling with strangers bother you? If so, a group tour is not for you. Many companies now offer package deals, however, that don’t require other humans, so don’t dismiss a travel package off hand. The key really rests around your flexibility. Most good deals through companies are available at off times, and departures are only from certain cities. If you live near a departure city and can go in off season, then maybe leaving the planning to someone else is worth it. For most people, however, that doesn’t work, and all the additions onto the trip, like peak season pricing and cost for a different departure city, rapidly increase the price to where the bargain travel package is now much more expensive than self-planning.
Personally, I love to plan trips, and I always weigh my planning against packages. I’ve yet to find a package that was cheaper for my availability, but as long as you’re aware of the prices of add-ons, I don’t see any reason why someone shouldn’t consider a package travel deal when visiting another country.

Be on the lookout for future monthly editions of Ask LaurenGlobe, and if you want to submit a question, please click here!

Don’t forget to read our disclaimer before taking any advice you may read on this page. My advice is given to help you plan your own travel, but it should not be taken literally and is for entertainment purposes only.