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,
Do you have any recommendations for people who don’t like flying but would like to visit Europe?
Cheers,
Continental Bound

Dear Continental Bound,
I do!  I can’t guarantee you’ll like them, but there are a few tips to consider (assuming you’re coming from the United States):

  • You could cruise there!  There are a few groups that cruise to Europe and have some time there before sailing back or continue to cruise around Europe itself.  Beware, however, that these are typically very expensive trips to take.
  • If you have flown before in the United States, then it is worth saying that except for takeoff and landing, flying overseas typically means a calm, smooth flight.  There is very little air noise or turbulance. The large size of the plane creates a much more secure feeling than domestic flights, so if you have other methods that work for you (like perhaps a sleeping pill and an eye mask), you may be able to handle the flight better than you do domestic flights.
  • Buy a first class ticket!  Yes, the price increases significantly with a first class ticket, but, you’ll have plenty of room, and a full bed, a flight attendant dedicated to only a few passengers (and on some airlines, dedicated to you alone), priority everything, (like first on board and first to get off the plane), free drinks, table service food, and an overall great experience.  That, combined again with whatever methods tend to keep you calmest, should make for the best possible experience.

-Lauren Globe.

Dear LaurenGlobe,
Is it better to buy a dual voltage hair drying in the US along with a converter, or is it better to pick up something in my destination?
Thanks in advance,
Dual Thoughts

Dear Dual Thoughts,
I would do some research first about where you are going.  Will you be staying at a hotel? If so, call and ask about the dryer.  I always recommend using a converter when traveling overseas, but a converter typically cannot support items that draw a lot of power, like hair dryers.  If your hotel supplies one, then you’ve got nothing to worry about and can use theirs. Every AirBnB we went to in Italy also had a hairdryer, but you can message your host ahead of time to ask.  If not, I would recommend buying a hairdryer while you are there. If you’re going to spend the money to buy a dual voltage hairdryer, you might as well spend the money while you’re there if you can’t find one to use, because then you don’t have to worry about the weight and space the dryer will take up in your luggage on the way overseas.  
-Lauren Globe.

Dear LaurenGlobe,
Do you feel that the Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine, Florida is still a significant historical fixture, or is it geared more towards tourism now?
Sincerely,
Florida On My Mind

Dear Florida On My Mind,
Thanks for asking!  I love Florida and live quite close to St. Augustine, so I go there often.  The great news is that if anything, Castillo de San Marcos (aka, The Fort), has even better historical interpretation.  At least once a day they shoot off canons for the children, they have ample tours and interpretive signs, and explain the history of the events of the fort quite well.  Yes, tourism has increased in St. Augustine, yet that has actually increased the historic sites available to see there now. Did you know there is now an interactive Colonial Quarter, Fort Mose is better than ever, and you can take a wonderful ferry ride to Fort Matanzas across the bay?  The learning opportunities in St. Augustine are forever growing, and the tourists are helping to support those sites (while also bringing a demand for other attractions, like the Pirate Ship boat ride)!
-Lauren Globe.

Dear LaurenGlobe,
What are the best resources to find cheap flights, hotels, and car rentals?
Thanks,
Love To Save

Dear Love To Save,
I like to use a combination of sites when searching for travel.  This partially depends on where I’m going and what my needs are, but:

  • I like to use skyscanner.net for flight comparisons (though if I’m going domestic, I also look up Southwest Airlines as they don’t appear in third party searches)
  • I typically use booking.com to look up my hotel prices.  Always check to see about booking directly with the hotel you want, however, and do a general search online once you’ve chosen a place you like.  Booking.com will give you a general sense of prices and many times the best price, excellent reviews, and occasionally room perks like free breakfast.  
  • Car rentals are hit and miss.  I always find out what car rental companies are near the most convenient place to pick up and drop off my rental first, and then I check their website.  I also do a search online for the name of the company and coupon code to try and apply the code and see if that helps. Then, finally, I go to a third party site and see if they can beat the price.  If not, that’s when I book. 

-Lauren Globe.

Dear LaurenGlobe,
How can one best travel across the Great State of Texas?
Looking Forward,
Long Ranger

Dear Long Ranger,
It depends on what speed you want to go.  A quick trip, then fly across, of course, but I take it from your question that you want to see things more up close.  Flying is still an option if you are moving across large regions of the State and don’t want to spend hours at a time driving in between.  Driving gives you the most flexibility, but again, takes more time. If you’re going to drive, and you’re going to take your time, I recommend considering an RV.  You can rent an RV if you’d like, or borrow one from a friend (or buy one if you’re very committed to this adventure!), but however you get one, an RV will let you go where you need to, includes your meals an accommodations, and will allow you to feel like you’re in no hurry to get anywhere.  With the now commonplace practice of boondocking, there’s no need to feel in a rush to get anywhere. No matter what you chose to do, however, you can’t go wrong on a trip across Texas.
-LaurenGlobe.

Be on the lookout for future monthly editions of Ask LaurenGlobe, and if you want to submit a question, please click here!  If you’re interested, you can check out past editions of Dear LaurenGlobe 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.