The Elizabeth Taylor Suite at the Waldorf Astoria in Manhattan.

Fifteen Tricks And Travel Tips

House in the British West Indies, Caribbean

We rented this Caribbean house at a reduced rate.

The following are some of my best tips and a few tricks for a better travel experience.

Cost Saving Ideas for Hotel Stays

  • Check hotel websites like for the best deals. During the off-season, I  had booked a room at the Waldorf Astoria and used a site that compared hotel rates. We received a deep discount on a room that was two doors from The Elizabeth Taylor Suite.  I checked my bill to ensure that my confirmed price was correct.
  • After reviewing the online prices, call the hotel and ask for their best deal.
  • If you are a repeat guest, tell the person making your reservation. They usually try to accommodate returning customers.
  • American Express Fine Hotel and Resorts Program offers a daily $100 credit and breakfast for two; and when available: early check-in, late checkout, and free upgrades. Sometimes these benefits offset a higher room rate.  Call in advance and check the upgrade possibilities, and book at the lower rate.
  • Instead of eating breakfast in the hotel, ask the concierge for a reputable local diner. In addition to leaving your hotel room early, you will likely get a better value and a good meal.
  • Take your drink of choice to your hotel room instead of using the bar or room service.

 The Convenience of Renting Condominiums, Apartments, or Villas 

  • If traveling with more than three people,  it is usually more economical to rent a condo or an apartment than book a hotel suite or two separate rooms. Also, the ability to refrigerate food is a plus.
  • Ensure that your rental has a washer and dryer and pack light.
  • Try to meet the owner. We had a situation where we had to leave a prepaid rental early. The owner worked with us so that we could use our missed days later. As a result, we are loyal customers.

Last Minute Travel Bargains

  • Sometimes, we make last-minute travel decisions, and we have found great deals. For example, I had reserved a place two weeks before a  trip during high season that would have been out of our price range. Though I was looking for a condo, the online agent found an available house and the owner reduced the price considerably to make sure that we took it.
  •  Two days before another trip, while I considered two apartments from different agencies, the condominium manager gave us a $1,000 discount to close the sale.
  • I also had booked airline flights days before travel and received a better rate than my husband who booked the same trip a month in advance. However, there is no guarantee.

Dining/Theater Reservation Tricks

  • If you are unable to reserve theater seats or another venue, ask American Express travel to check availability. We have made reservations that were presumably sold out.

Traveling and Flying With Children

  • If you are flying with a toddler, buy a bag of Dollar Store items that he/she can open on the plane. This trick has helped avoid stress for us and anyone nearby.
  • Travel with your kids, even if they are adults, because they urge you to try new activities, and family time is invaluable.

Happy travels


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Oahu, Hawaii Bus Tour — A Humorous Experience

When I was in my 30’s, I won a company sales contest. The grand prize was a trip to England or Hawaii. I chose Hawaii.

As part of my prize, my company planned guided tours on Oahu, Hawaii. I felt obligated to attend the first tour, and I disliked it and it became my first and last bus tour.

Following are some reasons why this tour influenced me to never take a bus tour again:

1. I had nothing in common with my bus mates who left the bus to take pictures of pineapples in fields and then took close-up photos of them. I wondered if they took pictures of pineapples in grocery stores.

2. My tour mates reinforced that I had nothing in common with them when they stepped off the bus again to photograph field and close-up pictures of sugarcane. At this point, I wanted to return to my hotel because I thought that I was in hell.

3. The bus driver repeated incessantly that there were no snakes on the Island. He said it so many times that I started to suspect that there were some. In addition, I had a nightmare about snakes and the bus driver.

4. I was stuck on the bus all day when I wanted to lie on the beach, enjoy a casual lunch, and read my book.

5. Everyone on the bus carried bags and cameras and resembled Terry and Tommy tourist. I hoped no one recognized me with this motley group — even though I probably fit in more than I will admit.

6. I didn’t like to get shuttled to a tourist-trap restaurant where the bus driver seemed chummy with the owner. The food was terrible and I couldn’t get a cold beer to escape my misery.

7. Everyone on the bus was old — like I am now. But even though I am old, I still won’t get trapped on a bus.

8. I prefer to eat with the locals and determine when my tour begins and ends.

This bus tour affected me for life and left me with humorous memories. However, no matter how old I am, you won’t catch me lined up to board a bus with old people like me, unless I am forced.

Lost Sock Rack

Humorous Thoughts About My Missing Socks

Lost Socks

Lost Socks (photo by dorothyadele)

Laundry Basket With Single Socks

Laundry Basket With Single Socks (photo by dorothyadele)

I have about 25 socks without their match. I wonder if someone stole the matches to the socks because they are brightly colored and extremely attractive, especially my Marilyn Monroe socks.

I stash the lone socks in a small basket in my closet hoping the mate appears. One day, my sister caught me sorting through the laundry basket of single socks and laughed hysterically.

“I have never seen anything quite like this,” she said.

So, where do the single socks go?

  1. –Some cling desperately to sweaters and pillowcases as they tumble through the dryer
  2. –Some tag along with my daughter when she leaves for school and are never seen again
  3. –Some arrive with house guests and never leave (and sometimes the house guests don’t leave either)
  4. –Some black-gold-toe socks hide in the towels and run through the bleach cycle turning them an interesting hot-pink shade with a pale yellow toe
  5. –Occasionally, a single sock sneaks into the bleach cycle transforming the pair into a black and pink set
  6. –Some disguise themselves as little balls and bury themselves in the bottom of smelly athletic bags
  7. –Some conceal themselves behind backpacks and books in the corner of the school locker and deteriorate from dry rot when they are found in June
  8. –Some stow away in hotel rooms like they don’t want to go home
  9. –Some hide in the trunk or under the seats of the car and you don’t know that they are missing until you detect an odor
  10. –Some take cover under the sofa and beds and you find them when you hear the vibration as the vacuum sucks them up and then clogs
  11. –Some transform themselves into elephant-ankle socks which occurs when my husband wears mine by mistake and pulls my dainty socks over his fat ankles
  12. –Some camouflage themselves as grey-soled shoes with white tops which happens when the kids wear them outside instead of wearing shoes (Why do they do that?)
  13. –Some hole up in boot toes and you wonder if your feet grew because your boots don’t fit
  14. –Some lay in the sock drawer longing for their perfect mate.

As a result of my missing-sock dilemma, my sister bought the “Lost Sock” rack for me shown above. My only problem is that I need about 18 more clips! Do you think that I am letting my socks run my life?