• Caroline Donough

If I Had Just Three Travel Tips to Share...

... they would be: Choose a centrally-located hotel Location, location, location. I know, I know, I'm quoting real estate. But hotels aren't all that different because they'll be your base when you're travelling, which is why I think location should be a key consideration for any holidaymaker. Generally, the more central your hotel's location, the more likely you are to have everything you'd need close by to get the most out of your trip:

Shops ✔️

Restaurants ✔️

Pubs ✔️

Bistros ✔️

Entertainment ✔️

Attractions ✔️

Banks ✔️

Transportation ✔️

... the list could go on. It's a no-brainer, really, and when I think about hotels around the world where I've stayed, two that seem to always spring to mind are The Rubens at the Palace in London and Hotel Duquesne Eiffel in Paris. They both tick all the boxes for me and I just love them. Keep in mind, though, that each city in itself has different districts, and each district has its own unique vibe (whether it's culture, shopping, nightlife or something else), so it's important to choose an area with a vibe that's right for you.

e-Caroline.com | If I Had Just Three Travel Tips to Share...

Verona, Italy

Another key benefit of staying in a central location, in my opinion, is that in the unlucky event that you need help, you'll have medical, police, embassy or insurance assistance within easier reach. Touch wood, but you never know. It's also about saving time if you think about it. Imagine staying at a hotel that's on the outskirts of the city. That would translate to a longer commute just to go out and come back each time. Not ideal because when you're on holiday, time is gold. I'd make an exception for scenic destinations like Giverny or the Grand Canyon for example, in which case definitely stay at a hotel or lodge on site, because places of such divine beauty deserve no less than a thorough, thorough immersion.

Install travel apps on your phone Travel apps are amazing and I love how they've become the new hack. I'll admit there aren't that many apps on my phone to begin with, and that's by choice as I don't like clutter, so for travel I've cherry-picked and installed just a couple of apps that I really like. But you can certainly install as many as you want and there are plenty of travel apps to choose from. Among my favourites is Google Trips as it's such a brilliant app. It's basically a travel planner and when linked to your Google Account, Google Trips will pull all your trip details from Gmail, Google Calendar and so on, and consolidate everything in one place (did I mention I don't like clutter?), which is so neat (no pun intended!). Besides helping you to itinerarise your holiday, Google Trips does a whole lot of other amazing things, too. For example, as long as connected to the internet, it can suggest things to do, see and eat, and even help you find discounts and transportation options. Awesome app. I also have to give a shoutout to ride-hailing app, Grab. Though not a travel app per se, having cashless rides at your fingertips could prove to be very useful if you're travelling and suddenly find yourself short on cash but can't locate an ATM nearby. Most folks are already using Grab, but on the off-chance that you aren't, why not install it for your next Malaysian or Southeast Asian trip? And don't forget Uber for worldwide.

Take proper photos I don't know about you guys but selfies and selfie sticks are among my worst travel peeves. I have a hard time digesting how anyone could go on holiday and amass a memory card full of "face". It just baffles me. Some people may argue that travelling is more about the experience and not so much about the snapshots, so selfies or whatever, it's no big deal. I'm not sure I agree. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for the experience, but you know what? After your holiday is over, your photos will be one of the most prized momentos you will ever have from your trip. It may not seem like it now, but they will come to mean something one day, and that's why I firmly advocate taking proper photos. There is a difference.

e-Caroline.com | If I Had Just Three Travel Tips to Share...

Venice, Italy

Obviously, it's none of my business how people choose to capture their holiday memories, I'm just suggesting what I think is a good idea. And certainly a few selfies here and there are fine and fun, but if they make up the bulk of your photos... Well, to each their own, I suppose. Anyway... Agree? Disagree? Have your own travel tips to share? Feel free to discuss in the comments below!


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