Monday, January 2, 2012

Guest Post: Rolex Release

I now present to you a guest poster who is my name twin: Alex from The Rolex Release.


She's pretty much super awesome, and every time I read her blog I find myself saying "ME TOOOO" to basically everything she posts.


She and her man, Rod, are also adorable and experienced travelers.


So I leave you in her hands today! Make sure to check out her blog!

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Essential travel tips by Rolex



When Alex asked me to guest blog during her Holiday hiatus, I was so incredibly excited! I knew I would fit right in on her blog; she and I have soooo much in common! We share the same (totally awesome) name, we love cute and amazing animal stories (like this), we share a passion for blogging and we love love love to travel!

My husband Rod and I (Rod + Alex, together we are "Rolex") have recently done a lot of traveling in Europe and I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to share some travel tips and tricks with you! There were so many things we learned that will help us in our future travels!

Our top five tips:

1. Always take your camera, even if you're just running out to dinner! - This seems semi-obvious. However, it's easy to leave the camera in your hotel room when you're on your thirteenth day of vacation and you've already taken a thousand pictures. But you'll never forgive yourself when you run into something super-cool and you've left your camera behind! Rod and I were hiking in Cinque Terre, Italy when we ran across an old Capuchin Monastery. It was amazingly beautiful. We had no idea we were going to find it up in those mountains. And guess what???!!!! We left our camera behind because we thought we had taken enough pictures! Big mistake! One that I will never make again! Nor should you!




2. Send Post Cards!- Everyone always has the best intentions when it comes to post cards. We made a list with names and addresses of everyone we wanted to write. There were times when we had a hard time finding post offices or had trouble finding time to actually write the cards. But, in the end it was SO worth it! So many of our friends and family really appreciated the cards and it was all worth it when we got back to see the post-cards hanging on their fridge or on the walls of offices.




3. Stay Airbnb (http://www.airbnb.com/) - Rolex has been raving about Airbnb since we arrived back in the States. The best part about traveling is being able to experience the culture. We decided to stay in private apartments and rooms in order to help us experience this; and we will never stay in a hotel again! In each city, we rented a private residence where we had a bedroom, kitchen and washer and dryer! Our neighbors were actual Italians. The hosts (or the owners of the apartments) were always available to help with anything you need. Our host in Rome even picked us up from the airport and made us a fabulous dinner (Thanks Salvatore!)! We were able to shop for groceries and eat a meal or two "in" while sitting on our balcony and enjoying a view! Not only are the accommodations amazing, but the prices are great too! So go check it out for your next stay anywhere!


4. If you aren't going on a tour, read-up using a travel book - My grandmother bought Rod and I a book by Rick Steeves which saved us in more than one instance. We saved (literally) hundreds of dollars by doing our reading before we stayed in any city. We almost bought tickets to the Vatican for $100 per person before reading in our travel book about "pirate" travel companies that sell tickets at ridiculous amounts of money. The book gave us the official website to the Vatican, where we purchased tickets for only $15 per person (cheap - I know, right?!!!)! We were almost royally ripped off! Also, when you buy train tickets you must validate them at a small machine directly before you board the train. If you do not validate the ticket, it is a $45 fine per person! Luckily we had read about the validation prior to arriving in Italy. But we saw several people get fined for not having validated tickets. Had we not done our homework ahead of time, we would have spent much much more! So buy a book and take notes!


5. Make sure you get your passport early! Read about how to get your passport here.  Remember, your passport expires every ten years! So check your dates ahead of time! We just had a friend who went to Hong Kong. She was flying out of San Francisco and noticed that her passport was expired the night before leaving! Luckily, the passport center for California is in San Francisco so she was able to get one as an "emergency"! But it costs a lot and it a huge pain! So make sure to do this early!

*all images via Pinterest*

Rolex will use these travel tips wherever we go (which will be France next year) and we encourage you to use them as well!


Bon Voyage!


5 comments:

Mrs. Pancakes said...

These are great...I need to buy a book for where we are planning to go next...it does save time and money! Loved your pictures to go with the post too!

Mrs. Pancakes said...

Lol...I finally saw the other Alex...whenever I see her pix on your comment..I feel like its you Alex of Rolex commenting...I see the resemblance!!

Nancy said...

ROLEX Rocks!
Great tips & she always takes the best pictures!

Rod and Alex - aka: "Rolex" said...

Our book helped soooo much! I kept calling my Gramma and thanking her for it because it was so useful!!

toi said...

great tips, indeed :). AMI and I have a guide book for every place we go and because I am photo obsessed I carry the camera everywhere. Point 3 makes the difference, we tend to stay bnb when adventure travelling, that helps understand the culture more. This post makes me think about my travels. Can't wait to have the first 2012 trip :)

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