SCOUT­ING THE AREA

Sunday Herald Sun - Escape - - YOUR VIEW -

Ial­ways do a Google street view in a two- to three-block ra­dius of where I am stay­ing so I can get a feel for what is around be­fore I get there. I also check out the best deals for pub­lic trans­port. For ex­am­ple, the sub­way in NYC: it is cheaper buy­ing a weekly or monthly pass and less has­sle. LISA LEWIS

AMAZ­ING OUT­LETS

Re­cently my wife, mother, mother-in­law and three chil­dren (10-year-old and twins, 8) trav­elled to the US for a hol­i­day. For our last night we stayed at the Howard John­son Ana­heim Ho­tel in Cal­i­for­nia and booked the Ci­tadel Out­lets ex­pe­ri­ence for our fi­nal day.

A shut­tle es­corted us to the Out­lets where our lug­gage was se­cured with cen­tre man­age­ment. The cen­tre pro­vides a com­fort­able area with lounges, food and bev­er­ages, in­ter­net ser­vices and lux­ury bath­rooms with show­ers to freshen up af­ter shop­ping. A shut­tle re­turns in the evening to es­cort you to LAX for your the flight home. The Ci­tadel Out­lets was a great way to end the trip for young and old. Also a good way to spend any left­over money burn­ing a hole in your pocket. MICHAEL GIB­SON

PIL­LOW FRESH

When cruis­ing on those big ocean lin­ers I take my own pil­low and an ex­tra pil­low­case. Like any ho­tel, the sheets and pil­low­cases are clean and changed fre­quently but not the pil­low it­self, mak­ing me won­der if the pre­vi­ous pas­sen­ger had a cold or had been sick. JANE MACILWAIN

BYO RE­FRESH­MENTS

I al­ways carry my favourite cof­fee bags and ex­tra tea bags as there is never enough in ho­tel and mo­tel rooms. I also take packet soup mix for late stopovers that will keep you go­ing un­til break­fast. EILEEN POW­ELL

EUROPE CON­NEC­TIONS

One thing that stuck with me about my trav­els through­out Europe is that it’s in­cred­i­bly well con­nected with trans­port. You can be scout­ing a seafood mar­ket in Naples one mo­ment, and float­ing down the Vl­tava River in Prague the next sim­ply by us­ing trains and buses. Sur­pris­ingly, rid­ing around Europe like this is not as ex­pen­sive as you would think. I strongly rec­om­mend us­ing an ag­gre­ga­tor web­site such as goeuro.com to make the most out of the cheap and ac­ces­si­ble trans­porta­tion net­work in Europe and dis­cover the plen­ti­ful nooks and cran­nies the won­der­ful Con­ti­nent has to of­fer. RAY SERAFIN

TRAIN TRAVEL

On my re­cent trip to Spain and Por­tu­gal I used the train to travel across the coun­try as it was quicker and good value for money. Your car­ryon can fit into the over­head lock­ers in the cabin but any­thing larger needs to go into the lug­gage racks. I al­ways try to sit close to the racks so I can keep an eye on my suit­case, es­pe­cially if there are sev­eral stops. Try to pur­chase tick­ets on­line and look at the seat map and choose your seat ac­cord­ingly.

This will save you a lot of un­nec­es­sary stress wor­ry­ing about some­one steal­ing your suit­case. AGGIE DE

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