Introducing our New Travel Lifestyle Section

Departments, Planning — By on October 26, 2009 at 3:00 pm

By Patty Hodapp
LG Travel Lifestyle Editor

When I was researching for my summer trip around the Mediterranean, I scoured the pages of guidebooks, scanned travel blogs and read every article I could get my hands on. Google became my travel agent, my front desk clerk, my librarian. Through these sources, plus a few others, I found an almost overwhelming amount of information-I got the scoop on everything from cheap flights to museum hours, ferry schedules to restaurant reviews. By the time my trip arrived-I’d planned six weeks in Italy followed by two weeks of solo travel-I felt confident and well-prepared for the journey ahead.

Once I hit the road, however, I realized that I still had so very much to learn. In spite of my intense researching, the guidebooks, travel mags and even Google still hadn’t provided me with the truly critical travel information. For example, how to deflect unwanted attention from foreign men. What gear would be wasted space in my backpack. How to contact my parents from a rural Greek island with one broken payphone. I mean, where was the article instructing me on how to convince a cabdriver to commit a thousand traffic violations so I’d make my flight from the Athens airport?

One thing I wish I’d known before I took off for Europe: 99 percent of my travel-challenges would have nothing to do with booking tickets or reading maps, and everything to do with adapting to an unfamiliar environment with a culture and customs different from my own.

Because I’d never backpacked solo before-and hadn’t spoken beforehand to other travelers who had-the success of my trip was based largely on my instincts, plus a lot of trial and error. I learned the most through making mistakes, meeting locals, getting advice from fellow travelers, and just living the experience. Still it would have been great to read up on some of this info before I’d hit the ground.

While it’s all but impossible to prepare completely for what you might encounter on the road-nothing can replace the experience of just getting out and getting lost-I found that getting the inside scoop from another traveler who’s been there can save you a ton of time, money and make your trip endlessly more enjoyable.

That’s why we decided to create the Lost Girls Travel Lifestyle Section. In the coming months, we want to explore topics you don’t often encounter in glossy travel mags, from dealing with a surly travel buddy to making your long-distance relationship work to fitting a three-month getaway into your career plans. Sure, you’ll still hit countless road bumps along the way, but TL will try to cushion the ride with sections covering everything from travel how-to’s-and what-not-to-do’s.

In addition, we’ll be giving you our take (plus some expert opinions) on the nuts and bolts of travel, everything from avoiding gut-twisting backpacker bugs to reading between the lines of online hostel reviews. Below, you’ll find a breakdown of our sections and a few sneak-peaks of topics we’re planning for the months ahead. If you’ve got a tip, or are interested in penning one of these articles yourself, feel free to email me at our Lost Girls World address.

Coming Soon In the TL Section…

Travel Shrink: The psychological, the emotional and stuff you didn’t think about
How to leave your job to travel**How to avoid killing your travel partner **How to avoid post-travel blues ** How to make travel work on your resume

Sticky Situations: All the snafus you can get into on the road-and how to avoid them
10 Common Mistakes Backpackers Make ** Re-budget on the road without starving ** Avoiding sticky situations with foreign men ** So you missed your train…What next?

City Guides: Features and reviews of cities, nightclubs, restaurants and hostels
5 Must-Visit South American cities ** Best Nightclubs in Barcelona ** Cheap Sleep in Sydney

Travel Doc: Keeping your health in check on the road
What to do if you run out of your prescription ** Vaccination rules and getting your shots ** Essentials for a first aid kit ** Stay fit: 20 minute yoga sessions for the road

Are We There Yet? Specifics of travel-before, during and after your trip
Buy a backpack that’s right for you ** Packing tips when your suitcase is too full ** How to deal with unreliable European transportation ** Plane, train or bus-buying tickets on a budget

Fresh Air Our forum for spouting your opinion on any and all travel topics, from the controversial (ie, extra fees of heavier airline passengers) to the annoying (lost luggage, stupid rental car policies, etc).
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    1 Comment

  • Megan says:

    This is a great idea! I ran into the same problem during my travels around Europe and really wished a resource like this was available for me.