Planning an Amsterdam Layover

Thumbnail image for Planning an Amsterdam Layover by Barbara Feldman January 17, 2014

Although I’ve often considered it, this was the first time I scheduled a layover long enough to have a fun, no-stress day in the layover city. When considering a layover city visit, the most important question is do you have enough time to get into the city, enjoy yourself, and return to the airport with 2 hours to spare to go through security. The answer depends primarily on transportation from the airport into city, and your tolerance for stress! How close are you willing to […]

Best ATM and Credit Cards for International Travel

Thumbnail image for Best ATM and Credit Cards for International Travel by Barbara Feldman May 29, 2013

I’ve been asked this question so many times, I had to finally answer it publicly. First of all, back in the day, savvy travelers would stock up on traveler’s checks before hitting the friendly skies. Traveler checks had the advantage of being replaceable if they were lost, and could be converted to local currency at a bank or a hotel (hotels never give the best rate, but they sure are convenient.) But today you get the best exchange rates (and convenience) from ATMs, as long […]

Post-Trip Packing Lessons

Thumbnail image for Post-Trip Packing Lessons by Barbara Feldman April 16, 2012

Having just returned from a 28-day trip (San Diego –> Paris –> Amsterdam –> Tel Aviv –> Jerusalem –> Tiberias –> San Diego) my mind is buzzing with all sorts of post-trip excitement. I thought I would share a few of my loosely-related thoughts on packing. Luggage: I’d give myself a solid B on packing. Although I had the smallest suitcase of anyone else in my family, I think I could have shed 10 pounds off its 39 pounds. My approach was to pack for […]

Keeping Track of Reward Points and Miles

by Barbara Feldman March 13, 2012

With my upcoming trip to Europe and Israel, I learned a few new tricks about reward programs, and wanted to pass them on. The Experts First of all, it really pays to listen to the experts, and I am now following the blogs of The Points Guy Brian Kelly and The Frugal Travel Guy Rick Ingersoll. In addition to following these blogs (and reading their BEGINNER GUIDES), I now use a handful of sites and phone apps to keep me organized. Today I want to […]

Animal Teeth and Spring Break Photos

by Barbara Feldman March 12, 2012

Did you see the unusual animal tooth necklace I found in my mother’s curio cabinet? Unfortunately, Mom has dementia, and can not tell me the necklace’s story. Fans of my Surfnetkids Facebook wall got a few laughs trying to guess what kind of animal these came from. Facebook fans will also get a chance to view pictures from my exciting spring break trip to Paris, Amsterdam, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem that starts this weekend. Join me there now, and I will post snapshots whenever I […]

Packing Cubes

Thumbnail image for Packing Cubes by Barbara Feldman December 12, 2011

I still remember my father-in-law (may he rest in peace) going on and on about what a pro traveler I was, when he saw the tiny suitcase I was bringing on my European honeymoon in 1985. The secret to my packing success was small, zippered plastic envelopes that were each big enough for maybe two blouses or one pair of jeans. Well, now it’s 2011, and never one up to upgrade needlessly, I finally have upgraded my packing cubes to these beauties! I understand that […]

Playing Tourist in Seattle

by Barbara Feldman September 20, 2011

All those Seattleites who tell us Californians that it always rains in Seattle, are just pulling our (collective) legs! The weather this week has been beautiful. I am here for a (kinda secret) mastermind meeting with about thirty of the smartest people I know. Before the meetings started this afternoon, I walked down to the Public Market to buy some fresh fruit for my hotel room. I came upon these hanging peppers, and I just couldn’t resist buying one for my kitchen. I don’t cook […]