Showing posts with label travel advice. Show all posts
Showing posts with label travel advice. Show all posts

Sunday, October 25, 2020

The NYC Traveler: How to Read Travel Reviews Effectively

 Latest COVID-19 Travel News




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How to Read Reviews Objectively

Excursions

A review is a written or personal opinion that a consumer has about a product or service based on the person's experience. A review can be subjective, meaning very emotional or objective, based on facts that the person will add. In addition to a review, there are also ratings, usually using stars from 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest. Many companies use both reviews and ratings.

A person's review will be based on many aspects: their expectations, their experience with traveling, experience with a particular company and, believe or not, their mood that may have nothing to do with the company. In order to help you to be a more informed traveler and to make productive decisions that will lead to a great vacation, it's important that you know how to read a review effectively.

Many travelers read reviews about airlines, lodging, attractions, vehicle rental agencies, locations and more when they prepare for a trip. But with thousands of reviews and rating online and so little time, how do you know which reviews are objective enough for you to make an informed decision? Here are our 10 top tips that will help:


1. Look at the lowest rated reviews first. Then sort them by date. Sometimes, when a rating is negative, the company has taken steps to resolve the problem. So, a review from 2012 might not be valid in 2020.

2. Read the reviews that are the most recent and see if there is anything in common. If a particular issue with a hotel is mentioned several times, it is very possible that the issue really exists.

3. Next, read the mediocre reviews (scores of 3 stars). Many times, these reviews are the most objective. The customers will say something positive and negative and they will justify their opinions with evidence. An example is: "the hotel was crappy because the rug was ripped and the shower had mold in it." That's better than "the shower was filthy." Filthy to one person can be a speck of dust while filthy to another person can be actually dirty. 


Hotel lobby

4. Look to see if the reason for a low rating is the staff. Now, that can be justification for giving a low score, especially if it affected the quality of the experience. But, it does not mean that the hotel is physically unacceptable. If the reviewer does not speak of the hotel itself but rants on about attitudes, then read another review. 

5. Read other reviews by the reviewer. If the person seems to be complaining all the time and never has a positive or mediocre review, then you will know that the issue is with the reviewer and not the companies per se.

6. People have different levels of acceptability. One person will believe someone has an attitude if they don't look up right away and another person might be able to see that the person is finishing a computer transaction and be able to respect that. Also, the level of experience in travel can affect a person's perspective. That will be difficult to tell when reading the review, but your level of experience will be able to figure out the actual facts opposed someone's exaggerations to make a point.


7. Be able to determine if circumstances are beyond the company's control. For example, some areas are prone to blackouts of electricity. The company should be responsible to their response to the situation: how long did they wait before checking on guests (a reasonable time would be 1/2 hour if the area has them all the time), are there flashlights in the room (to indicate they are prepared), is there information in the room that this happens often, etc. The company should not be responsible for the the blackout itself (unless they don't have a backup generator for their computer system). Again, it's their response.

8. If you know a company fairly well, such as a hotel chain, an airline, or a restaurant group that specializes in fine dining, pay attention to a high number of negative or medium reviews. It could be that particular location has an issue. Again, read the negative and medium reviews.


River raft excursion

9. The best reviews will be the ones that describe the experience with details. Then, you can make your own determination. For example, many cruise excursions promise a drink, transportation and a meal. Many people imagine a top shelf cocktail in a glass, a premium bus with WiFi and an endless buffet featuring steak and lobster. The reality is you will get a rum punch, with a lot of ice in a plastic cup, adequate transportation (usually a coach bus or a comfy van, but it depends on how far the destination is) and a one time plate, almost always rice and peas and chicken in the Caribbean. Lately, the excursions have included a bottle of water. Seasoned travelers will say that the excursion was good if the purpose of the trip was fulfilled: they snorkeled, they got their historical tour, they shopped until they dropped, etc. Complainers will say that they got a cheap drink and a bus with no bathroom (which is really a good thing, by the way). It's all about perspective.




Another example is European travel by those from outside that region. Rooms are smaller, there might not be air conditioning and there might not be an elevator (the lift). The room is also likely to have less furniture, no carpeting and spotty WiFi. Someone who is not experienced will be likely to give a low rating regardless of the hospitality of the staff, the location of the hotel and the cleanliness and security of the property.

10. As your travel become more varied, you will be able decide more effectively which reviews and ratings actually will help to plan your trip better. Good luck and Happy Travels!


Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 if the copyright act of 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

 This review is my personal opinion. I have Booking links. I am an Amazon Associate.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

The NYC Traveler in Maine: Marginal Way, Ogunquit, Maine


The NYC Traveler in Maine:
Stroll, Hike, Run: Marginal Way, Ogunquit, Maine

Sunrise, Marginal Way, Ogunquit, ME, USA


                             For a virtual stroll, view our You Tube Video


We profiled the Cliff Walk in Newport, Rhode Island in a previous article. Now, take another walk with us as we explore one of our favorite places to be when you travel to New England: Marginal Way, Ogunquit, Maine. Things to know:

1. The walk was donated by Josiah Chase in 1925 and now maintained by Marginal Way Committee and the Marginal Way Preservation Fund.




2. The footpath literally overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. Although it is not a strenuous walk, there are places just begging you to sit and enjoy nature. The view is always different because the weather is always changing. A well-kept secret is the fabulous waves for surfers and paddle boarders. You'll see athletes and boats as you sit and enjoy the view.



3. There are spots to climb down on the rocks or to take the stairs down to the water's edge. However, it can be dangerous in certain spots. Children should not venture onto the rock areas; those with walking concerns should remain on the paved path as should those in wheelchairs or strollers. In wet weather, climbing down on the rocks or down the stairs to the beach is not advised at all.


4. The path is about a mile and ¼ (a little over 2km). It begins and ends at your choice:  Obeds Lane and Shore Road in Ogunquit or the artsy Perkins Cove area. It is a great run or walk in the morning for exercise. To return, you have your choice of doubling back, walking along Shore Road or to take the trolley back, for a small fee (seasonal). Beware: traffic along Shore Road is almost unbearable in the summer and walking will often be faster than the trolley. 




5. As with all nature areas, there are signs asking you to leave nature as it is so that we can all come back and enjoy it again and again. 




So, take time to relax your mind and take a stroll (or two, or three, year after year) on the Marginal Way, in beautiful Ogunquit Maine.

Related Articles and Videos:

Marginal Way virtual stroll, view our You Tube Video





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Latest COVID-19 Travel News


Scroll to the very bottom and click the social media icons to share this article. Happy Travels!

Purchase our fine art, decor or stock photos on ShutterstockImageKind, mcraytonphoto.comiStock by Getty Images, Etsy, Zenfolio and Dreamstime.


Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 if the copyright act of 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

This review is my personal opinion. I have Booking links. I am an Amazon Associate.

Disclaimer: MC Enterprises is not giving exercise nor health advice. Hike Cliff Walk at your own discretion. See a doctor if you are cautious about strenuous exercise. Make sure you know the weather forecast before you head out.




Wednesday, September 2, 2020

NYC Traveler in NYC: Wave Hill, Bronx

 The NYC Traveler in NYC: 

Wave Hill, the Bronx

This review is my personal opinion. I have Booking links. 

Become Inspired by the Gardens:

Grow Your Own Indoors


Wave Hill, in the Bronx
Your own private retreat

Hudson River view

1. Located in the Hudson Hill section in Riverdale, in the Bronx, you will soon realize why that section is called Hudson Hill. Beautiful views of the Hudson River await you.

Wave Hill House

2. The mansion, Wave Hill House, was built in 1843, with a series of owners and occupants, including Mark Twain, who leased it in 1901. The house burned down and was rebuilt in 1927. The 1960's owners deeded it to NYC and it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.

Glyndor Gallery

3. In addition to the mansion, there is Glyndor Gallery, another house on the property that normally holds exhibits and other events.


4. The focus is the gardens: outdoor settings, greenhouses and the grounds themselves, where you are free to sit, read, stroll and use it as your private retreat.


5. You can also take a couple of short hikes on the trails that circle the property: identify trees, do some bird watching and get a little exercise.




Related Articles and Videos:

Marginal Way virtual stroll, view our You Tube Video




Latest COVID-19 Travel News


Scroll to the very bottom and click the social media icons to share this article. Happy Travels!

Purchase our fine art, decor or stock photos on ShutterstockImageKind, mcraytonphoto.comiStock by Getty Images, Etsy, Zenfolio and Dreamstime.


Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 if the copyright act of 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

This review is my personal opinion. I have Booking links. I am an Amazon Associate.


All text and photos copyright Marcia Crayton All Rights Reserved 2020

Monday, August 24, 2020

Post-COVID-19 Travel: The New Normal Must Haves

Post-COVID-19 Travel:

The New Normal

TRAVEL MUST HAVES


This article is my personal opinion based on my personal travel. I currently do not receive any compensation from the travel industry. However, I am an Amazon Associate.

I am an Amazon Associate and purchasing from these links will help to support this blog.

As regions around the world alternately quarantine and reopen, travelers are cautiously exploring their regions, in staycations and/or road trips. Safety is still important, so stock up on these must haves:


1. Keep a head start on your health with your own no-touch thermometer.
                   

2. Avoid touching public surfaces such as doors, keypads and screens with a no-touch tool.                      


3. Slip these convenient size hand sanitizers right into your pocket.

                           

4. Face masks have become mandatory in many US states and public places. Be healthy and fashionable. Try these, with replaceable filters.

                                

5. Throw a pack of hand sanitizer wipes in the bag to freshen up.

                          

6. Feel a little safer with little ones on the potty with these extra large toilet seat covers.

                            

7. Stay hydrated with a metal water bottle that stays cold all day.


8. Get a metal drinking straw for the each member of the family.

9. Carry your own shopping bags that can double as packing bags.           

10. Always travel with a small first aid kit, even when there isn't a pandemic.


Follow our other blog: The NYC Dis Traveler for your theme park updates

Purchase our fine art, decor or stock photos on ShutterstockImageKind, mcraytonphoto.comiStock by Getty Images, Etsy, Zenfolio and Dreamstime.

Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 if the copyright act of 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.


                      

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

The NYC Traveler: Staycation Projects

 Staycation Projects 




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Happy Travels!

For the latest updates for all travel click these links:

Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 if the copyright act of 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

This article is my personal opinion based on my personal travel. I currently do not receive any compensation from the travel industry. However, I am an Amazon Associate. At no cost to you, I will earn commission if you shop through our links.


The COVID-19 2019-2020 pandemic crisis required folks worldwide to quarantine at home for weeks, sometimes months. All of a sudden, despite businesses and academic institutions requiring us to work from home, we actually had some time on our hands. We can now do all of those projects "we always wanted to do, if we had the time."


1. Learn a new language. Whether travel resumes full time in the near future or just for personal achievement, it's always cool to be able to say a few words in another tongue. Our personal favorite is Pimsleur. Although they now offer subscriptions like other companies, such as Babbel and Rosetta Stone, they still offer MP3 downloads so that you can own the course permanently.

Indira Ghandi Airport, India


2. Get in shape. While we were reacquainting ourselves with our kitchens and gyms were closed, we realized that we had to figure out exercising on our own. You'll want to look good when you get back to the beach. Apps such as Nike, Adidas, Strava, My Fitness Pal and about a thousand others have lessons, coaches and even virtual competitions. Lace up and go.


Jamaica, West Indies


3. Become a gourmet. Look like an expert when you resume fine dining. Practice at home. Cooking shows abound but you can start with the Cooking Channel or the Food Network. Of course, there are many apps, check out with Yum,  Epicurious and Allrecipes. You might need some equipment. Shop our favorites here.


Creme Brulee in Paris, France


4. Become an artist. Travel art is more than sunset photos. Post and/or sell your artwork on Shutterstock (photography), Soundcloud (music), Etsy (artistic creations), Wattpad (writing),  Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube. Want to learn something? Try TakeLessons. For kids, try DIY.org

Greece


5. Discover your home again. If you really miss traveling and staying at resorts and hotels, bring a little bit of it home with you. When hotels upgrade, they sell their stuff to liquidators: Hotel Liquidators and Resort Furniture Liquidators are just two.


Grace Bay Resort, Turks and Caicos


Photos and text copyright by Marcia Crayton, 2020, All Rights Reserved


Friday, October 12, 2018

The NYC Traveler: A Big Apple Summer

A BIG APPLE SUMMER:
WHAT TO DO IN NEW YORK CITY



Summertime in the Big Apple

New Yorkers tend to be divided into two camps for touring their hometown: those who do and those who don't (and may not know how). If you find that you have to spend part or all of the summer in the Big Apple, check out these tips:

1. NYC Residents: Get NYC identification. There are many benefits, such as discounted annual museum memberships, entertainment tickets and park department membership discounts. There are also several companies that sell combo passes for multiple attractions. Click here for a list.




2. Get around town with public transportation. There are car services, but the best deal in town is still the MTA. Most residents already have the current way to pay, a MetroCard. There is a new system coming, OMNY. Check out the website to make sure that you have the one that suits your needs. Street Smart: Only buy a metro card from an official machine or at a ticket booth. Do not buy from anyone who approaches you at a station or on the street.




3. Ask a New Yorker if they have been to the Statue of Liberty or the Empire State Building and it is a good bet they may say no. So, New Yorkers, act like a tourist and take a look at the Official Guide to New York. You can pick up the print version in Grand Central or Penn Station or in the Times Square Information center



4. All of the NYC parks have summer activities. As per current COVID-19 restrictions, some annual events are not occurring but the parks are open. Grab a bicycle, and choose a borough (or two) to explore. Get the app or check out the calendar.



5. Explore memberships at the museums, gardens and zoos. Along with admission, you get discounts on dining, shopping and first peeks at new events and exhibits. Museums have too many works to display, so exhibits are changing constantly. Plus, they sponsor great events such as concerts, lectures Here are some of the more popular museums:





All photos and text copyright Marcia Crayton, All Rights Reserved, 2020

Follow our other blog: The NYC Dis Traveler for your theme park updates

Purchase our fine art, decor or stock photos on ShutterstockImageKind, mcraytonphoto.comiStock by Getty Images, Etsy, Zenfolio and Dreamstime.

Scroll down to the very bottom and click the social media icons to share this article. Happy Travels!

Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 if the copyright act of 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

This article is my personal opinion based on my personal travel. I currently do not receive any compensation from the travel industry. However, I am an Amazon Associate.