Carry on is Your Life: Luggage Loss Defense Part 2


Getting There

For mental prep for traveling this summer, I have been researching my miniscule in flight cabin storage accommodations and what really needs to be in the flight bag. Since in some respects I lucked out last year on the way in, I may not be so lucky this time.

Stock Up on The Personal Products

The fact is, no matter how many tiny travel bottles you fill, they will leak or barely get you through a few days. You will need to stock up. I found it was just easier to do this than be concerned with wet goopy clothes on arrival. Luckily traveling in the U.K. Before taught me a few things. Most supermarkets like we think of them, are usually outside major cities. In the cites you will have Apothecaries and Chemists like Boots. You can get most of your real needs basics here. Plan on a budget of about £/€ 25.00 to stock up.

Baggage Loss/Delay

Not a pessimist, not I. Sorry, I experienced luggage loss, excuse me, misplacement, last year on the trip home. Well, at least I got there. Problem was I had borrowed the larger case and found it to be a pure nuisance. I think the cursing and swearing contributed to the luggage just deciding to disappear on the way back. However this is really bad if its misplaced on the start of your trip.

So, you should know by now that whether you fly domestic or abroad, you should have a change of clothes in your carryon luggage. Make it three days. That is the average time that misplaced luggage can take to get back to you, and woe be you if you are immediately leaving your airport city and won’t be around. What else should you consider about this tiny bag space for carry on?

Wheels, yes. Make sure wheels are not too bulky or will catch easy. If they are bulky the airlines may default to check in as that can ad to the width.

Luggage Size
Carry on luggage is shrinking. We have been spoiled here in the Us where we insist on brazenly taking everything with us. Can’t do it on international flights. Especially if you are riding smaller planes traveling between countries, they will tag your bags and cram into the hold.

You need to pack 3 days of basic clothing in a tiny space, plus make sure you have all necessities to exist. That means all the hygiene and medicines that you must have, and it is better to carry that in your personal bag. Most flights allow you a small personal bag, however some are restricting this. If you have medicines such a insulin or any lifesaving epi pens. These you should check with airlines about as they are considered under pressure objects. Makeup, everything needs to survive the banging around you will do. Also plan to be inspected. Bring laundry soap in a pod or soap leaves as you will need to launder, especially f the main bag goes missing. Don’t forget your electronic devices and power converter, which should really be in your personal items in case they decide to put your carry on as checked.

Electronic Devices: Call the airline before you travel. The US has been restricting the laptop and phone policies for travelers coming in. Other countries may start restricting these to checked baggage as well, so call the airlines before you depart.

Hold Baggage
Hold baggage sizes for most European airlines at the time of this writing average 50 to 52 inches total width, measuring a total of L x W x H. Always check all airlines you may be flying with, including any smaller flights. Getting a bag just under this size helps you to not have that excess baggage fee. Thinking about what you really need to pack is what you need to do next. Keeping it basic is best. I found that having 3 to 4 pairs of jeans and a few more pairs of tee shirts was the mainstay, maybe one dress if I get to go to a play. Buy dress shoes there? Yes, a lot of people like to shop while traveling and dealing with less bulk may be the thing to do. What to pack, the rest of what you need. Check articles for where you are traveling to and see if there are helpful hints.

Basically, whatever you would wear if traveling to Portland or San Francisco. Layers.

Travel Tips and Hints for Packing Great practical tips on packing


Aughnanure Castle, County Galway, Ireland


Aughnanure Castle is one of Ireland’s many historic sites in Galway County. It is just of the Lough (lake) Corrib and a short distance from Galway. It is a fully restored tower house near the river Drimneen and offers a stunning view of the Connemarra Mountains and surrounding area. This made for the good guard tower situation of its position. It also has caverns features in the stones below.

The following is a small interview with one of the volunteers, Mary:

How long has this historic site been in operation and how did it get it’s start?
Aughnanure Castle was occupied by members of the O’Flaherty from the early 16th century to the early 18th century when this historic site was recorded in a ruinous state. Unoccupied throughout the 19th century and into the early 20th century the site was then purchased by a Peader O’Flaherty from Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford in 1932, he was a descendant of the O’Flaherty’s of Iarconnacht and had purchased the castle with the view to restoring it. However this plan never materialised and in 1952 he donated Aughnanure Castle to the people of Ireland. The historic site then came into guardianship of the Office of Public works under National Monuments and throughout the 60’s and 70’s was restored. Aughnanure Castle the ancestral seat of the O’Flaherty family opened to the public in 1974 and has being open on a seasonal basis running from March-November ever since, welcoming over 35,000 visitors annually.

Due to some recent film work and television series, some of the historic sites have seen a huge increase in visits. How has this been beneficial and challenging to the heritage site?
Unfortunately we have not benefited from recent film and television work at our site. Due to our more remote location, historic sites closer to transport/airport facilities mainly in the east and south of the country have seen more of an increase in visits due to the film industry activities. Having said that our visitor numbers have increased year on year due to staff promotional efforts and also Fáilte Ireland introducing new initiatives for visitors, like the Wild Atlantic Way etc.
It may be of interest to you and your readers to know that in the past two films where shot here. In 1957 The Rising of Moon directed by John Ford in which the castle ruins where used as backdrop. Another film Lovespell filmed in 1979 and directed by Tom Donovan and released in 1981, a fantasy romantic tragedy film featuring Richard Burton as King Mark of Cornwall was also filmed here.

What is the biggest challenge that you have in running a site like this?
The biggest challenge with our site is ensuring that the visitor gets the best experience possible whether that be with or without a guided tour. This can be challenging as although we have not seen an increase in our visitor numbers due to a lot of film and television projects in recent years, we have had an annual increase in the last number of years due to Ireland becoming a very popular tourist distinction together with the promotion that Fáilte Ireland have undertaking with a new tourist attraction called the Wild Atlantic Way, the only coastal drive in the world of its kind. Which runs 2,500km from North to South along the western seaboard of the country. Due to our location on this route we have seen an increase in numbers, so we strive to insure that the visitors visit is a memorable experience here when we can have as many as 400+ visitors a day.

Do you have interpreters and re enactments at your site and what is involved in running some of these programs?
We do have a guide service on-site. We offer a guided tour (not compulsory and subject to guide availability)with each entry which lasts c.45mins and includes the history of this specific historical monument type ‘The Irish Tower House’ and the family that built and ruled the surrounding Lordship here from the 13th to 17th centuries, the O’Flaherty’s of Iarconnacht.
From time to time during national events like our annual Heritage week we do have re-enactors and events on site as an added enhancement to the visitor experience, one particular group called Claíomh that are based here in the west of Ireland are a very professional ‘living history’ group which re-creates a live and authentic image of medieval Ireland’s past.

Does your site have exhibits or host special exhibits on occasion?
Permanent illustrated information panels in both Irish and English guide visitors through the site and tell the story of the castle, the family who lived here and the world in which they lived. We also have various temporary exhibits throughout our season. At the moment we also have a display on late medieval Gaelic armour and the Origin of Irish Surnames, both which are proving very popular with visitors.


Try Another Music Tour of London

Check out our newest pay-what-you-like walking tour! Join Free Tours By Foot on London’s first free Rock n’ Roll experience! This is not just a tour, but a “bucket list” worthy journey through the beginning of the Swingin’ Sixties movement up to the present day. London has long been the epicentre of the Rock n’…

via The Rock n’ Roll Tour — Free Tours by Foot

Gotta love a rock tour, see where all the music happened in London.

Stobart and Aer Lingus Review


Stobart/Aer Lingus

Stobart Air started out as Aer Arann, that was my flight. Ireland’s national airlines is Aer Lingus. When traveling on a super saver airline ticket, the main airline may be listed, but in truth you are traveling via another airline they partner with, thus my budget flight sold through Stobart became Aer Lingus. So, always read the small print from your itinerary as you may stand in line at the wrong check in for an hour. This was my introduction to Aer Lingus. This is the main airline that is associated with Ireland travel, and even though I was for Scotland, my stop hop was in Dublin, where I boarded one of their little match stick planes for the last hop.

The flight over the Atlantic was actually pretty good. The staff was “very welcome”, and surprisingly there was actual leg space in economy. Then there was the Irish telly programs on the in flight choices and I watched quite a bit of Irish drama. The food was fairly good light fare, and well, traveling at night and seeing a constant sun at the North Pole was something amazing. Sad thing was, I was visiting Scotland, so when I landed as entry, I barely stepped foot on the green isle.

Baggage and transfer went fairly smooth considering. Reminder US travelers, get smaller bags. Overhead baggage is getting very confined, restricted and they will snag your bag and put it in the hold. You may get that extra baggage fee in that case. I have to say the only problem I have encountered with Aer Lingus is the advertised costs of flying. If you are booking directly with them, the pricing is a bit high. If you end up on them from another partner airlines, it’s usually more reasonable. When I flew from Dublin to Glasgow on the commuter plane, I talked with a native Dub for a while and she introduced me to to better flying schemes for this next visit, how to use the smaller airlines to advantage for between the islands and to the continent. But for the larger flight across the Atlantic, Aer Lingus was a good choice, even if it was sub contracted.

Travel Dates or Solo: Any Travel Bloggers Out There Want a Meet Up?

Sitting in a cafe in the PDX, listening to Reggae on an Easter afternoon, I ponder the traveling adventure I am about to embark on in two months. I often find traveling alone has it’s drawbacks. One is that you sometimes try to share out what a great experience you are having with some fellow traveler nearby and they give you the glare, the what are you doing disturbing my vay cay thing. Really sad. Then there are the ones that if you even say “Good Morning” to want to glom onto you and vampire your day. It’s one extreme to another sometimes. I usually hang in public with myself, people watch and probably smirk too much to myself. It’s amazing how much complaining some will do while on vacation. Rooms suck, food sucks, whatever. Usually they are ‘Mericans and a few pensioners from the UK really had me in stitches last trip. Travel is a work. Seriously, getting to any destination is going to take effort, and with the luck I have had, rail strikes and whatnot, it will be again. The trick is to just let it go as part of the adventure. Don’t get me wrong, I drip of sarcasm most days and can outdo many a person on that front. I just try so hard to not do it when traveling because I have just waited too long to get back at it, why waste the time? But there is some fun in commiseration if done right. So maybe meeting up intentionally with a group is the ticket.

So, if you are stuck on your own traveling, or by choice, but would still like to maybe meet fellow enthusiasts and just talk about fabulous experiences, try to arrange a meet up in a city you plan to visit. But how? There are plenty of web resources out there. If you have used one not listed her, let me know and I will add it to the list.

2017 Trip July 19 to August 5



Galway: Arts Fest, are you going?




Edinburgh: Aug 5-8 Fringe Festival, are you going? 70th Anniversary

Trip Together

Website offers a travel meeting/dating like arrangement thing. You can arrange to either meet or start travels together with other people. Granted, in looking at this site I see an awful lot of good looking women and would caution that some may be using this as a pure hook up situation. Hope that’s not the case, but if that’s what you want, hey.

Go Girl Guides

Women travelers meet ups, and travel tips. They are expanding to having travel groups meet in various cities so you can meet others planning to travel, maybe find some compatible people to travel with.

Solo Traveler World

Website dedicated to the solo traveler and many great articles or travel. You are alone, but not alone here.

Meet Up

It’s worldwide and many people create groups. Each city has it’s own flavors, but most have a travel meetup group or a few. Contact a bit ahead of time and see if they are still meeting and get on the list if it’s a day you may be in that city. Everyone has an adventure to share.

Note: Always proceed with caution on any site where meeting strangers may happen. Sadly there are some real toads out there, to downright villains. Sadly I have read of travelers getting harmed in their travels, so just be cautious. Look at reviews on the site if they have them, see if there have been any complaints. Good luck.

Friday Guest Blog Features

Hope you have been enjoying the first of the Friday Guest Blogs. I have been reading other really great blog entries and thought I would do some sharing of my favorite cites to travel. There are so many great blogs and writings that it’s hard to find the gems sometimes. I will keep featuring on Fridays when I can. Please visit these sites and share your thoughts, blog fans.