Don’t Weight #traveltuesday #traveltips

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Photo credit: reinvented via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

Manual Luggage Scale (and an Empty Duffle Bag)

Don’t wait until you get to the airport to be SHOCKED that your luggage is overweight.

Pre-trip, buy yourself a manual luggage scale, pack an empty foldable dufflebag and before your return flight home, weigh your bags.

If your checked luggage is overweight, avoid the ridiculous excess baggage fees (per pound) by maximizing that empty dufflebag and paying the cheaper flat fee to check that extra bag.

Recently, a relative of mine was charged $100 for excess overweight and when I asked him why he didn’t buy himself a cheap bag before heading home and paying the flat $35 for an extra checked luggage, he said that the idea never crossed his mind.

Oh well…

All Rights Reserved ©2017 Marquessa Matthews.

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Pretending To Be A Tourist In Montreal #52things52weeks #montreal #travel

During the summer, there is a different festival every week, Downtown Montreal feels like New York and Old Montreal feels like Paris…

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I LOVE my city.

Let me rephrase that…I love my city in the spring, fall and especially in the SUMMER.

During the summer, there is a different festival every week, Downtown Montreal feels like New York and Old Montreal feels like Paris. The city has an energy to it and everyone enjoys the season to its fullest after a long cold winter.

For the longest time, I’ve said that one day I would pretend to be tourist in my own city and that’s what I did to cross it off of my 52/52 list.

But I should have waited for summer….

As luck would have it, I needed to spend some loyalty points before I lost them all, so I bought a guided sightseeing tour of Montreal.  My intention was to take lots of pretty pictures and post them here but unfortunately, the day was completely fogged over and pictures were useless.

Aboard a coach bus, a professional guide provided live commentary as they took us through 200 of the top Montreal attractions and landmarks, including Old Montreal, Olympia Park, Chinatown, Notre-Dame Basilica, Mount Royal Park and St Joseph’s Oratory, whose dome reaches 320 feet and is second in height only to St Peter’s basilica in Rome.

Though we could barely see anything through the fog, the real tourists seemed quite charmed by the unique French character of the city. Not the greatest of pictures below but I’ve posted them below anyways.

If you’ve ever wanted to visit Montreal, you should consider doing it this year.

Montreal is coming alive for its 375th birthday with  375 events during 2017!

You can check out more details on the city’s official “birthday” site: 375mtl.com as well as the tourism site:  tourisme-montreal.org .

And because you can’t be in tourist in Montreal without having a smoked meat sandwich….

Images and/or content ©2017 Marquessa Matthews. All Rights Reserved.

Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.

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Copy That! #traveltuesday #traveltips

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Photo credit: LucasTheExperience via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

Passports and Credit Cards

Have you ever lost your passport or your credit cards during your trip?

I haven’t nor do I ever plan to if I have anything to say about it!

But if I did, all would not be lost…

 From what I’ve heard, getting a replacement passport in an emergency is easier if you have a photocopy of it with you. I triple up by having a copy with me (separate from my passport), leaving a copy with a relative and scanning a copy into my Evernote.

While I’m at it, I leave a photocopy of the few credit cards (front and back sides) and IDs I’ll be traveling with so that in case of loss, one phone call home would give me all the relevant customer service numbers I would need to cancel my cards.

My brain would not be able to think properly if any of that happened so I prefer to be prepared.

What are some of your travel tricks?

©2017 Marquessa Matthews. All Rights Reserved.

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Just The Two Of Us #Fiction #fictionfriday

“Looking Up” video©2016 Marquessa Matthews. All Rights Reserved.

“It’s just the two of us left in this entire world now,” Jean told me about thirty seconds after introducing herself and her sister Cassie to on the beach. “And we are going to enjoy this trip like it’s our last one together.”

I quickly realized that her words were more literal than figurative…

It was still quite early in the morning but these sisters had already gone all out and splurged by renting chairs, an umbrella, and little table for the day. The older sister’s name was Jean and her younger sister was Cassie, both in their fifties. We had crossed paths countless times, smiling and saying “Another beautiful day” to each other every time our paths crossed on the beach, at the pool or in the lobby. Jean and Cassie were always cheerful and pumped up for another day in the beautiful sun.

Jean stood out from the other beach regulars because of the beautiful head scarves she wore. Today’s head scarf was sky blue with silver edging. From the fragile wisps of her hair escaping from underneath it, it was obvious that though an illness had managed to steal her hair, it had not robbed her of bubbly and friendly spirit. Cassie had the same energy but spirit was dulled by a hint of sadness.

“You know, I was just telling Cassie that the next time we saw you, we should introduce ourselves. Why waste time just saying hello when we can get to know each other? Life is just too short to waste, don’t you agree?”

I definitely agreed.

And we spent the next few hours chatting under their umbrella.

*fiction inspired by true events

Video and content ©2016 Marquessa Matthews. All Rights Reserved.

Originally posted on September 27, 2016

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Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos directly above.


Pack Your Bags And Get Out! #traveltuesday #traveltips

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Packing cubes

I LOVE my packing cubes!

I love them so much that I have given each and every family member a set as gifts over the years. And last Christmas, I gave all of my nieces and nephews the same gift (as you can see from the photo above, I ordered quite a few!).

Personally, I assign and organize each cube for certain clothing when I travel. At a glance, I can see what is packed in each one and it makes my life easy. It also avoids having customs leave the contents of my bag all over the place.

I also always use a cube for my electronics and medication so that if my connecting flight is a smaller plane and I have to valet my carry-on luggage, I simply pull out that cube (mine have “handles”) and take it with me onto the plane.

What are some of your travel tricks?

Image and content ©2017 Marquessa Matthews. All Rights Reserved.

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Bag Lady #traveltuesday #traveltips

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Photo credit: javajoba via Foter.com / CC BY

Resealable plastic bags

I admit that I’m a little nuts when it comes to resealable plastic bags as part of my packing process.

But it’s worth it because it avoids accidental spillage all over your clothes. Who wants to ruin everything they planned to wear during your trip?

I once had an aerosol hair spray decompressurize in my suitcase but since it was in a resealable bag, nothing got ruined.

All “leakables” like sunscreen, aerosol spray, creams, and lotions go into these bags. I use smaller bags to organize certain cosmetics, electronic gadgets, and snacks. And being transparent, it’s easy for me to know what is where.

Airport security can see what I have without disturbing all the organizational energy I put into packing.

Some travelers even pack their clothing into resealable bags to keep their items waterproof. I much prefer to use my packing cubes and place them all in an extra large Space Saver bag.

I also use a resealable for my passport, some cash and my cellphone in my travel purse.

Bonus tip: Don’t get sand and water on your cell at the beach or pool. Put it in a resealable ziplock bag and you can still text, check emails and play games through the plastic.

What are some of your travel tricks?

All Rights Reserved ©2017 Marquessa Matthews.


Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.

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