To be clear, the getaway I’m referring to doesn’t include your cousin Mookie sitting in a suped-up Dodge Charger on the street while you clean out a Money Mart with your crew.
No, this is another classic set of travel tips from the wonderfully-twisted mind of The Hook. So as I often tell the wife, dim the lights, crank up the Eighties tunes (Whitesnake rocks), get out the poison of your choice, strap in tight and start praying to your deity… things are about to get rough.
When preparing to leave one’s home for a well-deserved vacation one must never forget to cover all one’s bases, lest one look like a douche. Yes, I have quite a way with words, don’t I? It takes all the wife’s willpower to keep her pants on while I’m around the house spouting philosophical exclamations.
You’re buying this, right?
At any rate, it’s time to cut to the chase. Here are some things to keep in mind while preparing to leave your couch, folks.
ONE) Do your homework, Poindexter! Seriously, I don’t care if you’re out of school. I don’t care if you’d rather spend hours watching Julia Ann’s latest escapades on RedTube. (Not that I blame you.) I don’t even care if you’re tired of me repeating myself. The cold, hard truth is this: travel is more expensive than ever so you need to be certain your destination of choice is the informed choice.
Do your research, even if you have to actually pick up the phone and call the local tourism authority. Or better yet, call your hotel’s concierge. They can give you the inside scoop on the places locals eat and the off-the-beaten-track spots that will leave you breathless. (Like the methane mines.) If your hotel doesn’t have a concierge? Get a better hotel.
TWO) Never go to the “It” spot just for the hell of it. We may be human (most of us) but often we’ll become sheep when it comes to keep up wit the Kardashians, as they say. Never book a trip that’s going to cost you thousands of hard-earned dollars just so you can say you went to the same spot Fran and Nate next door visited six months ago. For all you know, Fran and Nate are morons when it comes to booking trips.
Vegas is great but what if you can’t afford to lose the kids’ college funds in-between watching Britney gyrate like a cheap hooker and the flavor-of-the-month magic act?
If you think the Grand Canyon is as wide and vacant as Kris Jenner’s consciousness, then don’t go there – I don’t care how much Aunt Selma gushes about it. (Aunt Selma drinks cooking sherry like water. In the nude)
Go somewhere that makes your heart thump faster whenever you picture it.
Go somewhere you’ve always genuinely wanted to visit.
Go somewhere that won’t leave you feeling ripped off when you get the bill.
But above all, just go somewhere! I can’t have the hospitality industry imploding just as I’m getting ahead of my bills, bitches!
Sorry, about that. I get a little passionate sometimes. Let’s move on…
THREE) Be careful when letting nostalgia guide you. There’s nothing wrong with returning to spots that left you with fond memories that keep you warm when life grows icy, but avoid spots with bad history. For example, never take your new love to a spot you visited with an ex – especially if that ex was The One. You’ll be flooded with bittersweet memories when you’re supposed to be making new ones.
Whenever possible forge new paths.
FOUR) Talk to your traveling companions – even if you don’t want to! If you’re vacationing alone then pre-trip meetings are a breeze (usually) but otherwise, you need to make sure everyone is involved. Yes, even those free-loading rug rats.
Talk to everyone with some skin in the game – even if its metaphorical skin – and make sure all parties will have the best time they can have without the use of pharmaceuticals or copious amounts of alcohol.
Of course, family vacation meetings can degenerate into chaos in a nanosecond but that’s what family’s all about, right? I had an uncle who only asked one question when it came item to plan family trips:
“Will there be call girls? I’ll go if there’s call girls!”
Oh, that Uncle Phil. Everyone loved when Uncle Phil went off on a tangent about the joys of prostitution.
Well, everyone except, Aunt Phyllis, that is. Then again, she apparently put ground glass in his food for years, so it all balanced out…
And finally, something to keep in mind when booking an excursion beyond your personal ecosystem…
FIVE) If you’re afraid to view your credit report you must abort! In other words, if you’re finances are already sketchy, don’t make them even… sketchier. Again, I sound like a broken record but this is serious business, people, and it bears repeating. As a bellman I want people to travel but as a citizen of the world I don’t want to see the economy tank because too many of my fellow humans have made their credit cards spontaneously combust.
All too often we’ll justify spending money we don’t have.
“I really deserve this trip, I haven’t killed a living thing all day and I drive under the speed limit every third Tuesday.”
“We need a getaway, something to make us forget all about the crushing debt that’s threatening to put us in a black hole we’ll never recover from. I’ve got it! Let’s spend more money!”
“The girlfriend and I need some ‘alone time’. Now I just have to figure out what to tell the wife…”
Get the picture?
We need to know when to spend and when to save, people. Yes, saving is boring and spending is like a night with Jenna Jameson and a crate of Cheez Whiz but a few months or even years of controlled spending can keep the wolf from your door and lead to a happier, healthier existence. Why do you think rich people are so cheap? They know being poor sucks!
And I have to agree with the rich bastards. So don’t be poor if you don’t have to be.
And that’s all I have for you today, friends. As I often tell the wife, “It may not have been much but at least it was free.”
See you in the lobby, kids…