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Posts Tagged ‘Frommer’s’

Photographers’ rights and responsibilities: What to remember before snapping that picture

Some of my fondest memories are of my trips around the world. I love to take myself back to the sights, sounds, and smells of each place I’ve traveled by flipping through my photo albums.

So when I’m on the go, my camera is never far from my hands. That’s why Chris Elliott’s recent article in Frommer’s caught my eye: “Travel Photography: Don’t Shoot? But It’s a Public Space.”

Chris discusses the rights of travelers turned photojournalists, and the truth about where we are and aren’t allowed to shoot photos and video.

In all of the years that I’ve been traveling, I’ve never been asked to put down my camera. But Chris makes a good point that anyone heading off for a trip should remember: It’s important to be respectful if asked not to take photos, especially if you’re asked by a police officer, security guard, or other employee of a tourist site.

While you might technically have the right to fill your memory card with photos of a given place, is it worth the battle and the risk of ruining your trip? See Chris’ advice for travelers, and then read the simple rules I follow when I get the itch to be a shutterbug. I think they’ve kept me out of trouble all these years.

  1. Don’t be flashy. At some historic sites, using a flash is not permitted because it can damage delicate art. And at sites of religious significance, where people might be praying or otherwise quietly reflecting, constant camera flashes are also just annoying and distracting. Look for posted signs about rules surrounding photography and video before you point and shoot.
  2. Ask nicely. When photographing people in other countries, always ask first unless you are taking photos from a distance. Sometimes people will offer to pose for you, but then don’t be surprised if an extended hand is waiting for a tip!
  3. Consider your surroundings. Some public spaces, especially in countries that aren’t democracies, might be off limits. In such places, I ask my guide or I approach a police officer to ask if I can take a photo. If don’t see anyone to ask, I generally take the picture if it is really worthwhile.
Have you ever run into trouble when you were documenting a vacation? Do you think you were in the right or in the wrong?

How to avoid Debbie Downer as a travel companion

Who and how many people you travel with can make or break a vacation. And after organizing exotic group tours for 30 years, I know exactly the mix of people you want to have on a trip to make your vacation an extraordinary one.

Find out what that mix is made of in the Frommer’s article, “How to Plan a Girlfriend Getaway.” The five things writer Lisa Cheng tells you to consider when picking the right mix of travel companions doesn’t just apply to girlfriends either. If you’re traveling with family or male companions, her advice still rings true.

Hop over to give it a read. Thanks again Lisa for including me in your piece!

Patricia Schultz shows us ‘1,000 Places to See Before You Die’ in 8 minutes

You might have read “1,000 Places to See Before You Die” by Patricia Schultz. If you haven’t or if you’re not familiar with the book, it was a milestone in travel journalism when it was released in 2003 and it established Patricia as one of the foremost travel writers.

Patricia has also written for Frommer’s, Condé Nast Traveler, and Harper’s Bazaar, just to name a few. She was also the executive producer of the Travel Channel’s reality show, “1,000 Places to See Before You Die.”

When I learned that Patricia was speaking at The Philadelphia Inquirer Travel Show, I enlisted Melissa, a Friendly Planet Travel blogger, to do everything in her power to get an interview with her.

Fortunately we were able to get a few minutes with Patricia after she finished signing copies of her book, including one for Melissa and one we’ll be giving away on the blog. But I’ll save the details of the giveaway for another post.

Melissa found out why Patricia decided to document 1,000 places instead of 500, who the one person was who disliked the title of her book (hint: his last name rhymes with hommer), what her most terrible trip was, why Bhutan is one of her favorite places to visit, her advice on how to turn an ordinary trip into an extraordinary one, and much more.

Thank you so much for your time Patricia! You can watch the interview below. But stay tuned to the blog. I’ll be telling you in another post how you can win copies of Patricia’s “1,000 Places to See Before You Die.”

Are you guilty of being an annoying airplane passenger?

Frommer’s tackles this question for you in a humorous article. I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve probably annoyed some fellow passengers. But I do try my best to respect others while on a flight or in the airport.

Some passengers aren’t as kind though. And this articles looks at the top 10 offenses made by airline passengers. Give it a read, because you might not even be aware that what you’re doing is annoying someone else. Then leave a comment on this post and let me know what other offenses you would add to Frommer’s list.

Advice on what you shouldn’t pack in your suitcase

Some people like to pick up every knickknack and souvenir they can get their hands on when they travel. From the hotel shampoo to the restaurant matchstick book, they shove it all into their luggage. I, on the other hand, do not. It weighs your luggage down, and you don’t need it!

If you’re a pack rat you should read Chris Elliott’s “Packing Tips: 4 Things to Take (or Leave Behind) When You Travel.”

Chris gives the best advice on what is worth saving and what can be left behind. I agree with almost every tip he gives. It appeared on Frommer’s last week and it got me thinking about what else I normally leave behind to save space in my suitcase. In addition to Chris’s tips, here is some other advice from me.

For every piece of paper that you pick up when you travel, just ask yourself, “Can I find this information online?” This goes for brochures, menus, coasters, etc. A majority of the time your answer will be yes. If it is, recycle it.

In a previous post, I mentioned that I carry travel sizes of my cosmetics. That includes lotions and face creams. But if I know that travel size won’t be enough during my trip, I leave it at home. Instead I’ll buy that product locally.

That way I also know it’s formulated for the local conditions. I typically do this with my body lotion. I use it regularly, so I always buy it in the country that I am visiting. If the bottle isn’t empty by the time I leave, I throw it away to save space in my bag.

Almost every hotel now offers shampoos and soap as amenities in its bathrooms, so avoid packing large bottles of those items. If you’re bringing your own travel sized toiletries, then don’t open what the hotel gives you. Leave the unopened bottles behind for the next guest to use. It also saves the hotel the cost of restocking it.

I know in some cases, people bring home hotel toiletries to donate to a shelter. If you actually do take these toiletries to a shelter when you get home, great. If, like me, a busy life gets in the way, leave the toiletries in the hotel. Then, when you get home, if you really want to make a contribution, why not just write a small check and designate it for purchase of personal items.

Lastly, you can buy products such as nail polish remover, toothpaste, mouthwash, hair spray, etc., in almost every city in the world. It’s not worth carrying large containers of these. So save yourself some space in your luggage by applying these tips and reading what Chris Elliott has to say. Have any more suggestions? Share your tips in a comment to this post.