Vacation Tips

Find a Good Book

Go to Valerie's book list and audio book list

Summer Books lists on Amazon's Listmania!

Find Out What's Stocked in Your Vacation Rentallll

For vacation rental house, check the rental agency's website for items stocked at the house. Basic supplies are typical: kitchen with standard cookware, tableware, coffeemaker, blender, toaster, etc. Linens and towels are typical but not always. Some houses have a few baby items: high, chair and pack-n-play. If you are taking your dog, only rent houses that specify dogs allowed.

You probably won't find out some detail: the type and size of coffee filters needed, is there salt and pepper (usually there is), the water quality (everyone says it's ok - but they're used to it).


You may Need More

Consider bringing some old or cheap washcloths. You probably will be given one per person. I do lots on vacation and get dirty; one washcloth, oh no. I won't wash towels daily; I'm on vacation!

Consider bringing your own. hairdryer; I have never had one at a rental with enough power.

I love to cook! I'm very flexible; but I just have to have a couple good knives and spices. I bring my own. I discovered a Spice Wheel in the REI camping section. Now, I take a sampling of eight of my spices.


Groceries-Find a Farmer's Market

The fruits and vegetables just taste better straight from the farmers. Try to find one along your drive to your vacation destination.

Many farmers markets are listed at this USDA site:


Technology can be on Your Side

Get Info on your Cell Phone

Before you go, learn (impress your kids) how to send an SMS text message from your cell phone; get immediate travel info:

Subscription services for cell/PDA that I can't live without:


Someone Knows and It's on the Web

Check what other vacationers and locals know about the area, the rental agencies, great deals... on the  forums.


Get the Kids Outside with Technology

Check out, you may find hidden location that only the locals know about - and have fun with your GPS.

Traveling with young children, check the car and booster seat laws by state:

You may need to update your GPS map software, if it's several years old.


Set up a Personal iGoogle Home Page for Vacation Info

If you will have a computer and internet connection, consider setting up a iGoogle web page with vacation links: local weather, local maps, area traffic maps, moon phase schedule (for the romantics), local event schedules, local movie schedule (rainy days happen), local restaurant reviews...

more about iGoogle


Need some Equipment?

Renting equipment (crib, dog crate, crutches...) can be pricy; you may be able to buy it at a local thrift shop.


Rental Companies we have useD

Caribbean Villas - St. John, USVI

Southern Shores Realty - Outerbanks, North Carolina


Vacation Links


More tips


Watch at least one sunrise on your vacation.