What do you get when you marry the strengths of a former flight attendant and a road warrior (a.k.a. business traveler)? Sound advice... and plenty of it. That’s the beauty of Lynne and Hank Christen’s latest endeavor -- Travel Wisdom: Tips, Tools, and Tactics for All Travelers.
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,” according to Confucius, and it’s the opening quote for eighteen chapters of travel-related knowledge. Starting with the dream and a plan (research), the book leads readers into packing smart, choosing a travel agent, dollars and sense, travel health and safety, travel etiquette, business travel, disabled travel, going solo, family travel, group tours, cruising, air travel, riding the rails, drive tours, holidaying close to home, what to do when things go wrong, making memories last through journals and photography, and just simply taking the time to enjoy the experience.
Using numbered and bulleted lists along with bold text, the authors highlight relevant information (e.g. six steps to getting started, top ten tips for solo travel, twenty-five things to do on a day at sea). Boxed notes of travel wisdom, experience and homework (questions you should ask yourself, steps you should take...) also help break up the text. Excerpts of the Christen’s travel journals to Bali, sailing the Med and driving through wine country add interesting flavor.
Of particular usefulness are the appendices at the back of the book. The “to do” checklists highlight what travelers need to do three to six months prior to departure, 30 days before, one week, forty-eight hours and the day before the big trip. The list of travel-related websites is also of value.
Need to learn how to choose a travel agent? Feel better knowing a little about travel safety? If your answers are yes, then this book is for you. Need to know how to find a cheap local bus in a third-world country? You’re not going to find it here. Despite its claim to being a book for “all” travelers, budget/adventurers should look for answers to their questions elsewhere. The only real reference to budget/no frills travel was a mention of the Lonely Planet series of guidebooks in the Travel Resources Appendix. Also notably short are the chapters for solo, family and disabled travel.
There is a standing phrase of “write what you know,” and the Christens do just that -- they admit to traveling regularly for business, prefer cruise travel on personal trips, rarely plan holidays involving travel by car now that their children are grown, and appear to have a healthy travel budget. Their love of travel and sharing experiences is evident and their collective wisdom shines in travel for the beyond-the-backpack set.