Sunday, February 12, 2012

Travel Tips: Taiwan Edition

While some of these tips may be specific to Taiwan, they are denoted as the 'Taiwan Edition' primarily because they are tips which got the Harrington's from plans to arrival and most of them would prove effective for travel to most locations, not just Taiwan. That being clarified, here are some tips for travelling Harrington-style to new and exotic locations.

  • Specific to those travelling from Korea and whom have a Korean bank account: Check out Kangsan Travel - the Harrington's had an absolutely amazing experience with this travel agency. Not only could they purchase tickets using Korean Won, which happened to more abundant due to poor conversion rates throughout the fall, but the tickets were well priced AND if that weren't enough...After sending in a notice of confirmation to Kangsan, the Harrington's received an email from Kangsan claiming another ticket was available for a slightly cheaper price, with more desirable departure/arrival times and with a better airline, and the couple could choose to change over to this ticket before depositing their money! FANTASTIC!
  • Specific to travel during Chinese New Year: Assume that everything will book up quick and make a decent plan, stick to it and book accommodations and transportation if you can. Consider staying in the capital cities of countries that celebrate the Chinese New Year and doing day trips from the city as most families return to ancestral homes which are rarely in the city. A helpful site the Harrington's have used for booking accommodations is
  • Specific to Packing - Clothes: Melissa's personal, slightly vain packing practice is to take clothing she feels comfortable and confident in. Once-upon-a-time it was old t-shirts and awkward fitting bottoms, but that all changed upon the realization that when travelling, pictures will be taken, lots and lots of pictures - you'll enjoy the memories more if you feel you were looking your best. For this trip, Melissa included a dress and a couple of long shirts, a couple pair of leggings, a long cardigan, a scarf, a pair of jeans and a pair of shorts. In this way, she was able to adequately layer and avoid wet pant bottoms (by opting for leggings and shorts) throughout the course of their trip. Mike generally takes one or two pairs of jeans and a selection of soccer jersey's since the jersey's are lightweight and quick to dry should he get soaked.
  • Specific to Packing - Accessories: This trip, Melissa wanted to take some bobby pins to tuck away unruly hair, not an uncommon item to take on a trip. However, wanting to prevent the pins from floating about all willy-nilly, Melissa opted to put the pins (as well as a few other hair accessories) onto an old gift card to keep them contained.

  • Specific to Keeping Records/Journaling: As is evident in the keeping of The Harrington Times and the perhaps overly detailed stories from past travels, Melissa has a particular love for writing. However, while in the midst of travel adventures and misadventures Melissa has no desire to keep a detailed record of the events unfolding around her. It has therefore become her custom, since the World Tour of 2010, to record the days events in a sort of short-hand or single words commentary in a small daily planner. Upon returning home, this can then easily guide Melissa in creating blog posts or recording an even more personal and detailed travel journal while allowing travel to be relaxing and rejuvenating. 


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