Traveling on the Berlin U-Bahn for the First Time

There Are No Turnstiles or Gates – Berlin's U-Bahn is based on an honor system. The ticket machines are on the platforms, but there seems to be nothing stopping you from boarding the train without your ticket. However, police patrol the subways constantly, sometimes disguised as civilians and randomly check passengers for their tickets. If you do not have a valid ticket or lost your ticket, then you have to pay a very high fine. If this happens the 3rd time, you have to go to court. Do not risk this, and always travel on the U-Bahn with a valid ticket.

You Have to Manually Open the Subway Doors – This concept is awkward for foreigners who are used to the subway cars opening automatically. On the Berlin U-Bahn, you have to either pull a latch or press a button to open the train door, either from the inside or the outside. If someone presses it first, then you are free to enter or exit.

The Train Stations are Very Long – Berlin is a very large city and the trains are very long. Therefore there is an entrance to the U-Bahn at one end of the subway platform and at the other end. These entrances are a long distance apart, so if you get out at the wrong exit, you may have to walk far to get where you really wanted to go.

The Ticket Machines are Finicky With Cash – The ticket machines in the U-Bahn do not like making change, so paying for your ticket in exact change or close to exact change is preferred. It also only accepts very crisp new Euro bills. You can alternatively pay with a debit card, but not a credit card where you would have to sign.

The Trains Run Very Frequently – If you miss a train as you enter the station, relax, because the next one will come within 2-5 minutes. You will typically wait no more than 10 minutes for a train, but most come every few minutes, and are rarely delayed. Since the U-Bahn system is largely dependable, you can time your commute fairly well once you travelled it once.…

Travel Inspirations: The Most Famous Movie Locations in Washington, D.C.

According to the Washington Post, over 185 movies have been filmed in Washington, D.C. And while many families choose to vacation in our nation’s capital for obvious historical and cultural reasons, movie buffs have a lot to enjoy while spending time in the city as well.

If you have a trip planned to Washington in the next few months, make sure to check out these famous film locations located in our nation’s capital. Getting your kids excited about American history can be tough…getting them excited about their favorite movies is easy!

  1.  Union Station

As seen in: “Minority Report”, “Hannibal”, and “Head of State”

In real life: Union station is both an active train station and a shopping mall area, meaning you will have plenty of locations to pick souvenirs from while you reminisce about your favorite movie scenes filmed at this spot.

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington also featured a scene at Union Station. However, this film contains no scenes shot on location; the entire movie was filmed on a soundstage.

  1.  The National Archives

As seen in: “All the President’s Men”, “JFK”, and “National Treasure”

In real life: The National Archives Building is located on the National Mall, and is home to copies of the Declaration of Independence, the Emancipation Proclamation, and the Bill of Rights. Interestingly, there is also a copy of the Magna Carta.

  1.  Riggs Bank

As seen in: “Transformers” and “The Pelican Brief”

In real life: The Riggs Bank is famous for its gold dome, making it iconic and instantly recognizable. You may want to limit the time you spend within the bank as a courtesy to workers and customers, but you could take plenty of exterior snapshots.

  1.  The Lincoln Memorial

As seen in: A vast list of films, including “Thank You for Smoking”, “Forrest Gump”, “G.I. Jane”, “Independence Day”, “Armageddon”, “Nixon”, and “The Long Kiss Goodnight”, among many others.

In real life: The Lincoln Memorial is a very popular tourist attraction in the city. Lincoln is one of our most beloved presidents, so it comes as no surprise that this landmark is popular among visitors and film directors alike.

What are some of your favorite film moments that take place in DC? Do you have a favorite film location I overlooked? Let me know in the comments below!

Murphy was My Traveling Companion

Imagine traveling for an important interview in Las Cruces, New Mexico and having Murphy as your traveling companion. Everything that could go wrong from late flights, missing connections, lost reservations, and even the personal purchase of a new ticket besieged me on this journey. The trip from hell and back is funny years later.

I must admit I made a horrible impression at the interview. All stressed out from both the airport and driving, late from no sense of direction and almost ending up in Mexico explains the deer in the headlight look I gave the interviewers. I walked in with sandy eyes and a cotton filled head, the clothes from the day before makes me wonder what coherent answers if any, I provided.

Returning to the airport, Murphy remained with me. With a hot day, no air-conditioning, stinky stockyards, traffic that was so slow I could have walked faster to the airport and an errant bumblebee I wondered if Murphy hated me. And believe me, when that bumblebee flew in the car, I almost had a heart attack wondering where it landed.

Oh yes, the airport goodness, somehow I managed to get THE last seat on the airplane next to a silent woman who kept sniffing me suspiciously as my deodorant failed. I must have not smelled like roses and the journey lasted several hours. Upright and grateful, I flew home wiser for the experience. And no I did not get the job.…

Top Five Must Have when Traveling

Your mobile phone/camera phone

Lately everyone has a cellular phone to carry around; this became more or less our way of life. Also, don't forget that is a safety device we carry on for emergency. If you have the Internet activated on your phone is even much better. Camera phone can be great for instant takes, you just never know what you run into or who.

Your airfare tickets

If you fly, you definitely want to make sure you have the paper tickets or your confirmation flight number and time of departure. Or, you should make sure you have the info on your phone.

A photo ID card/passport

Most likely in the States you identify yourself with your driver license; however, if you travel overseas, make sure you have your passport with at least within two months expiration date.

Copies of your wallet/money purse belonging

We got so hooked to use Credit Cards, everyone does and it make sense; for traveling purpose, have a separate folder with copies of all what you carry in your wallet including your passport. in case that get stolen, you will have the proper information to report. also, have a list with those cards issuers phone numbers.

Emergency list

Make a list with your itinerary, route and an emergency contact person that is not traveling with you. Also, list any medication you are on and are critical to your well being, in case something bad happens.

These are must have of course, besides your luggage with your belonging. Have your police station informed of your time out of the property and provide them with your contact information while you are out of town.…

South Carolina Welcomes Travelers with Grits, Pastries and More

It's time for "Grits Stop" again in South Carolina.

No, I don't mean to stop eating grits. I mean stop and eat some grits.

That is, if you're traveling down I-77 in Fort Mill on Friday, May 14 from 9 am to 12 noon, during National Travel and Tourism Week. That's when York County tourism will partner with Rock Hill/York County Convention Bureau, Rock Hill Parks, Recreation and Tourism and Recreation, the Olde English District and the Fort Mill Welcome Center (what a mouthful!) to serve up a heapin' helpin' of grits.

If you've never eaten grits before, come with an open mind. If you love grits, come with an appetite because a variety of seasonings and toppings will be offered, along with side dishes and pastries. As a bonus you'll be greeted in style by costumed characters from local attractions.

Out-of-towners, if you're hesitant to eat grits I implore you to try them. Put on a dab of butter, sprinkle on some cheese, salt and pepper them if you will, but just take a taste. Eating grits in the south is as normal as apple pie. When I was growing up they had to be cooked on the stove, but now instant grits can be zapped in the microwave in just one minute. In addition to regular grits, butter, cheddar cheese, country ham and bacon flavors are available.

But if you really, really like grits, drive down to the Hominy Grill in Charleston, South Carolina. Not only will you get grits in this establishment that has been heralded in The New York Times, Gourmet magazine (which stopped publishing in 2009), and Garden and Gun, but you'll get omelets, fried green tomatoes, pinto bean cakes, chicken, steaks and fish–to name just a few of the available dishes.

But don't forget to whet your appetite at the Grits Stop at the Fort Mill Welcome Center on Friday. I have to go now, my grits are getting cold.…

My Childhoods Most Horrific Summer Travel Experience

As a child, we liked to go to Carolina Beach, NC in the summer. The sand was warm, the ocean was cool, and the wind was just right. Getting there on the other hand was sometimes as memorable as the vacation was but for all the wrong reasons.

The most horrific trip to the coast happened in early August of 1980. We had taken two vehicles that summer because we had my cousin, aunt, and uncle with us also. It was the only time that I ever got to ride in the front seat of out Dodge Dart. I was really enjoying the view and the cool summer morning breeze as it lifted my spirits away from the doldrums of a hot steamy summer in Greensboro.

Suddenly I heard the screech of the tires and the even louder yell blaring from the top of my Mom's lungs as the car lunged forward. With a "crack" my head hit the windshield of the car shattering the glass into the exact formation of a spider's web. Fortunately for me was the fact that at 12 years old, I only weighed a mere 110 pounds or else I would have been shot through the glass like a cannon ball through space until I splatted on the pavement like a mosquito on our windshield just had moments before.

Spending the first day of our vacation in the New Hanover County Hospital was not how I had envisioned the trip starting out. It was made worse by the fact that the doctor liked to joke with my Mom about how hard headed I must be for my skull to be intact. I am glad someone had a laugh that day.…

Millennials Travel: 5 Ways to Attract an Entire Generation

Did you know that 50% of hotel bookings come from Millennials? With such a large portion of travel for both business and pleasure coming from this generation, it's important to know what this savvy age-group is looking for when they're on the go.

If you want to ensure that some of this Millennial travel business comes your way, focus on a few key elements, and you're sure to attract this important demographic to your place of business.

What Matters to Millennials:


What are you doing to make the world a better place? Make sure your environmental efforts are clearly on display. Don't keep your customers guessing. Green standards are quickly becoming an expectation, especially among this segment of the population. Let it be known what steps you take toward sustainability .


Millennials are more connected than ever, and they share many of their experiences online through social media. Make sure internet access is seamless and speedy. A slow or non-existent connection is an instant turn-off. Make internet access first-rate. This is no longer a luxury. It's a necessity and an expectation.


Food matters. Make finding excellent food easy. Concentrate on your own establishment's offerings, or compile a strong list of local fare worth venturing out for. Don't leave your guests without plenty of quality choices for nourishment.


Remember how connected millennials are? That means they will voice opinions, both good and bad. If you want a good message to spread about your establishment, concentrate on service. It's impossible to beat the power a strong word of mouth recommendation carries. Give your customers plenty of reasons to brag to friends and colleagues about your service. You will generate buzz, but make sure it's positive.


Millennials appreciate convenience and ease of use. Any way you can streamline the customer experience is a plus. Cut unnecessary steps, and allow as much room for customer control as possible.

Any transactions that can be handled completely online will appeal to Millennials. Polish every step of the process between you and your customer, and they'll remember a great hassle-free experience with your business.…

Compare Cheap Tickets on, and


You need tickets for an upcoming flight and you’re thinking of ways to . There are three websites that should give you a decent selection to work with:, and Keep in mind, the best ticket is the one with the best value and may not be the cheapest ticket available.



Make a list of possible travel dates and potential airports you can use. The more flexible you can be, the greater the chances you will have of finding tickets with the best value. ;

Create a second list for each airport you’re going to consider, listing fees for parking your car and/or ground transportation costs at your departure and arrival points. This is the only way to determine the true cost of your travel. (Remember, if you’re driving to a major airport, many nearby hotels will let you leave your car there for several days for free if you stay a night with them.);

Visit each of these three online sites –, and – and do a search for the dates you wish to fly. This will give you a range of prices for the same ticket. Be sure to include segment fees, energy surcharges and shipping (shipping the tickets) fees so you’ll have the actual price of your travel choice. ;

Redo the search but this time change the criteria to different airports and travel dates to see if you can save even more money. Remember to look at that list you compiled of parking and ground transportation fees to see if changing airports and/or dates will really save you any money.;

Book your flight when you have found the best reasonable fare, keeping in the mind the convenience of the airports you’re going to use, costs of ground transportation, etc.

Double check with your specific airline(s) to ascertain the latest security requirements for your carryon luggage. These tend to change very quickly and it will save you time if you have your items packed as suggested.;…

Five Places on My Travel Wishlist

I love to travel. One of my favorite things to do is go to a new place that I haven't been to before. Here are five places I'd love to see in the next five years.

  1.  Moab and Arches National Park
    Utah is right next to my home state of Colorado, but I've never been. I think the scenery is just gorgeous; I can't wait to see the arches in person. Sunrise or sunset in the park has to be one of the most beautiful sights.
  2.  Paris, France
    While I have been to lots of continents, I haven't been to Europe yet. Paris is at the top of my European wish list. The croissants! The wine! The Eiffel Tower! All of it, really. I'd love to stay somewhere close to all the sights so I can walk or bike everywhere.
  3.  Seattle, WA
    Seattle is an intriguing city to me. I can't wait to try the fresh snow crab and of course go to the original Starbucks and Pike Place market. I would also love to take a ferry to the outer islands and see that part of the Pacific Northwest as well.
  4.  Cayman Brac
    There is nothing more relaxing than a beach vacation. When I traveled to Grand Cayman 12 years ago, it was the most beautiful beach I have ever seen. I would like to make it over to the smaller, sister island, Cayman Brac. Talk about getting off the map!
  5.  Quebec City, Canada
    This mountain resort looks like something out of a fairy tale. The enormous castle seems like it would envelop you into a world of French-speaking, old-world Canada. There's a direct flight from Denver to Montreal, where we can rent a car and drive 2-3 hours up to Quebec City.

What's your top five on your travel wish list?…

Marriott's Residence Inn Offers Travelers Complimentary Breakfast

One of the best features of staying at a Marriott Residence Inn is that they offer a complimentary breakfast. When booking a hotel many hotels will offer a continental complimentary breakfast, however The Marriott Residence Inn offers a full buffet breakfast. The breakfast has many choices for you or your family to choose from including healthy food options.

The complimentary breakfast is also included within the price of the room. The Residence Inn serves breakfast daily seven days a week. The breakfast buffet has an assortment of traditional and healthy breakfast choices. Some of the items include freshly made waffles, scrambled eggs, sausage, potatoes, cereal and bacon.

Some of the healthier choices that are included with the free complimentary breakfast buffet are fresh fruits, homemade yogurt with granola parfaits, whole grain breads and oatmeal.

While enjoying your complimentary breakfast while staying at The Residence Inn you can also enjoy free Wi-Fi or high speed internet. If you are planning a business trip the free Wi-Fi can help make your stay more enjoyable. You can be on the internet while enjoying your breakfast in their modern style dining room.

Another great feature while staying at The Residence Inn is the free grocery shopping service. All of the rooms at The Residence Inn come with a full service kitchen including plates and utensils. If you have children who possibly might awaken early before the complimentary breakfast, you can easily prepare a healthy meal right in the comfort of your hotel room.

To take advantage of the complimentary grocery shopping service at The Residence Inn, provide the staff with your required groceries when you check-in at the hotel. The staff will happily do all of your shopping and stock your kitchen for you. The only cost associated with this service is the cost of food.

Traveling can be costly, however The Residence Inn will help lower your travel costs by providing a full service breakfast daily during your stay. When you come into the restaurant of the hotel you will be greatly by a pleasant staff ready to help accommodate your every need while traveling.…