Tim Foolery

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When I Travel

When I Travel,  I want to to really experience the place I am visiting. I don’t want to spend my time in the hotel eating room service and watching TV.

Despite the room being perfect, I sure don’t want to spend much time in the suite at the Prince de Galles in Paris. I want to see the city

When I travel, if I can, I partner up with a local. I want to know where they eat, where they drink and how they live.  By a local, I don’t mean a hired guide (necessarily), nor does partner up with mean spending all day everyday with them.

Food stall street in Shanghai was very intimidating for someone who doesn’t speak Mandarin, but with the help of our guide we ate like kings.

When I travel, I research beforehand. I use everything from TripAdvisor, to Michelin, to just plain ‘ol Google.  If I can find a local City Magazine online I will read about the hot new places. That’s how I found all the great places Downtown LA earlier this year (read about that here, here and here).  You’d be surprised what not-so-hidden gems you can find with a little help from Mr. Google.

When I travel, I ask everyone from the taxi driver, to the concierge to the bell boy to the valet attendant to the bar tender: “Where do YOU eat?” Not “Where do you send guests?” I keep pushing until I get a real answer.  I had to ask this question 5+ times to the fine folks in Memphis a few years ago until I finally got directions to a basement BBQ joint with stellar food a block or two off Beale.

Not the place in Memphis, but a great dive/shanty on the Oregon Coast. Best crab cocktail on the planet.

When I travel, I ask the hive mind of Facebook, G+, Twitter and readers here where I should go.

When I travel, food is an important part of my journey, but not the only part. I’ll hit the museums (both acclaimed and hidden). I’ll take walking tours. I will rent a bike ( I love cities with bike share programs).

Prepping for a cold bike tour of Dublin. Two wheels are the best way to see a city, don’t you think?

How do you travel? How do you recommend I improve my travel?

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