Last week I started giving my brilliant opinions on how to travel, and of course I am always right. I have been pointing this out to my friends and family lately. That if they would do everything exactly as I instructed, their lives would be so much better. But, as the author and wit Oscar Wilde put it, ‘the only thing you have to do with good advice is pass it on. It is never of any use to yourself. ”

With apologies to Oscar, you need to listen to me. Because I’ve bumped and bumped enough of the world to know things. In last week’s column I touched on your planning process, including telling you not to plan a trip abroad with people you’ve never traveled with, to only take a cruise with people who are really nice is and to avoid all-inclusive resorts where the only local person you meet is your maid, and the only local culture you will tackle is the limbo contest.

So, now with Marla’s travel instructions, part 2:

Subtract the package trip. Now I took some of these when I was twenty, and they gave me the confidence to start traveling alone. If this is the only way you can feel safe, then travel. Enjoy it. Ignore my advice (why not, everyone else does?) But do not think that you are saving money. You are not. Someone has to pay for that exhausted, trusted guide you are trying to interest in the fact that the bathtub in your hotel room contains long black hair. (Happened to me in Rome). And the driver who has to pick up the luggage you left outside your hotel room at the horrible, wicked hour of 6am and the continental breakfast with the hard roll baked in 1997, and just recycled it again group of tourists because it is inedible. (Even the shape will not touch it.)

Like all-inclusive resorts, package tours are designed to help you avoid close contact with foreigners living in the countries you visit. They may not speak English, they may smell funny and they may have strange habits such as standing too close to you or kissing you on both cheeks. You definitely do not want it.

On a package tour, you would rather go from your hotel to your bus, where your luggage has already been stored for you, and sit next to a couple from Kansas who often complain that their bed is uncomfortable and that they cannot. get a good cup of coffee (fill in the country). You get informative comments from your tour guide when you take the bus, after which you stop 18 minutes at the Giza Pyramids, Stonehenge or the Roman Colosseum – just long enough to take photos – and then 90 minutes at the gift shop. , so that the tour company can get a discount on everything you buy. Then get back on the bus and stop en masse for lunch, sit at one table and eat a set menu to avoid the possibility (see above) you may be forced to talk to a foreigner.

You will do this for 22 days, see many famous sights, take a million photos and come home without meeting anyone other than Harold. Did I mention Harold?

Harold was on the first car trip through Europe that I took on my own when I was 22 years old. Harold was one of the guys shouting at the waiters, “But your signs outside say you SPEAK ENGLISH!” Due to the way the seats were rotated around the bus, everyone changed seats every day, but not travel companions. I had to sit next to Harold through probably 11 countries. He never found a restaurant where they spoke English.

So you ask, what do you do instead? It is not as if everyone knows how to get to Croatia or Zanzibar alone.

Oops, I’m out of the room again. Again, if it’s boring, tell me at mfisher@scng.com.

Wait differently for part 3. Do you want part 3? Let me know.

Note: I plan to sign my book on Sunday, July 25 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Brea City Hall Park, near the museum. However, I have now been told that there is an event, so let’s see if it’s even feasible. I’ll be there, somewhere !. Wear a mask if you have not been vaccinated. And sign up for this month’s Frumpy Mom Zoom Happy Hour on Travel (my favorite topic!) With our intrepid Watchdog reporter Teri Sforza, who took a year off and traveled the world full. We’re just going to tell stories and answer your questions. 17:00 Friday 30 July. And if we do not know the answers, we make it up! Sign up at scng.com/virtualevents.