Sunday, November 24, 2013

Grand Canyon 2014 - filling up with activities

I am really enjoying that TRIP IT app and website. I can make all my trip schedules in there and invite other travelers to check it out. The app even completes the flight information for me.
The only thing lacking is a place to enter the trips budget.

Using TRIP IT I realized there was one day that needed to be filled, if I were to enjoy the freeie days at the Grand Canyon. I had to find stuff to do in AZ.

Bing - AZ. I found the website and it led me to

So I found that just near us we have the Petrified Forest and the Painted Desert. That might be a good one day hike.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

travel insurance

Last week I received a travel insurance mail.
I have not considered travel insurance before. But lately I have been thinking about it.
Last year my aunt and brother lost 2 days - their whole trip to Washington DC - due to flight cancellation.

A few years ago I had an appendicitis. It was during the school year, but what if it had happened during our vacation? If we are traveling within the US, no problem, but what if it had happened when we were in England? Even in Brazil, where I no longer have health insurance?

It is probably worth considering travel insurance - depending on how much we are risking to lose. So yes, I will consider travel insurance from now on. Every time we plan our vacation I will check on it and balance the cost/benefit of purchasing something like this.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

A man must travel

“The one thing that would have been worse than to be cold floating up and down the waves south of the Indian Ocean, would have been not having made this far, or never having left the warm and comfortable waters of Paraty – even if only to find out how warm and comfortable they were. I felt oddly well as I sailed around the ice that was so far away from home. Today I understand my father. A man must travel, on his own, not through stories, images, books or TV. He must go on his own, with his eyes and feet, to understand that which is his – so that one day he can plant his own trees and value them. He must know the cold so the can enjoy the heat. He must feel distance and displacement, so he can feel well under his own roof. A man must travel to places he doesn't know to break the arrogance that makes us see the world the way we imagine it, instead of simply the way it is; the arrogance that makes us be teachers and doctors of things we have never seen, when we should  be instead students, simply going and seeing.” Amyr Klink (Endless Sea)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Crand Canyon 2014 - lodging and transportation

It seems that Flagstaff is the cheapest place to stay. Followed closely by Williams. If you get any closer to the park, or if you try the park itself, things start getting too pricey.
So we might be staying at this place for $279 total.

Car rental - so far, it seems like it is going to be Hertz for $20/day for a total with taxes of @ $208. The reason why we might be doing Hertz (other than bestprice) is that Dean got us a rewards card with them.

So far our total expenses - including $50meals/day (for 7 days), is at $2,258.00:
Car - $208
Lodging - $279
Travel - $1,160
Hoover Dam - $60
Sky Walk - $176
Grand Canyon - $25
Meals - $350

Monday, November 11, 2013

Grand Canyon 2014 - activities and flights

App - TRIP IT - I am using this app to save travel plans. It also has a website and it says it allows you to share travel plans with other people. It saves confirmation emails as well. Let's see how great it is. I will have a back up for now, but , it might be a great little find.


$25 for cars or $12 for walking person - valid for 7 days. There are free days as well

There are flights to Phoenix, AZ, Las Vegas, NV, and to Flagstaff, AZ. There is also a flight from 
There are other options on their downloadable trip planner ( ) but they were not interesting to us.
The flight to Las Vegas is so far the best option. 
(Phoenix is less than $500, but it puts us there in the evening. And Flagstaff is almost like a flight to Brazil!!!!)
The Vegas flight puts us there by 10am, and it is around $580 a person. 
It gets us back home by noon, giving us a whole afternoon to rest before going back to work.
It is important to note that the website is expedia, but I am planning on going straight to UNITED - who breaks guitars - given my previous nightmare experiences with third party agencies...

GETTING AROUND WITH A GPS???? the website mentions GPS might be unreliable. So, go learn to read a map, if you haven't yet.

THINGS TO DO - This guide also gives options of hikes, drives and bike-rides. I am going to print one of these for me.

OTHER PLACES TO GO - Let's not forget that this is the DVWinters family trip and we have trouble - a lot of trouble staying put. I just looked at 

HOOVER DAM - It is close to Las Vegas, so we might start or end our trip there. There is a one hour trip that costs $30/person - and includes the power plan and dam passageways. - notices that there is a cheaper shorter option that only includes the power plant.

GRAND CANYON SKY WALK - owned and operated by the Hualapai Nation, and they charge you to go on this Sky Walk which is a glass bridge right over the grand canyon.
There are different packages and to view them you need to click on the packages option at the bottom of the page, other wise you can only view the Gold package. Not all packages include the SKYWALK!!!!!! You must add it! 
The cheapest package - $45 per person after all fees and taxes are added. You have too add the SKYWALK which is about $30/person. So it will easily cost you $80/person (after taxes on the $30) That is without a meal. It seems that the Gold package will be a good deal because it includes the meal and the skywalk for a total of $88/person. Check them out before you make your choice, you might not want a meal. ....

We still have to look better into lodging and look at car rentals. My times is up for today, so I will save that for later. 
Don't you think for a moment that i am not going to plan our day by the second. Last time I didn't do that things got left undone.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Grand Canyon 2014 - Where to stay

Well, people like me must go ahead and check where on earth in the grand canyon. You know when you grow up hearing  about the grand canyon, it sort of becomes and entity above state lines.

Then I looked of places to stay.
the search obviously gives you places inside the park.
I have not checked the prices at those places yet. I am guessing they fall somewhere  between prohibitive and an arm and a leg. I will look into them just for hahas.
But then my next thing was to look for towns nearby.
Tusayan is right outside it. Its prices are close to New York City prices... Goodness gracious.


There is Williams - according to the ehow website, but on Google maps I found Flagstaff. Then on expedia I found prices as low as $31/day

Am I ever going to use expedia again?
Probably not. But I use it to do research....
I guess the next step is find out when my April vaca is.

Monday, November 4, 2013

pitcures of Britain 2013

This Sunday I had no new post, bc I spent hours on updating old posts. If you go back and see my Great Britain posts you will notice that now they have pictures and videos.
There were so many, and these a probably not the best, but it was hard to choose. What matters is - they are here! Check them out!