Day 1 We go shopping at the local grocery store and pick up supplies. We get cheese, wine, bread, olives, tomatoes, salami, pears, yogurt, cottage cheese and whiskey. As we check out the cashier says, “borsa?” I give her the blank stare of “what?” She says “bag?” in English and I say, “yes.”
Day 3 We pick up some fruit, bread, cottage cheese, and eat it with the salami, tomatoes and nuts we have on hand for dinner. At the grocery store, as we are checking out the cashier says to me “borsa?” I give her the blank stare of “what?” (again). She says “bag?” in English and I say “yes.” This is my second interaction with her. The bottle of wine is good, the whiskey is better.
Day 5 On the way home we hit the grocery store. As we are checking out the cashier says to me “borsa?” I respond “Si”. She smiles. I can be taught. Actually I am just lucky that “Si” is the same in Spanish as it is in Italian. Anytime I get confused Spanish is the only other language I vaguely know and will default to it when confronted with something other than English. It just happens to work perfectly at a grocery store in Italy.
Ever been to London? Did you stay downtown? Did you pay over $200 a night for a mediocre hotel? Stay Local! Airbnb in London is not cheap but it saved us over $100 a night. We had a private room and private bathroom two short blocks from Trafalgar Square. Use Airbnb, Wimdu can be better in Europe and Agoda is better in Asia. Expedia and Booking.com are always worth a look. Sally and I travel as a couple and get a private room. We occationally use Hostels. Hostelworld is a good place to start for that. Use a Hostel if you travel solo. It is a great place to meet people and get local intel.
We found a local hotel in Heraklion Crete that was perfect. Small independent hotels will take good care of you and many have a good breakfast of local food. We stayed at the Kronos Hotel a block off the harbor. The breakfast was a perfect start to each day. It set us back less than $50 a day. Rule # 12 Use grocery stores and local stays to travel cheap