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Pismo Beach Dune Buggy Experience
"Rent your dune buggy in Oceano just 5 minutes down the road from Pismo Beach at your selected time. Get fitted with your gear and receive a safety orientation. You will then hop on an open-air tram which will drive you a mile down the beach to the staging area. Hop in the driver's seat or passenger's seat of your fully automatic 4-wheeler dune buggy and zoom off through the Oceano Dunes.The Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area is among the most unique California State Parks as the only place where you can drive your own vehicle on a public beach. Spend two hours exploring first approximately 2 miles (3 km) of scenic beachfront before zipping and zooming through 1500 acres (607 hectares) or rolling sand dunes in your dune buggy — a fun exciting way to spend a day along the beautiful California coast!Upon completion of your dune buggy adventure
From $124.00
Wine Country Biking Tour in Santa Barbara
"Your group will be picked up by air-conditioned vans at a prearranged meeting spot at 10:00 AM. We will then shuttle by van to the Santa Ynez Valley. After getting riders fitted we ride along the scenic back-roads to our first winery. Once there the winery staff takes us for a tasting and your guide will prepare an enjoyable “deli spread” picnic lunch with lots of options. Cold beverages and water will be provided throughout the tour. Then we pedal on to the second winery. Your guides wil and several wineries extend discounts on wine purchases to our guests. This trip receives rave reviews from guests. We have done similar tours for wine and travel writers corporate groups bachelorette and birthday parties as well as families and tourists. This is the wine tour that was featured on the television show Giuliana and Bill."
From $159.00
Hop-On Hop-Off Wine Tasting Tour from Paso Robles
"Pickups are generally scheduled between 10:30-11:30am and coordinated geographically based upon the other pickups for the day with outside regions picked up first and returned last. Your guides will call you between 9:30-10am on the morning of service to give you a more specific pickup time. Returns start after 4pm. Late pickups and early returns may be possible upon request only within the Paso Robles Templeton or Atascadero city limits.You will most likely visit 4-5 wineries in your day depending upon how long you stay at each winery and what you do for lunch. When you decide to “hop off” your guides walk you in and introduce you to the tasting room staff who will guide you through your tasting experience and then your guides return in approximately 40 minutes. When they return
From $60.00

Suitable Luggage Tips (3)

Packing List

Luggage and bags Baggage depends on what you need. If you plan to camp, well then you dont need to bring the blow dryer, or the curling iron with you. But do try to bring deodorant! That still has an effect on the ecosystem.

Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear Family Travel

Toiletries and Medical Supplies Oh For Heavens sake! Do BRING TOILET PAPER!

Aug 25, 2002

Packing List

Luggage and bags If you go to Yosemite, and go hiking, a backpack large enough to carry 2 or 3 litres of water is essential.

Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear In the summer, California is hot - shorts, t-shirts and sandals are what the locals wear, and a hat wouldn't go amiss because the sun sometimes gets unbearable.

San Francisco can get quite cold when the fog comes in, even in June / July, so it might be worth taking at least one sweater if you're in that area. It's unlikely to rain, but it might.

In Yosemite, you need to supplement your California gear with a good pair of hiking boots - blisters are a serious risk here.

Toiletries and Medical Supplies Lots of sunblock, and after sun cream, for starters. In Yosemite, you can probably buy these at the village store, but it'll cost you. A basic first-aid kit might also be worth investing in. Last, but not least, take some insect repellent.

Photo Equipment Buy 35mm film at a large store such as WalMart - you'll get a 200 Dx 24 shot film for less than $2.

If you go into Yosemite without a camcorder, you'll kick yourself later on.

Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear It gets dark during the night within the park - there aren't any streetlights. Take a torch.

sjvessey's Profile Photo
Aug 25, 2002

Packing List


You've heard the phrase 'The best-laid plans of men and mice'. Well, our best-laid plans were spoiled by United Airlines.

For the past year we have been planning a trip to the Cook Islands. Our son Daniel and his fiancée Jennifer were getting married on this South Pacific island. The happy couple lives in Denver. My brother in law and sister in law, Art and Rita, drove down from Carson City the night before we were to leave. We even arrived at San Francisco Airport at 4:00 pm for a 7:11 pm shuttle flight to Los Angeles (LAX), just to be sure we had plenty of time. The United shuttle was supposed to be in Los Angeles by 8:20 pm giving us plenty of leeway before the Air New Zealand flight left for the Cook Islands at 11:00 pm.

After arriving at the United shuttle terminal, it was apparent that something was wrong. The place was mobbed with people. We checked the monitors and found that every flight was at least one hour late. We had heard that United pilots were in a slow down, refusing overtime, and that apparently had caused all the flights to back up. We immediately asked to be placed on standby for the 4:15 flight.

We were on standby for every flight until our scheduled flight and never got on. We found out at 6:00 pm that there were over 200 people on standby so we had no chance to get on an earlier flight. Our 7:11 pm flight finally left at 9:30 pm which still would have given us a half hour to make the connecting flight at LAX. As fate would have it, our pilot announced at the end of the runway that LAX was under flow control for some reason and that we had to sit at the end of the runway for at least a half-hour. We were finally in the air at 10:15 pm and landed at 11:14 pm. We ran the mile and a half from the United gate to the Air New Zealand gate only to find that the plane had already left with our son and his fiancée on board.

Air New Zealand's next flight to Rarotonga was four days away. No other airline flew to Rarotonga so we were stuck in LA until Tuesday. Air New Zealand helped us find rooms at the Sheraton Hotel along with two other stranded passengers from our doomed flight. Neither United nor Air New Zealand took responsibility for our bills, advising us to send a letter to Customer Relations.

Where was our luggage? United passed the buck to Air New Zealand who blamed the intermediary baggage transfer agent and United. Air New Zealand's supervisor declared that bags are not put on a plane unless the passengers are on that plane. This circular argument put us in the middle all day Saturday. At 5 pm, after we insisted the supervisor call Rarotonga Airport, our bags indeed were found in Rarotonga enjoying the warm sunshine while we sat marooned in LA. We were now facing four day in Los Angeles with only the clothes on our back.

What should you do to minimize the stress and inconvenience of this type of situation? Here are some suggestions.

Always assume the worst; your luggage will never arrive.

I find a purse clumsy and fear robbery or misplacement, I use a combination of belly pack, daypack, and foldover travel neck wallet. I always keep these items secured to my body. DO NOT switch items between partners because someone can set an item down and assume the other person has it. This happened in a temple in Bangkok and money, traveler's checks and passports were stolen with two vacation days lost getting replacements.

DAYPACK - Also can be used during the trip when shopping. Better than carrying bags and loose items by hand.

BELLY PACK - Special travel belly packs have steel wire in the belt so thieves cannot cut them off your body. I use the belly pack for small, hard to find items, which would get lost in the daypack. I usually have lip balm, Band-Aids, comb, hair barrette, extra cash, sunglasses, Kleenex, ear plugs, sleeping mask, business cards, copy of eyeglass RX and companion's passport, small translation book, emergency meds anti-diarrhea's, anti-inflammatories, sleeping pill. Because of dry recirculated airplane air, I include saline nasal spray, nasal decongestant and spray, and throat lozenges.

TRAVEL WALLET- 2 pens for inevitable entry and exit forms, passport, visa, airline tickets, vouchers, credit cards, scuba card, driver's license, cash, foreign currency, note pad, luggage key.

TRAVEL TOILETRY KIT - Resupply this kit after short or long trips. Steristrips, Band-Aids, q-tips, safety pins, nose strips, small sewing kit (some hotels include them as give-always), hydrocortisone ointment, Vaseline, anti-fungal cream, antibacterial ointment, small size sunscreen, hand cream, small insect repellent, toothpaste and brush, sample shampoo, conditioner, dental floss, razors, safety pins.

CLOTHING - Change of underwear and socks, tee shirt, long sleeved shirt or sweater, windbreaker, 1 pair of shorts, bathing suit (for hotel swimming pools).

HARD TO REPLACE ITEMS PARTICULAR TO SITUATION - Due to the wedding, I included my dress, shoes, nylons, pearls for the bride, collage binder of Dan and Jenn's pictures and life stories. Include water filter and/or iodine tablets for primitive countries.

MEDICATIONS - Daily medications in original containers for the entire trip. Emergency drugs: 1-2 day supply, more if destination is primitive or drug replacements difficult: Allergy med., anti-diarrhea's, anti-nausea's, non-narcotic analgesics, and anti-inflammatories.

VALUABLES - Jewelry, watch, camera and film. A small short wave radio is good if going to remote areas. I use a Palm handheld computer and portable keyboard for notes. This also carries all my contact names and numbers including those of the airlines and any accommodations we have already reserved. If you don't have something like a Palm, remember to carry a list of these numbers with you.

OTHER - makeup, small flashlight, notepad, water bottle, fruit or snack, book or magazine, destination guide, translation guide, contacts or replacement glasses, inflatable pillow, batteries, house/car keys.

Be like a Boy Scout, always prepared. With the inevitable lost luggage or forced layover, having emergency supplies brings some comfort. The hotel sink serves as a laundry for quick drying polyester travel clothing.

We did finally make it to the Cook Islands in time for the wedding. Even though I wasn't happy being for forced to spend the time in LA, at least I was prepared, and that removed one more source of worry and discomfort.

awcooke's Profile Photo
Aug 24, 2002
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