Author Archives: "Mamita Vicki" Barnes

Don’t blow your budget before you leave

You have to arrive at the airport a couple of hours early to ensure enough time for check in, security check and boarding. If you are on a tight budget, you can not afford unnecessary expenses, and – believe yme – most of the money people spend in airports is unnecessary.

imageBetween your tasks at the airport, you will be inundated with opportunities to spend money on everything from food to newspapers to plush animals wearing t-shirts advertising the city you are in. There are jewelers, art dealers and even high end clothing stores in the terminals. Continue reading

Doing shots

Photo (57)By Vicki Barnes

Depending on where you are traveling, immunizations can mean the difference between life and death.

Seriously. Get your shots before you go.

Vaccines are the most important tool you can have against getting sick – perhaps with a life-threatening illness – when you travel abroad.

Every country is different. Some countries require certain vaccinations prior to entry, others merely suggest the ones you should have. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has a feature on their website that allows you to plug in the name of the country you will be visiting and information about the kind of traveler you are (traveling with children, mission or volunteer work, etc.) and with the click of the mouse, find out what is required or suggested for your destination. Continue reading

Don’t put THAT in your bag…

By Vicki Barnes

Don’t pack a hand grenade in your suitcase (or your carry on) when you head to the airport.image

OK, so maybe that one seems obvious, but there are things the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will not let you bring on a plane that you might not have considered.

The TSA website has a long list of things that are banned on planes. Check it out before you go so the contents of your bags doesn’t make you a target for more screening. Continue reading

Casado means “Married Man”…so why is it on the menu?

By Vicki Barnes

There is a great variety of food in Costa Rica. Most of the locals (Ticos and Ticas) stick to the basics. At home or in the small, inexpensive restautants along any road (sodas), they stick with the typical dish.casado

Pretty much anywhere you go in Costa Rica, the lunch or dinner menu is casado.

Casado with chicken. Casado with pork. Casado with fish. Casado with steak. Even casado with vegetables (see photo – beans and rice with veggies and a salad with a side of veggies!). At one of the roadside restaurants you can find a heaping plate for $4 or less.  Continue reading