Guest Post by Virginia Saunders, Trip Planning Guide
We moved to California five years ago. While we were standing in the driveway, directing the movers, one of our new neighbors came over and introduced herself. She welcomed us to the neighborhood and said she’d made us a little, house-warming gift -- a guide to the area.
We thanked her for her thoughtfulness and went back to the task at hand. It wasn’t until later that night that we took a look at her gift. She’d taken a ring binder full of plastic sleeves and filled it with local maps, brochures, menus from local restaurants, and even coupons for meals and services.
Exhausted from the move, we ordered dinner using a coupon from one of the restaurants that delivered to our address. It was the first time we put this wonderful gift to use, but not the last. Over the years, we’ve added to the binder and now, it’s indispensable.
If you’re exchanging your home, why not do the same for your guests. Here are some suggestions for things you might include:
* Go to Google Maps and get directions between your house and the grocery store, local attractions, and other places they’ll likely want to go. Then put the printed directions in the binder. But if you have a portable GPS that won’t work where you’re going, leave it out for your guests.
* If your local newspaper has a website that publishes a calendar of upcoming events, print out the calendar so your guests will know what’s going on during their visit. Many travelers don’t take time to read the morning paper, so if there’s something happening that will be of interest, let them know.
* Keep an eye out for money-saving coupons to local attractions, restaurants, and activities. Our Fresh & Easy ( a grocery store owned by Tesco) has coupons in the paper every week for $10 off a $50 order. Who doesn’t want to save 20% on their groceries?
* Restaurant menus with recommendations -- or warnings -- are really helpful. Especially for places that deliver.
We still appreciate our neighbor’s helpful gift, and if you do this for your guests, they will to.
If you’re headed to California, you can find lots of travel ideas at our site, www.tripplanningguide.com.