Rules of Travel - Acronyms

Many of the following principles have to do with communication and information exchange, while others have to do with cultures and ways of thinking.  The acronyms for these principles are used throughout my travel tales.  Here are the definitions for the principle and its acronym.


Bed & Breakfast Deals: In some countries, especially like England, B&B's are by far the best places to stay. The price is half the hotel price, the rooms are almost always more comfortable, the people very friendly, nice, and helpful, parking is simple, and the breakfasts are wonderful. Now with internet, they are easy to find and a great location is usually available.


True Learning Principle: Words can only truly describe something you have actually seen or done yourself, after which words become much more interesting and meaningful.

Corollary: Tour guidebooks have little use for trip planning. They are more interesting to read during or after the trip is over.


Mature bureaucracy Principle (MBurP):  As a bureaucracy matures, its ability to communicate useful information approaches zero. This is why tourist guidebooks have a rather limited usefulness, and one always gets lost. Expect to see so many directions to so many places that where you really want to go is buried in signs.


Principle of accelerated learning (PAL):  The most efficient way to become by first being stupid. Simply a corollary of the homily that "we learn by making mistakes".

Corollary: If you never make mistakes or never admit making them, you are a slow learner.


Local's tools acquisition maneuver (LoTAM): A procedure that simply involves watching what the locals do to survive and then no matter how stupid it looks, do it. No matter how hard you try, you will miss some of the subtleties and look utterly stupid anyway/


Principle of ignorant appreciation (PIAP): One of the greatest pleasures in touring is the experience of discovering and appreciating a place without first knowing that you are supposed to have seen that particular place


Bureaucratic street naming effect (Bursna): In Europe, all streets, even the straight ones change names every few blocks to allow some bureaucrat to have his name immortalized at the expense of making directional instructions impossible and maps useless. (Starting to happen in the U.S.)


Shortest distance Principle (Shordis): The optimum route between two points in touring is rarely a straight line. Some of the most interesting sites to see will occur on your way to where you are headed. Don’t worry about missing a "must see" place. There are millions of "real" must see places all over the world and most of them will not be in your tour books. If something looks interesting pull off and check it out.


DoWhalDo: Doing what locals do in their everyday life but what we rarely experience can lead to great adventure (ie, rent a bicycle and ride around town).


Walk around hotel maneuver (Warhot): The best way to find a room is to wonder around on foot. Most of the hotels are too small to be listed in a tour book and they may be tucked in alleys, above bars and in peoples homes.


Responsibility handoff maneuver (Resham): The best way to see a place is to have a friend who lives there show you around. Try to make friends in exotic places.


Tourist office Maneuver (Toffman): In European touring, the first place to visit in each village is the tourist office to get maps and suggestions of what to see. but don’t waste too much time there and don’t get your hotel there. In fact, don’t’ spend any money there. At the most, buy a village map. Always ask what is best to see.


Delosting procedures (Delop) Stadtmitte (Germany), Centrum, Centro, Central means the center of town, a very important and good place to go everywhere except in the U. S. In the U.S. usually to be avoided.
Altstadt, the old city, which is always worth a visit.

W.C. means toilet all over Europe.

Loo In England means toilet.

HBF (Haupt Bonhof) Germany The main train station is usually in the town center.

NC (Central Station) Holland. NS can designate any of the stations.


Improved communication Principle (Imcom): Learn at least enough language to say "hello, goodbye, thank you, toilet, the bill, please, " for every country you visit. To go to a foreign country and miss all of what is to be learned from words is pretty close to inexcusable.


Trolinger first available place maneuver (TrolFAP): If a plane looks like it may be crowded, do not wait until you get to your seat to store overhead baggage. Store it in the first available overhead bin.


Universal Solvency Principle (USOP): Have a few dollars in the currency of all countries through which you plan to travel……before you get there. This is money for drinks in airports, taxis, phone, bribes, emergencies.


Principle of Proper Noun Sounding (ProNSou):Foreign proper nouns such as streets and square names will not be recognizable even in short term memory unless they are sounded out and repeated. Avoid glancing over such words that may be reencoutered. Read them and say them to yourself until you can recognize the word. For example, one look at "Jones" Street is all you need. But one look at Svlestoscrsvovosky Street is not enough to be useful.


Principle of MTC: Learning to use the mass transportation system comfortably may be the most important and first thing one should learn about each city, except for Los Angeles.


One Photograph Maneuver (OPM): Most churches and museums do not allow photography. They often claim that the light is damaging to the art. More likely, they want you to buy a photo or card of the art at inflated prices in the gift store. You don’t get kicked out for one photo, so choose it carefully and be prepared to obsequiously apologize.


Ignorance causes blindness (ICB): Yogi Berra once said "You can see a lot by observing." The WWT says "You don’t see what you don’t know." As soon as you learn a new fact, it begins appearing everywhere. Never stop taking classes in Art history and appreciation or other classes that help you observe. Knowledge also makes seeing more exciting


Principle of Universally Spoken (Bad) English (USE): Universal Spoken English is not American (or British) English. It is not even close. Do not attempt to teach foreigners English. Learn USE from them. Do not speak English in foreign countries; Speak USE.


(McDonalds Free Pee) MacDonalds, unlike many stores, is always a place you can take a whiz without having to buy something or feeling guilty. And now this is true the world over. Usually the lines are so long they don't even notice you. MacDonalds should get the Nobel peace prize for this contribution to the world. For this we could almost forgive them for making 65% of Americans obese and running half the magnificent restaurants in Europe out of business. As of 2006, the Pee is no longer free in some places. At least there are plenty of places.


Cultural Observations

How understanding cultures can enhance your travel experience
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Rules of Travel

Acronyms I've developed for use throughout my travels.... More


Tools I consider indispensable for WWT type of travel.....More