Tips for Group Travel

I’ve just returned from a two week trip through Europe using a tour company.  Myself, a friend and 49 complete strangers visited seven countries during that time, so it was a bit of a frantic pace, but we saw a lot and experienced things I had only dreamed about –so it was all worth it.  I’m exhausted but there’s plenty of time to recuperate!

I thought it would make a good blog post to list some tips I learned on this trip.  I’ve traveled before, but never for that long of a period of time.  This was my third trip with a tour company so I think I have enough experience with them to make some observations that may be helpful to others.

  • Don’t overpack. I made the mistake of bringing 16 changes of clothes, and while I did wear almost all of them, I could have gotten by with half that amount.  Clothes can be reworn or washed in a sink and dried using a hairdryer.  In summer, bring lightweight clothes that dry fast.
  • Since I had packed so many clothes, that left no space in the suitcase for anything else I wanted to buy.  I had to limit my purchases to things that were small and light.  Maybe that’s not a bad thing though!  But I did have a lot of dirty clothes taking up space and adding weight.  If I had brought half of that, it would have made things much easier.
  • Skip some excursions. Some aren’t worth the money or time.  Research the area ahead of time and discover things to do on your own.  Also try to research the excursion ahead of time because the descriptions provided don’t always give enough information.  Sometimes you can get a better price if you arrange things on your own, but not always.  I liked most of the excursions I did and felt they were worth the money.
  • We had been to some of the cities we visited before so we skipped those excursions and did our own thing on those days.  The tour director was very helpful and understood that we didn’t want to pay to see things we’d already seen and gave suggestions on other sites to visit.
  • Tipping expectations vary by country so research that before you go.
  • Do your best to avoid the stops the tour will make at tourist traps.  They’ll tell you this is the “last chance you’ll have to buy” a certain item or it’s the “best price” you’ll find, which is silly in this day and age where you can buy just about anything online.  On this trip, we stopped at a leather store where there was a very long sales presentation.  Once I realized what was going on, we gracefully exited the store without anyone noticing.
  • If you’re traveling in Europe, you’ll realize soon enough that using the bathroom comes at a cost.  It varies widely, but for the most part, you’ll have to pay at least 1 Euro to use the bathroom, so make sure to have coins on you as some machines or attendants may or may not provide change or take credit cards.
  • Bring disinfectant wipes.  This may sound paranoid, but when you’re stuck on a bus for days with 49 other people, things get gross quickly.

That’s all I can think of for now.  If I think of anything else, I’ll add it in the comments.  Feel free to add your own.




Exercise, Jody Hendrix, RIPT90, Uncategorized

The First Month

Now that I’ve done RIPT90 FIT for an entire month, this seems like a good time to post on my progress and thoughts on the program.  I’ve also done each workout at least two or three times now so I feel more ‘qualified’ to give an opinion.

Unlike the first RIPT90, this newer set is more varied and targets major muscle group.  Jody does a good job of explaining which muscles are being targeted, which I personally find interesting and helpful.  There is also a guide that comes with the program that includes in this information.  The program apparently is based on Crossfit from what I’ve heard, although I don’t know enough about that to say.  I’ve definitely seen an increase in strength, which was my main motivation in starting the program.  I need to be more disciplined with my diet though, but that’s got nothing to do with the program, which is very solid in my opinion–and I’ve done many DVD/online video workouts at home.

Are you doing the program?  Let me know your thoughts…


Exercise, Jody Hendrix, RIPT90, Uncategorized


I know I haven’t posted anything in two years, so I guess I’m overdue for an update…

RIPT90FITAbout 10 days ago I started Jody’s newer set, RIPT90 FIT, and just wanted to post a comment on it.  I have to say so far I like it a lot.  It’s a bit less intense than the RIPT90, but still excellent workouts.  I’ll post more as I get deeper into the program, but I’ll let you know the workouts are all around 30 minutes, with some being even less at around 20 minutes or so.

If you have any questions, let me know!



Exercise, Jody Hendrix, RIPT90, Uncategorized

RIPT90: My Experience

I’ve decided to use this blog as a way to chart my exercise progress.  I bought tript90-imagehe RIPT90 program about a year ago because it was an amazing price (~$30) and I figured even if it sucked, at least I didn’t spend a lot and could tweak it to fit my goals.  I did it for 30 days but had to stop because I felt it was too repetitive and it had a tremendous amount of squats that aggravated a preexisting ankle issue I had.  Still, I liked the program and the trainer (Jody Hendrix) and planned to go back to it at some point.

Over the past year, I did Tony Horton’s 22 Minute Hard Corps and various Jessica Smith workouts, both her YouTube videos and DVDs, but decided it was time to retry RIPT90 so I started back up a few days ago.

For an excellent review of the program and more information on the workouts, I recommend visiting the blog 2 Lazy 4 the Gym.

I’ve been following the workout calendar since I started, but since Chest Shredder and Metabolic Mania work on similar areas (upper body), I’m going to do Leg Overhaul instead today.  I’m just too sore to do more upper body today!