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Vacation Tips for 2014
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I’m not going to tell you where to go on your next vacation, but I will give you some advice so you’ll enjoy your time away a bit more. See, I took a little vacation out to Phoenix, and I figure the best advice I can give is to just tell you what I did. And then you can do the exact opposite.

First, don’t bother taking a book to read. I packed a new book: a copy of Mankoff’s “How About Never? Is Never Good for You?” but I didn’t read it. While I was waiting in the Atlanta airport, I moseyed into a book shop and found a title that sounded equally interesting. So I bought it to read on the plane. Then when I arrived in Phoenix, I went to a Barnes & Noble, and was forced to buy a few more books. When it came time to return home, I had to wedge books in my suitcase, dangerously close to my dirty socks and unmentionables. So don’t pack any reading material for your next trip. Just pack a credit card and a list of bookstores.

Next, don’t go on a diet on vacation. That book I bought in the airport? It was “Salt, Sugar, Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us,” an excellent read, but not the kind of thing that helps you with your lavish vacation meal plans. While my family ate frozen yogurt, I sat around bemoaning the calories in tap water. What kind of person decides to go on a diet while on vacation? As Bob Newhart would say, “That would be me.” Don’t become a health-food nut while you’re flying to a vacation destination. Of course, I’ve lost four whole pounds since I read the book, but I really wanted a frozen yogurt on my vacation. What’s one extra little pound?

Finally, don’t over-mythologize your planned activities. Travel brochures make you think you’ll be dining with supermodels and racing little Ferraris around the Grand Canyon. Ha! We went to the mall, hung out in coffee shops, and attended two college lectures – hardly exotic, but definitely fun. Sure, it would have been posh to have espresso with Kate Moss, but Starbucks was fresh out of supermodels. Besides, there was this really cool Barnes & Noble at the mall, and I really, really needed another book! Sorry, Kate. I owe you a latte.

David McCoy, a notorious storyteller and proud Yellow Jacket, lives in Covington. He can be reached at