Welcome to Insider Traveling, a web site for those who prefer to travel independently and in style. Here we will create a chronicle of each of our trips from beginning to end --including our experiences of planning, transportation, accommodations, dining, sightseeing, recreation and shopping. Web sites will be listed for almost everything we mention. Photos from each journey also will be included. So once you've read the account of a particular trip, you'll have valuable insider information with which to plan a trip to the same destination.
We do like to travel first class so this is not a site for the budget minded traveler. However, when we pay top dollar at a hotel or restaurant, we expect it to meet the highest expectations and we'll note the best rooms and the best tables in our reviews. All of our transcontinental and transoceanic flights are at least in business class. For exceptional dining experiences we consult the latest guides and take the recommendations of concierges at our hotels.
But the sky is not the limit. Before booking that five star hotel we do inquire about special rates, possible packages and upgrades. When the most fabulous place is just over the top, we might limit our stay to two nights. Two nights at the Paris Ritz in 1996 to celebrate a special birthday was worth every penny. We seldom eat in expensive, fine dining establishments two nights in a row. We alternate haute cuisine with good regional cooking or ethnic eateries such as Chinese, Thai, Indian or Italian. Those four seem to be ubiquitous worldwide. Among them we have made great discoveries.
We are Andrew and Cricket (Hannah) Crew. We love to travel and are sure it’s a genetic condition that makes us want to explore parts unknown. Andrew’s ancestor landed at Jamestown with John Smith in 1607. Cricket’s ancestors were also early Eastern Seaboard settlers. Some later worked for the railroad and traveled throughout North America and Mexico on rail passes. We both grew up in Virginia but now live on the West Coast.
We have traveled all over the United States, through much of Europe and recently enjoyed our first trip to Japan, which will be chronicled here. All of our travels have been independent of tours and cruise lines, although Andrew did take a cruise to the British Isles and Scandinavia when he was 18, but the hard way. He worked in the kitchen drying glasses. Where train service is good, as it is in much of Europe, we prefer to travel from city to city by rail. Where a car is a necessity, we limit our driving to places where road signs are at least in our own alphabet. Otherwise, we hire drivers.
We hope you will find this site useful. Bon Voyage!