Category Archives: Guides

Travel Guidebook Showdown: Lonely Planet vs. Fodor’s Travel

Travel Guidebook Showdown: Lonely Planet vs. Fodor’s Travel

Smartphones, Wi-Fi, and GPS have made traveling easier, but a physical travel guide is always a smart investment when trotting the globe. Both Lonely Planet and Fodor’s have been around for decades, but it’s time to decide which guidebook deserves that coveted space in your travel bag.

http://lifehacker.com/five-best-trav…

The Contenders

Travel Guidebook Showdown: Lonely Planet vs. Fodor’s Travel

There’s just something about not having to rely on internet service or battery life that makes guidebooks an essential part of exploring new destinations. With one book you can navigate, learn the culture, and find hidden hotspots no matter where you are. In fact, despite all the great apps and online travel guides out there, guidebook sales are up and they’re making a serious comeback. There are a lot of options for you to choose from, but we’re comparing two of the most popular and all-inclusive guidebook series available:

  • Lonely Planet: In just over 40 years, Lonely Planet has printed over 120 million books and become the world’s most successful travel publisher. They’ve published around 500 titles that cover 195 countries, and they hire a combination of travel writers and local writers when creating or updating each one. Lonely Planet travel guides cost around $22 for city/small area guides, and $25 to $30 for country guides.
  • Fodor’s Travel: Fodor’s has been dishing out travel advice and publishing guidebooks for 80 years. They prefer to hire local writers based in each destination for their guidebooks instead of travel writers. In total, they’ve published over 300 travel guides that cover more than 7,500 destinations around the globe. Fodor’s travel guides cost around $20 for city/small area guides, and $25 for country guides.

Lonely Planet guides are updated with new editions every two years or so. Fodor’s guides are also updated every two to three years depending on the location. Generally, the more popular the location, the more often the guide will be updated.

http://lifehacker.com/5881839/top-10…

Layout and Contents: Lonely Planet Dives Into Planning While Fodor’s Primes You On the Culture

Travel Guidebook Showdown: Lonely Planet vs. Fodor’s Travel

In terms of layout, Lonely Planet guides use double-columned pages with small print. It can be hard to read if your eyes are tired or if you have trouble reading without glasses. Fodor’s guides, however, use larger print and keep their pages single-columned. This makes their guides much easier to read, but that comes at the cost of having less information overall when compared to the encyclopedic amounts of data crammed into every page of a Lonely Planet guide.

Lonely Planet organizes their guidebooks into four major sections:

  1. Plan Your Trip: This section covers all the vital information you need to make your trip a reality. It includes a quick cultural and etiquette primer, a map of the country, popular things to see and do, a month-by-month calendar of major cultural events, example itineraries, ways to save money on your trip, and tips for traveling with children. This section also includes sections dedicated to first time travelers to the country, as well as a section highlighting what’s new in the country for those who have been before (something you won’t find in Fodor’s guides).
  2. On the Road: This section is the real meat of the guidebook, and it covers each individual city/area of the country and breaks it all down. For each part of the city, the book highlights sights, activities, festivals, events, nightlife, entertainment, shopping, where to eat, and where to sleep. Each individual listing has an address, phone number, web site (if available), pricing, and a very brief description. There are also maps for certain areas.
  3. Understand: If you want to get a more thorough understanding of where you’re traveling, the Understand section covers everything you need to know: current affairs, history, the people, cuisine, arts, architecture, traditional accommodations, sports, and natural environment. The Plan Your Trip section has a quick cultural primer, but the Understand section is more of a course on the country and the people who live there.
  4. Survival Guide: As the name implies, the Survival Guide section is designed to be a quick reference to anything you need to know about the country. Everything from transport to medical care to electricity sockets to toilets are covered. There’s also a small section dedicated to important phrases that can help you if you’re lost or in need of something.

The Fodor’s guides cover a lot of the same material, as you’d expect, but organize things a bit differently. Their guides have five sections that go like this:

  1. Experience [Country/Region]: The Experience section is similar to Lonely Planet’s Planning section. It covers current affairs, top attractions and experiences, etiquette, money-saving tips, and some planning suggestions, but opts for a “less is more” approach as opposed to Lonely Planet’s “cram as much information as possible onto each page” style. This section is also filled with a ton of full color photos (something the Lonely Planet guides are definitely lacking.)
  2. A [Country/Region] Primer: This is equivalent to the Understand section in the Lonely Planet guides, complete with detailed information on local arts, pop culture, sports, current affairs, history, cuisine, natural environment, and even religion in this section. Once again, there are plenty of pictures in this section to help you visualize the culture.
  3. City/Area Chapters: Like Lonely Planet, these mini guides for each city are the most information-heavy parts of Fodor’s books. They include information for all the sights, activities, festivals, events, nightlife, entertainment, shopping, restaurants, and hotels. And each individual listing has an address, phone number, web site (if available), pricing, and a description in addition to maps for certain areas.
  4. Understanding [Country/Region]: This is often a very brief section that has a few pages to help you further understand the culture, and it also contains a collection of essential phrases and reference material for deciphering menu text.
  5. Travel Smart: Tips for transportation, accommodations, electricity, healthcare, emergencies, and safety. It’s a less-exhaustive version of the Survival Guide section in the Lonely Planet books.

All in all, both books cover a lot of the same material, but with very different approaches. Fodor’s front loads their guides with in-depth cultural information and photos, introducing you to the region before it starts throwing information on how to get there at you. Lonely Planet does the opposite, and assumes you already know a little about the country’s culture. It saves the cultural rundown reading for later as a bonus, which is nice if you just want to get there first and ask questions later.

http://lifehacker.com/how-and-why-i-…

Appearance and Book Quality: Both Look Great, Are Easy to Handle, and Can Take a Beating

Travel Guidebook Showdown: Lonely Planet vs. Fodor’s Travel

In terms of appearance, both guidebook series print in paperback and look remarkably similar in their current printing. Even their bindings follow the same visual pattern of “travel guide company name, country, a mention of a pull-out map, photo of location,” and both their covers use the same shade of blue. If you weren’t paying attention, you could easily mistake them for each other as you walk by them in the book store.

Fodor’s definitely has a leg up on Lonely Planet when it comes to overall quality, though. The current editions of their books are printed in full color on glossy, textbook-like paper that looks like it would hold up to even the roughest of trips. Lonely Planet’s current printing uses thinner, newspaper-like paper for its pages that feel like they could tear easily. Despite their different page materials, both books have sturdy covers and bindings that can take a beating and survive being crammed into a small backpack with other gear. Both books can also be used one-handed fairly easily as well, but not for too long since they tend to get heavy. Lonely Planet books tend to be a bit thicker than their Fodor’s counterparts, but their weight is usually pretty similar because the newspaper-like pages are lighter.

Digital Versions and Mobile Apps: Both Can Be Found On Your Favorite Devices

If you don’t want to travel with a physical book (though I recommend it), Lonely Planet guides come in EPUB, MOBI, and PDF formats for your favorite ebook readers and tablets (in color where available). All of their guides are available on Nook, Amazon Kindle, and most of them are free to Kindle Unlimited subscribers. Fodor’s guidebooks are available in ebook format as well (also in color where available), but can only be purchased on Nook or Amazon Kindle.

The Guides by Lonely Planet app (shown in the video above) is free to download and use on iOS and Android devices, and includes information on 38 different cities around the world. It also features offline maps and navigation, sights and destinations bookmarking, and more. The app is a great companion to your guidebooks, no matter which one you go with. The same can be said for Fodor’s City Guides app, which offers guides for 22 different cities across the globe. The guides include recommendations from Fodor’s staff of local writers, maps, and the ability to filter your destination searches by price range and category. Unfortunately, the Fodor’s City Guides app is only available on iOS devices.

http://lifehacker.com/lonely-planets…

Lonely Planet Is for Adventurers, Fodor’s Is for Those Who Want a Guided Experience

Neither of these will do you wrong when you travel, but each is better suited for a certain type of traveler. Lonely Planet throws more information at you than you’ll ever need, which is a good thing because you’re getting a ton of bang for your buck. Even though Lonely Planet guides can be more expensive than Fodor’s guides, they’re still worth every penny. But that massive amount of information also means you have to comb through it all yourself to plan your trip. It tells you places you should go to, but it doesn’t always show you. So think of it more as a list of suggestions and not an essay exploring the wonders of various corners of the world. If you’re okay with that, Lonely Planet is the best pick, period.

Fodor’s guides, on the other hand, are a more curated experience and better suited for the “show me the way” type traveler. And they’re a lot more fun to actually read. Their books have less information overall when compared to the exhaustive amount found in the Lonely Planet guides, but it’s information you can live without (or could find somewhere online). By narrowing their focus, Fodor’s manages to provide the essential information you need while also amping you up with photos and descriptions that aren’t “all work and no play.” As you read through a Fodor’s guide, you can see your future trip unfolding in your mind. That said, Fodor’s guides hold your hand a bit more, so it feels less like an adventure and more like a planned vacation. That’s perfect for some travelers, but for others (like me), it might make the trip feel a bit too touristy.

http://lifehacker.com/5923155/the-st…

If I were to sum these guides up to a friend, I’d say both books are like a box of LEGO bricks. No matter what, you have every piece you need to construct a great trip. The only difference is the Fodor’s box comes with an instruction booklet, and Lonely Planet’s doesn’t. Which way do you like to play?

Travel Guidebook Showdown: Lonely Planet vs. Fodor’s Travel

Travel Guidebook Showdown: Lonely Planet vs. Fodor’s Travel

Smartphones, Wi-Fi, and GPS have made traveling easier, but a physical travel guide is always a smart investment when trotting the globe. Both Lonely Planet and Fodor’s have been around for decades, but it’s time to decide which guidebook deserves that coveted space in your travel bag.

http://lifehacker.com/five-best-trav…

The Contenders

Travel Guidebook Showdown: Lonely Planet vs. Fodor’s Travel

There’s just something about not having to rely on internet service or battery life that makes guidebooks an essential part of exploring new destinations. With one book you can navigate, learn the culture, and find hidden hotspots no matter where you are. In fact, despite all the great apps and online travel guides out there, guidebook sales are up and they’re making a serious comeback. There are a lot of options for you to choose from, but we’re comparing two of the most popular and all-inclusive guidebook series available:

  • Lonely Planet: In just over 40 years, Lonely Planet has printed over 120 million books and become the world’s most successful travel publisher. They’ve published around 500 titles that cover 195 countries, and they hire a combination of travel writers and local writers when creating or updating each one. Lonely Planet travel guides cost around $22 for city/small area guides, and $25 to $30 for country guides.
  • Fodor’s Travel: Fodor’s has been dishing out travel advice and publishing guidebooks for 80 years. They prefer to hire local writers based in each destination for their guidebooks instead of travel writers. In total, they’ve published over 300 travel guides that cover more than 7,500 destinations around the globe. Fodor’s travel guides cost around $20 for city/small area guides, and $25 for country guides.

Lonely Planet guides are updated with new editions every two years or so. Fodor’s guides are also updated every two to three years depending on the location. Generally, the more popular the location, the more often the guide will be updated.

http://lifehacker.com/5881839/top-10…

Layout and Contents: Lonely Planet Dives Into Planning While Fodor’s Primes You On the Culture

Travel Guidebook Showdown: Lonely Planet vs. Fodor’s Travel

In terms of layout, Lonely Planet guides use double-columned pages with small print. It can be hard to read if your eyes are tired or if you have trouble reading without glasses. Fodor’s guides, however, use larger print and keep their pages single-columned. This makes their guides much easier to read, but that comes at the cost of having less information overall when compared to the encyclopedic amounts of data crammed into every page of a Lonely Planet guide.

Lonely Planet organizes their guidebooks into four major sections:

  1. Plan Your Trip: This section covers all the vital information you need to make your trip a reality. It includes a quick cultural and etiquette primer, a map of the country, popular things to see and do, a month-by-month calendar of major cultural events, example itineraries, ways to save money on your trip, and tips for traveling with children. This section also includes sections dedicated to first time travelers to the country, as well as a section highlighting what’s new in the country for those who have been before (something you won’t find in Fodor’s guides).
  2. On the Road: This section is the real meat of the guidebook, and it covers each individual city/area of the country and breaks it all down. For each part of the city, the book highlights sights, activities, festivals, events, nightlife, entertainment, shopping, where to eat, and where to sleep. Each individual listing has an address, phone number, web site (if available), pricing, and a very brief description. There are also maps for certain areas.
  3. Understand: If you want to get a more thorough understanding of where you’re traveling, the Understand section covers everything you need to know: current affairs, history, the people, cuisine, arts, architecture, traditional accommodations, sports, and natural environment. The Plan Your Trip section has a quick cultural primer, but the Understand section is more of a course on the country and the people who live there.
  4. Survival Guide: As the name implies, the Survival Guide section is designed to be a quick reference to anything you need to know about the country. Everything from transport to medical care to electricity sockets to toilets are covered. There’s also a small section dedicated to important phrases that can help you if you’re lost or in need of something.

The Fodor’s guides cover a lot of the same material, as you’d expect, but organize things a bit differently. Their guides have five sections that go like this:

  1. Experience [Country/Region]: The Experience section is similar to Lonely Planet’s Planning section. It covers current affairs, top attractions and experiences, etiquette, money-saving tips, and some planning suggestions, but opts for a “less is more” approach as opposed to Lonely Planet’s “cram as much information as possible onto each page” style. This section is also filled with a ton of full color photos (something the Lonely Planet guides are definitely lacking.)
  2. A [Country/Region] Primer: This is equivalent to the Understand section in the Lonely Planet guides, complete with detailed information on local arts, pop culture, sports, current affairs, history, cuisine, natural environment, and even religion in this section. Once again, there are plenty of pictures in this section to help you visualize the culture.
  3. City/Area Chapters: Like Lonely Planet, these mini guides for each city are the most information-heavy parts of Fodor’s books. They include information for all the sights, activities, festivals, events, nightlife, entertainment, shopping, restaurants, and hotels. And each individual listing has an address, phone number, web site (if available), pricing, and a description in addition to maps for certain areas.
  4. Understanding [Country/Region]: This is often a very brief section that has a few pages to help you further understand the culture, and it also contains a collection of essential phrases and reference material for deciphering menu text.
  5. Travel Smart: Tips for transportation, accommodations, electricity, healthcare, emergencies, and safety. It’s a less-exhaustive version of the Survival Guide section in the Lonely Planet books.

All in all, both books cover a lot of the same material, but with very different approaches. Fodor’s front loads their guides with in-depth cultural information and photos, introducing you to the region before it starts throwing information on how to get there at you. Lonely Planet does the opposite, and assumes you already know a little about the country’s culture. It saves the cultural rundown reading for later as a bonus, which is nice if you just want to get there first and ask questions later.

http://lifehacker.com/how-and-why-i-…

Appearance and Book Quality: Both Look Great, Are Easy to Handle, and Can Take a Beating

Travel Guidebook Showdown: Lonely Planet vs. Fodor’s Travel

In terms of appearance, both guidebook series print in paperback and look remarkably similar in their current printing. Even their bindings follow the same visual pattern of “travel guide company name, country, a mention of a pull-out map, photo of location,” and both their covers use the same shade of blue. If you weren’t paying attention, you could easily mistake them for each other as you walk by them in the book store.

Fodor’s definitely has a leg up on Lonely Planet when it comes to overall quality, though. The current editions of their books are printed in full color on glossy, textbook-like paper that looks like it would hold up to even the roughest of trips. Lonely Planet’s current printing uses thinner, newspaper-like paper for its pages that feel like they could tear easily. Despite their different page materials, both books have sturdy covers and bindings that can take a beating and survive being crammed into a small backpack with other gear. Both books can also be used one-handed fairly easily as well, but not for too long since they tend to get heavy. Lonely Planet books tend to be a bit thicker than their Fodor’s counterparts, but their weight is usually pretty similar because the newspaper-like pages are lighter.

Digital Versions and Mobile Apps: Both Can Be Found On Your Favorite Devices

If you don’t want to travel with a physical book (though I recommend it), Lonely Planet guides come in EPUB, MOBI, and PDF formats for your favorite ebook readers and tablets (in color where available). All of their guides are available on Nook, Amazon Kindle, and most of them are free to Kindle Unlimited subscribers. Fodor’s guidebooks are available in ebook format as well (also in color where available), but can only be purchased on Nook or Amazon Kindle.

The Guides by Lonely Planet app (shown in the video above) is free to download and use on iOS and Android devices, and includes information on 38 different cities around the world. It also features offline maps and navigation, sights and destinations bookmarking, and more. The app is a great companion to your guidebooks, no matter which one you go with. The same can be said for Fodor’s City Guides app, which offers guides for 22 different cities across the globe. The guides include recommendations from Fodor’s staff of local writers, maps, and the ability to filter your destination searches by price range and category. Unfortunately, the Fodor’s City Guides app is only available on iOS devices.

http://lifehacker.com/lonely-planets…

Lonely Planet Is for Adventurers, Fodor’s Is for Those Who Want a Guided Experience

Neither of these will do you wrong when you travel, but each is better suited for a certain type of traveler. Lonely Planet throws more information at you than you’ll ever need, which is a good thing because you’re getting a ton of bang for your buck. Even though Lonely Planet guides can be more expensive than Fodor’s guides, they’re still worth every penny. But that massive amount of information also means you have to comb through it all yourself to plan your trip. It tells you places you should go to, but it doesn’t always show you. So think of it more as a list of suggestions and not an essay exploring the wonders of various corners of the world. If you’re okay with that, Lonely Planet is the best pick, period.

Fodor’s guides, on the other hand, are a more curated experience and better suited for the “show me the way” type traveler. And they’re a lot more fun to actually read. Their books have less information overall when compared to the exhaustive amount found in the Lonely Planet guides, but it’s information you can live without (or could find somewhere online). By narrowing their focus, Fodor’s manages to provide the essential information you need while also amping you up with photos and descriptions that aren’t “all work and no play.” As you read through a Fodor’s guide, you can see your future trip unfolding in your mind. That said, Fodor’s guides hold your hand a bit more, so it feels less like an adventure and more like a planned vacation. That’s perfect for some travelers, but for others (like me), it might make the trip feel a bit too touristy.

http://lifehacker.com/5923155/the-st…

If I were to sum these guides up to a friend, I’d say both books are like a box of LEGO bricks. No matter what, you have every piece you need to construct a great trip. The only difference is the Fodor’s box comes with an instruction booklet, and Lonely Planet’s doesn’t. Which way do you like to play?

What to Look for in a Local “Fixer” When You Travel

What to Look for in a Local “Fixer” When You Travel

Personal guides, or local fixers who can guide you one-on-one or in small groups aren’t always cheap, but can enrich your travel experience and can get you behind the scenes access. If you work with one, you want to get your money’s worth. Here is what to look for to make sure you do.

http://lifehacker.com/when-its-worth…

When searching for the right fixer, create a list of qualities are most important to you. Travel writer Brook Wilkinson has some suggestions to get your list started:

  • They can help you skip long lines. They can do this in a number of ways, pre-buying the tickets, having guide or group passes, or just knowing the right person. However they do it, ask them before booking to make sure you won’t end up paying to stand in line with them. Also make sure they can access any site you want to see. Some sites require certain guide licenses and you want a guide with those licenses.
  • They’re knowledgeable in the areas you care about. They won’t know everything, but they should at least be an expert in the areas you’re interested in. For example, if you plan to visit a lot of art museums, you want a guide who knows about art and art history.
  • They take you to excellent restaurants and shops, not just the ones giving them kickbacks. For a truly authentic experience, you want to dine and shop in good, local, authentic places without worrying that you’re missing out on something better just because your fixer had their wallet in mind over the service you hired them for.

If you can’t find this information on their site or by talking to them directly, search for reviews for the local you’re considering. You can also ask to speak to some of their previous customers, although they may feed you only positive reviews. But, you shouldn’t have any issue finding reviews on good guides. If you do, then maybe they’re not a good choice.

Make Sure Your Private Guide Can Do These Six Things | Wendy Perrin

Image from isabelsommerfeld.

How to Get That Annoying Political Person to Shut Up During the Holidays

How to Get That Annoying Political Person to Shut Up During the Holidays

Every family has that one relative that can’t stop forcing their controversial political stances down everyone’s throats. You’re home for the holidays and want to get through an enjoyable meal in peace, but they just won’t stop talking about what’s ruining America. Here’s how to deal with them and keep the holiday intact.

If you and your family love talking about politics in a civil manner, carry on. We’re not here to get in your way. What most of us don’t like is when everyone wants to have a nice dinner together and that one crazy uncle goes on a rant about how Muslim Socialist turkeys are ruining the Thanksgiving entree. Or when someone’s niece lectures everyone on how they need to reduce their microaggressions to stop global warming.

Respecting a person’s beliefs doesn’t mean they get to trample everyone else with them, especially on a holiday the whole family wants to share together. If one person insists on flapping their mouth and causing problems, here’s how to deal with them. This is not a guide on how to win an argument. We already have one of those. Instead, we want to keep the peace and enjoy the holiday, not indulge the conflict.

http://lifehacker.com/the-definitive…

Focus on the Person, Not the Belief

You don’t have to respect every single idea in the world. If you find someone’s beliefs appalling enough, you can cut them out of your life. You probably don’t invite any KKK members to go see a movie with you, for example. However, when it comes to the holidays, there’s probably a good reason that annoying person is in the house with you.

Maybe they were invited because they’re important to the host. Maybe they’re here because, despite your clearly sage advice, someone you care about is dating them. Maybe someone just didn’t want them to be alone for the holidays. There are a lot of good reasons to be open and inviting to people, no matter their political opinions, on a holiday. It’s kind of the point of holidays, isn’t it?

Before you respond to someone who starts an unwelcome political discussion, remember why they’re there. Despite your differences, you both agreed to share a few hours and a meal together. Even if they were invited by someone else, they matter to someone whose company you value. You will probably have plenty of time to argue with them on Facebook later, but for now it’s okay to prioritize the relationship you have with the people in the room first. Or, to put it more directly, you can deal with it like an adult for one day.

http://lifehacker.com/5904594/the-gu…

Don’t Take the Bait

How to Get That Annoying Political Person to Shut Up During the Holidays

When someone states a political opinion you disagree with, it feels like they’ve challenged you to a duel, with your honor on the line if you fail to accept. In reality, it’s a lot more like someone offering you a month-old muffin. You don’t have to take it, and your life will probably be worse if you do. Likewise, just because someone makes a political statement doesn’t mean you have to respond.

One of the worst things you can do when confronted with a political argument you don’t want to have, is have it. Not only because it encourages them to continue, but because now there’s two people involved. One person’s beliefs yelled into a vacuum is just a rant. Two or more people and it becomes an argument. Good job.

Not engaging can feel like losing. Especially if you have a really cantankerous person who sees your unwillingness to argue as proof they’re right. However, remember your real objective: to prevent the discussion in the first place. If they shout their ideas at you, and you don’t engage, you win. If you want to prevent a forest fire, you don’t start by lighting foliage ablaze (well, okay sometimes you do, but not in this metaphor).

Have Plenty of Distractions on Hand

Thanksgiving already comes with a few built-in distractions. There’s a big table full of food, a football game (if you’re into that sort of thing), and you could maybe even work in some time being grateful for things. However, if you want to maintain a politics-free zone, it helps to have something else to do to distract from political discussions, before or after they occur. Here are a few ideas:

  • Watch a movie. Football is nice, but it’s not for everyone. On the other hand, the right movie can appeal to anyone. Best of all, when you’re watching, you’re not supposed to be talking. Usually. Offer to put on a nice holiday movie (hint: Die Hard) for everyone to watch after dinner and there’s an automatic distraction on the nearest TV.
  • Crank some music. If you want to take a page out of SNL’s not-as-silly-as-it-sounds playbook, override a budding political conversation by putting on a catchy song everyone will stop to listen to. Here’s a list of ten of the catchiest songs, according to scientific research. Because science always succeeds in stopping an ill-advised argument.
  • Talk to someone else. Just because your obnoxious relative is demanding your attention doesn’t mean you have to give it to them. If you don’t want to engage, end the conversation and talk to someone else. They’ll either find someone else that’s willing to listen, or drop it.
  • Talk about something else. A little rudeness can go a long way. If the conversation is coming up at the dinner table, change the subject. Rudely, if you have to. It may feel like a dick move, but chances are good that most of the other people at the table won’t begrudge you for taking one for the team. They might even leap in to help you out.

This can be a delicate balancing act, but it can also be liberating to take charge. Remember, the one person who just has to share their political views isn’t the only person at the table. This is especially important if you’re the host. Actively engaging with the other loved ones you’re there to spend time with is a great way to distract from the uncomfortable topics without ruining the day. And besides, having fun with people you care about is what you’re there for.

http://lifehacker.com/this-video-tea…

Keep the Booze to a Minimum

Wait, come back. Okay, yes. I get it. For some of us, a stiff drink may be the only way to get through a meal with your family. However, alcohol also has a tendency to loosen lips. Like the ones attached to the person that’s currently explaining how math is just something foreigners invented to make our kids dumber. No one’s saying you can’t have a drink so you can deal with that crap. Just don’t turn the holiday into a drunk political smackdown.

How you drink is just as important as how much you drink. If you grab a beer and sit on the couch to watch the game, that’s a little more mild than grabbing a bottle of whiskey and shouting “Let’s get this party started!” In the former case, you get to have your liquid courage without drawing attention to the act, or reminding a particularly cantankerous guest that they have an excuse to get louder. If you’re the host, you can also help by either limiting the amount of booze in the house, or only quietly sharing the good stuff with the people you can trust to not make a ruckus.

Ask Them to Stop Directly

It’s good to open your home and welcome everyone on the holidays. Despite our differences, cutting other people out and telling them off does nothing to resolve the conflicts that undermine our holidays, our empathy, and our humanity. We can accept and love each other, in spite of the disagreements that so typically define us. On the other hand, it’s also okay to tell someone to shut the hell up when you need to.

Okay, so maybe you shouldn’t use that phrasing. But if one person is becoming particularly problematic, it’s okay to ask them to stop directly. If you’re not comfortable being that direct, you can ask the host (or the person who brought the guest in question) to do so instead. We’ve already covered plenty of strategies on how to deal with someone who has overstayed their welcome. Just be respectful, but firmly insist that your family get to enjoy their holiday.

http://lifehacker.com/5920945/how-to…

Escape Gracefully If You Accidentally Get Sucked In

Despite your best efforts, you still might end up faced with a lengthy diatribe about how vaccines are a false flag operation to indoctrinate our dogs into ISIS. For the conversations you just can’t help, learn how to duck out gracefully. Remember, again, your goal is not to win the conversation. Your goal is to end it.

We’ve talked before about how to get out of an unwanted political conversation, but here are a few key tips:

  • Look for an escape immediately. Don’t hesitate to find an exit. The more you listen, the more the person talking will believe their rant is welcome. If you’re planning to get out, get out fast.
  • Direct them away from negativity. A good amount of political ranting comes from being dissatisfied. If someone’s ranting at your holiday event, steer the conversation to something positive (and preferably not political). It’s a time of thankfulness, good cheer, and all that fun stuff. It shouldn’t be too hard to find a positive topic.
  • Have something more important to do. This one’s super easy to do during the holidays. Babies are crying, food is burning, decorations are falling off the walls. Something, somewhere needs fixing. Get out of the conversation by explaining that you need to go help wash the dishes. Not only do you duck the rant, but you’re helping out, and that’s always nice!

Of course, when all else fails, you can also take the hit. Like we said in the beginning of this article, it’s one day. You don’t want one person’s rant to ruin everyone’s evening, but you can also let the occasional snide remark slide. If you’re the one person stuck in a corner for ten minutes listening to the story of how the US Mint is coating pennies in dihydrogen monoxide to secretly sterilize our fish, maybe that’s a small price to pay to make this one day easier on everyone else. We can always go back to being angry tomorrow.

Photo by Pascal.

Analyzing the Price of Mobility: Desktops vs. Laptops

Computers have been getting faster over the years, and with the increased performance we eventually passed the point where most systems were “fast enough” and the various features and use cases became more important. It used to be that to get similar performance to a desktop, a laptop would generally cost two or even three times as much – and even then, sometimes it was simply impossible to match desktop performance with a laptop. Has that changed with the era of “fast enough” computing?


    







Analyzing the Price of Mobility: Desktops vs. Laptops

Computers have been getting faster over the years, and with the increased performance we eventually passed the point where most systems were “fast enough” and the various features and use cases became more important. It used to be that to get similar performance to a desktop, a laptop would generally cost two or even three times as much – and even then, sometimes it was simply impossible to match desktop performance with a laptop. Has that changed with the era of “fast enough” computing?


    







Analyzing the Price of Mobility: Desktops vs. Laptops

Computers have been getting faster over the years, and with the increased performance we eventually passed the point where most systems were “fast enough” and the various features and use cases became more important. It used to be that to get similar performance to a desktop, a laptop would generally cost two or even three times as much – and even then, sometimes it was simply impossible to match desktop performance with a laptop. Has that changed with the era of “fast enough” computing?


    







Analyzing the Price of Mobility: Desktops vs. Laptops

Computers have been getting faster over the years, and with the increased performance we eventually passed the point where most systems were “fast enough” and the various features and use cases became more important. It used to be that to get similar performance to a desktop, a laptop would generally cost two or even three times as much – and even then, sometimes it was simply impossible to match desktop performance with a laptop. Has that changed with the era of “fast enough” computing?


    







Analyzing the Price of Mobility: Desktops vs. Laptops

Computers have been getting faster over the years, and with the increased performance we eventually passed the point where most systems were “fast enough” and the various features and use cases became more important. It used to be that to get similar performance to a desktop, a laptop would generally cost two or even three times as much – and even then, sometimes it was simply impossible to match desktop performance with a laptop. Has that changed with the era of “fast enough” computing?


    







Analyzing the Price of Mobility: Desktops vs. Laptops

Computers have been getting faster over the years, and with the increased performance we eventually passed the point where most systems were “fast enough” and the various features and use cases became more important. It used to be that to get similar performance to a desktop, a laptop would generally cost two or even three times as much – and even then, sometimes it was simply impossible to match desktop performance with a laptop. Has that changed with the era of “fast enough” computing?