THE EXCITEMENT STARTS HERE ... where I post my best travel tips, tricks, secrets and news. Being an older savvy retired gay guy with a deep appreciation of the finer things in life, I've figured out ways to save money on things that may not matter, so I can afford things that do, like first class hotels, flights, trains, luggage, clothing and more. Call it a Champaign taste on a beer salary, if you like, but I prefer to call it Bargain First Class Travel.


Everything here is FREE, so download whatever you need, and tell friends to visit too. Randy has spent years perfecting these documents and uses them to make his own trips go smoothly from start to finish. Keeping things simple is the key and these forms will help.

Maps, Guides, Lists, Planners & Itineraries.

Feel free to share on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, but PLEASE send people back here too.













Fragrance Shopping Map – San Francisco


When I travel, taking a new fragrance home is one of my favorite things to do. Then, every time I wear it, I’m reminded of all the fun I had on that trip. This map highlights all the best spots to find what you might like. There are four areas to search – Union Square, The Mission District, Fillmore Street and The Castro. Maybe it’s time to give-up that tired old department store cologne and try something more niche. Be unique, be daring, be quirky, but have fun doing it. BTW, if you download it to your phone or tablet, you can take it with you!!! AND, if you’d like some expert help finding that perfect fragrance on your trip here, download the brochure below – Scent Styling. My partner is an expert and has a business helping people find the right scents that match their personality, style and activities. Please tell others and share on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (please give me credit). If you have questions or comments, please leave them here and I’ll respond as quickly as possible. I really appreciate it. 


Bike cover

Bike the Golden Gate


The first time I got the courage to ride my bike on this route, I was shocked at how easy it was, and that was 20 years ago. I’m now 70 and I still have no problems doing this ride. There are only 2 big hills, so if it’s hard, just walk your bike up and enjoy the rest, which is often breathtaking and worth stopping to take photos. If you are in a hurry, you can do it in 3 hours, but I recommend doing it at a slow pace and enjoy every part. The book can also be uploaded to your smart phone or tablet, so you can take it along. Please tell others and share on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (please give me credit). If you have questions or comments, please leave them here and I’ll respond as quickly as possible. I really appreciate it. 

















Secret Places of San Francisco


SPUR is a local organization that produced this awesome map and guide to 68 privately owned parks in the city that are open to the public — but often hard to find. They put a lot into this piece and it shows.  Please tell others and share on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (please give me credit). If you have questions or comments, please leave them here and I’ll respond as quickly as possible. I really appreciate it. 






Personal Scent Stylist & Guide


My partner, Sebastian Jara, has been helping people find their signature scent for years. He’s really good at it and you’ll enjoy working with him, I’m sure. He’s knowledgeable and fun to work with. He can give you a guided tour of the fragrance community here or work with you individually in your home, office or hotel room to discover what type of perfumes you might like best, then if you choose, expand into an exploration to scour San Francisco for your newly discovered scents. What a fun way to spend an afternoon. Download his brochure here and contact him directly. Please tell others and share on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (please give me credit). If you have questions or comments, please leave them here and I’ll respond as quickly as possible. I really appreciate it. 










Tourist Scams


Don’t fall prey to scams on your next trip! After you breeze though this document, you’ll be up on all the important ones you’ll need to know about. Click here to view this informative graphic – provided by, a website for air travel. Or download it to your digital device using the button while on your device. Don’t let a scam ruin your vacation. Please tell others about this site, leave a comment how you like my FREE document, and post this link on Facebook andTwitter: http://www.QuirkyTravel.Info. I’ll really appreciate it.


yellow adhesive note with completed checklist against white, gentle shadow underneath

Travel Countdown TO-DO List


To me, planning the trip is part of going. It’s exciting and I can work on it here and there, chipping away at getting things done and organized, so it’s not a stressful nightmare the last few days. I hate that! I use this form to keep me on track.

Please tell others and share on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (please give me credit). If you have questions or comments, please leave them here and I’ll respond as quickly as possible. I really appreciate it.












Packing List for Winter Travel


Packing for a winter trip is unique, because you need to be prepared for rain, snow and freezing cold, but also a warm sunny day. The goal is to continue to pack light, but still have the variety to look great while being dressed appropriately for each day. After taking a lot of winter vacations, I’ve learned this all the hard way, so now, you don’t have to. Please tell others and share on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (please give me credit). If you have questions or comments, please leave them here and I’ll respond as quickly as possible. I really appreciate it. 













Trip Planner


To me, the perfect balance of a valuable trip planner is a combination of easy to use and powerful. This one is a result of a lot of trips over a lot of years. I’ve updated it and improved it over and over. Finally, it’s as close to  as I like. It’s based on Excel. Let me know if you can’t use it, but going to Ask Me – tell me what you could use and I’ll see what I can do.

Please tell others and share on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (please give me credit). If you have questions or comments, please leave them here and I’ll respond as quickly as possible. I really appreciate it.  


Don't you love it when you discover something new, unique or special when you travel? I do, and the only thing I like more is sharing it with others. I like to help people find things they may not have found without my help, which is why I've developed these sites. Explore them all, leave comments and follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Thank you!


Car trips, bike treks, walking tours, train rides and other explorations. They're all a great way to discover little spots, new sights and secret places. The first one is a car trip - San Francisco to Big Sur, with suggested places to stop along the way, so you don't miss anything. Traveling along the beautiful California coast along Highway 1 is a treat in itself, but you'll also get to see Santa Cruz, Monterey, Pacific Grove, Carmel and more, as you wind your way down the amazing coastline of beaches, mountains and Cypress Trees ... all the way to Big Sur, and a little past to the world famous Nepenthe. I'll be adding more of these very soon. If you'd like to ride a bike across the Golden Gate Bridge, go to FREE DOCS and download my FREE eBook - Bike the Golden Gate.

FREE PREVIEW. Just click on the image of the book, turn the pages and get ready to grab your copy to go on this exciting adventure.

When I was growing up in Monterey, San Francisco was referred to as “The City”. Highway 1 was the best route – along the coast with amazing views of cold blue water, warm sand, rugged rocks and clusters of Cyprus trees. Now, I live in San Francisco and making the same drive down the coast to the Monterey Peninsula and Big Sur is still a relaxing and memorizing adventure. Stopping along the way for photos, a meal or just to soak in the view makes this magical two hour journey one of the best in the world.

Now available, the road trip I love so much is available in multiple formats. They all have the same content and photos – printed into a portable travel size, Ebook that can be downloaded to your smart phone or tablet and a PDF for most any device (and can be printed). Follow the step-by-step guide and enjoy this breathtaking trip that you’ll never forget. And, you’ll have a souvenir to remember it too!




Bike the Golden Gate – Download the FREE eBook.

Click HERE to Download

This is my famous bike ride that’s not nearly as difficult or time consuming as it sounds. The total trip can be done in a few hours and includes only two short hills up, but a really long downhill ride into Sausalito then a scenic ferry ride back to the city. I’ve done this ride many times and it’s always fun and never too much. It’s good for any age (I’m in my 70s BTW). What more could you ask for? A little trip with a little exercise and a lot to see along the way. Go at your own speed, take photos, stop and have a picnic, and be able to tell your friends you want across the world famous Golden Gate Bridge. Don’t miss this trip and FREE Ebook.


As you may have gathered, Randy loves photography, but one thing he loves more, is sharing his work with others here in PHOTOS, and also in beautiful books available for purchase. He continues to assemble his beautiful images into a variety of printed books in three versions - hardcover, soft copy and popular and very affordable eBooks that can be viewed on computers, smart phones and tablets. Previews of each book are available for FREE, just click on the little link in the bottom of each book badge "Book Preview". Snoop though one ... or all, you'll get a glimpse into Randy's photography talents. Clicking on the badge will take you to the purchase site. FYI, Randy's pen name is R. Randall Schroeder.

Paris After Dark
Paris After Dark
La Ville-Lumière
By R. Randall Schroeder
Photo book
Meditation Q & A
Meditation Q &…
Learn meditation an…
By R. Randall Schroeder
Photo book
San Francisco After Dark
San Francisco …
By R. Randall Schroeder
Photo book


Instagram should be jealous! If you'd like an amazing camera app that's far more than a camera alone? Here are 5 unique camera apps created by Randy especially for iPhones and iPads. Each one has the same editing components built in, so you can do all the same things you can do in Instagram and other editing camera apps, but these apps take photography to another level with editing, cornering and sharing. AND, they're all FREE. Each one allows you to shoot, edit, lighten, darken, colorize, add stickers, text, frames, add hats, mustaches, eyebrows, remove moles, whiten teeth, and more. But that's not all. Each of these apps also allow you to add beautifully designed custom corners to your photos, so you can use them as digital love notes, thank you cards and more. AND, you can also share them with friends and family on Instagram, Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, and email too ... and save to your device. You won't find a camera app that does more. Grab them all. Remember, they're FREE, so how can you lose?

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Randy has a unique taste for the interesting, unusual and obscure, but he's also keeps things balanced with upscale surroundings, tasty food, and good hotels, while being stylish and and using the best and latest technology. He even has tips on how to save money on upgrades for computers, phones, iPads and other devices. Don't get him started about the Mac/PC argument, his points are valid and everything Apple suits him just fine ... and he's used both for years.

Randy Hipsta Sm

Having a camera from age eight and following in the footsteps of his parents and grandparents, Randy has been gathering travel miles, photos, and most of all, memories.

Randy has a degree in computer programing, but only got it to please his Dad. Art and photography were far more interesting. Randy’s jobs list seems totally unfocused, because he never knew what he wanted to be when he grew up. Oddly, it all seem to be centered around multimedia technology. He was a Realtor back in the ’70s and won a Mercedes-Benz in a sales contest. After realizing he needed to work on weekends (a lot), he moved into real estate finance. During a big midlife crisis, he went to work as directory of a holistic health center. After coming to his senses (but acquiring a lot of great information and therapies), he was invited to help a friend operate a video camera on a TV show he was producing. Randy fell in love and became a television producer and had a production company in San Diego, showing homes for sale on TV. It was the first of it’s type and the longest running show of it’s type. After trying to expand the show into other cities, it didn’t go well, so he became a consultant and later produced another show of full length movie trailers and got it onto 26 stations nationally. As he started thinking of his retirement, he took a job in a start-up with the potential of being rich, but the dot bomb spoiled that dream and he went to work for a top notch design firm as a project manager/producer. After retiring from that position, he joined his partner in the music licensing business he and his partner started in 2001 – Musync. It’s been a success and allows Randy to engage in his hobbies of all his blogs, photography work, books, videos and travels. His friends and relatives have constantly pushed him into sharing his expertise in getting good deals and having fun without overspending.

He’s not the most traveled, but prefers to visit Europe the most. Being of German, Irish, English descent, Europe and the UK are his favorites. While some people prefer to stay in one place and dig deep into the heritage, politics and culture, Randy prefers to operate more like a site survey, in hopes of visiting again soon. For him, it works. Due to the convenience (and his love of France), he usually flies in and out of Paris, since it’s one of the best launch points into most anywhere in Europe.

This site is a gathering of all of his most important work and projects over the years. It’s the best starting point to discover how to travel in comfort, on a slightly extravagant budget, while enjoying the comforts of pleasant surroundings, but also exploring at a convenient pace to absorb the people, the feelings and the attitudes of the people he encounters.

Randy makes traveling fun, but stays organized, while planning gaps of spontaneity, so it never gets boring. Got a question, need a recommendation or have a suggestion? Send Randy a note the Contact Form.


I'm on the go a lot and posting new things EVERY DAY on one or more of my projects here, on Instagram and Facebook - more things to do, new ideas, photos, videos, more travel forms, updated travel tips and money saving ideas. Don't miss out. Follow me on Instagram and Facebook. For questions, feedback, help, advice or suggestions, use the form below, and I'll respond right away. Best regards, Randy

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