Travel Tips: 20 Tips, Suggestions, & Advice
Hi Friends! How’s your Hump Day? I am back to work today and feeling a bit of that ole here we go again, back to the grind for 5 more days, feeling. I think we all get that. For some people it happens on Sunday evenings and for others like me, it happens on Hump Day.
Remember when I posted about wanting your recommendations for luggage? Well I already had ordered this dobb kit. Or toiletry kit. Whatever you want to call it. My former toiletry kit lasted me about 8 years. I bought it at Bed Bath & Beyond on a whim years ago and it went around the world with me, holding my precious shampoo, conditioner, nail files, bandaids, you name it.
In our move from Arizona to San Diego, it was crushed in a box and shampoo and toothpaste and sunscreen and every other liquid known to man exploded. And it was disgusting and I threw it out and needed to buy a new one.
This is what I bought. It’s called a Baggallini in the color periwinkle. In person, the color reminds me of Crayola’s Periwinkle which is a shade I always adored as a kid.
Full of compartments, flaps, zippers, pockets, and a hook to hang it up with
Between the new toiletry kit and my new laptop ” book” case, I am checking luggage items off my travel to-do list.
From yesterday’s post and my 1 Minute GF Vegan Apple Crumble, it was fun to hear what your recipe and snack shortcuts are. Thanks for chiming in with your good tips and suggestions.
And most of you do pay attention to produce prices to a point, but you don’t let that stop you from buying your staple items; you just don’t dine on organic mango in January or anything.
If you want to read some lovely stories and tributes to fathers, just read the Contest Comments. Some real tear-jerkers, gratitude, and love for your dads. Thanks everyone who entered. This contest was nicer than Hallmark on Father’s Day. The things you all said about your dad were truly heartfelt and amazing!
The other day in my solicitation for Reader’s Requests Posts, long time reader and nearly daily commenter, Beth from Canada (she doesn’t have a blog) asked me for my travel tips, packing tips, recommendations and such. Of course, these are merely my opinions. Feel free to disregard as you see fit and not all tips will work for all people. But they have worked for me and I’m passing them along.
Here Goes the first 20 Travel Tips That Came to Mind:
1. Research the money exchanging situation in advance if you’re traveling to a foreign country. Nothing says panic like not having the right kind of money for the country you’re going to be in. If you’re going to a place where you don’t know how easy it will be to exchange money upon arrival, consider exchanging a small amount of money at your local bank before you depart so that you at least have some local currency/cash on hand when you arrive and can exchange more later when you arrive, as needed.
2. Have an ample stash of small bills, i.e. nothing bigger than $20 bills, and lots of $1’s and $5’s for cab rides, bottles of water, tipping a bellhop, etc.
3. Make sure you have your passport and driver’s license with you before you leave home. Triple check this, as well as that of your spouse, child, and traveling companions. No exceptions. Ladies, I suggest you even hold your husband’s passport and ID. Most of them would lose their you know what if it wasn’t attached.
4. If you are traveling with a child, learn how to use a baby sling or carrier. Avoid bringing a stroller through the airport at all costs. It will get beat up and is just one more bulky piece of luggage to contend with. Rent a stroller at the other side or go to Target at your destination and buy the cheapest $19.99 type stroller for your trip. Better than having your really nice “real” stroller get damaged by the airlines.
5. Don’t use traveler’s checks. They are a pain. No one wants to accept them anyway at your destination if you’re traveling out of the country. People at your destination think they’re counterfeit. Use cash or credit cards. Or barter. Not kidding, I have traded things like my junky $5 Target key chain for great local treasures.
6. Don’t walk around with a fanny pack, a camera around your neck, white tube socks and tennis shoes, while struggling with a map and basically looking like a confused tourist at your destination. You will be a prime target to either be robbed literally, or figuratively, i.e. tour guides and people trying to make a buck from tourists see people like you coming, a mile away!
7. Use Expedia or Travelocity for hotel + air combo packages. I also like Orbitz. They all contract with different airline, hotel, and rental car companies so depending on which one you use, you may have different options.
8. If you are using Expedia, Travelocity, or Orbitz type travel services and bookings, make sure you aren’t going to need to change your flight or hotel. i.e. you need to cut the trip short by a day and fly home earlier. The change fees are huge, and pretty much price prohibitive. It’s hard enough doing it through the airlines directly, but when booking using a 3rd party service, it’s next to impossible.
9. Don’t worry too much about what you’re going to eat. I know this seems crazy to many, but I honestly don’t worry about it. There will be food where ever I am going. I may not love it, it may not be exactly (or anything!) like what I wished I was eating, but I won’t starve to death. I am going to enjoy my trip and not stress about the food choices. Period.
10. Be flexible with your travel dates/days of the week. It’s generally more expensive to fly on a Friday than it is, say on a Tuesday.
11. Don’t overpack. You are not going to be tracked by the papparzzi. Who cares if you wear the same black sweater and white hoodie the entire 2 week trip. You don’t need to pack 3 sweaters and 3 hoodies. Going on somewhere warm? Two pairs of shorts will suffice, you don’t need 7. The only thing I pack excess of is string bikinis. However, they take up very little packing space.
My rule of thumb is make a pile of clothes and almost put them all into your suitcase. But before you do, eliminate half of it. Yes, half. You’re not going to wear it. You don’t need “options”, you need to figure out your “options” before you leave home.
12. Shoes. Ladies, Please. You need one pair of workout shoes, one pair of casual daytime shoes, and one pair of dressy shoes. Pick wisely. Shoes are incredibly heavy and bulky and although it’s great to have shoe options, i.e. black stillettos and silver pumps, you just need to get practical.
13. The airline weight restrictions for suitcases are 50 pounds. Considering most suitcases weight 10+ pounds empty, and your toiletry case weighs 5+, you have 35 pounds, max, to work with. Shoes are heavy. So are jackets and sweaters. It used to be that international travel allowed for higher pound/weight limits but in the cheapening of the airlines current economy, those rules have changed. 50 pounds. If you’re over 50 pounds, it’s another $50 or so domestic or about $100 intl. If you’re over 75 pounds, the fees go up again. I kid you not when I say I’ve had to pay $200 per bag going to Aruba for say, a 77 pound suitcase. Don’t overpack because you will go into debt!
14. When you get where you’re going, realize that not everyone moves at the breakneck pace that we do in America. They may move slower, there are no “definites”, i.e. a 7p dinner reservation means you need to show up at 7p. That doesn’t me they will definitely seat you anywhere near the 7p hour. Get used to it. Be flexible. You’re traveling, this is fun.
15. If you’re not supposed to drink the water where you’re going, don’t. Don’t brush your teeth with it, make sure drinks you order don’t have ice cubes made with it, be careful.
16. If you are prone to traveler’s stomach/GI issues, bring things with that you know you need. Probiotics are your friends for both types of common traveler’s tummy issues.
17. Yeast infections. Ladies, nothing worse than that honeymoon vacation with lots of sex by night and sitting in wet swimsuit bottoms by day on the beach. You will get a yeast infection. Don’t make a habit of sitting in wet swimsuit bottoms or on wet towels! Take probiotics daily and bring something just in case you get a yeast infection. Monistat is not over-the-counter or readily available in Turks & Caicos type thing. Better to have it and not need it than be miserable.
18. Sunscreen. It’s a little pricier to buy it at your destination but those big bottles are heavy and can add lots of weight to your baggage allowance and can also explode in transit. I buy it when I arrive.
19. Ziplock baggies are your best friend when traveling. If you think it can’t leak, it will. Put all leak-able liquids from shampoo to lotion to toothpaste in a ziplock before you get on your plane. The altitude and pressure changes can facilitate leaking. When you get to the beach, put your camera (if you’re crazy/trusting enough to bring a valuable to the beach), chapstick, book, etc. anything you don’t want wet or sandy, in a ziplock inside your beach bag.
20. Have a laid back, roll-with-the-punches, whatever happens, happens attitude. Traveling can be stressful. It usually is at least 50 times once during a trip. There can be little (or big) moments of stress and anxiety that can plague each and every day because when you leave the comforts and security of home, the big unpredictable world can throw stuff at you that you’re not used to. But that’s the beauty of traveling; seeing new things, experiencing different cultures, people, sights, sounds, flavors. Some of the best memories of my life are those I make when traveling. Get out there and take a trip!
So there you have it. With a little humor infused. You don’t have to agree with me or take my suggestions, but that’s what I do and it has worked well for me.
1. Do you remember your fave color of Crayola crayons?
Periwinkle was one of mine for sure! But humor me with a trip down memory lane, let’s see if we can break out some memories. It was exciting for me to get my new box of 64 crayons come back-to-school shopping. Any crayon lovers? I also loved colored pencils, paint; I loved to draw, create, make art.
2. Do any of my travel tips make you nod in agreement, or any of them that you haven’t heard before that may be useful to you?
3. What are your Travel Tips?
4. Where’s your next trip? Where, when, and why? Or if you don’t have one planned, anything in the works?
5. Do you have any amazing travel stories you want to share? Any travel horror stories or nightmares?
I have plenty of both but this post is already long enough so enlighten me with your stories!
P.S. If you like posts with “Tips” in them, check out:
Tips for Saving Money On Your Grocery Budget