I love to travel. Not as an escape from home, because I love it there. We enjoy seeing new places, trying different foods and visiting all kinds of landmarks. As we all know, travel is impossible now. It won’t always be this way, thankfully. Jeff and I would like to visit Ireland, go on another cruise and take a trip to Colorado. Once this “thing” is over, we can go back to taking weekend trips. When the time comes, I am going to rely on these little tricks and hacks to make the most of the places we will go to.
Plastic grocery bags are very useful to take along while traveling. I use them for dirty laundry (to keep clean clothes separate). They come in handy to cushion breakables. You can also use them to store clothes/bathing suits that might still be damp from your last day of fun.
Take many more pictures than you think you should. Luckily, with digital cameras and cell phones, this isn’t costly. When your trip is over, as you are going through the photos you took – you might find a hidden gem!
Try to collect maps, papers, receipts, guides. They make nice additions to memory books. You can even make a shadow box frame to showcase these things.
If you’re flying to your destination, take a carry on that allows you to access your important documents, etc. easily.
In advance of your trip, prepare a travel essentials bag. Put everything in it that you need on a daily basis. You can (and should) include travel sizes (to comply with airline regulations, if you are flying to a destination). I always have one packed and ready to go. This way, I know the only thing I have to pack in it is my daily medications for however long we will be away for.
Make a plan for the clothing you’ll take with you. Try to not over pack. Choose things that you know will coordinate with other items. Organize outfits, making sure if you change your mind on what you want to wear on any certain day whatever you’ve taken with you will match whatever else you’ve got with you. Again, don’t over pack. I cannot say that enough.
Bring comfortable shoes. Make sure they are also stylish. If you will be doing a lot of walking, or if you will be on your feet a lot – comfort may be more important than style. Just sayin’.
I cannot emphasize enough the importance of lists. You should make one for before you leave, one for when you are on the trip, and one for when you (sadly) get back home.
While you are away, try small restaurants. Listen to the locals. The exception to this is if you are in a place where a certain location has a special meaning. Many years ago I tremendously enjoyed an Olive Garden location in Orlando. If I am ever in that part of the city again, I would love to go there.
Remain flexible. Don’t let a pre-conceived idea of what you think you want to do influence your in-the-moment opportunities.
You need to plan a lot of vacations, no doubt. But do it within reason – meaning, don’t over plan.
Give your information to someone at home. Include flights, hotel, etc. It is better to give them more details rather than less.
This is especially important if you are traveling internationally – make sure you are up-to-date with your phone plan. The last thing you’ll want is to come home to a bill that has charges you never thought you’d get.
Split items if you are traveling with a partner – half in your luggage, half in theirs. This way, if luggage is lost or delayed – you’ll at least have some items.
It is a good idea to make a small travel first aid kit. You should include everything in it if you may not feel well. It can be put into your essential travel pouch.
If you are traveling internationally, stop in to a fast food restaurant. See the differences between there and home. I so much regret not doing this when we went to Dublin.
Bring a small flashlight, or make sure your phone has one enabled. Hotel rooms are not familiar to us, and at night – they can be dark.
Take a picture of your luggage. If it is lost during a flight, you’ll have evidence and proof of what it looks like.
Lastly, if you’re flying – double check the pouch in front of you. I guess I didn’t on our flight to Dublin, and because of that I lost several CDs. Still makes me sad to this day.
These are my tips. I hope they help you. I also hope sooner rather than later we will all be able to be traveling all over again. Happy trails to you…to all of us!