The Smart Traveler’s Traveling Tips
Last week marked my 25th birthday, and my friend gave me a book called The Smart Traveler’s Passport. It’s a great little book, full of tips about packing, dining, lodging, shopping, sightseeing and all that other great stuff that goes into a big journey. Reading all this little tips made me think of some of my own tips I’ve learned after figuring it out the hard way on trips.
1) Don’t Fold Your Clothes, Roll Them
I’m a hefty packer…go ahead and roll your eyes, but I need my mandatory two pairs of shoes, and as the ladies can appreciate, I like to have “options”. Rolling your clothes to pack in your suitcase saves tons of room, and helps keep everything wrinkle free…even after security rummages throughout your bag. And you’ll have a lot of extra room for that great pair of stillettos. 🙂
2) Plan Your Trips Around Tax Time
February and March are great times to travel. You’ll find some amazing deals since it’s usually off season for most places and right after the holidays. And depending where you go, the weather is not always that bad. Plus, if you do your taxes early, that nice big tax return can help pay for your trip.
3) Listen to the Locals and Look for Lines
Avoid the touristy stuff, and do what the locals do. You’ll avoid getting ripped off (well most of the time) and have a much deeper experience with the place you’re visiting. Ask people who live/have lived there before you go, and look for the places that have long lines of locals. If the locals love it, it’s probably worth trying.
4) Don’t Sweat the Small Things
I typically use a plastic soap dish to pack and story my jewelry. I’ve lost many earrings and necklaces in the bottomless pit of my bag, and I’ve found that the little plastic boxes are a great way to keep track of them and avoid having my bag swallow them whole.
5) Always Bring Chapstick with SPF
For fair-skinned people like me, chapstick is a lifesaver. I learned my lesson in Thailand when I emerged from a jungle with chapped and blistery lips. Apply it well and apply it often. Bring a few too, in case you lose one.
6) Always Always Always Bring Home a Souvenir
A lesson learned from my mom. On my trip to Bangkok, I completely forgot to bring home a souvenir for myself, but I gave my mom a gorgeous vase I picked up at a market. When she asked when I brought home for myself, I confessed nothing. She insisted I take the vase. To this day, whenever I look at it, it reminds me of trip…and it makes me smile every time. Thanks Mom. 🙂