Wednesday, January 8, 2014

18 Super Helpful Travel Tips


Was one of your 2014 resolutions 'travel more'?  Mine was 'continue traveling and get even better at it.' (Sometimes I get overly laid back about it and don't research my destination till I'm at the airport!)  We can do better than that, right?

Last year, you guys shared some fantastic comments on this post.  So good, that I couldn't keep them to myself. 

Without further ado, here are 18 travel tips that will help you navigate any airport, city, or country - whether it's Hanoi on Tet or Cleveland on Christmas.

Have a "loose plan."
It's good to plan ahead because then you don't spend half the day trying to figure out how to get the right train, but I think being able to just go with the flow and try things as they come makes for the absolute best travel memories.
- Taleen

Slow down. Take time to sit in the park, have a hot drink, people watch. Running about will allow you to physically see more but slowing down allows you to actually experience a new place.
- Becky

Avoid technology. My sister and I backpacked through France and Italy with no phones or ipads, finding internet cafes once a week to send a message to our mom. It was amazingly fun and I didn't feel enclosed in my own little tech bubble.
- Patty

Be curious. Don't be afraid to try local food or do things that may seem weird at first. That's when you'll make memories to remember.
- Thea

Pack light, but extra underwear. This has served me in the most ridiculous occasions.
- Sarah M.

If it's hot, pack talcum powder or baby powder. Put it all over the places you sweat the most - for me it's thighs and under my bra - and it'll keep you dry, comfortable, and not rashy.

If you want the best food, convince cab drivers to take you where they eat, not where they think you want to eat. It'll be cheap, likely a stand on the street, and much better than anything you'll find in the touristy spots!
- Adorkable

Pack a large ziploc bag for your camera! This could go for other electronics too. If the bag you're carrying isn't waterproof and you have a second to put your camera/phone/whatever in the ziploc bag you'll be less likely to worry about ruining your stuff in a surprise downpour.
- Kelly

Always bring a refillable water bottle.
- Bianca

Eat what the locals eat. People really connect through food, and I love talking to people about their products and how they're prepared. And it's so fun to be adventurous and say, "Bring me your favorite thing on the menu!" (if it's not too expensive).
- Lily

Use geocaching as a mean to discover off the road places.
- Armalite

Stay in places for longer than a couple days. Become familiar with the women who sell you bread in the morning. Get to recognize a couple faces on the streets. Know some nooks and crannies. It takes longer (obvs) but you really get to know that place.
- Kate

1. Never check your luggage. Invest in an Osprey backpack and fill it. Simply the best!
2. (For the ladies) Pack all black clothing and wear pops of color i.e. hats, scarves, sandals, sunnies.
3. Never eat at any restaurant where the menu is in several languages. Should be in local language only. If not, skip it!
- Elizabeth

Buy a decent converter\adapter BEFORE you leave! Can be hard to find, super expensive when you get to where you are going!

Also, trying hard to speak in the local language goes a long way, as somebody who speaks zero languages other than English, I always have a much better reception when I muddle my way through, versus somebody who just goes up to a person and starts talking away in English.
- Shannon

Always email copies of important documents (like boarding passes or emergency phone numbers/addresses) to yourself, so that you can quickly pull them up on a smartphone or in an internet cafe!
- Laurel

Are you guys traveling anywhere cool this winter?  Any other travel tips to share? I'm going to Mexico, Alaska, Kansas, and Florida!


photo by kanegen // cc

13 comments

  1. I'm a chronic wanderluster but haven't actually been abroad since a family holiday to India when I was fifteen. This year I'm finally doing it and have flights booked to visit Milan, Italy and the south of France and to go and volunteer in The Philippines. I'm so terrified i'm excited, haha.

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  2. Thanks a million times for including my tip!! As you are my all time favorite blogging idol, this is one of the greatest days of my blog life!! Keep up the amazing work :)

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    1. Oh, gosh! Thanks so much - and thanks for sharing the great tip!

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  3. The emailing copies of important docs is genius! I will definitely do that next big trip. Scotland + England 2015 -- never been to either!
    Sarah M

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  4. These are all great tips! We try to never check our bags. It just makes everything so much easier. It's also nice to just hop off a plane and LEAVE!

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  5. Get those adapters! And maybe backups! We broke our Italian one in Italy and replacing it was not cheap.

    I stored all our important docs in Dropbox as well as emailing them to myself.

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  6. I think packing light and learning to speak a little of the language of the country you're in are great travel tips. I moved country for 8 months and I packed way too much!! I'm traveling through Europe for 6 weeks in Feb, so

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  7. Although emailing documents can be useful, I find people often think they sent it, but then didn't. Having it all in my evernote notebook marked "travel" usually gives me more peace of mind

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  8. thanks for addding me to the list! <3 Becky

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  9. One of my resolutions for this year was to take a trip by myself. I've always been terrified of travelling alone, so this year I'm going to take a deep breath and plunge right in.

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  11. Wonderful list of blogs – some I didn't know about! Thanks for sharing and I hope one day you’ll be a regular at our blog as well! Thanks for sharing this helpful and excellent tips.

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