Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Top Travel Tips

Here are some of my most valuable travel tips that I've learned along the way. Feel free to let me know if you think I'm missing any!

1. Do the "prep work" - Make photocopies of your passport to leave at home, make sure your passport is valid for more than 6 months before the time of your trip, check if you need a Visa's and look into immunizations if needed.

2. Clean before you go - There is nothing worse than coming home from a trip and having to clean. You already know your going to have a ton of laundry to do.

3. Plan Accordingly - Know what your interests and preferences are and then pick a hotel location based on that - I always pick one that's in walking distance to main sites or right in the middle of the town. I am willing to give up a peaceful nights sleep in order to walk everywhere.

4. Hotel/Hostel Picking - I'm sure everyone knows how to look up good deals and good websites such as hostelworld or but I also wanted to mention Airbnb.

My second thought is to not shy away from hostels (especially in Europe) - from my experience traveling throughout Europe half the time I stayed in hotels and the other half in hostels (all depending on who I was traveling with) and I have to say that almost every hostel was nice, clean, updated, had the best locations and included free breakfasts, free WiFi etc. I also found they created more fun opportunities then what hotels would have.

5. Packing - Which really deserves a post all on its own - so my only comment for now is to roll your clothes (less wrinkles and saves space).

6. Carry-on - This may be the lesson that took me the longest to learn - my first few trips were carry-on nightmares (insanely heavy and packed with useless things). I will be doing a post on what's in my carry-on. But my main tip is LESS IS MORE!

7. Technology- You can now use apps like "CityMaps2Go". You just need to load the maps at your hotel while on Wifi and then can use them all around the city without data. No need for huge tourist maps anymore. There's also currency exchange apps which I have found really useful!

8. Language Barrier - I think it's important to learn a few phrases in the language of the place you are traveling - in some countries that may only mean that you can say hello - but a little effort goes a long way. There are also tons of apps to help with this.

9. Water & Snacks - I think its always wise to carry around a water bottle and snacks while traveling - go to a local grocery shop and stock up - it will be much cheaper there than at any of the tourist destinations.

10. Souvenirs -  I always say go with your gut - I have never regretted buying a souvenir (if I end up getting rid of it years later, I'm fine with it) but I have regretted not getting one and then there's nothing you can do short of going back or settling for a knock-off online.
Also it can be fun to pick a theme of souvenirs - My mom collects a Christmas ornament - I collect a painting or a household item - My brother prefers the shelf-topper items (Eiffel tower statue etc) - My friend Alyce collects a magnet. It's fun to see the collection grow!

Hope this helps anyone! xo

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