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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Travel Tips

Travel Tips
1. Always pack a hat. a brimmed hat will keep the sun off your face
2. Packing for a trip is infinitely easier when you’ve just done laundry.
3. Always carry a travel first aid kit
5. Pack a reusable water bottle that clips on to your bag. Bonus points if it’s collapsible.
6. Bags with wheels are amazing. That backpack might seem more agile, but have you ever seen someone trek across an airport with one of those on their back?
7. Don’t forget your camera charger. You will go through that battery in a second, esp. when your friends insist on flipping through all of the photos that you just took in order to relive something that happened 5 minutes ago.
8. Don’t pack clothes that require ironing. Hell, don’t buy clothes that require ironing.
9. If you are staying with someone, get them a present. Either bring it from home, or take them out during the trip, or send them something afterwards. Do it not only because you will likely be invited back, but because you will be so proud.
10. Never pack something that you haven’t worn before. Otherwise you’ll find your new shoes too uncomfortable, your new jacket too flimsy, your new underwear too wedgie-prone.
11. Buy that delightfully grotesque souvenir, even if you don’t know who to give it to. Odds are, you will think of someone for whom it would be perfect. Worst-case scenario, you’ll keep it for yourself. Which is a really great worst-case scenario.
12. If you hate wearing something at home, you will hate wearing it even more on a trip.
13. Pack those god-awful tennis shoes you only wear “jogging” (a.k.a., “to the store to buy ice cream”) At some point during your trip, you won’t care what you look like. You will only care about being comfortable. For me, that point is “Day 2.”
14. Always ask guides for tips. They’ll tell you what the best are, and what you can skip.
15. Tip your hotel housekeeping staff. While you can leave it every day on the pillow, most staff is instructed not to move money or personal items, so they might not pick it up. If this is the case, just leave it in a prominent spot when you check out.
16. Never carry your wallet in your back pocket, and never carry your purse on just your shoulder.
17. Take notes. As much as you believe the contrary, once you get home you will not remember your tour guide’s name, or the artist whose worked you loved so much, or even the city where you stayed. Write it down.
18. If you have an inkling that you should not be taking photos of something, don’t take them.
19. The second you think of packing something, PACK IT. If you wait, you will forget.
20. If you don’t speak the local language of the place you are heading, then at least learn the following phrases: Please. Thank you. I’m sorry.
21. Wherever you are, wherever you are going, bring snacks.
22. You will inevitably forget something, either at home or while on your trip. Accept this reality, and pray it is not your passport or your spouse.
23. Call your credit card company before you leave and put a travel alert on your card. While you’re at it, jot down their international customer service number.
24. Consider contacting the embassy and letting them know the dates of your trip. Or at the very least, have their contact info on hand.
25. Make photocopies of your passport and leave one with friends and another tucked into your bag. Or, better yet, scan your passport and email a copy to yourself.
26. Pack more underwear than you could ever conceivably go through. They don’t take up much room, and after a few days on the road, you will feel FRIGGING DECADENT when you put on a fresh pair in the morning and again in the afternoon.
27. Stuffing socks into your shoes can help you save space and ensure your loafers retain their shape.
28. No one will judge you for watching a dumb movie while on a plane. That’s what you’re supposed to do on planes.
29. When packing, try to match all of the pants/bottoms you are taking with all of the tops. This will prevent you from looking like a total goober by the end of your trip.
30. Dryer sheets remove static from your hair and clothing and make your suitcase smell awesome while taking up virtually no room.
31. Toilet paper is not a given in many parts of the world. Which is why those little packs of tissues they sell at drugstores are a godsend.
32. Border control agents do not get sarcasm.
33. If you can’t afford to lose it (either financially or emotionally), don’t pack it.
34. If you’ve selected the window seat, you’d better have a big bladder.
35. If you are starting a brand-new book on your flight, bring at least one other form of entertainment with you, because that brand-new book might suck.
36. Suffer from motion sickness? Ask for a drink that is half ginger ale and half club soda. It will help alleviate nausea without putting you into diabetic shock.
37. Wear sunscreen anytime you will be outside, regardless of the temperature or weather.
38. Regardless of size, never bring more than two bags with you- any more than that is unwieldy and difficult to keep track of.
39. Rolling non-wrinkable items before shoving them into your suitcase really does save space.
40. If you’ve forgotten something, check with the hotel before running to a drugstore. Most housekeeping departments carry toothbrushes, combs, sewing kits, shower caps, and disposable razors that they will give you free of charge.
41. Budget hotels almost always offer free wi-fi. Luxury hotels will charge you for it. This is almost always the case.
42. Sleeping in while traveling is only acceptable if there is absolutely NOTHING better to do. In other words, it’s never acceptable.
43. And, most importantly: never, EVER leave any valuables in your vehicle. I don’t care if it’s safely hidden in the trunk. I don’t care if you’re parked in the safest part of town. Don’t do it. It’s not worth the risk.
But what about you? Surely you must have some useful nugget of travel wisdom you’ve been dying to share. If so, leave your sage advice in the comments for all to see.
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