Frequently I’m asked for my #1 Travel Tip. From fellow travelers to radio & T.V. interviews, people always want one quick pearl of travel wisdom to take with them. Travel is such a broad topic, that having just one “#1 Tip” is tough – I have several! Here are my favorites for just some of the many facets of travel.
Use a packing list! Packing lists are not just for packing for a trip, but also for a great list of what to pack back up before returning home. Just ask any hotel front desk clerk for how many items are in their lost and found area and their answer will most likely be “way too many.” Definitely add all your phone and electronics to your list as these top the list of the most left-behind items.
Always be identifiable! When you’re on the road, the last thing you need is to lose something important, whether it be a coat, laptop or phone. Even worse, what if something happened to you, perhaps when doing a morning jog. Would anyone know who you are?
Always have a good book, magazines, movie, or music on hand to keep your mind busy. This helps pass the time quickly and gives you something fun and interesting to focus on rather than “are we there yet?”
The same goes for driving. Listen to music or audio books or record voice messages of your thoughts and/or to-do list items to pass the time, yet stay focused on the driving.
Trust yourself; push yourself. Be open to exploring the city you’re visiting (the hotel concierge is a great source of interesting things to do in areas deemed safe, as is the local tourist office) though trust your gut if something doesn’t feel right or safe to you.
If you’re traveling and your family is at home, communicate often and as planned. This gives your family comfort that you’ll be calling at a certain time so they can tell you about school events, friends or other at-home happenings, and their concern about your whereabouts is reduced.
If you’re traveling with family, give everyone a turn at making decisions. Whether it be where to eat dinner, where to sit in the car or plane, or what venue to enjoy, everyone loves to have their say in what to do – and kids feel especially proud when you love what they selected!
Yes, share your travels with family and friends on social media, though do it safely. On Facebook, set your posts that say you’re away from home to only go to family and friends, not to the public. On Twitter, Instagram, and others, perhaps only post your photos once you’re back at home. Check what your kids are posting, also, and give them your guidelines.
Go with the intent to enjoy one new experience each day. Whether it be trying a new food, talking with someone local about culture or history, visiting a museum or attending a concert, do something that will give you interesting memories and items to share with family and friends. Something that when you look back at your memories of the city you’re visiting, you’ll say, “Wow, that was a great trip!”