I’ve been traveling a LOT this year, definitely more than usual (this is mostly because I have the free time now that I work from home so I’m taking advantage of that “work from anywhere” luxury!) Since April I’ve traveled to Michigan, New Hampshire, Maine, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Florida, Virginia (duh – that’s home base) and now I’m in Barbados! I’ve always loved exploring the world, seeing new places, and experiencing other cultures BUT there’s one thing I hate, despise, LOATHE (can you tell I don’t like this…) about traveling… any guesses?
PACKING AND UNPACKING.
On a regular day at home my least favourite chore is putting the laundry away. I’ll have clean clothes sit folded in the basket for ages – so it makes sense that this is my least favourite part of traveling. It’s essentially putting away laundry multiple times. The other thing is that I am by no means a “light packer.” I pack as if I’m going to some uncivilized planet or the North Pole. Why yes, I do need to pack 25 shirts for a week long trip. Yes, I do need to bring this drill… what if i need to build something. That one might be an exaggeration, but only slightly. However, even with my terrible packing habits I did throw together some travel tips for you!
Top 10 Travel Tips
- Whether it’s handwritten or on your phone start making a list of what you need to pack. A list on your phone is easy because if you’re out and remember something random just add it right away. I promise when it comes time to pack you won’t remember that random item until it’s too late unless it’s written down.
- Do your research. If you’re going somewhere new, especially foreign countries, ask your friends for suggestions or look up reviews online for recommendations. It’s the worst when you find out after the trip that you missed out on some hidden gem of a restaurant or an awesome local activity just because you didn’t know about it.
- If you’re going to a foreign country that speaks another language be sure to learn some essential words. The locals will be a lot friendlier if they see you’re actually trying to connect with them in their native tongue rather than expecting them to know your language.
- Always pack a change of clothes and other essentials in your carry on, especially when traveling abroad (I always pack a swimsuit when I’m coming to Barbados). I know it doesn’t happen often but sometimes you’ll get separated from your luggage. You’ll be pissed about not having your stuff but you’ll be so happy when you arrive to at least have something besides your travel clothes.
- If you have a scale at home and are a heavy packer (like me) or are going on a longer trip, try and weigh your suitcase before you leave the house. 50 lbs max but you can always pay the overweight fee. Or you have to open your suitcase as the check in desk and move some things to your carry on until it’s the correct weight… another incident I have encountered due to my heavy packing tendencies.
- Make sure you know the rules. Security has gotten tighter and you don’t want to be THAT person that holds up the line even more. So, no liquids over 3.4 fl oz, nothing sharp or hazardous, be prepared to take your shoes off, and laptops must come out of your bag and put into their own container. Most people know these things but there’s always that one person.
- Snacks. Gone are the days where you got full meals on airplanes (unless it’s a long flight then food is still available) but most flights at best will give you a drink and a bag of pretzels. So be sure to pack a little something to nibble on and to buy your drink AFTER you’ve gotten through security.
- Give yourself plenty of time. I hate to say it but I’ve been that maniac running through the airport, shoes in hand, to catch my flight with no time to spare and it’s NOT fun. Bring a book and get their early so you have time to get to the gate and relax before boarding.
- Pack some cash in a few different places in case something gets stolen so you’re not left with nothing. Plus credit card fees in other countries can be expensive.
- Last but definitely not least, HAVE FUN! Whether you travel a little or a lot it’s an amazing opportunity that not everyone gets to experience. Live in the moment and make every minute count!
**Here’s a FREE PackingList for you to fill out!**