Travelling can be exciting and it can also be overwhelming when trying to get organized. We have some travel tips that we have rounded up to help you save money, save time, sleep better, and experience more.
Carry On: Even if you are travelling for several days, there is really no reason you can't fit it all in a carry-on. You aren't going to wear three outfits a day - no matter what you tell yourself. I know considering a carry-on can be daunting - so here are some tips to help (you won't regret taking less):
use packing cubes. it will help organize yourself and your suitcase
consider taking clothes that you no longer need/like. you wear them once or twice and then can donate them locally (and make room for souvenirs)
practice packing and take pictures of your outfits in advance. then you know you are taking what you need for what you need it for (knowing the outfits are already put together)
when packing shoes, bring your favourite ones that have stood the test of time (when it comes to comfort). pack only a couple pairs that you can walk in all day and that go with everything you are taking. if you are considering an extra pair - don't!
if you are going overpack anything - make it the underwear!
Must take items: there are some items that we often don't think of taking, but will make life easier and less stressful. Some items I usually pack include:
noise cancelling headphones for the plan. download some songs and audiobooks.
baby wipes have been ever useful for everything you can imagine (especially when travelling with kids)
slippers are handy (just cheap ones) so you can walk around the hotel rooms if your rather not be barefoot
a couple pillow cases. one to replace the hotel ones if you are anxious about where and how clean they are - and another can serve as a handy laundry bag
black dress that you can dress up or dress down - perfect for any spontaneous plans that come up
snacks and empty water bottle to keep filled up
Research your destination: this includes the place you are going and where you are staying. For instance, if you have booked an airbnb and they have the extra toiletries you will need and hairdryer - you can leave that at home. In addition, the weather and activities of the place you are going will determine what you pack. If it is a cobblestone street filled place - leave the heels at home! Also, culturally - if you are going to a place that is more modest - be respectful and pack what is acceptable.
Travel Slow: don't rush when you get to where you are going. Don't try to do everything in a couple days - give yourself time to really immerse yourself in the culture, the space and really take it all in. The worst is to spend tonnes of money and rush through everything, and have no memory of it. So try your best not to over schedule yourself.
Be Flexible: flights can be delayed, excursions can be cancelled - anything can happen. Be open to going with the flow of things. It will give you that breath to really take things in stride and enjoy all the good moments vs dwelling on what didn't go as planned.
Pre-pay as much as possible: When planning the trip, prepay for as much as you can - so when the day comes, you aren't worried about what you will need to spend while you are on vacation. Another way to take the stress out of unnecessary expenses, is walk as much as you can. You can save on transportation costs. Every little bit counts.
When it comes to experiences - at least book one walking tour. It will give you an opportunity to become familiar with your surroundings and they are very informative. Also, a lot of them are free! Get lost. It's ok (always have on hand your hotel address so you can ask for directions when needed) - but getting off the beaten path and getting lost will also you to find some amazing things. Will give you the experiences you didn't plan for - but will be memorable in the best way.
Don't sweat the small stuff: Sometimes plans will not unfold as you intended, and that is ok. To get more out of your experiences, try to say "yes" to as many opportunities as you can. You will open the doors to more and force yourself out of your comfort zone.
Do as the locals do: Talk to the locals and learn about local events in the area and recommended places to eat - that way you don't fall into the usual 'tourist traps' - so eat as they eat; travel as they travel; enjoy as they enjoy. Also, try to learn some of the basic phrases in the local language. Don't be shy - they will respect that you are giving an effort. You can easily learn to say hello, please and thank you.
In the end - Always do you! Do what works for you and what you need to do to get the most out of your trip. Best of all make lots of memories and enjoy!
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