On this part of our site we will be posting all of the general travel tips and tricks we have learned regarding what to bring, how to pack, how to find great hotels, how to secure decent seats on airplanes and generally keeping your sanity as you gallivant around the world!
Top tips (in no particular order):
1. Pack new Band-Aid blister block bandages - they ROCK! Seriously, the only thing that saved Sharon's feet during her 65 mile-in-6-days insane walking tour of Paris (self-inflicted) were these bandages. They stay on for days, even when showering, and provide cushion and pain relief (and keep blisters from breaking open).
2. Never pass up the chance to use the bathroom! You never know how long it will be until you find the next one...
3. Take several of the small tissue packs along with you. Just like you never know when you'll find another bathroom, you never know when there won't toilet paper.
4. Consider packing bubble wrap, extra tissue paper and scotch tape. You never know what kind of souvenirs you are going to purchase, or how well they will be wrapped by the store. You would be amazed at how handy this can be.
5. Pack a small, collapsible tote bag. If you end up shopping, or just not packing as tightly on the way home, you may want the extra space. Sharon highly recommends the Longchamp "Le Pliage" tote in the large or extra-large sizes - they fold up incredibly small, and are incredibly durable. Not only are they good for the return trip, they also make a great beach tote.
6. Use and pack ziploc bags in quart, gallon and perhaps also two gallon sizes. They are good for both squishing air out of clothes and having take up less room on the way to your destination (and be protected just in case something leaks or your suitcase gets set down in a large puddle of water by baggage handlers), and for potential purchases.
7. Check out the Pac-Safe line of travel accessories - backpacks, waist packs, purses, etc. They have locking zippers, thin steel cables running through the straps and slash-resistant outer panels. We have a variety of them and they really work. They are a little bit heavier than regular purses, etc., but the security is worth it.
8. Instead of carrying around complete travel guides, photocopy the relevant pages before you leave and just take those along during the day. And when you are done, throw them away and have one less thing to carry with you. For those of you in the iPhone world, you also can buy apps for the places you are visiting.
9. Pick up business cards from the places you visit so you can remember what you did, saw or ate and charged to your credit card. You can make notes on the back of the card. You'd be surprised how quickly one forgets what one did and notes come in very handy!
10. Put the name, address and phone number of the hotel, cruise ship or tour operator inside each suitcase on a large piece of paper on the top of your clothes (and if you are moving around, put the first 2 or 3 destinations and dates you can be found at each). That way in case your suitcase gets lots, it has a better chance of getting to you.
11. Make a packing list and take it with you in your carry on. If your suitcase gets utterly lost, you have a handy list to present to insurance or the airline.
12. Another use for those Ziploc bags? If you are on a cruise, take one to breakfast with you and make snacks to take off the boat - free lunch!
13. Favorite sun protection for women - the "Victoria" hat by the Wallaroo Hat Company. It is packable, crushable, comes in a variety of colors, and looks great on every female friend of Travel Team 360 who has tried one on (Sharon has it in 6 colors).
14. Learn a foreign language! Before you go, take the time to learn at least a few basic words and phrases, such as "hello", "goodbye", "please", "thank you", "do you speak English" and most importantly, "where is the bathroom?" The smiles you will receive in return is well worth the effort!
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To move, to breathe, to fly, to float To gain all while you give To roam the roads of lands remote To travel is to LIVE!
- H.C. Andersen
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