Traveling 101

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I’ve found myself up in the air a lot recently. For work, for fun and for family. I feel like over the past year, trips kind of just keep turning up unexpectedly, and by no means is this a complaint. Everytime I go somewhere, I always learn something new or helpful about the travel process. Whether it be via car, plane, train, boat, bike…foot…there’s always room for a little tip here or there.

Some may be old, and some may be new…but either way, here are some things I’ve learned on my recent travels that I wanted to share with you all. From saving a few dollars, being comfortable, and surviving along the way, may these tips serve you well on your next adventure!

Pack light

packing picture

This is my biggest issue by far. I always, always pack too much. I gave myself a pat on the back on this recent trip to Austin for SXSW. I still had to use an entirely too large suitcase, but for the first time in a while, my suitcase wasn’t over the weight limit. It’s so embarrassing to have to dig through your suitcase at the airport and remove items so that that you don’t have to pay an overweight bag fee. If you can manage, fitting everything into a carry-on sized suitcase is the most ideal. Trust me, take it from someone who’s been the girl carrying WAY too much through the airport…it’s never fun.

Wear comfortable shoes

comfortable shoes

I know it’s hard, but if you’re bringing those super cute shoes with a heel you just bought, save them for a night out. This one might be a no brainer…but wearing comfortable shoes when traveling might be the biggest survival tip of them all. Running from gate to gate to catch flights gets tiring, and blisters rain on everyone’s parade. Save yourself the trouble and wear your most comfortable pair of kicks. Then, when it comes times to break out the showstoppers, your feet will be prepped and ready, no blisters in sight.

Always, always bring headphones

headphones

Headphones saved me on my last trip in the air. It was an early flight, and my seat was 32 E (last row, middle seat…help). I always need music, but for some reason on this flight, all I wanted was silence. I put on my headphones, and all noise was blocked. If you forget ear plugs, this is the perfect alternative to muffle all sounds.

Use sites like Airbnb

air bnb

If you’ve never tried Airbnb before, I challenge you to try this on your next stay somewhere. I’ve used it a handful of times, and each experience I’ve had has been amazing. Booking sites that allow you to stay in alternative housing accommodations are fun and sometimes a cheap

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alternative to staying in a hotel, and most of the time the hosts are really helpful! If it’s your first time to a city, they can fill you in on good local spots to eat or check out, and are sometimes even willing to show you around. I always read the reviews before booking to make sure it’s a clean, safe and reliable environment. I’ve found listings that give you the option to stay in vintage air streams or even house boats…sign me up!

Use hotel amenities to their fullest potential

rachel in hotel

If you do opt to stay in a hotel, don’t leave that place until you get your money’s worth. A lot of hotels provide free services that may not be directly advertised. If you look through the guest services book in your room upon check in, you may find some pretty awesome deals. I always take advantage of the free continental breakfast, and take the left over toiletries that they provide you for future traveling excursions. And sometimes, if you’re lucky…that nice plush robe in the closet is even free.

Buy a portable/rechargeable phone battery

rechargable battery

We’ve all been there — your phone dies when it’s really, really not a convenient time. When I travel for work, having access to a phone is essential. If you’re scared of having your phone die at a time that you’ve forgotten your charger or can’t find an outlet, purchase a rechargeable external battery for your phone. Charge it up while you have access to an outlet, then make sure to bring it with you if you are going to be on your phone a lot. You can use this to charge up your phone wherever you may be, and you can save yourself some stress.

Be your own mom

first aid kit

Moms are always prepared.They never forget the band-aids, and they always have the Tylenol. You never know what may happen when you travel, so next time you do, be your own mom and pack along that simple first aid kit. It’s never a bad thing to be prepared.

Happy travels!

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Comments

WANICULLEN -March 24, 2014, 8:30AM

I’ll be travelling very soon too and I can’t wait to try out Airbnb! And definitely, “Be Your own Mom” got that spot on!

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LamentingLizzie -March 24, 2014, 9:48AM

Packing light is the key to a happy trip. When we went to Atlanta for Labor Day weekend, I took only my backpack. It felt freeing. Just take things that are versatile… I used the Voile and Lace slip, two tanks, denim cutoffs, and my Circle in the Sand tee. Oh, and I had one jersey H&M dress that rolled up to be super small and doubled as a nightgown. It was perfect.

Kate -March 24, 2014, 11:50AM

Refillable water bottle, lip balm, hand creme, moisturiser. Hydration is your best friend in an airplane cabin :)

Tiffany -March 24, 2014, 2:16PM

Awesome tips! I cant wait to try airbnb :)
Xx, Tiffany { http://www.sunshinedaydreamphotography.com }

Katie -March 24, 2014, 3:01PM

I’m half Finnish half American, so I spend a lot of my time traveling back and forth between continents. I’ve tried Airbnb, it’s definitely worth it. But make sure you check out all the apartment details first–I once found myself in an unairconditioned room in the middle of summer in Barcelona, and the room was full of cockroaches. So be careful!

xo Katie

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annette -March 24, 2014, 3:33PM

I travel very often and used to be a culprit of over packing many years ago. In recent years I have wised up to pack only what is needed. It is less hassle and less to pack and unpack when you get back… Although I have not tried this Airbnb will have to check it out! Thank You!

Shelley -March 24, 2014, 10:23PM

Great tips! Love the “be your own Mom” tip the best. That’s good advise in any situation!
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Ella Wild -March 25, 2014, 8:11AM

I find a solar charger with usb port works best. then u can charge anything anywhere.

Ella Wild xoxox
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Jessica M -March 25, 2014, 11:26AM

Oooh! The portable battery suggestion is a GREAT one I have never thought of before! #1 is so, so true, and has always been the hardest lesson for me to learn! This is a fantastic check list — I will definitely be re-reading before I get on the next plane =)

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Juliette Laura -March 25, 2014, 11:45AM

These are great travel tips! Actually super helpful!

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cristina -March 25, 2014, 3:54PM

AIRBNB!!!! i just used it for the first time this last weekend on a first time trip to portland with my friend!! so easy, SO much cheaper than a hotel, our hosts were awesome, helpful and knowledgeable. they gave us a similar set up to a hotel… toiletries in the bathroom, towels, coffee and tea with coffee maker and plug in teapot BUT there’s a kitchen!! a real kitchen! if we weren’t in portland, city with the best food in the world, we probably would have used it one day to save money hahaha they set us up with a welcome binder full of tips, walkable things, guide to using public transportation, business cards and menus for local places and a list of their favorite things in the city. it was so awesome! i would definitely recommend it and do it again myself!

Mandi Jackson -March 25, 2014, 6:20PM

Thank you so much for introducing me to AirBnB! Helps a TON when I have to travel for work. So much easier, cheaper, and nicer than any hotel. New Orleans, here I come! <3

Melissa -March 25, 2014, 10:34PM

Such great travel trips! In the past year, every time I’ve traveled I packed on the lighter side and it definitely made things easier! Not only did I have TOO many options to choose from, I was able to buy things while away. :)

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