Given our impending vacation in a couple weeks, I have been having a planning moment – scoping out what to do, what to see, and where to go. But, then I remember that we are travelers. We know that some of the best trips are unplanned. Sometimes just walking your destination over, and over, again for a few days is the best way to discover the beauty of travel. That said, there are a few travel rules that are useful to help boost the confidence of a not-so-adventurous traveler. If you follow these, trust me, you’ll be a wanderer in no time. 🙂
- Check the events calendar. There was one time we went to Amsterdam, only to find out it was a national holiday. We hadn’t booked our hotel, and the entire city was sold-out, and/or a room was outrageously priced. We ended up staying a train ride away, in Hoofddorp. It ended up being an incredible adventure, but still, an interruption that could have been disastrous.
- Pack expensive items in your carry-on. I’ve been slightly lucky, but I know PLENTY of people who have lost their luggage, and a few that have never had it returned. Yes, the airline will likely compensate, but it probably won’t be enough to replace your $3,000 MacBook.
- Travel wallet. I have said this time and again, buy yourself a travel wallet. Something that will hold your passport and important travel documentation (ie. visas, boarding passes, foreign currency, etc.). The first time I traveled with Mark, he was dumbfounded by my travel wallet, but is now requesting to borrow it when he travels solo. I may be in the market for a new one, and these are really tickling my fancy, here and here.
- Check-in early, and download your e-tickets to your iPhone wallet. My father taught me this. He is a great traveler. Don’t pre-purchase your seats, just set an alarm on your phone for the first instance that you can check-in to your flight. The amount of times we have been able to snag “exit row” is outrageous. I will be more than ecstatic to have an overnight flight with extra leg room! Also, opt to download those boarding passes to your iPhone wallet. Why not have them a click-away?
- Be sure to wrap your shampoo and liquids, going into your check-in baggage, in a plastic bag. I learned this the hard way… Shampoo EVERYWHERE 🙁
- Head straight to your hotel/AirBnb to unpack. Grab a quick shower. Nobody like smelling like an airplane. And head out to search for food and a snack. I like to Google the location of our accommodation first, just be have an idea of how close food and, *cough*, wine really are.
- Plan yourself for the flight. If you’re overnighting, bring a sleepy-time pill (even just Tylenol Nighttime works for us), and even an eye mask. I love my cleansing wipes for when I wake up. And pop some daytime make-up, and a toothbrush in your carry-on for a pre-descending freshen up. The more you keep your overnight flight ritual as close to your typical daily routine, the more you’ll feel refreshed and rejuvenated to start the adventure on the other side.
- Some must-do’s for my carry-on as well:
- Lip chap. We have an unhealthy obsession with Burt’s Bees – so much so, that I literally doused my lips with it, right after typing this sentence….
- Hand sanitizer. A must if you don’t like sticky fingers, or if you’ve read about those airplane tables….. yuck.
- Face cream. Those planes just suck the moisture out of you. This one is great!
- A water bottle. Just be sure to fill it after security. This one is my favourite, and it gets multiple use for keeping the Rosé chilled whilst hiking to the Tour Magne! 🙂
- While walking around aimlessly is my favourite, I also do keep a small list of itinerary to-do’s for the trip. Do a quick Google search. Is there something that the area is known for? Provence is known for their floral, vibrant-colored fabrics. It’s something that just sits on the itinerary each time we go to Provence.
- Make packing lists. I will literally start mine 30 days before we go. This gives me time to purchase whatever we don’t have, and to determine if we really need it, or if we can swap it out for something else.
Do you have any further recommendations for stress-free travelling? I would love to hear them!