Cozy Conversations with The Sister Project
The way in which you plan for a trip can make or break it.
With just a bit of preparation and planning, your vacation can be smooth and worry-free.
On the contrary, no planning for a trip can create way too much space for hiccups, forgotten items, and wardrobe malfunctions.
I’ve done a good deal of traveling both domestic and international. From road trips to trips down under, I have collected a few tips and expert advice along the way.
We recently chatted about all of these tips and more, in Episode 53 of Cozy Conversations with The Sister Project.
With the influx in travel…it’s the perfect time to revisit some of my best travel tips and secrets.
These cubes changed the way I travel. I roll up my clothing items and line them in the cube one at a time. I’ll separate items based on categories. Underwear and bathing suits go in a small cube. Silk camisoles and delicate pieces go in a large one. Workout clothes another. And then everyday items into one last one.
This way, I know what is where. Cubes not only keep things organized, but they also make packing so much easier.
Pro tip: Roll as many items as you can. You’ll be able to squeeze in a few more items that way.
Packing Cubes, Amazon
Make a photocopy of your passport.
Both a hard copy and one on your phone. This way, in the event, it is lost or stolen your trip to the embassy will go much smoother.
While you’re at it – double-check the expiration date on your passport. Nothing like getting to the airport with an expired passport. Talk about a buzzkill.
You definitely want a passport holder as well. Not only will it help you stay organized, but it will also stick out – making it easier to see and less likely to forget.
Marble Passport Holder, Amazon
Go off the grid.
Leave the touristy part of the city and explore! My favorite thing to do is check out neighborhoods within a big, beautiful city. That’s when you really feel like you’re with the people!
The way I like to wander is by searching for the best coffee shops. I’ll choose a few I want to be sure to check out and once there, I will often find myself in unique areas outside the busy part of town. Organically, I’ll stumble upon cute boutiques and other small businesses.
Stop. Look around.
Anytime, and I mean any freaking time, you are leaving a place for good (ie. the hotel, a plane, bus, boat, etc.) stop and look around to be sure you have all of your belongings. Slow down and triple-check. Rushing equals forgetting.
This is the “mindful” part of traveling that will have you forgetting less along the way.
Try it all on.
Before you put anything in your luggage, try it one first. There is nothing worse than arriving at your destination and a button is missing, something is torn, or doesn’t fit as you’d like it.
Do yourself a favor and try on all of your outfits. Also, consider mixing and matching items in an effort to have less bulk.
Make a list.
Using Trello, Google Keep, or a pad of paper. Whatever floats your boat. The important thing here is that you write down things you cannot leave the house without or that you cannot pack until the day you leave.
Bring a page-turner.
Honestly, there is nothing worse than bringing a boring ass book on vacation. You want a book you can’t wait to hit the beach with or finish on the flight because you just couldn’t stop.
My suggestion is to sign-up for Goodreads. Before you head to the library or your local book store, check the reviews and ratings. I rarely commit to a book until I peruse it first on Goodreads.
Learn the common phrases.
Please, thank you, hello, goodbye, good morning, help, emergency, wine (lol)…you get the gist.
A little practice of a foreign language can go a long way and it adds to the fun! Don’t worry if you aren’t pronouncing it correctly, just try your best.
When I worked at the James Hotel here in Chicago, I met folks from all over the world, many of whom spoke no English. However, with a few basics and sometimes a drawing, I was always able to sort out what their needs were.
Meeting humans from all over the world is one of my favorite things to do.
Pack a Turkish towel.
You can use it as a shawl, a blanket, or a scarf. It’s the perfect accessory for when you feel a chill on the plane or at dinner on the beach. It also makes for the perfect blanket for an impromptu picnic.
It solves so many problems.
Turkish Towel; Amazon
Alert your bank and phone company.
Make sure you let them know you are traveling. This will avoid any transaction difficulties, as well as will have you on a budgeted plan for cellular data.
No one likes coming home from a trip with a gigantic phone bill.
Check all Covid protocol.
Do you need proof of vaccine? Will you be tested upon check-in and take off? What capacity are bars and restaurants operating? ARE they operating?
Call the hotel and airline you’re flying 0r check their websites – all information should be readily available.
You don’t want to arrive at your destination ill-prepared, so plan ahead.