As published in The Florida Villager
I received an email the other day asking me for some travel tips. Even a seasoned traveler like myself has learned some important lessons over the years. I have found it’s not just the practical tips, but also your mindset that can make or break a trip.
- Don’t schedule anything that won’t be easy to get out of for the day after you arrive in the event you miss your flight.
- Travel as light as possible. Be realistic. Are you really going to read those three books you packed?
- Find a way to have inner peace. There will always be some glitch, small or big. Just don’t let it ruin your day or your trip.
- Along with tip number three comes patience. Let go of things you can’t control.
- Get to the airport early. This means don’t wait until the morning of to start packing.
- Have a toothbrush, underwear, snack, pen and paper, travel documents and lotion in your carryon. Keep a copy of your license, passport and health insurance in a separate place as well.
- Take a picture of where you parked your car and have your hotel address and phone number saved in your phone.
- Make a packing list. Don’t rely on your memory. Write it down. I actually make copies of it so I have one for every trip.
- Don’t jam pack your itinerary – leave room for surprises.
- If you travel with someone, separate your things into each other’s luggage so if a bag gets lost, you each have some of your travel items.
- Separate your cash and a credit card and have a backup stash.
- Don’t compare. Each place you visit offers new things. Appreciate your destination for what it is and don’t spoil your trip by comparing to another city, hotel or experience.
- Find the local hangouts.
- Use missed opportunities for new opportunities. Missed your dinner reservation? No problem, explore a new place.
- Travel insurance is a must.
- Don’t take no for an answer. If there is something you want to do, find a way to do it.
- Take the time to engage locals in conversation. It always turns out to be a fun experience and provides some valuable information about the area.
- Wear sunscreen. Nothing can put a damper on things more than a raging sunburn.
- Back up your photos. You want to keep those memories in case you lose your computer or it crashes.
- Be aware of your budget and the cost of things. Nothing is worse than going on a trip only to find out you can’t afford to really enjoy all that it has to offer.
- And of course, let someone back home have a copy of your itinerary and stay in touch with family or friends.
Traveling is a gift we give ourselves. The world is a big, beautiful, exciting place so start packing!