Tips For Frequent & Infrequent Travelers

[trip style = any]

If there's one thing---ok, a few---I've learned packing and unpacking my bags for every trip style under the sun---and rain, and clouds and snow---it's there's a few best practices that accompany every trip. Here's a few chapters {bullet points, really} from my unwritten travel book: {Also, don't miss our suggestions for staying healthy and what to bring in Travel Essentials For Every Trip Style.}

Tavel Guide For Any Trip Style

  • Three night rule. If you've taken a plane, train or automobile away to play, try to stay in each location at least three nights so you can get to know the area and culture. Plus who wants to pack and unpack every night, even with a carry-on this takes time.
  • If your hotel room has no mirror, check your look by snapping a full-length picture of yourself with your smartphone or digi cam.
  • Always bring washable, rubber-soled slippers on vacay: good for use on long flights {with sox}, as well as for hotels who don’t provide them {carpets = yucky}.
  • As much as I love digital travel itinerary managers {like TripIt}, always travel with a paper copy of your itinerary and photocopy of your travel documents. As a third back-up for the uber prepared, take pics of important docs, passport and driver's license with your smartphone...just DON'T lose your smartphone.
  • Have a map in case there’s no wifi, or your phone dies. Fold it so you only need to look at a small square every time you take it out of your pocket.
  • Go informed, even if that means reading a five minute "intro to Columbia" before you leave, know at least a little about the culture and practices before you enter a country. Basic info like accepted currency, plugs, typical cab fares, important national holidays that might coincide with your dates or safety precautions are invaluable bits of info when you hit the ground.
  • Unless you're surrounded by the protected walls of a secluded all-inclusive, dive into local culture by trying to live like locals do in New York. One of travel's greatest joys is observing and experiencing how others live.
  • Find cool. Whether it's a restaurant server, shop owner or bartender, meet locals and get their suggestions for what to do and where to eat!
  • Be yourself, but blend in so you're not a total tourist target. This goes both ways. For example: dress down when locals do, dress up when locals do...}
  • Bring a little cash, always in small bills for tipping.
  • The shower cap or plastic hotel laundry bag in your hotel room works wonders for a wet bathing suit or dirty clothes {see New Uses For Common Travel Items}.
[photo by @tripstyler taken of Bonaire's main airport]