Now that I’ve shared a couple of tidbits from my time in England, France, Italy, and Croatia with you guys, it’s time to impart some wisdom that I’ve acquired not only over the course of this three week trip, but also from various other travel experiences. Here are ten travel tips I’d give to anyone planning a vacation, starting with the absolute, most important thing I learned and a mistake I will never make again:
- Bring comfortable, worn in shoes. In planning, you’ll think you want to look cute, in action, you won’t care about anything until your feet stop hurting.
- Make copies of important documents such as your passport, insurance card, etc. and email yourself and/or your travel partner a copy. Just in case.
- Pre-plan entire outfits when packing, rather than individual items. It will help cut down on both extra baggage and confusion once your trip begins, and you will thank yourself.
- Don’t stuff too many plans into one day. This often results in just going through the motions to say you covered a lot of ground, and takes the enjoyment out of just being where you are.
- Be patient. You will experience language barriers, confusion, missed buses and trains, and various other mild inconveniences at some point during your trip. The best way to deal with them is to stay calm and have a back-up plan, or to accept that you might have to be spontaneous.
- Don’t forget to pack band-aids, painkillers, anti-histamines, and any other medication you might need. This will help if you forget to follow tip #1 ;), and other unforeseen ailments.
- Wear something comfortable but functional for the flight. Heels are too much and your feet will get cold. Sweats won’t help when you’re already feeling gross after a long flight. A scarf and cardigan packed away in your carry-on will help for when you inevitably get cold on the plane.
- Do some research beforehand. I’ve mentioned this in almost every travel post, but having a few restaurants, neighborhoods, and activities on hand guarantees that you won’t have to plan on your feet all the time. I don’t necessarily recommend planning every single detail, but a little bit of research can go a long way.
- Wake up early. This is the best way to get a glimpse of daily life in the place you’re visiting. Everyone else will be sleeping in, so you’ll have an opportunity to walk through uncrowded streets and see everything from a different perspective.
- Always have extra cash. You never know when you’ll need to take a cab or bus, or find yourself in a restaurant that doesn’t accept credit cards. Extra cash is always a comforting thing to have.
If you have anything else to add to this list, I’d love to hear it!