Travel Tips + Tricks for Summer

Travel is amazing. The clarity you get while you are away can free up your energy and your mind. The change in the environment can offer you new perspectives in all areas of your life. Whether you’re traveling with friends or family or alone, below are some tips and tricks to keep in mind for your safety and sanity. But first things first – if there’s international travel involved, make sure your passport is not close to expiration and get any necessary visas you may need. This is not an stress needed a week before you leave.


1.  Packing

·       Create a digital version of a master packing list and print out copies of it. You don’t always need the same things, but you also don’t need to run through the same process every time you pack. Automate.

·       Bring small gifts for friends and extra thank-you cards for people. You never know who you’ll meet and want to thank on your trip.

·       In addition to your actual passport, also bring a copy of it in your wallet just in case.

·       Converters and back-up batteries are key. But you can often purchase them at airports if you didn’t get a chance to buy one in advance.

2. Wardrobe

·       If you are visiting friends, ask them about recent weather conditions and their current wardrobe is like. You can be the tourist, but you don't have to look like one.

·       If you are traveling to some place new, you can also look up images online of what people are wearing in the local countries. Online magazine articles can be helpful in this as well.

·       Wear or store your bulkiest coat on the plane to save room in your luggage. Also be sure to save some space in your luggage. You’ll likely come back with more stuff than you leave with.

·       Comfortable shoes and an umbrella are essentials for any trip.

3. Money

·       Call your credit card company ahead of time to let them know you’re traveling since they may freeze your card or put a fraud alert on it if there is suspicious activity on it.

·       Taking out local currency in the country using your debit card is the easiest method for getting cash. When taking out cash in local currency from the ATM, get "cash without conversion." The conversion rates your bank offers you (vs the local bank) will always be better.

·       Always bring some petty cash from your country to exchange at the airport just in case there are issues with your debit card.

4. Planes, trains and automobiles

·       Save your ticket onto your mobile phone or print it out ahead of time. Often it’s good to have both in case your mobile runs out of battery, etc.

·       With airlines, if you have dietary restrictions, you can pre-order certain special meals beforehand online (often more than 24 hours in advance).

·       When picking up your luggage after a flight, it can get pretty confusing which conveyor belt your luggage is coming out of. A fast way to double check if you’re at the right one is to look at the tags on the bags on that conveyor belt. They should match the airports on your luggage tag (ex: DL1234, JFK --> MEX).

·       Train stations: If traveling internationally, make sure to budget enough time before the train leaves. You’ll need to go through security and customs as well. And that train will not wait for you.

·       Renting cars: Make sure to get insurance on your rental and pre-order/bring a navigator and a charger. You know which side of the road you’re driving on right?

5. Getting around locally

·       If it’s within your budget, call your phone company and get a data plan for the country you’re going to. Google maps is the handiest app when trying to find your way around.

·       You can also opt to get a cheap local phone and use a local SIM card for the time you are abroad. This is a bit of a hassle, but if you’ll be staying there for a while, it may be a good option to consider.

·       Find the metro/subway map on your smart phone and take a screen grab of it to keep in your photos so you can have it handy at all times. Hotels and airports will often have local transportation maps you can grab as well.

·       If it is safe to take taxis in the local country, make sure to also have cash as not all cabs may be able to process credit cards

·       If you are traveling to a foreign country where you don’t speak the language, learn some basic key phrases beforehand – like food, water, bathroom, I “no comprende” this language, thank you.

Have a marvelous time and attempt to speak the foreign language with locals, however silly you may seem.