I’m all about travel tips and making traveling easier. I try to keep a list of things to consider for vacation. I recently asked Instagram followers for their travel tips so I’m also sharing some of those!
Vacations area all about making memories. I hope these travel tips help you return home with only good memories from your travels.
#1 Use Trip Advisor– Trip Advisor is a great resource for hotel reviews as well as their “things to do” sections. I like the reviews because it’s typically travelers and not locals telling what they like or don’t like about and area, hotel, or restaurant.
#2 Sign Up For STEP when traveling abroad. STEP (Smart Traveler Enrollment Program) is a free service to allow U.S. citizens and nationals traveling and living abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
I’ve used STEP many times when we’ve traveled outside the U.S. One time when we were in Paris, I received updates on where in the city protest would be going on that day. It also lets our government know where you are in case of a terrorist attack in the area. For me it’s better to be safe than sorry when traveling outside our great country.
#3 Obtain Foreign Currency– Check with your local bank to see if you can obtain foreign currency from them. It usually takes several days so check early. You can also get currency from machines at the airport, but I find that the fees are usually higher. I noticed several kiosks in Venice for obtaining currency, but I’d rather have it before we leave.
My story about this happened in France. We took a train from Amsterdam to Paris. We were getting on a Viking cruise later that day. All the taxis that would take us to our boat would only take cash. That was several years ago, but it’s just always nice to have cold, hard cash.
The Anne Frank House in Amsterdam
#4 Always download the airline app– having the airline app is a must.
I would also add with this to know what airlines the one you are flying partner with in the country you are traveling to. Sometimes check ins are required with that airline.
This happened to us in Venice. United partners with Lufthansa who partners with a local Italian airlines. Our check in was via a text that only I received. No where in our United app did it have any information about our Italian flights.
Biking Through Normandy, France
#5 Take Gatorade packets– Gatorade packets are a must for me when traveling. You can find bottled water everywhere, and I usually need a pick me up like a good flavor to help me drink enough water when flying! My favorite flavor is glacier cherry, but there are other flavors. Buy Them Here.
#6 Take A Good Carry On Suitcase– I’m now on the fence about using a carry-on when traveling abroad. I once wrote about it being the only way to travel (read it here), but now my husband and I do a combination of carry-on and checking a bag.
We packed a couple of days fo clothes in a carry-on and shared a checked suitcase as well so we had extra room. Each time we’ve traveled to Europe, we walk a lot with our suitcases to get where we are going. The last thing I want is to be lugging a huge suitcase (I learned that the hard way in London.)
I have high end travel bags as well as lower end, and honestly, I can’t tell the difference.
Checked Bag– We recently used this bag on a trip. It was the perfect size for being able to take enough clothes as well as the walking we had to do.
Carry-On– I love this high-end tried and true carry-on. I couldn’t find my exact bag, but mine has opens in the middle so there is equal sides for my and my husband to share.
Carry-On– This is my most recent carry-on. I like that it isn’t two sided. If you are in a small hotel room, this is perfect because you don’t have to open it up and lay it open. It opens from the top (where you can store important papers, etc.) and to me just seems easier to back, especially if you use packing cubes.
#7 Use Apple Air Tags– I’ve never had my luggage get lost, and I feel the airlines do a great job of locating luggage that does get misplaced, but it’s still a fear of mine. I just like to use airtags so that I know where my luggage is at all times. Buy Them Here
#8 Take a Useful Personal Item– For years, I’ve traveled with my Louis Vuitton satchel as my personal item. I can put my purse in there, and always put it under the seat in front of me. Our last trip, I was questioned as to whether it would fit so I’m on the lookout for a new bag. I’m looking HERE.
I did buy this Crossbody Strap to use with My LV satchel to make it easier to carry. That bag gets heavy when I’m carrying through large airports.
We checked both suitcases when returning home, and I’m so glad we did. The small Italian airline we flew at first did not allow 2 items to carry on. We each could only have one personal item.
Just Molly & Me at Monet Gardens Giverny, France
#9 Use A Rolling Rack While Packing– this travel tip was sent to me by my IG friend Juliet at Make Mine A Spritzer. She uses a rolling rack to hang outfits so she can see what goes together. I love the idea of being able to see everything all at once using a rack. Buy One Here
Check out Juliet’s post on what to pack for a trip to Napa in the summer HERE
#10 Use Clear Travel Bags For Cosmetics– This travel tip came from my sister, and I will say, I think it’s genius (don’t tell her I said that.) I have such a hard time remembering what I put in all my mini bags that I travel with! She said it’s so easy to see what you put where using clear bags. Buy Some Here. Her exact bags are THESE.
Santa Fe Opera
#11 Pack Layering Pieces In Coordinating Colors– I love this tip from my daughter! I’m such an over packer! I usually pack a lot of black and white with a few pieces of color. You simply can’t take your whole closet. Being able to mix and match is a must especially for long trips!
Check ahead for hotels that offer laundry service. My daughter and I both used the laundry service on a Viking cruise we took in France several years ago. It is awesome. We came back to our room to find our laundered clothes hanging in our closets! Also- rinsing things out in your hotel sink helps too. Just remember to do it in plenty of time for drying!
#12 Use Packing Cubes-packing cubes are a must for me every time I travel! I have a cube for undies, tops, swim suits, etc. They are a must!! Buy some HERE.
#13 Nuts for Snacks– Overseas flights of course serve food, but you just never know what you are going to get so I like to take some snacks.
#14 Take Care Of Your Digestive System– Oxy Powder Cleanse Capsules– Many Instagram influencers call these “poop pills.” I just call them “mountain movers.” LOL- If travel wreaks havoc on your digestive system, you need these pills.
#15 Talk to credit card and cell phone companies– My daughter reminded me of this. My credit cards don’t require me to tell them I’m leaving the country and they don’t charge a fee, but if yours does, my daughter suggests checking with Betterment. My phone is always set to be used outside the country, but a friend recently had issues because she didn’t switch something on her phone until she got to Europe. She needed to switch over before she left. Just be sure to double check with these companies before you leave the country.
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