How do you write “Travel Tips” condensing everything you’ve learned through your travels into a blog post? You don’t. It’s impossible. But I do have a few travel tips I’d like to share.
GET YOUR PASSPORT!
Once you get your passport your brain immediately starts thinking about where you can go. It’s magic. https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en.html
RESEARCH THE COST OF:
- Lodging = I recommend hostels, www.hostels.com
- Transportation= Passes are cheaper than individual tickets.
- Food= If you cook at the hostel you save tones of money.
- Fun= Museums, pub crawls, sporting events, or other amusements.
You can find the cost of a ferry ticket from Rome to Sardinia on the internet, plus EVERYTHING else you need to know. There’s no excuse not to have a rough budget outline before you board the plane.
So, you’ve got your approximate budget, now…
OPEN TRAVEL ACCOUNT
Open a savings account specifically for travel.
- Once you have a budget figured out; STOP BUYING STUFF you don’t need. Put that money in a travel account.
- STOP DINING OUT! The average American spends over $200.00 a month eating out. You can stay in a dorm room at a hostel in Lisbon, Portugal for 6 nights for the same amount of money. Put that money in your travel account.
- Check on flights to Ireland. Sometimes you can get real bargains and Ireland is a wonderful country to visit. Once you’re there you can fly really cheaply from Ireland to all over Europe.
- Once the money is in your travel account, mentally lock that money away. It no longer belongs to you, it belongs to the trip.
- Put up pictures of your travel destination on your bathroom mirror, refrigerator and work station. This will help you stay focused.
You can travel in Europe for 1,500.00 a month with diligence to your budget. I know some people that can do it for only $25.00 a day.
Here is a very basic packing list.
Clothes (adjust for season and climate)
- 1 pair of walking shoes
- 1 pair of waterproof sandals
- 3 pairs of socks
- 3 sets of underwear
- 1 wool sweater/fleece
- 1 water & wind resistant jacket
- 2 pairs of pants, belt (1 skirt or shorts optional)
- 2 t-shirts (or short sleeve shirts)
- 1 long-sleeve shirt
- 1 swimsuit or running shorts
- 1 hat, scarf, Bandanna
- EAR PLUGS, SLEEP MASK
My philosophy on clothing is:
WEAR ONE, WASH ONE, SPARE ONE
Medicine & Toiletries
• Prescription medicines
• Comb or brush
• Basic first aid kit
• Feminine Products
• Shaving cream/razor
• Sunscreen, insect repellent
• Contact lens solution (if necessary)
• Small mirror
• Spare contact lenses
• EAR PLUGS & SLEEP MASK
• Money belt
• Combination padlock and luggage locks
• Camera and film or use cell phone
• Small flashlight/batteries
• Travel journal/small notebook
• Optional Book
• Optional Playing cards
• Water bottle
• Universal power converter, optional electronics and cords
Did I mention, EAR PLUGS & SLEEP MASK?
PASSPORT AND BUDGET
You have your passport, your research of where you want to go and how long you want to stay there, and your approximate budget. I say approximate because the master travelers have a saying, “Pack half of what you think you need, and take twice as much money as you think you need.” I can’t afford to travel by that ideology, but I do eat out more than I think I’m going to, so I’ve learned to budget with my weakness in mind.
Once you get there; BE THERE.
- Focus on where you are not where you are going next or whether of not the dog sitter is feeding Bonzie.
- Be kind to yourself. No matter how much research you do, things can and will go wrong. Traveling is the time when you can “lighten up” and “laugh it off” when you’ve made a mistake.
- Stay long enough to meet a local and try something they recommend.
- I store all my photos online at Google Photos. That way I don’t worry about my camera getting full.
- If you carry your computer, back up your important stuff on a flash drive, or in the cloud. Computers can get stolen.
- Don’t be afraid! None of us are safe 100% of the time no matter where we live. GO! Go enjoy life.
- Activate your senses! Taste something new. Notice the different scent between a bakery and a tartan manufacturer (quite a difference!!!) I get a kick out of how the police sirens sound in London as compared to America.
- Go see the sights, and then go eat and shop with the locals. You save money this way.
You’ve had a wonderful trip and now you have to get back and take up “normal” life again.
- My technique to avoid Jet-lag is getting right back into my normal routine. It’s brutal but it works for me.
- No one really wants to hear about your grand adventure. “It sounds like bragging.” I’ve been told. Connect with some other travelers so you can swap travel stories and refresh memories.
- Continue your grand adventure by being a tourist in your own city or state. You’d be surprised how much you can discover about “your own back yard.”
- It can feel surreal when getting back into everyday life. You start asking yourself, “Did I really hike along castle walls built by the Moors in the 9th Century?” This is a good time to go and look at pictures of your trip.