I travel pretty often. I go on at least four to five trips a year, all with different requirements for travel. Starting in a few months, I am going to begin a series on travel to Europe. In that series, I will cover planning and packing. For now, I am just going to throw a few of my favorite things that I have tried and tested in my life.
- Always have extra socks. It might just be me, but wherever I go, it will always rain. For example, I went to New Orleans last March, and the forecast was sunny and warm. I get there and it rains every single day. I am a huge fan of a good pair of vans, and socks are necessary. I also have this fear of hotel floors, so I am rarely barefoot in those. I like to be as healthy as possible when I am on a trip. Another reason I always have extra socks is because my family is notorious for not packing them. I do not know how many times my mother has needed socks for various reasons, and as the perfect daughter, I always have them.
- In addition to me being a magnet for rainstorms, I am also a magnet for random injuries. I can cut my finger on a feather, no joke! My essentials for a travel first aid kit are pretty simple. Alcohol wipes, antiseptic ointment, and band-aids. If I am able to, I will also pack an ace bandage. I have a wonky knee that loves to begin hurting if I am doing a ton of walking. If you talk to my grandmother, she will think I am insane. She basically brings a miniature hospital with her, and will find a valid reason to use all of the items. She also packs a minimum of three bags everywhere she goes. Your girl does not have $150 to spend on checking bags, so I will still with my bare essentials.
- I am going to go ahead and mention something that we went ahead and purchased for our Europe trip.Those are area attraction entry cards. I have two younger cousins who have never gone, and my aunt is wanting them to experience as much as they can in that short amount of time. The London Pass is an amazing option. For one price, you are able to visit majority of the most popular tourist attractions. From The London Bridge to zoos, to stadiums, for about $105 for three days, you can visit all of those. The average price for one is around $25, so it really gives you the biggest bang for your buck.
- I CANNOT stress this next one enough! Transportation apps. Uber, Lyft, Metro maps, all of them. When I travel to other cities, I usually am not driving. The most important thing is how I am going to get to all of my destinations in the most efficient way. As a twenty something, I do not believe in taxis. Even though all of the drama with the murders in Michigan are happening, I still love Uber. In fact, I Ubered last night, and was fine. When I go to DC, I always download a Metro app. There are so many free ones on the market that work off of cellular data, and tell you what trains to take to get to a certain location, which is a life saver! (You should also be getting re-loadable cards! Don’t mess with the one trip tickets, it is a hassle. Plus, you’ll look like a local!)
- My biggest pet peeve is people not packing properly! Just because it is hot does not mean that you can get away with no clothes girl. You need to have modest clothing, especially depending on where you are going. When I go to Disney, I know that I need to be comfortable. I am going to be hot, sweating, and walking what seems like twenty miles a day. There is basically no reason for me to pack anything even remotely formal. Even dinners there are way less formal than something you would wear on a date. When I go to DC, I pack neutrals, and layering pieces, so that if I am going to a nicer location, I can dress accordingly. The biggest thing is international travel. Most places dress WAY MORE MODESTLY than we do in America, and just because you are not from there, does not give you permission to dress like a hoodlum. Pack some pants.
- My general rule of packing is, if I cannot carry it, I have too much. Packing light sucks. I love having all of my clothes with me, and deciding what to wear the day of. My choices change daily in what I wear. My key to packing light is packing things that go together, or can go together with the addition of an accessory. I also just pack things that I love, and that I know that I am going to wear. I also am never opposed to doing laundry on trips, that is why they have laundry rooms in hotels after all.
- My final tip is to . So many people are focused on snapchatting and instagraming and tagging themselves at a Mexican restaurant in Cozumel (my mother), that they forget to look around and absorb the culture. Sometimes that will be the only chance you get to go to that specific location, and you do not want to waste it by trying to get the perfect shot of a tree that will expire in twenty-four hours. Enjoy the trip, not the amount of likes you get on social media.