Hey there everybody! I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about traveling recently. I want to study abroad next year, so now’s the time to start thinking about applying and arranging my schedule for it and all that terrifying/exciting business.
I thought today I’d leave some of my travel tips here for you to peruse. I’ve been coast to coast, North to South, and even abroad, so I’ve gone on a trip or two in my time. Wow that sounds pretentious, I’m just going to get into it. Let’s do this!
When I went to France, I sat next to this mom and daughter from my group on the long flight. It was an airbus, and those suckers are big, so obviously it took a good while to fill up. They didn’t have the plane on as everyone was getting on, so it was pretty warm. These two would not stop moaning and groaning about how hot it was, and all I could think was man, you are on a plane to France! Calm down! The moral of this story is don’t sweat the small stuff! Things are going to go wrong, or at least not how you expected, but that’s just part of the adventure. Sometimes you just have to roll with it and hope that the air conditioning comes on soon!
I’m one of those people that doesn’t do their packing until 10:00 the night before they leave. Questionable tactic, I know. Now I don’t endorse my packing strategy, but I do think you should wait to do your packing until two to three days before you leave if it’s a trip that lasts five days or less. My theory is if you do your packing closer to your departure date, you’re going to have a better idea of what you’ve got in your bag and what you’re missing. If you do it a week before (like my mom is always pestering me to do,) I feel like you have a better chance of forgetting those items you have to pack later like chargers or straighteners. Also, if you’re like me, you might not be able to last that long clothes-wise if they’re all packed up a week before.
There are four things that I always brings with me: band-aids, chapstick, ibuprofen, and headphones. Of course, you can always get these at the drug store or the airport, but I can never really justify buying these when I know I have multiples of them sitting around at home. I also suggest either bringing or buying a water bottle that you know won’t leak. Seriously, check the quality of the cap before you buy one. The last time I flew, I got a big water bottle from the airport then discovered a damp surprise in my purse mid-flight. It’s important to keep yourself hydrated when you’re on the go, but your possessions don’t need the same treatment!
If you’re bringing a camera with you, bring an extra SD card. Or two! Those things are slippery. If you just plan on using a device to take pictures, I would take some time either before you leave or on your way to free up some space in your device’s memory! You don’t want to whip out your phone to snap a photo of the crazy huge rat on the tracks in the metro just to find out you’ve used up all available space.
Take a second before you leave to get some apps that will make your life easier. I suggest Uber, Google Maps, and Venmo for starters. If you have any other good ones, please let me know in the comments!
This is my last, and arguably most important, nugget of wisdom! Just say yes. Even if you’re not sure if it sounds like something you’d usually be interested in, just do it! Obvious caveat here is if it’s dangerous/illegal. In that case you have my blessing to say no. I had to apply to go on the New York trip I just got back from, and I almost said no to it for various reasons. But this has been my philosophy since I hit college, and I knew I would kick myself if I didn’t go, so I agreed to go without knowing anyone on the trip. Thank goodness I did, because I gained some new friends, saw parts of New York I’ve never visited, ate some amaaazing food, and got some job insight that has already helped narrow my idea of what I want to do with my life. Saying yes can be scary, but sometimes you just have to go for it.
So that’s all I’ve got for today! If you have any good travel tips leave them in the comments! I’d love to hear some more. I’ll see you when I see you, and I hope you have a nice day!