The holidays are a time for family, going back home, helping mom put the decorations up, busy airports, long security lines, traffic jams and lost luggage, sound like a charm. Right?
The truth is that whether you are going home or taking a winter vacation the holidays are still busy travel season.
If you plan our your trips it is more likely that you will enjoy them, and not stress out about it. Trust me this come from the girl who used to pack for trips the day of.
Here are my 10 personal musts when I travel:
- Make a list :
- Actually make a few lists. One for packing with the essential items you will need. One for the activities you wish you do on vacation (mostly applies if you are traveling for vacation but it may be useful if you’re heading home with mom but also want to make room to visit old high school friends, or simply do some solo shopping.)
- Pre-plan your outfits:
- This goes hand in hand with the lists. Packing light is a great art and if you plan your outfits so that you can use one piece for 2 or 3 of them it works miracles. It also helps cut time from choosing outfits in the mornings / nights previous to activities if you already know what you will be wearing each day.
- Travel with 4 pairs of shoes:
- I always take four types of shoes. The basic black flats, they will go with everything, they dress up, they dress down and are comfortable to walk in.
- The destination shoe. Sandals for the tropical island, boots for the mountains, etc.
- The fancy heels. No explanation needed
- The running sneakers. This can be interchanged for the flats if that is your style or for me. I use them to actually go running. Keeping a routine during travel helps me stay motivated
- Dress comfortably for the plane.
- A basic classy sweater and comfortable pants will do. There will be time to dress up but also don’t look like a slob. Slip on shoes are great for security lines or you can pay the pre-approved TSA line (free wiht Amex card).
- Tell people at home your plans.
- This sounds like a basic one. But tell someone your hotel, flight, places you plan to go, who you’re going with etc. You get the idea. Adventure is amazing but so is coming home safe and sound.
- Take a first aid kit.
- I don’t mean like a whole red suitcase with a white cross strapped to it. I mean basic aspirin, some cold medicine, a band-aid, etc. I’ve been saved time and enjoyed my vacation a few times by my mother insisting I take pills with me. I do it on my own now.
- Take your vitamins
- It will help your body keep a routine, it will keep you energetic during your travel time and also keep hydrated.
- Be flexible:
- When I travel one of my main purposes is to enjoy the trip. To take in the local culture, try the local food, see the people that live there. Sure I have a list of my main attraction, you can’t go to Paris and not see the Eiffel Tower, Right? But don’t be hung up on seeing every little monument, or hitting every vintage record store, or whatever. Just enjoy being there.
- Avoid crowded places if you can.
- Sometimes you just can’t but if you plan around off-season holidays, or days if will make your days more enjoyable
- Take pictures
- Take a camera with you, other than your phone. And take pictures, a lot of a little whatever your style is but you will be glad when you go back and look at the memories created.