Top Travel Tips
I’ve done a fair amount of traveling this year. Be it press trips, heading off for a weekend somewhere to run a race or just a good ol’ holiday, I’ve been lucky enough to jet off to quite a few places. While I used to find traveling quite stressful, I have since found my groove. I love nothing more than people watching at the airport (well, the getting-to-another-country bit is alright too). So, I thought I’d share with you a few of my top travel tips that make life a little easier for me when I’m jet setting.
Get a good case
Let me put this out there right now: I hate wheely suitcases, with quite an intense, burning passion. And there’s a special place in hell for people who wheel cases the size of postage stamps behind them. Wheeling cases behind you is hazardous. I’ve nearly been taken out on more than one occasion by some fool wheeling things all over the gaff with careless abandon. If you’re going away for up to five days, you can fit all you need in a carry on bag – learn to pack better. But if you must use a wheely suitcase, let me introduce you to the Antler case, pictured above. Antler recently sent me this to try out and it’s a frikkin’ life changing case. The secret: FOUR WHEELS. Yes, that’s right, four wheels my friends. Now you can wheel your case right next to you, or in front of you and you don’t trip other people up or wipe them out.
I took this case to Canada with me on my recent vacation and it made life roughly a billion times easier (no exaggeration – I calculated that very carefully). It’s super roomy inside, but mainly it just made getting to the airport, navigating the tubes etc so much less stressful. Seriously, one of the best cases I’ve ever owned. Lightweight, durable, two thumbs up. Definitely check them out.
Get travel insurance
I used to be a (really bad) travel agent. While I did generally suck at this job, one thing I did always get right was getting people to buy travel insurance. Listen, I know you want to save money, but don’t cut corners. I can list at least ten horror stories right here of stuff that’s happened to people while traveling that they weren’t covered for ’cause they didn’t get insurance. It’s not worth it man, just bite the bullet and spend the money. Relatively speaking, it’s really not that expensive. It’ll cost you WAY more if something happens to you while you’re away. Don’t risk it.
Take two books, pass one on
I’m not one for the Kindle life, I like me a good ol’ paper book. When traveling, I take two. I usually finish one during the trip and then have one to read on the journey home. When I’m done with the first one, I’ll write a little note in it and leave it somewhere in the hopes that a book lover will pick it up. I live in the hope that the book will make it around the world. I’m a soppy idealist, so shoot me.
Take Aloe Vera
First of all, I don’t care what your skin type is, if you’re one of these people who uses Factor 15, get a grip on your life. Those sun rays are burning straight through your soul man. Times have changed and Factor 15 ain’t helping you out. Protect yourself and up that considerably. Second of all, if you’re like me and have pale, pasty Irish skin and burn like a mofo after more than 10 minutes in the sun, despite wearing Factor 50, be sure to take Aloe Vera with you so you’re not scrambling around to find some while you’re suffering in your holiday destination. I’ve made the mistake of not taking any too many times and have paid for it in painful sunburns.
Give change on the plane
All those foreign coins you end up with, thinking you’ll put them somewhere safe when you get home and you’ll use them next time you travel – no you won’t. Be honest with yourself. You carry them around in your purse til the end of time (I’m saying this as someone who just found a Canadian dollar, some Euros and a Yen in mine). Most airlines now have a ‘donate change’ thing on their flights and the money goes to good causes. I usually get rid of all those annoying bits of change that way and then feel all smug that I’m doing my bit for charity.
Pack a toothbrush and underwear in your carry on
I have been the victim of lost luggage too many times to not do this. There is nothing worse than being the last person standing at the luggage carousel watching someone’s unclaimed surfboard go round and round, with no sign of your bag. Take some essentials in your carry on so you can at least freshen up while that disaster is being dealt with.
Wear an easy travel outfit
Only Victoria Beckham can look like Victoria Beckham while going through an airport. You will look like a twat. While yes, life is a catwalk, there is a way to strike a balance. Wearing six inch heels, a ton of jewellery and 72 layers is not making your life easy going through security. Wear something easy, shoes you can get on and off quickly, a bag where everything is easily accessible – the people in line behind you will thank you.
Store adapter plugs in your suitcase when not traveling
If you’re anything like me, adapter plugs are the one thing you will forget every time. I’ve started just not taking them out of my suitcase when my trip is over so they’re there when I go to repack for the next one. That’s saving me a fortune now that I’m not constantly re-upping on them at airports.
Buy magazines from the country you’re in
Even if you don’t speak the language, pick up some fashion, lifestyle, tech, design mags from your destination. Get an idea of what’s popular there and get a visual sense of it all. I’m a magazine junkie so this is one of my favourite things to do.
What are some of your top travel tips?
*Disclaimer: Antler gave me that suitcase