Travel Tips

Everyone has different opinions about travel, that I think are dependent on the age of the traveler and where you are traveling to. So my Travel Tips are aimed at the older crowd, who no longer bungee jump or sky dive. Well maybe you do, but I don’t.

My General Travel Tips that I harp on to anyone, who asks my opinion, is this…….when traveling to Europe.

 Packing the Suitcase : Take about half of what you think you will need.

I have three color schemes that I take when traveling; black, neutral, and white. Everything must mix and match. For a two weeks excursion I take four pairs of pants and seven tops. You could even make do with three pairs of pants and five tops if necessary. I take four light weight undies. All clothing can be hand washed, do not wrinkle and dry overnight. That way you will be able to put together an infinite amount of outfits and every day it will look like you are wearing something totally different. I take a mid-size suitcase (that I check in) and one large bag (no larger than a large handbag) as a carry-on. I take two pairs of shoes for summer traveling (sandals and walking) and wear the heaviest pair on the plane. The carry-on is mostly for my travel paperwork, (Passport, tickets, travel passes, etc) itinerary, cameras, I-Pad, smaller handbag and one change of clothing. I think the worst thing you can do is overpack and have to lug heavy suitcases anywhere! Practice carrying your filled suitcase at home before you leave. Go up and down stairs with it. Lift it over your head. The reason I say this is because you may have to lift it to overhead compartments on trains or heave-ho it up onto a train and other places. See how easy it is to pull, if it has wheels. Now do this going up and down a flight of stairs ; place your handbag across your body, your handbag over your shoulder AND pull or carry your suitcase. Can you do it? If not, adjust everything to the weight you can carry!  You will certainly be pulling it along sidewalks and most of the time they are uneven and cobbled. There is also more stairs than we are used to if you are traveling in Europe. So know before you leave home what you will be dealing with! I could go on and on, but will save the other clothing and accessory tips for future posts.

Handbags…… When I get to my destination I carry a small handbag only. One that will adjust across my body comfortably and one that has straps that can’t be ripped or cut through. The handbag has a zip-top main compartment.  All pockets have secure ID padding, so credit cards can’t be scanned by a thief. I take a special brand of handbag and will be updating my posts about them. DO NOT HOOK YOUR HANDBAG OVER THE BACK OF THE CHAIR WHEN YOU ARE IN A PUBLIC PLACE! IT WILL BE STOLEN! Keep your handbag next to your body!

Try to blend in as a local once you get to your destination…… I do not wear clothing with logos on them. I do not wear white tennis shoes. I dress up more than I would at home. Women in Europe do not wear work out type clothing in public.  When shopping I have a net bag that stretches and stretches and looks like the bags many Europeans use at the grocery or I buy a local sack and use it when I go shopping. In recent years I am more vigilant about my surroundings. I look for anything that does not look right or feel right. When on trains, or in public places of any kind, I glance for ANYTHING unattended. It is just the way of the world now! Do not speak loudly. Americans like to talk loud when on vacation, or shout at each other. Why is that? Because you don’t understand the language? Talking boisterously does not help. If you are going to a foreign speaking country know some basics in that language. Hello, Goodbye, Please and Thank You go a long way! 

Slow down. Don’t be in a hurry. It will take you longer to eat in restaurants and they eat much later in the day than we normally do. You will have to adjust to their habits, so have plenty of time for things and go with the flow. Do not expect other people to do as you do. Do not get bent out of shape because things are different. If you want the experience to be the same as you have at home then stay Home!  That is why one travels…… to experience new things!  More of my Travel Tips to come in my posts! Enjoy!