Throughout the month of July, I asked our community of travelers to provide their favorite travel tip. Anyone who entered got the chance to be entered in a drawing for an Eagle Creek Global Companion 40L Carry-on bag!
Here are all the travel tips that came in starting with the winner who was picked randomly using Random Number Generator:
Pay for a lounge membership! – The comfort and security it provides, particularly for a single woman traveling alone, is so worth it. It actually costs less than you think as you can easily spend an equivalent amount on food and drinks hanging around airports before and/or between flights. Showers, food, drinks, WiFi, comfort, security – what’s not to like! ~ Mary B.
CONGRATULATIONS, MARY and THANKS TO ALL WHO ENTERED AND PROVIDED THESE FANTASTIC TIPS FOR ALL OF US TO LEARN FROM!
My biggest travel tip is to remain flexible and open-minded!! The unexpected will add to your travel experiences. ~ Jackie B.
Always pack a few Ziploc bags. They come in handy for many different purposes i.e. wet bathing suit or a collection of shells. ~ Ellen Y.
My best travel tip is to “go local.” That is, to embrace the local culture by eating foods & drinking beverages that are unique to the place you are traveling, visiting a local market, staying with a local family, attending a religious service (or at least enter a place of worship), attending a sporting event, riding public transit (or whatever method the locals use to get around town), etc. ~ Alethea S.L.
Don’t forget your to take beloved denim jacket as a wardrobe staple. Dress it up for an evening out with some glitzy pins, sling it over your shoulders to protect them from the hot sun, put it on backwards during long plane rides to fight off the chill of the fan your seatmates have wide open and pointed at you! ~ A great denim jacket can go anywhere you do! ~ NancyE L.
When traveling solo and going to possible risky places, leave a note to your favorite friend or family member by the phone or clock in your lodging with the location and approximate time you will be back. This also works if your hiking. Put the note upside on the seat of vehicle if parking at trail head
For example. Hi Mom. Heading to the Art Museum, should be back by 6 pm. See you soon
Terry, going to walk the black bird trail will be back before dark
If you should get hurt or lost, there is a starting point to help you out. As a wanderer, plans always change and they should. The most important thing to remember is to have fun. ~ Leslie T.
Make sure you have sufficient travel insurance once you have booked a trip. As with me recently, a broken wrist could have ruined some up coming trips that have been booked a while ago. One never knows what may happen and one must be prepared! Please don’t think you are saving money by not taking out travel insurance! ~ Jane W.
I take a 3’ x 8’ silk scarf wherever I go. Instant shade, instant warmth, packs down to nothing, can be used as a blanket or sarong, and can even sub as a makeshift face mask on the plane when the person next to you is sick. ~ Lisa F.
Bring a book to read. ~ Marci C.
Use contact lens cases to pack small amounts of liquids.~ Carole S.
listen to the locals! Whether searching out online in personal blog posts, or asking once you arrive, I find the locals are always helpful in directing me to the best places to visit, the best deals available, the best food, and most often lend to a richer experience of any locale. ~ Sharon S.
Carry lots of single dollar bills for local tips. I also bring pens for kids in countries that need them. ~ Joe G.
Always have a sturdy reusable bag handy in your carryon bag in case for some reason your bag is gate-checked due to lack of space onboard. Chico bags are sturdy & roll up into their own carrying pouch with a carabiner. You can quickly put all your essential for the flight (laptop, toiletries, Kindle, inflatable pillow, snacks, etc, into the bag, which will then fit under the seat. ~ Christine N.
Pack and carry only a carry-on! So much less to keep track of, and when items are bundled together, or in zip type closed bags, less likely for need to rummage around. ~ Jody H.
While traveling, leave your troubles behind and enjoy your get away! ~ Susan B.
Take some baking soda in a small container( plastic specimen jars work great if you know anyone in healthcare) baking soda makes a great toothpaste, tummy settler and face scrub, scent it with 1 – 2 drops of peppermint oil for anti bacterial oomph! ~ Laura T.
Bring some small packs of organic treats (gummies or pretzels, etc) for children I meet along the way. I always ask the parent first, but you’d be amazed at how a sweet treat and a smile can halt a tantrum or tears and often are as welcome by the parent as the child. ~ Michele S.
I packed similar items in ziploc bags. The see-thru bags made it easy to find things and stay organized. I also rolled clothes for tighter fit. I carried few extra bags of assorted sizes, which came in handy during the trip. ~ Melani N.
Don’t spread yourself too think!” Since I started my retirement travel, I have taken two intl trips a year traveling solo. For example, this spring I went to London for the first time. I spent one week in an apartment at St. Katherines by the Tower of London, 4 days in Oxford and then another 4 days by Paddington Station. This gave me the opportunity to explore neighborhoods as well as attractions and museums, dine where the locals dine (and drink). ~ Pat H.
Bring a mini adults colorbook and 5 or 6 pens in a little zip-up pouch to pass the time on the plane! ~ Pamela O.
Bring a travel clothesline and quick dry tops to pack less! ~ Karen A.
Always put silicone ear plugs in a handy pocket or front flap for the carryon so you won’t have to search for them on the plane when babies start to cry and folks start talking loudly. These swimmer ear plugs are much better than the foam ones. ~ Irene T.
I travel for work a lot, and I found I had trouble remembering to take my supplements while on travel because my routines are different. To remedy this, I started to pack the different supplements with the items I need for another task I knew I would have to do such as taking my contact lenses out at night, or putting on make up in the morning. This put them in my face and helped me remember them. I also pack more than I need for the trip (a whole bottle if I have the space). This prevents me to from forgetting to pack them as well. So now I have a bottle of Triphala and Iron in the bag with my travel contact lens stuff, and a container with probiotics (shelf stable) and multivitamins in my travel make up bag. ~ Bari E.
Use a packing list. I have a template, rename it & refine for destination, & check off items as they are placed in/alongside bag. ~ Cameron M.
My travel tip is compression bags and doing laundry! Helps with packing light! When we go to Europe for 2+ weeks at a time we only take a carry on and people can’t believe it! Compression bags are the way to go! We also try to rent apartments along the way so we can do laundry. Wouldn’t do it any other way! ~ Stacy R.
Be open to unexpected opportunities. ~ Barb C.
Cull your clothes for articles of clothing you can leave at your destination. I’m traveling to Ukraine and will leave behind my Duke U. Athletic Association extra heavy, large sweatshirt that is great for braving the cave temperatures of 50 degrees — which I will get to experience, but is unnecessary for the Florida Keys (which is home). I’ll leave as well a beautiful yellow linen dress with matching belt that fits me well — but I look like puke in yellow. I’ll doll it up for the couple of times I wear it on my trip with an aqua, pink and yellow fabric necklace/scarf but the dress has to go to someone with a skin tone other than mine! ~ Jill Z. B.
Always be ready for an adventure! Go off the beaten path and usually the best memories are the things that aren’t planned! ~ Renee H.
Talk to everyone you can about where you are going to see if they have any ideas of things you might not been aware to do there! ~ Suzy M.
Carry extra zip loc bags…you never know when you might need them. From collecting souvenirs in nature to bagging snacks to catching leaky toiletries…pack a few just in case! ~ Jackie S.
Carry some “wet wipes” with you on to the plane to wipe down arm rests and tray tables at your seat as soon as you sit down. ~ Gina E.
My favorite travel tip is to keep all your medication with you in your carry-on, or if you check a bag keep your medicine in a bag you take with you on the plane. I can’t function without my medication, so I want it close to me at all times! ~ Noelle
It’s all okay. Sometimes something might go wrong. Sometimes it might take longer to get somewhere. Sometimes you might not understand what someone is saying. Sometimes it rains. Sometimes it snows. Sometimes it’s too hot. Sometimes the ladies room is kind of interesting. It’s okay. It’s all okay. ~ Jen
Bring along a 2-3 oz spritzer of lavender hydrosol for the flight. It’s a great toner and moisturizer! ~ Ginger S.
Being Bold! ~ Dee C.
I use Microsoft OneNote (both desktop and smartphone app). You can put anything in there and have access to it on your phone with the OneNote app in just a few taps. You can organize notebooks specific trips and then have sections with your important documents (and can password protect the sections!) You can also put screenshots, emails, photos, links, anything you can think of in there! I put photos of all my important documents – credit cards, passport, driver’s license, etc.. It is priceless and so much faster than opening up an email because and the items are embedded, there is no “wait to download” time! It syncs automatically with the desktop app and you can even share it with others so they can add their info… I could go on, but I think my point has been made ;0) One Note is the bomb! ~ Katherine M.
bring a small package of wipes to clean your arm rests, tv screens and tray table. Unfortunately the airlines don’t seem to take time to do that anymore. They only seem to throw out the garbage. You want your vacation to at least start off as germ-free as possible. ~ Diane B.
Never trust that your luggage will get to your final destination so have a fully packed, size appropriate carry-on bag. We went to Iceland a year ago and stopped over in England and Germany. When we left Texas, it was in the 90’s so my husband didn’t wear or carry on a coat. Our luggage didn’t come till the 5th day of 9 in Iceland. It was cold and wet the whole time there! He borrowed our Air B&B’s daughter’s coat for most of our trip – along with other items of clothing. I always like to put some food in the carry-on bag, too. The carry-on bag should be your survival kit! ~ Nancy F.
Whenever I rent a cabin or cottage for a family vacation, I take along a good sharp kitchen knife and a couple of brighter lightbulbs. Rental cabins are notorious for having dull knives and very dim lightbulbs. Bad news if you like to read or do needlework while on vacation! ~ Aleta A.
Download the country guides or maps and book your first and last night. It’s so much better to travel without solid plans. All the best experiences I’ve had were unplanned. Trust your gut and have fun learning about the countries. I like watching the Anthony Bourdain episodes from the country and plan a meal from that country while researching and getting stoked about all the cool stuff I could see. Connect with people and learn about their experiences to gain insight on what is worthwhile. Learn how to say hello and thank you in the language of the country you’re visiting, it will go a long way in cultivating connections and richer experiences. ~ Maura M.
Use solid shampoo. It’s easy to transport and lasts forever. Tip #2 is that it’s totally worth getting the special metal container to keep it in. ~ Mary Lou VDB
Place personal care items like shampoo, conditioner, lotion, etc., into double zip ziplock bags in case of leakage. This will save you a lot of grief. ~ Theresa A.
If you can’t carry it, don’t pack it. Meaning that you should be able to handle all of your own luggage. If it is too much for you to load/lift/carry re-think your packing. ~ Gayle E.
Research food sources before the trip as much as possible. As a vegan, I’ve had difficulty in the past locating restaurants, grocery stores, etc. But now, with a little online research and the Happy Cow website and app, I can find places anywhere! For instance, when I went to Peru in 2016 to hike the Inca Trail, I found 3 vegan restaurants in Cusco that were within a 15-minute walk from my hotel. ~ Liz R.
For those of us who travel with multiple sets of earrings, rings, etc. I use a multi-day pillbox … it keeps earrings together, necklaces untangled, etc. ~ Nechama G.
Bring the right bag or bags! A backpack is preferable to a rolling suitcase along European cobblestone streets (looking at you, Copenhagen). A small day pack or fanny pack is also helpful to stuff in your carry on for carrying around your daily items. ~ Marcie
Packing light is very important. I never check in my bag. Saves money and time and I don’t trust the airlines. Also, always pack sunscreen. ~ Judith A.
Keep simple notes during trips as to what you wished you would have brought with you or brought and didn’t really need. That way on your successive trips you’ll be better organized. ~ J Scot
Traveling where carrying cash/purse is dicey? Wear a sports bra and stash cash there! ~ Nancy K.
Go out of your comfort zone. When I was in San Miguel de Allende in Mexico I took a different route home most days. Sometimes I admit I did get a ‘bit’ lost but I got to explore the most interesting neighborhoods and met the kindest people. I also met some of the best food
on these excursions. ~ Barbara
I always bring a half dozen zip lock snack size baggies full of homemade trail mixes in my suitcase. Each day I put one into my small purse. If I don’t use it I keep it for the next day. I can’t tell you how many times this has come in handy while traveling, I don’t cut my activities short to grab a meal I just drink my water and snack on the trail mix. Here are some of the things I put into my baggies:
Nuts – peanuts, almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios, cashews
Fruits – raisins, cranberries, dried apple rings, banana chips, dried blueberries, goji berries, dates, dried apricots, dried cherries
Seeds – sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax, hemp
Extras – pretzels, chocolate chips, cacao nibs, cereal, wasabi peas, granola, sesame sticks, chocolate covered raisins
~ Jonelle T.
I recommend packing your bedside essentials in a single zippered pouch. I like a slim mesh zippered pouch because I can see through it to easily locate what I need. My bedside essential usually include: eye mask, ear plugs, cell phone charger, head lamp/mini flashlight, medications (including any sleep aids), mouth guard, and lip balm. This way you never have to unpack these items – just stick the pouch next to your bed and pull out what you need, and pack it back up in the morning. I always carry mine in my hand luggage in case I need to snooze on the plane. ~ Justine H.
Wherever you go try ALL the street food. It’s freshly prepared and usually delicious or at least adventurous. Roti Chani in Penang is my all time favorite street food. ~ Lisa M.
I travel with assorted baggies, helps to organize items & later use to carry back liquids. ~ Shirley A.
My travel tip is from my grandmother who told me this when I was a little girl….take half the clothes and twice the money. ~ Debby D.
If you are packing something “just in case”, That usually means never so don’t pack it. Tip #2 is If you are taking a trip for 8 days only pack enough clothes for 4 days. You can usually wash clothes or rewear. No one notices the duplicates and you have significantly lightened your load. ~ Mika D.
Bring foldable, reusable water bottles. Like the kind you get free from promotional booths at a festival. You can empty them for getting past TSA and fill them up and clip them to your backpack for exploring. Plus, if you end up losing one, it won’t be as disappointing as if you lost a 25 dollar Camelbak watterbottle. If you do want a nicer version of this type of bottle, I did find some online for around 8 dollars as well. ~ Gabbi
Roll clothes to save space. ~ Naomi P.
I travel often for work on long-haul trips with multiple connections. I usually check a suitcase because of all the items I need to have for working a few weeks. Always bring a full change of clothes on the plane with you and anything essential for showing up at the office (I will usually throw a little dress and a pair of shoes). The one time you don’t have something is the time your luggage will not arrive on the same flight as you. ~ Vivian B.
security is always an issue. I have seen pickpockets sneak things out of open handbags when the owner wasn’t looking. I favor a waist belt under my clothes for passport, credit cards, and large bills. I also like Macabi skirts or anything with large, zippered pockets. Amazon has pockets you can see on the inside of clothes and waterproof bags to attach to swim clothes. When I feel particularly vulnerable, I have a thin wallet with expired ID and credit cards which hopefully will appease thieves so I don’t have to hand over the real stashes placed in various pockets. Stride out with confidence and enjoy the trip! ~ Mary M.
sk the locals where they recommend eating. For a lot of my travel, I bring protein bars as I travel on a budget, but I’ve found myself eating at a bowling alley in Hawaii (not another tourist to be found), a soda in Costa Rica and a hidden little pub in Ireland. Not only was the food delicious, but I got to spend time with the locals, got a different cultural experience, got more insight to local favorites and for a fraction of the price of the touristy restaurants! ~ Shelly
Before a trip, place a new light bulb in every light you have set up with a timer. ~ Chris D.
Make sure to buy travel insurance. I learned that the hard way when I had to cancel a trip that I fully paid. ~ Mai V.
packing cubes. I can’t stress enough that this is the best way to organize and keep your clothes clean. I use the large ones to organize my life and the medium/small to travel with. Our family of 3 we only backpack and it is the best way for us to not over pack. ~ Jenny G.
I always carry duct tape but not the whole roll. I roll some around a pencil. It comes in handy. ~ Laura
find the public pool wherever I’m visiting. It’s fun to swim in different places and I usually meet fellow swimmers. ~ Linda P.
My favorite travel tip is all about the attitude and energy that you bring along on each adventure. Pack your optimism, hope, positivity, enthusiasm, and love. Be sure to spend some time meditation and then manifesting your best ever adventure, each time!!! ~ Trisha R.
Always carry a towel. Full-size microfiber towels pack small and dry quick (both yourself after a shower and itself prior to packing). ~ Amber E.
When carrying medications I put them one for morning, one for night in snack bag baggie. If I think I need to I take the label off bottle and slip inside baggie. This can be a real space saver and quick and easy for medication times. ~ Donna W.
I have a spreadsheet of all my pre-travel tasks, such as set light timers, turn off water, water plants, stop mail, etc. I just keep adding columns to it for each trip I have planned. Very helpful! ~ Catherine F.
Make copies of important documents…. passport, drivers licenses etc in case you lose the originals. ~ Lorry F.
Using Instagram hashtags to research possible destinations has really helped me plan recent trips. ~ Tami K.
My favorite tried and true travel tip is to “expect the unexpected.” ~ Cindy M.
When traveling with a friend be clear about each persons expectations and allow each person the freedom to participate or not in activities throughout your trip. ~ Colleen C.
Carry-on only! Although I’ve passed this on to hundreds of people, only a handful have listened. ~ Toni K.
ALWAYS make a list of what you need to take with you on the trip. Start this well in advance as there are usually a few things you think of along the way. As it gets close to the departure date, check the weather forecast for where you will be. Add are subtract things from the list according to what you might need to accommodate the weather. ~ Rhonda
pack lots of quart- and gallon-sized zip-lock baggies. They’re good for wet clothes, seashells, toiletries, power cords for electronics, receipts, and more! ~ Alana H.
Where ever you wander Smile and put down your phone for a while! ~ Virginia S.
I always pack a cloth napkin in my day pack. It’s perfect for numerous uses while being ecologically responsible. I always bring food for my journey, and whether I am stuck in the center seat on an airplane or on a long bus journey, I can wipe my hands and face. Add a little water from my Kleen Kanteen, and the napkin can become a washcloth that dries relatively quickly. I’ve also used the napkin as a place mat in less than sanitary places, and have put it down to sit on in less than ideal conditions. I have mopped up spills and wiped down spots on clothing. Finally, when we occasionally find ourselves under the weather while on our journeys, I can use my napkin as a tissue, or even cough into it. There is something more substantial to a napkin that is reassuring to others. Small, light-weight, washable, and versatile, a cloth napkin is a handy addition to a traveler’s kit. ~ Linda M.
if you have flight around 12-midnight and it gets changed, be sure to ask that a new ticket be issued. (if it will be on a different date). An airline once forgot to do that for us and we ‘missed’ our flight, but we’re lucky to get put on the next one. ~ Sue F.
I always bring an empty metal water bottle with me to the airport, which I fill up at a water fountain after going through security. It saves money (I don’t have to buy a bottle of water inside the airport), prevents more plastic from ending up in the ocean (metal bottles can be used over & over), and keeps me hydrated during the flight (I don’t have to wait for the beverage cart when I’m thirsty). ~ Tracy T.
My best travel tip is to use contact lens containers for semi liquids. I thought it wouldn’t hold enough but one side with foundation holds enough for six weeks of daily coverage! ~ Michelle S.
Only pack for a week…will have to wash anyway so why bring more clothes. ~ Marie D.
When booking a hotel room, ask for a corner room in back. These rooms tend to be bigger, quieter and away from the elevator and ice machine. ~ Joy S.
In order to pack light, first chose the shoes you want to take, since they take up the most room, and then pick your clothing to go with those shoes. Then you avoid having five outfits that require five different pairs of shoes! ~ Jaime K.B.
My favorite travel tip is instead of using airline miles for free tickets I use the miles to upgrade to business class on international trips. I am able to sleep then on the flight and be well rested upon arrival to destination. ~ Leigh Ann H.