Vacation season’s coming and I’m hearing that some of you are taking big, exotic trips. My big trips are more toward the end of the year, but we’ve got a few smaller ones coming up. I thought I’d share few more of my tried and trusted travel tips and maybe ask you for yours.
Jewelry. Bring it–but only if you don’t care if you never see it again. I never, ever bring good jewelry with me. A few pairs of inexpensive earrings, a necklace or two, a plain silver wedding band, an inexpensive watch– that’s the kind of stuff I bring. In the hustle and bustle of travel it’s easy to leave things behind and thefts are more common than you might think. If you simply must have your bling, buy some inexpensive fakes. But I think any kind of bling makes you a target.
I have several lovely fabric jewelry rolls but they’re impractical for most travel. For earrings I use tiny plastic ziplocks meant for pills and larger plastic bags for the rest. Everything then goes into one clear plastic ziplock so I can see it all. Necklaces are threaded through straws and fastened to prevent tangling.
Also, in some countries married women get more respect than those who aren’t. If that’s the case at your destination, it’s a good idea for women to wear a ring that resembles a wedding band even if they’re not married.
Prevent liquid leaks. Ever had liquid cosmetic items leak onto your clean clothes in your baggage? Place a piece of plastic wrap between a bottle top and the cap, then twist the cap shut. Because I’m paranoid, I back that up by putting the entire bottle in a ziplock. Speaking of leaks, I love these little GoToob squeeze bottles for shampoos, face wash and the like. Any liquid. They seem pretty leak-proof. So far, anyway. I’ve got them in two and three oz. sizes.
Laundry. Here’s something I didn’t know. Baby shampoo can double for laundry detergent. It’s mild and its double duty means fewer things to carry. I don’t like to do hand-wash when traveling, but sometimes, it’s unavoidable. This practical idea could come in handy.
Hotel safety. If you’re a woman traveling alone you want to be in a room as close to foot traffic as possible. Not in an L-shaped corridor off the main hallway with hidden nooks and crannies. You might also bring a small wooden doorstop to jam in the door for additional security when you’re in your room.
Local crafts. If you bring souvenirs home, buying locally made crafts helps support local economies. I love souks in Morocco and the equivalent in India and I try to buy hand-made or hand-painted whenever I can.
Cultural issues. “I’m a hugger!” It’s not always ok for women to hug or even shake hands in some cultures. Know the appropriate etiquette in the country you’re visiting and don’t try to force your own style on others who might not appreciate it. I’ve never gone wrong bringing a headscarf for visiting places of worship. Whether it’s required or not, it’s a sign of respect.
Postcards. I no longer send cards, but when I did, I always brought pre-addressed labels with me.
Free texting. Texting fees across nations and continents can add up quickly. The last few trips I’ve used What’s App, a free texting service you can use just about anywhere in the world. The only trick is that the person on the other end must also download and use it, which means checking it. My pet sitter downloaded it and so did some friends and family.
Got any tried and true travel tips? Would love you to share below. We’re going on a Christmas market cruise on the Danube this December and winter clothes are so darn bulky. I’d especially appreciate some packing tips for winter climates. Thanks!