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Tag Archives: travel

  • Traveling No Experience Necessary

    on-the-path

    Traveling No Experience Necessary

    tips and tricks to get the most out of your trip

      No Experience Necessary! Whether it’s a road trip, a vacation, a trek across countries, or a journey to a very foreign country I have some tips and tricks for any travels you may have planned.  Whether you’ve never left your hometown or you’re a traveling diva, these ideas are sure to help you get the most out of your trip.   Pack Light – on a trip who needs baggage?   I cannot say this enough, and trust me you are going to want to argue with me on this one!   In 2012 I went on an amazing adventure (thank you mom) in which I was trailing through Eastern European countries.  I went with my mom, sister, and three female cousins. We travelled by plane, train, and automobile!  Wow, that’s a lot of countries and modes of transport to haul luggage through.  I packed and repacked and ended up only taking a backpack! Yes, just a backpack, and I left room because I knew I would be hauling a few gifties back with me.   My cousin Jill, also on the trip offers this tip: pack clothes that can be layered for variable weather as well as mixed and matched to be worn several times over the course of the trip.   Karlie, one of Lulu Luna’s favorite faces (and also my sweet cousin), says pack dark natural fiber clothes.  Dark clothes are less likely to look dirty so you can wear them for longer.   Rolling your clothes, rather than folding them, saves space!   Always remember to pack the essentials though, stomach relief, aspirin, earplugs (great when sleeping in loud places), and maybe even an eye-mask.   Your travelling companions will be envious of the ease in which you step onto trains, jump into cars, and move smoothly with your light luggage!   Pack in Advance   My friend Lara, a many a road trip travelling companion of mine, says when preparing for a long road trip she always packs the night before.  If you leave yourself time to pack, and are not rushed, you are less likely to forget something.   I always like to layout my clothes the night before as well, especially if I have to get up early.  It saves time in the morning; I don’t have to waste it looking for clothes to wear.   I need my books!   I think it’s a great idea to keep a good book with you.  You never know when you will be stuck someone, like an airport or bus station.   I discovered, even though I truly love flipping through pages, that an ereader is a brilliant idea.  It is lightweight and you can fit all your favorites within it! Also whenever you have access to Internet you can download something new!   Downside, you have to charge it, although my ereaders battery last a very long time.   Roadtrip!   Road tripper extraordinar Lara says, she always likes to pack snacks so that there is less of chance of binging or eating junk food!   Did you know that many parking lots you can stay at for free in! It turns into a whole roadside culture and a totally amazing experience.   Get Some Air and be Flexible   Close quarters, no space, tired, maybe even sick, you’re going to get grumpy! And if you’re travelling with other people you’re going to get on each other’s nerves.  Take some time to get some air before there’s a blow up.   Sometimes on trips, I’ve happily opted to spend the night in and let everyone else go out, just for a moment alone.  Or we have split up and each person, or group, will do his or her own thing for a day.  On a trip to New Orleans my dad and grandmother really wanted to tour a museum, my mom, sister and I really wanted to eat baguettes and shop.  How did we remedy this? We split up for the day and met for dinner!   Also, be respectful of other people’s ideas and things that they want to do.  Be willing to help, this will ease tension.  Also, allow them to help you too.   Nothing will go as planned   On our trip to Eastern Europe we were supposed to catch a train to Brasov, Romania and ended up on a train to Berlin, Germany! At first we were panicked, but we got off at the next stop and calmly took care of the problem.  We ended up on an overnight train to Brasov in which we got to experience border crossing in Eastern Europe at midnight!   Here’s some advice from Janice (my mom), when things don’t go as planned you have to deal with it and make fun of it.  Realize that you’re creating memories that you can laugh about later!   Another good idea, especially when travelling to a foreign country, is to make three copies of your driver’s license and passport.  Keep one with you at all times while travelling.  Then keep one at the hotel or somewhere else within your luggage.  Also, keep on back home with someone who can fax or email it to you should the need arise.   Do a little research   Whenever you’re travelling do a little research! You may find a-hole-in-the-wall place to get lunch, or a neat side trip.   Make sure when going to a foreign country to do a little research on customs.  For instances, In Bulgaria shaking your head side to side (how in the USA we indicate no) actually means yes.  Did you know that it is inappropriate to wear a tank top and shorts in many parts of India? Out of respect for the local culture I always wore something with some sleeves, and loose fitting pants or skirt.  It won’t cramp your style to change it up a bit, if anything it will give you some new fashions to enjoy!   Pack Chocolate   In those tough moments, where you’re alone, in a totally different place with different food, it is so nice to have a small comfort of home.  My choice of comfort has either been chocolate, my pillow, or favorite shirt.   While in New Delhi this past year, I found some chocolate chips and was so excited to just a small comfort of home!  I took my pillow to India, Europe, Mexico and on all of my road trips.  It’s just nice to have and helps you relax.  On this last trip to India I also packed one of my favorite shirts, something that I can feel good in or just be plain comfortable.  It helped with my confidence when travelling by myself from Bangalor to New Delhi.   Get out of your comfort zone   Even when travelling it can seem safer to just stick to similar routines of home.  You might even eat the same foods, and continue to be stuck in the molds we set for ourselves.   Adam, my partner and travelling companion for many a trip, says when you travel one of the main ways to experience a culture is the food!   Get out there and try it! Don’t know where to eat? Ask a local!   From Adam, part of getting out of your comfort zone is talking to people. You have to make an effort to engage people, even if you’re a different country.  It may scare you off that you don’t speak the same language, or you don’t want to seem like a tourist.   Personally, I’ve noticed that people love to show off the places they’re from.  They are excited that you’re taking an interest in their culture.   Now get out there and enjoy this wide world.  Whether it’s your first rendezvous with a traveling adventure or you’re a pro you’re sure to take some benefit if not be entertained by these tips!          

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