Kelly’s (and Professionals) Top 5 Travel Tips

Hey Everyone,

So last week Brittany wrote about her top 10 travel tips, and we thought it’d be good to get some advice from professionals as well.  I figured that I’d maybe find more specific tips, or something that was like,

“Oh my gosh, thank goodness I read this before leaving!”

However, finding good advice was actually somewhat difficult, because it turns out that Brittany really knows what the heck she’s talking about. Who would have thought all those trips around the world would have actually taught her something? (Please note the use of incredibly heavy sarcasm 😛 ). Anyway, with the help of other published travelers, here is what I found:

Kelly’s Travel Tips (from the wise words of other travelers):

  1. Grocery Shop: the fine people at The Independent Traveler say that, especially in some European countries, authentic restaurants can become pretty expensive. However, local grocery shops, markets, vendors or bakeries can provide authentic food, and at an affordable price.  I found this pretty interesting, because when I think of grocery shopping, I think of those 2 hour-long trips with my mom at ShopRite, where we end up stocking up on $300 worth of food. I think this is a good point though.  You’ll always find popular foods of an area in grocery stores, and have plenty of options to choose from.  Of course we’ll also take the opportunity to try out various European restaurants.
  2. Plan a flexible Itinerary: (Independent Traveler) Researching local hostels, restaurants, and sights is highly suggested, but planning a flexible itinerary will allow you to check out places locals suggest or make decisions based on how you are feeling.  If you like a certain city, a flexible schedule will let you stay there longer and do more exploring.  I know this is something that Brittany has talked about doing, but it will definitely be something new for me. I LOVE having a schedule.  I think this will be fun though, and allow me to be a little more adventurous!
  3. Remember what day it is: Have you ever been on vacation, and found that you could not remember what day of the week it is? While some people aim to reach that level of relaxation during their vacation, it can also become a problem. This can be problematic if you make plans to go to a museum or restaurant and it is closed on a Sunday or Monday.  The World is Not Flat says to make sure when planning you remember that some of these public places do close!
  4. Drink water: Whether you’re walking around cities or traveling in planes or trains, it is incredibly important to stay hydrated.  This is something that I am not always great at, but definitely plan on improving upon.  It can seem pretty obvious to do this, but people at The Lonely Planet point out that it is much easier said than done.  I LOVE having my Brita water bottle here at college, because who really likes drinking out of water fountains anyway? Literally every time I stop at one to grab a swig of H2O, half of it ends up on my face and shirt. Not fun. Anyway, I think Brittany and I may look into other filtered water bottles that can protect from diseases you can get from water as well.
  5. Enjoy local food and drink: Eat local cuisine and specialties.  Rick Steves says traveling in these European countries provides the best opportunity for authentic and affordable food.  You’ll also get to learn more about the country’s culture and lifestyle by partaking in activities that they do as well.
    Here are the suggestions Brittany made that the pros agreed upon:
  6. Pack Light!! Some travelers point out that if you do this, you can carry around extra food treats that you pick up at vendors!
  7. Reusable Water Bottles
  8. Travel Solo
  9. Don’t focus on photos (pun intended 😉 )
  10. Forget cheesy souvenirs

Some of these tips may sound like common sense, but they bring up very important points.  The websites I listed above have additional great tips, travel guides and suggestions of where to go abroad, I highly suggest looking at any of them.  When  you have traveled has there been any significant piece of advice or lesson learned that you think is imperative to know? Share it with us!

Also, since it is that time of year, I’d like to wish everyone Happy Holidays. Keep in mind what is most important: Family, friends and good health! Take a moment and think about those in your life and how they have supported you this year, and how you can show them your appreciation! It can be easy just to give someone a simple hug!

Kelly 🙂

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