Summertime often means travel time. Already this year, I have traveled overseas three times and domestically three times. I have learned a few packing and travel tricks and tips that I want to pass on to you so your travel can be less stressful. Based on these tips, I have never checked a bag, and I could lift my carry on bag into the overhead bin without help.
If you are planning on traveling overseas consider getting a global entry. You will move through immigration and customs much faster, and you will always get TSA-pre on your domestic flights. Trust me you want to do this!
Order your foreign currency where you bank. You will get a much better foreign exchange rate here then your destination.
Get a credit card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees. These fees add up fast.
Remember to take power converters for where you will be visiting. Sometimes, those will fail–I blew up two flat irons! On my third overseas trip this year, I decided to buy a flat iron that works outside the USA.
Don’t just pack a bunch of clothes. Decide what outfits you are going to wear on which days and to what events. You will pack less and won’t have to make those decisions while traveling. You will have adequate room in a carryon suitcase if you pack each outfit in a travel space bag. Most clothes won’t get too wrinkled, and there will be an iron where you are staying if you can’t stand a wrinkle or two.
My friend Berry Kruijning of Crowning Communications travels A LOT! I have followed her advice on the number bottoms and tops to pack. And, the packable puffer jacket saved me in January in the Swiss Alps.
If you are traveling by plane, take only two pairs of shoes and wear your bulkiest pair on the plane.
Book your hotel as far in advance as possible. Hotels often offer great early booking discounts. We got our Seoul hotel rooms at 40% off by booking early. If you don’t see a discount on the hotel website, ask for one.
Pack snacks. If you are on a road trip, you don’t want to be at the mercy of what is available along the roadside. If you are traveling by plane, trust me you don’t want to eat what they serve!
There are tons of travel apps to help you navigate the streets, subways, trains, restaurants, weather, and foreign languages. Load them onto your phone and/or tablet and familiarize yourself with them before you leave.
Final tip, have a plan for what you are going to do each day. You can waste a lot of time being spontaneous, and travel is expensive!
If you are traveling this summer, I hope you have lots of fun and make happy memories. If you are not traveling this summer, maybe you would like some organizing help—that can be fun too!