How I packed for a weekend trip in a carry-on.

How I packed for a weekend trip in a carry-on.

Packing well for travel is a skill that comes from practice. Recently I traveled on a weekend trip that included a wedding and was able to do this with only a carry-on. Travelers can consider a few things that will make their packing easier and improve their ability not to overpack and fit in just a small bag or suitcase.

Check the weather for your destination. As I discussed in a previous post, pack for the realities of your destination, not what you expect it will be. Therefore, think in layers. Weather is not always predictable. When packing for a warm, sunny destination, consider the cool evenings by the beach or weather changes that can cool considerably as the day progresses. Similarly, when thinking of cold destinations, remember that you can become overheated if dressed too warmly.

Limit your footwear. For travel to any destination, you can almost always limit footwear to three pairs of shoes. Consider one set of footwear for walking, one for evenings out, and flat footwear. These three pairs of shoes will cover almost all types of travel itineraries. Your initial traveling outfit should include one of those three types, which means you will only need to pack two pairs of shoes.

Plan your travel. If you organize your trip, you will know what activities you plan and can pack accordingly. Think of how many changes of outfits you will need. How many times will you go to lunch or dinner? Will your plans call for business casual or comfort? In most cases, one pair of bottoms can be made unique with a different top or jacket.

Try different packing techniques. Rolling items rather than packing flat can allow for more things to fit into your carry-on. However, your outfits may need to be ready to wear and will not be suitable for rolling. Think of what items will be best rolled, such as jeans and tee shirts, or folded flat such as dresses or suit jackets.

Pack in advance. Packing in advance allows you to consider what you are packing rather than rushing to pack at the last minute. Preparation also will enable you to determine better if you are over packing or packing according to plans. It also limits forgetting items you will need, such as pajamas, socks, workout wear, or underwear. Advance packing helps in packing light.

Are you able to pack for a weekend with just a carry-on? What’s your secret, or what prevents you from packing light? I’d like to know.

Why do people love travel?

Why do people love travel?

There is no right or wrong answer to why people love to travel. Everyone has reasons for travel and preferences that are unique and individual to them. If you’ve never thought of why you love or want to travel, here are a few ideas that you might find fit your desire for travel.

It could be the desire to do something different. Many people travel to escape the sameness of everyday life. They may want to explore new places or new challenges that they don’t encounter in their daily lives. Once you overcome a challenge, you become inspired and confident to confront new challenges, and so the urge to travel becomes a constant companion.

Maybe it’s a need to relax and recharge. Traveling to a different place can give you a sense of escape that allows you to relax more than you would at home. Being in a different environment will enable you to disconnect from your regular worries and activities. For some travelers, their urge to travel is a way to get away from their everyday lives.

Travel can be a way to spend quality time with others. For many travelers, a vacation is a way to get their friends and family together to build better relationships and bonds. Being in a different environment allows people to connect without the distraction of daily life. Additionally, it’s a way to reconnect with friends and family when you don’t live in the same area or country.

Some travelers desire to meet new people. Travel can be an excellent opportunity to make and foster new friendships with fellow travelers or locals. Once you create relationships, you may experience the possibilities of exploring new people, journeying, or visiting them as a unique chance for travel.

Traveling can be a way to learn and evolve. Many travelers love to experience the unfamiliar and gain new skills or knowledge. Learning a new culture or language can be an entire course in discovering how other people live, their history, or their cuisine. These types of travelers often find new ways of seeing and doing things. Additionally, this type of practical learning tends to be more effective than reading or theoretical knowledge.

What is your reason for travel? Did I mention it? I’d like to know.

Five travel must-haves post Covid-19.

Five travel must-haves post Covid-19.

With many people choosing to vaccinate against Covid-19, the possibility of safer and healthier travel is closer to reality.  However, being vaccinated does not ensure that you will not be affected by the virus, and there are certain health precautions, such as wearing masks, that we still need to take.  When it comes to travel, here are five must-haves I think all travelers should have post-covid-19.

Antiseptic wipes

No matter how much the airline tries to clean and sanitize an airplane, the short timing between deplaning and reboarding an airplane does not seem guaranteed to sanitize the aircraft thoroughly.  Therefore, having your sanitizing wipes and sanitizing your seatbelt, tray table, armrest, and general area, would be a more intelligent and healthier choice.

Disposable masks

Post covid, wearing a face mask has become more of a fashion statement in addition to a measure of health safety.  When traveling, it is advisable to use disposable masks to change often rather than the pretty fashionable ones you tend to use at home. Stylish face masks are great for use when at home because you can wash them often.  When traveling, cleaning your masks is not usually an option, and disposable masks can be a safer, healthier, and economical choice when traveling.

Sanitizer spray

In addition to sanitizer gel, sanitizer spray is also another excellent option for travel.  Travelers can use sanitizer spray to disinfect surfaces without coming into direct contact with surfaces.  They are now available in travel sizes, and travelers can make homemade solutions to fit travel-sized containers.

Disposable gloves

Using gloves when disinfecting surfaces is just another precaution to take from coming into contact with infected surfaces.  Travelers can use a disposable glove when wiping down their seatbelt, tray table, or armrests, and even when they go to the restroom to sanitize toilet seats or accessing toilet seat covers.  Gloves are just another way to minimize your contact with items that might be infected.

Travel soap

Consider the ramifications of pressing the button that everyone else pushes for dispensing soap after using the bathroom but before washing their hands.  Having personal travel soap can make for even less avoidable contact.  There are now tiny travel packets of soap flakes available that are small enough to carry in your purse.

Travel realities have changed post covid, and travelers now have a few more precautions to consider when traveling to avoid becoming sick.  Have you changed the health precautions you now take for travel?  Let me know.

Realities of hotel stays.

Realities of hotel stays.

Anticipating your destination is never the same as finally reaching it.  The first stop of your travel is your accommodations, and whether Airbnb or hotel, here are a few ideas to keep in mind when you finally reach your vacation stop.

There’s always that “ahh” feeling when you finally reach your destination where you want to lay on the bed in either exhaustion or relief at finally reaching your goal.  Hold on! Most likely, the hotel did not change the duvet or bed covering since the last guest.  As a former flight attendant who spent most of my life in hotel rooms, I could write a whole blog post just on the realities of hotel bed coverings. Your first notion when reaching your accommodation should be to remove the outer bed cover, especially if you cannot tell if it’s fresh linen. You can always tell this with white sheets and bed coverings.

Another hotel tip is to never drink from hotel glasses, especially those found in the bathroom before you wash them yourself.  I have often walked into hotel rooms in the process of being cleaned and, from my lived experience, often seen the maid wiping rather than washing the glasses.  Since Covid, many hotels have switched to plastic, but if your hotel has not, be mindful and wash those glasses before you use them.

Always check your sheets before you get into bed.  If after you’ve checked in and your bedding appears slept on or wrinkled, you can request to have them changed to be entirely sure they are clean.  In addition, check your towels, and if they appear soiled or used, please request fresh towels. Often only the towels used are replaced, and those not used stay in the room despite a new change of guest.

Along the same lines as hotel bed coverings, hotel carpets are also rarely cleaned.  I would highly suggest that you treat hotel carpet flooring as you would with public showers and never go barefoot.  Carpets are often only vacuumed between guests, but when maids are rushing to have rooms ready and the carpets appear clean, this is usually not done.  In most cases, when the carpet is soiled and needs cleaning, it is often only a spot treatment as this can take a room out of service.  Maids avoid this by heavily vacuuming instead, so be aware and try not to go barefoot.

These hotel realities are often not found at pricier hotels and accommodations, but sometimes the price does not guarantee quality.   Be aware that the standards you expect from your hotel may not be the reality.  Remember that these and other hotel realities can be addressed and do not have to spoil your vacation.

Have you had any unexpected hotel experiences? I’d like to know.

Passport safety tips

Passport safety tips

Our passports are a rite of passage, figuratively and literally.  It is a must-have to travel to an international destination, but also having it means you have taken the first step to international travel.  A passport is an important document, and we should treat it as such at all times.  Here are some ideas to care for your passport.

Make sure to make a copy of your passport.  As a traveler, I have kept copies at home in an easy-to-find place, in the inner pockets of my luggage, and my purses while traveling.  You should secure your actual passport in a secure place in the hotel room, like a safe if provided or in a locked bag if you leave it in a vacation rental to keep your passport secure. Try never to tour or sightsee with your actual passport.  Carry another form of identification, even if not local. It will suffice to let people know who you are in unfortunate circumstances.

The most important information on your passport is the issue date, issuing agency, passport number, and expiration date.  In case you have misplaced or lost your actual passport, this information is vital to replacing or renewing your passport.

Getting a replacement or new passport is not always an easy process, and it can be even more challenging when you are not in your home country.  Please store your country’s embassy or consulate information in the same place you keep copies of your passport.  For more passports safety tips, you can find helpful information on STEP, The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program before you travel if you should need embassy or consulate services.

Try to keep your passport in a passport holder. Some newer passports have an RFID chip, and people looking for that information with a scanner can get your passport information without touching you or your passport.  Therefore, don’t just get a pretty case, but get one with RFID protection similar to what some wallets now have for credit cards. Additionally, if your passport is damaged or defaced, such as if it is dropped accidentally in water, it will not be accepted or acknowledged as a valid form of ID.

Passports are a vital piece of information when you travel internationally, and you should treat them as such.  Have you ever misplaced your passport while traveling? Do you have any other passport safety tips? I’d like to know.

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