Travel Tips Part 2

By: Stephanie Reynolds

Hello my amazing, fabulous folk! A few weeks ago I posted part one of my favorite travel tips. With the summer coming closer, let’s dive into a few more travel tips today! Some of these are my own, but some were suggestions from other wonderful travelers.

1. Always have one complete change of clothing, including drawers, in your carry-on. If your luggage gets lost, you have something good to change into until you can get to the store.

2. If you are changing time zones, especially if you are landing somewhere behind your zone, go to bed no earlier than 9 p.m. local, even if it’s hard. It sets you up for a good adjustment to your new area.

3. Let folks back home know your itinerary. Check in with someone every day, especially if you are traveling by yourself. Give that person a local contact (police, hotel, etc.) as soon as you get to your destination.

4. Order plane tickets in the language of the airline, if you can. That can save you money. Use Google Translate.

5. When you are looking for plane tickets, use an incognito page that does not keep track of your search.

6. Roll your clothing in a suitcase, don’t fold. This saves space and makes it easier to see at a glance what you have to wear.

7. Want to know the best place to eat? Watch the locals. Don’t ask the hotel which might be getting compensated for their suggestions.

8. Know your routes before you get a taxi or Uber. Know how to get from your hotel to the airport and pay attention to the path, not your phone. This can save you a few dollars if the driver realizes you know the area. I would utilize Google Street View to “walk” your destination city before you go. Ask them, “Who are you here to pick up?” and verify their car and ID.

9. Call your bank in advance to enable international purchases. Your card won’t work if you don’t.

10. Learn basic phrases in the local language, including “doctor,” “police,” “thank you,” “please,” and “help.”

11. Don’t convert your cash to local currency before you go. Just use your card at an ATM when you get there.

12. Don’t assume there will be food available if your flight takes off or has a layover in the middle of the night. Many airport concessions close down for the night. Bring your own snacks.

13. If your flight is canceled, call the airline or use the app.

14. If you are going to fly, make your luggage easily identifiable. So much luggage right now is black, soft sided, and looks like every other piece of luggage. Tie a ribbon, write on it with fabric paint, get a very identifiable luggage tag so you can see yours (and so others don’t accidentally grab yours). Even if your luggage is a brightly colored, you are not the only person who bought from that line, so tie something on the handle to ensure it’s yours.

15. While it might be nice to have a glass of wine on the plane, don’t overdo it. Excess alcohol mixed with the

dryness of the air and the altitude is a recipe for disaster. You won’t be able to tolerate as much as you think you can.

16. If you are going overseas, consider booking with that country’s airline, even if it is a little bit pricier. Your vacation then starts on the plane, not when you land. You can start experiencing the culture en route to your destination.

17. Pack a plastic trash bag in your suitcase to put your dirty clothing in. That makes it easier to just dump it in the laundry when you get home and keeps your clean clothes from smelling like your dirty clothes.

18. Never accept unsolicited rides.

19. Take everything out of your pockets and put it in your bag BEFORE you get to security. This will save time and things possibly getting left behind or dropped.

20. Just assume that nothing is going to go perfectly and that you are more than ready to handle whatever might happen. An unintended 12-hour layover becomes a chance to relax and enjoy airport ambiance and try some of the amenities. A rained-out beach trip doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the water (rainwater isn’t wetter than beach water, but make sure you get indoors if it thunders!). Lost luggage means an opportunity to buy local outfits, supporting their livelihood and culture. It’s often these hiccups that make a great story. As long as everyone is safe and relatively healthy, the trip can be wonderfully memorable, something you’ll laugh about for years to come.

By: Stephanie Reynolds, Athens-Limestone Tourism Association