One of my favorite things in life is traveling. I have a strong desire to see the world & try new things (which led to my sudden move to Florida because why not?!). Even though I haven’t been a world traveler for long, My experiences thus far have been pretty successful. I’ve had no major catastrophes (knock on wood), & feel as though I have learned a ton! I’d love to share those tips with you in this list that I’ve created!
- Use your family & friends.
That probably isn’t worded correctly, but bear with me. Some of my favorite trips have been to places where I knew I’d eventually be meeting up with friends or family. Traveling to Colorado for a fall break to visit my Aunt Nancy & Uncle John (you guys are the best, seriously), to Charleston to see one of my favorite people from Camp Walden (Love you Larkin!), and even down to Melbourne, FL where another camp friend whom I love dearly, Nicole, allowed Chellsey & I to tag along on her & her friends’ Christmas Bar Crawl (which was a BLAST), traveling can be much more fun (and less expensive!) when you have friends or family who are willing to let you crash on the couch. You’ll save major $$, and all you have to do is ask. So if any of y’all are trying to come to Florida, we’ve got two open couches!
2. Be smart, especially if you’re traveling alone
If you’re going somewhere for the first time, make sure that your friends & family know you’re going. Obviously you shouldn’t post on social media that you’re off traveling somewhere, as that’s a great way to let burglars know your home is empty. If you have a smart phone, be sure to share your location indefinitely with your loved ones! That way they can always check where you are.
3. Pack Light
Yes, it’s super convenient to bring 10 swimsuits for a 3-day excursion, in case you’re having a fat day or you just aren’t feeling that Triangl Swimsuit. And yes, I also want to bring every pair of distressed denim I own, because who knows what I’ll want to wear?! But the more you bring, the more you have to take with you everywhere you go, which is a huge hassle. So take the essentials only (no, your 4 cardigans are not an essential. Take one.).
4. Watch those travel sites like a hawk
Chellsey & I recently traveled to Los Angeles for a weekend getaway (and it was a blast!). How did I manage that trip on a teacher’s salary, with a dog, and a high cost of living down here in Florida? I check Kayak.com religiously. Spirit Airlines (though I think they have the WORST customer service in the world) always has cheap flights. My advice is to check out kayak.com during the week to see if flights are cheap. We happened to find a cheap roundtrip DIRECT flight to LA for between $100-$200. Not too shabby.
5. Always put extras in your carry-on
Last year, Chellsey and I ventured down to Fort Lauderdale for Tortuga Music Festival (Yes, I always only travel with Chellsey. It just happens, okay.). And guess what? Our bag got “lost,” or rather, delayed, and wouldn’t be arriving until later that night. Our flight got in early in the morning, and we had a very limited amount of time to hit the beach. But lucky for us, we were prepared! We had extras of everything in our carry-ons, so we were able to get to our hotel, let them know our bags were coming, and hit the beach. Carry underwear, a change of clothes, meds, toiletries, and an outfit in your carry-on, just in case. Luckily for us, we had swimsuits & sunscreen, so we were set.
6. Tell your bank that you’re traveling
Forgetting to do this can be so devastating. Make sure your bank knows that you’re traveling somewhere. They can put a note on your account, that way when there’s a $60 charge in a city 600 miles from where you live, they won’t shut your card down. Having a hold on your card, especially on the weekends when most banks aren’t open, can be awful. Which leads me to my next point.
7. Bring cash
Unless you have a habit of losing things, I suggest bringing cash in case of emergency. You never know when something could happen (like when I forgot to tell my bank I was traveling to Denver) & your card gets lost or stolen or shut down. It’s nice to have emergency cash with you. You don’t need to get $500 or anything outrageous, just enough to get you by.
8. Document your travels
Keeping a journal or posting photos on Instagram is a great way to really memorialize your trip. If you’re a writer, it can be so fun to rediscover your journal 3 years later, and relive your moments in that city abroad! If writing isn’t your thing, you can at least scroll through your pictures & smile back on your memories. Just don’t spend too much time on Instagram, or you’ll miss out on what’s in front of you.
I’d love to hear all about your travel tips and tricks! Leave a comment below (and feel free to check out some of my favorite pictures from places I’ve traveled!)