Today we have a guest post from one of my sponsors, Alex from Her Wonderful Adventure. This time of year, you see a lot of travel advice thrown out there. Alex is going to put a different spin on some pretty good travel tips while keepin' it real! Take it away!
Greetings all!! My name is Alex and I blog over at Her Wonderful Adventure. I'm super happy to be guest posting on Marilyn's blog and when she contacted me for a guest post I was elbow-deep in travel plans for my Swedish boyfriend to come visit me in Utah, where I live. It hit me immediately...why not write some weird travel tips?? I have been around the world and gotten lost or stranded in more than a few airports, and there have been some things I've learned the hard way.
Maybe a few of these tips are familiar but I hope they ease your next journey a little bit!
1. Wear Insanely Comfortable Clothes
Again...simple, but so important! And I feel like it's neglected a lot. I've been in a lot of terminals seeing women in high heels wobbling around, or sighing as I wait for someone to untie their knee high gladiator boots. When I say comfortable I mean like....sitting on the couch after a breakup comfortable. For me this is usually leggings or yoga pants, and a long tee. Hair in a bun. Toms. You don't have to look homeless, but come on. You're going to be sitting upright in a cramped space for hours, and then rushing around on foot while carrying bags. Why would you want to be uncomfortable on top of that?
2. Carry No Books
This one I definitely learned the hard way. I freaking love books. And journals, too. An airplane seems like a great spot to write in a journal, but no. The person in front of you is going to have their seat reclined so you'll have no space, and books. are. heavy. I started out carrying three (I read a lot) and it was murder. I downsized to one, begrudgingly. Still torture, and I spent more time sleeping than anything. Finally I gave up and stopped carrying books....SO MUCH EASIER!!!! If you want to take books, do it in your checked luggage! And if you must have something to read, consider a Kindle, or a magazine.
3. Never Use A Roller for Carry-On
This one might be unpopular, but hear my reasoning. Your carry on is for the vitals. Phone charger, makeup, snacks, and so on. If you take a roller, it's going in the overhead. You hold up the line behind you on the way inside the plane, and take forever trying to fit it somewhere among the other rollers. In some smaller planes, running out of room is inevitable and then you have to do the walk of shame back outside with your carry on so they can put it in with cargo....and you have to grab whatever essentials you need. Then what happens when you want to grab food, or get your pillow or magazine? You shove your way to the aisle. You open up the compartment. You have to move several people's stuff to get to your own. And again, when exiting the plane. It's a total nightmare!!!
I always carry a big hobo-looking purse, or a backpack. I have everything I need at my feet and I can zip out of the plane as soon as the door opens. Trust me, save the roller luggage for checked baggage!
4. Check Your Booking and Change Seats
This one is just straight up gold for me. It's one of those 'above and beyond' tricks that ensures my flight will be as comfortable as possible. Most if not all flights, after purchased, allow you the option to go back and change your seats. What you want is a seat as close to the front of the plane as possible, on the aisle. This is not for any weird OCD or fear of flying reason..it's simply efficient. I drink at least a gallon on flights and have to go to the bathroom a lot. An aisle seat allows me to leave whenever I want. And again...when the plane lands? Those at the front are the first out the door!! Who wants to sit on a de-boarding plane? Especially when you have a connecting flight to catch! You also get drinks and food first, so there's that.
5. Always Go for Staying with Locals, and take a Boat/Train When Possible
I never go somewhere unless I have a friend waiting for me on the other side. Staying with locals or family makes travel so much better!!! If you want to visit somewhere but don't know anyone who lives there, try a site like Couchsurfing.org or Airbnb.com! Not only will you save on motel fees and skip the mundane sites that every tourist sees, you'll get the inside scoop on what to do and where to go, and have memories you'll cherish forever.
On the subjects of boats and trains, they're better because they're cheaper and not quite as barbaric as sitting on a airbus. On a train or boat you can get up and stretch your legs, make a meal or buy dinner and eat it at an actual table, have an actual bed to sleep on, and so on. Planes are certainly faster though.
Well, that concludes my list of travel tips!!! I hope that these are helpful and if you have any other travel questions or just stories in general, stop by my blog! It's new and small and I'd be thrilled to have you there, plus in the coming weeks you'll get to hear all my stories of what my Swede thinks about America!!!