4/4/13

tips for international traveling


I am not a travel expert by any means, but the husband and I learned a few things on our trek through northern Europe, so I thought I'd share them with you as I fly (the looooong flight) back to Seattle.

-- pack for varied weather. No matter how often you check weather.com for weather predictions for your upcoming trip, things can change. Unless you're going to Italy in August, be prepared for all weather. Even snow in London in April. ;)

-- pack less & bring detergent. We were gone two weeks but packed clothing for one week and did "laundry" in our hotel and rental sinks. It works well and saves on space.

-- pack solid shampoos & conditioners. Liquids are limited, even when you check bags. And traveling with liquids is always a pain because they can leak and get everywhere. I splurged on Lush solid shampoo and conditioner, but amazon also has some other options.

-- snacks! I packed instant oatmeal, individual packaged peanut butter, granola bars and dried fruit. This saved us during flights and long train rides. We also restocked on snack foods about half-way through our trip.

-- research! Each place we went to, I tried to research transportation options, a few restaurants and sights to see. In regards to transportation, find the cheapest option obiviously and see if there are visitor passes for the public transport. (In Europe, there nearly always is.)

.... also, be sure to research local restaurant and other courties (i.e. when/how much to tip.) :)

-- talk to locals. Ask them where they think you should eat, what you should see. This led us to some of the best cafes during our trip! If no local can be found, tripadvisor.com is a great resource for restaurant/tourist attraction reviews.

-- airbnb. Although it started with a snafu, the flat we rented in Paris was awesome and affordable and really felt like home in the middle of our trip. Plus being able to cook rather than going out to eat, saved us a lot of money.  Just to add, if something does happen, airbnb has awesome 24/7 customer service and does refund money if your situation goes a bit sour. ;)

-- keep a journal. The husband and I kept a daily journal that we taped little souvenirs, brochures and tickets in. It's old-school but I know we'll treasure it forever.


do you have any trips for international travel?

xo, erika

14 comments

  1. Great tips! I love that you kept a travel journal and taped in tickets, etc. I have dne that and it is so fun to look back on! I also second the packing for a week and doing laundry in your room. I did that in Italy and it worked so well :) have a safe trip home!

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  2. Thanks for these tips! My husband and I are going to Spain for 2 weeks in June and I will definitely be using some of these tips for our trip.

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  3. You're so making me want to travel abroad again in a real bad way. Doesn't help that I'm also reading about Julia Child's time in France. Anyhow I love the idea of renting a flat this time around. As I get older a retreat from the vacation is sometimes a must. I love the journal idea! I always keep my own little journal when I travel but I think it would be so fun to have Walker add to it also for us both to remember. So cute!

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  4. Great tips. As someone who has done a lot of traveling, these are pretty spot on. A note about bringing things like dried fruit, however, is to be careful. Many places have limitations on even dried produce.

    Can't wait to see/read more about your travels!

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  5. Ah- you`re making me nostalgic for travel!! I try to ALWAYS carry snacks while traveling, that way if I find myself hungry I don`t become super crabby while searching for a restaurant, or end up splurging on something out of my price range :)

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  6. The journal idea is a GREAT one, what a wonderful way to remember your trip!

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  7. I love reading other people's travel tips!

    I completely agree with using the TripAdisor app to find places to eat - so handy! And we're becoming big fans of airbnb.

    We also took less clothes and stopped at a laundrette halfway through our holidays - yes it mean a couple of hours hanging around for everything to wash and dry - but it was cheaper than using the hotel services and meant we had more room in our suitcases for other essentials (and holiday purchases!)

    The tip I'd add is a money saving one - rather than paying to eat lunch in expensive cafes when in touristy areas, pop into the local supermarket and buy bread, ham/cheese and some fruit. It will work out way cheaper, and you can eat it wherever you please!

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  8. A journal, I will definitely put in my bag in next travel! It's great way to help remember very details and fun through the trip.

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  9. I spent five months traveling around South America last year and fell in love with solid shampoo/conditioner bars. They take up way less space, are less messy, and can be brought on carry-ons. I recommend packing clothes that can easily be layered, and a pair of thin smart wool to wear under clothes is key for traveling in cooler places (but for wearing underneath clothes and as pajamas). Hope you enjoyed your travels :-)

    Bev
    Linkouture: Musings on the Creative Side of Life

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  11. My husband always journals our trips abroad, and it's fun to look through them from time to time. It's easy to forget things you 'know' you're going to remember.

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  12. Another way of saving money, is getting the right currency exchange rates. Infact online money exchangers like Travelex actually give a good money exchange rate and have a 0% commission policy on online reserve of currency.

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