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jca2's avatar

What are your travel tips?

Asked by jca2 (16406points) July 19th, 2023

In a few weeks, I’ll be taking a big trip with my teenage daughter. We haven’t flown in a few years. I started to appreciate driving trips, where you can leave when you want, load the car up like a closet, stop and eat where and when you want. However, I came upon a group tour to Alaska and I felt it was a good opportunity.

The good thing is that if we forget anything, there are always stores (Walmart, CVS, etc.) to buy whatever we need.

My one tip which works for me on every trip is that since I have very bad eyesight, I take a few pairs of glasses and a backup pair of contact lenses. If flying, I pack the spare glasses in two different places,. maybe one in a handbag and one in the luggage, or one in the carry on, so if anything gets lost, I still have what I need.

I think I’m going to bring a larger suitcase and try to go with it half empty, so any purchases we buy can fit in the suitcase on the way back.

How about you? Do you have any travel tips?

Any and all tips are welcome – packing ideas, clothing suggestions, tips on saving money,

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12 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

When I went on a bicycle tour of Vermont years ago, and was stopping in art galleries, I realized that I could ship stuff home rather than carry it with me the rest of the trip. That doesn’t work for t-shirts and other small souvenirs, but it helped when I found things I really liked.

Another thing is that even though going to multiple places on a trip, realize you don’t need a memento from every spot. Set a limit before you go on how many t-shirts you’ll get. I now limit myself. When I was vacationing in New Jersey two weeks ago, I limited myself to two t-shirts, and one of them was specifically because it was a special “Fourth of July” design.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I keep my main wad of cash in my shoe. If I’m robbed it’ll be face to face, not sneaking in my hotel room or safe. Sounds fun, enjoy!

RocketGuy's avatar

I keep a generic packing list with checkoff boxes on Evernote. Each item has two boxes – one for what I want on that particular trip, one for what actually got packed. That way I don’t forget to pack things.

JLeslie's avatar

Extra underwear. A little powdered laundry soap just in case.

In a carry-on bring enough clothes for a day in case your checked luggage is lost.

Layers for Alaska. I loved Alaska!

Some cash. Not too much.

Sunglasses or a hat. Suntan lotion with SPF.

If you need it to be dark when you sleep, bring an eye cover mask. It’s probably still very long daylight hours.

I hand write a list as I think of things a few days leading up go the travel and check it before I walk out the door. Typical on my list lately: medicine, masks, toothbrush, liquid soap, hair products, eyeglasses, bathing suit, sweat jacket. Back in the day tampons, thanks goodness that is over.

Before I travel I sometimes splurge and get a manicure so my nails stay looking good.

RocketGuy's avatar

@JLeslie – on one trip we packed half a box of laundry detergent in a big zip lock bag + a scoop so we could do laundry at different destinations. That was really inconvenient. Now we pack laundry tablets. They are premeasured and have no risk of spilling all over the place.

longgone's avatar

Use an interactive packing list.

Bring a money belt and a decent headlamp (useful for reading in shared rooms)

Loop earplugs because people are noisy.


Make sure your phone has plenty of storage. Get a new SD card, if necessary.

Bring a good water bottle with a pull-out spout. Those don’t need to be cleaned as often as others. Use it only for water.

Take pictures of all passports and share them among travel companions.That way, you’ll still have all data even if one person’s belongings are lost.

For flights or train journeys: make sure your luggage is colorful. It’s easy to mistake one black suitcase for another. Decorate with a luggage tag or luggage belt, stickers, patches – in a pinch, even a bright red rag tied to a a handle can help. Also, have a note with your address or contact information inside the suitcase.

Bring a mosquito bite heat stick and antihistamine, as well as pain meds and any other medication you use regularly.

flutherother's avatar

Travel light. There is no point in taking stuff you end up not needing.

JLeslie's avatar

@flutherother I used to think that, but now I changed my ways. I often have to check a back because of liquids or my shoulder hurting, and so if I am checking I think screw it and take my bigger bag and bring a bunch of stuff so I don’t wish I had it when it is sitting at home. When 9/11 happened I bought the bigger suitcase.

RocketGuy's avatar

I used to pack enough clothes for a fresh outfit every day of my trip. Now I bring half as many shirts and pants. That actually helps a lot to reduce my luggage needs.

smudges's avatar

I have a collection of items I’ve used after surgeries – a boot up to the knee, a shoulder harness that surrounds the torso, a forearm splint, etc.

This may sound weird to some of you, but when I fly I often use one of them. I have arthritis almost everywhere and I’ve found that strangers are more understanding if I’m slow or can’t get my luggage into the overhead rack when I’m wearing something medical. The stewards also aren’t as annoyed if I’m a little slow getting to the plane.

You’ll have a teen with you, so it likely will not be an issue for you on this trip, but maybe for future reference.

jca2's avatar

I have certain things that I bring which I’ve found helpful in the past, or have found that if I’m in a hotel room without them, it could be a drag to have to locate or buy. Small scissors (for cutting off tags or opening packages), nail clipper, plastic fork and spoon (ever get takeout and have them forget those – crisis lol). I sometimes will bring a roll of packing tape, same as the scissors, it’s helpful for making things packed well. I also bring a few laundry pods, not in a baggie but in something where they won’t get squished and leak all over things, in case I need to do a load or two of laundry.

smudges's avatar

^^ Your post reminded me…a brick wall or cement can serve as a nail file in a pinch!

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