Sunday, September 21, 2014

A Quick Weekend Trip

I took a quick, unexpected trip this weekend but all was well, in large part due to these basic travel tips:

  1. As I posted previously, everything I need for travel is in one spot so I can be packed and on the road within about ten minutes if necessary.
  2. I pack my one bag (a 30l backpack) the same way every time.  I can find anything I need, even in the dark, if necessary.
  3. I unpack that one bag at my hotel the exact same way as well so that, you guessed it, I can find anything I need, even in the dark if necessary.
  4. I keep enough cash on hand that I can leave for a weekend trip without having to go to the bank or find an ATM (although I nearly always use credit cards to pay for things when I travel, it is still a good idea to have cash on hand when you travel).
  5. When I arrive at my destination I do a quick inspection (check the fire exits, walk around the perimeter of the property where I will be staying, etc) and make a few friends (tipping well but not excessively at the valet, front desk, restaurants, etc).
  6. I have general travel apps on my phone (Google maps, Waze, XE, Kindle) then add others as needed (local transit apps, etc).
  7. I keep my eating habits (I eat similarly to what I do at home, rarely splurging on fancy restaurants) and exercise habits (walking six to ten miles a day) basically the same when I am on the road.
  8. These days I don't do the tourist stuff or buy souvenirs.  If there are hoards of tourists I happily head the other way (if I absolutely need to visit a tourist attraction I try to get there very early).  And souvenir crap is pretty much the same the world over so my only "souvenirs" are things I want/need that I buy at my destination (quality shoes or clothing, etc).
  9. Unlike 30 or 40 years ago, everything you need to do can be done from wherever you are (banking, bill paying, shopping via Amazon, even working).
  10. Most importantly, pack light.  I see people schlepping their crap (at 50+ pounds per suitcase and multiple suitcases) and have to shake my head.  With a single, carry-on sized backpack, I can be in and out anywhere (airplanes, rental cars, hotels, shops) with a minimum of effort and fuss while other people are still trying to get the wheels on their suitcase to point in the right direction. 

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