078 - Travel Tips

First things first -- I've been blogged about! My friend Dave wrote a nice blog about my website (and me). That is so cool... it's like a little taste of fame. If you're travelling to Ireland, I highly recommend having him show you around. He is a treasure trove of knowledge, and a wonderful man as well. If you can count him among your friends, then you can count yourself lucky. Click here to visit his website.

Okay, so today's blog... have you guessed yet? Nice try, but I bet you cheated and read the title... yes, it's about travel tips. Mind you, I'm no Rick Steves... I've only been to Europe twice and this will be my third trip, but I have learned a few things along the way:

1) Space in a suitcase is precious. I wear my jeans 2-3 times on a trip so that I only need to carry two pair in my suitcase at any given moment. An easy way to keep them smelling fresh is to toss a couple of dryer sheets into your suitcase. (I guess this tells you that I don't go on many tropical vacations -- it's easier to keep clothes fresh if you don't sweat!)

2) After you wear your socks and undies, there's no need to throw them away (it baffles me that people do that). To segregate them from your clean clothes once they've been worn, store them in those plastic produce baggies you find at the grocery store.

3) If you're bringing an extra pair of shoes, you can store those in plastic produce baggies, too. That way you don't get your clothes dirty, especially if your shoes have mud on them.

4) If you don't want to take a large group tour (which is restrictive) and you don't trust yourself to drive (and in most cases, you shouldn't because you don't know where you're going and you miss out on the gorgeous panorama of scenery around you), I strongly urge you to consider hiring a driver. My experiences have been wonderful. Both Dave (Ireland) and Craig (Scotland) are great guys, they know where they're going, and they will share places with you that you otherwise might not find (Corcomroe Abbey, for instance). It may seem like a splurge, but it is sooooooooooooooo worth it -- you truly don't understand the value until you experience it for yourself. In some places you can take a bus or a train, but you may not have a place to stow your luggage, and you are bound to their schedule -- which isn't always regular in smaller towns. This allows you the flexibility to see what you want to see, and it gives you a true taste of the culture you came to experience.

5) Make a list of things you need so that you don't forget something. I always used to forget q-tips and tweezers, but I have that covered now. My cousin cracked me up today when she said this after I shared my list with her: "You're amazing. Seriously. Totally...if there was a condition called EXTREME organization with a case of the "I GOT THIS SH!T COVERED," you'd be diagnosed with it. You're everything I'm not! And everything I want to be! You COMPLETE me!" I told her she had me at 'hello', lol.

6) Remember that if you are taking hairdryers, curling irons, battery chargers, cell phone chargers, iPod chargers... anything that plugs into a wall, you need to make sure that you check the voltage requirements of the country you're visiting. At a minimum you'll need an adapter so that you can actually plug the cord into the wall. On top of that you may also need a converter. And for god's sake, if you smell a funny odor coming from the appliance, UNPLUG IT... (and no Brian -- it wasn't me).

7) Check your itinerary. I caught some serious snafus early on because I started checking the itineraries. At one point my cousin was supposed to magically transport herself back in time to catch her connecting flight... which left 30 minutes before her first flight was supposed to land. Hmmm... And the second snafu had two people who were originally on the same plane, on two different planes. It's important to check. I've never had problems before, but this time the airlines are doing some serious shuffling.

Aside from other general knowledge trippy things, like taking Benadryl to help you sleep if you're flying overnight, and staying up the next day to adjust your body's clock, that's the best I have to offer. Maybe it's useful, maybe it's just me rambling as I am wont to do... eh.


  1. I am always forgetting things, the main problem with that is that I will always have to take my hubby (Mr organized) with me.

  2. I'm always the organized one. Last trip my friend started calling me "Girl Scout" because I was prepared for all contingencies. Have to admit... I kinda am.

  3. I wonder if there is a "Travel Organizer" profession which not only takes care of your travel arrangements, but also your luggage packing. You'd always have a job then! Get a couple of rich CEO's who like to travel and you can quit this place!

  4. That would be great, especially since I'd probably get a discount on travel -- sign me up!