YAY because school’s finally out for spring break and we’re leaving for Phuket in 12 hours:) So to get in the spirit, here are my top 10 travel tips:
- Travel in style. While traveling is super exciting and fun, the actually airplane ride can be kind of grueling. I’ve always felt like dressing for the flight and having cute travel accessories with me always makes the plane feel a little more chic. Dress comfy, but cute; yoga pants or jeggings with a flowy top always fits the part. Passport covers are another way to feel a little more high-class. Right now, I have a white Kate Spade passport cover with gold polka dots, and I am 100% obsessed with it! Carry-on a cute bag so you can feel classy while shopping at the airport (tax free!).
- Turn the plane ride into a spa session. I was watching a Shay Mitchell video once and saw that she used face masks while she was on the plane. At first that sounded insane, but once I gave it a shot I was sold. My favorites are the hydrating face masks from Sephora or the Freeman Beauty masks. Now I have to warn you, the people sitting around you are going to look at you and whoever you’re traveling with may pretend not to know you, but there’s nothing better than walking off the plane and starting your vacation with a perfect face.
- Bring some coloring books along. I am definitely a sucker for watching as many movies as I can on a plane, but sometimes I just feel like I need a little change, something different to do, so I find that coloring is exactly what I want to do.
- Plan out where you’re going to eat. I know this is super “food nerdy” (is that even a word?!) of me, but researching restaurants to eat at before you go on a trip somewhere is amazing and makes life 10 times easier. I’ve also found that walking around the streets can be a little bit overwhelming (especially where there are so many restaurants to choose from), so doing a little research ahead of time can help to ensure that you find a local, safe, awesome place to eat.
- Pack smart. I have always been the person to over-pack, but there have been times where I have found myself in need of something that I don’t have. A lot of times this has to do with the outfits I have (or don’t have) with me. If we’re going to a city, I tend to pack way too many jean shorts and tops/shirts and if we’re going to the beach I always pack tons of casual beachy clothes. This would normally be okay but I’ve found myself in the past being in need of a nice outfit for dinner while we’re at the beach, or in need of a swim suit in the city. So what I do now is always have one super casual outfit, one city-wear outfit, and one outfit that would be perfect for a nice dinner. This just makes me feel safe and prepared for anything.
- Try to avoid taxis/ubers as much as possible. While it’s so nice to just call an uber at the end of a long day of sightseeing, I’ve found that using local transportation, whether that be the bus system, the subway, or a tuk-tuk is a super fun way to get immersed into the culture. You get in the flow of the local’s daily lives and get a sense as to how they live. It’s also a great way of seeing more of the place your visiting, instead of just sitting in a car.
- Take pictures, but also take time to disconnect. Trust me, I am a sucker for finding the perfect Instagram photos, but I also try to disconnect from my phone and social media while I’m traveling. Since I only have wi-fi at the hotel anyway, I find this pretty easy, but it can be difficult to try and stay off of Facebook and Snapchat during dinner. That being said, take tons and tons of photos. I’ve never regretted taking a photo, but there have been so many times where I wished that I had a photo of some view I saw.
- Try to plan your own days. As easy as it is to just sign up for a tour, the amount you learn while planning your own day and trying to figure out your way around a new place is incredible. It gives you a chance to interact with locals, deal with the currency and maybe even try to learn the language. None of which would happen if you relied solely on someone else the whole time. But that doesn’t mean you can’t spend a day doing something completely different as a tour!
- Try new foods. This has always come pretty naturally to me as I have never been a picky eater, but for those of you who are, try to push yourself outside your comfort zone a little bit and try a food or dish you’d never thought you’d try. There have been plenty of foods I’ve looked at and was hesitant to eat, but once I did I was glad I did. You don’t get the chance to try truly local foods that often, so don’t pass up that opportunity.
- Have fun! It’s so easy for us all to get caught up in the daily grind, whether it be school, work or anything else, so when you’re traveling and exploring a new culture, try to leave that all behind and soak in the beauty of the country. There is so many eye-opening experiences you can have while you’re traveling, so make sure you don’t let that get overshadowed by other thoughts.
As one of my favorite quotes goes, “Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer”. Happy traveling!