Bright and early this morning I boarded a train heading to Massachusetts for a week filled of Fourth of July festivities (s’mores, anyone?). I plan on unplugging from emails, blog posts, facebook updates and tweets for the entire holiday week. Therefore, it is with great pleasure to have my friend Shannon from The Simply Luxurious Life share her travel tips with us. Perfect timing, right? Enjoy…
With summer comes the excitement of vacation destinations, hopping on a plane or hitting the road, experiencing something new and changing up your routine. After all, we all lead bustling lives that are full of deadlines, expectations and rigid routines, but when it is time to getting away, it’s reassuring to know that you can thoroughly enjoy yourself and have peace of mind knowing that your hard-earned money was well spent.
Living a simply luxurious life, as I share with my readers on my blog every day is a conscious way of living. And just as we can create the life we want on a daily basis as we go to and from work, we can also be certain to create a simply luxurious travel experience as well.
Here are ten simple ways to help ensure a leisurely, invigorating and unforgettable time traveling wherever your tickets are taking you:
1. Dress well – comfortable, but stylish. Even though traveling isn’t always the most pleasurable with hot weather and a full capacity plane, choose clothing that is stylish, but still comfortable. For example: a jersey dress, or a pair of boyfriend jeans and a simple silk blouse, and always wear layers so that you can have control somewhat over the temperature.
2. Plan a few extra days. If you can, give yourself an extra day before and an extra day upon your return to first, pack and prep your home, and secondly, get back into a routine without feeling rushed.
3. Drink water. Hydrating yourself will reduce unwanted eating, keep your skin glowing and save your budget.
4. Purchase a Memory. Wherever your travels take you this summer, instead of filling an entire extra suitcase with souvenirs and more new clothing, why not choose to purchase one item that you can place in your home as decoration that not only works with your signature decor, but is a lovely reminder of the trip? This way, you will always be able to take a trip even when you’re sitting in the living room of your very own home.
5. Learn the Language. Whether you are going to a foreign speaking country or not, choose to educate yourself on customs and behaviors that are expected and those that are frowned upon. By understanding how to effectively communicate and behave, you will help ensure a more pleasant experience with the locals.
6. Pack Items that Mix and Match Well. With each bag of checked luggage costing $25 or more, it is vital that you pack efficiently for your travels whether you are staying for a weekend or a month. Choose a couple of bottoms (shorts, skirts, jeans), a couple of tops, a dress or two and accessories that will help dress up each outfit. Make sure nearly all are interchangeable and you will save space and feel confident that you will appear chic and stylish.
7. A Perfectly Packed Carry-On. Again, if you can, pack everything into your carry-on, but if you are unable to, here is a list of what I pack in my carry-on to bring peace of mind should my luggage be lost – reading material (magazines, books, iPad), medications, necessary toiletries (toothpaste, feminine items, contacts & solution, etc), laptop, smart phone, one outfit, jewelry and basic make-up.
8. Plan Ahead and Then Let Go. As a planner, I will pick out restaurants I want to visit, museums and other sight-seeing must-sees that I’d like to experience, and anything else that pertains to each destination I am heading to. Prior to leaving on your trip, collect all of the necessary information, make reservations if you need to and place all of this information in a safe, but easily accessible place. Then, upon arriving, be flexible enough to realize you may not be able to experience all that you wanted to, but you certainly can enjoy whatever comes your way. Allow yourself the thrill of dropping into quaint shops that catch your interest as you are taking a walk or a tour that you just have to take part in. By permitting yourself immersion into the culture that surrounds you, you will most likely have an even better trip than you ever imagined.
9. Maintain Your Health Regimen. There are three things about returning from a vacation that make the trip itself even better – (1) knowing I stayed within my budget, (2) coming home to a clean house and everything is as I left it, and (3) knowing I didn’t gain a pound.
While on your trip, continue to schedule time to be active. While you may not be jumping on the treadmill, do make sure that you walk as much as possible. And when it comes to eating, do so in moderation. Of course, you must try the local fare, but again, try a taste or two, but don’t over-indulge.
10. Always Remember. While we are on the journey of our vacation, we can talk ourselves into believing that we won’t forget a moment, but the truth is, a lot of things do get forgotten if they aren’t recorded. Do yourself a tremendous favor and choose to either journal or take pictures to record what you are seeing, experiencing and feeling. Your older self will thank you.
With these ten tips, I wish you bon voyage!