2016 Travel Reflections

As I look back on the last year I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to travel. Traveling for me is my happy place and is a reset from my everyday life.  I feel completely alive and rejuvenated when I experience something new.  I have learned a lot this past year from advice from friends, experiences and research.

  • Get global entry or TSA pre-check
    • Anything that saves you time while traveling is a must.
  • Finances
    • Get a credit card and checking account with no foreign transaction fees. The fees add up quickly and many places only take cash.
    • Pay for anything you can upfront. This will allow you to budget better and make the trip even more seamless.
  • Invest
    • Get a nice suitcase that has several compartments and rolls smoothly. This will be a lifesaver if you are going to multiple cities.
    • Stacking cubes-Buy These! They help you fit everything in your suitcase and keep organized.
  • Under pack
    • I always bring an extra foldable bag in my suitcase for purchases but I also tend to under pack if its not an essential item. You can always buy new clothes when you get there.
  • Travel Clinics
    • Go to a travel clinic before visiting other countries. They know more about where you are going and if you need shots/pills and can give you good tips on how to stay safe. (Don’t listen to everything they say or you will cancel your trip. (:)
  • Research
    • I like to do a lot of research on restaurants, attractions, etc. for each location before going. Wi-Fi can be tricky or you could be exhausted from traveling so it’s good to have some easy options. My favorite websites are Fathomaway.com, Yelp and travel blogs.
  • Tours aren’t all bad
    • I am normally not the first person to sign up for the local chocolate tour or pizza making class however there are benefits of tours for popular attractions. They provide transportation so you don’t get lost, allow you to skip the long lines and typically take you to multiple destinations. You can accomplish so much more in a day by saving all of that time.
  • Do something you wouldn’t normally do
    • I always like to plan something that I wouldn’t normally do in Chicago like sky diving, zip lining, scuba diving or a 20 course dinner.
  • Plan nothing
    • As an event planner I love to plan every detail but I learned this year I need to leave time for random activities. I like to have at least a half day to full day in each city with nothing planned.

 

 

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