I will be in Hawai’i very soon.
Traveling is one of my favorite things. I love exploring different cities, trying new foods and having new experiences. I take two to three trips a year and hope to start taking more when my photography business takes off.
Here are my top five travel prep tips:
- Create a packing list.
Have you ever went on a trip only to find out you forgot toothpaste? Or underwear? Or something else you actually need? I have and it sucks. I forgot pajamas on a trip where I was sharing a room/bed with several people. I kind of needed something to sleep in and was forced to buy some cheap shorts. That wasn’t how I wanted to spend my cash! Since then I write out a list. Every time. I make categories (clothes, toiletries, carry-on, electronics). I cross everything off only when it goes in my suitcase.
- Start packing as early as possible.
Don’t start the night before at 11:57 pm or the morning of. Create your list a week or so ahead of time and start thinking about what to pack. I will start pulling things together about 2 days before such as underwear, shirts/pants etc and stack them near the suitcase. I use the spare bedroom and stack everything on the bed. The night before I put all the toiletries on the bathroom counter. I still need to use it but if everything is out I can use it and throw it in the bag when I’m done with it.
- Take snacks.
This is especially important for me because I have celiac disease and need gluten-free snacks on hand in case I end up somewhere without gluten-free foods, like a peanut free flight. I also like having snacks because you never know when you are going to have lunch or dinner. It could be a long time between meals if you are running around being a tourist.
- Plan a few must see sites.
I don’t plan out each and every meal or day of a trip but I do pick a few things I want to do and plan them. If I want to see a specific tourist attraction I will plan a day for it and sometimes I buy tickets ahead of time if needed (we tried to do this with Alcatraz, followed their recommended time period but it was already sold out! Sometimes you have to be prepared).
- Eat like a local or as close to one as you can.
We rarely eat at chain restaurants when we travel, unless it’s a local chain (like Duke’s in Hawaii). We will look for restaurants that are popular with locals before we go to have an idea of where we want to eat. Now this is even more important since I need places that serve gluten-free. If you have never done this before, Diner, Drive-Ins, and Dives is a good starting point. We also use google, yelp, Find Me Gluten Free.
My top five tips are what I do to prepare for a trip. I don’t like forgetting things and I love to have at least a general idea of what I am going to do while I am there.