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Where Your Dream Get-a-way Becomes Reality...

Travel Tips

I've been posting weekly travel tips to my Facebook page, but thought I would collect them here for easy reference!

Empty Water Bottle--

We all know that TSA does not allow you to bring drinks with you through security, forcing you to spend $5 for a bottle of water once you make it past. Well, little known fact... You CAN carry an empty bottle- disposable or reusable- through security and fill it up once you get into the terminal. That's $5 more you can spend having a blast on your vacation!! 

Use Social Media--

It is easier than ever to get first hand travel tips! Update your status!! Ask questions about your upcoming destination. Who serves the best paella in Barcelona? Where's the best karaoke bar in NYC? Where's the best place to get cracked lobster in the Turks and Caicos? (The answer to the last is da Conch Shack on Providenciales, by the way!) You'll be amazed how many of your Facebook friends have already screened locations for the best and worst experiences!! And just like a travel agent - the advice is free!

Let it go!!! HAVE FUN!!

Today I'm going to post the best tip I can give anyone going on a trip... Let it go!!! Let go of your self-consciousness, your insecurities, and your fears!! When you are on vacation- Dance w...ith your love, Sing karaoke, Volunteer for some silly game or competition at your resort or on your cruise, Laugh at yourself, Invite everyone else to do the same, LIVE OUT LOUD like you never can in your day to day responsibilities!!!! You will never see these people again! And even if you do, they will not say "There's that person who acted ridiculous on stage." They will say "There's that person who knows how to have fun! I wish I could be more like that!"

Disclosure- If you are on a work related vacation, maybe keep it reigned in just a little!! But still, HAVE FUN!!

Be on Time to the Airport--

This is often easier said than done. Traffic en route, parking, shuttles, construction, and long security or check in lines are just a few of the many obstacles standing between you and your dream get-a-way. Know the foreseeable road blocks and plan ahead accordingly. If you get to your gate early, great!! Enjoy a mocha latte and a cinnamon bun!

Plan Your Transfers--

If anyone has gotten off of a plane in Punta Cana, Cancun, or any foreign country with no plan for how to get to their resort/destination, they know what I'm talking about!! It is CHAOS! And language barriers do not help!! I will never forget getting off a plane in Paris with no clue what to do next, no signs in English, and no one who spoke my language! This level of stress is not how you want to start your vacation!! Confirm your transfer! Be it public transportation, private shuttle or car, a seat in a van, or your car rental before you leave your home airport. It will make life much better on arrival! (FYI- this is something that I will plan for you as your travel agent!)

Stop Thinking, and Just Do It--

So many of us talk about wanting to go on vacation, but never do it. Kids, work, family, or life in general always gets in the way. Forty percent of Americans do not take their vacation time. But the other 60% who do take vacations have lower stress and depression, less risk of heart disease, a better outlook on life, and more motivation to achieve goals. So stop making excuses and just book it! You'll be glad you did! Then, instead of trying to plan your vacation around your busy schedule, your busy schedule molds around that much needed rest and relaxation. Here are some links to articles about the benefits of vacationing!!

To Check, or not to Check... That is the Question--

With steep price tags on bag checking with many airlines, it's no wonder people are trying to cram half their wardrobe into tiny carry on cases! And while this may ...be feasible for a short weekend get-a-way, or if you are a low maintenance traveler, for the rest of us, this is a major challenge!! Forget about getting 3 pairs of shoes, a curling iron, and all the clothes you "might" need in there... it is the liquids that will get you!! First, trying to fit all the deodorant, liquid make-up, lotion, sunscreen, shampoo, and conditioner that you will need into those tiny bottles. Then, you have to get them all into that tiny plastic bag!! And how about all those unmentionables falling out when you accidently left in a nail file and have to let the TSA dig through your bag right there in front of everyone... EMBARRASSING!!! Sure, you can buy things when you get to your location, which is fine if you are travelling in most of the continental US, but for anyone who's spent $25 on a small bottle of sunscreen in the Bahamas, you know that can cost as much as checking the bag. Here's the simple solution... pay more and check a bag if you are going on a long trip. It is worth the decreased stress. Also, if you are travelling with a partner or a group, consider splitting the cost and everyone check one bag together. That way, you can each have room for all of the giant bottles of sunscreen and aloe lotion for the spots you missed!! Soon we'll talk about how to actually fit all of your stuff into the suitcase!!

How to Pack Your Bag--

Now this is a big one! One of the most stressful part of traveling is getting all of your coveted travel items into one bag! This was big enough that I just made it a blog entry! Check it out for tips on how to pack the perfect bag!

http://www.yourdreamgetaway.com/apps/blog/show/42901780-packing-tips-to-live-by

Saving--

After draining your disposable income to make Christmas wishes come true, it's hard to think about planning that next vacation. Don't let this stop you! I've all ready told you about the physical and emotional benefits of vacationing, I won't repeat myself. Here's some tips to help make sure you stay healthy (by vacationing!):

1. Plan ahead!! If you book a trip for several months out, you can spend the next few months chipping away, so when the final payment comes due, you don't have to sell your first born child.

2. Make a vacation fund- We save to give our kids a lot of plastic junk under a tree... Why not save to give our kids something that won't break the first time it gets thrown against the wall... MEMORIES!!! Put money aside to plan that family trip and you'll be toes in the sand, riding Space Mountain, watching whales breach and eagles fly in Alaska, or whatever you're dreaming of before you know it!!

What to wear for airline traveling--

This can be tricky... Going from cold to warm weather, or vice versa, want to look cute, but be comfy, don't want to be hot or cold on board... the list goes on! Here's a few tips to live by-

1. LAYER, LAYER, LAYER! Scarves are good and can double as light blankets. Soft sweaters and fleece jackets can be used as pillows. Maxi dresses or tights and a tank top layered with a sweater or jacket is my favorite.

2. COMFY SHOES! There is a lot of walking at an airport. A lot. I have friends who could run a marathon in heels (and I have definitely done some running in airports!). If that is you, go for it! If not, don't start wearing them now! Pack them for your fun evening out and you'll be able to enjoy them without the blisters! If you wear heels, flip flops, or flats, put a pair of socks in your purse, just in case it's cold!

3. NO PERFUME OR STRONG SMELLING LOTION! By all means be clean, but be respectful of your neighbors who may have smell sensitivities.

Top 10 Carry on Must Haves--

1. All things you NEED: Medications, prescription glasses/sunglasses, reading glasses, documents, your grandmother's heirloom wedding ring you are taking to your sister, etc. (For vacations, leave the valuables at home!!)

2. Sleep Aids: I don't mean drugs... inflatable pillows, shaw/scarf to use as a blanket, and ear plugs can go a long way on a long flight! Although an over-the-counter sleep aid may help too!

3. Hand sanitizer and wipes: Planes are gross. Unless you want to take the risk of spending your vacation fighting a cold, clean your armrests!

4. Water and snacks: Even the best flight attendant can't keep up with everyone! A big bottle of water and a bag of trail mix will help you stay hydrated and satisfied while they are busy with other customers!

5. Entertainment: Videos, e-readers, and games are all good options! But also consider non-electronic options like magazines, books, crosswords, etc., to keep you entertained during take off and landing. Don't forget your headphones!

6. Gum: To pop your ears. Also try to swallow continually.

7. A pen: This is mostly for international flights. You always have to fill out the customs and immigration forms.

8. Eye drops and chapstick: The air is so dry! Did I already list water??

9. Move!: This is more of a thing to do... GET UP! Blood clots in your legs (deep vein thrombosis or DVT) is a real risk on long flights. Compression socks can also help if you are at high risk.

10. A positive attitude: I realize this is completely cheesy, but you set your state of mind. Things WILL happen on a plane. Your skin will crawl. You will be annoyed. You may even want to punch a stranger in the face. Put on your headphones and put it behind you. You're going on vacation! Don't let anything steal your joy!!

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Look for more tips weekly!!