In the spirit of The Gracious Posse’s tagline,
celebrating inspired living with a little help from our friends
today we are thrilled to share a collection of travel tips from our gracious readers. We asked you to submit your tried and true travel tips a few weeks back and were humbled at the time many of you took to share yours. Thanks to internet, the ongoing development of apps for our smart phones and the ability to get to more remote locations than ever before, you are bound to find at least one new idea here to make your travel easier, whether you are just headed down the road to the beach or packing your passport for the journey.
Planning and Research
For many planning the trip is as much fun as the journey itself. Others like to just have it done. Regardless of which camp you fall into, let these tips guide your future trips and vacations.
Contact hotel concierge or condo rental agency a month in advance to inquire about best hikes, bike rentals, music venues, special events, local restaurants and private tour guides. – CD
Ask your friend network for suggestions. -dNz
Consult The Gracious Posse – Our Outta Town category is chock full of posts about our travels.
Buy tickets in advance to popular attractions, museums and cathedrals to ensure you can get in and minimize waiting in line- lRj
Book a Segway tour to get the lay of the land in a new city. – lRj
Book local tours with Viator. -lRj
Travel off-season and avoid the crowds. -lRj
Save time on your return flight by researching your departure airport passport control process. Most require a traveler to go through security AND passport control, which may be separated by tempting duty-free shopping. The new passports with the embedded chip also speeds up the process. -aSr
Clothes and Packing
How many bags? What kind of clothes? And the SHOES! The most seasoned travelers agree that less is more. Read on to find out how to be happy without packing so many optional outfits and shoes.
Try to pack with just carry-on luggage, particularly if you are headed to multiple destinations. Tips for packing light from cVa:
• Use travel cubes for good organization.
• Plan to wear one color scheme and accessorize with jewelry or scarves.
• Pack only two pair of shoes, one for walking, one for dress. Wear the walking shoes on the airplane.
• baby wipes, coffee to-go cup, refillable water bottle, binoculars, stain removal pen, laundry detergent packs, nuts for snacks – CD
• Zadro LED Lighted Magnification Mirror with suction cups from Amazon. Only 4″ in diameter, its suction cups allow it to be mounted anywhere.
• backpack from Everlane to use instead of a purse – gMw
• 14″ suitcase and a backpack – cVa
• Luggage set from Away
They were 1/3 of the cost of the Tumi set that I was considering. Good stuff. – gMw
Allow room in your suitcase for souvenirs. -vCa
Leave your blow dryer at home and save valuable suitcase real estate. Contact your hotel ahead of time to see if one is provided in the room.
Stash hard copy backups of your passports, boarding passes and other mission-critical items that you store on your phone in your carry-on in case your phone crashes. It happens!
Cash? Credit? Tips? Be prepared and don’t let cash issues color your memory of a fabulous trip.
Be Prepared with Local Currency. In RVA Richmond International Currency Exchange offers convenient hours, no minimums and walk-up service for currency exchange. Ask for your large bills to be broken up to smaller ones to make tipping easier.
Research local tipping protocol. Read this comprehensive guide to tipping around the world from Conde Nast Traveler for more information.
Contact your bank and credit card companies ahead of time. Read Caroline Wallace’s Count Your Pennies (or Pesos) for more information.
Stay at an all-inclusive resort or go on a cruise. Most costs are paid for in advance. There’s a lot to be said for not feeling like a human ATM machine.
Fitness While Away
Is it important to you to maintain a fitness regiment while traveling? Check out these suggestions.
Use the Mind Body app to find exercise studios while out of town. – sWg
Walk whenever and wherever you can. It only takes 2500 steps (one mile) to equal a (5 ounce) glass of wine; now that’s my kind of math!
MobilePassport – aSw says we breezed right through!
WhatsApp for free international texting and calling with wifi – aSw
Ecuador – Alpaca wraps and blankets are gorgeous and inexpensive – lCr
Mexico – Otomi textiles
Texas Hill Country – James Avery Jewelry from the factory show room in Kerrville, Texas
Sanibel Island – shells from the shell capital of the United States
Vermont – maple syrup
Bermuda – Perfume from the Bermuda Perfumery
Portovenere, Italy – trofie pasta from this charming Cinque Terra village
Florence, Italy – soap and fragrances made locally by Santa Maria Novella Farmaceutica
Amalfi Coast of Italy – DeRuta patterned ceramics – lRj
Anywhere – a reusable shopping bag printed in the foreign language. Inexpensive and practical when your suitcase runs out of room for souvenirs.
Photo Book. Have fellow travelers upload photos to a shared iCloud account for one person (with best design skills) to create a photo book online. Include detailed itinerary. -CD
Have a theme-inspired dinner upon return. -CD
Quick and Easy Scrapbook
My favorite thing to do on a big trip is take a notebook, glue stick and new pen. I like to find notebooks with a pocket, not too big and not small. Each day as I collect receipts or ticket stubs or brochures, I glue them in the book. Also, I buy postcards which are plentiful and beautiful. I might write a sentence or two about the weather. Viola, travel memories done before I land back home. This takes me about 10 minutes a day. – aRm
Create a Memory Pillow
from our favorite Huger Embroidery.
Keeping it All Together
Left Your Best Sweater at the restaurant? – sWg alerted us to ileftmystuff.com to retrieve what you leave behind.
Assign duties to simplify when traveling with a spouse or partner. Let one handle tickets, boarding passes, passports while the other deals with suitcases, etc. -lCr
Live by Pat Summit’s motto and stay positive when things don’t go as planned. -aSw
Many thanks to aRm, aSw, CD, dNz, lRj, gMw, sWg and vCa for sharing your travel tips with the Posse. Travel can be one of the most inspiring aspects of life, especially when things run smoothly. We hope that by sharing the collective experience of The Gracious Posse, you can minimize snafus and maximize the joy of the journey. Keep us posted on your favorite travel tips.
July 27, 2017