Before you cross state lines, hop the pond or take flight half way around the world, take a few moments to consider some of these top travel tips that are sure to set you up for success.
We've compiled five of our favorites and they might surprise even the most seasoned globetrotter!
From planning and packing to staying healthy while on the go, we've got you covered.
Pack like a pro
If you really want to get creative, spend an hour on YouTube searching "packing hacks", "luggage hacks" or "travel hacks" and you'll gain all sorts of inspiration.
But if you just want a crash course, consider the following:
- Store chargers, cords and other small items in an old glasses case so they don't scatter in your bags.
- Roll, don't fold, clothes to reserve space in your bags.
- Use a simple zip tie to secure zippers and keep your luggage locked up while in transit.
- Shower caps (free in many hotels) make a great protective layer around shoes to ensure your other clothes stay clean and spiffy.
- Don't leave emergency cash out in plain sight - roll it up and hide it in an old lip balm, lipstick case, or dental floss case, then place it with other unassuming toiletries.
Depending on the nature of your trip, it may be hard to find an energy source to recharge your personal devices. Be sure you computer and phone are fully charged, turn down the brightness when you're using them, and switch to airplane mode when you don't need internet, texts or calls.
Beyond the basics, divvy out your power and remember that a laptop with a dongle or USB attachments can charge nearly any device these days off of its own battery.
Perhaps the best option is to also carry a Goal Zero portable battery or similar for emergency charges on the move.
Look for familiar logos
Nowadays it seems like every country in the world has the green Starbucks logo or the golden arches of McDonalds. While we obviously encourage you to check out what the local restaurants and vendors have to offer, one thing's certain: If you're in a bind, lost, or cell phone connectivity goes haywire, these American staples typically offer free wi-fi that can help you get your bearings.
Get back to basics
Technology can be great, but the immediacy of smartphones and the cloud can sometimes be a little much. By all means, snap away and take as many cellphone videos as your heart desires, but add new life to your travels by trying out a disposable camera. The simplicity of it is beautiful, but the real magic of it all is embracing the wonderful surprise of what moments emerge when you get back home and settled in. Developing the film is like reliving the trip all over again.
Bonus points if you can sneak in the photos and send the camera or its film as a gift to a friend/loved one months or years after the trip is complete.
The best offense is a strong defense
Don't risk a stomach bug on the trip of a lifetime. Too many people take their chances on foreign water sources, new foods and living conditions. Rather than rolling the dice, try ParaEnd, our microbial cleanse and detox that specially-formulated to fend off digestive contaminants and parasites.
Wherever your travels take you, we wish you a beautiful journey, new horizons and positive memories!