1. Always carry around a tissue or two (or a whole packet if you’re that well prepared) because not every country has the same love affair that you do with toilet paper. You can also choose to carry around an entire roll of toilet paper, but that’s like wearing a fanny pack around your forehead.
2. It goes without saying that when you fly, you should reserve seats ahead of time, least you end up in the dreaded middle. But it’s also important that when you’re flying on consecutive flights, especially long ones, that you alternate between the left and right sides of the plane or switch up between window and aisle. That way you’re not kinking your body in the same direction repeatedly on each flight.
3. Travel provides many unexpected discoveries. For instance, I recently discovered that in a pinch, the complimentary lotion provided by a hotel can be used as a makeshift conditioner and bikini bottoms can double as underwear.
4. One thing I like to do on long trips is bring along a really overpoweringly-scented body wash and shampoo combo to use for the duration. It’s not that I’m hard of smelling. I just like my product to do its job. Then when I get home and I’m feeling nostalgic for the place, I can sniff the leftovers and be transported straight back. In South Africa and Namibia, I used Philosophy’s Cinnamon Buns. In Egypt, Philosophy’s Double Rich Hot Cocoa. (You may notice a pattern here. In my opinion, Philosophy rocks their scents like a pro bowler!) They’ve got a ton of other delicious, yet sadly inedible flavors as well. Feel free to travel around the world so you can try them all.
5. Don’t think that you’ll be able to find a gas station close to the airport when you’re returning a rental car. You won’t. And if you do, it’ll be overpriced. Of course, not as overpriced as it will be to have the rental car company refuel for you. This weekend I spent more on a 3/4 tank of gas by having Budget refuel it as I did for the entire three-day weekend’s car rental costs. Learn from my mistakes, Betties. Before you hit the highway back to the airport, refuel.
6. When you are staying in a hotel for only one night, unless you’re certifiably clairvoyant, just bite the bullet and unpack your luggage. Inevitably, whatever you’re looking for will be found as far away from your searching hand as possible. Trust me, you’re going to end up with jumbled ant mounds of clothing and accessories that need to be fully repacked in the morning anyway.
7. In countries where the sweat factor is high, you don’t want to be fondling the local currency without then washing your hands before mealtime. This also applies to countries where toilet paper is a luxury.
8. If you’re staying at a higher priced hotel, you’re going to pay higher prices for everything from bottled water to transportation. To avoid that freshly ripped off feeling, either budget accordingly or step two feet off-property to find a convenience store or taxi.
9. Pack your carry on bag as though your checked luggage has already been lost because, chances are it soon will be.