Travel times are back again, but ahead of heading off to heed the lure of travel, here are a few things worth keeping in mind.
Regardless of size, never bring more than two bags with you; any more than that is unwieldy and difficult to keep track of.
Bags with wheels are amazing. That backpack might seem more agile, but have you ever seen someone trek across an airport with one of those on their back? Nimble does not come to mind. Sciatica, yes. But not nimble.
Never carry your wallet in your back pocket, and never carry your purse on just your shoulder.
Call your credit card company before you leave and put a travel alert on your card. While you are at it, jot down their international customer service number.
Make photocopies of your passport and leave one with friends and another tucked into your bag. Or, better yet, scan your passport on a USB and email a copy to yourself.
The second you think of packing something, pack it. If you wait, you will forget. And then you will end up using a plastic bag as a shower cap.
Do not pack clothes that require ironing. For that matter, do not buy clothes requiring ironing.
Never pack what you have not worn before. Otherwise you will find your new shoes too uncomfortable, your new jacket too flimsy, your new underwear too tight.
Pack those awful tennis shoes you only wear jogging. At some point during your trip, you will not care what you look like just as long as your feet feel comfortable.
Stuffing socks into your shoes can help you save space and ensure your loafers retain their shape. Wear sunscreen anytime you will be outside, regardless of the temperature or weather.
Take notes. As much as you believe the contrary, once you return you will not remember your tour guide’s name, or the artist whose worked you loved so much, or even the city where you stayed. Write it down.
If you have an inkling that you should be taking photos of something, take them. Also, if you have an inkling that you should not be taking photos of something, do not take them.
If you do not speak the local language of the place you are heading, then at least learn the following phrases: Please. Thank you. I’m sorry. Where is this place? You will inevitably forget something, either at home or while on your trip. Accept this reality, and pray it is your spouse and not your passport.