Of Traveling and More

I had planned to post part 2 of our Australia pictures today, but it just didn’t happen. And since I am trying to stick to my Tuesday & Friday posting schedule, instead I bring to you some travel tips I’ve compiled over the last month.

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To say we spend a lot of time traveling is an understatement.

Jonathan’s job involves international travel during the winter months, and some additional occasional stateside travel. Our first year of marriage has included trips to Illinois (numerous times), New Jersey, California, Ukraine (just him, not me), and Australia.

I love traveling, so going to new places and countries is super exciting. I never dared to dream I’d have the opportunity to travel like this. It’s truly a blessing, and I’m so grateful for the chance to go along.

Last fall, a lot of our traveling was road trips. For awhile, it felt like we were forever packing, traveling, coming home and unpacking. Catching up on laundry and house stuff. Then packing again and starting all over. Finally in January we had a whole blissful four weeks to be HOME. The end of January we started up another round of travel — flying this time.

A few travel tips I’ve gathered along the way:

  • Pack your own snacks. Not only is it hard to find healthy food while traveling, but it is expensive to buy snacks at travel plazas and gas stations. My standard go-to travel snacks are: fiber bars (basically a healthy peanut butter granola bar), meat sticks, cheese, some kind of fresh fruit like grapes or blueberries or apples, skinny chocolate, some kind of nuts or healthier chips, fresh veggies, hummus and crackers, and fruit slush. Granted, some of these will only apply to road trips. I like to pack a thermal bag, and use frozen water bottles as the ice pack. Then you have cool food AND extra water as well. I’ve also frozen fruit slush and used that in place of an ice pack. It’s a little harder to pack snacks while flying, but I still trying to pack some of the dry/non-perishable snacks in my carry-on. I have been so thankful for them, when on long state-side flights where they give you nothing but beverages. (Sorry United, but I can’t go 5 hours with a little drink and nothing to eat. The downsides of a fast metabolism)
  • Keep a small bag packed with extra toiletry items. We both have small bottles of shampoo, body wash, hairspray, etc. that we only use while traveling. Even if we’re not flying and don’t have to adhere to the 3 oz or less liquids rule, we still use the small bottles. They take up less room in the suitcase and are a lot handier to travel with.
  • If traveling internationally, research the electric voltage in the country or countries you will be in, and if needed, invest in an outlet converter. Europe and Australia have 220 voltage, which will fry your electronics. Plus the outlet holes don’t fit our devices too well.
  • Don’t forget your flip flops! (If you’re going to a warm place) 🙂

Air travel:

  • Make life as easy as possible for yourself while going through security. If traveling with liquids, have your liquid bag in an easy to access spot, so you can easily pull it out. (Same with laptops and your passport/ID/boarding pass) Wear easy to slip on & off shoes.
  • Take things to do along. Hours in an airplane can get really boring, unless you are one of those people who can sleep anywhere. Books, music, computer, games, Sudoku, journals, etc.
  • Take a natural sleeping aid along to help with sleeping on long flights. (Ie: melatonin) And then remember to take them. 😉
  • When flying or packing light, take outfits that can be interchangeable. Ie: cardigans that match various outfits, similar color schemes that can be mixed and matched, shoes that go with numerous outfits, etc. Check the weather forecast of your destination and plan accordingly. Also, always pack a warm sweatshirt or jacket, even if it looks like it will be suffocatingly hot where you are going. You never know when you may need it. Evenings can cool down, airports or airplanes may be cold, or you may run into a scenario where you need something warm to wear.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Don’t loiter or stall in security areas; it will only make you appear suspicious, or get you pulled off for an extra security check. (And who likes those?)
  • Pack an extra set of clothes in your carry-on. You will thank yourself later, if your check-in luggage would happen to be delayed or missing.
  • Always refer to the information board for up-to-date flight information. The gate number or flight info printed on your ticket may have been changed, so don’t depend on it to be completely accurate.

 Any travel tips to share, that I missed?

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