The year ahead will be one of technological innovations and historical significance in many American destinations. Here are the places across the U.S. to keep on your travel radar in 2016.
How to guarantee that you’ll at least survive your holiday travel plans.
Time to pack for that trip over the holiday? I found this list that is timeless and extensive. Print copies to use over and over–never again arrive at your destination without that favorite sweater or (Heaven forbid) your toothpaste and deodorant!
Prevent packing mishaps with our handy customizable list!
Our tips for things to avoid when you visiting Hawaii to ensure that you have a safe and better vacation.
Don’t forget these must-have items for your travel toiletries kit.
My best travel tips:
- Plan your itinerary ahead.
- Don’t overdo #1; be flexible.
- Make a packing list. You might want to have more than one travel category like overnight trips, long weekend getaways, domestic travel, and international travel. You also might want to use such categories as business, formal, camping, and photography trips. Save this list on your computer, then print it when you start packing.
- Pack early and often! Keep some of your staple items like lotions, shampoos, and conditioners, tissues, hand sanitizers, and travel plugs and chargers gathered in storage with your luggage or other travel gear.
- Research every place you travel, even if it’s the small town you’re visiting for the weekend. I’ve learned that the more I research before I go, the more I learn while I’m at my destination.
- Check all your reservations at the latest moment you can and still have time to correct any mistakes–before the point of no return.
- Print copies of all your reservations and travel arrangements even if you plan to use your smart electronic devices at check-in.
- Make copies of your credit cards and valuable items in your wallet (i.e., passport, driver’s license, health insurance card, and travel insurance information) and leave them at home where someone at home can access them in an emergency.
- Leave any keys you don’t need at home.
- Weigh your luggage before you leave if you’re flying and must meet weight restrictions.
- Take a small luggage scale with you if you plan to do any serious souvenir shopping.
- Stick a business card inside all of your bags and totes, even your checked bags, in case your luggage ID tags are unfortunately and violently separated from your bags. Even if you don’t have business cards for work, you should make some simple cards with your basic information such as name, cell phone number, and e-mail address. (Use safety precautions if you are ever contacted by anyone using this information.) Check out Vista Print online.
- Ignore you partner’s incessant grumblings about all the “stuff” you are packing, and pack as lightly or as heavily as you feel comfortable with and can afford. I have offered my husband this promise–I will never pack more than I can afford to check and I am able and willing to carry myself. Can’t say it’s done much good for the grumblings.
- At your destination, ask locals you interact with about where they like to eat, and what they do for entertainment. Although I’m from Houston, I haven’t lived there for years. I asked a waitress in mid-town once where she liked to go for fun, and she told me about this great little community theater. Mom and I went to a play there on Mother’s Day, and it was awesome!
- Walk around near the popular eateries, lodging, and attractions at your destinations. You’ll find some great places that just don’t advertise as much that are as good or better than the hyped locations.
- Schedule yourself one day before and 1-2 days after a longer trip to prepare and recuperate if you can. This one tip alone has made all my trips more memorable and enjoyable because I didn’t sandwich my trip between two days of pure Hell.
Got any tips you’d like to share?
For someone who travels a lot, this seems like it would be a nightmare going through baggage handling. Even simple luggage with few moving parts and mechanics can get beat up. When we flew from Austin to Seattle this past spring, I took a small hard side suit case that was so badly damaged, the lady in claims said she’d never seen anything so bad. I have envisioned a Boeing 747 rolling over it–several times!
This new design might be the beginning of a new improved trend, but I’m waiting until they get the kinks out before investing.