5 Ways to Simplify Your Trip
To simplify your trip begin with this tip. People tend to pack to ensure they have everything they might need while traveling. This type of packing might include extra pants, extra socks, a few pairs of shoes or whatever else comes to the packer’s mind. Most of us want to take everything with when we travel with the exception of the kitchen sink. And there were times I wish I could have taken the sink. However, overpacking is not practical. This over packing causes bags to be checked, which might lead to additional fees at the airlines. Checking a bag also adds to your travel time due to having to retrieve the bag for customs and when destinations have been reached.
Even for trips fourteen days or longer, I only bring a carry-on travel backpack. How is that possible? Clothing should do double duty. For instance, 14 pairs of socks are not needed for a 14-day trip. Instead, bring five pairs and wash them, by hand, at night. Or, feel free to use the washing machines located at or near your accommodations. Your socks are not the only items that can be washed and re-worn. This methodology also applies to shirts, pants, and underwear. By packing light and washing the clothing you brought on the trip, you can reduce your bag size, with or without packing cubes, while making any travel from place to place, with your bag, much simpler.
Leave Toiletries at Home
Unless you have prescription toiletries, there is no real reason to bring any. These items take up space in your bag and may leak over your belongings. I rarely, if ever, travel with toiletries from home. Instead, I shop at a local market to purchase these items. This gives me the opportunity to shop where the local’s shop, to see the local stores, and to experience products outside the ones I am familiar with at home. This experience is one I always look forward to during each trip.
When I travel, I will bring articles of clothing I am ready to discard. Instead of throwing them in the trash, I bring them with me throughout my travels. Once my trip is near its end, or an item is no longer needed, I find someone to donate these items to. In many countries, the people you meet may be very poor. Sharing these items serves serval purposes. First, you are helping someone in need. Second, the items will be reused and not end up in the landfill. Third, you now have extra room in your bag for items you have purchased on your trip.
Just recently, my wife and I traveled to South Africa. While there, we stayed at a very small mom and pop facility. When we were about to check out, we gifted a few articles of clothing to the housekeeping staff. The housekeepers were so excited about the gift. They cried, hugged us, and thank us more times than anyone ever had. This methodology made someone’s day special while creating much-needed souvenir space in our bags.
Leave Gaps in Your Itinerary
Before every vacation, most of us search the internet for things to do. There is always a treasure trove of things found that excite each of us. There may be a temptation to jam everything found in a travel agenda. However, we always suggest leaving some gaps in the itinerary for unexpected finds. While it is important to have an itinerary, make sure to leave room for places or things you see and learn about while in a particular area. You may learn of a special place, from a local or stumble upon it while seeing something else. These unexpected side trips will add beauty to your adventure.
Use Atm While Traveling
Some people love the idea of exchanging money, in their home country or the airport of their destination. I am not a proponent of this idea. First, in many cases, the currency exchange rate may be better at the local atm than at the exchange booths. Moreover, using the atm allows you to take out small increments as needed instead of carrying a larger exchanged amount. Additionally, since money can be taken from an atm as you require it, there is less of a chance of having the leftover currency that you must exchange again to receive your home currency. Hence, costing even more money in the long run.