Monday, September 24, 2007

PinkBird's Travel Pointers (Volume 1):

Aloha fellow explorers! This is the 50th PinkBird's Nest Blog here on Blogger! WooHoo!

So, in what I hope will become a somewhat regular blog feature here in The Nest, I have decided to start a little column for Travel Tips. “PinkBird’s Pointers” if you will. I think I will list between 5 and 10 at a time. So, here begins just a few travel and packing suggestions. Please do contact me with any special tips you have, and perhaps I can add them to the list!

1. Save those little bottles of hotel shampoo, I usually prefer to bring my own shower supplies (and not all places will even have them waiting for you, like hostels or foreign hotels) but if the hotel does have complementary shampoos, my husband will use it, and if I’ve got room in my bag I’ll keep the bottle to refill with my own shampoo to bring along on our next trip.

2. I love zipper seal baggies! I pack them everywhere I go. Extra zip lock baggies are perfect for cosmetics or toiletries that may have leaked, or the rocks and shells you find along the way, or even if your watch breaks, you have someplace to put all the pieces until you can get it home.

3. Begin packing early (but not too early)...maybe at least the weekend before you plan to leave, gather everything you plan to pack in a laundry basket and leave it. The next day go through this pile and take out anything that you probably won’t wear (if you have a “maybe” pile, make it a “no” pile) or anything that’s not interchangeable/coordinated to at least 2 other things in your pile. Take out anything that would leave you heart broken if it were to be “lost” in the void of lost luggage or stained while traveling. Now, leave this newly thinned down pile until days before the trip (or the day before/day of, as I usually do). As you’re packing this stuff into your bag you can keep thinning it out. I believe you should never have to repack a bag before you leave home because you’re bringing too much stuff. (Arriving back home with too much stuff is another story).

4. I love my Chaco sandals for traveling...they slip on and off easily, but are built well enough to do real walking/hiking. They are also “strappy” and mine are solid black so they can pull off looking “nice” or even sort of dressy if need be. They also take up much less room in my pack than sneakers.

5. You can buy or make a special Travel Journal (see my previous blog on how to make your own journal HERE) or just pack a small notepad along to write down special moments, names of places, ideas or images that you don’t want to forget. It can help too to write down details about photos that you take—I tend to come home with hundreds of digital pictures and there are always a few that I wonder about. Writing specifics down can really help when you get home.

And, of course, don't forget to back your sense of humor and your listening ears. Across the world people generally need and want similar things. The differences are in the details. And, it is in those details that traveling really becomes worthwhile. Happy trails!