My husband and I travel a few times a year. I honestly wish it were more, because I love visiting new places and learning about and from them. Every time we learn something new to make the whole process easier. Going away from home for whatever reason should not carry any additional stress from travelling. The smoother the trip goes, the better it is. Here are some of the things we do each time:
- Plan and communicate: When we were getting married, the honeymoon was priority. My husband took over and picked the hotels, the activities, and transportation, and even made sure to find out ahead of time how we would get from A to B by using public transit. It all made a huge difference because the decisions were made ahead of time and we just had to follow our own instructions. No thinking required, just enjoyment. Today, we continue to plan our stays and speak about our expectations so we are all on the same page.
- BYOB: Bring your own breakfast: This probably first happened when I had baked banana bread right before we left out of town. Now, it is what we do whenever we are going by car. I bake a loaf the day before and we enjoy breakfast in bed as a family. It not only serves as a way to save money, but we save time by not having to stop for food, and it saves space in our bellies for other delicious meals. We love trying the food wherever we are visiting has to offer, and not being stuffed from a big breakfast helps us do just that.
- Ready-to-go toiletry bag: When my husband and I started to travel together, I saw the need to carry my own toiletries always. I don’t like to rely on what might be available or offered, just in case there won’t be any or enough. I also have a head hair enough for four people, and I don’t expect anyone to cater to that. I started getting together a permanent kit that gets replenished right before I put it away at home. Whenever it is time to go, my bag has my soap, shampoo, moisturizer, you name it, and all I need to pack is any makeup I’d like to bring. I’ve heard of people having a to-go bag of makeup too, but that is less generic than cream and soap, and I rather pack each time.
- Packing cubes!: My family is tired of hearing me sing them lauds. I had seen people use them and thought that they were being extra. My friend gifted my husband some for Christmas, and I decided to whip them out to pack our little one’s clothes. I packed some of our clothes in those too, because we usually share our luggage and thought why not. I loved them! They kept our clothes and bags super organized. When it was time to get changed, we knew exactly where everything was. No more shuffling to get our pajamas!
- A mesh bag for dirty clothes: Before I used the packing cubes, I picked up from a friend putting all my dirty clothes on one side of my suitcase. Once we arrived at our destination, we used to empty out one side of the suitcase in order to put the dirty clothes away as we used them. My husband’s grandmother, an expert traveler, recommended that I use a mesh bag as a portable hamper, and even gave me one. It doesn’t take space when it is empty and will take whatever shape you need it to fit in your luggage. When you get home, you can open your suitcase and leave all your dirty clothes by the washing machine, or just dump it all in there (except for pants), a la Karla.
- Leave room for flexibility: Going on vacation with a tight checklist will not feel like vacation but like running errands. Select the things that are must-sees/dos, and leave the rest to possibility. This allows you to stop and smell the roses: you might topple into a community event or find a delicious ice cream place along the way that can turn into one of the highlights of the whole trip.
Do you have any traveling tips? Let me know! I’d love to enjoy my time away even more!