5 Overlooked Travel Tips

1. Always carry your emergency utelsils spoon.

Hunger is likely to creep up at any moment and you must be prepared.  I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to eat a little yogurt but couldn’t because I was missing my tool.  I say spoon because it’s the most multifunctional of the utensil family.  As the King said in The King and I in reference to forks, “you pick up the food and it leaks”.

2. Visit local grocery stores for culinary delights.

I have a slight obsession with grocery stores.  It’s magnified when I travel and for good reason.  They are usually healthier than dining out (if you make the right choices).  They’re also cheaper for daily eats and souvenirs.  In Germany I found a macadamia  spread at DM that still makes me salivate at the thought. And when I visited Amsterdam, instead of buying my delicious stroopwafels from the gift shop, I found them for half the price at the grocery store.  The list goes on!

3. If suitcase weight and space are limited, wear your bulkiest, heaviest items aboard the plane.

This is one of the best ways to negate those exorbitant overweight luggage fees.  If needed, wear multiple layers even.  You might bear a resemblance to Stay Puft Marshamllow Man (Ghostbusters) but at least you will have $25-$100 more for grocery trips.

Stay-puft-marshmallow-man.jpg

4. Engage with Locals

(Disclaimer: Always be aware of your surroundings and take precautions to avoid danger.)

This has been and will always be my favorite part of travelling.  For some, it comes naturally.  But for non social butterflies, add this to your to-do list.  You’ll be pleased to learn the city’s secrets that are not always published in destination guides.  I attended my most memorable new year’s celebration in Lisbon. It came about by chatting with a man that sat beside me in the food court.  If nothing else, meeting new people always creates good fun.

 

 

5. Wander, wander and wander some more.

I have always found the best restaurants, boutiques, musicians and photo ops in unplanned journeys.  There’s something extremely satisfying about accidental astonishments.  The time my friend and I were roamed for hours in Venice but had our “meal of the year” at a nondiscript eatery.  The time in Madrid we searched high and low (to no avail) for a highly recommended vegetarian restaurant but decided on a place away from the clutter.  The paella pan was clean in 20 minutes.

Ok, so many of my examples are food-related.  I’m busted. But believe me, they are all handy and can be personalized for your own travels.

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