So you’re heading off on a trip, and the first thing you have to do, is figure out how to pack for it! I know you want to pack your entire closet, but before you start pulling everything off the hangers, look at your clothes and start planning outfits. You don’t have to know what you’re doing every day of the trip, or any days at all, but if you coordinate outfits you can utilize certain pieces multiple times and avoid packing that adorable jacket that actually matches nothing else and you never end up wearing.
2. How to dress for travel-
You’re finally all packed for the trip, but all of a sudden realize you don’t know what to wear on the plane. To get over seas, you have a long overnight flight, and then usually almost a full day of travel in Europe to get to your actual destination. So, although you might be tempted to, you don’t want to dress in sweats like a bum. Americans stick out like sore thumbs from our bad travel dressing, but you also definitely don’t wanna wear heels cause that’s just not worth it. Also don’t travel in flip flops, spaghetti straps, or with your stomach hanigng out. You want to stay appropriate for all circumstances, and you never know who you will meet along the way. A good outfit would be: stretchy thick tight pants. A loose fitting shirt that hangs below your bum and doesn’t show cleavage, a sweater that you can use as a blanket or pillow on the plane, combat boots, if you’re traveling to a cold destination. Make sure you pack or wear a cute beanie and finger gloves so your hands don’t freeze pulling your bags along the open train tracks. Also make sure you have on you’re most comfortable bra and undies as you will be wearing them for at least 24 hours straight.
3. Phones, Cards, Passports and Power- Before you leave there are a few things you need to do. The first is to call your credit card company or go online and let them know you are leaving the country. The second is to make a plan for your phone overseas. The third is to make copies of your passport, social security card, and credit card, then find a cute passport carrier that you can keep on your stomach at all times.
4. Check your carry on bag at the gate-
Even though you feel as if you’ve packed nothing, somehow you filled your checked bag to it’s 50 pound limit, and still need to squeeze a couple must have items, but don’t want to check a second bag ( many international flights will allow one free 50 pound bag, but your second bag will cost between 25-75 bucks that you would much rather spend on creme de brule and a new scarf ) So pack your rolly bag with items that can go under the plane, and volunteer at the gate to gate check your bag. Overhead space fills up quick, so they will thank you for gate checking and you might even get pre boarding from it! Also you can usually choose to either have your bag gate checked through to your final destination, or pick it up from the runway at your next stop.
5. Layover entertainments-
So you’re stuck in an airport, and you don’t have time to actually leave the airport, and you’re bored, so what do you do? Basically, you will never see any of these people ever again, so capitalize on that! Ask a random person where they’re from, explore the airport shops, try on rediculous outfits, run up the down escalator, take a photo looking like you’re holding a plane, pose mirroring one of the adds on the wall.
6. Freshen up while you’re traveling- You’re taking photos during your layover and realize you look awful. Your face is dry, your mascara is smudged, and you don’t have your make up with you, HELP! don’t panic, find the airport duty free store and sample some face lotion, mascara, lip gloss, and bronzer. You might even find a new product you absolutely must have and the good news is duty free means tax free! So sure! Grab that tinted lip balm with SPF in it so you can look girly and not burn your lips off playing outside.
7. Be careful who you except help from-
Different places have different ideas and customs about offering help. For example, in Milan, If someone offers to help you they will expect payment, and won’t leave you until you have payed them, sometimes people will even grab your bags without asking and then look at you for a tip. In contrast, while traveling in Switzerland if someone asks if you need help, they will be insulted if you offer to tip them. So make sure you know the customs of the place you are traveling in before you accept someones help.
8. You don’t have to book your public transportation tickets in advance-
You got to Paris, and now want to head over to the Swiss Alps, but you didn’t plan that into your trip, and you know the train tickets are going to be so expensive because you didn’t book them in advance, WRONG! It is more expensive if you buy your ticket on the train, but as long as you have your ticket printed out before boarding it’s not more expensive day of then months in advance. To book your tickets you can go onlilne to a train travel site. Find the time table and connections that work best for you, you can book your tickets online, but if you don’t have a printer, just look up the times, then go to the station day of and book either through a desk, or a keyosk just like American commuter trains. Be aware that sometimes, American cards do not work online, but you should be fine at the station.
9. How to get over jet lag-
The biggest thing to change time zones is to eat at the appropriate times for the country you just arrived in. Even if you’re not hungry, eat, and if you’re starving but it’s not the time to eat in that country, have a teeny tiny snack but that’s it! The second, is to get in bed at bedtime. Even if you’re not tired, just lie there, maybe read, and wake up at the right time. Don’t give in to jet lag and use it as an excuse, just get your booty out of bed and go exploring, you’ll jump time zones within a day and be set for the rest of your trip.
10. Basic Phrases to learn in every language-
It’s important whenever you travel to learn basic phrases such as: yes, no, please, help, sorry, I only speak English. You might think if you say I speak English in English they would get it, but a lot of people find it rude if you only speak English in their country, so at least if you make the tiniest effort to speak their language they will warm up to you immensely.