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  • Writer's pictureJulie Bassett

Top Travel Tips From A Travel Agent

Over the years, I have discovered some things that have made my trip more manageable and enjoyable. As a chronic traveller, there are a few items that I always bring with me "just in case". You never know when you might need them, and they can make your trip much more comfortable and enjoyable.

Wear your heavy clothes on the plane:

Wear your jeans, sweaters, jacket, and running shoes on your body when you travel, and pack a lighter set of clothes in your carry-on. Either change when you get through security or close to your destination. You will be amazed at how heavy these items are.

Enjoyable plane loading/unloading:

I love the cattle rush to the gate when the airline makes the boarding call for your flight announcement. Stay behind, have a coffee, and watch all the people standing uncomfortably in line for what seems like forever. I'm not suggesting that you leave the area, but why stand there when you can be sitting and relaxing? When the line clears, make your move.

I can guarantee that there will be someone who repacks their carry-on while their rump blocks the aisle, causing a backup in boarding. To avoid being this person, have everything you want with you for the flight already in your hands when you get on the plane; then, it is easy to toss the bag above and settle into your seat.

Night lights and Flashlights:

Some countries have unreliable electricity grids, and there are outages. No power means no charging of your cell phones, so having a LED battery-powered flashlight will be a lifesaver. Also, sometimes the resort, hotel, or destination will not have fully lit pathways, so having your own light source is handy and safer.

I would also recommend having a battery-operated or plug-specific nightlight for your room.

Photocopy Documents :

Whether you're heading to the beach, exploring a new city, or hiking through the mountains, you should always make photocopies of critical documents like your driver's license and passport. These copies can come in handy if you accidentally misplace your actual documents while travelling. Lock up your passport and visa in the hotel safe, and carry your photocopy. If the photocopy gets ruined, you know your originals are safe. Keep a photocopy of your credit cards, health cards and insurance cards, front and back. If you lose your cards, the photocopy has all the phone numbers you will need to contact the company when you get back to the hotel.

Don't underestimate the value of having cash with you. The worst thing to can do is rely on credit cards for everything. Although I use my cards where and when I can, there have been times when the credit card machine is down, or there have been reports of shady charges and your credit card is locked. Having cash can come in handy if you get stranded somewhere without access to an ATM, need to pay the bus fare, give a tip, or pay the airport fees that weren't previously accounted for.

On my must-have list is a roll of duct tape, zip tie, pocket multi-tool.

Not the large silver type, but the thin black gorilla brand type. This tiny roll of the versatile and endlessly helpful item can come in handy in many different situations, from repairing broken luggage to patching up leaky shoes or even making temporary repairs on your car if you get stuck on the road.

A few zip ties are also a welcome addition to the just-in-case list. These babies can be used for so many things yet weigh almost nothing!

The Mini pocket multi-tool is also a welcome addition. Eye glass screw loose? need to cut into a package? this little lifesaver can assist!

Ziploc-type bags:

I always seal my liquids in Ziploc bags, and I have zero worries about anything leaking in my suitcase. There is nothing worse than getting to the destination to discover that my toothpaste is all over my clothes.

I buy the extra-large size from amazon to bring home any alcohol I plan to pack in my suitcase. Just don't forget to claim the bottles when you go through customs!

Don't forget to leave room for souvenirs:

If you are at weight capacity when you leave home, you will be overweight on the way back, which can be expensive. To save money on souvenirs, look for the nearest Walmart. In places like Mexico, Walmart almost always has the souvenir junk at the front of the store for 1/3 of the cost that the hotel or airport asked. Also, they have a great selection of cheap alcohol.

The best things that I have packed reusable thermal glass, and a thermal coffee mug. Remember, it is hot if you go to a tropical location. these will keep your cold drinks cold while you frolic the pool.

If you love coffee or tea, your thermal mug will give you the freedom to enjoy a coffee or tea on the beach.

No matter where your vacation takes you, having things organized and knowing the insider tips will assist in the overall enjoyment of your trip.

Julie has as a passion for travel. This passion led her to become a TICO Registered Travel Agent. Ensuring that her clients have the best vacation possible is her primary concern. Her speciality is booking group events and weddings, but she is happy to book a weeklong, or weekend getaway as well.

All of this at no extra cost to you!

Contact her today:

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