I love packing. I don’t know what it is, but I just love it. Whenever my parents are going on vacation, I call my mom up and tell her I will help her pack. Here is my list of items you should NOT pack:
1. Hair Dryer - pretty much all hotels have this covered. There is no sense in bringing along your personal hair dryer. It takes up space and it’s just not needed.
2. Big Shampoo Bottles – if you’re a frequent traveler like myself, you can buy travel size containers to put your shampoo, conditioner, lotion, moisturizer, etc. I personally don’t like the hotel shampoos. I have naturally curly hair so I need my hair products. I transfer them into my travel sized containers. Less space and less weight.
3. Too many shoes - all you really need is one pair of good walking shoes and one shoe you can wear at night. That’s all you need ladies! No need for a carry on for just shoes.
4. Lots of clothes - If you think back to all the vacations you’ve taken, I’m sure there are a few items of clothing that you did not wear. You don’t need your full wardrobe. I went to Asia with just a backpack and small duffel bag as a carry on. This is what I took on my trip:
2 pairs of pants, 5 tops, two cardigans, and two shorts, a bathing suit and a cotton dress.
Some of the clothes I packed, I knew I wasn’t going to bring them back (I had planned to leave some clothes behind). This allowed me to shop for new items and not add more weight to my luggage.
5. Lots of books - If you can afford to get one, invest in an ebook or an ipad. It will take up less space and you have access to an insane amount of books.
6. Towel - I used to pack a full size towel whenever I went on vacation, but I no longer do that. If you want to use your own towel, I would suggest to purchase a travel size towel. I bought one for my Asia trip, just to try it out and it wasn’t too bad. It took up less space, and it worked. You can check your local outdoor store for travel towels. I purchased mine at Atmosphere. Or you can always air dry
If you have any suggestions of what not to pack, let me know. Would love to hear your suggestions!
Maybe one day, I’ll be like Rolf and not pack anything!
update: I did pack underwear and socks too…didn’t include that, but figured that’s a given!
The summer is almost over and I didn’t travel anywhere, except to Niagara Falls. My last “big” vacation was to Paris in 2006 - four years ago! I’ve traveled to Las Vegas, Cuba, NYC, Chicago and Orlando between 2006 and now but I don’t consider those my “big” vacations. My next “big” vacation, if all goes well, will be to Asia next year. Fingers and toes crossed man! I’m excited to go there, and haven’t really started to plan anything yet because I still need to get my finances in order. If you’re trying to save money for your “big” trip or dream vacation, here are some tips you can follow:
1. Cooking at home - I love, love, love to eat out but as you know, if you eat out too much it can add up and you start to break the bank. Plus, it’s healthier to eat at home, ’cause who knows what kind of ingredients are going into your food. This past weekend I went to a restaurant and ordered pasta and it tasted like they used ketchup as the pasta sauce with lots of salt. It was pretty nasty!
2. Have a separate account for travel savings – It’s just so much easier when you have a separate account for travel. It’s easier to keep track of and easier to see how much you’ve saved.
3. Borrow books and DVD’s at the library – I like to read and of course watch movies. The library near my house has a pretty good selection and if they don’t have what I’m looking for, I can always request it and they let me know when it’s ready for pick up. As I said in one of my earlier posts, it’s a great way to get all our travel guides..for free!
4. Smart shopping – Before I buy most things, I tend to have a conversation with myself “Do you really need this?” Most of the time I don’t, so I end up putting the item back. I’ve also started to buy things at garage sales and thrift stores. I bought a really cute black clutch purse at a garage sale for $1.00! Not only do you save money by shopping at thrift stores, you’re also being environmentally friendly! Think about it!
5. Get a Travel Rewards Credit Card – I still need to apply for one, but this is on my list of to-do’s. A travel rewards credit card is a great way to use your reward points towards hotels and flight costs. Click here to read more about it.
I’ve been thinking about applying for a travel reward credit card for some time now. I ALWAYS pay my credit card bills on time and getting a free trip with my points sounds good to me. You would think this travelhugger would already have one but I’m loving my free groceries with my PC mastercard. But I figured since I’m planning a big trip next year, might as well apply for a travel rewards credit card right?! So I did some investigating and I didn’t realize how many different travel rewards credit cards are out there. According to Rewards Canada, there are about 60 travel rewards credit cards. Now I don’t have time to research all 60 so thankfully Rewards Canada compiled a list of the Top Travel Rewards Credit Cards in Canada for 2010. Now I need to decide on which one to apply for…decisions..decisions…
p.s. if you’re planning on getting married next year, I would sign up for a travel rewards card ASAP and put all the wedding costs on the credit card. You could probably get a free honeymoon or a free flight for your honeymoon with all the points you will get. I would only recommend this to people who ALWAYS pay the full amount of their credit card bill on time. You wouldn’t want to call Gail from “Til Dept do us Part” to help you get out of credit card debt!
Do you have a travel reward card? What are the pros and cons of your card?
My parents are going to London in a few weeks and my mom emailed me to find out what is the cheapest way to travel from London to Amsterdam. I’ve never been to either of those places but I always wanted to go. So I hit the internet and started my search. My parents will be traveling from London to Amsterdam from Wednesday to Friday. Here is what I found:
1. Easy Jet - 88 £ each return.
2. Overnight Ferry from London to Amsterdam - I have heard that taking a ferry from London to Amsterdam is cheap, however this isn’t an option since my parents don’t have a lot of time. Some of the ferry operators include - DFD Seaway, Stena Line, PO Ferries . I did do a search on DFD Seaway just to see how much it would cost and it came to 80 £ each return. This price doesn’t include the cost of the cabin. You have to purchase that separately.
3. British Airways – 106 £ each return
4. KLM - 166 £ each return
5. CityJet - This was the most expensive – 300 £ each return
So it looks like Easy Jet is the winner! Have you ever traveled from London to Amsterdam? What was the cheapest way for you?
The one thing that I love besides traveling is home design/decor. I came across this article today about vintage travel posters by one of my favorite home design websites Apartment Therapy. I think this is a great idea for travel lovers. I love vintage and antique pieces. I forgot that I bought some vintage prints in Paris (time to find those prints and frame them!)
What is your favorite home accessory or piece of furniture you bought while on a vacation?
My good friend, littlebrownbride, asked me to do a blog post for her about planning a honeymoon. This is my very first guest post! woohoo! Thanks for asking me to do this post for your blog littlebrownbride!
Check it out here!
To all those coming from littlebrownbride, welcome to my blog! Feel free to subscribe and follow me on twitter @travelhugger.
Summer vacations have officially started which means a lot of women are looking for that perfect swimsuit for their body. Check out this article on choosing a swimsuit for your body type from one of my favorite magazines, Women’s Health.
If you have ever traveled to New York City, you know that the prices of hotels are insane!!! Check out these 6 new affordable boutique hotels.
We’ve all said it or told someone that they can crash on our couch. But what about allowing complete strangers to crash on your couch or stay at someones house…for free? Well if you haven’t heard of “couch surfing” then this is exactly what it is.
Couchsurfing.org is a non profit organization that connects travellers with locals all over the world. If you know me, I can be a bit paranoid so when I heard about this, I had to check out the website. I carefully read through their mission, vision and FAQ and I have to say that I’m pretty impressed. But I had to wonder, “Is couch surfing safe?” They answer this question on their FAQ page and this is what the say:
“Through CouchSurfing, it’s more like meeting a friend of a friend. You have the chance to read all about other members’ experiences with that person, whether positive or negative. You have a full profile’s worth of information about their interests and perspectives. You can see who their friends are and how they know them. And you have the ability to correspond with them as much as you want before you meet them”
So would this paranoid girl ever couch surf? Yes I think I will one of these days. It’s a great way to connect with a local and potentially meet a new friend. I love meeting new people from all parts of the globe. Plus it’s free and I’m all about the good deals!! And if you’re still not convinced, I would suggest couch surfing for a few days and then stay at a hotel.
Have you ever couch surfed or know anyone that has? Let me know, I would love to hear your story.
Check out Couchsurfing.org for more information
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