Travel Tips

Travel Tips for Successful International Travel

These are travel tips for international travel, but many can also be applicable to domestic vacations, too.  Of course the US State Department has a whole list of things that you should be familiar with before you travel internationally, which can be found HERE.

Here are some travel tips for your next vacation.  We’ve grouped them by importance.  These are all things that we’ve discovered from our own vacations.  Please let us know if you have any other suggestions for travel tips that we may have missed, or even if we’ve got something wrong.


Passport – When you go to one of the islands or Mexico or anywhere outside the US (Remember, your passport must be valid for at least 6 months BEYOND your RETURN date!!!)

Outlet Adapter – If you are going to a country that has different electrical outlets than the US.

Small Bills for Tipping – Even when going to an all-inclusive, there will be people along the way you’ll want to tip and you won’t always want to use the $20s you got from the ATM before leaving.

Sun Screen – Any place sunny, even if it’s a ski weekend.

Special Clothes – Some resorts have restaurants that require long pants, closed toe shoes, or even a jacket. Don’t show up with just a bathing suit and a pair of shorts because you’re going to a Caribbean Island.

Things to Consider Taking:

First Aid Kit – Consider taking a small first aid kit that should contain: Tums, Pepto Bismol, Anti-Diarrheal, Gas-X, over the counter pain meds, band-aides, antibiotic cream, scissors, aloe vera, hydrocortisone cream, and Allergy meds.  Of course this list isn’t meant to be all-inclusive and you may need to pack it with other things.  Most of these are usually available at the resort gift shop, but you don’t want to take a chance on them being sold out or even pay 10 times more for simple stuff.

Power Strip – We’ve found that taking a power strip makes things so much easier. With all the things that need to be plugged in to recharge like laptops, cell phones, battery chargers for cameras, e-readers, etc., trying to find enough outlets in a room is next to impossible. There are typically only one or two outlets that are readily accessible. If you need an outlet adapter for the outlet, then one adapter will give you as many usable outlets as your power strip has.  There are now some more compact power strips (ours is now a cube shaped unit) out there that even have USB connectors on them so you can just use a USB cable and skip the transformer that some devices use.

Short Cord Adapters – Not really sure what to call these, but you’ve probably seen the short electrical cords they sell so the big ugly transformers some things use don’t take up your entire electrical outlet or power strip. If you’ve got some big things to plug in, you might want to take a couple of these short cords, too. They also sell power strips now that bend all which ways so one plug won’t get in the way of the next one, so you wouldn’t need the short cords if you had a power strip like that.

Clothes Pins – Double use: When hanging things on your balcony to dry, clip the clothes to themselves so they don’t blow off. Also use them to clip the corners of your towel to your chair so it doesn’t blow down.

Small Sewing Kit – You never know when you might lose the button off your favorite outfit. Also, the needle can be used to reset electronics, like an e-reader.

Plastic “Ice Cubes” – These are made of plastic, come in all kinds of shapes, and are filled with a non-toxic liquid. You freeze them, then you can use them to keep your glass of white wine cool without watering it down. They’re easily rinsed off and re-frozen in the freezer section of the room refrigerator.

Insulated Cups – These are made of either plastic or metal.  The metal, double or triple walled cups are the best.  You can get it filled with a frozen drink, alcohlic or “virgin”, and keep it at your beach chair almost all day and it’ll stay cold.  And of course you need a straw, too.  Silicone or silicone tipped metal is the best.  You don’t want just metal with a frozen drink, the straw gets to cold to hold it in your lips!

Packing Tips:

Medications go in Carry On – Don’t take the chance of your medicine not being at your destination when you are.

Extra Clothes in Carry On – If your checked bag gets lost, at least you’ll have other clothes or a bathing suit while the airline is looking for your luggage.

Roll Clothes – Instead of folding your clothes to pack them, roll your clothing in tissue paper. Then pack in large plastic bags which can be “squished” down and sealed. This takes up less room and the clothes actually come out less wrinkled than if you fold them.

Tips for traveling with Children:

♦ Footwear – Have your child/children wear shoes that are easily removed and put on for the trip through security.

Food – Bring lots of little snacks.

Security – Have one parent go through security first, then the children, and then the other parent. This way a child can’t be stranded on one side of security while both parents are on the other. NO, the TSA won’t let you go through without the normal inspection just because your child is screaming on the other side.

Activities – Pack books, crayons, paper, coloring books, and small toys. Play quiet games like “I Spy”. Load the IPad with lots of games, cartoons, and shows, or a portable DVD player with shows/cartoons

Comfort – Bring a small pillow and blanket.

♦ Or leave them at home with their grandparents sealed