5 years ago
The Guide to Rookie Travel
  • Posted Jul 30, 2014
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All your bags are packed, you’re ready to go. You’re standing there outside your door, you hate to wake up your roommate to say goodbye, but you forgot to book a shuttle for your red-eye.

We’ve all had our share of travel blunders, especially when beginning to travel regularly. Several security checkpoints and passport stamps later, you’ve managed to gain your wings and move up the ranks from bumbling beginner (remember overpacking?) to impeccable intermediate. However, you still have much to learn young Padawan, and I’m here to help!

The first rule of improvement? Learn from mistakes others before you have solemnly made.

 

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Packing more than the essentials

It may sound like a beginner’s problem, but even the most seasoned travelers falls victim to this travel faux pas. You’ve heard about how you should pick pieces that can mixed and matched, but what they don’t teach is the 2-3 rule. Each bottom should match two to three tops, since the latter are usually made of thinner and lighter fabric. And let’s be honest, we all wear bottoms more than once before washing!

One last note: Go easy on the accessories. Jewelry can tip your luggage over the weight limit. Pack one belt, two pairs of earrings, one necklace, and you’re set!

 

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Going sans-travel guide

No, I don’t mean picking up a friendly-faced José for your Argentinian getaway, or an Amir for that Moroccan escape. What you’ll need is pocket-sized or can be downloaded onto any mobile device. Once you’re checked in, log into the airport wifi and visit Lonely Planet.

They have an impressive selection of guides for an affordable price, with each one containing maps, information on history, sights, accommodations, dining, and nightlife. They also contain, my personal favorite, language guides which provide everyday words and key phrases necessary for travel.

Traveling on the last day

On a recent trip to Puerto Vallarta, my boyfriend and I made the mistake of choosing to stay overnight in Oaxaca and traveling to Mexico City the morning of our flight. Needless to say, Murphy’s law came into play. Though we still made it in time to catch our flights, I would have paid good money to skip the hassle.

Plan to be in the same city or, even better, near the airport on the last day of your trip to avoid unnecessary stress.

Now the time has come to leave you with this advice. Dream about the vacation days to come, confidently knowing that you will be prepared.

What are some other travel faux pas?

When does someone become an intermediate traveler, in your opinion?

 

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