Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Challenge: Share Your Top Three Travel Secrets

Boy, this blogging thing is really addictive! Even my mom is in on the act. You can check out her blog called "Weekday Rambler" by following this link there. I have been challenged by mom to share my top three travel secrets online. I'm not as well-traveled as mom, but in the past few years, I've managed to learn how to make travel a little easier. So without much further ado, here they are:

1. TRAVEL LIGHT: It's a real pain to drag around tons of clothing and shoes with you everywhere you go. When I travel, I wear as much clothing on the plane that I can and I bring versatile things that can be worn in layers to be comfortable in lots of different kinds of weather. Light weight sweaters and jackets with jeans are ideal. Also bring things you can dress up or down, and bring shoes that are comfortable and can be worn in a variety of settings. The only thing I don't really skimp on packing is clean socks and underwear!

I often can get everything I need for an overnight or weekend trip to NYC, for example, in my man-purse. I can maximize my sight-seeing time and museum time by just carrying my bag around with me all day without much extra effort. If you have a small enough bag, you can always check your bags or use train station lockers. In Europe, Dan and I also took advantage of the lockers at the train stations to store our bags for short day trips without an overnight stay.

2. EAT (and drink) LOCAL: Try as many local delicacies as you can. These are often the freshest and most delicious things in the area. I've had terrific and cheap wine from Luxembourg that never would have been available to me in the US. When visiting Seattle this past June, our friends took us to the farmer's markets and we picked up tons of fresh local produce and cheeses. The meal we prepared together was one of the most memorable of the trip. You can read about some of Dot's favorite places in Louisiana on her blog.

3. STAY WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY: Take advantage of the hospitality of your friends around the US and the world. Dan and I love having folks visit us from out of town. Taking time out of our schedule to be with them is a type of mini-vacation for us and we've found that our friends seem pretty happy for us to visit them too. Just be sure to pay for meals out when you are together or offer to help them cook and clean to be a gracious house guest. The money you save on hotel rooms will allow you to spend more on recreational activities and what better guides could you have to a new city than your friends!

Thanks, mom for tagging me on your blog and thanks Shanon for tagging my mom!

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