Things I wish I would have known before travel

March 29, 2013
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Looking back on our trip to Spain and Portugal, these are the four things I wish I would have done before leaving.

Pack lightly

You may think you need every pair of colored skinny jeans you own, but those pants will weigh down your bag fast. After lugging your suitcase through multiple airports, train stations and hotels, you’ll learn that less is more.

Wear your clothes multiple times and limit yourself to two pairs of shoes. Remember you’ll want to leave room for souvenirs, especially heavy items like olive oil and wine.

Worried about being smelly? Wash your clothes in the bathtub of your hotel room. Bring a small container of detergent from home to take care of the stench. Remember to wash your clothes early to give them plenty of time to dry.

Bring more converters and chargers than you think you’ll need

Chances are, something will get lost in transit. You’ll most likely need your electronics throughout the trip, so pick up an extra phone charger and converter when preparing for  the journey. It can be difficult to find chargers and converters once abroad, so it’s best to take care of these tasks before leaving. However, some hotels have extra converters guests can borrow.

Hands free is ideal

Invest in a large backpack with multiple compartments to use as a carry on bag. This will allow you to be hands free while pulling your suitcase through the airport, train station or wherever your trip may bring you.

Call your credit card company multiple times

Even though I called my credit card company before I left town, they still froze my card when I used it in Paris. Call them about three-four days before you leave and follow up the day before you leave. Make sure they understand you’ll be in multiple countries, even if you’ll just be in the airport for a few hours. With the time difference, it can take many hours to fix a frozen card.