Spring is officially here which means the weekend warriors, sunscreen soaked tourists and everyone in between will be flocking to new and fun destinations in the masses- myself included. I am a sucker for a budget friendly adventure and can’t resist the temptation of a cheap airline ticket, bus pass, or the opportunity to carpool for a quick road trip. Spontaneous travel is my passion and somewhat of an artform at this point. Here is my list of top tips, tricks and essentials to make any trip a stress-free and enjoyable adventure.
- Plan “ahead”: Research your destination and create a “detailed” itinerary.
- “Planning ahead” and “spontaneous trip” sound like an oxymoron but trust me, you can find a ton of helpful information with a quick 5 minute google search. “Lonely Planet” is an awesome resource for this kind of research. “Detailed itinerary” should be interpreted loosely here. I tend to pick out one or two things I want to see or do (depending on my timeline) and leave enough room in the itinerary to take advantage of fun opportunities that present themselves at the last minute. This can help save you time and money and ensure you don’t miss any important attractions.
- Pack Smart: Only bring the essential and try to pack light.
- This is something I have been able to nearly perfect over the years. No matter the destination or the duration of the trip, I can pack it all into a small carry-on sized backpack. Trust me, it took some trial and error to get to this point. When you are unpacking from a trip, take inventory of the things you didn't wear. This is a great way to know what you could leave at home for the next trip. I always recommend packing neutral, solid color items that can be mixed and matched with almost anything. Comfortable shoes are always a must and finally, the most underrated travel essential in my bag; sunglasses! Shameless plug but Nectar Sunglasses are my go- to glasses. I swear they were made for me. They have a great selection of affordable, polarized sunglasses, eco-friendly frames AND a lifetime warranty- in other words, they are a traveler's dream accessory and perfect for those with an active lifestyle.
- Check the Weather: And then double check the weather again.
- Mother nature has a mind of its own and depending on your destination, you might be more susceptible to her mood swings, especially during the spring when many parts of the world start seeing more rain. Having things like an umbrella, poncho and light layers will help keep you comfortable no matter what the weather throws at you. Speaking of weather, Nectar Sunglasses has got this figured out as well. Did you know that there are different types of lenses that are designed for different lighting and weather conditions? It wasn't until I came across Nectars Lens Tech page when I found out the importance of the right polarized lens- who knew?!
- Stay Connected: (Or don’t- totally optional)
- Sometimes it's nice to disconnect. We live in a world with constant stimulus so when the opportunity to disconnect presents itself, I lean into it. However, at some point you will likely want to reconnect with the world so its always a good idea to have an extra charger or battery pack on hand.
- Stay hydrated and healthy: Pack pre-portioned snacks for a quick refuel option on the go
- One of the essential keys to enjoyable travel is feeling healthy! Travel can put a lot of stress on your body and your immune system so fueling yourself with healthy food and plenty of water can make a huge difference in the overall enjoyment of your trip. I like to keep things like granola bars and fruit (think apples, bananas, oranges) on hand for a quick and easy snack. I am all about accessories that serve a dual purpose (remember, I pack light so a 2 in 1 gadget speaks to my heart) One of my newest obsessions is this super cool “case koozie” by Nectar that doubles as a protective case for my sunglasses and a koozie for my cold drinks.
- Be Respectful: Show respect for the local culture and customs
- Respect goes a long way. Learning a few basic phrases in the local language, dressing appropriately and being mindful of local customs can really help you to connect with the local community and get a unique and authentic experience.
- Stay Safe: Your safety is your responsibility
- Safety is key! We all want to have fun but we want to stay safe too. Simple things like being aware of your surroundings, traveling with friends, trusting your gut, securing your valuables and researching crime rates in your destination are a few precautions you can take to keep yourself safe.
- HAVE FUN!
- Remember to enjoy yourself and try new things! Travel can open so many doors and opportunities. You never know who you will meet or what you will learn. Go into it with an open mind and embrace the experience.