Why did the rancher give the pony a glass of water?
Because he was a little horse.
I am blessed to be able to say that my family does a decent amount of traveling. Throughout all these experiences I have streamlined a couple of pieces of advice that I follow myself in order to get the best experience possible. Hopefully you can gain something from them. Enjoy!
- Make a reservation for a meal after you arrive.
Airport food is generally overpriced and lack-luster. The best way to see a new city is to walk around and share a meal amongst the locals. Making a reservation before you reach your destination helps you avoid airport food and gets you a head start on exploring the city. Go to the hotel, drop off the bags, freshen up a bit and then either cab or walk to the restaurant.
This tip works especially well if you are traveling in a group because, in my experience, hungry stomachs don’t make quick decisions. Or if the hungry people do decide on a place to eat quickly, it’s probably not going to be the best the city has to offer. So research before your trip to save time and ensure that you all know where your next meal is coming from.
2. Pack “freshen up” items in a carry-on.
I’ve learned from unfortunate experience that you never know when the flight gods will decide a sacrifice is in order. It’s when you’ve watched the empty luggage carousel go around three times and everyone else from your flight has left that you wish you would’ve had the foresight to do this. You head over to the help desk and they assure you that they will get you your bag by the next morning. In the meantime though, your skin is dry, you smell like an airplane and your mascara is smudged – and if you followed the previous tip, you have a dinner reservation to catch. All you want is your tried and true (and travel sized) beauty products.
Having your go-to items in a less than great experience like this truly makes the difference in how you feel moving forward with the rest of your day.
3. Buy any tickets ahead of time
In this modern age of websites and apple pay, there are very few museums and attractions that don’t have systems for purchasing tickets ahead of time. You wake up in a fluffy hotel bed and look at your traveling companion and say “what are we gonna do today?” This tip helps cut down the time spent making a game plan for the day and helps make sure you really make it to the places you want to. Instead of waiting in line at the box office, you can spend that twenty minutes appreciating and exploring the attraction.
4. Always carry a camera, always.
With increasingly amazing cell phone cameras, this rule is easier to follow than ever but I still feel the need to say it. Walking around a new city you just never know what you will see. I cannot even begin to compile a list of the peculiar things that I captured in a photograph that inspire me to this day- a steamed up window, ironically placed graffiti, a kid looking in the window of a toy store.
Along with this tip comes the one to always pay attention to the small stuff. The way water pools at the bottom of a condensation coated glass, a crumbling brick facade, a man holding his girlfriend on the subway – inspiration and beauty is truly everywhere. Places that locals frequent tend to make it easier to see so I recommend checking out public transportation, marketplaces, and parks.
As a closing note, I just suggest to truly appreciate every moment while traveling. Don’t let egos, a missed train or bad weather spoil your mood because you never know when you’ll have the opportunity to be there again.