If you Google travel tips thousands upon thousands of links present themselves. When it comes down to it, most people have similar essentials. Personally, I love to see what people recommend you bring, even if I’ve seen it before. Here are three travel tips/essentials/must-haves that I never travel without.
Travel Credit Card
My first recommendation to someone who is traveling abroad is to get a travel credit card. Most credit cards charge a fee for foreign transactions, usually around 3% for every purchase. While it is always necessary to have cash on hand, it is important not to have too much. I prefer to use my card for things like restaurants, hotels, trains, and flights. There are tons of people that are obsessed with points and use them with extreme precision, but I will leave that to the experts! I really like it because it gets rid of the fee and has a simple point structure through my Bank of America account. The universality of the card, coupled with the physical money you don’t have to worry about keeping track of, saves endless headache. Finally, there is not yearly charge for the card. It exists much like any normal credit card, it just works outside of the states, not just in.
For the Plane – A scarf, jacket, wool socks (down comforter, personal heater, Sherpa blanket…)
The point is, planes are usually FREEZING – I write this on a flight from Las Vegas to Chicago and I can barely feel my toes. It is on my mind even when my home base is Vegas where thinking about feeling cold in the summer is ludicrous. While flying, especially for a long distance, I want to be comfortable, warm, and entertained. One of my favorite travel accessories for a long flight is a big scarf, those that basically double as a blanket are ideal. It serves many purposes, and can act as a pillow if need be or even an extra towel if the situation is dire. I am not someone who wears flip-flops on a plane, instead I wear a cozy pair of wool socks (or bring them in my bag). On this current trip I didn’t follow my own advice and paid the consequences. My standard outfit consists of sweatpants, leggings, or comfortable jeans (how someone can wear shorts on a plane is beyond me). Then I wear a light long-sleeved shirt and bring a sweater. The key is to layer! If I am traveling somewhere in winter I wear my heaviest coat and boots on the plane to save the space in my suitcase.
Global Entry / TSA Pre-Check
I got TSA Pre-check a few years back and it turned into some of the best money I have ever spent. For $85 for five years, you go through an expedited security line. It is often much shorter and you are not required to take off your shoes or take laptops out of your bag. It makes the whole process swift and painless. As someone who flies on average once every two weeks this is essential for me, but even for people who fly just a few times a year I think it is worth it. The only regret I have is that I did not get Global Entry as this goes one step further and includes an expedited process at U.S. customs. For only $100 you get both Global Entry and TSA Pre-check. I was not aware of it at the time so I just did the one. The convenience and time saved make both of these a great value.