Who is ready to get back out into the world?
Like many, we cancelled 2020 travel plans, but we hoped to resume normal travel in 2021. I did travel recently (July 2021) and Covid still impacted our plans. While that trip has inspired this post, my tips here will extend beyond the coronavirus.
Whether you are returning to travel or planning your first trip, I have some tips to share!
Safety – Personal safety is always a big concern for me and is something I’ve blogged about in a variety of ways in previous posts (links at the end). Obviously, Covid has only added to that. You have the right to protect yourself – physically, mentally, and emotionally. Masks are required in all airports, but restrictions at tourist attractions and businesses vary. Wear a mask if it’s a safety concern for you. Keep a distance. Use the hand sanitizer.
If you’re traveling by air, there have also been many recent instances of air rage. It is nice to sleep on the plane and keep your earbuds in. However, anything that limits your senses puts you at higher risk. As that includes exhaustion, you may need that sleep on the plane (it’s always about balance and measuring the risk). I just want to remind all to be aware and alert. Your safety is your right, but it’s also your responsibility. Yes, the airlines and many places have safety protocols in place. It is still your responsibility.
Expectations – We’ve all gone a little stir crazy over the last year and a half. Travel can definitely help inspire, heal, and relax us. I also consider it a magical experience on many levels. Unfortunately, it’s not magic all on its own – watch the expectations you put on your first trip mid/ post-Covid. It takes work to get the best from any trip and there are always bumps along the road (or turbulence in the air, if you prefer).
Part of being alert and aware is seeing what’s there and not just what you expect. While that’s pertinent for safety, it’s also relevant here. If your trip isn’t meeting your expectations, make a change. You might need to change those expectations – you might need to change your trip plans. I’ve had to do both and now actually schedule free time and rest days to make changing plans easier. Sometimes, planned activities don’t live up to expectations and there’s nothing wrong with abandoning that plan and doing something else! Sometimes, I just need to step away and remember what the trip is actually about and it’s rarely about getting annoyed with hotel staff, traffic, or fellow tourists.
Paperwork/ Admin – I’d like to remind everyone again to check your ID documents. If you’re in the US traveling internationally, some countries require not just a valid passport but also one with a certain amount of time before it expires. If you put off your trip for a year, that may be important.
As always, it’s up to us as travelers to comply with local rules and regulations (Remember that be alert and aware thing mentioned above? It applies here too). Covid has added some restrictions to that. Our states may not require vaccination proof, but wherever we’re going may do so. Check for yourself and double-check as the situation is always changing.
Another ‘always’ reminder – have paper copies of your travel documents. If you lose your purse/ wallet, you want to be able to show that documentation to make replacing it easier.
Packing – Yes, there’s always a divide on packing by rolling or folding and I’m not touching that one (who wants to talk about pineapple on pizza instead??)! I will say to check your actual travel bags. Weight is important and your bag may be heavier than you need even before you start packing. It may be time to update your bags and invest in something that suits your needs now. I prefer a backpack to a rolling bag – others do not. I do have a purse that prevents theft with reinforced linings. It has worked well, but I think I’ll be updating that due to the weight. The expanding sides to carry bottles is something I definitely want in any new purse.
I would also advise you to pack your clothing by day/ event. This helps prevent overpacking. Neutral colors and items that do double duty always make my list. Basically, I go for as light as possible though I do take more care when traveling internationally since shopping is harder. As one of my objectives for trips is to get outside my life a bit, I like leaving behind as much as possible and packing light.
Traditions – This one is a bit more fun and is definitely my favorite part! I’ve shared previously what I do with travel pictures, but I want to add to that. After multiple trips since 2013, some traditions have developed and it’s great to keep them going. I love taking cloud shots from the airplane. There are multiple foot shots in our travel books (straddling the Continental Divide, from a bench overlooking the ocean, etc). We also have a game of taking pictures of each other taking pictures! It may take a trip or two to find your own traditions, but do look for those opportunities. Plane shots are great for air travel, but city signs/ mile markers work for road trips. Repeating experiences on each trip work too – spa visits, Wal-mart stops, finding a chocolate store, etc. Create your traditions and enjoy making them work each trip…it’s like having a built-in scavenger hunt!
**Bonus tip: LEAVE REVIEWS** As an author, I know how important these are to the writer/ owner. As a traveler, I check reviews before making my tour and activity purchases. [If you are visiting the Daytona FL area, consider booking a boat tour with St. John’s River Eco Tours. We did the 2 hour nature tour – our guide was knowledgeable and funny so we had a blast while learning a lot.] If you think there are things you wish you’d known or if you’d recommend something to a friend, please consider leaving a review. You’ll help out your fellow travelers in so many ways!
If you’re a fellow traveler or want to be one, I’m open to your tips and your questions. Travel is important to me and I do not regret making it a goal and priority. I save money especially for trips and experiences and I love it. FYI – I do share pictures and a few trip details on my author Facebook page so feel free to check out my photo albums HERE. Travel inspires me to be courageous and adventurous in my daily life too. It has simply become part of me and I’ll continue to work at becoming a better traveler.
As promised, here’s the list of links to my earlier Rahki Travel tips as well as a few other related posts. I will keep the series going so expect more such posts!
If travel is still a dream for you, I may have a way for you to travel vicariously…get ready for shameless indie author self-promo! My contemporary fantasy series is called The Rahki Chronicles. The novels don’t just include my love of magical realism but also my travel experiences. This urban fantasy road trip has stops in Richmond (VA), Boston (MA), New York City (NY), San Diego (CA), and so many more cities. I don’t want to give away too many spoiler locations, but below is a bit more info and a link to check them out yourself.
Her teacher murdered. A gifted child orphaned. Ancient prophecies stained by blood. Can Mia Rayner become a warrior or will magic destroy her new life?
Check out the Rahki world HERE – Book 1 is only $0.99 for a limited time!
Whether your travel is fictional or real, safe and fun travels to all!