Travel Tips from Bianca Gonzalez

Got hit by the travel bug? Here are a few tips so you can enjoy your vacay!
by Bianca Gonzalez   |  Mar 13, 2010
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  1. Bring a Lonely Planet and a map!
    I really swear by Lonely Planet! Very accurate, great suggestions, very precise, and I highly recommend their three-day itineraries—especially for short trips. I also recommend their walking or bike tours!

  2. Best to ask a local!
    Try to ask friends who have been there, or friends who are locals, which is even better! It's great to be a tourist but also great to check out how the locals spend their time.

  3. Best to have a large, light tote bag!
    I swear by Longchamp as the best travel handbag! It's classic and stylish, but super functional. It's designer but not the type you'll feel bad about placing on the floor or a dirty table, its so easy to clean, too. Plus you can drop so many things inside that you might need for the day! It can fit your phone, wallet, shades, map, camera, alcohol, plus there's space for an umbrella or cardigan or even little items you shopped for! Best to have a zipper in your tote so your things are secure.

  4. Wear comfortable shoes!
    Especially in places that you will explore and walk around in, best to wear comfy flats, espadrilles, or sneakers! You can pack your dressier heels for the evening but for the day, wear flats!

  5. Bring a jacket or blazer with pockets as your main travel gear!
    I always travel—as in airport to airport—with a jacket with pockets because it's best to have your passport, pen, ID, and wallet in an easy-to-access place! Plus, it keeps you warm in the cold airports and airplanes!

  6. Learn local phrases!
    English is pretty much spoken everywhere but it's best to learn a few key phrases for wherever city you are going! Locals always appreciate when the tourists take that extra step to be warm and friendly.

  7. Pack using packing cubes!
    They're the best to compartmentalize your luggage! Super! Also if you plan taking day trips, you should pack a backpack in your luggage so that when you do go on that trip, you can leave your luggage in your hotel room or at the Concierge and just take the backpack for the day with you!

  8. Bring photocopies of documents!
    Photocopy your passport, visa, and ID's and leave them in your luggage so that in case of any loss, you have copies of your important documents.

  9. Separate cash!
    I also recommend not putting all your cash in one place, like your wallet. Separate some to be put in your luggage, or your hand carry, so that in case of any loss, you still have another stash.

  10. Learn to take public transport!
    Taking the cab is most convenient, but if you can, also learn how to ride the train, the boat, the bus, or whatever other mode of transportation the city has! It's one of the best ways to absorb the culture.

  11. Try planning your next day's itinerary the night before!
    Again, not to tie down yourself to certain activities, but more as a guide so you cover as much as you can, when you can. It's also good to leave space for something you might want do spur of the moment, or for even just sitting in a cafe watching the world go by.

  12. Take notes and take photos!
    As much as you can so you don't forget the little details about every amazing place you saw, thing you did, or food you ate!

  13. Always pack an extension cord an universal adaptor!
    So that wherever you are, even if there is only one outlet, you can still plug everything you need to plug like chargers! Always charge batteries at night so that they next day, you're good to go!

  14. Explore on foot!
    Be adventurous and go on foot and explore if you have free time. Meet people and look around if you have the luxury of time!

  15. Collect something in every city you go to!
    Whether it's a sticker or coasters or figurine or a kind of photo, do it! I collect tumbling shots. :p
    Tumbling in Japan
    Bianca tumbles across the Ginza District in Tokyo, Japan
Read more about Bianca's trips on her blog.
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Bianca Gonzalez
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