JourneyWoman readers share tips to make your travels a little bit easier
Curated by Breanna Schnurr, Editorial Intern, JourneyWoman
Travelling is no joke. Even for the most serendipitous of travellers, there is some aspect of planning one must do to ensure the basics are covered: places to stay, something to eat, and some way to get around.
For those who are plan-oriented individuals, more is to be considered. The budget, the packing, or the safety aspect of where you’re headed are just three of many facets of travel planning.
Luckily, JourneyWoman readers are always here to help. This month, we’ve curated a list of 15 tips from our inbound tips emails and our private Solo Travel Wisdom Facebook group that span from shower safety to itinerary planning that may help you have an overall easier travel experience. Thank you all for sharing your wisdom and experience!
(Please note: this article includes Amazon and other affiliate links, but we only ever recommend items we think are relevant for you and we’ve tried ourselves that will benefit you on your travels). If you decide to purchase an item through one of these links, we will receive a small commission that doesn’t add any cost to the purchase of an item.)
1. Shower Troubles Are No Joke
“If a shower is slippery, lay a bath towel on the floor and stand on it while showering. It helps.” — Mary H, Wisconsin, USA
You may also want to consider traveling with a light bath mat, like this one.
2. Struggling With Motion Sickness?
“My tip for those who suffer from motion sickness on a cruise or train. It’s simply easy… listen up! Grab a bandaid – place it over your ‘BELLY BUTTON’ it’s an acupuncture pressure point and it WORKS! Proven by my travel buddies.” — Denise C., Alberta, Canada
3. Protect your Eyes
“I like to travel lightly, so I use flat contact lens cases to store products such as face wash and moisturizer. If you are careful, one ‘eye’ can last more than one week.” — Michelle H., Canada
4. Transit Security
“For getting on/off buses, walking steps, etc…wear a pair of thin leather gloves (like golfing gloves) to give a good grip on hand rails/ Especially when warm and hands are sweaty.” — Mary H, USA
5. Make Space for Face Towels
“As the oldest one in the Vancouver Island choir, I wondered up front if I would be able to keep up with the other 39 people on the trip. For the most part, I did keep up, but took a break when the body said to slow down, as it did from time to time.
Things to remember: Take a washcloth with you. There are no facecloths in hotels there. Also, no tissues, have a few extra in your bag (like these ones).” — Joy F., BC, Canada who recently traveled to Spain
Heading to Spain? Here’s how to travel like a local.
6. Packing for Laundry
“Pack a foldable mesh laundry basket/bag into your suitcase. It takes up zero room, and makes a convenient hamper for your hotel room or ship cabin. Then when it’s time to pack up, you can leave the used laundry in the bag to keep it separate from clean clothes, and you can flatten it right into your suitcase. It takes up the same amount of room as before. I do this on every trip now, and I really find it solves a couple different issues.” — Laura P., USA
Looking for more packing advice? Check out our article on 11 things women don’t travel without.
7. Mexico in the Winter
“If you’re there over the winter take mittens, warm slippers and woollies. There is no central heating and it can get very cold at night!” — Anita E., Canada
For more general clothing tips, check out our article here.
Members of the JourneyWomen community share the surprising items they can’t travel without, like dry-wicking undergarments to cable ties.
8. Say Goodbye to Souvenirs
“Souvenirs eat up a lot of money and luggage space. You really don’t need to get them for adults or, if you feel you must, take photos you think people will find interesting and then print and frame them when you get home. I have a weakness for buying guidebooks at attractions as my souvenirs. I also buy fabric or a scarf.” — Katie H., USA
Check out other ways women splurge and save on travel by reading our article here.
9. Do Your Research
“Joining Facebook groups of the city(s) you are planning to visit ahead of your visit is helpful. Also, helpful during your visit. I was in Oaxaca Mexico for 3 months. The local site helped me to find a doctor, a dentist, transportation to the airport, festivals, parades. Really anything that you needed to know about the area, the rules, Spanish schools, tours, etc. I also made some good friends through the site, when they were visiting Oaxaca from the US and other countries.” — Sharon P., USA
P.S – A spot like our private JourneyWoman Facebook Group is a great starting spot for something like this.
10. Switch Up Your Eating Schedule
“Eat your main meal in the middle of the day (because, even in a fine restaurant, lunches are usually cheaper than dinners), take advantage of the free breakfast if your hotel has it, and snack at dinnertime — you’ll sleep better too.” — Paula L, USA
Our article, Seven Golden Rules for Eating Street Food, is a great spot to start if you’re wanting to participate in local culture.
11. Sniff Out Those Discounts
“If you’re over 60, sometimes maybe 55, make use of the seniors discount. I was in Spain I paid six euro for a seniors pass on the Renfe train system. It gave me up to 40% off any train tickets. This pass is good for a year. I’m sure other countries and cities have the same.” — Janice L., USA
12. Take Advantage of Germany’s Travel Ticket
“Just highlighting that in Germany at the moment (ends last day of August) there is a 9€ monthly travel ticket which enables you to travel anywhere, throughout the country and beyond its borders. It is a stunning initiative.
We have so far based ourselves in Berlin and travelled out to Brandenburg an der Havel and Potsdam, Frankfurt an der Oder, the Baltic Coast. We could travel further afield, down through the country, into Poland (not using ICE trains).” — Bettina G., England
Read about the beautiful Neuchwanstein Castle and a brief history of Germany’s castles in our article here.
13. Expect the Unexpected
“Flying is no fun anymore. The only way to make it feasible – in my opinion – is to keep a very open mind and be flexible. Expect delays or maybe even have a plan B ready for when A doesn’t work out. Also, on most planes to and from Europe, face masks are still mandatory and social distancing is encouraged. I managed to fly to Belgium from the US west coast and not get sick.” — Liesbet C., Belgium
For post-pandemic packing trips, check out our article with packing expert Anne McAlpin.
14. Triple Check Your Airline
“Online travel agencies don’t include all airlines. Be sure to check with those not on the list before you book your trip.” — Mary M., California, USA
Ready to take off? Check flight prices here!
15. Always Check your Itinerary
“It’s the planning that sometimes stymies me. Always end up with hotel reservations that are a day too long or a day too short when planning a complicated itinerary. I have to write it out day by day to make sure I have somewhere to sleep. This despite all the fancy electronic things. Planning my first entirely independent trip to Europe for September.” — Laurie L., Alberta, Canada
Struggling to plan your trips? Our article, Six Reasons You Should Use A Travel Advisor, shares the benefits of having someone help plan your trip.
If you have a travel tip you’d like to share, please visit our website’s submission page!
Even More Travel Tips
Travel Over 80 contributor Diana Eden shares her thoughts on why a river cruise might be the perfect way to travel for women over 80.
JourneyWoman readers share their recommendations for solo women to stay in London, UK, and tips for getting around the city.
An adventurous solo traveller shares her tips on ‘solo urban immersion’, when she travels solo to a new city for a month.