3 Travel Basics – For the Beginner

3 Travel Basics – For the Beginner

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3 Travel basics for the beginner with a suitcase.3 Travel Basics for the Beginner


With summer quickly approaching, I thought it might be a good idea to outline a few travel basics for those of you who might be beginner travelers or those needing a refresher.

Now, I realize this is a very broad topic and can cover so much that I want to start out by saying that this is by no means an extensive list. Just a good starting point, that won’t overwhelm you, for those new to travel, those who have never traveled before or those who haven’t traveled for a while.

These tips will come in handy whether you are traveling domestic or international; by road, air, bus or train.


#1 – Carry Identification

Let’s start with this basic in itself: You should always carry some sort of ID with you. Whether it be a driver’s license, an identification card or a passport. You never know when you will need it. You may need it just to check into a hotel or if you’re traveling by air, you will definitely need it getting on an airplane. It’s always best to carry it with you.

Are you are worried about losing it or it getting stolen? There are some great items on Amazon like this money holder which is always great to have as a just in case. (One extra note – I would suggest getting one with RFID protection.)


#2 – Wear Comfortable Shoes

You will probably be walking a lot during your trip. Whether it’s simply around the airport, bus terminal, train station or back and forth from the car to the gas station/lodging. Wearing comfortable shoes is a must!

If you will be needing dressy shoes during your trip, pack them. There is no need to dirty them or to be uncomfortable. If you will need them when you arrive at your destination, pack them. Pack them where they will be easy to get to, but pack them. You can always slip them on in the car, airport or a bathroom.

And don’t feel embarrassed to be wearing comfortable shoes with a dressier outfit. Nobody else cares – trust me! And you’ll be a happier traveler in the long run.


3 Travel basics for the beginner with a suitcase.

#3 – Pack Light

Packing light can seem like an art form to some but there are ways to do it.

Here is my tried and true method, in regards to clothing at least:

Put out all the clothes you think/know you’ll need. Then, half that! Yup, it’s crazy, right? Well, hear me out.

When I suggest you half what you’ve put out, do you have bottoms and tops that go with each other? Will that blue t-shirt go with several different bottoms you want to bring? Will jeans/khakis go with multiple tops? Get the idea?

There is no reason to have a completely separate outfit for each day. Unless, you know your clothes are going to get that dirty or that you will not be able to re-wear any items. Not only that, but no one else is ever even going to notice that you have worn the same shirt twice or same pants twice.

Now, if you just aren’t going to be able to do the ‘halving’ technique then may I suggest Space Bags. I love them so much! Not only do I use them for travel, I use them at home for packing winter gear during the summer and summer gear during the winter. You get the picture.  You will get much more into your suitcases with them than without. With that being said, be careful. With the extra space you may be tempted to pack more, please don’t.

Get my free Never Forget Anything Again Packing List.

In terms of other items (toiletries, snacks, etc.), I say pack what you can as long as the bag isn’t too heavy to carry for some distance. Even if you plan on using a porter, a friend, your significant other.

I’ve read lots of places to just buy what you need when you get to a place. And if you’re comfortable with that by all means, go for it.  I, on the other hand, like knowing I have everything I need already packed. I don’t have to worry about how or where I will be able to get the other items. You never know when you might not be able to get to that place you know will have your shampoo, you know?

*If you noticed, I did not say to plan ahead, in terms of once you’re at your destination. While I would definitely suggest having a loose itinerary in your head or written down, it’s not always ‘mandatory’ to have everything planned down to the minute. For one thing, that will set you up for possibly more stress since things will not always go as planned. Think of that as part of the fun of travel and you will be on your way to having a great trip.

Now, I will be the first to tell you, I like to have things planned, maybe not down to the minute but planned. O.k., maybe planned is the wrong word – researched is probably a better way to state it. I like to have all my options mapped out and everything thought out. I probably go a little crazy with it but I like to have contingency plans. And I do feel like, if you just make it up as you go along you may not get anything accomplished.

Case in point: I traveled to Vegas with some friends a few years ago. Half the group just wanted to ‘plan’ it as we went. Needless to say we saw one show because that had been planned. Everything else we tried to go do we would always miss it because we were off with times. The trip was relaxing but I feel like, especially if you don’t know if you’ll ever make it back to that place again, it was not productive.

So research, and plan what you must or will, but be prepared for hiccups along the way.

With these basics, as a beginner traveler, you will be well on your way to becoming a seasoned traveler!

Do you need more help? More information, suggestions? Please just let me know and I’ll be happy to help how I can!

And/or check out this post:

How to Pack

Enjoy your trip!!!!