With the holiday travel season upon us, I thought I'd share with you a few travel tips I've learned, including some from our most recent trip to San Francisco (pics here). Hope any of you who will be jetting off soon find them useful!
the view from my airplane seat, arriving to San Francisco
Instead of booking a hotel for our trip to San Francisco, we used the website Airbnb to find a place to stay per the recommendation of one of my husband's co-workers. Through the site, we found a cute apartment in a great location and paid less than we would have for a hotel. This was our first time using a site like this and because we had a good experience, we will probably use it again for future trips.
Suitcases with four-wheels, a.k.a. spinners, are awesome. When I was in college I worked at a Samsonite store one summer and learned about all the different types of luggage. Ever since then, I told myself that the next time I was in the market for luggage, I would for sure get one with four wheels. I ended up getting a hardcase spinner and loved it. So much less annoying to travel with than those with two wheels. A four wheeler can be pushed alongside you instead of having to drag it behind you, and it doesn't topple over when left standing. Check outlet stores and discount stores like Marshalls, Ross and TJ Maxx for good deals.
Things to Take
Checklists are a great way to make sure you pack all the essentials. Ideally write one out a few days in advance. Doing this will allow you the time to add to the list additional random things that will inevitably come to mind later on. With checklist in hand, come the day before your trip, you won't be worrying that you're forgetting something.
Clothes & Accessories
Stick to a color palette and bring pieces that coordinate well with each other allowing you the option to mix and match. If possible, wear your bulkiest items on the plane so that they don't have to take up valuable suitcase space.
what I packed for my trip to San Francisco this past weekend
Don't forget to bring cash! I'm so used to using my debit and credit cards on a day-to-day basis that I forget that when I'm outside of my normal routine/area, there may be cases in which I need to pay with cash. While traveling, $1 bills come in handy for things like tipping and riding on public transportation.
While you can't bring water with you past the security check to carry on, you can bring an empty bottle with a built-in filter that you can use at the airport, and anywhere else you go during your trip. Do this and you won't have to spend money on overpriced water.
While waiting to board the airplane to head back home from San Fran, I was hungry and ended up buying overpriced not-so-good-for-you snacks to stave off hunger. Needless to say I wish I had brought more snacks along with me. Raw almonds, trail mix, and apple chips, are a few favorite healthy options I'll be taking along with me on my next trip.
Flight Delays and Cancellations
Keep your eye on your flight status. Ours was supposedly going to be delayed 2 and a half hours and so we went to go eat breakfast. It ended up being cancelled and had my husband not been keeping an eye on it, we would not have known and may have likely missed an opportunity to rebook on the next earliest available flight.
If your flight gets cancelled and the next flight is fully booked, book what you can and while you're waiting, hang out at the gate of the flight you'd like to get on. While we were waiting for our 11am SF flight, my husband and I hung out at the gate of the 10am SF flight. We sat close to the boarding area and service desk. After everyone boarded, the guy at the service desk came over and asked if we were on the 11am flight, said they had a few seats available on the 10am, and if we'd prefer to get on that flight. Yeeessss!
When we weren't walking or taking public transportation, we used a taxi to get around the city. The app Uber made getting one super easy. It detects your location and allows you to request a taxi (or fancier car) to pick you up within minutes. You pay with your credit card through the app, so you don't have to stress if you're not carrying cash.
Hope you found these tips useful. If you have any travel tips of your own you'd like to share, please share them in the comments section below!