For all its beauty and benefits, travel can sometimes take a wrong turn. To help you avoid a trip you remember for the wrong reasons, we’ve assembled a list of tips to keep you smiling while you’re on the road. And who better to offer their secrets than Canada’s travel writers and editors?
5 Tips for Traveling like a Pro
#1) Pay for Premium
Lola Augustine Brown, travel writer and former editor of TravelMindset.com, says you get what you pay for when it comes to hotel stays. Sometimes it’s best to add a few dollars to the budget for accommodations.
“If you’re traveling with your kids, consider booking a room on the hotel’s premium floor which gives you access to complimentary food and drinks pretty much 24 hours a day, and various other perks such as a personal concierge to sort out all your travel plans,” she said. “It is a little more expensive, but can make your stay go a lot smoother, and make everyone feel like VIPs.”
#2) Kiss the Cook
Adrian Brijbassi, with the Canadian Tourism Commission and former managing editor of Vacay.ca, says booking a hotel with a kitchen space—no matter how small—can save the hassle and cost of searching for a breakfast spot in an unfamiliar town.
“More and more hotels are providing their own kitchens, a feature that many timeshare owners have long enjoyed. The benefit of having a kitchen—or at least a microwave and fridge—is that it gives you the option to further control your food costs. A trip to the grocery store soon after check-in will give you a stockpile of choices for late-night snacks or an all-out gourmet feast if you choose,” he said.
#3) Rehydration and Restrooms
Zebunnisa Mirza, travel editor of TheLoop.ca, offers some practical advice for that overseas trip.
“If you’re travelling through European hot spots, ALWAYS carry a water bottle in your purse. Nearly every restaurant will refuse to give you tap water and will charge you for bottled water,” she said. Mirza also has a tip for when nature calls.
“You’ll likely find yourself paying to pee at public bathrooms. If you’re dressed neatly and you ask very nicely, most hotels will allow you to sneak in to the lobby level bathroom for a quick pee break.”
#4) Strut Like a Local
Evelyn Hannon, editor of Journeywoman.com, heads to a grocery store when she arrives in a new city.
“I make a small purchase just so that I get a shopping bag with the store’s logo on it. To avoid looking like a tourist and to fit in, I leave my backpack at the hotel and carry my camera and maps in this grocery bag. Thieves are far less prone to steal my shopping bag than to grab my backpack,” she said.
#5) Doctor on Call
And finally, from yours truly, here’s a tip to avoid a trip to the clinic. You may need to extract a sliver (I used the tweezers on my multi-tool to do this for someone on this list), curtail the effects of an unexpected allergy attack (carry Benadryl) or tend to blisters on your trip. Invest in a small waterproof bag (Coghlan’s makes a variety of sizes) and stock it with antibacterial cream, tweezers, blister patches and tablets for what ails you. Never unpack it, keep it with your travel gear and toss it into your daypack for the adventure ahead.
What are your tried and true travel tips?
Shel writes about the outdoors, travel and food when she’s not playing outside, on the road or eating. Her recent adventures have included a trip to the tundra to serve as cook at a caribou hunting camp and making a long overdue journey to Ukraine with her dad Merv. She’s the founder of a group called the Manitoba Food Bloggers as well as an avid angler and hunter. She lives in Winnipeg with her husband Ivan and their son Clark. firstname.lastname@example.org