Cheap Family Holiday Tips For Summer

With the rising temperature of summer season, rises the boredom, stress, frustration and the will to take a break from our everyday lives. But for most of us this ‘Break away trip’ is merely a recurring summer dream. Every year, thousands of people actually travel places to spend their summer holidays, and a hundred thousands who just reach as far as estimating the tour’s budget. It is true that a vacation trip is going to cost you a considerable amount of money but keeping a few things in mind will cut down that cost to your budget.

Hotels-Fairy.com has found out that a lot of expenditure on a summer trip is an unnecessary amount of money that people pay because they make a few mistakes in planning the trip. We have come up with few tips for you on how to cut down on those unnecessary expenses and realize your dream of a relaxing summer holiday.

1. Find a Hotel Yourself

What most of the holiday seekers start with is by contacting travel agents and then acting according to what they suggest. This limits the choice and flexibility in your vacation plan. You should do your homework yourself. You can find all kind of information online. Check out every possible hotel and then do the hotel price comparison yourself. A cheap hotel will still serve a good accommodation and you’ll have a lot more to do with your money.

2. Find the Perfect Deals on Hotels

Off season or high season, almost every hotel offers some kind of special deal for the customer. These deals on hotels can be a cut-cost, special passes to other activity areas or a special discount due to any reason. There are many last minute deals that are amazingly cheaper than booking in advance. Doing your research online can find you many such deals on hotels. You should find as many deals on hotels as you can, then again do the hotel price comparisons. You’d be amazed on how much more you can get in a much lesser cost.

3. The Right Time to go

You may not be able to find a perfect deal on hotels unless your timing is perfect. Now if you can’t go to a totally off season vacation, which however is the cheapest option, make sure that you plan your vacation during the very beginning or very end of the high season.

4. The Hard Cash

You know how hard earned your money is. Try to save every single bit of it. Use of Credit cards will cost you quite a few unnecessary pence each time. With the hard cash, you know that you are paying exactly what you need to pay. Another advantage of using this strategy is that you will refrain from going out with too much cash in your pocket and hence save a lot by not being able to do useless shopping.

5. Know your destination

You know where you are going. You know when you are going, you are done with hotels price comparison and you have chosen the best affordable deals on hotels. Now what is left is to get a little pre-acquainted the place you’re going to spend your next few days with.

Avoid wasting money and time going to places where you don’t have to. The secret again lies in doing your research before leaving. Find the attraction you really want to visit and save your money from getting wasted on unworthy places.

Self Catering Holiday Tips

If you want to go on a self-catering holiday, there are some specific things that you can do to make it better and easier for you. First, you want to make sure what cottages and other arrangements are available where you want to go. If a fancy, full-service hotel is in the same price range most people would want that instead. However, not everyone feels that way. Some people want these self-catering cottages because they can accommodate a lot of people so an entire family or big group of friends can stay together without being split up into a bunch of different hotel rooms. This is rather important for most people. Find out before you book something, how many people it can accommodate and whether you can get it for the time you want for a good rate.

 

Depending on when during the year you’re planning on taking your holiday, you might find that you can move it by a couple of weeks and get a much lower price because you will have moved into the off season for tourism. If you can go during that off season you can get lower prices and sometimes other added benefits that you wouldn’t be able to get otherwise.

 

You should also be sure you understand what ‘self catering’ actually means so that you can be prepared for your stay and bring anything that you need to have with you. You don’t want to show up unprepared for your holiday, because you could end up having a bad time. If you have pets that you’ll be bringing (a lot of people like to travel with their dogs, for example) you’ll also need to find out whether they will be welcome there, if you need to pay extra, and if there are any special rules or regulations that go along with bringing a pet on your self-catering holiday. Get those things out in the open so that you don’t have a nasty surprise when you arrive and are expecting to relax. You should also do a little bit of research into the area, so you know where you can go to eat and what you might want to see while you’re on holiday.

Travel Tips – Packing Your Suitcase without Stress

The thrill of planning a trip will often light you up and consume all of your time. You look through guidebooks, talk to friends about their experiences, and research your itinerary on the internet. Still all this planning and research will not make the task of packing any less daunting.

Who hasn’t stood at the foot of their bed with empty suitcases spread on top, the

night before a big trip, filled with anxiety because you still haven’t packed?!?! You

try and try to think about exactly what you should be packed, throwing things in

and then taking them out. And you wonder, why didn’t any of the guidebooks give

you any advice on packing?

Well, hopefully this guide will help you, so that you can confidently pack and enjoy

the moments leading up to your trip, rather than being stressed over the contents

of your bag.

Luggage – I recommend taking one carry-on and one checked suitcase.

Shorter trips may allow for a carry-on only, but I would never take more than one

checked bag no matter how long you are traveling. Remember, when you get to

your destination, you will need to carry your luggage and you don’t know how far

you’ll be lugging it. While we’re talking about lugging your luggage… I would

recommend selecting a suitcase or pack that had wheels, but that you can also hand

carry. There are many varieties of large backpacks with wheels. The reasoning is

that if your wheels break off (a common occurrence along cobblestone streets), you

will still be able to carry your pack.

Shoes – Bring a pair of sneakers (or boots) for outdoor activities such as

hiking, and a dressier pair of closed-toe shoes for museums, dinner’s out, or other

city activities. If you are traveling to a hot locale, then also bring a pair of sandals

that can go from beach to dinner. Resist the urge to bring 10 pairs of shoes!!! As

someone who loves shoes, I always want to pack a wide variety… but we must avoid

packing too many shoes! They take up space, are heavy, and are an unnecessary

addition.

Shorts – When traveling to a hot climate, shorts are often considered a

requirement. Still, remember that in many cultures shorts are not considered

acceptable. For example, many museums and churches such as the Vatican will not

allow you to enter if you are wearing shorts (or have exposed shoulders for that

matter). Bring only a pair or two of shorts, and make sure that you have other light

weight options for hot weather.

Basics – Bring enough socks and underwear to last for every day of the

trip (up to two weeks) so that you will not need to do laundry. For longer trips,

understand that you will likely need to do laundry on the road if you do not want to

bring ridiculous amounts of luggage. As far as shirts, pants, skirts, and the rest…

Bring clothes that could be worn during the day or at night, and as a general rule

bring half as many items as you have days. Wearing items twice should be no

problem, and you will significantly lighten your load.

Rolling – To avoid wrinkles and use your precious packing area to the

max, fold your clothes in half (in the long direction), then roll as smoothly and

tightly as possible. When you arrive at your destination, your clothes will unroll

wrinkle-free. Stuff socks and underwear into your shoes and carefully place the

shoes on top of the rows or rolled clothes.

Toiletries – Bring all of your toiletries in travel size containers. Full size

shampoo bottles add unneeded weight to your pack. After selecting your toiletries,

place all items into zip-lock bags. If a bottle bursts during travel, you will be much

relieved to have the protection. If you are bringing make-up, keep it to the bare

necessities, avoid bringing extras like eyelash curlers. Any prescription medication

should be accompanied by the actual prescription and if possible, a note from your

physician. Keep the medication, as well as your toothbrush and toothpaste in your

carry-on, just in case your luggage is lost.

If you follow these basic packing rules, you will find that the process of packing and

carrying your luggage will be much easier. Additionally, you will be able to enjoy

your travels much easier knowing that you have brought what you need, but can still

carry the load.

Enjoy your trip (and your packing!)!

What Tourists Should Know Before Going To Puerto Vallarta

If you are in search of a location to vacation in, consider travelling to Puerto Vallarta. This city lies on the Pacific Coast of Mexico, and it is a favorite vacation destination for those who wish to unwind or indulge in a variety of adventures.

Getting there and around

Many visitors ride planes to go to the city. The Gustavo Diaz Ordaz International Airport can be found at the north of the city center and many major US airlines conduct flights to and from the city. From there you can opt to use a taxi cab or hire private transport. Buses are also not hard to come by. Vallarta’s yachts, boats and water taxis can bring you to different gorgeous beaches.

Places to see

Vallarta is considered as one of Mexico’s most beautiful resort destinations. One of the most remarkable areas in the city is the Banderas Bay, which is one of the largest and deepest worldwide. Puerto Vallarta also has a growing number of cultural points of interest. The Museo del Cuale for instance has gorgeous pottery and clay figurines. No trip to the city is complete Jardines Botanicos de Vallarta. This facility houses numerous types of orchids and wild palms, and in there, you may find butterflies and hummingbirds flitting by from time to time. If you just want to rest, Vallarta has miles of sweeping golden sand beaches.

Things to do

The city provides a number of activities and excursions to keep you occupied and delighted. You can try whale and turtle watching, go on nature trips, visit the Sierra Madre, and experience many aquatic sports. If you’re up for it, the city is also offers canopy walks and zip lines. There are also many dining and shopping establishments to visit. Different options to rest are also readily accessible. Spas, for instance, are a fixture in many locations in the city.

Accommodation options

Accommodation facilities in Vallarta vary from well-known international hotel chains to more economical bed and breakfasts. For extended stays, you can also select from the city’s condominiums and apartment villas. Many of these accommodation facilities can be reserved on the internet.

The best time to visit

Peak season is December through April so count on seeing more expensive accommodation fees during that part of the year. The perfect time to go to Vallarta is between late June and October when hotel fees drop up to 40% and there are fewer people to compete with for various tourist services..

Accepted currency

Most establishments in the city accept US dollars as readily as they take the local Peso. Understand though that the exchange rates available at money changers are less favorable than what are available from the banks.

Packing Tip: Road Trip With Friends

We got this question from a Travelista who is going on a super fun road trip this summer with two of her friends. She wanted to know how she and her fashionable (read: overpacking!) friends could pack better and with only one weekend bag each. They also would have access to a laundry facility. Luckily, I had just experienced this with some friends and have some great tips to share.

1) Sharing means caring. Bring pieces that you can all share and that go together (if you have similar style and are similar in size) – it’ll triple your own trip wardrobe! Make sure your colors are coordinated, too. The beauty of that is that you will each look different and have your own flair with every piece! Plus, it gets your creative juices flowing. Shoes take up the most room, so if you have the same size, expand your shoe choices by sharing them, too.

For example, I shared a light boho blouse with my friend Jenn – and no one was the wiser! We wore it differently and for different occasions, so with one piece, we expanded our outfit choices in a snap. It almost made a complete round when our friend Eva considered wearing it over a very light black romper and letting it hang off the shoulder.

2) Keep it simple. Wear pieces that are interesting enough in detail but have simple silhouettes. That way you can layer them together or just add accessories (hat, scarf, funky sandals, etc.). A cool off-the-shoulder top in a square shape could go with jeans, shorts or a skirt or over a tank dress. Shorts with a subtle but fun pattern make your outfit more interesting but look different with different tops (plus you can dress them up or down).

3) Double (or triple) up. I have a fabulous scarf from Urban Outfitters that I use as a shawl at night, a scarf on the plane, a sash around a maxi dress, and a sarong on the beach (you might be able to get away wearing it as a skirt, too!). It’s a wide scarf (probably about two feet in width but looong enough to wrap around my waist, neck, etc.). I also have a tube skirt from American Apparel that can act as a skirt, tube top, or tube dress for night or day. You can layer a cool button down or oversized tee over it for day or dress it up with your scarf at night.

4) Accessorize! A hat changes an outfit in a second as does a scarf and the rightjewelry. Don’t forget your bathing suit and that you can actually wear it underneath your clothes like tanks (if you are going somewhere with a beach and it’s okay to expose the top a little).

A fedora is the perfect piece to add polish to any casual beach outfit.

5) Plan your pieces. Bring at least one skirt, one sundress or tankdress, one pair of shorts, and one pair of pants (including leggings, jeans, super-light summer pants or cropped pants). You will be wearing one of those at any given moment, so it’s not much. Top-wise, I would recommend a cool button down, a cardigan or light jacket of some sort that goes with everything, two comfy/funky tees, a tank, and a blousy top that can dress up shorts or loosely go over a tank dress. For feet – low-wedge sandals (dress up or down), casual flat sandals, and Toms slip-ons.

6) Bring only one of everything. Share hairdryers, flat irons, shampoo, etc. I always find that at the end of the day, these are things I pack last and don’t have room for!

Six Tips For Enjoying the Holidays Stress Free

Life in and of itself can prove to be very stressful at times,however, more often than not the holiday season can stir up quite a lot of stress. For most of us, the holidays includes too much time fighting traffic, spending way too much on our credit cards, entertaining relatives and pretending to be thrilled when we receive yet another George Foreman grill. It’s no wonder that in an effort to pull off the perfect Disney holiday you might find yourself facing an overwhelming array of chores, shopping, baking, cleaning, etc. and you have to manage to get it all done either on your days off or after work. This year, you can make it a point to enjoy the holidays more by simplifying some of the work, while maintaining what makes the holidays special: The Love and fellowship with friends and loved ones. Here are some tips to help you cope with, or even avoid holiday stress:

ASK HELP FROM FAMILY AND FRIENDS Putting up a Christmas tree and other decorations can be exhausting. Asking family and friends to help is one of the best ways to save energy and have a beautifully decorated home for the holidays. If everybody in your family gets along, consider yourself blessed. But if your family is full of friction, the holidays can become very unpleasant. You can clear the atmosphere by involving everyone in the planning and decision making. Make it a party. Serve food and refreshments and have fun.

GO EASY ON ALCOHOL A stiff glass of eggnog can be a good way to toast the holiday, but don’t go overboard. Too much alcohol will only add to your stress.

KNOW YOUR SPENDING LIMIT Much of the stress of the holiday season comes from feeling pressured to buy bigger and better gifts for those we love, even if this puts us in debt. If you are a Grandparent like I am, this can be an especially challenging temptation. Expensive gifts won’t guarantee a happy holiday. Even children will be grateful for moderately priced gifts that are chosen with care.

START YOUR HOLIDAY GIFT SHOPPING EARLY People sometimes postpone holiday shopping until the last minute, but shopping early you can avoid the stress of dealing with crowded stores and parking lots, traffic jams,cold, snowy weather,etc.

DO YOUR SHOPPING ONLINE Shopping for gifts online is an ideal way to buy gifts for friends and family. You can check your list and see how many gifts you can purchase at the same online gift store, and try to get all of your shopping done at once. Many gift store websites offer great sales and discounts, especially during the holiday season. Don’t stress yourself out wondering what gift to get for someone who has everything. You can purchase Gift Cards in different denominations, place them in a Christmas greeting card and you have the perfect gift for people of all ages.Save money, save on gas, and shop from the comfort of your home.

KEEP MOVING Exercise is always a great stress reliever. Instead of watching It’s a Wonderful Life for the 100th time, grab your favorite cousin and go for a brisk walk.It will improve your heart health and it’s a great way to shed those extra calories from eating too much of Aunt Mary’s German chocolate cake.

I hope this holiday season finds you happy, healthy, calm and peaceful. Give these tips a try, and I guarantee you’ll have less stress and more fun!!

Happy Holidays!!

Top 23 Travel Tips For Taking A Summer Road Trip

Planning a summer road trip this year? Do movies like RV and Family Vacation not scare you from the adventures that could await you on your cross country trek? Before you go, make sure you check off these top 23 travel tips.

  • Look at maps and plan your route. There are many great online maps that do a HYBRID map view showing real streets and routes with satalite images. Knowing the location, and how it looks, by viewing it from space is both cool and very helpful, so you won’t get lost.
  • Research the roads you’ll take. You’ll especially want to know if you’ll be traveling through areas of major road construction. The maps mentioned above are a little dated. Some new roads and maps will not have current, realtime data, bring physical maps, like ones you could buy from AAA along.
  • Make estimates of travel times along the route, so you’ll have an idea when you’ll be at certain points on your trip. This will help you to plan rest and meal stops. It will also help you plan to avoid traveling through a major city or area of road construction during rush hour.
  • Get the car checked, especially the filters, belts, fluid levels and have the oil changed. Don’t wait until the last minute, it may take time to get an appointment and parts may need to be ordered. You also want some time to drive around town and make sure that whatever they fixed stays fixed. If you vehicle is ‘mission critical’ and could die at any moment, DON’T take it with you, borrow a friends car instead.
  • Check the condition of your wiper blades, both front and back windows.
  • Check the operation of your turn signals, brake lights as well as the high and low beams. Bring some extra fuses along.
  • Examine the tread on your tires. Consider mountain driving in winter conditinos on snowy peaks. Make sure you have chains or 4×4 traction for icey roads, out of season. Or try a different route.
  • Make sure your car is prepared for the weather it will encounter on your trip. You might need more antifreeze or need to recharged air-conditioning when you go through the desert.
  • Today, many cars have fancy wheels instead of hubcaps. These wheels usually have a lock to prevent them from being stolen. If you have a car with wheel locks, make sure you know where the key is stored (often with the jack). Otherwise, a flat tire will become a major problem since you won’t be able to get the wheel off the car.
  • Get your car cleaned. You’ll feel better in a clean car.
  • Pack an emergency kit in your car. Include motion sickness medication if anyone in your group suffers from it. Remove any items from the car that you won’t need on your trip. Bring some blankets.
  • Prepare some on road entertainment for your trip. Include games and CDs of music and/or audio books. Portable DVD players are really inexpensive and help pass the time in dead spots where where is nothing new to see.
  • Check your plates, registration and insurance information to make sure they are all valid. Be sure to place your insurance company’s emergency contact number in your car.
  • Check with all the drivers in your party to make sure their driver’s licenses haven’t expired.
  • Check your insurance for expiration dates and coverage for your automobile.
  • Arrange for someone to start your other car, if you leave one home, during very cold or very hot weather.
  • Fill the car with gas before you pack the car so all the fumes won’t bother your passengers. Check the fluid levels and tire pressure, your tire pressure will affect the ride and gas mileage you get on your trip.
  • Pack the car inside the garage, with the door down, so people driving by won’t find out you’re leaving.

Overall, enjoy the road trip. It’s not going to be as crazy as Clark W Grizwold’s family vacation experiences, and if it is, make sure you video it and put it up on You Tube!

Driving the Eastern Seaboard

Driving across the USA is a very rewarding experience, but the country is so vast that it’s often a good idea to enjoy a trip in smaller sections so you can enjoy things more and take your time to see everything.

Driving up or down the Eastern Seaboard is one of these exhilarating experiences. You can see all the different cities and states that made up the original thirteen colonies as well as possibly some parts of Canada. The Eastern Seaboard are the states that go up the Atlantic coast of North America.

When you’re driving up the Eastern Seaboard there are many cities, but the following is just a short list of all the exciting places you can see.

The South and the Gulf

A trip up the Eastern Seaboard of the USA could possibly begin in Florida with a couple of weeks relaxation on the beach. Florida has some of the most beautiful beaches in the whole world. Miami is a very large city with a population of about 400,000 people. Nearby Pensacola Beach is one of the most famous in the world and the perfect place to spend a week or two before your road trip.

The Deep South and the Civil War

Traveling up the Eastern Seaboard would be incomplete without visiting some of the cities that were heavily involved in the Civil War and going to some of the world famous museums about the history of the area. Cities with such a strong history are Charlotte, Charleston, Norfolk, Raleigh, Richmond, Savannah and Jacksonville. In all of these cities you can find plenty of historical buildings in Civil War style as well as old farms and plantations.

The Intellect of the USA

Also in this area are some of the best universities in the world. Many of the Ivy League Colleges are located on the Eastern Seaboard, such as Harvard, Princeton, MIT and Colombia.

The Founding Fathers

Boston, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh also have a lot of history that dates back to the War of Independence. Washington D. C. is the home of the United States government and is good for a few days at least by itself. There is so much to see in the capital, including all the memorials and special government buildings such as the White House, the Pentagon and Congress. Guided tours are available for all places and it’s worth listening carefully to learn all the history.

New York

New York is an old city as well, being the landing place of most of America’s diverse immigrant background population. Irish, Jewish, Arabic, Chinese, Vietnamese and many more nationalities have walked the streets of New York together for centuries.

New York has several parts that should be seen on different days. There is the isle of Manhattan where all the world’s greatest shopping centers and shows are. Then there is Central Park and the Statue of Liberty as well as the outlying areas such as Queens and the Bronx.

Packing Tips For Motorcycle Trips

Most people who ride motorcycles, from enthusiasts to occasional riders, have at one time or another thought about getting away for a long road trip. For such a trip, planning is a very important part of the preparation. In this article we’ll talk about what to pack on your bike.

Make a list First, after the initial rush of energy and excitement when you finally are able to arrange your dream trip, the first thing you need to do is relax and start making a list of all the things you might need. Some suggestions:

  1. Road map. You can buy fold up maps, or if your cell phone has internet access, you can use one of the many free map services (Yahoo, Google, Mapquest). If you really want to get fancy, you can purchase a navigation system for your motorcycle.
  2. Tool bag/kit. Don’t forget to bring along some simple tools in case the need for minor repairs arises. Cable ties, screwdrivers (Phillips and standard), pliers, a couple of standard size wrenches, and a repair manual may save the day in case of a problem. You certainly don’t want to be out in the middle of nowhere and be stuck because of a minor problem that could have been easily fixed with a simple tool.
  3. Clothes. Keep an extra set of clothes handy, and don’t forget your rain gear. It’s best to pack the rain gear last, so you can get to it in a hurry if a sudden rainstorm kicks in.
  4. Snacks. You should pack some light snacks for the road-nuts, dried fruit, power bars, granola bars, water, and a couple candy bars are OK if you have a sweet tooth. Don’t forget to take care of your trash.
  5. Think of anything else you might want or need on your ride, and include that on your list. You can always remove non-essential items if you are getting too loaded down.

After you make your list, gather everything together, and go through each item, checking it off. It may seem like overkill, but sometimes this is the stage where you remember a critical item that you forgot when making your initial list.

Packing Make sure that as you pack your luggage, the weight is balanced on both sides of your bike. An off balance bike is harder to handle, takes much more energy, and safety is always a major issue for riders. When your bike is fully packed, take it on a short test drive to ensure that everything is packed tightly and well-balanced.

Planning for your long bike trip is essential to the enjoyment of the ride, you won’t have to spend time (like I do!) wondering what you forgot, you can just relax and enjoy being on the open road.

Travel Tips – Packing Light For A Carefree Trip

Travel tips in travel books and on travel websites often advise travelers to “pack light.” In my experience, these sources of travel information don’t go far enough. If you’re a budget traveler you’re unlikely to be relying on hotel porters, taxi drivers, or other people paid to drag your luggage around. You’re more likely to be dragging it yourself – through airports, through subway systems, on and off of buses and airport shuttles, and through city streets.

It cannot be overstated that carrying too much weight around can be the difference between a fantastic, exhilarating travel experience and an exhausting one that you can’t wait to end. If your luggage is heavy, you’re mind will be more on the thought that you can’t bear to drag your luggage down one more street, than it will be on the sights and sounds of that exotic locale. My years of traveling around Europe, primarily by plane, train, bus, subway system and on foot, have taught me several things. The lighter your luggage, the lighter your heart.

Traveling light does not mean hoisting traditional suitcases. The suitcases themselves add extra weight, and suitcases are difficult to carry. I find that holding a large object by its handle, its weight hanging down off the end of my arm is the fastest route to a shoulder and backache. Traveling light also does not mean pulling a suitcase that has tiny wheels on the bottom. Spend a few minutes watching tourists attempting to keep control of that type of unstable suitcase, as they wobble and tip to one side, and you’ll see what I mean.

Traveling light does not mean carrying an over sized, bursting-at-the-seams backpack, either. Unless you plan to do some serious wilderness hiking and camping in the rough, where you’ll have zero access to shops, forget the overloaded backpack. Why lug a heavy backpack through the wilds of London when there are shops on every corner, where you can forage for everything you need?

So, what should savvy budget travelers carry, and how should they carry it? My advice is that you carry one small day-pack style backpack. It can be done, if you think before you pack, and if you make logical decisions as to what you truly can and can’t live without, and what you absolutely must transport to your destination versus what you can easily pick up once you arrive.

For example, if you regularly use a prescription medication, obviously you’ll need to carry an adequate supply with you. Carry a spare as well, and keep it on you, so that you needn’t panic if your pack gets nabbed by a thief. Be sure to also carry the prescription itself, so that you can prove that you’re really transporting a prescription medicine, if you’re stopped by customs or security personnel. It’s even better if you have a prescription that carries not only the commercial name of the medicine, but also its chemical name, in case you need to show it to a pharmacist, doctor, or customs authority, in a country where your own language isn’t spoken.

If you’re traveling to a hot, tropical location, by all means carry a bottle of sunscreen – but buy a bottle that contains the amount you expect to need for the duration of the trip. Don’t burden yourself with a jumbo size container, two thirds of which will be still be with you on the return trip. As a rule of thumb for any type of toiletries, carry (or buy upon arrival) small tubes, bottles and boxes containing just enough for the trip. Don’t drag around weight that you’ll ultimately drag back home with you, or you’ll only end up with a bottle of sunscreen that can boast to its neighbors on the medicine cabinet shelf that it’s been to Tahiti.

If two people are traveling together, whether they’re part of one family or they’re friends sharing the adventure of a lifetime, take only one set of toiletries between you. Carry separate toothbrushes, of course, but pack just one of items such as deodorant and soap and then share them. Half of your toiletry weight will have been eliminated simply by not both carrying duplicate types of items and, believe me, objects like these really contribute to the bulk and weight of your luggage.

Ask yourself if you can live without extras such as cosmetics, perfume and jewelry. Their combined mass and weight can quickly add up. Try a more natural look during your trip. It will save you daily time, as well as saving you daily strain on your arm and back muscles. As an added bonus, the less stylish and flashy you look, the less likely you’ll be to be the target of a mugger.

Forget about electrical appliances and electronic gadgets. You can live without a hairdryer or electric shaver and save not only the weight of these appliances, but also the additional burden of adapters to suit overseas outlets and electrical currents. Carry, instead, a lightweight compact plastic razor, or just let your beard grow. You may later decide that it suits you and decide to keep it ! If you plan to fly, don’t bother packing razor blades or manicure scissors. They are not allowed on planes anymore, anyway, so should be bought locally, if needed, and then properly disposed of before you fly home. I always find it practical to carry a little sewing kit for emergency repairs, but that doesn’t mean an entire kit full of colored spools of thread. It means a single needle plus one little spool of pale thread and one of dark thread together in a little bag.

Keep clothing to an absolute minimum. Stick to one basic outfit that’s comfortable, casual, and not easily wrinkled. Supplement it with a couple of extra lightweight tops and a couple of pairs of socks and underwear that can be repeatedly washed out in hotel rooms. A single sweater or sweatshirt for cool evenings and a thin plastic rain poncho and you should be set.

By sticking to one small backpack per person there are additional advantages that you’ll soon appreciate. You need never check bags at the airport and risk having them lost, you don’t need to endlessly load and unload airport or train station trolleys and count your bags to be sure that none have gone astray, plus everything is close at hand and easily accessible. By carrying just one backpack each, you’ll also look less like affluent tourists, and thus you’ll be less likely to be targeted by a pickpocket or purse snatcher as you move about city streets and in subway systems. Travel light and you can put less of a burden on your muscles, leaving you with more energy and a bigger appetite to truly experience the marvelous places that you are visiting. Travel light and you’ll be more likely to travel happy.