Friday, January 8, 2010

Three Travel Tips

Image by Talekinker at Flickr

I was tagged by Sherri at Postcards and Coasters to share three travel secrets and in turn tag five other travel related bloggers and request they do the same on their blogs. “My 3 Best Kept Travel Secrets,” organized by Katie of states “the aim of this game is to unite travel bloggers in a joint endeavor to create an amazing list of top travel recommendations across the globe to share with the entire travel community.”

Here are my three tips:

Tip 1: Learn to say “Hello”, “Please”, and “Thank You” in every language you will encounter on your trip.
Most locals do not expect us to speak their language fluently, but when I use a few simple words in their native tongue here and there, I am rewarded with a smile. Of course, I will never know whether the smile is due to appreciation or glee caused by my mispronunciation, either way they’re amused. Maybe it’s my imagination, but I find that I am more apt to get the directions I request and that shopkeepers give me better service and are more willing to negotiate with me when they see that I'm making an effort. My husband and I once witnessed a street vendor in the South of France charge a brash Australian man 25% more for the ham and cheese sandwich we helped him order. This man's reverse discount can be attributed to his bold assumption that he does not need to try to speak one word of French in order to get service. It goes without saying that these words are the rock-bottom minimum words you should know. Your experience in a new country improves with each word or phrase you learn.

Tip 2: Buy local toiletries.
Even before we were restricted to only one zip-lock bag of liquids, I never tried to pack all my toiletries for extended trips. I love having a reason to go into a local, non-touristy drugstore to buy toothpaste or mouthwash. I enjoy entertaining the local shopkeepers when I try to converse with my hands and feet while pointing to my spent toothpaste tube. When I get home, my Swiss dental floss sends me back to our memorable ride on the Golden Panorama train and I have a good time trying to decipher the words on my Italian toothpaste tube.

Tip 3: Use Eagle-Creek Pack-it Folders
My favorite travel accessory is the Eagle Creek Pack-It Folder.

 Here’s a video that shows how to use them:

These folders keep my clothes organized throughout the trip and because I can sinch it tight with the Velcro flaps, the resulting compression uses less space in the suitcase. I use the small size for shirts and the large size for jackets and pants.

I hope you find my tips useful. Bon Voyage!


melissashook said...

oh Dutchbaby, just tell me how to decide to travel...I just hate airplanes and trips...they fill me with anxiety...but maybe if I had that gorgeous luggage, so heavy that I could never lug it from one place to another and pleasantly worn that you appropriated for your blog, I could do it.
but I know your please and thank you suggestions are very good. I'll try that more in everyday life...

Unknown said...

My husband uses the Eagle Pack folders all the time when he travels! They are especially wonderful for dress shirts. When he arrives he only has to hang them up and the few wrinkles fall out in a few hours.

If I ever get out of the country, I will definitely use your handy-dandy travel tips! Thanks!

Kerri Farley said...

These are fabulous travel tips! I don't travel's been 10 years since I've been on a plane ...but if I did - I would definitley use those pack it folders.
WOW! Great idea!!!

Marilyn Miller said...

I have never heard of Eagle Creek folders. I will check them out. Great tips.

Pretty Zesty said...

awesome tips! I love the first. I always try to learn as much as I can before a trip!

kath said...

I love the idea of buying "local" ... I'm definitely doing that the next time I travel!

Sherri said...

Great tips!

Cool folder... Never seen that.

I agree it really is nice to learn a few words. I like to know how to say thank you, it makes a big difference.
Thanks for sharing your tips!!!

Dutchbaby said...

Dear mellissashook,
I don't know how to tell you to decide to travel because I love travel more than just about anything else. I wrote a guest post about my passion for travel here: I have no idea if that would discourage you or encourage you to travel. As for the vintage luggage, it would be best enjoyed at home, perhaps stacked loosely, like in the photo, to serve as an end table, as you sip a glass of chianti while planning your trip to Venice. I would like to see your photos from Venice. I'll even give you a head start on your Italian words: "Ciao", "per favore", and "grazie". If you decide to go, I will mail you a pack-it folder for your trip.

Dear Susan,
Yes, if you use the pack-it folders just like in the videos, the wrinkles are kept to a bare minimum. When you use them like me, singed tight as a drum so that it takes as little space as possible, they do wrinkle. If you use the plastic guide, the shirts crease in good places, as if they came from the laundry. I do hope that you do make it out of the country - you would absolutely love it.

Dear Kerri,
Ten years? Then it's time to go again! Bon Voyage!

Dear Marilyn,
They are carried in most travel shops. I think you'll like them.

Dear Kris,
Good for you! It really makes a huge difference.

Dear kath,
It's so much fun to stretch the trip experience by using these local items.

Dear Postcards,
Thank YOU for asking me to do this post. Your tips are great too!

Katie, Tripbase said...

Super tips, thanks for sharing!

Can you send me the bloggers you nominated?



Relyn Lawson said...

Oh, I loved this post. And, am I ever ready for a bon voyage of my own.

Dutchbaby said...

Dear Relyn,
I'm always itchin' for a bon voyage!

john2yleong said...

Great tips.

My wife and i use to buy the vacuum pack to stuff all the jacket and towel so that we got more room in the luggage

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