Travel Tip Contest!

With summer vacation on my mind I’ve decided to run a contest for people to share their best travel tips. The contest will run through Friday, winner announced Saturday. I am giving away three ebooks of winner’s choice. It can be any in my catalog or coming soon. If I haven’t published it yet you’ll need to send me a reminder (I’m rather absent-minded) πŸ™‚

Note: We’re thinking of going to Ireland so if you have any tips there feel free to share.

2nd Note: If you’ve never traveled anywhere list where you’d go if given the chance.

74 thoughts on “Travel Tip Contest!

  1. I’ve never traveled more than a few states, 7 in total. If I could choose anywhere to visit the list would be very long. At the top is the United Kingdom, England, Scotland, and Ireland😍! My very close second would be Japan😍

  2. When packing your clothes roll them up like a paper towel that way you can get more items in your suite case.

  3. Carry on suitcases must have wheels, especially the kids’.
    I also do the rolling trick with my clothes and the shrink bags have a rolling one that you don’t need a vacuum for. great for a change of clothes in the carry on. ( a must-my suitcase went to Tokyo without me.)

  4. Since you are going to Irekand, even though it’ll be at summer, take your raincoats with you, and carry umbrelas even if it sunny πŸ™‚

  5. Rolling bags are a must, and a neck pillow. πŸ™‚

    I’ve not done any international travel except to the Bahamas. I would love to see the UK (Ireland, Scotland, England) and maybe Germany, Spain, and Italy.

  6. I have never traveled so I know I would travel to a place that is relaxing and fun at the same time. So with that in mind I’d also facter in historical facts I could find about my family’s history. I’d travel to England and Japan. Funny thing is though I would be considered “black”.

  7. Agree with the umbrella comment, but would also suggest an “interpreter”. The southern irish talk notoriously fast but very quietly – i could loose myself in their accent – so be prepared to be saying “uh” a lot!

  8. I’ve been to Ireland and loved it. We stayed near the River Liffey with a great view. I always try to stay near water whenever possible, sort of magical to me. Anyway besides packing wet wipes if you’re going to a foreign country and you don’t speak the language investing in food allergy cards written in the native language is wonderful, a lifesaver when eating out.I had some made for my daughter when we went to Paris.

  9. I live in washington state so the only travel I have done is to long beach wa and seaside wa which I am sure you know all the tips for them. If I could travel anywhere it would be scotland and see all the castles and everything.

  10. My travel tip when renting a car in a foreign country always go with the automatic. Also before going look up what the road signage means.

    About 8 years ago we did a family vacation to England and rented 2 cars (1 automatic, 1 clutch) for our week in Wales. While we had a great time a few times my brother almost opened his door when he went to change gears. Not a great idea expecially when you are trying to figure out different road sign symbols and driving on the “wrong” side of the road.

  11. Make sure to check the weather before you go, and if at all possible look at the average temperatures/weather conditions for this time of year if you’re going for a long enough trip that the forecast doesn’t cover enough time. When I went to England around this time of year, the temperatures fluctuated wildly, and I had (unfortunately) only brought a light jacket, so I spent several days freezing. I imagine Ireland would have somewhat similar weather.

  12. I recommend going to Italy … I have been there twice ( And I would go there again in a heartbeat) and it’s such a beautiful country ^^ I also went to Spain and Japan which are also very beautiful.
    And of course Portugal, my own country : P

  13. Baggies! Ziploc, (brand name not necessary) freezer bags in all sizes. They help compartmentalize items from jewelry to coins to clothes. I travel often for work and these, along with my portable chargers, are my best friends.

  14. The best travel book I saw while I was working at Barnes and Noble….”No Touch Monkey!”
    also good travel advice.. πŸ™‚

  15. Amber. If your flying make sure you have a few changes of under garments in your carry on bag in case they loose your luggage. Lol.
    I went on a cruise a long time ago and they lost my suitcase. I thankfully had my overnight case and a garment bag. With a few extras in it. It took 2 days to catch up with me.

  16. If I could anywhere I would go to Paris and Scotland. Scotland to see the beautiful castles. Paris see everything French wise. So many beautiful sites to see.

  17. Take all your legal documents, medicines, toothbrush, toothpaste, and one change of clothes etc. in your carryon bag. That way, if your luggage goes elsewhere you still have the basics.

    Also, gum for on the plane and some type of snacks that will keep you and the kids from being stuck with airplane food only and/or stuck in the airport during layovers.

  18. This is more than just travel advice…. any girl who carries her cell phone in her back pocket make sure you remove it before using the bathroom. Do to the small size of pockets in women’s pants/shorts and the large size of most smart phones if you start to remove them to use the restroom the phone usually falls out and lands in a very bad place. Last week my travel companion lost hers down an outhouse at hoover dam…… It is still there.

  19. I have traveled to Europe and found tht Paris is not nice to Americans. If I could go someplace again, I would like to visit someplace with history and stay in a castle. I am a fan of all types of myths and legends. My tip would be to drink bottled water where ever you go and have fun. πŸ™‚

  20. One hint my Mom gave me, when visiting churches or cathedrals in Europe it’s respectful to cover your head with a scarf or small had and wear tasteful clothes….when I lived in Italy (active duty), I had a priest thank me for doing so…it was a nice feeling.

  21. My new favorite place to vacation is on the Carnival cruise ships. Its not as expensive as you might think and it takes you to some really cool places!

    The 2nd new place that I’ve been recently introduced to is New Orleans at Mardi gras. We went the first week which is more family friendly. The parades are so much fun and the city is just beautiful.

    I want to go to Ireland so whichever of us goes first has to give ideas to the other when they come home. Agreed?

  22. Haven’t traveled much but do your research so that your tablets, ereaders, and other equipment have what they need to power up. Also check to make sure your cell will work over in Ireland.

  23. I have not traveled outside of the US, only do short car trips (I get extremely motion sick). We always keep supplies in the trunk of the car – water, non-perishable food (such as Cheerios), a blanket, flashlight, etc. Keep all important information – paperwork, etc. with you in your carry-on, in case of luggage failure. Also try to avoid wearing expensive jewelry (such as engagement/anniversary rings) while you are traveling in the off chance it gets lost. Fanny packs are a good choice – less likely to lose vs. a purse.

  24. My family is actually on vacation right now at Zion Ponderosa Ranch in UT. We prefer to do the travel trailer and camp. My tips for this kind of camping, traveling is to make a menu and only pack what you actually need. That way you don’t bring home a lot of food or have to go out to eat a lot. Then again a lot of people prefer to go out. We prefer to eat in. I would love to travel to Ireland and Scotland. It is where my ancestors are. You will have to give lots of pics and info it you go,

  25. My best travel tip is limited yourself to three color choices in clothes. I usually do navy red and white for summer, that way I can mix and match and I don’t have to take as many shoes.

  26. when I went to Australia ask the locals where they eat. They know the best spots for the right price.

  27. How cool! I always wanted to go county Cork, as my grandfather was born there. I believe that the famous blarney stone is there Though I always wanted to visit Blarney Castle. If you make to Ireland I would suggest there! ( please load up on pics! lol

  28. haven’t traveled out of my country only to a few different states and we usually drove, but if have kids with you for long drive then portable dvd player, your own music to play. I would love to travel to Scotland or Japan

  29. I’ve only been outside the country to travel to Mexico but I’ve been to 30 of the 50 states. My tip; get a little bit lost, some of the most beautiful places I’ve been to were when I got lost on my way somewhere else.

  30. Roll the clothes when packing suitcase and carry on at least one change of clothes and extra underwear.

  31. I’ve learned over the years to pack less, wear comfortable shoes, and take plenty of pictures!!!

  32. My travel tips are from working on the road: hotel lobbies have the cleanest bathrooms (I drove A LOT and for a while knew every bathroom in my territory); & always plan on an extra hour drive time (construction is a big time hog – then there’s the accidents).

    When flying, book regular seats and then pay for the upgrade at the airport. Most of the time there are seats available, but not always, so this is a gamble. However, the upgrade price is much less than the cost of first class. Go figure!

    This next tip is for chocoholics: stay away from the gift shop in the airports in Switzerland. Yeah.

  33. yeah… I fall under “never traveled” lol..

    But IF given the chance I’d really, REALLY love to go to Finland. or… New Zealand… any place that has the most wonderful, breathtaking landscapes. I absolutely love that kind of stuff so If I could, I would love to see such places in person.
    Feel the fresh crisp air.. the different smells and sounds… It would be my dream.

  34. Pall of the above tips are great, local laws & customs are important, definitely carry at least 5 days meds (& a list of meds) in your bag. You get infinitely more from a holiday if you are polite & courteous to the locals (many English speaking countries think that if you use the honorific of ‘Sir & Ma’am’ you are being rude’) & hyperbole is unnecessary, comfy shoes – a must! As is a good pair of tweezers, antiseptic powder, tea tree oil, spray on ‘plastic bandage’ and your favorite band-aid (small wound sticking plasters) as well as Gatorade (or similar) tablets are invaluable. Most accommodations have power adaptors now :). Just remember your sense of fun & your manners they shouldn’t have a holiday too … ❀

  35. This is a good tip for anyone,not just when traveling. Turn an ice cube tray over in the freezer ( or put some ice cubes in a plastic bag). When you return you can check to see if you have cubes or a block of ice. If there is a block than the electric went off and then came back on and everything has refrozen. Not good…

  36. My biggest advice Amber is a small bag of first aid items. Bandages, antibacterial ointment, snap and use cold compresses, wet wipes, motion sickness med, aspirin/Tylenol or whatever you use. As well as tweezers, nail clippers, anti-diarrhea meds and tums. Don’t assume that you can just get them over there. Different rules and different meds.

  37. I have two children who are nonverbal so if that is an issue or you have a child who “wanders” –before starting on the trip, visit a local hospital and ask if they will make one of those plastic bracelets for each of your children. Usually, they will. Then you can put whatever information you’d like on a slip of paper and insert it into the bracelet.

    1. A while ago we had one of those dog tags made at the pet store. It has our child’s name and our phone number. We attach it to his shoe. He’s verbal now but he gets easily confused. We also write our number on his arm with a marker when we travel. He finds it reassuring.

  38. I haven’t done any traveling outside the U.S. If I had the funds and wasn’t deathly afraid of heights I would love to visit Japan.

  39. Be open to everything new. If bringing kids, bring along a bag of stuff that they have never seen before.

  40. I’ve never traveled anywhere. I would love to go to Scotland and Ireland someday when money allows.

  41. I haven’t done much traveling. I have an aunt in California and an uncle in Iowa that I’ve visited several times and then a few trips to Canada. My mom takes at least one international trip a year and I usually help her pack so some tips are to roll clothes, take important stuff and at least undies in your carryon, use Ziploc type bags for anything that might leak, when packing medicine if you aren’t taking the whole amount from the bottle make sure to count enough for at least one day extra in case of emergency and take as few bottles as possible while still having all the dosage information. She also takes more shirts than bottoms since bottoms usually weigh more and can generally be worn more than once before needing to be washed. And always wear something comfortable on the plane because you are going to be wearing it for a long time with most of that sitting. She was in Ireland a few years ago with a tour and enjoyed it very much so hope you guys have a lot of fun and don’t lose any luggage.

  42. Barcelona, Spain is very nice. My favorite place to travel. I would also suggest a cruise because you can go to multiple places in one trip. The only tip I would give is to pack light to make room for souvenirs so you won’t have to have an extra bag on your way back. And the rolling up your clothes idea is excellent advice. I do it every time.

  43. Pack an empty duffle bag. You then put your dirty close in it and that frees up space in your suitcase for all your souvenirs on the return trip. Also find out where the local embassy is. Its better to know that beforehand.

  44. My travel tip is to pack your own wine… I purchase a box of wine and pack it in my suitcase to save $.

  45. After reading the comments I agree with all of them. The important thing when traveling overseas is have at least a change if clothes in your carry on and anything you cannot live without. My mom lost her suitcase on our last trip and we still haven’t got it back 3 months later.
    Also we have found out that the cheapest and easiest way to find a flight is through
    Hope this helps.

  46. I was in the Navy for 20 yrs and I feel the best way to travel is light and by car so your not on anyone else’s time line. I’d love to go to Ireland or Scotland and rent a car and just go.

  47. I don’t travel but if I was going to I would go to Germany, Ireland, England, Iceland, Spain, and Russia. The tip I can give is pact extra items just in case, bring extra money, and bring clothes for any kind of weather

  48. Never go anywhere without my ereader.
    Most useful item when travelling – a haversack that folds up very small – take empty and packs taking up very little, but I fill it up with dirty clothes on the way back and then have room in my suitcase for all the things I buy on my travel.s
    Never take anything you really value and could not bear to lose with you when travelling.
    Be sure to spend time in Dublin – a lovely city; and it is worth going out of your way to see Giant’s Causeway in the north – even if it is raining!
    Have a lovely time.

  49. Coming from Australia all my travels usually involve long haul flights LOL. I find economy seats quite hard after a few hours and now I never fly without taking a blow-up doughnut cushion with me. On our trip to the UK last year we booked Premium Economy seats which were much nicer but the the big bonus was being upgraded to first class between Sydney and Hong Kong for both of our long flights. Talk about luxury πŸ™‚

  50. I have only traveled to Italy and my advice is to ask the local citizens for the best sites to see. I found that while guidebooks put in the most popular, the locals know the most beautiful and more out of the way locations. These tend to be even better than expected. And always remember your camera!!!!

  51. I love Ireland, luckily I live in the UK so it’s easy for me to visit. When I travel I love to visit all the historic places, in my last trip I visited the birth place of the Olympics. My advise is be prepared for anything, always have a small first aid kit, plenty of water and some food bars on you just in case. As for Ireland I fell in love with Galway when i visited, the best thing about Galway is that you can walk everywhere. You’ll find lively pubs, independent shops and winding cobblestone streets packed with students, artists, writers and craftspeople. For a day trip, take a ferry to the island of Inis Mor. You’ll return refreshed by the ocean air and Inis Mor’s breathtaking scenery. Oh, and be sure to wear sunscreen on the island, no matter how chilly it is.

  52. When I was 12 and lived in Ohio my mom decided that she wanted us all( her , my sister ,brother and me) to move to Arizona. So the last day of school we were all packed and ready to go . Not on a plane or a bus oh no , my mom thought it would be fun if we camped all the way to Arizona . Needless to say my teenage sibblings and I were not thrilled with that idea. However wants we got started we loved it and had a blast. We seen some amazing thing this country has to offer and spend some quality time with on another . I will never forget that summer. Now I do have to say it took me years to want to sleep in a tent again .lol. so if you plane to camp bring a air mattress because it is awful sleeping on the ground even when your a kid.

  53. Because of bag limits, I have learned to pack my purse instead of using it as my personal carry on. That way, I have a purse at my destination but can carry a larger tote/my laptop as my personal item. It allows me to carry an emergency stash of clothes and all my meds in my 2nd carry on. If they lose my luggage, I still have at least one day’s worth of clothes and my meds. πŸ™‚

  54. Whenever I have travelled in the past I laways made sure I had some teabags, sweeteners and a spoon with me so that I could ask for hot water and make myself a cup of tea when stressed by delays etc.

    My biggesttip though is to make sure you carry lots of handy wipes (especially if travelling with kids) as you never know when you need to clean something or someone.

  55. Have some ideas of where you’d like to visit, but don’t overplan. Take your time and enjoy instead if running to see everything. I’ve never been to Ireland. But I know you should take rain gear if you go there. It’s beautiful according to my friends who have been there.

    Paris and the surrounding towns were wonderful to visit. London was fabulous as well. London was easier since I don’t speak French.

  56. get the highest memory card for your camera and bring an extra one just in case. Because you’ll surely want to takes pictures of every places, things and everything that catches your eyes…

  57. So as a native of Ireland, here are some handy tips for you.

    Always carry an umbrella and jacket with you when over here, even if the weather is nice when you start off in the morning, it could be raining by the time you hit the afternoon πŸ™‚

    1) Speed Limit in Dublin City Centre is 30km, there are speed traps everywhere so be careful.
    2) There are a number of places of Interest to see in the Capital that don’t require you to have a car. Bus Trips can be planned with Bus Eireann and Dublin Bus who run day trips to the outlying area’s of interest such as, Powerscourt House & Gardens, Newgrange and the Boyne Valley etc. A bus trip around the city is available also. The ticket is valid for 2 days and you can get on and off the bus as you wish around the City. More information on these and other attractions can be found on
    3) Nightlife in Dublin – Temple Bar (Some Great Pubs, Clubs and Restaurants in this area)
    4) Area’s of Cultural Interest in Dublin city – Trinity College & Library (Book of Kells on Display here), Kilmainham Jail, The Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dublin Castle, St. Stephen’s Green, The Phoenix Park, The Guinness Brewery and Shopping on Grafton Street to name some of the more popular ones.
    5) if you are planning on touring Ireland, the most beautiful counties to visit are Cork, Kerry, Galway & Donegal.
    6) If you are going to visit anywhere in Ulster you will need to have British Sterling with you as not all places accept Euro’s.

    I would love to visit New Zealand, Australia, The Rockies, New England and take a tour of the National Parks in the US.

    Hope this was helpful and enjoy your vacation πŸ™‚

  58. I went hitchhiking in Ireland when I was young (lots of years ago). The most amazing stations in Ireland were the pubs in Dublin and going by bycicle around the Ring of Kerry. Beautiful.

  59. Read up on driving laws and other things for the area you’re going to. Check conversion rates and study the local currency so you aren’t confused by prices or anything.

    Take a neck pillow for the flight. Sleeping on a plane isn’t exactly fun anyway but not having a neck pillow will pretty much ensure you’re in pain when you wake up. Most airlines will allow you a carry on bag that can be stored overhead and a bag to store under the seat in front of you.

    Don’t use the pockets on the seat in front of you on planes. You WILL forget stuff. I lost my first kindle that way. If you have medications that must be taken at certain intervals make sure you get the proper paperwork from your doctor before you leave and have it out and ready for when you go through security.

    Comfortable clothes and easily slipped off and on shoes are a good idea too. If you don’t need specialized things forgo packing your toiletries and just pick them up wherever you’re visiting.

    Make a list of all the electronics you HAVE to take with you and all the charge cables that they need. If some have the same plug ins don’t take them all. The less you take the less you have to remember to bring back with you. If you don’t have your passports now get them. Passports take forever. Do not leave your room without your passport. If you have to staple it to your forehead so you don’t forget it so be it.

    Check to see about tipping. America is one of the few places that has tipping for servers. In a lot of places it’s actually insulting to leave tips for the wait staff. In fact just check on as many cultural differences as you possibly can.

    I didn’t know that it was actually insulting to step back from people in middle eastern countries and ended up accidentally insulting a pilot from Sudi Arabia that was here for a Base exercise. My husband told me and the next time I saw him I apologized and explained why I’d taken a step back. After that he took it upon himself to escort his coworkers into my place of employment and help translate for me. He actually came to the store on his last day there to let me know they were leaving and to tell me he was glad to have met me. Bad starts don’t have to stay that way.

    If you’re taking an ereader or a laptop on the flight with you make sure you charge them overnight. It sucks when you’re at a great part in a book and your ereader dies.

    On layovers if you have them, find your gate first before you do anything else and THEN get food if you have time. Make sure you pay attention to the announcement signs so that you know if your gate changes and try to time it so that you’re done eating with at least 30-40 minutes to head back to your gate. That way if there is a gate change that you missed you have plenty of time to get back to the gate and still be there with enough time to get in line and relax for boarding.

  60. There are a few things that I can think of.
    1 check to see what electronic current they have. You can get special outlet adapters for all your electronic toys.
    2 Remember that all toys including stuffed animals have to go through screening so if you have small children they should be aware of that!! It doesn’t go well if their toys are TAKEN without them being aware of it.
    3 Carry all IMPORTANt things with you. When I went to Japan my luggage was misplaced for a few days, but I had everything I needed. EX: meds, a change of underware, all paperwork( schedual info), All plugs for your toys.
    4 Anything that he can’t live without.
    5 Know that if you are going out of the country your cell phone may not work at all OR the cost if you use it would be VERY EXPENSIVE!!!

    Just a few thoughts. I hope that this helps you have a great vacation.

  61. It’s already been mentioned but to elaborate make sure your cell phone will work in what ever country you visit.

    When we went to England & Wales 8 years ago we made sure to get the international travel plan in advance to avoid any outrageous charges. What the girl at T-Moble didn’t tell us was that Europe used a different cell phone signal and that we would need new phones that could use said signal. We had 6 useless phones… unless you wanted an alarm clock then they were great!

  62. regardless of where I go (and yes I have done a fair amount of travel) I always carry a small pharmacy with me. That should include tweezers, bandaids, aspirin, hand sanitizer and something called liquid bandage!

  63. Traveling advice would be If you need help don’t be afraid to ask the locals. In Hawaii everyone is friendly and can’t wait to talk to you about the island. The locals always have the best ideas on where to eat and visit.

  64. My traveling advice is to be prepared for the weather. Even if it’s summer/warm where you go take with you a pair of pants and a sweater or two. And a raincoat and umbrella if you go to Ireland or England. It’s not that uncommen that it starts to rain after all πŸ˜‰
    Well other than that, i’d advice you to make a list when you pack and double-check after gotten it all.
    I Hope That You’ll Enjoy Ireland! Maybe you’ll learn some about myth or something to inspire you to write. Who knows.
    Btw, always have a book or something to keep you busy when in flight or when it rains or something. Talking of experience…

  65. Hmm i don’t have many travelling advice. I’ve only went once to China but i suppose it’s completely different from Ireland. Many some basic advice such as rolling up you clothes and bring a lot of Ziplocs to store things. Also i would suggest bring some medicine such a something against vomitting, diarrhea, flu, headaches. It’s always useful and I really regretted not bring any when i got sick in China.

  66. Remember to come back !!!
    I have flown once had four hour delay both ways and went with family members and had my feet walked off.
    Advise – Only take shoes which are so comfy that you can wear them all day (and all night if necessary).

  67. Hello,
    as a german married to an Australian and having been in a lot of places around the world i found a few useful tricks while traveling. I recommend also the rolled into stick packing of clothes. Take an empty bottle with you through customs and fill it up before boarding the plane. Lots more water. Get up regularly and stretch your body. If you don’t have a direct flight, get the tickets for the next stretchs in your start airport. Saves a lot of nerves. If possible carry a overnight bag with toiletries and a set of extra clothes depending on the country you’re flying to. Pack laptop and electronic stuff in a laptop bag or whatever for them meant cover. Don’t get valuable things with you you don’t want to loose except necessary.
    Regarding Ireland: I met my in-laws there and had a great time. Cliffs of moher were a breathtaking view and luckily extremely empty. I fell in love with Dingle peninsula, we stayed there overnight and had in our hotel/restaurant the local theatre group meeting with lots of storytelling and music, an inspiration. The west coast also provides never stopping fantastic ocean- and landscapes views. Try the ciders there, I fell in love with them. As mentioned before: Ask locals for recommendations for places to go and to stay and eat. They know often best.
    Hope you are having a great time there.

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