6 Practical Travel Tips

"If your luggage is delayed by the airline, you don't want to end up on Miami Beach in a parka."
I know, I know - travel tips, really?? Just in case you might not have thought of it, I do have a few travel tips I'd like to share so bear with me on this one.

1. Take a scan of your passport and store it on a secure cloud for easy access in case you lose your passport or if it's stolen. When I was in Costa Rica, my backpack was stolen. Had it not been for the copy of my passport I had stored online, I don't know how I would've been able to apply for an emergency passport to get back home as all my ID was also in the pack. Live and learn.

2. Even though it's great to be organized, don't use one of those large passport/travel wallets as it screams 'Here I am, take me! All of my important documents are HERE!'. In a matter of seconds, a pickpocket could have your passport, your identification, credit cards etc. - as if you gift wrapped them like a present. Many times passport/travel wallets are offering in bright easy to see colors so they're easier for you to spot quickly. Easier for you, easier for a thief as well. And besides everything else that happens if your documents/information are stolen, do you really want to stay at the next hotel on your itinerary??

3. If 2 of you are travelling together, and you choose to book and pay for your seat selections upfront, I always recommend choosing a window and an aisle seat, leaving the middle seat open (on a 3-seat configuration). Chances are, if someone does end up sitting in the middle seat, you can easily offer to upgrade them to the aisle or even the window. But, there's also a good chance (if the flight isn't completely full) that no one will want that middle seat and so, voila, you've now scored extra room for the two of you!

Roach via Flickr
4. Once you've parked your car at the airport, be sure to take a few photos (covering all angles) so it's easier to report any parking lot damage if it occurs. Taking photos of your rental car before getting behind the wheel can help dispute any damage they may subsequently claim happened while you were driving. Trust me again, dated photos saved me a lot of trouble with one specific rental company who tried to claim I had scratched the paint on their car when I had received it that way to begin with.

5. Besides placing your cash in your front pocket (and I'm a big fan of skipping cash entirely by using my debit and credit cards - with RFID Blocking Sleeves, of course!), use a creative container to stash some emergency cash such - think like a small sun tan lotion-type container or maybe even an empty lip balm - something a pickpocket would never think of taking.

Twentymindsomething via Flickr
6. It always a great idea to pack a quick change of clothes in your carry-on (convertible rolling backpacks are my fave!), especially if you're heading to a warm weather destination. It's easy and doesn't take up much space to pack flip flops, a bathing suit, t-shirt and shorts. If your luggage is delayed by the airline, you don't want to end up on Miami Beach in a parka. I've also seen luggage lost on a cruise ship - the cruise line graciously provided free clothing from the gift shop for 4 days, but it quickly became a running joke as coordinating souvenir t-shirts and shorts can only go so far...

Want more? Visit 11 Essential Items to Pack on Your Next Trip!

Worried about losing your luggage? Check out the 

Travel Writer Review on LugLoc!

Be sure to read my article on the gorgeous Vaux le Vicomte chateau in France, or to check out What $25 a Night Buys You in Costa Rica!

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