30 Travel Tips from 30+ Trips

 
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"I haven't been everywhere, but it's on my list."

By now you know I love clothes and fashion. But my second, or perhaps equal love is to travel.

This week I'll be heading to St. Barts! My husband and me are photographing an event. While we're all the way over there, we might as well take a few days off, right? I thought this would be a great opportunity to share some travel tips. I know so many of you will be traveling this summer too. These tips have come from years of travel across more than 30 countries! (None of these recommendations are sponsored btw.)

Our living room wall showing everywhere we’ve been!

Our living room wall showing everywhere we’ve been!

Planning a trip

1.) Start a list on your phone and add to it every time you hear a good tip.

2.) Put a story on Instagram asking your friends to send you their recommendations.

3.) Look up "locals guide" or "local secrets" on Pinterest to find the gems and avoid crowds.

4.) Look up where the best neighborhoods of an area are. Cute neighborhoods are more fun to stay in (and usually have all the best restaurants) than the city center.

5.) Star everything into Google maps - that way, instead of planning everything exactly, you have lots of options. You can pull up your map and see what you're close to. (To do that, go to Google maps on your phone, put the name in the search bar, swipe up, click save, click starred places - see pics below.)

 
Enter a place into google maps, swipe up, click SAVE, click STARRED places.

Enter a place into google maps, swipe up, click SAVE, click STARRED places.

Now it will show up as a star on your map!

Now it will show up as a star on your map!

 

Booking a trip

1.) I love Kayak for booking flights because it compares deals and pulls the cheapest option.

2.) Sign up to TravelZoo's newsletter. It's free and they have amazing deals.

3.) Sign up to Airfarewatchdog to get alerts when a fares to your destination drop in price.

4.) Tablethotels.com will show you only the cute, high end hotels and B&B in a city.

I bring wash bags for delicates like these we have at Dylan Star right now!

I bring wash bags for delicates like these we have at Dylan Star right now!

Start with essentials, then shoes, then outfits.

Start with essentials, then shoes, then outfits.


Packing Tips

I start packing a week early, that way I never forget anything.

1.) Get the essentials over with - undergarments, socks, PJs etc.

2.) Next choose the shoes! Tennis shoes, casual, and going out. Shoes take up a ton of room so you should start with shoes and then double check your outfits match them, not the other way around bc you’ll run out of space.

3.) Then, I pull out everything I could possible want to take and lay it all out. And then organize into outfits and fold them and stare at them lol.

4.) Then I see where I can narrow down and combine outfits. Tops that go with more than one bottoms and vice versa.

Other tips

* On girls trips I’ll group text and have 1 person bring hairdryer, 1 person curling iron and 1 person flat iron - sharing everything! (but not toothbrushes, that’s too far) I love to bring a thin robe to have to get ready in the room before we go out.

* If you know you need something buy it before you leave! Trying to find a CVS and buy things last minute on your trip is a waste of time and then you can't relax. It’s stupid.

* Bring clothes that don't wrinkle easily like Veronica M. that I carry at Dylan Star is AMAZING. And I bring a bottle of downey release wrinkle spray.

* I save old tennis shoes that are ready to be thrown out. I'll use them for hikes and leave behind at the end of a trip.

* Bring wash bags for laundry. (we have at Dylan Star.) It's nice to plan a laundry stop if you have a long trip. I LOVE coming home with a suitcase full of clean clothes!

* I collect tester and sample lotions and makeup and bring them on trips to save space.

* I travel with a scarf and use it as a blanket or pillow.

Make a list in your phone that you can keep adding to when you hear a good tip.

Make a list in your phone that you can keep adding to when you hear a good tip.

Plan and research everything before. Don’t spend your trip looking up info - when you’re on your trip, it’s time to enjoy!!!

Plan and research everything before. Don’t spend your trip looking up info - when you’re on your trip, it’s time to enjoy!!!

Traveling Tips

1.) Sign up for TSA pre-screening! It is $85 for a 5-year membership and you get faster lines and don't have to remove your electronics, liquids or shoes. GAME CHANGER.

2.) These Sony noise cancelling headphones are a major Treat Yo’self. They are the best headphones available and they are the greatest invention ever for crying babies, or little kids screaming baby shark doo-doo-doo-doo behind your seat (true story.)

3.) Have stuff already downloaded - podcasts, kindle, movies.

4.) Have your hair washed before you leave so it's good for a while. It's fun to go in french braids and then undo them once you land. I love having a hydrating face spray - like Solar Rose Water from Sun Potion here, during and after the flight.

 

Once you are there

1.) I always look at local boutiques. I stopped buying souvenirs a long time ago, but I'll buy myself a piece of jewelry or clothing to remember the trip and fun times.

2.) Don't always Uber or Taxi around, walk sometimes! Guaranteed you will see something fun or interesting along the way.

3.) Download google maps of where you are headed in case there is no Wifi once you head out. (to do that you just zoom in and out on all the areas you might be that day and it will stay saved in your phone.)

4.) Plan the things you feel like you MUST see, but leave some time to be spontaneous. I don't like to have every second planned, but I like to have my list so I have options.

5.) I don't like eating out 3x a day because it takes up so much time. I try to book a hotel that includes breakfast. Stop midday for a fun snack and cocktail and then somewhere nice for dinner. I LOVE getting dressed up for dinner and wearing an outfit that I have saved for my trip.

6.) Always (graciously) ask for a free upgrade! If you are celebrating a special occasion make sure they know.

7.) Always, always, always be kind to everyone you encounter. Everyone is working hard. People think you get stuff for free by complaining and being aggressive but I have ended up with some amazing perks and upgrades just by being kind and complimentary (and funny helps too lol.)

Tulum, 2018

Tulum, 2018

Favorite place I have ever been: Japan

Next on my list: Patagonia or Machu Picchu

 
Erica Brown