Travel Ideas

One of the good people from Turo are looking for inspiration about travel like tips, tricks, things I must have, or helpful comments. (By the way, if you are traveling in the US check out Turo. They pair people needing to rent a car with people willing to rent out their personal cars. What an interesting idea. And, if you have a car you can make some extra money by renting it out. Their website explains it all.)

I have traveled mainly by air and bus, and have recently started to travel a bit by bicycle. There are others with far more experience, and many others who also share their ideas and tips, but maybe this post can pull together a few important points.

It seems to me if you have your passport and credit cards, a sense of humor and some patience,  anything else can be solved. But, I also try to be prepared for the “what if’s” so hiccups along the way won’t be so difficult.

I carry a copy of my passport, residency card, drivers license, important phone numbers, airline and hotel reservations, and any other important cards and documents. I also have scanned copies in my tablet, and in my email so I could pull them up from any computer with an internet connection. If something would happen at least I have these copies to show officials, and the important numbers and other information to help me get the documents replaced.

I also have a number of credit cards. It is no fun to go to the store or ATM and find there is a problem with your credit card. If you don’t have another card to use you could be really stuck. I also have scans of my credit cards in my tablet and my email, fronts and backs. If something happens I have my numbers, and also the phone numbers to call and report a card lost or stolen. Also, if you are traveling to another country don’t forget to tell your credit card company so their fraud control measures don’t shut you down.

If there is anything you cannot do without like medicine, contact lenses, any critical item, be sure to keep it with you and not in your checked luggage. I keep a ziplock bag with enough contacts and solution for 4-5 days, my toothbrush and few other toiletries and toss it in my backpack / carry on. With travel size bottles you can have a “survival kit” that doesn’t take up much room, and you can survive lost or diverted checked luggage. I keep anything expensive like a small stash of cash, my iPad, and camera (with chargers and connectors) with me and not in checked luggage. I also carry an empty plastic water bottle (fill it up after you get through security) and some snacks. It never hurts to have a couple plastic bags and cloth or paper napkins, just because, and a pen, a bit of paper, and some business cards for the fellow traveler who wants to check out your blog or share email addresses.

Beyond that, most of the details are personal choice. I prefer to travel as light as possible but have plenty to do to occupy myself. I would rather wear the same 2-3 outfits for a month than struggle with lots of luggage. My iPad (a much appreciated gift from Joel) allows me to bring plenty to do in one compact package. I can work in my blog, listen to or read books and articles, sort and edit photos, play games, and do even more if there is an internet connection. Clothing in layers is good too, with a sweater or light blanket so you don’t get too cold in the air conditioning. We are so acclimated to a hot climate that this is especially important for us. I also like comfortable shoes for hiking through airports and bus stations.

Above all, have fun! Take good care of yourself with enough rest, good food and fluids. Go exploring – talk with the locals, eat local food, experience new places off the beaten paths. Leave time and flexibility in your schedule for new experiences, and a bit of room in your luggage for a new treasure or two.

Any of you who have traveled much probably already know these things, but a bit of review is sometimes good. Now it’s YOUR turn! What good travel tips do you all have to share? What have you found is important to have or do when you travel?

About Kris Cunningham

We live in David, Chiriqui Provence, Republic of Panama! This blog is about some of our experiences in our new country.
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17 Responses to Travel Ideas

  1. Sunnymikkel says:

    Excellent post, Muchas Gracias!


  2. thepazeras says:

    Really great info.
    We also make sure we have a small flash light.
    Been there done that without it before!

    Thanks for the great blog!


  3. Kevin says:

    All good advice. Depending where you are travelling, a travel adapter may be a good idea also check that any electrical equipment that you have will work with the voltages available in the country that you are visiting.


  4. Joan says:

    Siempre llevo mi dictionario, un pequeñito que puedo meter en la bolsilla de mis pantalones.


  5. john allen says:

    Good post…thanks


  6. oldsalt1942 says:

    Here’s a pointer I give out often and is something that should be done whether one is traveling or not. . .

    Make a list of all the serial numbers of important things you own, your computer, your smart phone, cameras, etc., and send it to yourself in an email. You might even want to attach a photo.

    Now, if anything is stolen you can retrieve the information anywhere in the world where you can get access to a computer.


  7. Great post, Kris. Packed full of important information. One thing I have done to be prepared if something goes terribly wrong on a flight, bus, etc. is to make a folder in my email labeled “Important stuff”. I include passwords and acct. numbers for everything, location of safety deposit box keys and wills, copies of passport, driver’s license, Residency card, etc. all neatly stored in this folder. Then, I sent Cory and Ron the password for my email acct. Should something happen to me, either Ron or Cory can access my “Important Stuff” folder and everything they need to know is there.
    On a lighter note, when traveling I always take a roll of duct tape. You can’t believe how many times I’ve used duct tape when traveling. Oh, and don’t forget the TP…I always carry TP in my pocket. Oh, I just thought of another handy thing I made…my travel coat. I bought a secondhand Ralph Lauren raincoat for 3 bucks, cut the sleeves off, and sewed giant pockets along the bottom outside and inside of the raincoat. I used the sleeves to make additional pockets on the top of the raincoat. I stuff it with books and school supplies and waddle through the airports so I can wear my donations back to Nicaragua. I can fit 50 lbs of books in my raincoat and I’m never hassled about wearing my luggage aboard the plane. Saves me lots of money! I’m wearing my travel coat back to the states to pick up another donation of 50 books and school supplies for my elementary library in Nicaragua. 🙂


    • thepazeras says:

      Let’s see a picture of that travel coat!


    • I want to see pics of that travel coat too! You should write a blog post about it. Lots of people could probably benefit from that idea.
      Thanks for the other great ideas too. I should do the important stuff folder for my kids too. The you can update it, rather than send them stuff if things change like I have been doing.
      Yes, duct tape and TP. I am used to carrying TP but only started carrying duct tape on my bike. You might need it though to hold your travel coat together 😀


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