Wanna Be A Smart Traveler?

Wanna be a smart traveler? Do what smart travelers do!

Plan for the unexpected.

Make a plan and have a plan B. It’s also important to be adaptable and flexible. Simply, don’t sweat the small stuff

Know and understand the importance of logistics.

You should have a checklist of things to do before you go, during your trip, and for all the moving parts. While it’s important to be fluid, it’s a must to have your ducks in a row lit having an emergency contact person or persons, registering with STEP, having go to apps and contacting your financial institutions.

Do your research

Research the destination, the lay of the land, the culture and the logistics of the destination and your itinerary. This includes things like currency, language, locations, transportation, etc. And, plan for future travel with the right credit cards and reward programs.

Don’t be afraid of technology.

Technology allows you to be efficient and save! These days it’s hard to stay off the grid and even if that’s your plan, your plan should include connecting in some way in case of emergencies. Use your mobile devices and get apps that can assist you.

Leave room for spontaneity.

I’m one who needs an itinerary but I always leave time and space for impromptu experiences. Those are usually some of the best and fulfilling experiences. Just go out and explore without a plan. Even if that spontaneity is sleeping in and hanging out in the hotel all day!

Pack light and pack smart

Packing light means you don’t take unnecessary items and packing smart means you are prepared for different scenarios. In order to accomplish both, have a packing list, keep a toiletry bag packed and make a list for that too and take the right piece of luggage. And, remember my color palette rule.

Ask a local

Another way to have authentic experiences is to ask locals for suggestions on where to eat, drink, dance and other non-touristy activities. I like to hang out at local breakfast spots and coffee shops to see what the locals are up to.

Always travel with an open mind. Isn’t that the reason for travel?

Immerse yourself in the culture and plan to grow and learn from it. We may walk through life differently but we want the same basic things for ourselves and our families. I have adopted nuances of various cultures into my regular life and those that I haven’t, I have certainly learned from.

Relax, Relate, Release

Don’t go through all the trouble of planning a fantastic trip only to stress over the details of it when you get there. Build in time for relaxation, relate to your environment and release the stress you may be holding onto.



  1. Nellie Robinson
    December 1st

    Hi Thank you Ja ‘Vonne!
    What is STEP?
    Excellent Tips.

    • Gene
      December 1st

      The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a free service to allow U.S. citizens and nationals traveling and living abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. You simply go to https://step.state.gov/ and fill out the requested information.