1. Leave your ego at home, along with your judgment. Every country has different ways of doing things. Even within the U.S., going from one state to another, you will find things a little different. This is why we travel, isn’t it?
2. It is a good idea to have some copies made of your passport to put in each piece of your luggage, including your purse, or wallet, or fanny pack. I have even seen travelers make a special pouch to hang around their neck, inside their clothes.
3. You might want to tape your name, address and phone number to the inside of each piece of luggage, in the event the tag on the outside of your bag is torn off.
4. The tag on the outside of your bag should never be exposed for easy viewing, by the person standing in line behind you at the air port.
5. Bring your medicine with you, in your carry-on bag or purse, in the event your bags are lost. It is not always possible to replace your prescription, nor even your favorite over the counter drug in a foreign country.
6. In the event your bags are a day or two late arriving with you (in a foreign country), plan to bring under clothes, change of clothes, or night clothes with you in your carry-on bag.
7. Camera and more film than you expect you will need. You might want to invest in a special leaded film bag to carry your film in when going through the security check scanner at the AP.
8. You might want to keep your jewelry to a minimum. It adds pounds to your luggage, it isn’t necessary when you are on tour, and if it isn’t on your person, it can too easily be lost.
9. If you are with a tour group, you will want to wear low, sturdy shoes for walking. Heels are a definite taboo, unless you want to sit on the bus or are going dancing.
10. Sunglasses are a must if you are planning to visit a glacier or be on the water, or in a country with no smog.
11. Bring one “dress-up” outfit for the final night of a tour. They always have a farewell party, where it would be appropriate.
12. Pack light. Inevitably you will find something you want to purchase to bring home for your friends, relatives, or yourself. Leave room in your suitcase for such purchases.
13. Bring “throw-away” clothes to be left behind after one final wearing. But when you do, if they are still usable, attach a note with your name and room number with the statement you no longer need this item. You don’t want the maid to be accused of stealing.
14. Bring plastic bags for dirty clothes, so they may be separated from the clean ones.
15. If you need to wash your hair during your tour, you need to realize that, not every
hotel supplies hair dryers in their rooms. Bring your own hair dryer if necessary.
16. Occasionally, your bags will take a while to arrive in your rooms. Consider bringing
coffee or tea bags, slippers and reading material with you in your carry-on..
17. Journal keepers may want to bring an extra pen or pencil.
18. Journal keepers may want to clip the itinerary and map out of the original brochure, cut them to fit, and paste them in the front of their journal. Tour companies usually give you an itinerary on regular sized paper which takes up more room and is more awkward to use on a bus.
19. Ear plugs take up very little room and you may be glad you brought them, if you should get a room over a bus stop, during summer solstice, in one of the Scandinavian countries, where many young people stay up all night (and some ride motor scooters)…or… if you should need a nap during the middle of the day and your room is within ear shot of workmen remodeling a room down the hall.
20. You will be glad you tied brightly colored ribbons or yarn onto your suitcase if, on the same flight with you, there happen to be two dozen other bags, just like yours.
21. Bring extra money with you. On almost every tour, there are optional trips that you might want to attend and usually the tour guide prefers cash. These side trips are taken while others are given a free day to shop or sleep or whatever, and they usually run between $35.00 to $65.00, and you could have as many as four or five in a two week period.
22. Camera buffs may be glad they brought a magic marker to number their film canisters and a small note pad to write down the subject matter of an individual picture or all of them.
23. Bring comfortable clothes. Remember, when you are on tour, you will be in them all day. Most people wear T-shirts and slacks. Shoulder pads require extra space, so you may want to keep them to a minimum.
24. If you sew, and are a large woman who wants to wear a different top each day, you may want to invest in some special travel clothes, here’s a tip. Purchase silk, rayon, nylon, etc. fabrics, as they are light, quick to pack and easy to travel. Purchase about a yard and three quarters long (or longer) and 44″ or 45″ in width. Make a hole in the middle for your head and sew a seam up the sides for “under arm” (about 8″ long and about 7″ in from the edge of the fabric.. .so that it “flows” when worn). When finished, you will have a square with a hole at the top and when you pack it, you just grab the bottom corners and fold in squares or thirds.
25. Usually, there is a two or three nighter in the larger cities, two or three times during a two week trip (check your itinerary). Plan to have your cleaning done at those hotels, immediately upon arriving. More often than not, those hotels are four or five star hotels and have a 24 hour cleaning service. Check at the desk as soon as you arrive and ask “how and when”, they need your cleaning to get it back before you leave..
26. If you are planning to wear two or three tops with a particular pair of slacks, you may want to color code your clothes, perhaps with colored yarn or thread. You may even want to plan out your entire trip with what you want to wear each day, and then put the last clothes to be worn, in your suitcase first (at the bottom).
27. When traveling in certain countries, where the economy is very high (i.e. the Scandinavian countries), check the price of your dry cleaning at the desk upon your arrival. You may find you are paying more for the cleaning than what you paid for the piece of clothing. By checking before you send your clothes to cleaning, you won’t go into shock when you have to pay the bill.