The do’s and don’ts of traveling

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A list provided by Everyone’s Travel Services gives six helpful packing tips for every traveler. (Jessica Olsen)

Kelsie Taylor knew things had taken a turn for the worst after realizing her car wasn’t going to make it up the rest of the snow-packed mountain. Taylor and a group of friends traveling to Fillmore, Utah didn’t fully prepare themselves for the unexpected vacation horror story they were about to experience.

Taylor, a junior majoring in communication disorders, was planning on staying overnight in a small cabin with her friends before going sledding the next morning.

They had to walk about five miles to reach the cabin and were all wearing wet swimsuits from swimming earlier that day, making the walk more difficult.

The group finally made it, but quickly realized the night wasn’t going to get any better when they saw the cabin they were staying in was not what they expected it to be.

“There was no electricity, so it was freezing, and the roof was basically just two pieces of plywood resting on each other,” Taylor said. “I didn’t get any sleep.”

Taylor’s story is one that many people can relate to. Here are some tips to help travelers get ready for an upcoming vacation and avoid creating their own vacation horror stories:

1. Watch what you eat

No one wants to be the person that needs a bathroom break over and over again. Here is a list of food types to eat before traveling provided by All Women Stalk to make sure that doesn’t happen:

  1. Foods low in salt
  2. Smoothies
  3. Juicy oranges
  4. Lemon water
  5. Protein
  6. Yogurt
  7. Herbal teas

All Women Stalk also suggests to avoid greasy fast foods, anything with garlic or any carbonated drinks.

2. Dress smart

Another huge factor in planning a good trip is deciding what to wear on the way. The day of a trip might be a great day to decide against those leather pants. Independent Traveler suggested picking something that allows for movement and won’t snag. The site advises travelers to wear shoes that slip off easily and bring a jacket just in case the plane gets a little cold.

BYU’s International Travel Specialist Nancy Bean advises students to always pack a change of clothing in a carry on bag if they are flying to their destination. She said sometimes checked bags get lost and the traveler can be left with nothing.

“Packing an extra set of clothes and even a little pack of Tide could be a life saver,” Bean said.

3. Bring entertainment

Independent Traveler also advised people who fly bring things to help the journey go by a little faster, but this also applies to those planning a long road trip. Download a few games to play or movies to watch, for those that have a tablet. 

4. Have structure

There are people out there who love spontaneity in their travels, according to BYU alumnus Kent Peterson, a travel agent at Everyone’s Travel Services. While spontaneity can be great for the adventurous who love the unknown, Peterson said it is important to have structure as well.

Travel is a personal thing,” Peterson said. “Whims are always good. Just grabbing your suitcase and traveling is good, but it’s nice to have ideas in mind.”

Peterson says people limit themselves too much if they get too overzealous. He believes everyone should have their basic course of travel planned because it is always nice to have a little forewarning.

5. Do your research

Bean explained it is also important to study the destination before traveling, and then plan accordingly. She said there are resources out there to help do the research needed to plan a good trip, such as ricksteves.com.

Bean also said that people will often try to pack too much into their trip, and then it doesn’t work out.

“Don’t try to do too much,” Bean said. “Pick something smaller, but do everything in that area.”

6. Be a minimalist

Peterson said he learned to pack light the hard way: he once packed 80 pounds of clothing when he was traveling through Europe and was responsible for lifting the massive bag everyday. He explained he only ended up using maybe 20 pounds of the clothing.

“Travel light,” Peterson said. “Now, I just travel with basically a carry on.”

7. Take care of your valuables

Bean said she always keeps her credit cards and passport on her in a money bag that she wears in front of her. She advised travelers to never leave important items in a backpack, as they are more prone to being stolen that way.

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