Monday, May 7, 2012

Guest Post: Kristen from Established: 2008

Hey guys! I'm having a blasty-blast in jolly olde London, and I can't wait to tell you all about it when I get back! But until then, one of my sweet blog friends, and a fellow Texas gal, Kristen, has graciously agreed to keep you entertained while I'm gone. Take it away, Kristen! Hey y'all! I'm Kristen and I am so excited to be guest posting for Ryan! I am so super jealous about her fabulous trip but it definitely got me to thinking about my own travels!

Traveling is one of my very favorite things to do. I love seeing new places and experiencing new cultures.

My husband and I try to take a trip every year. So far, we've stayed in the States. We've visited New York, Nashville, New Orleans, Memphis, San Francisco and we're planning to hit Chicago this summer!

The best trip I've ever been on, though, was with one of my dear friends. She had been living in Europe and I went and spent about six weeks with her. We traveled ALL over the place.

We went to Rome.






And even Slovakia!
While I don't know everything, I feel like I've gained a bit or two of knowledge and based on all of this travel, I've come up with my top ten tips for world travelers.

1.  Pick a great companion.
Traveling can be wonderful but it can also be really stressful. Make sure that you've chosen someone with patience, a good sense of humor and that doesn't hold grudges. You need someone that will laugh with you when you leave your passport in the hotel room or send your luggage to the wrong city.

2. Travel light.
Make sure you pack clothes that are versatile. Take skirts that can be dressed up for a night out or dressed down for sight seeing. If you're staying in a hostel, do laundry.
3. Take awesome shoes.
I love shoes and I love to look cute but don't sacrifice your feet in the name of style. When I was in Vienna, we were on a tight schedule to make sure that we did everything we wanted to. I don't know that we sat down the entire time. We were exhausted. There's no way we could have made it without quality footwear.

4. Do reseach!
Make sure that you have a plan and that you know about the culture that you're visiting. When I was in Venice, we visited a church and they almost didn't let us in because my friend was wearing a tank top. Luckily, she had a jacket. We had no idea!

5. Try new things.
Maybe you're not really in to weird food or are afraid of heights. Try and put that aside while you're traveling. Experience the weird and you'll find the fantastic. We ended up on a river boat in the middle of Austria. It was wonderful!

6. Be flexible.
Something is bound to go wrong. When I went to Europe, my clothes ended up in Germany and I landed in Bologna, Italy. Luckily for me, there was an H&M down the street from my friend's apartment and we were able to get two or three outfits to tide me over. Also, while we were in Italy, there were a number of train strikes on days that we were meant to be somewhere else. We always had to have a plan B! Traveling is exciting but part of that is the promise that something might change last minute.

7. Don't OVER plan.
You don't want to jam pack your schedule to the point that you can't experience other things. One of the best afternoons my husband and I ever had was in San Francisco on a day that we had nothing planned. We ended up renting a car and driving to Napa. We LOVED it!

8. Take things to entertain yourself.
While you travel, there can be a lot of downtime. In Europe, I played a LOT of rummy. In New York, my husband and I played a LOT of Scramble. Be prepared!

9. Ask for travel suggestions and don't be afraid to go off the beaten path.
I don't know that I would ever have chosen to go to Siena without asking around. I found out about this little Italian treasure from a friend that had lived in Siena for awhile. If you ever go to Italy, you NEED to go there. It's perfect.

10.  Take lots of pictures
I always forget to do this and I regret it.

What are y'all's tips for happy travels? Any dream vacations?


lori said...

these are some great tips! and all of the pictures look amazing! i hope to see some of the same places one day :)

Kristin said...

Great advice! I'm completely jealous of your European adventure. What kind of shoes did you wear??

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