Top 5 Travel Tips


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petalsHomegirl Casey’s here today to talk a bit about travel advice. This girl is full of it (in both senses of the phrase! Ha!). She was a veritable well of knowledge that I tapped into often as we were preparing for our jaunt across the pond. And now…SURPRISE! We’ve actually been off enjoying said trip for the past few weeks (hence all my sweet friends helping to fill in for me around here), and while I’m back home now recovering from jet lag and getting my American bearings, allow Casey to share some of her wisdom with you. I promise to relay all the details from our amazing journey soon!

petalsHello there, friends of Kristin…and therefore friends of mine! I’m Casey, the brains behind the blog We Took the Road Less Traveled. I’m just your average Southern girl turned expat, living abroad in beautiful Germany! Completely normal, right? It’s not exactly where I thought I’d be spending 3 years of my adult life, but we definitely aren’t complaining! My handsome Air Force hubby and I made the move 4,000 miles away from our families in North Carolina a year and a half ago and have been traveling fools ever since! We love life here in Deutschland and have had the opportunity to travel to some pretty amazing places. Just last year we visited 9 different countries! My wallet is currently in the corner crying, but it’s worth it, I swear. So, how in the world do we manage to keep our sanity while traveling? Good question. Lots of wine! You think I’m kidding? I’m not. Ok, so wine and a few important tips we like to keep in mind while we’re far from home. Lucky for you, I’m going to reveal a few of our best travel tips here today! If only I could share the wine too, huh? 😉

Top 5 Travel Tips:

     Be flexible. You may have planned and planned a particular trip down to the very restaurant you’re going to dine in every evening, but just as in everyday life, Murphy
will strike! Murphy’s Law, that is. He’s always waiting around the corner to ruffle your feathers and turn a would-be fantastic getaway into a total suck-fest. So, learn to go with the flow. Roll with the punches. Fly on the wings of an eagle. One too many cliches? Moving on…

     Have realistic expectations. You’re not going to be able to do and see EVERYTHING you want to while traveling. Believe me, we’ve tried. My motto used to be, “If your feet
aren’t bleeding by the end of the day, you’re not doing it right!” And then I got a reality check. And lots of Band-Aids. Come into each travel opportunity with a few “must-see” spots on your list and let the rest be “bonus sights”. If you see them, cool. If not, ehhh, maybe next time. Don’t wear yourself out to the point that you don’t enjoy your surroundings. You’re on vacation for gosh sakes!

     Talk to the locals! We’ve found some of Europe’s best-kept secrets that no travel book will show you just from getting chummy with the wait staff or striking up a convo with a street performer (but please, dear Lord, give them a dollar or you’ll get a mouthful of not so friendly travel advice). They live there, why wouldn’t they know the best pub or picnic spot in town? Travel books are nice, but don’t let them dictate your entire trip. Go off the beaten path a bit and see what fun awaits you. Some of our most memorable experiences abroad have come from taking “the road less traveled”. HA! See what I did there? I know, stop it.

     Bring an umbrella. No matter where you go, it rains. London, it rained. Italy, it rained. Germany, it RAINS. If we waited for a day when the weather was perfect to get out and see our host country, we’d never see anything. It’s the rainiest place we’ve ever lived. But, that doesn’t stop us. And don’t let weather stop you! Invest in a sturdy umbrella and raincoat (or two) and make sure they’re in your carry on. You can thank me later.

     Don’t let culture shock bog you down. Stepping off the plane into a foreign country can be one of the scariest things in the world. It could also be the most exciting. Do your
research beforehand. Coming to a new country with a little knowledge of the culture and language can go farther than you’d expect. The locals appreciate when you make an effort to talk to them in their native tongue, however hard or embarrassing it may be. They also love to practice their English on you! Germans are notorious for never letting me speak German. It’s probably better that way anyways. Be open-minded and willing to try new things, no matter how wacky or un-American they may seem. We view the world through the eyes of our own culture and are often put off by the way other counties live, eat, dress, and what they believe. Because of this, we tend to shy away from certain experiences and often don’t get the most out of our trips abroad. While traveling, I challenge you to take time to appreciate your differences. Submerge yourself in them. I believe being a traveler can contribute to a person becoming well-balanced. Worldly. It can also make you appreciate what you have back home. After all, there is no place like it!

So, there you have it. Everything you need to know about traveling abroad, whether you wanted to know it or not. Auf Wiedershen, freundes!petalsThanks Casey-girl! I know you’ll want to follow along on all her travel adventures – currently on her docket: a 12-day Mediterranean cruise. I know. Here is where she hangs out:

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5 thoughts on “Top 5 Travel Tips

  1. Love these tips, thanks for sharing!
    I love traveling and definitely would like to live in Europe… I’d be a traveling fool if I was based in Germany! 😉

  2. Deustchland ist ein fantastischer Ort! Ich wurde in Deutschland für neun Tages während meines Studiums im Ausland. Es war wünderbar, und Deutschland ist ein schönes Land! Ich habe Deutsch für zwei Jahren studiert, und jetz kann ich ganz gut Deutsch sprechen, aber nie perfekt! Großen Beitrag!

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