• Travel tips to keep you light on your feet

    2014-06-02

    The summer travel season is upon us again, but before you rush off to catch a flight or hit the road, take a moment to make sure you're not carrying more than you need. These travel tips will keep you from turning into a pack mule on your vacation.

    Travel light
    CNN offered advice for how to make sure your trip goes smoothly both before you leave home and once things get underway. The first entry on the list was that perennial vacation sin - overpacking. A British Travel lodge survey found that two-thirds of people pack six outfits that they never even wear on vacation. Packing too much will leave you with nothing but a sore back, less room for souvenirs and, if you're paying to check baggage, a pricier ticket.

    Under most circumstances, it's best to keep your bag light once you reach your destination, too. Buying large or heavy items on vacation just means you have to haul them around with you and get them back home. If you absolutely must have that giant clay vase, pick it up on your way back home. And if you're traveling outside the U.S., make sure you'll be allowed to take it with you. According to Budget Travel, some countries have laws against taking antiques overseas, even if they can be sold legally. However, CNN also warned against putting off unique purchases too long. When you spot something that you can't live without and you won't be able to get it back home, it may be best to deal with the extra weight and get it while you can.

    Go with the flow
    When travelling to unfamiliar cities, it can be tempting to follow a guidebook the whole time. Having a prearranged route or at least a vetted list of sights can take some of the stress out of a trip, but it can also remove some of the adventure. Going off the beaten path will help you discover what really makes a city unique and what makes it best for you. Plus, you'll avoid the crowds of people who bought the same book that you did.

    Once you're got your eyes off the guidebook, don't point them at a camera too much, either. CNN blamed the ease of taking photos for destroying spontaneous travel experiences. A study has even found that taking too many snapshots can dilute the memory of a trip rather than preserve it. Unless you're a pro, there's no need to haul a big, expensive camera around when a cheap one will do.

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