Quick Tip #13: Lengthy Stopover? Stow and go to lighten your load

YorkA stopover in a neat city en route to your final destination can be both a blessing and a pain in the butt, depending on how and who you’re traveling with. On the one hand, enjoying a pretzel in Frankfurt, taking a ride on the Singapore flyer, or visiting the Souk Market in Dubai before making a connection sounds pretty tempting. On the other hand, whether you’re traveling solo or with a large group, the last thing you want to do is lug around heavy carry-ons so you can snap a shot of the Eiffel Tower when you only have 6 hours to go until your next flight.

Solution? Try to find out whether or not the airport or train station is equipped with storage lockers or a left luggage service that allows you to pay a reasonable fee to stow away excess baggage while you trot around playing tourist. While some airports have discontinued the service due to security reasons, most connect to a railway station that offers lockers you can rent for either a flat fee or by the hour. Stop by the information desk upon arrival or navigate the airport website before take off. This allows you to plan accordingly and be ready for any adventure that might come your way. Happy Travels!

Quick Tip #3: Be a Chameleon: Adapt to Your Surroundings

“When you travel, remember that a foreign country is not designed to make you comfortable. It is designed to make its own people comfortable.” Clifton Fadiman

One of the hardest thing for new travelers to do is take that initial step outside their comfort zone. Let’s be honest: the idea of jumping head first into discovering a country whose language, culture, food, religion and practices are drastically different from your own, is scary! The good news is it doesn’t have to be, not for long anyways. The secret? Be the lizard. Not necessarily slimy and green, but able to adapt to your surroundings and blend in with your environment. Over the course of your travels, your frustrations will directly mirror the amount of effort you put into letting go of the old and embracing the brand-spanking new; sound hard? It’s really not.

Here are 3 steps to ensure that you avoid a meltdown once you step off the plane and into a brave new (foreign) world:

Do your research: I can’t emphasize enough the importance of doing your research prior to takeoff. If you’re really time strapped, take a guidebook in your carry on and substitute it for your on-flight entertainment. Read about things that shape a society and a culture; learning a little about everything from religion to agriculture will help you better understand the people around you once you set foot on the ground.

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