If you’re anything like us, you’re probably itching for a trip. Some adventure. A little break. A vacay. And, fortunately, we’re just days away from Spring Break, prime time for the travel season.
Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a newbie, it always helps to prepare yourself before embarking on a trip. We asked a few #UHBauer world travelers to give us their essential travel tips, and they didn’t disappoint — here are a few practical ideas to get you ready for adventure.
Noha Sahnoune (BBA ’15, MSACCY ’16)
Corporate Financial Analyst, ExxonMobil
- Travel light – don’t take what you can easily buy. Be skeptical of clothes to take – as you pack, you will vastly overestimate the clothes you will wear. When in doubt, function over form. You have exploring to do.
- Understand the local currency of wherever you’re going. It is far too easy to be jilted at an exchange booth… which you should never use. Always err on the side of an ATM.
- A portable charger for your phone is an absolute must… and as is a proper adapter. What works in most of Europe won’t work in Switzerland and a few other countries, so a $15 adapter off of amazon will save you your thousand-dollar phone.
- Google Trips is a lifesaver. Use it to download offline maps, figure out places to go, plan your meals, and visit what’s nearby to you at any given moment.
- Don’t spend on a global data plan – you will not need it. Everything you want is achievable through WiFi, and WiFi is free nearly everywhere in Europe, from Starbucks to shoe stores to city-wide connection (thank you, Barcelona and Munich). If there’s anything I learned, it’s that being disconnected for periods of time as I explored was the most beneficial thing I could have done. There was nothing to check, no notifications to clear, and no reason to look anywhere but at the beauty in front of me.
#UHBauer accounting & finance junior
- Pack light. You rarely wear everything that you pack. Regardless of the length of your trip, everything you bring should fit in a carry-on luggage. This saves money, as many airlines charge for checking bags. It’s also a great safety precaution because you never have to worry about losing your baggage. Finally, it’s convenient; you can hop off the plane and truck through the city with your small luggage in tow!
- Abandon the familiar. Try not to visit any store or restaurant that you can find in your hometown. While traveling, you should try to immerse yourself in the new environment and culture. This means leaving behind familiar foods and stores (sorry, Starbucks!) and trying out local experiences.
- Be polite. In some countries, Americans have a reputation for being bombastic and insensitive. Traveling overseas gives us an opportunity to defy that stereotype. It’s important to show that Americans are considerate and kind-hearted people. In addition, you never know when being nice will get you some insider perspective and travel tips from locals.
Marie Flanigan (MBA ’10)
Principal, Marie Flanigan Interiors
Keep it light! Whether it’s the bag you pack or a carefully crafted itinerary, save room for exploration. Seek out experiences that can’t be found in a travel guide and fill that lightly packed bag with locally crafted art pieces. Each memento will add to your home’s unique story and will serve as a precious reminder of the sights, sounds, and emotions each trip introduced into your life for years to come.
Dean and Professor of Finance, Bauer College of Business
Use packing cubes. They are easy to pack and can help you unpack easily when you reach your destination — one cube for your formal wear, one for undergarments, one for toiletries.
Emma Armer (’17)
Sales Anaylyst – Americas Aviation Lubricants, Shell Oil
Always dress for the weather in the place of your destination. In Texas, it’s tempting to arrive to the airport in light, breathable clothes — and I still do, but I pack all my layers (scarf, hat, mittens) into my carry-on bag and wear my coat temporarily through security (but take it off as soon as I sit down). On long flights, I can use my scarf as cushioning to rest my head. Plus, this approach saves you space in your checked or carry-on bag.
By Jessica Navarro