Eileen Callahan at the St. Regis, Macao

Vacation Travels Tips from Your Worldly Expert

Toast to airline travel

Champagne, of course

Are you addicted to travel? Silly question. Who doesn’t like to vacation?! Some people venture to a new city for the weekend; others cross state lines, or even the border, for their adventure. When you travel as I do, and live out of a suitcase often, you become quite knowledgeable over time. Let me give you a few tips I’ve learned over the years (some the hard way) to help make your future travels smoother and hopefully with fewer hassles.

What are your priorities?

Write them down. Put your top 3 priorities on paper, even if you’re going to the Bahamas and sun, surf and pina coladas are your only 3 goals. (Can I come?) You may have planned on this trip for years, dreaming of visiting this or that, but distractions can pull you in all directions. A good concierge can steer you away from something you had planned, but what they think is a better choice may not end up being yours. Don’t regret not visiting something because of someone else’s opinion.

Ritz Paris

Ritz Paris

Hotel first

Was it number 4 on your list? Move it up. If price is important,  keep in mind that you may end up with costs that you had not thought about, especially if you’re staying outside of the city center. Is Internet included? Late night Uber rides back to your hotel instead of walking? Is it a few miles farther from the airport? Those costs add up.

Blogger Eileen Callahan traveling light

2 Bag limit

Stuff, stuff, and more stuff. How often do you overpack just to drag unworn items back home? Spend 1 hour and lay out every outfit so you know what sweater goes with what pants. All you have to do is check the weather and itinerary each morning and pull out that pre-planned outfit. Also, leave a little extra room for any souvenirs or gifts, and especially items for yourself. Besides, no matter what, you will find a reason to shop anyways, right?

Download all tix to your phone

Download it

Remember when you were afraid what would happen if you lost your car keys? Well now I am more worried about losing my iPhone. Almost all tickets can be purchased digitally and downloaded so you can store them on your phone. My iPhone wallet has all my airline, hotel, and even movie tickets stored there. Almost any ticket confirmation or city guide can be downloaded. One less piece of paper to keep in check.

Champagne Travels writer Eileen in comfy shoesKick off your heels

You like to look good, don’t you? Me too. Let me introduce you to my friend Dr. Scholl. Not your dad’s thick orthopedic pads. Tons of types and styles for all shoes. I can go miles further with insoles. When it comes to shoes and traveling, it’s important to know the terrain you will be walking. There are beautiful AND comfortable styles of shoes out there. Your Louboutin’s are great for dinner, but make sure to know what the plan is before and after dinner.

cross-body purse - the go-to travel accessoryIt’s huge!

Yes, your Louis Vuitton bag is beautiful, but do you really need that large purse for enjoying the sights of Barcelona? Men, no need for a George Costanza wallet. Will you use your Costco card in Spain? I am a cross-body purse traveler. There are so many beautiful styles and price ranges. This bag puts safety first, and you will relieve your shoulders from 7 hours lugging a bag that looks good but is theft-friendly and not functional for strolling the streets of Rome.

Bartender Roskin

Become a local

Pick one place you will visit every day. Even on a short stay trip, take the time and establish “your spot.” It may be the café around the corner from the hotel for a daily espresso jolt, the corner brasserie at 6pm for an Aperol Spritz, or maybe a piece of chocolate every day from the local patisserie.

coffee at local patisserie

Years from now, when you still haven’t returned to Denver or Amsterdam, you will still remember that spot where you learned about the waitress’ 2 children, or how Barry the bartender was about to become a father and you wonder how the 3 year old is doing. Imagine 10 years from now, you and your spouse enjoying a bottle of Cabernet at home by the fire and reminiscing about that café in New York or Rome and wondering what Philip the bartender is doing today.

Take off now

We work hard to enjoy what life has to offer. Vacation is the biggest reward, you deserve it.

View from British Airways plane