Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tina's Traveling Tips


Blog post by Tina Winterlik © 2011
http://tinawinterlik.blogspot.com
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This was sort of lost so I'm re-sharing it here.

Tina's Travel Tips!

Here's just a few tips that I would like to share, there are tons more lists and articles on what to take and do, at Lonely Planet and other great sites like that, but this is just what I would tell someone, one mom to another if your considering big trip. 

Good Shoes - Sandals and Runners - and not brand new, make sure they are broke in, you can't be dealing with blisters.

Jeans  & Sweaters for buses that ALWAYS have super cold air-conditioning. The First Class buses always have very chilly air conditioning and you don't want to catch a cold at the beginning of your trip because you were freezing in the bus, trust me. (If you have a cold, becareful as the air conditioning can really make it worse)

If you get a cold, I LOVE lavender and eucalyptus, but if you don't have these, Halls- Lemon cough candies and Vicks Vapour Rub will really help. Also carry Dramimine or Gravol if you can get it, Bendryl for Sandflea bites and other stings that may cause an allergic reaction, Tylenol for kids or in Mexico Paraceptemol (I think, check the spelling), and you can get Pepto -Bismol tablets for pesos so pick up a few and if you have a funny tummy pop one, and I rub on some lavender. Works great!

Small Fleece Blanket (like those on the airplane) these are awesome, and /or a fleece jacket, they keep you nice and snuggly and are very all purpose. Check Mountain Equipment Co-op for great deals and choices or the second-hand stores to really keep your budget in check.

Comfort Toys- We collected so many gifts/toys while we were traveling. People are so generous and both years we came home with an extra bag, just toys. Of course we had Christmas there, so all that stuff had to come and then just lots of little souvenirs. Be prepared for this extra bag, instead of buying another suitcase we got a sugar sack and used that, it worked excellently.

ALWAYS CHECK FOR TOYS WHEN LEAVING YOUR ROOM!  This was the worse mistake I made, and did it right at the start of the journey. When we left Cancun, I was frazzled, as I realized I had too much luggage(had stocked up for the journey) and I had forgotten our hats somewhere and had to go back and then it started raining...so in all the craziness of running around and getting the bus tickets and gathering everything...I looked at the bed, and thought of making it...then thought " why bother they have to make it anyway"

BIG MISTAKE!!

 That's where Pink Wings -Angel's dragon was hiding, as she'd gone to sleep with him. So there, you've been warned, don't make my mistake.

I don't wear makeup so I don't have advice about that. Except if you get sunscreen in your eyes because your sweating profusely, and it makes your mascara run, ...well it's not pretty!

Basics - comb & brush and hairstuff (When traveling I usually don't use a curling iron or blow dryer) I do take them along though, especially in the mountains, so that you can dry your hair after the cold shower, to make sure you don't have wet hair in bed. I suggest a toque also, can help keep you warm at night in the mountains or just freak rainy days that are chilly to us Canadians because we take heating for granted.

Pack as light as possible. Lonely Planet says, pack and halve it, then halve again. I do this to and it's good advice but it's hard when your going 5 months or so, and you've got a kid in tow. Just remember you can get alot of stuff there...but can you afford it, as prices can be more

KEEP ONE HAND FREE FOR YOUR CHILD!  You just don't know when your going to have to pull your child out of the way of something...so Always keep a free hand and be alert! Keep this in mind when you buy your pack/luggage/knapsack/purse.

Be sure to have some US cash! The first return trip from Mexico, our card did not work in the ATM machine and would not give us US cash.  I always remember this as, Angel was tired &  hungry, we were connecting flights and the machine wasn't working.  I had asked the Security Guard if he knew of another machine, and he said "No!" I was about to try it again, and the Security Guard returned and gave his cookies to Angel. I almost started to cry! It was so sweet and we were so tired. The second year were more prepared. I have found when you travel, you will meet "lots of little angels like that!"

Food is outrageously expensive in airports. There should be a law against it. Seriously! :)

Be prepared that if your flight is later in the evening, even though it says "meal" on the airline website, they will only give you pretzels, make sure you buy something in the airport to take on the plane. This only works once your in the U.S. leaving for Canada because you leave your garbage on the plane. You can't take food from Canada to Mexico...because your clear 3 customs...

A Dvd player can really comfort a child after a long day travelling. They will definitely have Culture Shock to some degree, depending on what they have experienced before. Putting them in bed with a movie will help them relax and help them have the time they need to adjust to the new environment. Later on you'll have the beach and books and they will forget all about TV and Movies and you can just have the Dvd as a special treat!

Art Supplies are hard to find, especially watercolour paper. Best to bring your own if possible.

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