The Best Things about Travel

When you decide what is most important about travel you can have great experiences.  Here are some things to keep in mind so you’ll have a good trip wherever you’re going:

Pack as lightly as possible.  If you forget something look for it at a local grocery store or shop.  I still have pads of writing paper, toothpaste, bars of lavender soap and other necessities from local stores.  I should include snacks and candy but since I eat them immediately I’m not sure why I’m mentioning them.

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The Souvenir Drawer

I have at least one drawer at home that’s filled with travel souvenirs.  There are postcards, maps, museum floor plans, and pamphlets that I’ve brought back from trips.  I always bring more of these things home than I realize, and when I had a quick look recently there were postcards from (among other places) Seattle, Paris, and Brussels stacked together.  I started to review to see if there was anything that could be thrown away.  Since this would be difficult I sorted things by country.  At least that way if there were duplicates I could keep the one in better condition.

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Airport Shops in Rome

Just when you thought you’d bought enough souvenirs from a trip to Italy, there’s one more opportunity at the airport shops.  Here are all the designers you somehow missed in Florence or Milan, as well as duty-free shops for things like candy or perfume. And since you’ve checked your luggage, why not get a few more keepsakes to carry on the plane?  What’s surprising is that I couldn’t find anywhere to buy one last gelato (and I really looked).

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Postcards and Photos

After a trip, it’s fun to reminisce by looking at photos of places I’ve been.  But over time I’ve also accumulated quite an assortment of postcards.  Sometimes I think that because I take so many pictures I shouldn’t buy any.  It really depends on the subject of the postcard as to whether I buy it or not.

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Handy Travel Tips

  • Expect to do a lot of walking while on a trip.  You will not find ramps, people movers, elevators, or escalators in 500 plus year old castles.
  • Don’t expect lots of ice in your drinks.  You may not get any ice unless you ask.  For example:  once I did ask, the waiter used tongs to put one ice cube in my drink.

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An Unnecessary Souvenir

At the time it seems to be the best souvenir ever.  But when you get home, you look at it and wonder what you were thinking when you (I should say “I”) had to have that clock with a picture of Stonehenge on it.  It happened after I saw Stonehenge for the first time.  I had taken an excessive number of pictures of it.  So naturally I went to the gift shop looking for something “unique” to take home.   I think I found it when I bought the clock.

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Some Favorite Souvenirs

Is it possible to travel and not collect souvenirs?  Of course it is, but it can be so much more enjoyable to have things that remind you of your travels.  The most obvious place to buy a souvenir is at the airport, but you can buy a refrigerator magnet from an airport without actually visiting the destination itself.  I know, because I have a refrigerator magnet from Newark, New Jersey that says “New York” with King Kong climbing one of the letters.  Continue reading