Travel is one of the great joys of life. Seeing the world and experiencing other cultures is energizing for me, and traveling with my family is such a privilege.
Even so, I know from experience that the journey sometimes isn’t smooth and the destination doesn’t always live up to one’s expectations.
The best way to ensure that travel is more fun, and less frustrating is to know what you’re doing. That’s why I’ve made a career out of sharing useful travel advice for day-trippers and long-haulers, real-world travel tips, and reviews of the best travel gear.
Everything I share is based on research and my own experiences. Through trial and error, I’ve discovered what works and what doesn’t so you can benefit on your next trip from everything I’ve learned along the way.
I hope that my experiences will help you and your family get where you’re going more comfortably and have a more meaningful time when you arrive.
Some of the best trip advice is also some of the most basic. For instance:
You don’t have to suffer through jet lag. One of the best travel tips I can share is that it’s possible to beat jet lag and to sleep well, even when you’re traveling around the world. The most important things you can do are eat well, hydrate, sleep strategically on flights, and go to the spa when you arrive.
Your business travel can fund your personal travel. And, these days, frequent fliers have to be especially smart about accruing elite qualifying miles. I’ve started giving my best tips for keeping my American Airlines AAdvantage Executive Platinum status and how I work hard to earn miles without flying, too.
Staying healthy while traveling is easy. A lot of people succumb to viruses like colds while traveling because there are always sick people on planes and it’s easy to get too little rest while vacationing. My tips for staying healthy while traveling are simple, and you can use them every time you travel.
Food is the best way to get to know a place. I’m always excited to try new dishes, and so while I love dining in Michelin-starred restaurants, I also love digging into local street food.
Be in your vacation photos. If you’re traveling alone, ask someone to take your photo like a Flytographer. And if you’re traveling with family or friends, make sure you’re not always the one behind the camera. Your trip snapshots will be so much more meaningful with you in them.
Learn a bit of the language. When you’re traveling internationally, you’ll make a better impression and get more help from locals if you can at least say hello, please, sorry, and thank you. It’s also a sign of respect, and you may discover that you enjoy learning words and phrases in new languages.
The off-season or the shoulder seasons can be the best times to travel. There tend to be fewer tourists so sights are less busy and hotels may be less expensive. Some families find that traveling during the school year is the best way to economize and beat the crowds. Teachers usually understand because travel is educational.
Keep an open mind. My travel advice is based on my own experiences. What works for me may not work for everyone, so work on building a list of travel trips that works for you and yours. Don’t judge other travelers and make sure you’re giving every destination a fair shot.
Because I’ve traveled extensively, alone and with my family, I’ve had the opportunity to find and use some of the best travel gear for grownups along with great gear for little travelers that can make exploring the world with children easier.
My favorite travel gear isn’t always super luxurious or expensive. I prefer to use what works, and my own list of must-have travel gear is actually pretty minimal. It’s also always changing.
What I needed to have on hand when my daughter was little is very different from what I travel with now as my daughter has grown and taken on more responsibility for her own luggage.
The one constant when it comes to my preferred travel gear is that it’s high quality, stylish, and functional. The most important travel tip I can give related to luggage and accessories is to stick to the best and the most useful options — and not to hold onto anything that doesn’t serve you anymore.
On some of these pages you’ll find my thoughts on the best travel gear for adults, the best travel gifts, the best kids’ travel gear (my daughter used to love flying with My Pillow Pets), and tips about how to pack a perfect carry-on. What’s in mine? Noise-canceling headphones are one of my main must-haves, a cashmere wrap that is the perfect on/off accessory for planes that alternate between hot and frigid, and I can’t live without a portable battery charger.
I hope the travel advice, tips, and products I share on this page will help make your next trip amazing.