Here is another of those list articles that I often just pass by. But this one had lots of good advice that I haven’t seen before. As a very seasoned traveler, I learned a lot from it: Like looking for airline tickets in a private browser (the travel sites know you are looking, and prices go up accordingly).
Some I know, but it is worth a reminder, for example, don’t over-plan your trip. When I find myself wanting to do everything, I remind myself that the world is very large, and you cannot see everything. I would love to go to the Galapagos, but it is beyond my budget. There are 52 churches in Cuenca, a representative sampling will do. I saw a couple in Salento waste their whole down-time there planning for the next week of their journey, pretty much hour by hour! Meanwhile, some very interesting people were sharing travel stories and beers.
There is the usual packing advice, but it is, again, worth being reminded that whatever you pack you will be carrying yourself. Over cobblestone streets. Sometimes at 4 AM. In the 21st century, whatever you need or forgot to pack can be found where you are going. Since I am on a long journey (at least a year) I ended up with two bags, one a good backpack with wheels, and one a duffle that morphed into a suitcase along the way. As an experiment, I sorted my bags at one point and put things seldom used in one bag and the frequently used stuff in the good backpack (it has wheels als0, for long hauls not over cobblestones). I have traveled for weeks now without opening the second bag. It will not be leaving Cuenca with me. Some things I’ll send back to the US, some I will give away.
One added word of advice about bookings is to be sure you have heard back directly from the hotel/hostel/airbnb before arriving there. Arriving exhausted at the end of a day’s travel to find no room at the inn is really painful. This happened to me at my last Airbnb reservation. Reduced to exhausted tears, I finally hit a bed 4 hours later.
So, here is a list worth browsing:
15 Things You Need To Know Before You Travel