When we are in our 30’s, we could assume (and I hope for the majority of my readers) that we are in a much better position than when we were in our 20’s. We should be smarter and more of a “pro” when traveling now in our 30’s. We should also be more mature and stable in handling the different aspects of our lives and one of those is traveling!
Compared to when I was in my 20’s, I travel differently now that I’m in my 30’s. It is one of my goals to improve some of my travel habits. So for my recent trip in Sweden with family I noted some of the things I do differently now than before.
- A Translate App – Traveling to a country where they speak a different language? No problem. Download Google Translate! Not only it can translate words but also text, images and words! Gone are the days when it could be somewhat intimidating to travel in a country that has a different language. For example, on our recent trip to Sweden we needed to buy toothpaste for the kids. In the past, we could assume that just by looking at the toothpaste section, the items with cute pictures are for kids but at least now, we can confirm exactly what we are buying, its flavors, ingredients and what not. Another obvious and more important function of this is understanding important notices, warnings, instructions of our surroundings not to mention ordinary things like museum captions. I have to say that this technology has still a lot of room for improvement but it is very useful.
- 2. A Global WiFi Provider – Yes at this age, we should travel and be able to afford a global WiFi ISP. You can either rent the service or device for the period of your travel or find out from your local phone service how to have this available on your phone with reasonable fees. I could rely on public WiFi but life is so much better when you have WiFi available right at your finger tips. It helped my travel experience to be ten times better than before! For example, just by easily getting information on how to get from point A to point B using the subway in Europe relieves a lot of potential stress and saves us a lot of time planning our day. We can focus and appreciate the scenery around us rather than struggling and wasting time figuring out how to get to our destination. Time is money. For me, if you could afford to pay for a global WiFi provider do it because it is worth it! In my 20’s, I would not pay for it and just rely on public WiFi. But now that I’m in my 30’s, time, safety, convenience, efficiency and reliability become more important than ever. I would rather use my money to pay for it than ending up spending my money on unnecessary souvenirs or things.
- 3. A souvenir local to the country with stories to tell not things to show. When I was in my 20’s, I buy souvenirs based on whatever whim I had at the moment. Now that I’m in my 30’s I am much more interested in buying or discovering local brands, products or artwork that tells a story. For example, I would rather buy art work (doesn’t have to be from an expensive artist) that reminds me of the place I enjoyed the most in the city rather than spending on key chains, T-shirts, expensive bags or shoes.
- 4. A good looking, durable, reliable 4-wheel spinner suitcase. Don’t settle for anything other than four independent wheels, spin-capable, light luggage! Invest in your luggage. It can easily make or break a trip. I remember those days when I used two-wheeled, cheaper suitcases. Once you have a light and reliable four-wheel spinner, you will never ever go back to that old suitcase again! I personally use Samsonite Winfield 2 Hardside luggage in avocado green. I know that there are many other more expensive brands out there, but this works as advertised from my experience. It is light, it spins in all directions, has four wheels and I can easily spot the neon green even far from the baggage conveyor! It has been to many places. Other than some scratches here and there, it is far from destroyed or damaged. Even my eight year old child could easily push it, no problem.
- 5. A nice coat. There are two kinds of coats that you must own in your 30’s that work universally when you travel. One high quality and water-proof coat to use when snowing or raining, and one stylish and warm pea coat when it is cold (looks great whether day or night). Suit yourself more appropriately as you grow older. Remember, there is no bad weather, only bad clothing. You will always thank yourself for bringing that practical, functional and gorgeous coat when traveling. For snowy weather, my personal favorite is my white Columbia Lady D Down Jacket with Omniheat technology. From Aspen, Colorado’s 15 degree Fahrenheit to -19 Celsius in Lapland Sweden, it kept covered me well…it’s toasty in even the lowest temperatures. As for my peacoat, my Calvin Klein double breasted belted long wool coat served me well all day in the stylish, minimalist city of Stockholm. Personally, you get away with more in a long pea coat than in short, regular size coat. There is more protection against the cold weather and it looks as absolutely gorgeous as the regular length pea coat.
- 6. A bag that you can rely on. Whether it’s a backpack, shopper bag, or some other style, you should own at least one reliable bag that will carry all your essentials and can adapt to different types of situations. For example I use my Desigual Reversible Shopper’s bag from my recent travels. It is a 3 in 1 bag. It’s a reversible shopper bag that’s black on one side and white on the other, large enough to function as a shopping bag or carry “extra stuff” when the need arises. It comes with a companion bag that I could take out when needed and use as a shoulder bag or cross-body bag in addition to the shopping bag. It has a zipper to protect my important stuff with lots of pockets inside. It’s a genius companion bag that works well for me when traveling.
- 7. Travel insurance. We were much more selfish in our 20’s than in our 30’s. Now, we have much more at stake when we’re in our 30’s than in our 20’s (especially those of us who are married with kids). The last thing you want to happen is someone getting sick, needing to go to the doctor, acquiring liabilities or more financial burdens when out of the country. It is one of those things that you hope you’ll never use but if you ever do, thank yourself and breathe a sigh of relief that it is paid! When I was in my 20’s, I would just “wing it”. You know, overlook these kind of details. But if you have a family and are going out of the country, buy some peace of mind and get some decent travel insurance.
- 8. A go-to airport outfit. You should have figured out by now what is your “go-to” airport outfit. For me it could be a simple and plain shirt paired with jeans but I have to bring a coat or long vest with pockets that could instantly upgrade my comfy plain-Jane outfit. This way when I arrive on the destination (most especially to highly cosmopolitan places) I look and feel more fabulous traveling with dignity than my younger self!
- 9. Travel containers. Yes, I’m guilty. I used to toss all my full size shampoos, lotions, moisturizers, etc. and carefully pack them to avoid spills inside the luggage. This time, instead of focusing on how to bring them all and busy packaging them carefully, I transferred them to smaller containers. It was a success! Just with this alone I felt like more of a smart traveler. It is more practical. It saved tons of weight and space in my luggage. I never regretted not bringing my favorite full size beauty products.
- 10. Get cash or own a credit card with no foreign transaction fees. In your 30’s I hope you have worked and have the good fortune to own and qualify for better credit cards. Better credit cards are those credit cards with no foreign transaction fees.
Lastly, in our 30’s we should have the confidence to try something new, have the ability to get out of our comfort zones and brave enough to explore the world. There’s no way that we were just born to pay bills and die!