Travel tips: Kindles, Passports, Snacks, Credit Cards, and More

by Kev
Airplane

I asked, and you shared your travel tips!

I asked the followers of Travels with Kev Facebook Group a question, what are your favorite travel tips (including products and what not)

Here the travel tips that people suggested as there favorites!

A travel buddy!

Mom and me

My mother, with one of her travel buddies, ME! We are aboard the Capitol Limited.

One reply is from Robin, who is my mom. Her favorite travel tip is to a travel buddy, especially one that knows what he is doing. These buddies are helpful, especially for those travelers who have travel anxiety or need a little support to make sure you get to where you need to go. Sometimes they are just fun to have and often can do more than an emotional support animal, the opposable thumbs help.

Other travel buddies can come in different forms, real, stuffed, or even at times remote via a supportive text or phone call.

I used to carry a Target Dog stuffed dog with me, and I took photos of him at different places that I traveled to, and he helped me share my journey with my team for and my guest at my old store.

I know other travelers that do this as well. Betty, a podcaster I listen to, brings Herman, a stuffed turtle with suction cups on its feet, along with when she travels.

Having a travel buddy can help keep you calm you even if they are not real.

A Kindel e-reader

This suggestion comes from my Paula, my sister, yes I have a lot of family support with this endeavor!

A travel podcaster that I follow talked about bringing a Kindle e-reader and an iPad when he travels. At first, I thought it was excessive, especially for a minimal traveler like him, but Travis had a good point. A simple Kindle e-reader has less glare than other tablets and can eliminate many distractions like push notifications, the tempting Facebook button, and the Travels with Kev Webpage. Plus they do not weigh much.

She also mentioned bringing an old fashion book, I often do that as well or the latest issue of Trains Magazine.

Passport

Passpoert

Always keep your passport in a safe place

Solé, my brother-in-law’s aunt, an extended family supporter woot-woot, bring us the next suggestion!

She said her favorite travel tip is her passport; this means she is ready to travel the world!

In full discloser, I do not have one, yet. I need one because I want to expand my travels.

When you travel, even domestically it’s a good idea to bring your passport with you. Having another form of ID never hurts just in case something happens with your other ID like if it expires, gets lost, or it’s stolen.

ID/Passport Tips

  1. Six months before your next trip
    1. Make sure your ID has not expired, is about to expire, and that it’s valid during for your whole trip (this is good for credit cards as well)
    2. If you are flying domestically and do not have a passport make sure your state issued ID is REAL ID Compliant
  2. Don’t keep all your identification in one location, don’t give your sticky fringed “friend” a gold mine by having all forms of ID in one place
  3. If you are planning a trip outside of the country and don’t have a passport, start the passport process before you buy your first ticket or make a reservation to make sure you can go when you want.

Mailing Luggage or excess baggage travel tips

This tip came from Greg, a non-relative, but he is my barber (Slade’s Barbershop). He brought up the idea of sending excess luggage home via USPS, FEDX. or UPS

Too much luggage

Does anyone need this much luggage?

Mailing extra luggage is a  great idea and can save you time and money. When I started traveling, I used to send my dirty clothing home to lighten my bag. I had a big 25″ suitcase I used to overpack, so I had no room for any souvenirs. It was fun to get a package when I get home until I remembered it was just my dirty stuff.

With the prices of checked bags and with other restrictions, sending your luggage home can be cheaper than checking bags or trying to bring products with you. Budget and legacy airlines often charge $30 plus for checked baggage and some even charge for carry-ons.

Some services will send your luggage to your destination or home; these might save you time and effort plus eliminates your bag getting lost by the airline carrier, for now, the shipper can forget it, yay (just kidding, but it could happen).

Snacks!

Alice, once again back to a family member (brother-in-law’s aunt but another side of the family) travel tip that she brought up is snacks, and that is an excellent suggestion that many people forget.

Snacks are a must for trains, buses, and road trips, but you can also bring food with you when flying. If you are flying, make sure check the TSA’s regulations or buy munchies at the airport (for first-time travelers, snacks and everything else cost more at airports or stations so be prepared for sticker shock.)

Her favorite was Checkmix, that is one of my favorites too; I often bring dried fruit and granola bars because they do not take up too much space.

Credit cards

If you need a credit card, get one that will help you travel.

Travel Credit Cards and points

Bobb, a non-relative (yay) but we did go to high school together back in the day, the year is not essential.

He brought up earning points with credit cards to get free trips.  There are many credit cards out there, and if you need one, it makes sense to have a card that works for you. Chase Saphire is a favorite card for many travelers, but for others, a brand-specific card could be a good idea for you as well. Brand loyalty can help build points fast. Most major transportation carriers such as Delta, Southwest, Amtrak, hotels, resorts, and cruise lines have credit cards as well that can ascertain reward points quickly.

My folks last year procured an Amtrak credit card and had received a few free trips from the sign on points plus earned points from purchasing and travel.

Check with your rewards program if they offer points for shopping, I have gained over 20k Amtrak points from this program. If you use your rewards card and shop through the rewards program, you can bank points pretty fast.

Packing Cubes

Packing Cube

This packing cube holds and organizes my clothing to help organize my travel backpack.

This suggestion comes from a former boss (that I replaced after she quit), Lizzy.

Her favorite travel tip is also one of mine, and that is packing cubes.

I found out about packing cubes* a few years ago, and they have changed my travel style. I am not an overly organized person in regular life, but when it comes to travel, I am, and the cubes add to that along with a travel folder, but that is a whole different story.

In a nutshell, they are cloth bags that you place your clothing or other travel accessories into and zip up. Not only do they keep you organized, but they can compress your garments a little to squeeze in an extra shirt or pair of socks.

If you are a beginning traveler, consider getting a set of two right away.  There are many brands and prices points, the ones I use no longer made anymore, but there are many quality ones out there.

What to look for when you are buying “the cubes.”

  • Avoid all mesh ones because they are not as durable, you do want some mesh so you can see what is inside and ventilation but all mesh ones snag easy, and I don’t trust them
  • Small and medium cubes are more flexible than bigger ones
  • When traveling with others get everyone a different color, so it is easier to tell everyone’s belongings apart
  • Look for quality, a cube that does not hold up is a waste of money

Lastly, a plug-in cooler and stuff for the kiddos

This last travel tip comes in from my cousin Katie. Her and her family RV a lot, and she suggests a plug-in cooler to keep drinks and snacks cold. This cooler also can prevent snack stops, ice isn’t needed, and you can save money by buying in bulk

She also said that the National Parks have passports for kids to get stamped, What a great childhood memory.

Thanks for joining in on our fun and suggestions!

If you want to join the fun, feel free to join the facebook group! I like to ask the group questions and maybe if you respond to your suggestions could be featured!

Safe Travels!

Kev

IF you have suggestions or want to reach out, contact me here.

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