I always learn new things when I travel. I see and eat things and have experiences I wouldn’t have at home. Overall it’s a good thing. However there are a few things I wished I knew before and will hopefully remember next time.
- An empty plastic water bottle is your best friend. You can re-fill that bad boy as often as needed for free from airport water fountains and save a buttload of money on bottled water. Also empty it, chug that precious water before going through customs or security.
- Bring favorite packaged food, for yourself and as a gift from foreign parts. This obviously applies internationally but regionally too. My brother-in-law brought a ton of Ale8 home to OK from KY. I wished I had brought protein bars and Diet Sprite to Saigon. Put chips, a muffin or anything non-liquid in your carryon, you will be glad you did.
- Consider using a backpack for your caŕryon. Not only can you stuff a lot into it but use it once you arrive at your destination. I used mine when souvenir shopping, sightseeing and just getting around, made my life easier.Best $3 I spent, bought on sale at Wal-Mart
- Wear comfortable clothes, especially comfortable shoes that come off and on easily. Important for domestic security (international didn’t care ). If you don’t have stinky sweaty feet you might slip off the shoes during a long butt numbing flight, as long as you put them on when you leave your seat.
- Neck pillow. You may look goofy wearing it through the airport ( I know I did) but it’s worth it, especially on long butt numbing flight. Coopmart, 99,000 VND, about $4.35 USD, best souvenir ever
- Backup earbuds/headphones for phone, laptop or tablet.
- Uber app, just in case. Cheaper than cabs.
- Depending on airline, a sturdy taped up box can qualify as luggage and be checked as baggage. As long as your name and address are on it in big, easy to read letters it’s probably a go. If I go back to Saigon I am so doing this.
- Thank everybody you meet or encounter along the way. A lot of people are jerks when they travel and good service often goes unappreciated so be nice.