Grit Blogs > Travel With Marilyn

Take Away Travel Tips

Marilyn JonesEvery destination has its own challenges; there are situations to figure into the equation when you are planning a trip and packing. Read on to discover what's new and what's tried-and-true.

Two “lessons learned” came when I flew back from Bucharest after a Viking River Cruises “Passages to Eastern Europe.” I took along my big suitcase because I “needed” clothes for day and evening, jewelry, lots of shoes … Well, I am sure you get the picture. In addition to all this, I bought souvenirs and, in the end, my 28-inch suitcase was overweight to the tune of 100 Euros. So, working with eBags, I was able to try a 24-inch spinner. Not only was it just the right size for everything I needed for my two weeks in Vietnam and Cambodia, there was enough room for all my souvenirs and it was not overweight.


Another situation I found myself in when I flew home from Bucharest was several flight cancellations due to weather. In addition to the 14-hour flight, I spent two days and nights at the Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport, rented a car, and ended up sleeping in the backseat because flooding blocked my route and there were no availabilities at any hotels.

I finally got home safe and sound, but my legs and feet were swollen. I never wore compression socks because I thought they were all white. After a search online, I found several cute styles at BrightLife Go. I wore one pair and packed a second pair for my return flight, and I did just fine this time — no swelling!


An ongoing problem for everyone is wrinkled garments, so, working with Chico’s, I tried out a sundress and palazzo pants in their TRAVELERS collection. I couldn’t believe how great they looked after packing and hauling them halfway around the world.


A situation I often face is protecting my camera when it’s raining. Well, I discovered a camera rain sleeve featured in Outdoor Photographer magazine. The Op/Tech USA sleeve allowed me to protect my camera and be able to continue shooting. It comes in several sizes and is easy to carry in your camera bag. It worked perfectly when I was in Vietnam and Cambodia recently during monsoon season.


Another item I long ago stopped buying, but now know how important they are, is a destination guidebook. Having a comprehensive reference is invaluable while planning a trip and while on the road. National Geographic and JonGlez are two publishers offering excellent guidebooks.


For security, always carry an RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) wallet or purse to make sure thieves don’t take your credit card or passport information. Lewis N. Clark has a large selection of RFID safe gear including a backpack/purse that I hauled all over Vietnam and Cambodia. It was roomy enough to carry everything I needed, but lightweight and with the cross body strap, easy to carry while on the go.


And last, but not least, Avon sells a combo bug spray/sunscreen. I brought along the aerosol can to SE Asia and shared with my traveling companion. Results? No sunburn, no bug bites, and one can lasted us both for two weeks!


What’s your favorite travel safety, convenience, or innovation product? Comment here and let readers discover other great solutions!