Top Five Travel Tips

–     The holidays are such a busy time for me and I find that I am not reviewing boxes right now. Today, I am partnering with Jen over at Ramblings of a Suburban Mom to give you my top travel finds in her Thursday Thoughts segment.  I will get back to reviews soon.  I am looking forward to reviewing my first Quarterly boxes this month and I still need to get November’s book review up and running.

–     Paris was amazing but I found I was completely out of shape and unprepared for the amount of walking and climbing steps that was needed to tour.  I can only imagine that China is going to be just as difficult (the Great Wall), so I have been focusing my purchases this month and my requests for gifts around future trips.  China is this March and then we are planning an Italy/Greece tour in 2016. With future trips in mind I compiled a list of must haves.

Item One:  21 day Fix

http://www.beachbody.com/product/fitness_programs/21-day-fix-simple-fitness-eating.do?e

–     Around five-years ago, before my last two babies, I lost fifty pounds with the help of the site Beachbody.com (Turbo Jam) and Bowflex.  After five children, with my sixth, I had to have an emergency C-Section for the first time.  I had serious complications and I have put on a lot of weight.  I am cleared to begin working out again and this program looks easy.  I like that your on for 21 days, you work out with a 30 minute tape every day and you use the cups for portion sizes.  I will let you all know how it is going when I start the program; hopefully sometime next week.

Item Two:  Good Shoes

–     It became very clear early on my trip that my old sneakers were not supporting my feet anymore.  I know I need a great pair of sneakers but I need shoes that look professional as well.  I love Zappos.com and I have been scouring their site for nice travel shoes.  I purchased these Dansko Pavans for work and I am wearing them today. They fit perfectly, but I am not sure they are the support I will need for long walks.  As I break them in I will report back.  They do look fantastic though, if you don’t mind a clog style.

http://www.zappos.com/dansko-pavan-black-full-grain?zlfid=191&ref=pd_sims_p_ab_t_1

  Item Three:  Luggage

–     I noticed a lot of individuals traveling with hard case luggage.  I definitely could see the benefit as I watched my luggage getting thrown in to a plane.  The hard case is a bit more pricey but I think down the road the investment is there.  I found this Tumi Tumi Vapor International Carry On bag at Zappos.

http://www.zappos.com/tumi-tumi-vapor-international-carry-on-garnet

Item Four:  Language Translator

–     One of the biggest mistakes I made on my trip to France was to not bring my Lingo traveler with me.  The picture below is just one of many versions.  I have a Lingo that translates over 55 languages.  I will not make that mistake when I go to China.  Highly recommend!

Item Five:  Travel Guides

–     I strongly recommend anyone going on a trip purchase a travel guide months in advance.  I love guides because they tell you the history, location and best tourist attractions.  You can also find maps and emergency locations.  The following site is what I am using to choose a guide for my china trip.  I love how it gives a breakdown of different guides and what they include:  http://www.farwestchina.com/china-travel-books  

I received Rick Steves’ Paris Guide in my Escape Monthly and it was very helpful.

–    There are already nerves when you fly to new locales, especially when currency, geography, culture and even language are unknowns.  Any products that make the transition easier are so important.  I would also recommend you call your bank to let them know you are leaving, order currency ahead of time or stop in the airport at hubs that have currency exchange (expect a charge), and have a first aid kit with you with necessary medications that may not be easy to access.  Also, pay attention to cell phone plans.  Friends recommended a program called Viber for free international calls, but it requires you and your loved ones to download.

–     What do you bring on your trips?

–  J

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