Friday Top 5: Travel Tips

by Andrea Cooley

No matter how romantic or exotic the destination, traveling can be stressful! Adam and I met a couple in Florence who were on their honeymoon and we joked that we couldn’t have handled a trip to Italy during the first year of our marriage, let alone the first week! Let’s just say, there were some tense moments on our honeymoon that may or may not have involved a cranky wife who didn’t want to carry her bags up 3 flights of stairs. In my defense, I get crabby when I’m hungry (which Adam now knows), so now we always try to have snacks with us (and a full water bottle)! Really, we had a lovely honeymoon, but looking back, I wouldn’t blame Adam if there were moments when he wondered what he’d gotten himself into.

After 17 days living out of carry-on luggage and exploring new countries where English wasn’t the primary language, here are our tips for traveling together and still loving each other when you get home!

1. Set expectations
Travel can be about relaxing or exploring. Before we left the country, Adam and I talked about what we wanted our days to look like on our trip. When we were in places that we probably would never see again we agreed that we wanted to see as much as we could and spend as little time as possible lounging around the hotel. Having this conversation before we were there helped us avoid arguments on the trip.

2. Be prepared!
We always had plenty of snacks, water bottles, umbrellas, band-aids, jackets, etc.

3. Patience
I like to be in control. There, I said it! It’s hard to be in control when you’re in a foreign country. I learned quickly to go with the flow and not have a set schedule and to just enjoy every minute, even if it meant we didn’t get to see every little thing on my list or we missed the bus.

4. Choose a navigator
This was huge for us. Like I said in #3, I like to be in control. I also think I’m a good navigator and always know where I’m going. Sometimes that’s not the case, just ask Adam! One of the first things we did in every city we visited was get a map and try to figure out how to read it. Then we had to trust each other to decide which was the right way to go. Sometimes we were right and sometimes we were wrong, but it was all part of the experience!

5. Have fun!
It really didn’t matter what we did or where we went, we were on our dream vacation and enjoyed every minute of it! Even if your trip is only across town, make it an adventure!

Now that I’ve rambled on for almost 500 words and feel like I wrote an article for work and not a carefree blog post, if anyone is still reading, I’ll ask you, what are your travel tips?

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Andrea Cooley

  1. All of the above Andrea! I would also add that an updated GPS or Garmon would assist as well. Our GPS was NOT updated and didn’t have a new autostrada as we tried to make our way from Isernia to Pompeii-talk about marriage “challenge”! If it’s any comfort: Naples is known as the home of the worst drivers in the country. So if you survived that, you guys could handle anything!! :) Don’t America’s roads feel HUGE now?

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