I have recently returned from a great holiday in the United States. It was the longest holiday I have had since 1990. My husband and I traveled many miles and I managed to tick off quite a few bucket list items, but it wasn’t free of issues. This blog post is my take on things you should do before you go on a long holiday.
It has been 4 years since I have been on a holiday that involved a lot of walking, and because it has been that long, I had forgotten some basics.
- Start a walking program at least 3 months before you go on holidays so you have a decent level of fitness. You often forget about how much walking you end up doing when you are away and if you don’t have a car, you end up walking many miles, more than you anticipate.
- Check your shoes. I have seen some crazy shoes on this holiday. Thongs are not walking shoes, I have seen people walking all day in thongs, and then limping at the end of the day. I recommend walking shoes, joggers or trail shoes. I personally have worn trail shoes that are waterproof this trip, as I have been caught out on other holidays where my shoes got wet and they took 5 days to dry so I had to go and buy more shoes (I know, first world problem). And again on this trip we had a walking tour in Brooklyn where it poured with rain the whole day, the tour was not canceled, and my shoes were fine.
- Pack sports tape and a pair of scissors. Why? Blisters. Yes even I got blisters on this trip, and I needed to protect them and the sports tape did the job. Without this tape I would not have been able to keep walking. It didn’t look pretty but it kept me comfortable.
- Pack a tennis ball. Tennis anyone??? No it isn’t for tennis, but for sore muscles. With a lot of walking (and have you noticed it always involves a lot of stairs) you get very sore leg muscles. If you use this ball to roll into your legs (on the floor – check some YouTube videos), it will get you out of pain quickly. I have especially very tight calf muscles, and this ball was a huge relief. You can also use it on your back, hips, wherever you are feeling sore.
- Pack your orthotics. I have worn orthotics for 30 years and would be lost without them. If I don’t wear them my back starts to play up. I packed 2 pairs of shoes and both had a pair of orthotics in them, as I don’t want to be pulling them in and out of shoes. Because I will lose them (I have done that before).
Other Travel Hints
- Get an esim card for your phone. Years ago you used to pay a fortune to have internet access for your phone or tablet, and I remember sitting in lobbies of hotels as it was free in the lobby but not your room. Now it is different, you often get free internet access with your hotel room, but what happens when you are out and about, this is where the esims are cheap and easy to use. We used ours for maps, booking tours and checking emails (and if I was honest I was also checking Facebook and Instagram).
- Get flat laundry sheets saves you lugging extra weight and finding extra coins at laundromats (don’t ask me about this as the laundromat in Baton Rouge took every penny I had with dryers that would not work, glad I had my own laundry detergent – at least that saved me quite a few bucks). You can get these on Amazon.
- Do a spreadsheet of what you are doing if you are covering a lot of areas. My husband laughed at this, but rather than getting a stack of printed paper from my travel agent, I had one sheet that told me dates, temperature, the tours we were doing, hotels and what hotels had laundry facilities.
- Have patience! This was one that was hard for me, I hate queuing and standing in lines, but if you have to go to any airport in the world, anticipate everything will take longer than you think. We were one of the first flights to land in Newark, New Jersey but US customs thought that we only needed 2 people to process 2 planes. And one of them was just processing people in wheelchairs, so effectively we had only one poor guy processing us. Hence the 2 and half hours standing in a queue. Have a book or a fully charged phone and go to the bathroom before you join the queue.
Hope this hints and tips will help you for your next trip.