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July 3, 2019

Travel YES’s and Travel (oh)-NO’s!

Most teachers agree that summer is the time to refresh, recharge, and reconnect after the school year (finally) comes to a close. For many teachers, summer is also a time for travel! If you are traveling this summer, (lucky you!) below is a list of tips you may want to try and a list of things you will definitely want to avoid when traveling this summer.

Bon voyage!

Travel YES’s!


Leave your strappy sandals at home and pack shoes that can support your explorations. No need for speed walking, this is discovery walking! Pick a destination within a few miles and head out. As you walk, observe the architecture, people, flora, and fauna–and get lost in your nouveau surroundings. If you are concerned about your whereabouts, rely on your phone’s GPS. Plan on walking a few miles each day which will balance out the delicious foods you will be enjoying on your trip. Experienced travelers say the best way to see a city is on foot.

Cars, trains, boats, and bikes.

Beyond walking, there are plenty of other ways to see the sites! Ridesharing, like Lyft and Uber, have made getting around as easy as pushing buttons on an app. Install the Uber and Lyft apps prior to departure and leave the driving to the pros!

A train is a great way to see the countryside and is a relaxing way to travel. If your trip includes sea, lake or river crossings, consider a ferry. There are many opportunities to take ferries in the U.S. and abroad.

  • Map of ferries in the United States
  • List of ferries in Europe
  • List of ferries in Asia

Have you considered traveling by bicycle? Most large cities have bikes you can rent right on the street!

Lighten up.

In the wake of what we have learned from Marie Kondo let’s do our best to lighten our travel loads. There are many advantages to traveling light–less wear-and-tear on the body, and do we really need all those clothes? With the exception of the people with whom we are traveling, nobody knows we are wearing the same outfit for the third day in a row. Remember the ol’ travel motto: Bring fewer clothes and more money.

Tip: Bring a small amount of laundry detergent and make a plan to wash clothes. Keep in mind, that there are many quick-dry and easy-to-pack fabrics that make washing clothes quick and easy!

Consider a backpack instead of a suitcase the next time you travel. Imagine, everything you need in one pack–on your back–with no worries about stairs or cobblestone streets!

Must haves for summer travel are comfortable walking shoes (women, men) and rain gear.

Tip: wear your bulkier walking shoes and pack a second pair of shoes or sandals, so you can trade off. As for rain gear, get the best hooded, packable, travel-friendly rain gear you can afford and, pack it, even if the forecast promises sun.

Be sure to pack your patience and your positive attitude, too!😊

Across the Pacific and the Pond.

If traveling outside the U.S., try the phrase “I only speak English” instead of “Do you speak English?” Saying I only speak English feels more respectful than asking–while in another country–if they speak English. If you speak the country’s language, or other languages, be sure to say so!

If you live in the U.S., when asked where you are from, saying “the United States” instead of “America” is clearer. In other parts of the world, it can be confusing to hear “America,” because there is North, South, and Central America.

Travel (oh)-NO’s!

(Although these travel (oh)-NO’s are slightly tongue-in-cheek, we do hope none of these hazards cross your path!).

Bed bugs.

Hotel bed bugs. Yuck. To see which hotels have had reports of bed bugs, take a look at this Bed Bug Registry.

Gastrointestinal outbreaks.

Some ship lines have had outbreaks of the norovirus and other illnesses. Visit the Centers for Disease Control website to review the Vessel Sanitation Program to be sure you are setting sail on a sanitized ship.

And, should you find yourself sick while traveling, here are some helpful suggestions.


There are places in the world known as pickpocket hot spots. Most travel blogs include a story about an experience getting pickpocketed on a crowded subway or at a famous historical site. Foil pickpockets’ plans by watching this short video, reading this article about pickpockets in the U.S., this article about pickpockets in Europe, and this article about pickpockets in Asia.


As much as we plan, the weather can surprise us! REI has a list of 12 tips for camping in the rain.


Aggravating is the word to describe sitting in traffic when heading out of town. Before that happens, plan your trip using these 10-½ Tips for Road Trips.

Remember, summertime is travel time and the airports are overflowing with excited travelers. To keep from losing your cool, enlist your mindfulness practices, breathe, and, get to the airport early, early, early!

Enjoy your summertime teacher travel adventures!


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