Travel Tips

Published on September 15th, 2014


> My 30 Best Travel Tips <

(1 for nearly each 30+ year of travel)

Enough of this perpetual dredging up of the past here lately.  The Foto Flip Friday pics are mighty pretty and I love whittling them.  And my long ago blather from my early blogs (i.e. the “Catching Up” Morocco, etc. series) is nice to, well… “catch up” on.  Then there’s the new “Once Upon a Time” old post revival which – given we’re up to a potpourri of more than 250 posts here now – is a nice way to showcase some of the TL posts you might have missed.   BUT…


“Dulce” (English: “Sweet”)

I know you – what you reeeeealy want is some FRESH new stuff here – specifically some juicy details of my new life here at the tippy-top of this 8,000+ foot mountain in the Ecuadorian Andes, yes?

Sí, sí, errr… I mean: Yes, yes, I hear ya.  And trust that I’ve got quite the not-so-little “Cuenca Update” (including pics of my new “gatita” Dulce as well as my new – 2 BR and an O.V.E.N! – apartment) nearly polished, and waiting in the wings.

But today, how ’bout I offer up a snippet of my latest brainstorm: A peek at my very best all-time travel tips?  Yup, 30+ years of travel and nearly 40 countries, no surprise I’d have a few handy tidbits of advice to share.

So I pondered all the tricks I’ve learned over the years (both as a traveler and an expat), and managed to stop myself at a nice round chunk of 30 (one tip for nearly every year I’ve been skipping ’round the globe).  And I’m now offering to send the full list of 30 tips – free – to all new TravelnLass subscribers as a little “thank you” for so graciously allowing me into your precious inbox.

And if you’re already a true-blue TL fan (already subscribed by email or RSS)?  Simple, just remind me of your undying loyalty in the comments below, and I’ll be happy to shoot you the full list.

The 30 tips range widely across the full spectrum of travel advice – from packing to air travel, to safety, to techno gadgets, to how to bargain like a haggle pro.   No matter if you’re a short or long-term traveler, a slowpoke traveler (like me) or a travel sprinter who thrills to but an annual week of wiggling your toes in the sugar-white sands of some Caribbean isle – I’m betting that at least ONE of these tips will prompt at least a lower-case mutter of “omg!”.  More importantly, I sincerely hope that a few will prove helpful on your next skip down the wanderlust trail.

To give you an idea of what bits of of travel wisdom you’ll find in the full list – here’s a sample of just a few of the tricks that I’ve gleaned from 30+ years of bouncing to nearly 40 countries:

No more account freeze for suspected fraud

Keep a stash of U.S. $1 bills handy for tuk-tuks til you can find an ATM

Never buy expensive bottled water at the airport again

Who Knew? A 7-day Pill Box for earrings when traveling


30+ years. 40+ countries. Ever solo. On a shoestring. Get my 30 BEST Travel Tips - FREE!

So what are you waiting for?


About the Author

Off-the-beaten-path travel is my passion,and I’ve always lived life “like-a-kid-in-a-candy-store” – eager to sample as many flavors as I can. Indeed, my life motto has long been: This ain’t a dress rehearsal, folks!

29 Responses to > My 30 Best Travel Tips <

  1. Steve C says:

    I’ve tried repeatedly to get your 30 Tips without success. I’m already subscribed so what should I do now? Have I been hacked?

    • Dyanne says:

      Sorry Steve – not sure what the problem is with getting the 30 Tips automatically – perhaps ‘cuz you signed up long ago (and thus my MailChimp auto-sender thinks you’re a duplicate).

      In any case – I’ve just now emailed you the 30 Tips manually – do confirm that you’ve received them. Thanks for hanging in there!

  2. Di says:

    Thanks for the tips Dyanne. Always good to have these reminders!

    • Dyanne says:

      Glad you found them helpful, Di – which one(s) do you like best?

      Your new goal of circumnavigating the globe *without flying* should prove quite the adventure – just a few more weeks til blast-off, yes? I hope a few of my tips will come in handy along the trail.

  3. Robert says:

    please send the 30 tips. Thank you!

    • Dyanne says:

      Done! Thanks for subscribing to TravelnLass Robert – just sent you my 30 Best Travel Tips. Do post a comment here to let me know which is your favorite, and share any such tips you may have.

  4. Maybe my SD card solution will help others. I adopted this about 4 months ago after leaving home without it. Now when I remove the SD card I leave the ‘door’ (hatch? cover? access port?) open, propped open if it won’t stay open on it’s own. I place the camera somewhere in plain sight but where it has no reason to be, with the propped door pointing up.
    Four Letter Nerd kindly contributed to world literature by posting…Five Years in ThailandMy Profile

    • Dyanne says:

      Good tip FLN – g-knows I too have forgotten to replace the SD card in my camera (the most painful time was when I did a day trip by ferry into the tiny country of Brunei).

      I’ve been thinking that I may just purchase a spare SD card, and slip that in immediately whenever I remove the one in my camera to upload pics.

  5. Karen Washington says:

    Email Please Travel Tips

    • Dyanne says:

      Sorry Karen, as I noted in my reply to your earlier comment, you need to subscribe to TravelnLass via the “Subscribe by Email” link up at the top right of the site (just beneath my pic) in order to activate a send of my 30 Best Travel Tips. Please let me know if for some reason you’re having trouble doing that.

  6. Karen Washington says:

    Hey Dyanne

    Absolutely love your Website!!! I am a 53 year old ESL Coordinator at a small charter school. I previously taught in Ghana and last year traveled to Oaxaca Mexico for an intense Spanish language immersion course. I had the most wonderful home stay
    experience. I want more opportunities like this…love teaching ESL but am no where near retirement. I still need to work. Any suggestions? And yes please send those travel tips. You are such an inspiration!!!

    • Dyanne says:

      Sorry for the delay in replying here, Karen. What with fiddlin’ with the new site design, some of the comments got lost in the shuffle.

      Happy to send you my 30 Best Travel Tips – just need you to fill out the “Email Please” gizmo at the base of your screen, else up at the top of the sidebar.

      As far as suggestions to retire early? Shoot, with your qualifications, you could easily get a job teaching EFL (English as a Foreign Language – i.e. teaching folks English in foreign land; vs. ESL – teaching English as a Second Language there in the U.S.). In either Korea or Vietnam, you can earn more than $20 per hour – while your living expenses will be 1/4 what you’re now paying in the U.S.

  7. John Langhoff says:

    Starting to divest my self of all my U.S. stuff. Getting ready to move to Cuenca. Would love your travel tips.

    • Dyanne says:

      Good for you John, you’re going to love the giddy freedom from all that “stuff”, and I have no doubt you’ll love Cuenca as much as I do. When is your blast-off date?

      I’m happy to send you my 30 Best Travel Tips, but I don’t find your email addy on my TL subscriber list. I can add you manually if you like, and will send you the .pdf tips shortly.

  8. Kahleel says:

    Hi Dyanne,
    I am so excited for these tips!
    About to embark on a 10 days trip to Vietnam in December. I know you loved it there.
    I’ll be in HCMC and Ha Noi. Wanted to check out Sapa but the trip seems a bit much to do over 3 days.
    Can’t wait to hear about your new adventures.
    Kahleel kindly contributed to world literature by posting…December Travel Plans RevealedMy Profile

    • Dyanne says:

      Woa! And I’m excited for you – with you adventure in Vietnam! First solo trip too – good for you girlfriend! 10 days is pretty tight for both south (Ho Chi Minh City) and north (Hanoi) but yes Ha Long Bay is an absolute M.U.S.T. (I hope you can squeeze in at least 1 overnight on a boat – better yet two). And Sapa – yes it’s fabulous, but requires pretty much a min. of 3 nts. (overnight train). Plus… December in Sapa will be c.o.l.d. – maybe even snow, so better to slow down and not try to pack too much into 10 days.

      If you have any questions about Vietnam, do give me a holler. As you know I lived there for 2 years and love, love, LOVE it! Indeed, I’d still be there were it not for being unable to learn those insufferable 6 tones of the Vietnamese language (Spanish is soooo much easier, here in Ecuador).

      I’ll shoot you those 30 Best Travel Tips shortly. And again, do let me know if there’s any way I can help with your Vietnam adventure.

  9. Cindy says:

    Hello Dyanne! I’ve just been lurking for a while, but I’m still following your adventures… and would love to get your tips!

    Thanks, and vaya con dios!

    • Dyanne says:

      Heh-heh – well hi there Cindy, I’m delighted that my little 30 tips gifty brought you out of the lurker woodwork here on TravelnLass. 😉

      My subscriber program doesn’t seem to recognize your (heyheyjones…) email though, so I added you manually just now, and will shoot those 30 Best Travel Tips, shortly!

      And please don’t be so quiet here – do tell me which of the tips you like best, and share one or three of your own here in the comments, yes?

  10. dancebert says:

    Would love to get your 30 tips. Am I both undying loyal and not a loathsome spammer?
    dancebert kindly contributed to world literature by posting…Japan 2014 – Day 2 – Shibuya & ShinjukuMy Profile

    • Dyanne says:

      Comin’ right up Bill – I’ll shoot you a digital copy of the 30 Tips shortly!

      (And nope, never a loathsome spammer – always nice to see a quip here from you.)

      • My favorites from your tips: 24 hour window for canceling an onward ticket and S.M.I.L.E. The first is new to me, the latter is something I forget too often.

        Here are some of my tips:

        Pack light, but compare the weight and bulk of carrying something to your subsequent quality of travel life if you needed it now and couldn’t get it for hours or days.

        Remove danglies from checked bags. The conveyor belt joints grab these, sucking them in until something breaks. Unless Tony Stark designed your luggage, it will break before the conveyor belt.
        Four Letter Nerd kindly contributed to world literature by posting…Travel Tips I UseMy Profile

        • Dyanne says:

          Yes FLN the 24 hr. window cancel scheme (for securing a return ticket in order to pass muster with (primarily) airline personnel who want to ensure they’re not going to have to fly you back to your embarkation b/c immigration in your destination country denied you entry w/o an onward ticket) works well (and beats buying a pricey “fully-refundable” ticket, which… if you read the fine print actually comes w/ a few fees that can add up).

          Another alternative is purchasing a BUS ticket out of your destination country, i.e. if you read the fine print on most any country’s entry regs, they state “…proof of an onward ticket” but… no mention that it has to be an AIR ticket! 😉

          Your danglies removable tip is also a good one, though… if you follow my #1 Travel Tip (i.e. pack LIGHT, carry-on only – it’s really all you ever need no matter how long a trip nor how varied the temps) – you’d never be checking bags, so no conveyor belt mishaps to worry about!

        • During the era of reasonable carry-on weight limits, no computer and my camera fit in a pocket, the only times I checked luggage were trips when the sports equipment prevented carrying on. The seven kilo carry-on weight limit on Air Asia reintroduced me to checked baggage. The big surprise was much shorter waiting at baggage claim than in the ’80s and ’90s. What was unsurprising was that I barely increased what I brought because I still have to carry it on my back.
          Four Letter Nerd kindly contributed to world literature by posting…Travel Tips I UseMy Profile

  11. Ilene Roberts says:

    Great list, Dyanne! Your #1 is also my #1. And, of course, learned the hard way. Once you realize you have to shlep all that crap from here to there and there and there, the lightbulb goes off. One of my favorite ways to economize is do not bring a bathing suit. A black camisole and black panties will suffice and no one will know the difference. 🙂

    • Dyanne says:

      Amazing Ilene – and here I thought I was the only lass who is such a packing tightwad that she won’t even drop a bikini into the backpack. Yup, I too have long opted for a pair of black panties and a black halter top (that can double as a tres chic top with a skirt) in lieu of a swimsuit.

      It might seem like silly over-kill but – hey, those ounces add up, yes? 😉

  12. A reminder of my undying loyalty! I love reading travel tips and may even have a few to add that we’ve picked up…
    Anita@No Particular Place To Go kindly contributed to world literature by posting…A Tale of Three Cities: Panama CityMy Profile

    • Dyanne says:

      lol Anita! Yes my dear, you are truly among my TL true-blue. Will send the tips off to you shortly. And yes – I look forward to any and all tips you no doubt have.

  13. Ilene Roberts says:

    Hope this goes thru. The system seems to think I am a spammer. I’d love to have your 30 travel tips, Dyanne!

    • Dyanne says:

      No, no orange jumpsuit with a great big ol’ “SPAMMER” stenciled on the back, Ilene. 😉 Just an automatic “hold” ‘cuz you’d never before commented here. Now that I’ve approved your recent comments, you shouldn’t have any trouble with immediate posting of your comments (and I hope you will comment frequently!)

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