How To Travel Like A Professional
Written By: Christine Bar Noël
“Le plus beau voyage, c’est celui qu’on n’a pas encore fait.”
“The most beautiful adventures are those that have yet to be taken.”
These famous poetic words by Loïck Peyron paint the picture of memories that have yet to be made. My fiancé and I live by this motto every day and because our careers allowed us to travel often, we found ourselves in the online travel blogger community and quickly became known as Love 2 Voyage (@love2voyage). We’re originally from Haiti & France, we speak 5 languages between us and travel all over the world as professional dancers. To say that we’ve perfected the art of traveling is an understatement. We have packing, unpacking, hotels, flights, Ubers, and travel snacks down to a science! It started off as a necessity to get from one place to another, but we quickly became addicted to planning where we could travel next and how to get the best deals with the biggest perks. The travel bug is a real thing, and once you’ve been bitten by it and discover what this beautiful world has to offer, your mission becomes seeing it all for yourself. We love our home base in Las Vegas, Nevada, but after two weeks at home, we’re already itching to get back on the road!
Some people look at traveling as stressful, expensive and difficult, but the real key to creating stress-free and life-changing memories is ORGANIZATION! If you take the time to properly organize all the details of your trip beforehand, down to how you pack, then from the minute you leave your house to when you return to your front door, you’ll eliminate the margin for error and be free to create amazing memories that will last a lifetime.
If you’re reading this, we know you love to travel as well but may be looking for more efficient ways to do so. We’re sharing our VIP travel tips so the next time you decide to plan a trip, you’ll know how to travel like a professional.
TRAVEL ACCESSORIES 101: Whether you’re building a house or cooking a meal, you have certain tools that make these tasks much easier. Think of traveling as a gourmet experience and in order to enjoy it properly, you must be well equipped. We have so many amazing travel accessories that we’ve collected over the years, but we’re going to give you some of our favorite basics that every great traveler needs, starting with the obvious: a suitcase. If you’re still wheeling around a heavy fabric bag with two wheels across a large airport, bless you, but it’s time to upgrade! Grab our favorite Samsonite Inova Spinner, 8 wheels, lightweight, 360 degree spin suitcase with lots of storage. You’ll glide through the airport with great mobility and pivot around sharp corners with ease. (Pro Tip: Choose a color other than grey or black so you don’t blend in with the sea of luggage at baggage claim). Next, you need to organize your new suitcase, and innovation has arrived with packing cubes! With these individual and durable storage cubes, your suitcase will reflect the perfect Tetris game. Our favorite is brand is Ebags. They come in a variety of sizes and fun colors. If you’re an international globetrotter like we are, then you must have the Epicka Universal Travel Power Adapter. With this one device that works in over 150 countries, including USA, Europe & Australia, you’ll never have trouble charging your phone or plugging in a flat iron again. Finally, with some flights being so long, you’ll want to ensure they are as peaceful as can be. Nothing beats BOSE noise canceling headphones. Use them to listen to music or just have them in your ears and turn on the noise canceling switch with no sound for a nice long nap. You won’t believe how loud an airplane can be when you finally take them out. These compact headphones have saved us mentally on long flights.
PERKS OF PRECHECK: Two years ago we missed our flight to Paris because we got stuck in a long security line. Although we had arrived at the airport 2 hours ahead of our flight, we couldn’t have anticipated the Thursday morning rush (in Vegas it’s usually crazy Mondays). That was the last time we flew without TSA PreCheck. $80 for 5 years will allow you to secure your place in the TSA PreCheck security line every time, available at every airport and it is always shorter than the regular line. This perk has paid for itself by saving us so many hours at some of the busiest airports. Global Entry is a step further for all our international adventurers and requires a little more than just your fingerprint, but also very worth it if you’re frequenting some of the busiest airports in the world. Both require you to sign up online and make an appointment at one of their offices near you.
THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT! Let’s face it… we now live in a world controlled by technology and made easier by the latest app updates. We like to consider ourselves pretty ad-APP-table, so we’ve created a list of the top travel apps every professional traveler should have. Let’s start with the obvious ones: TripAdvisor has recommendations for everything travel-related; Uber & Lyft will get you from A to B; Airbnb has the best home rentals at the best rates. Here are a few of our secret travel apps we love: Mamakoo is a food and restaurant guide created by locals so you can enjoy delicacies off the beaten path. TripIt is your personal travel organizer; Trainline is Europe’s leading bus and train app, and we highly recommend traveling by train in Europe for those amazing countryside views; Depalo will guide you to the most Instagram worthy spots in every city; Visit A City & Viator are the best for Tours & Tickets, especially for groups. A few get-out-of-trouble apps you might need are: My Currency Converter to check exchange rates by country and iTranslate to help you communicate in different languages with quick words or phrases. Duolingo is the best free app for learning a language. (Pro Tip: Learn a few key words and phrases before you go!)
FLIGHT DEALS & TRICKS: Everyone loves a good deal, especially on flights. We still check Expedia, Kayak, Travelocity & CheapFlights, but surprisingly our go-to is Google Flights. Just search your desired flight at www.google.com and watch your deals roll in. (Pro Tip: Sometimes it’s cheaper to buy 2 one-way tickets instead of one roundtrip depending on your destination). Flying out on a Tuesday and flying back on a Wednesday, if your schedule permits, has been proven multiple times to be the cheapest days of the week to fly, and if you’re looking for great perks, we have two VIP recommendations. First, commit to one of the major international airlines: American, United or Delta and STAY LOYAL. If you travel a lot like we do, you will acquire travel points through their rewards programs, free lounge visits, companion passes and free upgrades once you reach certain tiers. The second way is through credit card points. The best known travel credit card is the Sapphire Chase Card and when used intelligently and intentionally, you can travel for free at least once a year.
WHO’S YOUR BUDDY? As humans, we are programmed to find our soulmate—that one person who understands us and can love us unconditionally with all our beautiful imperfections. Well, traveling is no different, except your pros lists includes reliable, scrappy and makes a good pillow. When you’re on the 14th hour of the first flight across the world, exhausted, hungry and can’t get comfortable, you need to be sure you picked the right travel buddy who will always let you sleep on their shoulder. (Pro Tip: To help with jet lag, drink lots of water, set your watch to the local time right away and don’t take any naps so you can sleep through the night). Also, the idea of two heads are better than one applies when you’re exploring new territories. Use each other’s strengths to navigate through the city and organize an itinerary. My fiancé and I speak 5 languages between us (French, English, Creole, Spanish & Hebrew), so wherever we are in the world, there is a good chance we can communicate with locals and figure out what we need. I’m also more of a planner and he is loaded with survival skills, which means that I schedule the flights, book the hotels, and make reservations for food and excursions while he always drives the rental cars, has an incredible sense of direction, makes sure we stay on the path to keep us safe in other countries and can fit our suitcases into any size car! Basically, we’re the perfect combination of brains and brawn.
BE PRESENT: My final VIP travel tip is something we all need to constantly put into practice in all aspects of our lives. Being Present. This cannot be better applied than when you are discovering new lands. As we all navigate through this new social media world that is intended to connect us, we often get so sucked in that we forget to enjoy what’s right in front of us. Take your perfect Instagram photo and then put away your devices so that you can create lasting memories with people you love in some of the most gorgeous places Mother Nature has to offer. Be present in the moment! This is the real experience and the more genuine memories you make, the happier you’ll be.
So the next time you plan a trip and start getting stressed, think of it as a blessing. Although traveling has become more mainstream, there are still a lot of people who can’t afford it or don’t have the time to take a real vacation. Every time you get on a plane and land in a new, exciting destination, remember how blessed you are to be able to enjoy this beautiful world and explore lands that some may only experience through books or Instagram photos. Tomorrow is not promised to anyone, so my advice to you is….buy the flight, take the vacation and ride the wave. The only question is, “Where to next?”
Love 2 Voyage: https://www.Love2voyage.com
Samsonite Suitcase: https://shop.samsonite.com
Packing Cubes: https://www.ebags.com
Universal Adapter: https://www.epickatech.com
TSA PreCheck: https://www.tsa.gov/precheck
Global Entry: https://www.applyforglobalentry.com
Sapphire Chase Card: https://www.creditcards.chase.com