My Top 5 Travel Lessons Learned

May 26, 2015

My Top 5 Travel Lessons

When it came to preparing for our trip to Tasmania, I knew it would be a learning curve. I’m not exactly a practiced traveller! I’ve been to Norfolk Island (for our honeymoon), to Singapore (to visit my sister who lived there at the time) and I’ve been to parts of Australia – all up the east coast of Queensland and out to the beautiful islands of the Great Barrier Reef, Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra and lots of regional areas in between and nearby (too many to list)! I’ve yet to visit WA, SA or NT but don’t you worry I have every intention of getting to each and every state of our beautiful country!

So, it’s no surprise that I made some travel blunders on our recent trip to Tasmania. This was the first holiday I’ve been on that was a fast paced tourist type trip where we packed up and moved on each morning so I’m not surprised I made some rookie mistakes! Being a blogger and all, I thought I’d share some of what I learnt.

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My top 5 travel lessons learned

1.  Keep the suitcase size down and do not over pack!

My suitcase was large and heavy. I was lucky that I had the tennis player with me to help because even though it has wheels and is manageable for me that way, there were some places that we stayed that required carrying that suitcase up multiple flights of stairs which I would have struggled with on my own!  Though I did much better than in the past, I still packed some clothes that I didn’t wear and a pair of hiking boots never got worn because I thought they would be too heavy (oh the irony!). When packing you need to ask yourself this question “will I really wear that?” and if not, don’t pack it! Also make sure that the size of the suitcase you take is manageable not only to wheel around but also in the event you have to carry it!

2. Pack machine washable clothes that are also suitable to go in a dryer!

During the course of our trip, I was only able to wash my underwear and socks. What I really wanted to also wash was some of the tops I had been wearing (over and over again!) but being winter tops, all of them either needed to be hand washed and/or could not go in the dryer. We were never in a place long enough to hang up a wet item of clothing for it to dry! This is a problem to be aware of when you are packing for a cooler climate! I should have packed long-sleeved t-shirt material tops that could be machine washed and thrown in a dryer. I could have added layers for warmth but the layer closest to my skin which is what I really needed to be able to wash would have been possible!

3. Don’t try and pack too much into your day when planning the itinerary!

We underestimated some things when planning what we fit in each day on our itinerary:

  • Many of the roads were winding and mountainous so to get from Point A to Point B actually took a lot longer than we had anticipated!
  • You get tired when you pack a lot into each day and are packing up and moving on each day.  Though we had a busy schedule, we managed ok by skipping a few of our planned activities, but were well and truly tiring out by the end of the holiday.  We could have relaxed the activity on a few more days to give ourselves a bit of a breather!
  • Be realistic with your planning. For example: I had put a visit to Cadbury’s Chocolate Factory on Day 1 of our itinerary. What?! We only had a ½ day on our first day in Hobart arriving there around lunchtime. After checking into our hotel, did I then want to go straight to a chocolate factory? NO! I wanted lunch and to see Hobart!   We never did get to the Cadbury Chocolate Factory. Maybe next time!

4. Put a bit more time into researching good, affordable places to eat – particularly in the cities.

The smaller towns and rural areas are pretty easy to work out where to eat.  You can usually take a walk around and work it out very quickly!  The bakery’s are fantastic in Tasmania for lunch and free WIFI!!  However, when you arrive in a city, like Hobart or Launceston late afternoon and exhausted, it would be good to have at hand a selection of recommended places for dinner (takeaway and dine in options).  We managed but had some hits and some misses as a result of winging it!  Since we’ve got home we’ve had heaps of people saying “oh did you eat at such and such place?  It’s a must!”.  We wish we knew the ‘must eat at’ places before we left.  Lesson learned!

5. If you plan on doing lots of walking and hiking, make sure you are fit enough for it before you leave.

I’m not an athletic or fit person but I had ramped up my walking before I left in the hope that it would help prepare me for all the walking we’d be doing in Tassie.  My walking at home was all on flat elevation though at the local waterfront.  Many of the walks/hikes that we did in Tassie involved steep inclines, steps, hills and though I did them and survived, I found some of them very taxing (hello walk up to the Wineglass Bay Lookout)!  My waterfront walks were better than nothing but hardly a match for what I planned to do in Tassie!  If anything it was a wake up call as to how unfit I am and a kick up the backside to be sure that next time if I planned to do any hiking I would make more of an effort to train appropriately for the activity I planned to do!  Don’t be delusional in your planning.  Only plan to do what you are capable of doing!

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So all of you who have travelled far and wide are laughing at me right now aren’t you?  Go on, admit it!  Yes I was a dill and made some silly mistakes but I’ll know better now for next time!  😉

Have you travelled lately? Make any travel blunders of your own?  Got any fabulous travel tips I should know about?

Ciao for now,

Linking up with Essentially Jess for #IBOT

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  • Reply Malinda @mybrownpaperpackages May 26, 2015 at 6:29 am

    These are 5 great tips. I often forget about machine washable and dryer friendly clothes and I really need to put more effort into researching food places sometimes, I often fly by the seat of my pants on this one.

    • Reply Min May 26, 2015 at 4:35 pm

      We had a well planned trip but yep a few tweaks needed for next time! lol 😉

  • Reply Raychael aka Mystery Case May 26, 2015 at 9:36 am

    Great tips. I really overdid just about everything on my trip to Melbourne. Over packed, over scheduled but gosh I had a whole lot of fun trying to fit everything in. I need to work on my packing skills before the next trip and will definitely be spending more time researching affordable places to eat.

    • Reply Min May 26, 2015 at 4:37 pm

      I actually did a lot better on the over-packing front! There were only a few items of clothing I didn’t wear + the hiking boots. The size of the suitcase was a problem though. Easy to wheel around but impossible for me to haul up stairs! 😉

  • Reply Sally@Toddlers on Tour May 26, 2015 at 9:54 am

    It doesn’t matter how experiences (or inexperienced) a traveller you are – we all make mistakes. You bring up some really valid points of things I no longer think about when packing, but should add to my website.

    Consider the type of holiday and match your bag accordingly
    How will you launder clothes in the climate/circumstances?
    Always ask friends for their recommendations of places to eat/stay/do

    • Reply Min May 26, 2015 at 4:38 pm

      Glad I offer something to add to your website Sally! I’m actually glad I made those little blunders coz next time I will be better prepared 🙂

  • Reply Michelle@myslowlivingadventure May 26, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    Great advice Min. I agree with all of them especially the packing light one. You never need as much as you think. For me successful packing is when there’s nothing left unworn or unused.

    • Reply Min May 26, 2015 at 4:41 pm

      I agree with your idea of successful packing Michelle! I was close – just a few items not worn + the hiking boots. Suitcase was too big for me though! 😉

  • Reply Bec @ Seeing the Lighter Side May 26, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    Ha ha. As a seasoned traveller I would whole-heartedly agree to all of these tips! Hope there’s plenty more travel in your future to implement them:-) #TeamIBOT

    • Reply Min May 26, 2015 at 4:42 pm

      I hope there is more travel in my future to implement them too Bec! Lucky you being a seasoned traveller! 😉

  • Reply Joanne Tracey May 26, 2015 at 6:50 pm

    Oh, I remember that hike up to Wineglass Bay. The view was so spectacular, I insisted on going down- on my bum- then looked at the steep hill to go back, shook my head & told hubby he’d better find another way around. That other way was the long way via Hazards Beach- & I’ll remember its beauty for ever and a day.

    • Reply Min May 27, 2015 at 1:21 pm

      The view certainly was spectacular! Yes I saw that track down to Wineglass Bay from up at the Lookout but decided that if I went down that track I would then have to come back up so opted out! Sounds like you hit the jackpot by discovering Hazards Beach! We went for a walk down to Sleepy Bay which was an absolute delight! Amazing area! 🙂

  • Reply Hugzilla May 26, 2015 at 8:32 pm

    LOL, aaah yes. “Pack light” is a mantra I hold dear to my heart!

    • Reply Min May 27, 2015 at 1:21 pm

      I understand why now! LOL

  • Reply Nicole @ The Builders Wife May 27, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    These are excellent tips! I am a habitual over packer!! every time I go away, I do not wear 70% of the clothes I pack, such a waste of space xx

    • Reply Min May 27, 2015 at 5:21 pm

      Haha – that was me! I’ve got it down to only a small percentage of unworn clothes now so I am getting much better! I need to buy myself a smaller suitcase though! xo

  • Reply EssentiallyJess May 27, 2015 at 2:27 pm

    But did you have a good time?! That’s the most important parts! The things you did wrong just make part of the story afterwards 🙂

    • Reply Min May 27, 2015 at 5:25 pm

      Yes of course we had a good time Jess. We loved it!! Take us back!! I’ve got a squillion photo’s to edit and stories to tell. My mistakes made for good blog fodder though and I did learn a few things I thought worth sharing. Heaps more posts to come with photo’s and stories of our trip. 🙂

  • Reply Tash @ Gift Grapevine May 28, 2015 at 12:31 am

    I always overpack but on our last couple of family holidays I’ve made an effort to pack less and do some washing whilst I’m away. Not ideal but a trip to a laundromat can be considered a bit of a break from the tornadoes – especially when my best friend and I take a bottle of wine, cheese and crackers to help us get through the washing 🙂 I would love to get over to Tasmania. I can only imagine how beautiful it is. I hope you had a wonderful trip.

    • Reply Min May 28, 2015 at 11:49 am

      I love the bottle of wine, cheese and crackers at the laundromat idea! lol I don’t have any tornadoes to deal with anymore. In fact this was our first real holiday away without them! We had a wonderful trip thanks Tash. Tassie is gorgeous! 🙂

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