Great Reader Comments on Travel

Great Reader Comments on Travel

Do you have any trips planned this summer? Here, 14 readers share their best tips and tricks for making the most of those all-too-precious vacation days (including a funny packing necessity and a hack for sleeping on flights)…

On planning:

“Before a trip, I sit for a minute and determine exactly which type of vacation I need a particular trip to be: Sightseeing? Adventure? Relaxation? Then I can feel good about making it a ‘___’ trip and not worry that it coulda-shoulda-woulda.” — Jan

On beloved traditions:

“When I was nine and my sister was 12, my grandparents drove their motor home from Seattle to central Pennsylvania and picked us up. From there, we drove back across the U.S., stopping to see too many landmarks to name. It was one of the highlights of my childhood. My dad recently retired and purchased an RV, and two summers ago he took my son and my sister’s son up the East Coast of the U.S. He had always vowed to do for his grandkids what his parents did for theirs.” — Emily

“We vacation with friends near Lake Michigan every summer. While family vacations are fun, it feels like vacations with good friends are just lighter. Our kids play on the beach, we take turns making dinner, and we all just hang out. It’s my favorite time of year!” — Amanda

On hacks for long flights:

“I bring a sleeping bag liner (like a lighter sleeping bag) and crawl into it on long flights. It keeps me the right amount of warm, and this way, no blanket slips off and wakes me up mid-nap. The bag that holds the sleeping bag liner can be filled with your jacket and act as a pillow.” — Andrea

“I rip out all the articles I meant to read from old issues of The New Yorker, Vogue, Vanity Fair, etc. and pack them instead of bringing the WHOLE magazine, which gets heavy.” — Jessica

“My biggest jet lag advice is don’t think about what time it is at home! I will seriously give you the dirtiest look if we’re traveling together, enjoying a nice lunch, and you say, ‘Can you believe it’s the middle of the night at home?’ Ugh!” — Joy

On making the best of it:

“We took a family trip to Ireland when our kids were four and six. We had lots of plans, but realized that with public transportation and a limited budget, we couldn’t see every site. My favorite memories are of my kids wanting to stop and enjoy Every. Little. Thing. Playing with a cat through a window. Riding on the top of the double decker bus. Asking what happened to a sculpture’s legs. Trying new kinds of cookies. I got a UTI while I was there and we spent the day at the ER. My kids spent the whole time playing on the ramp and splashing in puddles. We had only a few days left, but my kids didn’t care, they were having the time of their lives! My husband was like, ‘Hey, we got to experience Irish health care!’ Ha. Such a cool reminder that travel isn’t about seeing ‘everything,’ but about being in a new place so you can see yourself, your family, and the world from a new vantage point.” — Oneida

On favorite activities:

“My husband and I went to Amsterdam, and my favorite night was when we climbed in our Airbnb bed with a ‘brownie’ (!) and watched Zoolander. Ha!” — Bonnie

“I just got back from a vacation where I backpacked 110+ miles over a week. Sounds exhausting, right? It was actually the most relaxing vacation I’ve ever had. I came back with my head clear and feeling refreshed, because my only job every day was to hike. I didn’t have to worry about life or school or work or my friends or my failing relationship. I didn’t have to worry about a ‘must do/eat/see.’ It was wonderful.” — Selby

On capturing the moment:

“Take some mundane shots, like the streetscape around you at a given time. I realized that I loved seeing the detail of a place, often not captured in the ‘big’ shots of a vacation. Seeing the street where you stayed or the door to a good restaurant is so, so evocative! I also always go into grocery stores and see what new flavors they have in potato chips, ice cream and soda.” — Andrea

“My mom gave my brother and me journals for our first international trip as kids. We ended up staying a night at a castle (!!!), which blew our little minds, but like a total creep, my entry for that evening was, ‘I bet someone died in this room. The walls are thick.'” — Amanda

On packing necessities:

“I like a good paper map, to take along everywhere. Phones are not always reliable, or the batteries run down, etc. Plus, it’s nice to be able to see the big picture when navigating, rather than pushing a little tiny screen around with your fingers. Paper maps can also make great souvenirs for a scrapbook, especially if you mark the special spots you visit, like picnic spots and restaurants.” — Claire

“On staying, erm, regular (because nothing ruins a trip more than bathroom troubles): BYOP – Bring Your Own Prunes. You’d be surprised how hard it can be to find prunes when you need them. A couple of prunes first thing in the morning with a glass of water and you are good to go.” — Steph

On traveling with kids:

“We have four kids, and we live in Australia but are American. I used to pore over websites searching for the magical advice that makes children act like adults on a forty hour door-to-door journey. Bring play-doh! Wrap little gifts and unwrap them one by one. All of this is complete crap advice. There will be good moments where your baby happily sleeps in the airplane bassinet while you enjoy a glass of wine and watch an Oscar-nominated movie. And there will be bad moments when your child vomits all over you before takeoff and the flight attendant says you can’t go to the bathroom. My best advice to travelers traveling with babies or toddlers: IT’S TEMPORARY. YOU WILL GET THERE. Enjoy the flight!” — Maddie

Great Reader Comments on Travel

How about you? Do you have any trips planned this summer? Or any advice to add?

P.S. 15 tips for surviving a long flight and how to always look fresh on vacation.

(Top photo by Stan Wayman/The Life Picture Collection.)