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Tips Before “Bon Voyage”

June 24th, 2016
By Nicole Niedringhaus

The streets of Gili Trawangan

The streets of Gili Trawangan

While it seems like my summer break just started, Independence Day weekend is almost upon us. Conveniently landing on a Monday this year, the long weekend will provide lots of opportunities for a fun weekend getaway. My plans include heading to a friend’s lake house. I’m excited for the opportunity to go somewhere different for a few days and my excitement has me thinking about trips I’ve gone on in the last year. I am no expert on travel but here a few tips that come to mind when I think of preparing for a trip, regardless if the destination is here in Minnesota or on the other side of the world.

Pack for All Types of Weather

Almost every time I go on a trip I get super ambitious about packing light and I end up completely unprepared for changing weather. When I went to Australia last January, I packed one pair of jeans and one cardigan because I thought “hey it’s going to be summer there, why would I need warm clothes”. What I didn’t plan on is one of the rainiest Januarys in Sydney in over 20 years. Even when the temperature was in the low 70’s, the cold rain and lack of sun left me freezing and spending more money than I planned on a rain jacket and warmer shirts. So heed my warning: even when it’s summer packing a few extra layers can make your trip so much more enjoyable.

The not-so-sunny Sydney Harbour

The not-so-sunny Sydney Harbour

Do Research Ahead of Time

Looking up information about your destination before you get there is super helpful. Not only can you find awesome places to eat and things to do, you can also know if there is anything you need to be aware of. When I traveled to Indonesia last summer, I was glad I did my research because I learned which cabs actually had meters and wouldn’t scam customers as well as the importance of having a lock on my suitcase when traveling to Bali.  Whenever I am going on a trip, I check Trip Advisor to find different restaurants and attractions at my destination. I enjoy planning for trips and reading reviews of different places I may visit builds my anticipation. While I don’t make a very in depth itinerary,  it’s helpful to have a general idea of things I want to do so I can use my time as efficiently as possible. 

Go Somewhere Off the Beaten Path

Visiting Bali was an absolutely incredible experience. It was like no place I had ever been before and I would recommend it to anyone. However the real adventure began when my friend and I ventured off the beaten path. We decide to travel to a super tiny island, Gili Trawangan, for a few nights away from the vibrant and touristy area of Bali. Our experience getting there was anything less than smooth.  The journey was supposed to take two and a half hours….it ended up taking 8 hours with two stops on random islands and one boat change. At the time it was super frustrating but we ended up befriending a couple from Melbourne, seeing some beautiful parts of Indonesia, and having an experience we wouldn’t forget. The island of Gili Trawangan has no cars or motorbikes, leaving the push bikes and horse drawn carts as the modes of transportation. The streets were made of dirt and it wasn’t uncommon to encounter a cow or chicken roaming around. It was so unlike what I was used that I soaked up every moment. Even when traveling in the United States and Minnesota, there are tons of ways to experience places and things that others don’t often take the initiative to do. So get out there and explore, summer is waiting!

Lembongan, one of the islands we stopped on when our boat broke down

Lembongan, one of the islands we stopped on when our boat broke down

 

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