They Learned the Hard Way We gathered travel tips--such as never take a nap when you have jet lag--from some of the experts quoted in our article, "2007 Scouting Report." Read on for more of their advice. Budget Travel Tuesday, Aug 21, 2007, 5:16 PM Budget Travel LLC, 2016


They Learned the Hard Way

We gathered travel tips--such as never take a nap when you have jet lag--from some of the experts quoted in our article, "2007 Scouting Report." Read on for more of their advice.


I pretty much book everything in advance so that I can enjoy my trip without the added task of making other arrangements. Especially in Europe, where comfortable accommodations need to be booked well in advance. One exception might be train tickets. I find it is very easy to arrive at a train station, purchase my ticket at the desk, and go, without any hassles. —Anne Wood

I generally have an agenda of things I need to accomplish, but I've learned that too much planning isn't that useful. Being flexible is absolutely critical—I can be a lot more efficient if I let the schedule form around the realities on the ground, rather than try to force reality into a schedule. —Geoff Watts

I always book hotels for business travel, though you can catch me arriving sans reservation on vacations. —Mo Frechette

I am a planner. I book my air and hotels in advance. I take planning to the extreme, sometimes booking lunch and dinner reservations in advance. This is particularly true when I am traveling for pleasure and want to make sure that we are able to dine in special places (for example, Michelin-starred restaurants) or restaurants that we know and love from prior trips. —Walter Lowry


Underpack. If the angler has too many lures, he spends more time fishing in the tackle box than in the water. As a rule don't bring a 100 percent solution for something with a 10 percent likelihood. I use mesh or nylon stuff sacks to organize socks, shirts, slacks, etc. It prevents contents from shifting and getting even more wrinkled, plus you can use the stuff sacks as bolsters on an inadequate sleep surface. —Pancho Doll

Absolutely underpack. Nothing is worse than being burdened with a heavy bag and having to rely on somebody else to help you out all of the time. I only bring what I can wear on my back and carry in one hand. Besides, if you don't have that perfect pair of shoes, it's an excellent excuse to buy some new ones! —Anne Wood

Underpack: You can always hand wash items like socks and underwear and, if necessary, send other items, such as shirts, out to be laundered. —Walter Lowry

I have a simple MS Word list of things to pack and to think about before leaving. People laugh at it, but it saves me lots of stress. I'd rather clutter paper instead of my head with everything I need to remember. I print it when I pack and scratch off things when they're stowed, and then, if I'm feeling extra productive, I'll carry it with me on the trip and add notes. If I didn't use something or needed something extra, I take a note. I'll modify the file at home and then print it again the next time I travel. —Mo Frechette


I wear wrinkle-resistant clothing, which is comfortable to wear for hours (black yoga pants are great—never jeans!), and a sweater I can slip on easily when the temperature cools off. I usually wear flip-flops, because they are easy to get through the airport checkpoints, but I always bring warm, comfortable socks to slip on while on the plane. Sometimes I will bring my down jacket, which keeps me warm and doubles as a big fluffy pillow. I also always make sure I have a pen (it's annoying when you don't have a pen when the flight attendants hand the customs documents out), a good book, a comb and hair clip, lip balm, a toothbrush, and skin astringent to freshen up with just before landing. —Anne Wood

I always wear sport jackets. You can stuff so much in them, and they still look snazzy. I bring a pair of nice warm socks (shoes come off), a sleeping mask, my iPod, eyeglasses and contacts case, lip balm, lotion, back issues of The New Yorker magazine, and anything I'm afraid of missing if the airline loses my checked luggage. I also carry an empty Nalgene bottle and fill it up at a drinking fountain after security. —Mo Frechette

I never fly without my Bose noise-reducing headphones. —Claus Sendlinger

I wear comfortable layers to make it easy to adjust to different temperatures, and then I bring a good book and as little else as possible! —Bruce Haxton


Make sure you change to the local time immediately. Never get tempted to go to sleep just because you would be in bed at home. You just have to tough it out! —Bruce Haxton

I try to adjust my sleep cycle while in transit. And I drink lots of water—hydration is a beautiful thing, and helps a lot in combating fatigue. —Geoff Watts

I have always found it best to just jump right into local time. I switch my watch to local time right away and try to stay awake until the local bedtime, and I get up in time for breakfast. Taking an evening stroll the first night wherever I am is always a nice way to ease into the new time zone. —Anne Wood

Get Inspired with more from

Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

Budget Travel Real Deals

See more deals »


Our newsletter delivers vacation inspiration straight to your inbox.

Check Prices