Not all travel is beautiful! Here are some lessons learned.
Travel Days are travel days! This means don't over schedule on travel days. Get to your final destination, put your feet up for awhile and then take time for a little exploration. Give yourself and travel partners a break. Planes are late and ferry schedules change and sometimes you leave your cash in the hotel safe (yup, it happened!). Another way of putting this is give yourself some wiggle room because you've lost that feeling of familiarity.
Travel Outfit Having a comfortable designated "travel outfit" is a time saver. Regardless of weather, I bring my light "travel" jacket that has 2 zip pockets. One travel jacket pocket is where I keep my "secret stuff" - passes or tickets, a little cash, 1 credit card, lip balm, sunscreen and key. If it is too warm for the jacket, I tie it around my waist or put it in my back pack. I don't remove my "secret stuff" and put it somewhere else. That's it. The other jacket pocket is for important items I frequently need like phone, glasses, etc. Before I set up my jacket system, stuff was everywhere causing frustration and wasting time. Figure out a system for you. If it is cold, I can easily add an additional jacket but I keep essentials in the same pocket.
Backpack Even if you aren't the backpack type, wearing one frees up your hands. You can wear it in front easily if necessary. Choose one that you will enjoy and has the compartments that work for you. Be sure to test drive it before your travels begin.
Money Take some destination currency with you and probably a bit more than you think you will need. Your local bank can get it for you. If you are going someplace exotic, the bank will need a few extra days.
Credit and Debit Cards Spend some time learning about the cards you have and how they work. Extra fees for foreign transactions? Bonus miles for purchases? Once you understand your cards, think about if they will fit your needs. Take the time to go visit your bank and talk things over if you need more clarification. Perhaps, have an additional card "in a safe place" just in case.
Passport Do you have all pertinent information stored in a safe place? In a place you can access? In a place someone you trust can access? Same applies to your credit cards.
Airbnb and other online marketplaces for overnight guests offer travelers an alternative to hotels and hostels. As a former Airbnb host and frequent guest, here are some suggestions for those who are thinking of giving this a try. First, know what you want and use the filters for price, location, size, etc to customize your search. Look for the Super Host badge of excellence! The super host badge is difficult to earn and easy to lose. You can filter your search for only super hosts sites which I would recommend for newbies. Once you have found a place that looks interesting, spend time reviewing what is presented in the OverviewReviewsThe HostLocation sections directly under the photo. Read several reviews and read the comments back from the host. Review the Amenities section to make sure you are getting what you need. Ask your host questions! For example, "kitchenette" can mean several things. We recently experienced a kitchenette that did not have a microwave or oven. It did have a stove top and dishwasher.