My love for travel has never been a mystery to me. I know that — like will.i.am famously said — I got it from my mama. When I was younger, she told me stories of going to mass at the Vatican, walking throughout the temples in Thailand, and eating pizza in New York City. She also traveled throughout the country for work, and sometimes I even had the luxury of traveling with her. Over the years, I've picked up quite a few travel tips from Mom that will always be in the back of my mind on my frequent trips.
My mom is a true travel queen. She was — and still is — super adventurous, and loves trying new foods and experiencing different cultures. She's super savvy and knows how to have a great time when she's immersed in a totally different place. I know that I inherited a lot of those traits and carry them with me throughout my work and personal travels now.
From figuring out how to pack properly, to deciding which souvenirs are worth the coin, here are a few travel tips my mom passed on to me. I know I'll definitely be passing along these tips to my kids when the time comes.
1. A Pair Of Sensible Shoes Is A Must
My mom is truly the queen of the sensible shoe. She has always been a comfort-over-style kind of person, and this is especially true when she travels. Though I definitely like to have at least one pair of heels with me when I'm taking a trip, I always have my mom's voice in the back of my head telling me to bring comfortable shoes for exploring.
2. If You Have A Question Or Want Recommendations, Consider Asking The Locals
Though some tourists may not stop to ask for directions, my mom has traveled pre-smartphones, so she's always been one to ask questions when she has them. I definitely inherited this from her. Whether it's where the closest pharmacy is or which hidden gem restaurants locals love visiting, I'm always open to asking locals for help when I need it.
3. Be Selective When Choosing Your Souvenirs
No matter how much my mom traveled, she never wanted to buy souvenirs just for the sake of having them. Everything she bought as souvenirs served a purpose in her life, whether it was to keep report cards magnetized to our fridge, or to collect coins on our entryway table. I carry this same philosophy when I'm traveling so that I only bring home things I'll actually use.
4. Learn A Couple Phrases In The Local Language
Because my mom is from the Philippines and English wasn't her first language, she has always made an effort to learn a few key phrases in the local language. Things like, "Where is the restroom?" and "How much does this cost?" were just two of the phrases my mom encouraged me to learn before I head to a new destination.
5. Use A Bag You Can Keep Close To Your Body
My mom has shared nightmare stories about her things getting stolen while she was abroad, so even though they weren't stylish until recently, I always carried fanny packs with me when I traveled. I like the security of being able to keep my valuables close to my body, and I know my mom would be proud of both my fashion and practical choice.
6. Be Prepared For Anything — But Don't Overpack
Growing up, my mom always encouraged me to carry extra necessities in my purse, from bobby pins to Band-Aids, and the same goes for traveling. I always bring everything from bug spray to dress tape just in case I might need it, but my mom's voice in my head always gently reminds me to keep my bag light. (I have to fit it into the overhead bins on the plane, after all.)