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Jour 126: 5 tips for frugal travel shopping and packing

Not a frugal tip: standing inside of the airplane's propeller thing.

So, I just got back from a "vacation" (if attending a conference where you are presenting two talks can count as a holiday... wait, there was a hot tub, so YES IT TOTALLY WAS A HOLIDAY) and here are my best frugal tips for packing for a weekend getaway:

1) Remember all of your IMPORTANT STUFF! Nothing is worse than showing up at your destination and having to buy something dumb and cheap that you totally own but forgot, like a toothbrush, floss, or hairbrush. Then you get back and you have too many toothbrushes or whatever. My crucial things to pack are: tweezers, toothbrush, floss (even if you don't use these on a daily basis, it is guaranteed that as soon as you're on holiday you will get a singly unsightly hair, gummy teeth, and popcorn kernals stuck between your teeth), underwear, socks, your wallet, house keys, and ticket to whatever transportation and/or conference you require.

Remember to pack your prophylactic toothbrush!
... And also your prophylactic condoms.

2) Remember it's still real life. Although it's tempting to say "whatever happens on holiday, stays on holiday!" that is not true in terms of shopping. It feels like a fake life where you can buy anything BUT THAT IS NOT TRUE. That being said, in general, when shopping on holiday don't buy stuff from stores you have in your home city. Being on holiday is not an excuse to buy stuff you've been wanting to buy but can't afford back in Real Life.

3) Pack a SWIMSUIT!! Even if you don't think you'll be going swimming or going somewhere with a pool, lake or hot tub, you never know when one will appear. Frankly, just keep a swimsuit in your suitcase 24/7, so that it'll always be there even when you forget. I was on a holiday once and totes forgot my swimsuit and the hotel had not only a pool, but also a WATERSLIDE. I was DEVASTATED.

Because you don't want to miss out on these swimsuit-related Super Fun Times!!

4) Don't order too much food in restaurants. If your hotel room doesn't have a fridge, make sure you don't order too much food at dinner! Nothing worse than not being able to doggie-bag it.

5) Don't forget to shop around. Relating back to #1 - make a plan for which stores you'd like to visit and give yourself enough time to hit them all up. Speed shopping can be a rush, and fun, but it doesn't give you enough time to consider whether things are smart purchases or not. Additionally, when in a new city, you may find some cool thing in a new store - and then discover the same cool thing in another store one block away, for cheaper.

Happy travels!!

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