First Time Traveler
Is this your first time out on the open road? This is where you start. First, congratulations on deciding to Get Out and Go!
There’s a whole world out there just waiting for you, and it’s all yours, however you want it!
Where to Go?
First, you need to decide Where To Go. If you aren’t sure where that would be, consider a few things. What time of year are you traveling, how much money do you want to spend and what kind of weather and activities would you like to experience? It’s more expensive to go to some places during the summer; for example, going to Europe costs three times as much during the summer as it does during all the other seasons. Check the Economy page for your city to see when travel there fits in your budget. Do you want to go skiing in Aspen in the short bright days and long dark nights of winter, do you want to lounge on the beach in the Florida Keys under a palm tree and sip fruity drinks, or would you like to stand at the very top of the Eiffel Tower and watch the sun set in the pink light that blankets Paris? Choose a city from the list under Moxie on the Go, then take a look at the Weather page for that city and see what it looks like for the time of year that you want to travel.
Moxie’s advice: Simple. Start with the place you want to see the most, and if there is more than one place that would make your Absolute Must See Top Three list, then flip a coin and stick to the plan.
It is Murphy’s Law that if you are traveling via more than a single direct flight, you are taunting the Travel Gods to lose, misplace, or reroute your luggage. If you can fit everything you need into two carry-on bags, do it. Moxie has traveled many times for 10-14 day durations (including internationally) with only two carry on backpacks. There are times, however, that it is much easier or even necessary to check luggage. If you are going to check it, get to the airport an extra twenty minutes before you had planned to, in case there is a line at your airline counter.
Packing too much is a common regret among travelers. It’s a good plan to think carefully about what you’re really going to need for specific activities, select garments for those activities and try to plan so that you can co-mingle outfits, thus leading to fewer clothes in your bag. An example is packing one pair of pants or a skirt that you can wear two or three tops with. Most places you stay in will have washing machines or you can rinse in a tub/sink and save your body from lugging around all the extra weight of ‘but I might need…’. Don’t do it.
Think about the terrain of your destination and choose appropriate shoes. High heels on cobblestones and sand make for difficult walking. Try to take shoes that are stylish, comfortable, don’t take up much room in the bag, and co-ordinate well with most of your outfits. Flats are a brilliant idea.
How to Get There
Click on Moxie on the Go, choose a city and visit the Transportation & Maps page. This is a great resource for you to find all the information you will need about getting there and getting around once your feet hit the ground. It might be a drive, a flight, a sail or a train. When you have more than one option, think about these things: how much time do you want to spend traveling? Is it more important to you to travel fast and Get There Already or would you like to take your time and sniff the flowers along the way? If you’re in a hurry, nothing is faster than flying. If you have time and you want to see some countryside and small towns along the way, take a train. Trains have sleeper and dining cars as well as bar cars and can be inexpensive and relaxing as you are carried through the remote parts of the country to your destination. Moxie recommends this mode, if it works for your schedule. Unless the whole point of the trip is to drive (i.e., a coastal drive or road trip), cars are not the best way to get where you want to be; they generally leave a hefty carbon footprint, gas is expensive, getting lost and dealing with construction and car wrecks/flat tires etc., is no fun and it can make you weary before you even get to your destination.
*Some notes about flying
Wear slip on shoes. You will be required to take your shoes off at the airport to walk through security; shoelaces are not helpful at all. You may not take any liquids (i.e. hair products/deodorant/body wash/toothpaste/perfume/sun block/wine/water etc., in containers that are over 3 ounces in size – in your carry-on luggage. You may have large sized liquids if you are checking your bags, but in carry on, you must put all of your 3oz. (or smaller) liquids in a clear quart size bag/baggie and you’ll need to pull that bag out of your carry on to run it through the scanner at security. The other thing you’ll have to have out of the bag at the scanner is your laptop. Film under 800-ISO should be fine going through the x-ray, but anything with a higher ISO can be examined by a security agent if you ask. Cell phones don’t have to be out, but they can’t be on your body. Don’t have any metal on your body or in your pockets when you go through the body scanner. No coins, jewelry, watches, etc., just leave it in your bag until you are through security.
Where to stay
You have a lot of options. Hotels are the first thing we think of, but they aren’t always the right option. What kind of a stay do you want to experience? If it’s more cosmopolitan, then yes, get a hotel. If you want something special, unusual or more personal and homey, consider a Bed and Breakfast; you’ll have the local insider’s scoop on the area, a room in their home and what is oftentimes a region specific breakfast before you head out each day. This is a popular trend that is really catching on and a great way to get to know the people who live in the city that you are visiting. If you really want to go simple and inexpensive, you can stay in a hostel in most cities, where it’s easy to check in, stay a night or a few, and check out. These aren’t always the safest or most comfortable plan, but can be fun for the young and ‘traveling on a dime’ crowd and it’s a good way to meet other travelers. Click on the Lodging link for your city and see what options are available to you.
What to do when you get there.
This depends entirely on your time. You don’t have to have a schedule; you can lounge around on the beach or at your hotel, go see the sites or meet up with friends and throw caution to the wind and just wing it and explore on your own without maps or itineraries. Just have fun and enjoy yourself. Of course, there is a Hot Spot link and an Adventure link for each city so you’ll know just what your options are and you won’t miss anything.
If you would rather plan out a detailed itinerary so that you know where you will be going and when, all of the information available to you in in the city links will be an enormous help. Holidays and Festivals has an interactive calendar so that you can plan around events in the city you visit. Hot Spots has great information on professional sports teams for that city, performing and fine arts, concert venues, museums, aquariums, and places that you might not want to miss.
Everything you want will be on your city page. If you need extra advice or help, email Moxie at Contact Moxie.
Have a great trip! Love, Moxie XO