My All Time Favorite Travel Tips

“To travel is to live” - Hans Christian Anderson
“Who lives sees, but who travels sees more” - Arab Proverb
"The seeking of knowledge is obligatory for every Muslim." - Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 74
“One who treads a path in search of knowledge has his path to Paradise made easy by God…” - Riyadh us-Saleheen, 245
The quotes above are just a few things that fuel my passion for travelling. Whether I’m visiting my family in the US or Karachi, or going on a trip somewhere with my husband I spend quite a lot of time on planes, at airports, and in transit. I can honestly say I’m grateful for everyone single one of my travel experiences. As I child, I never got the opportunity to do much traveling but as I grew up more and more opportunities began to arise and I took them on earnestly because I felt like it was an amazing way to observe more of the beautiful world that God has created for us. In the past few years I’ve learned my fair share of travel tips and tricks and I hope that sharing them with you makes your next travel experience easier!
  1. Pack Wisely
One of the biggest mistakes you can make while packing is to pack without checking the weather of your destination. Make sure to see what the weather is like at that particular time of year in your destination and pack accordingly. Bring lots of pieces you can layer easily. When I travel I like to bring at least two different types of jackets with me, one light and one heavy. That way for days when it’s slightly warmer I can put on my light jacket and vice versa. Remember to pack clothes you are super comfortable in! There’s nothing worse than walking around somewhere new wearing uncomfortable clothes. It might be tempting to buy a new wardrobe before going on vacation but I always stick to my old favorites. Cozy sweaters, worn in jeans and soft scarves are my go to for any trip!
  1. Choose your shoes carefully!
This goes along with the last tip but there’s almost nothing more important than packing comfortable shoes when going on vacation. You’re going to spend most of your time walking and if your feet aren’t comfortable you will be miserable. Wear shoes that you can walk around in for hours! It doesn’t matter how scruffy or beat up they are as long as they keep you comfy. And whatever you do, don’t wear new shoes on vacation even if they are flats. New shoes cause blisters and bleeding and that’s not something you want to deal with when you’re on a trip. Take it from me, on my vacation to NYC last year I decided to wear new flats. I thought they would be comfortable because they were flats but I ended up getting huge blisters on my heels and after a day of walking I was nearly in tears. Don’t make this mistake!
  1. Take as many pictures as you can
Whenever I travel I end up taking hundreds of pictures and I’ve never regretted taking a single of them. When your trip ends and you’re back home, the pictures are one of the most poignant visual memories you have to look back on. While you’re on vacation you might not realize the importance of taking a picture of a street that you’ve passed by so frequently, or the entrance of your hotel but these little details are what make each trip special. No matter how many pictures I take while I’m on a trip, I always find myself wishing that I had taken even more! So make sure you’re clicking frequently next time you’re on vacation; you’ll thank yourself for it later!
  1. Save everything and buy souvenirs
I’m a very sentimental person by nature and I hate throwing things out. I become even more sentimental on trips because I know they’re going to become special memories I’ll fondly look back on one day. For this reason, I save almost everything when I’m on vacation. When I went to Istanbul this past month I saved the bus tickets my husband and I bought at the airport, all the brochures we were given at the hotel reception desk, and bought tons of little souvenirs throughout the city. I absolutely love having all of those things to look back on now. Without them there are lots of little details of my trip that I might have otherwise forgotten. I store all of these little trinkets in a big box and I hope that one day when I’m old, I’ll get to look back at them with my family and recall the adventures of my youth.
  1. Know the TSA requirements before going to the airport  
Here’s some practical advice for you. When you’re packing make sure to check the TSA page of the airport you’re flying out so that you know exactly what you can and cannot bring on the plane with you. If you have a connecting flight at another airport, check their security page as well because they might have different rules. I’ve seen dozens of people having to throw out everything from lotions, to creams to expensive perfumes because they didn’t know they weren’t allowed in their carry on. Travel regulations are very strict and it’s better to know the rules beforehand than to find out the hard way. For the safe side it’s always best to put your perfumes, makeup, and liquids in your luggage that will be checked in rather than in your carry on. If you are planning on bringing these items in your carry on then know the size limitations and make sure to follow them because no exceptions are made in security!
  1. Have a small purse/satchel with you when traveling
When I travel, I always carry a large tote bag as well as a small purse. I put my passport, my boarding pass and all other important papers in my small purse so that I’m not digging through my tote bag to find them. This tip has made it a lot easier for me when I travel. I’m a nervous person by nature and find myself checking for my phone, my passport, my boarding pass etc almost every 5 minutes (much to my husband’s annoyance!). To make it easier on myself I bought a little purse and use it exclusively for these important possessions. Everything else that’s not as important goes into my tote!
7) Bring a water bottle with you
This tip comes in handy for both the plane ride and our actual destination. Having an empty water bottle with you while you travel can be a huge life saver. At the beginning of your flight ask an attendant to fill up your bottle with water so that you have water easily accessible throughout your flight. Planes are so dehydrating and it can be such a pain to flag down an attendant during the middle of your flight especially if you don’t have an aisle seat. The water bottle can also come in handy when you’re at your destination. You can fill it up before leaving your hotel and that way you won’t have to look for a shop every time you find yourself getting thirsty.
  1. Get an authentic travel experience
When I’m traveling I’m always shocked by how easy it is to tell tourists apart from locals. There’s nothing wrong with this but when I travel I prefer to get more of an authentic experience. One of the most important pieces of advice I can give you is to interact with locals, don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation or ask a question. Most of the time they’re friendly and welcoming and they can teach you something you wouldn’t otherwise learn. I think it’s also an integral part of gaining more knowledge as a Muslim. If we don’t experience new things how will we be able to tell one destination apart from the other? Don’t waste an opportunity to gain knowledge and perspective! Try eating the local food. You can go to fast food places like McDonald's and Subway almost anywhere in the world so why would you choose them over local food? I always try to scout out restaurants where I see other locals eating and try them. Use public transportation. Often times it’s much cheaper than taking the taxi and it’s a great way to get see more areas of the city you are in! Taxis are known for ripping tourists off so don’t let that happen to you! Always remember that traveling is a chance to explore a new place so take advantage of that fact and get as much of an authentic experience as possible!



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