1. Do not overbook. What’s the point of running yourself ragged? If you schedule an event or activity for each moment there’s zero time for spontaneity and unexpected cool things.
2. Do not overpack. As the girl with the heaviest suitcase on my first trip to Europe, I learned a couple of important lessons, including that my friends won’t let me forget that I had the heaviest suitcase. And that it is way more satisfying to use every single article of packed clothing than it is to bring items that remain unworn.
3. Don’t hesitate to ask for late checkout and register complaints about accommodations when appropriate. On my latest trip, I tweeted my dissatisfaction with the fact that our hotel’s pool was not available, just like it had been last time we were there 6 years ago. I was contacted by the hotel and ultimately was given a credit equal to the cost of one night’s accommodation.
4. Don’t ever, ever, ever go to chain restaurants when traveling. Branch out – ask locals or Yelp for suggestions on where to eat. Or stay home.
5. Don’t underestimate how important it is to leave your home in the condition you want to find it upon your return. Remember – nothing says welcome home like clean sheets.