This past year has been quite a year of travel for me.  I was fortunate to have done the following:

  • 4-night cruise to the Bahamas in January 
  • 3-week trip to Australia and New Zealand in April 
  • 7-night cruise to the Caribbean in May, a 4-night trip to Portland in July 
  • 7-night cruise to Alaska in August
  • 8 night trip to Costa Rica in December

I’m a bit weary thinking about it, but what an amazing year! I enjoyed myself and enjoyed the company of my travel companions immensely.

Upon getting back from my last adventure I decided to think through my travels from 2019 and jot down some Take-Aways, 10 to be exact.



  1. Always be prepared for the unexpected.  My good friend, Val Keith, says that the different between an adventure and a disaster is your attitude.  It helps to be prepared as well.  If you are the type of person who can roll with the punches, you’ll be fine.  If not, you should really try to work on that before departing.  It makes all the difference.
  2. Check the expiration dates of your passport (in most cases it must be valid for at least 6 months prior to your return to the USA).  Also check the validity of your credit cards and debit cards before departing (this little ditty comes from personal experience).
  3. Make copies of your passport and the front and back of your credit cards.  Email them to yourself so that they can be accessed if lost.
  4. Give yourself plenty of time for check-in at the airport.  Baggage drop and security lines can be longer than expected.  In most cases, your bags must be checked in at least one hour prior to the flight departure.  Be prepared for airport delays.
  5. For longer flights, bring a travel blanket, pillow and snacks.  Dress in loose fitting clothes and wear shoes that you can slip in and out of.

While on tour or cruise:

  1.  Take advantage of every tour or experience that you can.  I was just in Nassau and took a city tour for the first time.  I visited places I didn’t know about and learned so much about the history of that island nation and had the chance to interact with the people.  It was a fantastic experience and one that I had not expected.
  2. If you have the opportunity, take a Hop on-Hop Off city tour.  It’s an inexpensive and easy way to get your bearings.  Stay on for one full sweep of the city and learn where the iconic sites are so that you can go back for a visit.
  3. If you’re on a tour, listen to the tour director.  These knowledgeable individuals have all the information you need to enjoy the destinations.  While on the bus, they complete you experience with tales of the history and culture of the regions as well as what they are best known for.  They help with restaurant tips, shopping tips, and guide you to the not-to-be missed sites.  Be sure to ask questions as they are a wealth of information.
  4. Be on time for everything.  This is especially important while cruising and taking an excursion.  If it is a ship sponsored excursion and it is late returning, the ship will wait for you.  If you are on your own and are late, it will not.
  5. Keep a travelogue.  Send yourself a daily email listing of the things that you did that day.  When you get home, you will have a diary of everything that you did, in chronological order.  Be sure to include photos.  This can be done through wi-fi at the hotels or cruise ship and done through your cell phone or tablet.

Whatever you do, keep traveling.  Keep an open mind.  Keep learning and growing!

Happy Travels WanderDivas!

Marian Blessing

As a travel consultant for 30 years, Marian experienced first-hand, the positive impact traveling had on her and her clients. A problem she frequently encountered was women wanting to travel but not doing so due to the lack of a travel companion. In search of a solution, Marian created a local community where women could connect, establish friendships, and travel the globe together. The success of Marian’s local group led to the founding of WanderDivas, an online travel community for women.

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