Sunday, August 4, 2013

first time travel tips + portovelo shoes

i was so happy to get a pair of these shoes in the mail from portovelo shoes!
these lined up with the blog pretty well, since they are ideal travel shoes..
comfortable, versatile, and made specifically for travel lovers! 
thank you small girls PR for sending these to me! 

 porto- to bring, 
velo- referring to travel, 
love- rearrangement of velo, 
portovelo: bringing adventure and love. 

** more info and a little excerpt from their website is below the travel tips!
it's such a great company! and speaking of travel, i've received some emails about first time travel tips from people going out of the country for the first time, traveling on their own for the first time, or just starting to travel more. i know many people who read this blog have traveled a LOT, but for those who haven't... i made a little list of first time travel tips.. comment below with any other thoughts! 

the well-traveled wife's first time travel tips

1. travel with your eyes wide you can take everything in, and also be aware and cautious.

2. don't expect a new place to be like don't want it to be, that's why you're traveling!
3. be open to learning new things, not just seeing the places on the surface.
4. try not to judge people or places because they are different. instead ask questions, and enjoy the fact that you are seeing a different way of life. 
5. try to learn basics of the local language, and use them as much as possible. this is fun for you, shows respect to locals, and creates unexpected friendships. 
6. manners are universal. use them.
7. never talk louder when someone can't speak english-they still don't understand it when you're yelling! :)
8. try not to complain that no one speaks english. remember where you are.
9. bargain! in lots of countries, bargaining is expected in markets, shops, etc. don't be the naive american tourist who overpays for something because a vendor tries to offer a higher price to see if you'll pay. always be respectful, but bargain. you'll be surprised.
10. going along with the above, don't over-bargain. a dollar is a small amount to you, but could mean a lot more to the person you are negotiating with.
11. respect local culture & customs. you are the visitor.
12. leave things better than you found them.
13do unique and local things, but don't shy away from other places just because they are touristy. i am ALL about getting the local feel, but that doesn't mean you should skip all the "touristy" spots...some are touristy for a reason :) you can spend less time in these places or do them your own way, but don't rule them out completely.
14.  remember to represent yourself and your country well when visiting another country.
15. travel in a way that works for your interests and values. don't take recommendations too seriously if you are not interested in a certain activity.
16. if you are really not having a good time, then change direction.
17. start to travel when you are young! 
18. research and find good deals for the place where you are traveling before you go. there are a lot more than you probably realize.
19. eat street food. in a lot of places, some of the best and most authentic places to get foods are food carts and street vendors. 
20. try all different local dishes – ditch the western diet.
21. remember that it's okay to step outside your comfort zone! it's how you grow, and where life begins.
22. be flexible and is so much more enjoyable when you are!
23. always ask for help when you need it, even if it is in sign language and charades.
24. carry cards or a phone app with important basic phrases written on it in the local language. 
25. don’t be afraid to respectfully say no.
26. get travel insurance. i learned this the hard way when i got strep throat in france!
27. talk to the local people. be friendly & outgoing. it’s amazing what you will learn and who you will meet. this is one of my very favorite parts of travel, and something chase is so good at.
28. do as much local as you can: local food, local transport, local accommodation.
29. do one thing every day that scares you and pushes your comfort zone.
30. share with other travelers and mingle with them. you can always relate/ exchange tips and help each other. i am still in touch with so many people i have met while traveling.
31. don’t rely solely on technology to help get you around...i love using my iphone apps, but with no internet or 4g network internationally, the phone is less reliable. always bring an actual map and other info in case you need it. 
32. don’t be afraid if you don't have an exact plan..sometimes those are the best days.
33. have a rough idea of the currency exchange rate, so you know how much you're paying.
34. check online to see any events happening where you are traveling while you're there. you never know when you'll stumble into a major festival or have more traffic than you planned on!
35. don't carry too much cash when you go out for the day. if you need a lot, buy a small purse you can put under your shirt or somewhere safe to protect from pickpockets. 
36. guard your passport with your life.
37. if you lose something ot get robbed or bad things happen, don’t let it ruin your vacation. as long as you are safe, let it go and enjoy need to let it ruin the entire trip!
38. don’t be afraid to splurge on those once in a lifetime experiences.
39. be prepared for culture shock/ reverse culture shock. depending on the country, it can be real.
40. take LOTS of pictures!!!!!!


excerpt from portovelo website:
As we journey through the world, let us walk a path of difference. Proceeds from every purchase will go towards an organization nominated by our Portovelo travelers and dedicated to improving the lives of people around the world. 
We believe inspiration and curiosity are all you need to be a traveler. But a great pair of shoes just makes the journey better! We searched the world - 41 countries and all seven continents - for the ideal travel shoe: comfortable, durable and stylish. Slim flats looked great in the mirror but made our feet ache. Sneakers were supportive but didn’t quite match our style. So, we designed our own shoe for like-minded adventurers. Portovelo’s slim, lightweight soles are made for easy walking and traveling. The flexible canvas upper molds to your feet, which are supported by a breathable, cushioned insole. And because travel is meant to be fun, we created our signature orange backstripe and sole to give every adventure that touch of pop!Our shoes are only a part of the story. From the start, we didn’t want our brand to just be a business. Traveling the globe has opened our eyes to many needs and injustices in the world today - hunger, disease, unsafe drinking water, inequitable access to education, and extreme poverty. We wanted to help, but didn't quite know how. With Portovelo as our vessel, we now hope to make a small difference. For every pair purchased, Portovelo will donate part of our proceeds to organizations dedicated to improving the lives of people around the world. As the old saying goes - a journey of a thousand miles begins with one small step.
For more of our giving, please see Travel with love
Portovelo - travel with heart & sole.

thanks for the new kicks, portovelo!


  1. This is so helpful Em! I love those shoes too!

  2. Being able to purchase your travel insurance online is the extremely convenient option these days. Shopping for Travel insurance online is similar to any other online purchase.
    compare travel insurance


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