©Joy Dunlap  https://joydunlap.com

Whether traveling for business, pleasure – or on the journey of life, these travel tips can make the experience more enjoyable. 

Travel Light:  

The more packed the baggage you’re carrying, the less space you’ll have for new treasures, and the more weight you’ll have to haul around. 

Heading to a speaking engagement in Germany, I packed my big suitcase with clothing, toiletries and shoes to cover a myriad of possible situations at the conference.  Pulling my stuffed bag and carry-on, I got off the train at the intermediate stop only to discover a tall staircase I’d need to climb to transfer to another train.

No elevator.  Steep stairs.  Time ticking on the train’s imminent arrival.

I trudged up the steps and left my carry-on at the top and came back down.  Step by step, I then pulled the 50-lb. bag up the stairs. 

Hot. Sweaty. Sore. 

The baggage we carry from broken dreams, relationships and disappointments makes it difficult to move forward or upward.  When we’ve got the weight of anger, fear or grudges filling our lives, we have little or no room to squeeze in good experiences.

By leaving behind negative emotions, insecurities and hurts that encumber us, we free up room for positive memories, new relationships and personal growth. 

Travel Tip:  Use a 360°-wheeled suitcase. You’ll reduce shoulder strain since you can roll it by your side instead of pulling it behind you.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.  Hebrews 12:1-3 NIV

Travel Generously:

Tip well even in countries where tipping is not traditional.  Why not choose to bless someone?   

If you own a car, you’re considered well-off in most countries.  If you own a house, you’re among the most affluent in the world.  If you can travel in country and especially overseas, you surely have enough resources to share generously with others. 

Travel Tips:  Take gently-used items you can leave behind when going on a cruise or traveling in a less prosperous country. You’ll remove weight from your suitcase, leave room for purchases, and help out another person.  Athletic shoes, nice clothing items, and books are good options.  Items like athletic shoes can be difficult and expensive for workers to get in tourist areas.

Make sure to leave a note of blessing and thanks, along with a monetary tip, saying you hope the items can be useful. You’ll encourage the receiver, and remove any notion that you forgot the items. 

Consider taking small souvenirs from your home state to gift to workers whose service benefits you (in addition to a cash gratuity). On last year’s Christmas cruise, we took new gifts to share with a few crew members unable to be with family during the holidays. They were thrilled to be noticed and acknowledged in a more personal way.     

Boost the blessing:  Include a Scripture verse with your card or note!

You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.  2 Corinthians 9:11-12 NIV

Travel Safely:

Make it difficult for thieves to steal from you.  

Many years ago, when I was younger and less cautious, I was walking down the main thoroughfare in St. Thomas, several shops behind my husband.  Three guys approached me on the sidewalk.  One each went on my right and left as the middle one thrust his hand into my neck and tried to jerk off the triple-braid gold chain I was wearing.  I screamed.  The necklace held.  They ran.  Left with a lightly bruised neck where his knuckles hit, shaking hands and wobbly legs, and a disturbing sense of insecurity, thankfully, I was okay.  The story could have ended much differently.   

If we carry insurance and buy items designed to protect us while traveling, wouldn’t we want to safeguard what is truly valuable as we journey through life?  Only God can protect our heart, mind and soul.  By studying His word and spending time communicating with Him in prayer, we can put defenses in place against who and what would try to snatch away our trust and confidence in Him. 

And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil people, for not everyone has faith. But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.  2 Thessalonians 3:2-3 NIV

Travel tips:  Wear only costume jewelry, if any, while touring. Carry a slash-proof purse or backpack.  Use a radio-frequency identification (RFID) protective wallet, purse or sleeve to prevent potential thieves from accessing your credit card information remotely. Use zippered pockets on your purse or your pants to hide important items.  Take a combination lock for your suitcase if you’re staying in a room without a safe, and don’t use your birthday as the combination.  (Even then, don’t leave valuables inside it!)  Take steps to make it more challenging for a thief to pick you to prey on.  

Now go make some fun memories!

Remember…Life Is Better When It’s Full – Joy-full, Thank-full, Purpose-full and Friend-full!


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