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Susan Michelle's Compass

The 10 Commandments Of Travel
Posted by Susan Michelle on Jul 12, 2009 - 7:13:52 PM

LOS ANGELES—I never cease to be amazed at how poorly people travel: the co-ed who drags four suitcases on Spring Break; the mom, who travels to Disney World with new shoes, then is surprised to find her feet covered in blisters; and the grandfather who gets stuck in a snowstorm because he didn’t check the weather before starting his road trip to Arizona.  

It’s for folks like this that I’ve created what I call, “Susan’s 10 Commandments of Travel.”  Forward it to your clueless loved ones, hang it at your office, keep it inside your suitcase forever, because these are the rules that I think should be golden for every traveler:

1.    Thou Shalt Not Look Like a Shlub When on the Road: The only exception? A camping trip with no showers.  

2.    Thou Shalt Not Overpack: Think “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” meets “Easy Rider”: Simple + Versatile + Light = Carefree living”¦that still looks chic.

3.    Thou Shalt Bring Comfortable Shoes (That Also Look Good): By “comfortable,” I mean ones that have been test-driven for days before ending up in your suitcase.

4.    Thou Shalt Swear by the Internet: Research, share trip details and book everything yourself online”¦unless you have a travel agent you trust with your life.

5.    Thou Shalt Simplify Your Electronic Accessories: Invest in one of the following: a PDA, on which you can watch videos, listen to music, get online, find directions and use the speakerphone; a camera that takes both great pictures and videos, and saves everything to one huge memory card; a charger that has multiple ports, and can be powered via AC, solar or the car.  Leave everything else at home.

6.    Thou Shalt Be Prepared: If you simplify too much, don’t think, and/or leave everything to the last minute, you might arrive in your locale without a much-needed sweater, currency, saline solution or a plan.  

7.    Thou Shalt Be Flexible: Things never go as planned, so leave room for other people’s ideas, and the unexpected joys (and pitfalls) that will surely cross your path along the way.

8.    Thou Shalt Keep All Important Documents and Valuables Organized and Concealed: Otherwise, it’s only a matter of time until you lose your camera, leave without your flight details or get your wallet stolen.  

9.    Thou Shalt Not Over—Or Under—Do It: If you spend your entire trip sleeping you’ll regret having missed the sites once you’re back home.  But, if you run around like crazy trying to fit everything in, you just might run yourself into the ground.  Force yourself to motivate and chill equally.

10.    Thou Shalt Respect Others: That means, don’t impose yourself, your standards, or your loud voice on others’ customs, personal space or homes. When on a plane, don’t spend the entire time gabbing so loudly that your conversation violates everyone else’s peace and quiet.  When in Spain, if the shrimp arrive with the heads on, don’t freak out at the restaurant. When staying in someone’s home, be tidy, leave a gift and leave before your welcome wears out.

About the Author: A former Hollywood producer and now second-generation travel professional, Susan Michelle travels the planet as the “face” of the fashion-forward Compass travel lifestyle brand. Travel questions? Write her at


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