I am back after a week in Philadelphia with intermittent internet access. I love to travel, but I am still refining my packing process and still learning about what I need to take and don't need to take on a trip. Here is what I learned from my week in Philly:
My two favorite apps for the trip were TripIt and Gate Guru. With TripIt, you simply email your hotel and flight confirmations to the app and you can pull up your confirmation codes, directions to your hotel, a trip timeline, and links to your flight check-in in a simple interface. Gate Guru provides real time updates on what gate your flight is scheduled to leave from.
Pay attention to where the locals stop for lunch. Reading Terminal Market is filled with great places to eat. I payed $7 for a yummy vegetarian gyro and $1 for an absolutely delicious apple caramel donut from Beiler's.
|I ate this donut.|
Take advantage of free and cheap sight-seeing opportunities. The Liberty Bell and Independence Hall are both free to the public. I also found the Constitution Center worth the ticket price (which isn't much at all).
Learn to roll your clothes. I was in Philadelphia for a conference so I had to pack four professional outfits. On my last day, I had the afternoon free before my flight in the evening so I wanted to pack a few casual outfits as well. If you go to a conference, expect to walk a lot. I had a three block walk from my hotel to the convention center. After a day walking, I needed a pair of comfortable shoes that would also work for going out to dinner. In total I packed:
- Four nice shirts that looked good with dress pants or jeans
- Three pairs of dress pants
- Two pairs of jeans-one for the flight up and a classic dark washed pair for going out to dinner
- A sweater
- A dress jacket
- A scarf- Philly this time of year is warm during the day but the night gets cold quickly. Layering is essential.
- Sneakers for the airport, burgundy leather ballerinas, and black booties for the conference.
10 years ago. For a bag that I bought for less then $50, it has held up over the years. The issues that I have is that it has two wheels which makes maneuvering through the airport a hassle. The telescoping handle has a single shaft. The feature was designed so that you can fit more into the luggage but in practice it means that I can't fit my laptop bag over the handle so I always end up with a sore shoulder from carrying the bag through the airport. I am currently investigating a carry on bag with spinner wheels to make airport trips less trouble. Right now I am considering this Samsonite bag although the Rimowa is tempting since I have heard so many positive reviews.
Plan for Technology Malfunctions. My hotel had wifi so I thought that I have internet access for most of the trip. My Kindle decided that this trip would be an excellent time to drop wifi intermittently. My conference had charging stations so I was able to keep my phone charged and functional for the trip but I have learned that bringing an emergency charger is also a good idea since the Philadelphia airport did not have a charging station that I could find.
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