Steel Plus Network Connections Issue 4 | Page 13

Innovative use of materials , impeccable craftsmanship , and a brilliant sense of design have propelled Marnie Oursler from building beach homes as a hobby to presiding over a thriving custom home building business .
Now , Marnie encourages other builders to do the same as the proud spokesperson for 84 Lumber ’ s “ We Build American ” initiative . Marnie is dedicated to doing the right thing whether it ’ s building practices that are good for the environment and promote domestic jobs or helping students gain field experience to launch construction careers . extra cautious and use sunscreen whenever you ’ re outside .
12 . Stay hydrated . Traveling usually means being on your feet all day . Carry a refillable bottle so you always have access to water ( extra points if your bottle is collapsible !).
13 . Talk with locals . Not only is it a great way to meet new and interesting people with experiences totally different from your own , but locals also have the lowdown on the best food , sights , activities , and shopping .
14 . Set up account alerts . Before you leave , let your bank and credit card companies know where and when you ’ ll be traveling . This avoids temporary card deactivations when your bank starts seeing ‘ suspicious ’ charges from a strange location .
15 . Plan , but leave room for spontaneity . Research your destination in advance to make sure that you don ’ t miss any of the must-sees ( or the local gems only the most prepared know about ). But don ’ t forget to leave room for the unexpected .
16 . Tell your plans to someone back home . Make your plans known to at least one person who ’ s not on your trip so there ’ s always someone who knows where you are and where you should be .
17 . Bring a first-aid kit . Blisters , cuts , colds , and all manner of physical ailments occur when you travel . Be prepared with the essentials so they don ’ t spoil the fun .
18 . Never carry all of your money on you . Take what you think you ’ ll need for the day and leave the rest locked in your hotel so you ’ re not caught penniless should you lose your wallet ( or have it stolen ).
19 . Use a map , but don ’ t be afraid to get lost . Maps are essential , especially the first few days in a new city . Who cares if you look like a tourist ? You are one ! But let yourself get lost once or twice , too - you never know what you ’ ll find .
20 . Learn the local history . A little research on your destination ’ s past is the best way to understand its present .
21 . Shop around for flights . You can often save serious cash by flying into a nearby city and taking a train or bus the rest of the way .
22 . Avoid eating in touristy areas . The food is almost never good , and the prices are jacked way up . You ’ ll have better luck - and a better meal - by walking a few blocks or minutes away .
23 . Sample the local cuisine . Even if it ’ s something you would never eat at home , try it anyway . You never really understand a place until you ’ ve experienced its food .
24 . Use public transportation . Not only will you save a ton of money on taxis , but you ’ ll also see your destination as the locals do .
25 . Do a walking tour on your first day . It ’ s an excellent way to get a lay of the land before you set out on your own .
26 . Always carry cash for emergencies . It ’ s tempting to rely on credit or debit cards for everything , but many places still require cash - and you don ’ t want to be stuck in a cash-only situation without it .
27 . Wear comfortable shoes . There are so many good-looking and comfortable options for footwear , so why torture yourself ? Treat your feet well and they will take you to the most amazing places .
28 . Be an early riser . It ’ s the best way to get crowded sights all to yourself and beat the lines at popular cultural spots . It also gives you a chance to slow down and take in your surroundings .
29 . Pack a scarf . A good scarf ( or sarong ) is the most versatile piece of travelwear . It can be used as a blanket , a face mask , for sun protection , to carry things … the options are endless !
30 . Become an observer . Be mindful of where you are without the lens of a camera or smart phone in the way . Watch the locals , take in the scenery , sounds , and smells , and be fully present .
31 . Slow down . Cramming too many places into one trip results in a surface level experience . Gain a deeper understanding of a location by spending as much time there as your trip will allow . Several days in a few spots almost always beats a day or two in many .
32 . Take notes . Journaling your travel experience is a great way to reflect on and remember your trip . Your notes may also prove invaluable if you ever return to that location , or know someone who is visiting for the first time .
33 . Get off the beaten path . Every destination has certain must-sees that , although touristy , are must-sees for a reason . But to truly experience a place and its culture , venture away from the crowds and live the way the locals do . That ’ s often when the best travel memories are made ! +