Seasoned travelers pick up more than souvenirs on their journeys: they acquire insights. That’s especially true for Anne Gilfry Schierl ’54, MD’57 who has taken a record 40 international and athletic tours with the Wisconsin Alumni Association. So to help make future vacations more enjoyable and hassle-free for alumni, here are some of Schierl’s favorite tricks of the travel trade.
- It’s okay to go it alone. Traveling solo can seem daunting, but Schierl says, “You’re not going to make a friend until you meet a stranger.”
- Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. On her first-ever WAA tour, a cruise of the Canary Islands, Schierl packed two suitcases: one with formal attire and one with casual clothes. “The airlines lost my formalwear bag. But I had a good time regardless, and I swear that’s why I got to sit at the captain’s table for dinner.”
- Be adventurous. Travel outside your comfort zone to experience new cultures, foreign cuisines and exotic locales. “If you want everything to be like home, stay home.”
- Dress for the occasion. Summer in one part of the world is winter in another, so pack accordingly. And consider elevating your airline attire. “Air travel has gotten much too casual … especially the way people dress. I don’t particularly like it.”
- If possible, always travel with a group of Badgers. “There’s an instant bond we share — the UW — from day one,” says Schierl. “Plus, people from Wisconsin know how to have fun.”