Anyone who knows me is aware that I am slightly obsessed with traveling. Any chance I get I am on a plane visiting family and friends on the east coast, or off exploring a new land with incredible sense of adventure. I’ve been fortunate enough to have jobs that have allowed me to get out there and meet incredible new faces – women like yourselves(!) – and keep in touch with familiar faces – like Angela 🙂
I’m often asked for travel tips. Here are my top ten:
- Stay hydrated
Circulated air is my enemy. I now try to drink at least 6 glasses of water before even stepping onboard (preferably before even leaving the house). That will help carry you through your day when you may not have access to water as regularly as you would on a normal day.
- Avoid checking in bags
It’s nice to feel light as you walk through those long terminal corridors, but I always think about what a hassle it is to wait for my bags after or – even worse – if my luggage gets lost. Taking your bags with you will relieve you of not only cost but any need to worry. Walk into the airport and roll right up to security!
- Duffel bags give flexibility
This year I decided to invest in a quality duffel bag: not just one that’s sturdy but one I love looking at. After hours of research (I need to feel I’ve made the best option) I chose this one from Everlane that is chic and contemporary. Since you are only allowed 2 carry-on items, I put a tote bag in my duffel with what I will need on the plane (laptop, phone, wallet, books, etc). When I get to my seat I then take the tote out of the duffel and put under my seat; that way I’m not scrambling with a line full of people behind me.
- Bring easy to layer clothing
Even though I’ve lived in several different climates and can see the forecast on my weather app, I still can’t seem to remember what that will actually feel like once I’m there. So I bring clothes that won’t take up space and will be comfortable no matter what the weather: leggings and cardigans are key.
- Flats are your best friend
I have what you’d call a diversified portfolio of shoes: heels, platforms, wedges, stilettos. But nothing says comfort more than flats. And as much as I like to dress up and am able to wear heels to work or occasions, I am all about comfort when I travel. That means ballet flats, sneakers or boots. You will be eternally grateful to yourself at the end of your trip.
- Choose clothes but don’t pack them way in advance.
I know there is an iron in the hotel room, but frankly am too lazy to use it. So instead of packing my clothes days or even the night before and wrinkling them, I separate the clothes I will take on my trip in my closet, and then will put them in my suitcase the morning of my flight. That way I keep them as crisp as possible and use the steam in my shower as a quick fix as needed.
- Use Passbook for boarding passes
With age I have learned to care more about the environment, which means living as paperless as possible. So instead of printing out my boarding pass which not only wastes paper but takes time, download the airline app on your phone, get your boarding pass, and save it to passbook. Your lock screen will show your boarding pass and when you swipe you’ll get access right then. This has been a game changer for me!
- Give your eyes a break
Along point #1, wearing contacts on a plane will dry your eyes out as well, so save them for after you land and your eyes will be happy and less tired.
- Try something new
Whether you are traveling for school, family, or work view it as an opportunity to try something new! I love to research an exercise class that is popular to that city, or a landmark (aquarium, museum, café). You are already outside of your comfort zone so use it to your advantage…you’ll have more fun stories to share once you return home!
- Take 5 to refresh
Finally, keep in mind that travel can take a lot out of you mentally and physically, so reserve time to decompress. Bring a good book or magazine, load music that will relax you, and congratulate yourself on a job well done.