Traveling can be stressful, even when your destination is a luxurious getaway. All the packing, planning, and preparation required can seem overwhelming and darn near impossible to stuff into a (or several) suitcase(s). And Lord knows I do not approach life like a backpacking nomad. How many outfits do I take for day and evening wear? I need (more like want, but still) options. What’s the weather like? Do I plan to exercise while I’m there? My shoe game just went up another level. Wait, this climate calls for how much sunscreen? Gah … my hair!!!
Totally get it. Listen, I need a bag for my vitamins, oils, and skin regimen alone. A strategic approach to destination organization and necessities is in order. Through my reoccurring role of playing planes, trains, and automobiles, I’ve developed my own personal process to help alleviate stress and maximize comfort.
I’m sharing some “Top 5 Travel Do’s” for your next excursion, be it short or long …
#1 – Research | Lay of the Land
While you may not always have control of your travel destination, researching the location ahead of time is important. I understand business travel may dictate dates and flight times. However, when possible, research the area you’re visiting to determine when the best time to enter and exit will be. For example, with my recent travel to Atlanta, I knew HWYs 75, 285, 400 (ok, the Metroplex) would be a gridlocked prison during certain times of the day, so I planned my flight times accordingly to miss the chaos. Stress reliever … check! In addition, weather is a huge planning component, so be sure you know how to designate your wardrobe for your next adventure.
#2 – Packing
The nemesis that is my suitcase can be a tough one to tackle. I’ve found rolling my pants, skirts, and dresses instead of folding really helps with tight spaces. Plus, it actually helps to reduce wrinkles. Lean principles in progress! Tiny travel bottles and zip lock bags are my heroes. You can get quality pill packs, bottles, and sprayers for all your vitamins and toiletries at your local dollar store; fill with your essential skin, hair, and facial products to save room for all the wedging that will shortly ensue. Zip lock bags will help to secure these items in case they decide to spontaneously combust mid-air.
#3 – Look Cute | Stay Comfy
I’ve had my share of 4am dead rising wake up calls. And while I’d like to do nothing more than teleport my comatose self out of bed and onto the jet, let’s be realistic in our approach. Airports house all kinds of people from all walks of life, and opportunity exists at every serendipitous corner. I once saw Matthew McConaughey from a distance (blast it all) in the AMEX lounge at DFW. True story. So, you just never know who you’ll bump into while you’re out and about. While I’m not saying you need to get all fancy and doll’d up for your flight, put in some effort. Yoga pants are my travel staple, paired with a breathable long sleeve top that can withstand the hot and cold climates of the recycled air that is your jet home. Do your hair and put your fresh face on. Your fellow passengers will also thank you.
#4 – Hydrate & Stretch
Wedged in the cubby hole that is your seating arrangement can be hard on the joints and muscles. Be sure you’re consuming a good bit of water the day before your flight and as a pre-flight treat. I sip a large water on flight day and it has always treated me well! If you’re into yoga, some light pre-flight stretching will help prepare your muscles to combat the lactic acid build up from sitting for long periods of time. This is especially welcomed for long flights.
#5 – Entertainment Essentials
Downloading books, games, movies, and a good playlist ahead of time will be a life saver when you’re dealing with boredom in confined spaces. Be sure you plan ahead and stock your tablet and phones with all manners of addictions to keep you entertained when you can’t sleep the flight away.
Please feel free to share all your travel best practices. I’d love to hear from you and learn from you! I’m headed to Hawaii in 2 1/2 weeks, so if I can glean additional tips, I welcome it all!