For some people, traveling is a way of life. For others, it can be truly daunting especially when it involves planes, layovers, pre-check and all that jargon. It doesn’t have to be this way, there are several tips and tricks to get you started along your way! Here’s a few:
Choose early flights
I like early flights. In my opinion, I would rather get to my destination by lunchtime so I can enjoy lunch in a new city versus home or the airport. But that’s not all, in my experience the earlier the flight the less likely you are to have delays caused by flights that are running late due to wherever they are originating from. Most likely you are also getting a fresh flight crew and normal chatters seated next to you are probably going to be getting in a little nap! Score!
Don’t: It’s morning, I get it. But please choose a different beverage than coffee. For no other reason, than it scares me. I’m nervous for the flight attendants and anyone in proximity to the coffee. Plus it’s messy… creamers, sugars…just go with something else. And of course DO drink something, dehydration at a high altitude can happen. Just not coffee. Deal?
Seems like a no-brainer right? But for procrastinators like me this takes conscious effort. And considering I like morning flights it is even more important to be prepared. If you’re like me, you don’t sleep that much before a flight for fear of missing it. But you will probably sleep more soundly if you have set your alarm early enough, charged your devices, and have your suitcase packed. For me, everything is packed the night before (again, I’m a procrastinator) and my flight outfit is laid out along with vital toiletries for the morning, which will end up tucked in my suitcase as the last item. I’ll throw in my phone and charger as I’m walking out the door. Give yourself a minute to scan over your room, do you have everything? Headphones, laptops, chargers, flat iron (if applicable–this is one I frequently forget about), make up bag (I’ve forgotten this one before–ugh!), etc.
Another part of planning ahead is determining how you will get to the airport. Are you driving? Is someone dropping you off? Are you catching an Uber? I’m a big fan of the drop off or Uber. In most cases you save the money on parking, you are dropped right off at the terminal (avoiding parking garage mayhems — my husband and I recently traveled on Labor Day weekend out of New Orleans and traffic was super heavy so we decided to drive and park versus our normal parking at a friends home and catching an Uber. Boy, was that a mistake! The long term parking lot was FULL, the overflow lot was FULL, and we were diverted to short term parking which was $20 a day versus the normal $10 and the five floors of parking were jam packed. We finally found a space and made it through security just in time but we will never do that again!). There’s a lot to be said about being dropped off at the terminal saving time, money, and the energy of carrying baggage from the parking garage. With that being said, Uber has a great feature where you can “schedule” your Uber ahead of time within a 15 minute window and that’s nice especially for those early flights where there may not be a ton of drivers out.
Don’t: Be the person who doesn’t check in to your flight ahead of time. This may affect your boarding zone, also can cost you time needing to check in at the airport. Also make sure that you have read up on what you can have in your carry on and your baggage limits.
When traveling, use layers even if you are traveling to and from warm climates. It is inevitable that the plane will be chilly so dress comfortably with a zip up jacket or sweater that you can easily take off during the security check but will also keep you snug and warm on flight.
Mix the old with the new when it comes to packing your travel attire. If you’re like me, you like to look the part when traveling which can be a strain on the budget. So feel free to wear your regular favorites and spruce them up with a few new items to create a fun attire for whatever you have planned–a conference, visiting friends and family, fun in the sun, etc.
Stick to a similar color palette with your clothing. This will lessen the number of shoes you will need to bring which are often the heaviest items in your suitcase. I tend to wear sneakers on my actual travel days because they are the heaviest shoes I need to bring and if I ever have to run to my gate for whatever reason I’m prepared. In addition, there is a lot of walking involved especially if you are traveling in and out of major cities like Atlanta, New York, LA, etc. How these ladies walk in stilettos in the airport I have no idea but I bow to you if you are reading this. You are the MVP. The same thing goes with accessories, stick to similar color palettes so you can mix and match or pack you some trend setting jewelry that allows you to create multiple looks.
You can also save room in packing by sticking socks into shoes, accessories into a clutch (that you might be bringing for evening and fancy outings), and using all of the many pockets and hiding places your luggage offers. Many folks also swear by rolling their clothing or packing in zip lock bags. For me it is all about planning the outfits per day, and just throwing in a couple of extra options. I use what I call the PLUS 2 method. I add 2 additional of whatever I need based on the number of days I’m traveling. Four days away might equal six tops and 6 bottoms. Leave unnecessary items at home.
Don’t: Overpack — You will spend unnecessary money for items you will never use on your trip. Leave room in suitcases for souvenirs or gifts if that’s your thing.
I truly hope this has been helpful in planning for your next trip. What travel hacks do you have? Leave them for us in the comments! And use that follow button to subscribe!
Nerissa, the BizEMillenial
About the author:
Nerissa, wife and mom of 4 is originally from VA and now lives in LA. She enjoys reading, traveling, and helping others grow and be successful while working a full time job, volunteering in her community, and still finding time to work her business in smart ways that save time and energy and produce results. Connect with her on Facebook and also visit her business site.