Monday, May 14, 2012

top ten travel tips

from a very small age, i began traveling quite frequently.
my parents lived in different states, so i got accustomed to airports and airplanes quickly.

even as i've grown older, and gotten the opportunity to travel
more internationally for fun, and more domestically for business,
i've rather enjoyed myself, even when en route.

here are my top ten tips for how to travel well

1. pack well
don't overpack. you'll regret this.
travel light.

if you need to, pack a couple of days before your trip
and then reevaluate what you have in your bag as you get closer.

stick with one color scheme.
example: for business, i'll have a black pair of shoes and a black trench
i'll wear every single day - but can change up the base outfit.

when traveling abroad - bring things that mix and match well.
that way you won't get sick of the 2 sweaters and 3 shirts you brought so quickly.

2. arrive early
people argue me on this, but i like to be at the airport
the full 1.5 hours before my flight (2 hours prior for international travel)
my theory? things will go wrong. allow time for them.
i'd rather not be stressed about something that i don't have to be.

allow enough time to take it easy.
get a coffee, buy a magazine, wait at your gate, etc.

3. be in your happy place
get excited, and go into your trip with a good attitude.
you might need to go to your 'happy place' for this.

this is my same approach for day 1 of the nordstrom sale.
don't be frantic. be prepared for people to annoy you, walk slow,
be poor travelers, etc. but do what you need to do to just have fun with it.
know what you're getting into.

4. don't freak out
i realize some people have a fear of flying.
know the facts.
you're more likely to have gotten in a car crash on your way to the airport,
then to die in a plane crash.
be clam. grow up :)

5. bring something or someone to keep you company
bring enough things to occupy you for your entire trip.
bring your book, magazine, fully charged ipod, ipad, computer, kindle, etc.

people, like easy-going friends and family, work well for this to.

tip for traveling with friends/family: know your limits. set your boundaries.
example: would you enjoy your trip more if you didn't sit together?
does your travel partner get cranky when hungry - plan ahead.

tip for long flights: plan ahead to avoid jetlag.
calculate what time you need to go to sleep on your flight
to make the most out of your first day in a foreign city.

if sleeping on board is hard for you - use some all natural sleep aids

6. know what you like
do you like the aisle seat? the window?
a neck pillow? a snack?
an in-flight drink?

me? i never get up to use the restroom,
and find it annoying when i have to get up for others.
so i try to sit by the window whenever possible.
this also makes for good views.

i also find that when working on my laptop
the window seat provides more elbow room for typing,
and no extra bruises from those dang carts

additionally, i'd encourage you to get ONE drink on board
to enhance your flying experience.
i recommend a white wine or vodka and OJ
(bonus - vitamin c to fight all those germs)

7. dress comfortably
wear what's comfortable.
change in the airport if you need to.
for me, this also means always bringing socks.
not only do i cringe at the thought of every stranger walking through security barefoot,
but i also like to be warm and comfortable once on board.

8. know the rules
i was traveling with my grandma just this past weekend,
and as we approached security, my mom ask her if she had already taken
out her ziplock of liquids. she apparently had no idea she needed to do this.
(she is 86 years old)

avoid hassle at the airport by being organized and knowing the rules.
sometimes if i'm lazy in my packing and don't want to find my mini-bottles,
i just check my bag. either way, just plan ahead :)

9. laugh at yourself
i am a huge dork, just ask the co-workers that have traveled with me.
oh yes - i've had my ponytail patted down in security,
accidentally brought full bottles of water and scissors in my suitcase without knowing,
trip and fall quite frequently, the list goes on and on.
don't take yourself too seriously. you'll have more fun this way :)

10. have fun!
don't just look forward to arriving at your destination.
enjoy the traveling too. it's all part of the adventure :)

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