You’ll never meet a traveler who, after five trips, brags: “Every year I pack heavier.” The measure of a good traveler is how light he or she travels. You can’t travel heavy, happy, and cheap. Pick two.
Theoretically, travel is one of the most exciting, stimulating and rewarding experiences in life. Discovering new places, people and cuisines is 100% fun.
However, there are certain aspects of travel (actually getting from A to B) that can be stressful, annoying or trying. Here are some tips to make travel as smooth and enjoyable a process as possible:
1. Give notice
Notify all of your credit card companies of your trip before you fly. Have them place travel alert on your cards preventing the nuisance of denial of payment and ensuing expensive international phone calls.
2. On and off
When traveling by air make sure to wear easy-on, easy-off shoes, as you most likely will have to remove them at airport security.
3. Ditch the jewelry
On a similar note, make sure to wear as little metal as possible, making your life easier when passing through airport security metal detectors.
4. Stand out
Whether you use luggage tags or unique identifying markers, you’ll save time and confusion at the baggage claim if you can quickly pick out your bags among the millions of black suitcases in the terminal.
5. Pack small
Whenever possible, restrict yourself to carry-on luggage. This makes getting in and out of the airport much faster and avoids any possible misplacement of luggage.
6. Suit up
When packing suit jackets, lay them flat, folded so the shoulder seams lie one atop the other, and roll them up from the top, down, into a tube. This will help prevent wrinkles.
7. Small spaces
Don’t waste space inside empty shoes – fill them with socks and underwear, both to save space and keep shoes from getting crushed.
8. Have a back-up
Carry a change of clothes in your carry on – just in case of an emergency. Must-have toiletries and one day’s worth of clothes should be enough.
9. Always choose pockets
When flying, wear clothes with extra pockets. You’ll be happy you did when you’re rushed, flustered, and need somewhere to quickly stash tickets, money, and last minute purchases at the snack kiosk or duty free.
10. Stay clean
Shower before a long flight. When you’re on a long flight you will get dehydrated and oily and feel stale. A shower before will help alleviate the inevitable dirty feeling of flying and keep you fresh until you get to your destination.
11. Timing is everything
The most important thing you can do when traveling is build in time cushions! Give yourself extra time to deal with unforeseen delays at the airport, on the road, or wherever. You’ll be less stressed if you do.