When returning home a few years ago, I packed my keys in my suitcase, only to find out at the baggage claim that it did not arrive with me. There I was stuck at the airport with no keys to drive my car or ability to enter my home once I got there! Well since then I have collected a list of “to do’s” to make my travel go more smoothly. Since people travel all year round these days, I thought I’d share this list with you. Here’s to stress-less vacations.
10 Tips for Travel:
1. Carry on luggage: Don’t make my mistake; be sure to take your medication and keys with you on board in case your luggage doesn’t arrive with you. The carry-on should include your “must haves” such as: medications, toiletries, emergency contacts and travel documents, passport or other ID, a change of underwear or whatever else you can’t live without.
2. Keep a standard list of travel items on file, listing all the necessities. You can add/delete as the season or occasion indicates, but at least you’ll have a complete record from which to choose.
3. Identify your luggage with some personalized touch. It could be a colorful tag, luggage strap, or even spray paint a small design on the side…that certainly won’t get torn off!
4. Stay hydrated while traveling, especially when you fly.
Experts recommend drinking one cup of water for every hour in flight. You can carry a small plastic water bottle with you through security and fill it at a water fountain after you pass through. That saves a few bucks before you even leave!
5. Take small exercise breaks during your flight. Be sure to get up and walk every hour or so to keep the blood circulating in your lower extremities. If you can’t get up, then at least stretch in your seat and flex your feet and move your legs.
6. Avoid jetlag by curtailing alcohol on board, eat light meals and only when hungry and drink plenty of water. When the flight departs, set your watch to the destination time zone to begin acclimating to the change. When you arrive, avoid taking a nap, which only prolongs jetlag. Instead get some fresh air by taking a walk or choose activities fitting to the new time frame.
7. Out of the country I find many hotels, especially the smaller ones, look alike. I always take hotel stationary or matchbook and drop it in my purse. Then if I need to take a taxi or ask directions, I have the exact name and address with me and no worries about potential language barriers.
8. One pleasure about traveling is escaping from the barrage of daily news. However, I’ve learned that is not such a good idea. Once I missed a flight due to bad weather, which made my trip home nearly unbearable. So I now follow the news, albeit in small doses, but enough to keep abreast of weather and other potential delays. Most airlines offer cell or text alerts that notify you in case of flight changes. Request that information when you book your flight to avoid unexpected hassles.
9. Be mindful of staying healthy as you travel. Be sure to wash your hands frequently and keep a liquid antibacterial handy when needed. Avoid others who appear ill and clean areas in your hotel room known to harbor germs such as the phone, TV remote, etc. If you are not feeling well, don’t leave home without consulting your doctor.
10. If you collect things on your trip and need more room in your suitcase, why not take older clothes with you to shed along the way. I’ve done that and the hotel staff was happy to find a place for my sneakers, jeans or other items. That freed up luggage space for my souvenirs and other newly purchased items.
Bonus: One site I researched suggested that you shower in your underwear. Well, I wouldn’t have thought of that, but it certainly supports “going green!”
No matter if you are jetting off to a far away place, touring the heartland or planning an economic “stay-cation,” I wish you a wonderful and safe vacation. We all need time to relax and revitalize, so have fun!