I always do these things when I travel, and since we’re coming up on a possible family trip overseas, it made me re-visit my notes.
(LOL. Never fails to make me laugh.)
I am always thinking of new ways to make my life easier.
1. ALWAYS PACK A PASHMINA (LARGE SCARF)
I feel like a broken record but I always pack a pashmina. It is a blanket, a scarf, a plaything for my toddler, and something handy to have if it ends up being unusually cool.
2. PACK ALL YOUR TOILETRIES & STORE IT WHERE YOU CAN REACH IT EASILY
You really need to be ORGANIZED when you hit that security gate.
I always put all my liquids in a quart-sized clear bag and stick it in the FRONT of my carry-on or in my traveling purse.
That way, I can just tug it out, throw it in the bin and sail through without having to open my suitcase and dig through it to find the liquids while everyone taps their feet behind me in a long, long line.
3. DON’T WEAR ANY JEWELRY, WEAR SOCKS & SLIP-ON/OFF SHOES
I hate it when I am at the security checkpoint and other people are digging through their pockets to find coins, remove their rings, their watches.. OMG. So annoying.
Pack all of those items inside your carry-on until after you’re done going through security, that way you stop beeping.
I would also wear socks and slip them into slip-on/off shoes like loafers or easily removable boots for instance.
I wear socks because walking on a dirty floor in bare feet is gross when going through security, and on the plane, you want to be comfortable and keep your toes warm while being able to put your feet easily into shoes to go to the bathroom or up and down the aisle.
4. CARRY BASIC MEDICATION & KEEP THINGS IN EASY-TO-GRAB POUCHES
Inhalers, Epi-pens, allergy pills, aspirin, or in my case, under the ear motion sickness patches are all in ONE small plastic baggie, contained and always on my person.
I get terrible motion sickness and I always wear motion sickness patches as they do the job better than Gravol (they don’t knock me out) and while you need to wear it half an hour before boarding a plane, I need to remove it after I am done traveling, so being able to find the same pack to put the patch back in for my return flight is key.
I always bring aspirin and and allergy medication (generic stuff like Aerius) because you never know what you might be allergic to on a trip, and when you might need medication.
In some places we’ve traveled, this stuff is not considered over the counter medication. You might need to consult with a pharmacist and/or see a doctor to get a prescription to take the pills!!
As for other important things like your keys, cash, passport and itinerary, you should keep it in ONE folio or pouch, and always return it back in the same spot after taking it out so that you can grab the pouch and easily move it from one bag to another or grab your most important stuff ASAP.
5. ALWAYS PRINT YOUR PASSPORT & PLANS & DON’T RELY ON WIFI WORKING
I always, ALWAYS copy my passport and leave the colour copies at the hotel while I carry the passport with me (or vice versa). That way, you always have a physical, colour, hard copy of who you are.
You can take that to the consulate and obtain your papers to get back home in the event anything is lost or stolen.
It happens more than you think.
Also, I always print all my hotel and flight confirmations.
I know it sounds like a waste of paper, and I HATE DOING IT, but electronics have failed me time and time again, and I don’t always have Wifi that works.
When you have paper, it is easy to take it and ask them to help you find your reservation.
I have had instances where we arrive exhausted to the hotel only to have them say:
Sorry? I don’t see anything under….
If you have a piece of paper printed out, they can use the information on there to make your check-in go smoothly.
If you plan on visiting places and have maps, don’t rely on wifi always working especially if you aren’t paying for it (or maybe the service is just out), so take screenshots of where you want to go and/or buy a map and mark it out.
(Paper. Never fails as a last resort.)
6. AVOID CHECKING THINGS IN
Avoid checking things in. I always bring just one purse and a carry-on. I refuse to check in suitcases because they may get switched up, battered, lost.. who knows.
I pack as minimally as possible and it is always a nice, sweet relief to sail past everyone who is fatigued & nervously waiting for their bags at the luggage carousel and to breeze out of the airport, carefree. Here’s my old packing list..
If you ever buy lots of stuff you can always buy a super cheap piece of luggage and throw it all in there and check it in, all the while praying to the Luggage Handling Gods.
Those are my major tips, of course I have other things like wearing noise-cancelling headphones, but that’s STUFF to pack, and less how to travel without stress.