I’ll be the first to admit that traveling is one of my love languages. Thankfully Dane feels the same way and usually we aren’t even done with one trip and we’re already daydreaming about our next one. We’ve got a couple of incredible vacations lined up over the course of the next 6 months and I am practically bursting at the seams! In an effort to help out fellow wanderlusters, I wanted to put together some tips that have helped me and can hopefully help you, too!
1. Ziploc bags. Use ’em. I look at my entire itinerary and determine the types of outfits I’m going to want and need. Then, I put each bag (underwear included!) into my checked bag, smoosh out all the air and seal it tight. I don’t label the Ziploc at all (those are perfectly useful for other things!) and I make sure that the shirt part of the outfit is on top, so if I’m rummaging through my suitcase, I can identify which outfit it is by the shirt.
**These wind up being perfect for putting dirty clothes/wet bathing suits in.
2. Keep electronic chargers in your purse. You never know when you’re going to be delayed in an airport and need to charge your phone/laptop/iPad/something else. There’s nothing worse than having to buy an overpriced charger from an airport newsstand.
3. Wear a scarf for the plane, even if you’re going to/coming from a warm location. Airplanes tend to get cold and more often than not, you’ll need something to keep you from putting your head and face against that nasty window. It can also double as a pillow if you’ve been cursed with the dreaded middle seat.
4. Don’t use your credit card at the airport. I repeat, do not use your credit card at the airport. You will wind up spending way more than you need to on candy, magazines and random other goods that are completely unnecessary. Withdraw $20-30 pre-trip and use only that cash for snacks, meals, etc.
4.1 Pack snacks, an empty water bottle (my Hydroflask is the best!) and some drink packets. This not only saves you money, but time. Once you’re through security, fill your water bottle up for free. Plane connection times get shortened frequently and this isn’t the olden days–meals on planes aren’t free anymore and sometimes drinks will cost ya–not to mention the prices of food in the airport terminals are astronomical. Arrive prepared or enter the HANGRY state at your own risk.
5. Being nice goes a long way. This is sort of my unwritten rule of travel. It doesn’t matter if it’s a gate agent, TSA agent, security guard, flight attendant or the person beside you–give ’em a smile. Being a manageable, friendly traveler has a much better ring than “disgruntled passenger”. And anyway, pushing and shoving yourself out of the plane or making crude remarks isn’t going to get you to your final destination any faster. The airline staff is USUALLY doing the best that they can given the situation.
6. Bring a travel size bottle of hand sanitizer. Airplanes are germ havens–plan accordingly.
7. Give yourself extra time. Planes, trains, automobiles–but especially planes–have a tendency to take longer than anticipated, regardless of the science they’ve gotten air travel down to. Give yourself a buffer around flight time–whether that is checking in, catching a connecting flight or battling a security line.
7.1 The security line. Spend a few extra bucks and pay for priority security. It saves you time and hassle.
If this is truly not an option, remove all your jewelry, your belt and your shoes. Take your laptop and electronics out of your bag and put them in a separate security bin and place your bag on the moving belt. Make sure you have removed your 3-11 bag of liquids and your ID and boarding pass are in hand. Be prepared to do all of this will automatically put you into the good graces of TSA and the folks standing behind you. And for the love of all that is holy, please don’t have a rogue water bottle in your purse.
8. The best airfare deals usually fall on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, so try to book on those days if you’re able.
9. Free airport WIFI is unprotected. Sure it’s great to get free internet access, but be wary of the sites you access–important data can easily be zapped from your device. Avoid checking emails, logging into sites that require a password (Facebook, Blogger, etc.) or checking your online banking. Stick to listening to music or streaming a movie–and be sure your sharing is turned OFF.
10. Be safe, use protection. I once thought that luggage locks were a thing of the past, but we learned in Thailand that is not so and we turned to Master Lock, a trusted brand, to help us out. For everything worth protecting while traveling, Master Lock has you covered! We used a TSA-accepted luggage lock, as well as the SentrySafe Portable Combination Safe. The luggage lock offers on-the-go security and features an easy-to-use combination lock that easily affixes to your bags.
The portable combination safe helped us to keep our small valuables safe — think cell phones, passports, point-and-shoots and jewelry.
Plus, it’s water resistant, which was incredibly helpful for the downpours we experienced in Phuket.
What are your best travel tips?