Travel takes you to the places you need to be. But the journey to the journey isn’t always such fun,
Here are my top tips for a better travel experience.
Scroll down to the end for some passenger pet peeves, too.
By Alison Blackman
The Journey to the Journey is a Process (the fun begins when you get there):
Travel is fun, but it’s more fun once you get to your destination.
These days the journey to your journey can be very stressful.
You have to get to the airport seriously early just in case there is an issue.
Then there is the “processing” through ticketing, bag drop, screening, boarding, and sometimes, delays.
When you finally squeeze yourself into your seat there won’t be any rest.
By the time your bag arrives in baggage claim (hopefully, undamaged and on time) you can be a true bundle of nerves.
Be prepared to repeat this same experience on the return trip.
…but the vicissitudes of travel can be managed if you follow these tips:
Plan your trip ahead of time.
Planning makes a trip more pleasurable.
Read about where you’re going and what you might like to do (that museum you’re dying to visit might be closed on the only day you can visit).
Try to get everything into a carry-on (really, try)
Use a packing list so you don’t add things you don’t need. *even carry-ons may be gate-checked so make yours durable.
Going somewhere warm? Take sandals and a change of clothes if you can in your carry-on so you can be comfortable when you arrive (wearing wool in a hot climate and your rooms’ not ready for hours? Not fun)!
If you don’t check a bag you don’t’ have to wait for it.
You probably don’t need more than what can fit into that one carry on for less than a week.
Treat yourself to travel sizes
If you’re going away for less than 10 days most travel sized items will be used up, leaving more room in your suitcase for souvenirs. It’s also a way to try new products.
Don’t count on carrying on your carry-on
Airlines can switch equipment and there may be more carry-ons than overhead space, especially if you are stuck in the last group to board.
I always carry a small fold-able nylon bag in my carry-on (in case I’m forced to gate check).
This way I can bring my electronics, snacks and other items I need or that might get damaged and put them under my seat.
Use the tote at your destination for shopping or the beach at your destination.
Do take these along
Slipper socks & sleep mask (for long flights),
Drown out crying babies and party animals with noise canceling headphones and iPod or other music device,
Bring your own healthy snacks (even if you don’t eat them rigth away you can eat them at your destination).
Use lightweight luggage to beat the weight limit
If your luggage is heavy before you fill it, imagine how it will be once it’s stuffed on the return flight.
I use Lipault luggage that is not just colorful, but durable (see an advicesisters review). Overstuff a Lipault bag and it still will be below the weight limit.
Lipault Luggage makes other people’s heads swivel at the airport. It happens every time!
Keep your wardrobe simple
Unless you’re going to Fashion Week, and awards show, or someplace where you will be photographed or severely judged on your image just bring items you can wear more than once.
Selecting items that you can mix and match gives you options, even if they’re not making your biggest fashion statement.
Bring items that help you blend (you don’t’ want to scream “I’m a tourist“).
I like to pack a lot of scarves for accessories. They’re lightweight and colorful and they multi-task.
Cold Climate? Wear layers and don’t over-stuff your suitcase
Packing for a cold climate means bringing bulky clothing.
Wear the worst of it on the plane so there’s more room in your suitcase.
Pack-able down is great because it can be compressed without ruining it.Bring at least one extra pair of shoes in case yours get too wet to
Bring at least one extra pair of shoes in case yours get too wet to wear or get destroyed (it happens).
Don’t bring paper
Sanitizing wipes are gels are your friend (so are tissues)
Smells are everywhere. When I can’t avoid them and can’t stand them, I lightly spritz a tissue with scent from a travel atomizer and sniff it.
Say NO to sick passengers
If you are seated next to an obviously very sick passenger don’t be afraid to be re-seated. Offer your seatmate some of your tissues (on one flight the man next to me used his sleeve )! ring a
During cold season you can bring a mask or a cold-preventative (sprays, pills, vitamins and powders). These may not protect you 100% but they can’t hurt.
The way we roll
Some travel advocates believe in rolling your clothes to make more room in your suitcase. I fold dirty clothes and put them in grocery bags on the way home to save space.
I fold dirty clothes and put them in grocery bags on the way home to save space.
Another trick is to bring gallon zip lock bags and compress small items (socks, panties) into them. On the way home I use them for things that can spill or smell (wet clothing, aromatic spices or food).
On the way home I use them for things that can spill or smell (wet clothing, aromatic spices or food).
Feel “Frisky” with Confidence
If you pack “adult objects” in your luggage, especially in a carry-on, take the batteries out or lock the device first so they don’t accidentally turn on in your bag.
Prepared not to be embarrassed to tell the security people exactly what you’re carrying when they hold it up for inspection ( read more tips on this topic).
Deal with drugs and valuables
As a reminder: never pack prescription drugs in your checked bag, never bring valuable jewelry (if you must, wear it or keep it in your purse or tote.
Need more ways to make your trip easier, more successful and more fun be it for work or for vacation? Check out even more travel from advicesisters.com
Dealing with Bad Travelers:
According to the travel-dating site, MissTravel.com the Biggest Travel Pet Peeves of 2015 weren’t just inconsiderate passengers (keep reading)
Other travel horrors (according to MissTravel.com) were:
1 – Selfie Sticks – 42%
2 – Hogging overhead compartments – 20%
3 – Using an iPad to take photos – 17%
4 – Distraction with Social Media – 12%
5 – Smelly food on airplanes – 7%
My #1 pick that makes me crazy is the party animal.
You get on a plane and you’re tired nd want to zone out.
But there are others with other plans, like wanting to par-tay.
On one flight, the guy seated behind me immediately sat down and loudly and proudly told the two girls stuck next to him that he was a “frequent flyer.”
He talked loudly and non-stop for three hours, ordering too many drinks for himself.
He even tried to pick up the busy flight attendant and buy her a drink (frequent flyer? More like frequent liar)!
My other pet peeves are:
The back-of-your-seat-headrest grabber (this person jerks you backwards every time s/he gets up)
The bathroom hog (his/her bathroom is “reserved” and stays there so long everyone else has to use just the other one)
The gabber across the aisle talkers
The Aisle loiterer
The armrest hog
The PDA couple (that’s what the mile high club is for
, the seat switcher (no seat is good enough), the window seat jumping bean (be prepared to be disturbed every 20 minutes). the party animals (usually a group of guys drinking) who won’t stay put or shut up (they’re having fun, who cares about you?)! (and let’s not forget no good, drinks that potentially spill on you (and keep you trapped in your seat), no food, the rude flight attendant who can’t be bothered, and the list goes on and on.
The “I’m entitled” carry-on luggage offenders with huge carry ons that somehow make it on board
The seat switcher (no seat is good enough)
The window seat jumping bean (be prepared to be disturbed every 20 minutes so they can get up and stretch)
The boys club (usually a group of guys drinking) who won’t stay put or shut up (they’re having fun, who cares about you?)
The flight attendant who never checks on the passengers after takeoff but who can be found is in the back with her colleagues.
The flight attendant who talks to her colleague seated as a passenger in negative terms about other passengers on the flight you are on, or past flights.