It’s no secret that I both love and need to travel. I love going places for fun, and for the last three years, my job has requried a LARGE amount of travel. I think between 2013-2014 I went on upwards of 80 flights, set a record of 16 nights in the same hotel room, and had a wheels up, wheels down routine of less than 24 hours at home down to a science. I get a kick out of standing in line for “priority boarding” with a bunch of grey-haired-suit-wearing men trying to nudge me out of place with their “what are you doing in this important people line” body language. Hey, I earned that spot just like you did… By flying a heck of a lot.
As I write this I’m packing for a trip back home and I realized I truly have a routine that I follow and learned over the course of the last few years. I jotted down some of my recommendations below:
- Look up the weather for your destination (your iPhone makes this super easy now). Study the highs and lows and be prepared to accomodate the best and worst case scenarios. Then, consider the number of days you will be there and mentally plan an outfit for each day. Do NOT throw a bunch of items in your suitcase and expect to figure it out upon arrival. It’s much easier to grab your clothes and place each garment in your bag with a day to wear it mentally attached.
- Try on the outfits you plan to wear so you KNOW they work and fit and that you’re comfortable
- Know the activities you will be doing and make sure you have clothing and shoes to accomplish your tasks. I like to bring workout gear for all but one of the days I will be gone. That way I have no excuses to avoid the gym.
- Add two to three more sets of underwear/socks than days you will be there. You never know if you’ll have a morning gym session that requires you to change your garments to head out for the day, if rain will soak you to the bone, or you’ll require a “freshen up” before dinner one night.
- Find a purse that can fit inside your carry on. I travel with a cross body bag that can fit inside a larger tote. That way I’m not rummaging through a large bag trying to find my wallet and ID, and I also can ditch the carry on when I arrive and have a functional purse.
- Plan to wear your heaviest/bulkiest pair of shoes with you on the flight. That way you save space, weight, and already have one less pair to pack. I’ve worn rain boots on a plane just to avoid an overweight baggage fee. I’ll look like a dork any time if it saves me $50.
- Always bring at least one sweatshirt/jacket. Hotel rooms are cold, the mornings might be cold, it’s better to be comfortable than freezing in my opinion. Best scenario is to place this in your carry on. Planes are literally always on the colder side and it can help a great deal to have something to throw on.
- Pack heavy items (shoes, hair dryer, etc.) on the BOTTOM of your suit case so that it is not top heavy.
- Fold clothing as few times as possible to avoid wrinkles. Try to arrange items as flat as you can. For items that are more prone to wrinkles, I roll them and place them tightly side by side.
- Bring a grocery bag or plan to use the laundry bag from the hotel to place all your dirty laundry in before you pack up to head home. This helps keep unused items fresh
- Plan your airport outfit accordingly. I beg of you, please do not be one of those people who roll out of bed and throw on their shoes. I hate seeing plaid pajama bottoms and hoodies at the airport. Or sloppy buns, yoga pants and ugg boots for that matter. You’ll get much more respect from airline personnel if you respect yourself enough to get dressed for the day. If you can’t possibly bring yourself to slap on some makeup at home, bring your necessary items in your carry on and do it in the time you have before boarding. Everyone will appreciate you looking nice, and you’ll feel a lot better about yourself for having tried a bit.
- When you’re done packing all the things you will not need in a morning, take minute to collect your thoughts and write down a list of what you will need to take with you that you still have to use. For instance, I generally use my straightener in the morning when I get ready to leave and my phone stays on the charger the night before my trip. Therefore, I jot these items down so that I can leave the house knowing I’ve got everything I need.
- Bring an empty water bottle in your carry on. Everybody seems to be well aware that you cannot travel with liquids higher than 3.4 oz through security. Airport taxes are KILLER and you’ll end up paying about $4 for a bottle of Dasani. Plus, most airports are adding fill up stations for reusable water bottles.
I could probably keep going, and maybe I will in a second post on this topic. However, I feel that’s a pretty solid start. I can attest to having done all of these so far to get ready for my 5:30am departure time tomorrow. The next time you hear from me I’ll be writing from the great state of Indiana.