Since starting One Good Thing By Jillee seven years ago the amount of traveling I do has skyrocketed! I’m not a globe-trotter by any means, but I went from rarely traveling to hopping on a plane every 6 to 8 weeks. That’s a lot for me! I honestly don’t know if I would want to do much more than that! I enjoy traveling…but only to a certain extent. I’m guessing most people feel that way. My husband also travels a lot for business, but his travel is mostly international and he has to travel with a whole lot of video equipment, so his traveling needs are a lot different than mine.
There are a lot of universal travel tips that you can find online that are very useful….ie. Take half as much clothing as you think you will need and twice as much money; take pictures of all your important travel documents with your phone; never check your bag! Today I thought I would share with you my personal travel tips, tricks, and must-haves that make time “on the road” a little less irksome, and a lot more enjoyable overall
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Travel Tips I Live By:
Snacks, lots of snacks
I never get on a flight without a bottle of water (or your bottled beverage of choice.) I often sleep through the beverage service and wake up parched. Also, keeping hydrated on a plane is very important! It’s pretty much the Sahara desert up there!
Don’t forget your sunglasses! I finally dedicated a spare pair to my suitcase because I kept forgetting them. I normally leave early in the AM before it’s even light outside, not thinking about sun, and then arrive in a sunny place without shades! Maddening!
Tablet (or Laptop)
Buy a tablet and load it up with videos and ebooks. This is my most essential travel companion. Not only does it help pass the time on long flights but it helps entertain you when the TV in your hotel room refuses to work and you can’t seem to get anyone at the front desk to respond to your urgent pleas for help. Been there, done that.
Headphones or earbuds
Bring a journal/sketchbook for when you get sick of your tablet or laptop and/or you run out of battery power (the horror!)
Use Uber or Lyft for car service where available. I love it because it’s so easy! You order the car from your smartphone, and it shows up minutes later! You enter the car, exchange pleasantries, check your email, and before you know it, you wish each other well and part ways. No fumbling with credit or debit cards, the money gets taken out of a credit card account and that’s it!
Earplugs are great for on the plane if you plan on getting some shuteye or just to drown out unfortunate noise (ie. the lady laughing hysterically in the row in front of you from takeoff to touchdown!) They really help in hotel rooms too.
Never pass a restroom without using it
Always do your business before leaving, and at any stops along the way, even if you don’t have to. It will save you time and, more importantly, the uncomfortable feeling of having to hold it! I really, really, really dislike using the airplane lavatories!
Chargers and cords
When packing, remember your chargers. It seems obvious, but I can’t tell you the number of times I have had to hunt down the nearest Apple store because I have forgotten one! It’s very easy to miss. It IS! :-)
Bring a power strip or plug wherever you go. I bought this Belkin USB Surge Protector and Charger and love it. I think I’ve only been to ONE hotel that actually was smart enough to provide multiple, easily accessible, power outlets/USB ports for devices or simple appliances.
Screenshot your boarding pass
If you’re using an e-boarding pass on your phone (I really like using these!) take a screenshot of the barcode image. It will keep you from holding up the line when you’re trying to scan your boarding pass at the gate and your phone is loading the app. Some people even set it as the Lock/Home Screen on their phone. Having it front and center on your home screen means no need to enter the phone and fish around for it.
Bring a good amount of $1 and $5 bills, for tips and such.
A big scarf
Something I’ve recently started doing that has really been a game-changer for me is always bringing a scarf! Not just any scarf, a big scarf! Something like this oversized plaid blanket scarf is perfect! (You could also make one yourself with just a little bit of sewing skill!) There are multiple uses for this thing:
- If you’re freezing cold on the airplane you can wrap yourself up in it.
- If you’re hot, it’s lightweight enough to squish up into a ball in your purse or carry-on.
- Ball it up and use it as a pillow.
- Use it as a blanket if you get stranded at the airport or want to take a catnap.
A scarf is my travel buddy for life.
Online photo storage app
Get something like the Dropbox app on your phone and sync your photos every few days. You’ll run out of space in no time and need to clear your phone. Also if you lose your phone, break it or have it stolen you’ll still have all your treasured pictures.
First aid & sewing kit
Always take a small first aid kit and a mini sewing kit with you. They hardly take up any room and can really make or break a trip. I take my essential oils, also some pain medication, some cold/cough meds, an anti-diarrheal of some kind, and a multivitamin. And last but not least…..
Double and triple check your alarms!
If you have to be up early, make sure the alarm clock is set to the correct time including the AM/PM setting. Additionally, have a backup alarm like a wake up call or cell phone alarm. Nothing like over-sleeping because you didn’t get the call or the phone was turned off (or dead) and starting the day in a blind panic! Trust me on this one. :-/
There is definitely an art to traveling well and most of it is learned through trial and error (mostly error in my case.) Hopefully some of my little “secrets” will help you in your travels!
What do YOU bring with you when you travel?