As you all know, I just returned from a wedding in Cancun. This past year I have been very fortunate to do some traveling both domestically and internationally. Additionally, my best friend Juliana spent almost a year abroad in South America so I’ve learned some great traveling tips from her along the way [Check out her blog].
|Photo via myself|
I am all about 100% stress free travel but as you probably know that is definitely not always the case. As unfortunate as it is, it is likely you will run into delays, cancellations, lost luggage among other mishaps throughout your trip. But if I have learned anything from my travels, it is to go with the flow and live in the moment [A LOT easier said then done that is for sure]. I have to admit, I sometimes get travel anxiety when it comes to air travel. Not because I am scared of flying, I just get very anxious about missing connecting flights and all that jazz. But once you miss a flight and have to rebook one eight hours later to a city 45 miles away from where you need to be so you take a cab at 2am to finally get to your hotel at 3am, you realize those things are way out of your control and you WILL get to your destination, eventually [more information on this story below].
I am no expert on world travel by any means. But hopefully these tips can help you travel with ease:
#1: Pack your essentials in your carry on!
Nothing is worse than an airline losing your bag and having no clothes for a couple days until they find it and send it to you. This happened to my family when we went on a cruise to the Caribbean. After we missed our connecting flight due to a mechanical problem, we had to rebook on a flight eight hours later to Miami instead of Fort Lauderdale. When we arrived in Miami at 12am we spent two hours trying to track down one of our checked bags so we could have it before we disembarked on the cruise ship the next day. Long story short, we never got our bag which had all of our formal clothes for the dinners on the cruise. One thing I got from this mishap, was it could have been a lot worse. I am thankful the lost bag had just our formal clothes in it rather than swimsuits, underwear, and the essentials we needed for walking around the islands. My tip for you, is to always pack a couple outfits and underwear in your carry-on if you plan on checking in a bag. You don’t want to be underwear-less until the airline tracks down your lost bag.
#2: SUNSCREEN in all forms! [Especially for tropical destinations]
I learned this lesson the hard way during my last trip to Cancun. I am always good about applying sunscreen to my body a couple times a day when I am out in the sun. However, during this trip in particular, my sister and I woke up with HUGE bottom lips because they got sunburned so bad they swelled up. We looked like Botox gone wrong. ALWAYS bring sunscreen for your body, face, and lips. Even if you aren’t going to a tropical destination, bring sunscreen anyway just to be safe.
#3: Give yourself enough time for connecting flights:
If you cannot get a direct flight, make sure you allow yourself enough time to make your connecting flight. I think anything under an hour and thirty minutes is cutting it close, especially if you are connecting in a large airport or have to go through customs. It seems like delays are way more common on flights these days and you don’t want to be stressing out about making it in time to your gate before they shut the door. When we went on our cruise we were delayed for about an hour due to mechanical problem (like I said previously) and had to sprint to our gate once we got to our “layover” in Phoenix, which happened to be literally on the other side of the airport. We actually made it ten minutes before the scheduled departure and the gate attendants decided to shut the door right before we got to the gate. [Side note: I won’t be flying on US Airways again]. We had a hour and 15 minute layover and it ended up not being enough. You never know what can happen when you fly, so GIVE YOURSELF ENOUGH time. I’d much rather wait two hours in an airport for my layover then eight hours or even until the next day because I had to rebook my flight I missed.
#4: Snacks on snacks on snacks!
Whether you’re bopping around in the airport to kill time, or sitting on a five hour flight refusing to pay the obscene prices for airplane food, bring snacks. Granola bars, cookies, Gold Fish and candy to treat yourself are great options. Opt for food that will fill you up and replenish you. Especially if you are traveling on a budget, snacks are perfect for the in between time you have on your adventure. When I travel with my family my dad always carries a backpack filled with snacks!
#5: Pack a “replenishing kit”
If you have a long day of traveling ahead nothing is worse than feeling gross and ugly halfway through your travels. If you’re sleeping on a plane or just got off a long flight, it is great to have some sort of kit with all the essentials to revive yourself. Pack it in your carry-on and it will be readily available at a moment’s notice. Below are my ideas for a replenishing kit!
|Evian Facial Spray | Dove Deodorant | Neutrogena Make-Up Remover Wipes | Bath & Body Works Hand Sanitizer | Laura Mercier Face Powder & Brush | Chap Stick|
Other great options to add to your kit are a toothbrush, toothpaste, and some breath mints!