6 Travel Tips for a Stress-Free Trip

Written by , Posted in Career, Lifestyle, Style, Travel

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.”

Susan Sontag

When traveling for business (or pleasure), a little preparation can prevent unneeded stress and help set you up for a successful trip. Although I love exploring new cities, I often feel a bit anxious prior to departure so I’ve learned to minimize the tension that accompanies rushing by planning ahead.

Here are my top 6 travel tips for a smooth and stress-free trip.

  1. Invest in one large suitcase. Regardless of whether I’m going away for the weekend or two whole weeks, I always bring my large Tumi suitcase. There is nothing more frustrating than dealing with multiple bags at the airport. When I travel with friends, I never understand why they pack a tiny suitcase and then drag three heavy duffel bags around. Buy one large suitcase and put everything that you possibly can in it. Consider that suitcase your “cap” on apparel; once it’s full, that should be the end of your packing. Still have items you want to bring? It’s time to make some strategic wardrobe decisions (see #2). Investing in one large, high-quality suitcase will save you money (most airlines charge you for checking more than one piece of luggage) in the long run, not to mention the aggravation and exertion of juggling multiple bags.
  2. Prioritize your wardrobe choices. When I am traveling for business, I force myself to make sacrifices. Yes, I would love to wear completely different outfits every day of the week, but I know I can’t fit five jackets, five pairs of shoes, and five purses into my suitcase. I narrow my wardrobe selections down to what is really important. For example, on my most recent trip to NYC, I passed on heels and opted to bring a pair of flat over-the-knee boots because I knew I would be doing a lot of walking in a cold climate.
  3. Pack the night before. Even if your flight isn’t until later in the day, don’t leave packing until the last minute. You never know what will come up, so just get it done in advance and you’ll sleep better knowing you’re ready to go no matter what gets thrown at you. This relaxes me and puts me in the right frame of mind for traveling. Not only do I pack in advance, I actually place my bags right by the front door. I feel better knowing I’m prepared to hit the road, regardless of any unforeseen obstacles that may arise before my departure.
  4. Have a prepared travel toiletry bag. A prepared travel toiletry bag filled with all of the bathroom necessities saves you the hassle of having to pack those items and reopen your suitcase the day of your trip. Keeping two of everything –  perfume, toothbrush, toothpaste, razor, etc. – allows you to shower the day of your trip and not deal with drying off bottles or stressing about forgetting a favorite product. It’s all about preparation.
  5. Simplify with a satchel. We’ve all seen (or been) those people at the airport dropping things everywhere and trying to hold their jacket, ID, ticket, and purse in one hand. Opt for a hands-free satchel purse when traveling. It makes life so much easier and minimizes the chance of you losing something important.
  6. Dress for security. The airport is one place where common sense trumps style. I love my over-the- knee boots and booties, but the truth is they are not practical for traveling. I recommend dressing simply and efficiently. Throw on the flats so it doesn’t take you 15 minutes to get your shoes off and back on. Don’t wear layers and minimize jewelry and any accessories that might trip an alarm. You don’t want to be the person who holds up the entire line because your outfit is not practical for travel.

Traveling does not have to be stressful.  Apply these six tips on your next excursion to ensure a smooth start to your trip. Remember that successful people project positivity and confidence, so don’t let your trip get off to a bad start by being unorganized.

What travel tips have worked for you? Share your travel do’s and don’ts below!

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