Travel doesn’t have to be this frustrating
Let’s face it; in today’s world travel is considered a necessary evil. But there are quite a few things you can do to make your travel days less hectic and more stress free. Sure there are lots of gadgets and tools you can buy that can put some wind in your sails as you build those sky miles but there are also things you can do that are simple and easy to implement that will make your life vastly more convenient.
Some of these suggestions are things you might already have at home; some you can go buy and some are just different ways of doing things that won’t cost you a penny. For trips that are only a day or two you obviously want to minimize your carry-on baggage.
- Splurge on a good travel bag. You can go with your brand of choice but the highbred briefcase/overnighter is a must. This accomplishes a briefcase for your meeting needs and all of your travel bag needs condensed into one. Do yourself a favor, skip the standard one direction wheel base and go with the 360 rotational wheels. They make navigating busy airports much easier and getting on and off a plane a breeze.
- Pack it smart. You might look at above and say how do I possibly pack everything I need into this little bag? Well for starters look at your appointment time. If you have an early appointment you will be flying out the day before. If you can try to book a later flight out this negates the need for multiple outfits for the additional day out. Shoes are a big space hog. Make a point to wear the shoes you will wear in your appointment on the plane, don’t pack them. If you are there for more than a few days pick outfits that go with these shoes (convenience and minimal carry-ons outweigh outfit luxuries). Minimize your toiletry bag. Travel size items make downsizing your bag easy and really help condense space. For the guys that have 2 days of meetings, most times you can really get away with one pair of pants (again like your shoes, you pack shirts that match), a quick iron that night gets you back up and ready for that second day.
Here are some things you can add to your arsenal that make things much better on the road.
- TSA Pre Check. If you’re not familiar with pre check, it’s a TSA pre-screening that assigns you with a known traveler id number. It costs about $80 for 2 years and well worth it. With this you don’t have to take off your shoes, belt, jacket & you can leave your laptop in your bag. Most of all in most cases you get an expedited security line and that shaves off time on your schedule as well.
- Status – If you have it take a look at it more closely. Most airlines offer an option to pay to upgrade your status level. With preferred elite status you will get lots of first class upgrades and even if you’re not over 6 foot tall it’s always nice to have the extra leg room.
- Travel Charger – The one I use is called a Mophie. It will charge my Smart phone and my tablet on one charge. It makes life easy knowing I don’t have to go hunting for power outlets at airports.
- If you don’t want to grab a travel charger just grab a power outlet extension at your house. This will give you the outlet you need in a pinch and even free one up for another needy traveler.
- A great pair of headphones – Nothing screams I need some alone time to that chatty neighbor on a plane more than a nice pair of over ear headphones.
If you don’t have TSA Pre-check pay attention to the lines you get into at the security checkpoint. Nervous travelers tend to overthink everything and do things like put every single item they have in a separate bin. Families traveling with children take a lot of time as well. Look for the guys in the business suit and a single brief-case, they’re not new to this game.
Don’t have priority boarding or the ability to board early with 1st class? Getting stuck in a late boarding zone could mean you end up with no overhead space. So an easy little trick I use is to ask the boarding agent to pre board. Technically by law they can’t ask you why you want to pre board, but if you feel uneasy not giving a reason just tell them you have a bad knee that swells up if you stand on it too long.
So remember, even though traveling can be tough, in the end if you can streamline your travel and make it more effortless to a point that it’s a heck of a lot more tolerable in the end.