How To Travel Like A (Skilled) Traveler
I travel a lot, not just for work, but pleasure as well. There are some things everyone needs to know about how to travel. Some expert tips…from a self-proclaimed expert that I want to pass on to you guys. So this post is about packing, about the airport, about the flight, about the post-flight, about the actual trip. There are just some things that people don’t always know, ya know?
1. Getting to the airport.
Get there early, that’s obvious. I didn’t need to tell you that very basic thing. But here’s the thing, you need to get there early so you don’t miss your flight and so you can get through the airport (for all you very frequent flyers, I highly recommend TSA Pre-Screening) but you should not get there too early. There’s nothing more annoying than getting to your gate 3 hours before you board to just wait around and smell gross airport smells and be tempted into going to that weird TGIF-esque restaurant, ordering some ribs, and a having a sugar filled cocktail because it was “happy hour” and basically free. Don’t do that, don’t fall into that trap! As a matter of fact, I think it’s really worth it to use the airports VIP lounges. Most of us who travel a lot are awarded this fine privilege. If not, I suggest purchasing this on a yearly basis. If that’s too much and you want to just experience it for the day, you can buy a day pass and see the difference for yourself. It’s a relaxed atmosphere, they offer free snacks and drinks, (although you will have to pay for premium liquor/wine, but not so bad) the couches and chairs are super comfy and it starts your trip on the right path whether for business or for pleasure. Another tip, on the way to the airport drink at least one bottle of water, and always try to get to the airport as clean as possible. If you can take a shower before your flight, do it, if not right before at least the night before. And moisturize, babes! Airport air (and worse, airplane air) is DISGUSTING. I don’t know if you noticed but there are no open windows anywhere – which means one thing, that the air is recycled and re-circulated, and it’s GERMY and gross and dry because of the heat and air-conditioning it takes to just keep the air feeling semi-fresh. It can be really drying on your skin. So stay hydrated and moisturized throughout your travel. You can even purchase those airplane rescue bags at the some of the airport shops that include some lip moisturizer, wet facial towel, hand and face cream and some toothpaste, cause god knows, you need to keep your mouth clean in the sky, especially after a long flight.
2. Being at the airport.
Print that boarding pass and get in line for security. Every airline now allows you to print your boarding pass and check-in prior to getting to the airport which saves you time. All you need to do is drop those bags and get yourself to security. Wear shoes that are easy to get through security with. The MOST annoying part of going through security for me personally is having to take out my computer on my way through. My computer is usually packed away, in its own case, within a backpack or bag, and it’s always annoying to have to take out and mess up the pack job. So, if you can, find someway to have easy access to your computer, find a way to pack it so it can slide in and out for you. Even if that means packing it one way pre-security and another way post-security. Now this is what you will have to do if you have not yet taken advantage of the TSA-pre-check program. I am now a member and what a difference. “TSA pre-check” allows you to cut those long lines, leave your computer in the bag and keep your shoes on. Easy as Pie and you will be on your second drink before the other people in line put their belts back on. If you don’t have the TSA pre-check, you will have to follow my guidelines. Stay away from the fast-food in airport dining — unless you’re at SFO or the Berlin Tegel airport (they both have exceptional in airport dining). But generally speaking, try to hold off. . Snack before, or make yourself wait until after. Get WATER and some magazines and just chill. Get to your gate, relax, get your mind right for the flight and uh, drink MORE water. Also, try to go to the bathroom before you board. Really annoying to climb over people if you have to pee go to the bathroom, so if you can take care of that pre-flight, do it!
3. Being on the plane.
The two things I think about most on a flight are how do I get comfortable and how do I not get sick from the baby three rows behind me with snot everywhere, and the girl two seats away from me sneezing like she’s allergic to flight. My primary tip for comfort is to have a neck pillow. They look ridiculous but they are HEAVEN on a plane, truly they change the game. Also, ear plugs. If you are watching something then get those noise canceling headphones out and have a good time, but if you’re trying to sleep and have no sound, then I recommend ear plugs. Planes are just loud. So anything to cut down that constant hum is helpful. If I am on a long flight, I either bring a pair of sweat pants in my carryon or where a fabulous sweat suit that is comfortable and breathable. Makes the trip so much more comfortable than wearing jeans the entire flight. Next up, health. Have I mentioned water yet? DRINK AS MUCH AS YOU CAN. Emergen-C. Add it to the last bit of your bottle of water, or get a cup from the stewardess and mix it up. Drink a few of these on the flight. They just help boost your immune system. Hand sanitizer is great, and you should use it as much as you can. If you’re ready to be a crazy get some baby wipes and just wipe down your area. You never know what sort of contagious sick-with-the-flu human was sitting there before you. Next up, a real pro tip. Get some Neosporin or some of this stuff called Lucas Paw Paw Ointment (it’s Australian) and…are you ready for it…stick it up your nose. It sounds gross I get it. But it keeps them germs out and will help keep you healthy. Nothing worse then getting on a plane healthy and ready for a vacation then landing eight hours later at your dream Tahitian getaway and being sick and stuffy for the next four days. So just put a little on your finger and get on up there. Health is sexy okay you guys. I have one more piece of advice that I’ve stolen from celebrities — these hydro-moisturizing masks that they use on really really long flights. It looks insane but works wonders.
Here is Chrissy Teigen wearing one…and Demi Moore…and Rita Ora
Trust me yet? If not take a look at these celeb make-up artists travel must haves (moisturizer and masks galore!)
Putting one of these on during an intercontinental flight looks insane, but will save your skin honeys. So give it a go. Be brave!
4. Settling in at your hotel
Once you’re there and get to your hotel, unload. Congrats! You made it! Take a walk around your hotel, your room, look at the mini-bar (then hide the key), and get into a new outfit and hit the town! If you have time washing your face or taking a shower is great way to wake yourself up and feel refreshed from a flight. They’re draining what can I say!
5. Finding where to go
Do your research…or don’t. There are two approaches for me. Either expertly researched and planned – if you’re going somewhere for a very short amount of time I recommend this, also if you’re going somewhere that’s small (i.e. Marfa) do your research. Often in small towns they have weird hours or closed business days or town events you should know about. Also if it’s small you should see why it’s so famous and make sure you see what you need to see. OR…the other option is to just go with the flow. If you have time, and space, then this is a great way to actually learn about a place from first hand experience. Walk around, get a little lost, speak to the locals, ask what they like, what they recommend, don’t just depend on some Yelp reviews. I love doing this, it’s a little scary and pushes you out of your comfort zone, but is so seriously worth it if you have the time and some good company! Oh, one last thing, I know those big red tour busses seem annoying, but I must say, they allow you to see the main attractions and you can get off and on them throughout your stay. If you are on an island, they won’t have them, but most major cities have them and they are inexpensive.
6. Flying home
Repeat STEP 3. Break out the water and them moisturizers. Another thing I recommend is journaling or writing an email to yourself or anything of that nature. Sounds corny, but it’s a good time to reflect. What did you love, what did you hate, what’s your best memory? Getting to it while the memory is fresh and untainted from altering it for story-telling purposes, or remembering it a little differently because you are looking at pictures is crucial. Take note of what you learned about the place but more importantly about yourself. Have fun with it! Doesn’t need to be the next Eat Pray Love. Just something sincere to yourself!
7. Settling in back at home
Enjoy it! Sometimes people come back and are immediately nostalgic for where they were, but often I love getting back even if I’ve had a great time. I know this may sound crazy after a long trip, but I have to unpack my clothes and get my suitcases put away. I put all of my dirty clothes in a pile, my dry cleaning in another pile and my toiletries in the bathroom. It makes the next morning much more pleasurable when waking up. When the clothes and luggage are finally away, you realize how nice it is to sleep in your own bed, have a kitchen, and familiarity, to be able to go to your coffee place in the morning. It’s really great to be back because you see what you missed, what you truly appreciate from home, and honestly sometimes what you can just totally do without!
So there it is babes. Some of my tips. OHHHH I HAVE THE TRAVEL BUG NOW how about you?