Off the Grid Print We all know going on vacation and seeing new places is a blast, but it’s no secret that the actual process of getting from A to B can be a pain. There are a whole lot of hoops to jump through, fees to be paid, and steps to be taken to get to your destination. And as someone who travels on a regular basis for work, let me tell you—it can get exhausting! (No one wants their first order of business on vacation to be plopping down for a nap, right?) Before you get too discouraged though, let me just say, traveling doesn’t have to be a hassle. In fact, it can be a breeze if you take advantage of a few travel hacks I’ve put together to make your trip easier. Trust me, you want to save your energy for when you reach your destination, NOT spend it all trying to get through checkpoints at the airport. As a seasoned traveler, I’ve developed a few habits and made a few changes that truly make my trips so much easier (and more enjoyable!), and I promise they will save you from dreading those long travel hours as well. Let’s get started…
I’m talking about taking any and all precautions to save yourself even a few minutes before and after your flight—this could include a variety of things, but there are a couple of tips I can’t stress enough. First, apply for TSA Pre-Check. Sure, it might sound like a hassle to apply for in the first place, but it is worth it times a million (and that’s putting it lightly!). You know when you’re standing in the long security line and you keep seeing all the TSA Pre-Check people pass you? Trust me, you want to be in that line. Second, fly only with carry-on bags whenever possible. It is the best way to speed up and maximize time before and after your flight, and even if you’re an over-packer like me, it is possible! I couldn’t live without my Tumi International Carry-On and my larger San Remo Leather Duffle. Although a little pricey, they are worth every penny.
Travel is unpredictable, and there’s nothing worse than getting stuck in the airport with a dead phone (especially if you still have many more hours of travel ahead!). To make sure I don’t get stuck in this situation, I always travel with an on-the-go iPhone charger so I can juice up when my battery is low. Traveling with a charger helps keep me just a little bit more relaxed and worry-free, knowing that I won’t be rendered without communication to anyone not traveling with me.
Traveling on a plane is a unique occasion because there’s really no set dress code, so it’s often hard to decide what to wear. You don’t want to go too far toward either end of the spectrum—if you’re too dressed up, it can become uncomfortable quickly. On the other hand, if you’re dressed too casually, you can end up looking messy. I like to find a middle ground; comfortable but put-together is usually my go-to, and it’s important not to wear too many accessories to avoid the hassle of taking it all off to go through security. Try going sans jewelry, watches, or even a belt if possible, to keep your checkpoints (and your look) simple and easy. Bonus Tip: On international flights, I like to bring a set of pajamas to change into when it’s time for some shut-eye. Doing this will help put your body into sleep mode, keep you comfy, and keep your day clothes fresh and clean!
This one is pretty self-explanatory, but easy to forget in the midst of busy travels. I have made it a habit after I go through security to purchase a large water bottle or bring my own to fill up, no matter the duration of my flight. Traveling can take a lot out of you physically, and keeping your body hydrated will help you stay alert and feeling less sluggish when you reach your destination. Don’t let the idea of using the airplane restroom deter you from drinking up—I promise your body will thank you later!
Now, I’m not talking about the urge to travel (if you’re going to get any bug, that’s the best kind to get!). I’m talking about tricks to avoid getting sick from all those hours in a contained space with other travelers. The last thing you want is to wind up sick as soon as you start (or finish) your vacation. First, remember that hand sanitizer is your best friend; use it as needed throughout your travels to keep your hands germ-free, especially after touching items that many others have touched, such as the airplane tray table. Second, give your immune system a boost by taking Emergen-C a few hours before you take off. Better safe than sorry, right?
I hope some of these tips help make your travels a breeze, and inspire you to think of some of your own travel hacks. There are countless ways to make traveling easier, you just have to find what works for you, and enjoy the ride! Xx Gray Photos: Gray Malin, @graymalinpersonal on Instagram