For the last two years, I’ve been on the road a lot. My husband works for a large global company and he is often placed on projects abroad. Depending on the project budget, I’m often invited to go along with him. We even brought our 75-pound Portuguese Water Dog to Prague with us this summer!
I’ve pulled together a few tips that might help you if you are an anxious traveler (which I can be) or just need an extra feel-good boost while traveling. If you have any tips or tricks that you swear by, please leave them in the comments below!
Less is more! If I have more than one destination, packing light is always my friend. I find that when I am traveling lighter, I am less worried about loosing a bag in baggage claim, or just forgetting it in the bathroom! It’s hard enough to keep track of your boarding pass and passport, let alone all of your other stuff. Of course, there are trips when checking a bag is necessary, but I try to bring only a carry-on if possible. Who wants to spend extra time in the airport hanging around the baggage carousel? If I am headed to a warmer climate or traveling during the summer, packing light is a much easier task. I always put aside items a week before I leave and then edit down. Do I really need two black sweaters? I bought this bag on our trip to Asia in 2014 (two weeks, four countries!) and I’m always impressed by how much it fits. Plus, I find that backpacks make traveling easier. I’d also recommend travel cubes to help keep you organized!
Helpful apps. I love this currency app — it reminds me how much I’m actually spending, plus it works offline. If you are traveling to a large city, I’d recommend downloading the TripAdvisor city guide, so you can browse restaurants, attractions and things to do while offline. I love to add all of my trip details into TripIt if I am going on a more complex adventure (multiple flights, hotels, etc), as it helps keep everything organized in one place. Yelp can also be helpful, depending where you’re traveling. I love to find one or two local Instagram accounts to follow — there’s nothing better than seeing the place you are through a local’s eye! I’m such a visual person and if i find someone that really resonates with me, I know that I’ll probably appreciate the things they’ve seen and done. The same goes for local blogs!
Things I always take with me:
– Adapters, of course (including this converter for my curling iron, etc)
– This all-over skin salve to heal and moisturize. I’m obsessed and it goes everywhere with me, especially in the airplane! Gotta keep your skin hydrated in the air.
– An eye mask because you never know when you’ll need it. I’m hyper-sensitive to light and the little bright lights in hotels on television and phones often keep me awake at night. It will be your best friend on a red eye flight!
– My first aid kit includes bandaids (mostly for blisters) as well as these these for any stomachaches and this for mornings when I’ve had a little too much to drink or am just not feeling 100%. I also love to bring tea bags from home, especially this ginger one.
– A good face mask because traveling (and that awful airplane air) can wreak havoc on my skin. If I am feeling in need of a real down and dirty mask, I always choose this clay-based one. I also love this mask for hydration (and it goes on relatively clear, so you could even apply mid-air).
– A notebook and pen. I often do my best creative and reflective thinking while traveling.
– This book! I own the paperbook and have it on my Kindle for easy access. For a period of time, I was a really anxious traveler and this book plus Deepak Chopra’s healing affirmations were the magic combination.
It’s always nice to bring reminders from home and to ease your transition to wherever you might be going. However, I try and remind myself to roll with the punches and to simply enjoy the ride — that’s what adventure is all about anyways! Bringing along certain comforts and relying on a few helpful tricks is never a bad idea, and can make the trip more enjoyable. Please share any of your own travel tips or tricks in the comments below – I’d love to read them!
I originally wrote this post for The Boston Day Book.