Travel Tips for Hassle-Free Vacations
I’m fortunate enough that I’ve been able to travel the US extensively. We have friends all across the country and love to go visit them. In all my travels I’ve learned a few things to make traveling a little more enjoyable and less stressful. Here are a few travel tips I’ve learned over the last few years.
Invest in a pair of noise canceling headphones. They’re totally worth the cost if you’re a nervous flyer. I analyze every little noise I hear on a plane thinking we could be in life-altering danger. These help block those noises out. Just be aware of the flight attendants and their announcements.
Pack snacks. This is important whether you have kids or not. We’ve all been running through the airport trying to make a connection as if we’re reenacting Home Alone. Sometimes you just don’t have time to stop to grab food. I always carry packets of almonds, peanut butter or almond butter and protein bars. They aren’t going to substitute for a full meal but they’re a lot healthier than those honey roasted peanuts or pretzels.
Pack an extra pair of clothes in your carryon. Just trust me on this one. Even the best laid plans can go haywire. When we were heading to Hawaii in Feb. our first flight out of Indy was cancelled due to the plane leaking oil. Yes, please get me off that plane. Our trip ended up becoming a 30-hour adventure. I was so glad to have shorts, a t-shirt, some deodorant and flip flops when they lost our luggage after the 30-hour ordeal.
Avoid drinking too much. Everyone is excited to go on vacation and wants to enjoy themselves. For a lot of people this includes having an alcoholic beverage. Flying dehydrates you. The air is very dry. Alcohol can add to your dehydration. Drink in moderation.
Take the water as they offer it. Again, flying dehydrates you. Even if you aren’t thirsty, take the water. Drink it when you’re ready. It helps to keep you hydrated but it also means you’ll be getting up using the restroom more frequently. Moving your legs helps prevent deep vein thrombosis or blood clots.
Download movies to your iPad. Netflix will now let you download movies directly to your device. Never rely on the airline to provide entertainment for you. Most of the time, they do offer in-flight movies or television along with Wifi but sometimes they fail. Having a movie or show downloaded to your device ensures you have something to pass the time.
Invest in a travel backpack. I LOVE mine. I pack magazines, books, extra clothes, some toiletries, my iPad, any medications I might need and sometimes a little extra liquor bottle or two. Shhhh.
If you’re considering booking first class, just go ahead and book it rather than waiting to see if there is an upgrade. A lot of the time it’s more expensive to upgrade immediately prior to your flight than it is just to book first class in advance. There is almost never an upgrade available at the last minute especially if you’re flying during peak travel times like holidays or spring break.
If you have a fear of flying, download the Soar app. It’s awesome. It was created by a former pilot. It talks about the different kinds of fear people experience from flying. It also includes a meter that allows you to see the amount of G-force being applied to the plane while you’re in turbulence. It also tells you what is an acceptable amount the plane can withstand. So you can see in real-time that while the turbulence you’re experiencing may be scary, it’s not dangerous.
Download all the major airlines apps. They give you up to the minute information regarding your flight. Warning. Some are better than others. They all allow you to download your boarding ticket directly to your device. Save some trees while also reducing the items you’ll need to find in a pinch.
If you decide you need to order a drink on the flight (I know. You’re thinking, ‘But, Renee you told us not to drink!’) Sometimes it’s necessary. It just is. Did you know you can order two little bottles at a time? You can and it’s not frowned upon! The flight attendants don’t mind because they won’t have to come back around.
Airplanes are super dry. If you’re brave enough to go without makeup (YOU GO, GIRL!), load up on an eye cream and moisturizer. You can even purchase re-hydrating spray. Don’t neglect your lips, either.
Wear comfortable clothes. This may seem like a no-brainer but it isn’t. Always wear shoes that you can quickly get from one side of an airport to the other while wearing. I love tall, flat boots. However, when running to make a connection I wouldn’t recommend them. I ended up with blisters the size of quarters on both my feet.
For long flights, invest in a neck pillow and eye mask. It’s almost impossible for me to sleep on a flight. Eye masks and neck pillows do help in blocking out some of the light and keeping your neck supported.
Always choose your seats in advance if you’re allowed to do so while booking. I love to do this because I hate getting stuck in a middle seat. My husband and myself are tall so I book us two aisle seats across from each other.
Say hello to the flights attendants and pilots as you board. They have a tough job and a little kindness goes a long way. Sometimes they’ll reward you with free drinks. Plus, it’s just good to be a nice person. I almost always say something kind to them if I see someone else being nasty. Just putting out a little good karma.
Most airlines have a section behind first class that costs a little more but gives you more leg room. I’ve booked us Delta Comfort seats before and they’re usually pretty awesome–free drinks, more leg room, and you’re seated near the front of the plane.
I hope these travel tips help with your smooth sailing. But most of all, I hope you enjoy your travels!