May 25, 2013

Savvy Traveler Tips!

I absolutely love, love, loooooooove traveling.

Like, real lurrrve, y'all.

My answer to the question of going anywhere, especially somewhere new?


I've been lucky enough to travel quite a bit, so I consider myself a bit of a seasoned traveler by now. Not much can fluster me and I almost always have a great time on the trip, not just when I arrive at the destination. 

After all, if you spend two days of a two week trip traveling, that's a bit over 14% of your vacation. You ought to enjoy it!

I've never been one of those people who viewed the destination as the goal. Ever since my days of Rugrats in Paris (remember the airplane scene? Too fun) I've always had almost as much fun on the journey.

But I can't help but notice that not everyone feels that way. There are the travelers who take half a year to get through TSA, the travelers whose screaming toddlers test the limits of their vocal chords each and every time, the travelers whose adorable heels stop feeling so cute by the second stopover, and the travelers who are B.O.R.E.D. for hours on end. 

But with my savvy traveler tips, everyone can have as awesome a time as me!

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What can I say? Traveling is one of my many superpowers. Right up there with exceptional humility.

First, any savvy traveler knows that a successful trip starts way before the first day of the trip. If you've done no prep by then, you've probably already blown your chances of travel nirvana.

Don't pack like you're homeless.

You know that place where you live? It'll still be there when you get back. So there is no reason to try to pack your life into your suitcases. Remember: the less you pack, the happier you'll be.

If you're allergic to everything or completely inflexible with your diet, don't expect airlines to be your betch.

You can't honestly expect Delta to cater to your gluten free-dairy free-paleo-reduced sugar-whole foods-pescatarian-green and purple foods only diet. If your diet is weird, restrictive, from a different time era, or fraught with dislikes and intolerances, pack your own frickin' food

Ideally, you can make do and enjoy what else is out there while your traveling. But if you refuse to eat what most others do, then don't be disappointed when the stewardess won't whip up a batch of protein pancakes for you and the hotel kitchen won't let you come down to prepare your oatmeal your way. They have to cater to the masses and have to focus on food safety and pleasing the majority.

How they feel about your specific diet?



Plan some entertainment.

Especially if you're traveling with kids, this is a non-negotiable. Whether it's books (not advisable if you get motion sick), coloring pages, a few game ideas, an audiobook (a great option if you do get motion sick, but still want some entertainment) or (best) some movies on an iPad, entertainment makes travel really fun. 

Shorter flights tend not to have movies and sometimes the movie selections on longer flights aren't that great (though I tend to enjoy them) so you can rent movies ahead of time through iTunes and play them on your iPad inflight (even without wifi!) for up to 24 hours post-rental. Awesome!

Oh, and if you get motion sick? I highly recommend Dramamine. Seriously, just take it. Neither you nor your fellow passengers should have to tough out the consequences if you don't. 

Use your fifth grade reading skills.

Seriously, if you're not a frequent traveler you really ought to take a few minutes to check out the TSA website. Regulations have changed over the past few years and knowing that you can't fly with your jar of peanut butter and favorite perfume in your carry-on will save you some heartbreak, the TSA officers a hassle, and your fellow travelers some time as you go through security. 

The best part? Their rules aren't even written in Latin, but in clear-as-day simple English, with snazzy infographics to help with clarity.

No excuses, people!

What are your savvy traveler tips?

What are your travel pet peeves?

Do you enjoy traveling itself, or is the destination what makes it worth it for you?

2 comments:

  1. My peet peeve is those people on planes who all rush to crowd into the aisle after the plane lands so they can stand there like sardines for 30 minutes. Why???

    My tip is if you are someone who's ears pop a lot when flying.. don't fall asleep with those headphones that go inside your ears. I once did that and one ear needed to pop so badly.. and it finally did about 2 hours after we landed. It popped so hard I thought I was going to have to go to the hospital.

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  2. LOL! Thank you for including that airlines do NOT care about crazy diets or food restrictions. At all. You eat what they have, bring your own food, or don't eat at all. Frankly, unless it's a serious allergy, I think it's silly to be super high-maintenance about food...especially when traveling! Life is too short to stress about that kind of stuff.

    I hope you're having fun in NY so far!

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