I travel ALL the time and I always have. When your family lives around the country you are constantly on the go and you are always gathering somewhere for holidays. In my adult life, my friends live all around the country too and I really try my hardest to keep up with them face to face by visiting them or meeting them somewhere fun. Airports and planes don't stress me out so I genuinely try not to miss a trip. In the next month, I'll be practicing all my travel rituals as I jet around to see family and friends in Palm Springs, San Diego, Dallas, Mississippi, Jackson Hole, and maybe New York. As a frequent flyer, I've created my top 10 tried and true travel rituals:
1. Stay Consistent with Your Airline. When possible, I try to always fly Southwest, Delta, or JetBlue. It makes flying so much easier because you get to know the terminal of the airline at your home airport, you accumulate miles, and you learn what to expect with the airline (i.e. checking yourself in on Southwest, power outlets available on Delta airplanes, free wifi on JetBlue airplanes).
2. Get PreCheck or Global Entry. Getting PreCheck and Global Entry was the best decision I made in 2015. I'm seriously not kidding! I breeze threw airports now because I skip the security line and don't have to take off my shoes or take out my computer when I go through security. I got Global Entry (which is just PreCheck + an added bonus of skipping customs when you land in America after an international flight) in addition to PreCheck because it was only a few dollars more and I knew I had my trip to Asia coming up (the trip I took in July). It takes about 15 minutes to complete the application for both online and then, if your application is approved, you have one appointment at your local airport for a final screening. Then you're done and your life is 1,000 times happier and easier!
3. Be Charged! Be sure to walk into the aiprot with a fully charged phone, computer, and iPad. There is nothing worse than landing with a dead phone or realizing that there aren't outlets on your plane after your computer dies. Being charged also means being prepared for being dead so travel with a Mophie. We've all been stuck in an airport due to travel delays and had every outlet in the building already be taken so be prepared.
4. Ask for Upgrades. Always ask at your gate counter if there are any seat upgrades available because you never know. I've gotten lucky before! ***Thanks Dad for teaching me this trick.
5. Make a Plan Ahead of Time for Activities on the Flight. I plan out what I will read before takeoff, what I will work on on my computer while in the air, and if/how much I plan to sleep on the flight. If you love watching shows or movies when you fly then always download your film of choice before going to the airport. If you like working on flights then always save work that can be done without wifi – I like to write blog posts, write report cards, and draft emails (to be sent later with wifi).
6. Bring a Neck Pillow. Need I say more? They are honestly a game changer for long flights.
7. Layer Appropriately. The temperatures on planes can be tricky – usually too hot or too cold. I always have a jacket or sweater on hand even if I'm traveling somewhere warm because I tend to freeze on planes. However, in the summer, I travel in dresses (with my jacket) because planes get so hot sitting on runways.
8. Be Heathy. Pack heathy snacks because peanuts and pretzels get old and it is so tough to find healthy food in airports. Also, drink lots of water and always have a water bottle with you throughout your flight. Staying hydrated will help offset the bloating and puffiness that flying causes and help you flush out any germs you contract. Oh, and, wash your hands frequently.
9. Pack Your Carry-On Bag with Purpose. Searching for your chapstick, book, or headphones in a sea of items swimming around your oversized carry-on is a nightmare. So, use a carry-on bag that has good interior pockets and sections or else create them. You can organize your products into small bags within your bag – i.e. all chargers go in one small bag inside your carry-on. I've also recently gotten in the habit of carrying on a small crossbody purse that has my usual suspects in it – wallet, phone, gum, chapstick, boarding pass – and a large carry-on purse for everything else – jacket, computer, iPad, chargers, magazines, etc.
10. Carryon Your Luggage Whenever You Can. It's such a treat to avoid baggage claim and it's nice to have your cosmetics with you at all times in case you have to freshen up immediately upon landing in order to rush off somewhere.
*** A special thanks to one of my main travel buddy besties, Allison, for giving me the idea to write this post!
Photograph: A Dash of Details
RELATED: How to pack a travel makeup bag