Traveling with Ease :: My Top Ten Travel Tips

As I’m getting ready to leave for a weekend getaway to the West Coast…

San Diego

… I thought I’d put together a list of travel tips. Slightly less snarky than my last traveling rant, but helpful nonetheless.

1. Buck up & check a bag.Yep, you heard me. All that money you’re spending on buying travel sized items or transferring smaller amounts of shampoo/conditioner/etc. into TSA approved 3oz containers? Don’t bother. By the time you buy all the travel-related crap, you’ll have spent the checked bag fee anyway. Toss all of that stuff into the suitcase. Staying with friends? Check what they have at their house and bring only what you need.

Don’t be the person trying to shove a too-full carry-on suitcase into a too-small area in the overhead bin. You know what that does? It could cause the plane to leave late because then they need to end up stowing your bag with the checked luggage anyway. And you know what late departures make your neighbors? ANGRY. Don’t be that person. Check the bag, pay the fee and be done with it. One less thing to haul around the airport = less stress.

2. Bring extra ziplock bags. You never know when you might need one. Just do it – better safe than sorry. I also tuck a pair of scissors into my suitcase. Comes in handy taking all of the tags off the clothes you just purchased for said vacation. Everyone does that, right? Oh, just me? Never mind.

3. Carry all chargers & electronics with you. As much as you might not want the extra crap on you, what if your flight gets delayed and you run the battery down on your cell from tweeting angry messages to your airline? How are you planning on charging that baby back up with your charger in the checked bag. You don’t. The iPod you brought to drown the sounds of crying babies on the flight isn’t going to do you any good tucked away in your suitcase. Put it in your purse/carry-on.

Carry-on

4. Ask for samples. I recently fell in love with a few Origins products, which come in a one-size-fits-all tube that is a tad bit too big for travel. While at the counter recently I asked for a few samples – ask & you shall receive!

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Perfect size to travel with for a few days. And that cost me zero dollars. Win.

5. Dress comfortably. I have an evening flight, so I am heading to the office today in work attire and have some clothes to change into for when I leave. DRESS COMFORTABLY. Can’t stress that enough. Yoga pants are your friend. Wear a t-shirt and then a hoodie or cardigan for when/if you get chilly. Be prepared. Oh and wear socks! So important. The thought of walking through security sockless just grosses me out.

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6. Compress those legs.Whether you’re traveling for a race or just a vacation, your legs will be happy if you wrap them in compression socks or sleeves. They help keep the blood flowing while you’re stuck in that damn airplane seat for 3+ hours.

Pro Compression

7. Tuck and roll. When packing your suitcase, roll your clothes. I promise it will keep them less wrinkly then actually FOLDING them! The contents are absolutely going to shift, multiple times if you have layovers, so roll your clothes. If you’re SUPER Type A, you can even roll specific outfits together, which eliminates the frantic OMG-WHERE-IS-THAT-TANKTOP digging in the suitcase for twenty minutes. Tuck items into every crevice you can find. This particular vacation, which consists of a much-anticipated concert, requires two pairs of cowboy boots to make the trip. I tucked some clothes INTO the boots, and pack clothes all around them too. Neat & organized. No real estate wasted. Yeah those boots were a little heavier, which goes against another travel tip (always WEAR your heaviest items) but I’m not wearing them on the plane – it’s hot as hell here still. SO this leads into my next tip…

8. Weigh your suitcase before you leave the house. Then you know exactly what you’re working with. Ideally, 40lbs is perfect. The max is 50, leaving you with a generous 10 pounds of souvenir space for the return trip. You don’t want to be at the check-in counter heading home pleading with the agent to not charge you the over-the-limit fee. Not that I’ve ever done that before…

9. Bring a water bottle. This is one of my favorites. Stash an empty water bottle in your carry-on bag. Keep a tube or two of Nuun in there too. Once you make it through security, fill it up with water at a restaurant. Add Nuun. This doesn’t cost you a penny. Free & hydrated is the way to be, especially if you need to make the mad dash from one terminal to another during a layover. Unfortunately most airports don’t have water stations like in races, so carrying your own is KEY!

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10. Stock up on magazines. Now, this only works if you subscribe to a ton of them. The month before I’m leaving on a trip, I will take every magazine I get in the mail and put it aside. Once travel time comes around, I can board that flight armed with have five or six (yes I subscribe to that many) unread magazines. The times I don’t do that? I’ll spend $20-25 on magazines at the gift shop in the airport and I’m already in the hole before leaving for vacation. NOT IDEAL.

And then? Sit back & enjoy the flight!

What’s your favorite travel tip?

Do you subscribe to magazines or is that just me? If so, which ones?

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7 Comments

  1. The empty water bottle trick is a good idea except i think i’d have to go to the bathroom excessively. Oh! And the tuck and roll tip is awesome, Jason taught me that being all fancy military trained and all, and now i roll my clothes even if its just for a night or two. Leaves more room for an extra curling iron, pair of heels or purse, etc 😉

  2. These are awesome tips! I also pack snacks since I have a tough time finding healthy airport snacks annnnd I always want to give in to candy snack (I have a raging sweet tooth). I bake muffins etc before I leave so it gives me something to look forward to!

  3. 1st, awesome post! 2nd, I subscribe to like 7 magazines. Cosmo, Glamour, Women’s Health, Runner’s World (obvi), Fitness, Shape, and Self. Overboard? Yes. Necessary? Yes.
    3rd, I love the rolling the clothes idea. Ive definitely heard it before but always forget to do that. Im the worst packer. Last week, they weighed my bag at the airport and it was 49.5. So close!

  4. Oh great tips!! Those are super helpful! Spa love!

  5. Love your travel tips! especially since I am leaving next weekend for GA. In particular the water bottle and NUNN, love me some grape NUNN, what a good idea. I save my magazines for trips too. I hope it is not my own granddaughter I have to drown out with my IPOD. Happy travels!

  6. great tips! I’m not traveling in awhile but this is all great stuff to keep in mind when I have/want to! Have a great trip! itsaharleyyylife.com

  7. I hate bringing magazines with me because they are so heavy. I cannot believe you bring 5 or 6 of them! I do not need all that weight on my shoulders so I just bring my Nook and that’s it. I’ll read something on there and I would say 5 times out of 10, someone at the airport will offer me one of their already read magazines anyway. It’s usually a girly mag. Maybe I look like I need style advice?
    Here’s my tips since you asked! 🙂
    -I always put my socks in my sneakers when I pack. (thanks Dad, for that tip)
    -I bring at least 2 plastic Target/Wal-Mart bags for dirty or wet clothes.
    -I always pack a gallon ziplock bag of snacks for the airport/plane and I bring wet wipes because I always need a napkin.
    Oh, and those little bottles of shampoo will last me 2 showers at the most with this head of hair. I cannot do travel size. I would rather buy a 99 cent full bottle of Suave at my destination and leave the rest there than go travel size.

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