Do you have a tried and true travel checklist you use? My husband jokes with me about my personality on travel days. He says I become a crazy lady that gets set off with any little thing. When he says this, I give him the evil eye because I often view him as one of the kids when he is no help at all!
He’s gotten better over the years. But the crowds, the lines, the unpredictability of new environments on top of feeling pressure from being the designated travel planner in my family still causes me stress.
I think I’ve gotten better at handling my travel anxiety. We take trips so frequently; I’ve learned a few tricks to make travel days easier for my family and me. Packing efficiently and staying healthy will decrease stress levels and allow you to enjoy your destination. This post outlines the travel checklist I’m thinking about as I prepare to leave for Korea – yay!
Travel Checklist Before Travel
Book Travel Efficiently
Tuesdays are usually the cheapest days to book air travel, and I heard we can get the best airfares around 50 days from the travel date. Your computer cookies will track travel sights of airfares you are interested in, and the sites will hike up the price as you visit more than once. So when it’s time to book your flight online, do it from a different computer than you were using for research.
Get TSA and Global Entry passes
Having TSA precheck status saves a ton of time during security checks before flights. The fee to apply ($85) may get reimbursed by credit cards like AMEX. It is well worth the investment and I love not having to take off my shoes at security! And after a long international flight, Global Entry passes for security clearance to enter back into the US are gold. If you apply for Global Entry first, the TSA precheck status comes with it. I promise it’s worth your time.
Get Currency from the Bank
While many people exchange money at airports or use ATMs, I like to get at least a few hundred dollars in the local currency of the country I am visiting before my trip. It’s one less thing to worry about when you get off the plane. US Airports charge a fortune to exchanging money, and you never know if the ATM system in the country you visit is efficient. One thing to remember before returning from a foreign country – banks don’t exchange coins. I try to use those up at the airport on our way home.
Keep an Electronic Copy of Your Passport, Drivers License, Major Credit Cards This is self-explanatory.
Build Weather Tolerance
This isn’t admin related but useful, so I include it here. Did you know you can increase your heat tolerance by exposing yourself days before your trip? I wish I did this before we left for Thailand in August. It was so hot; I felt uncomfortable when we weren’t in air conditioning. Next time I plan a trip to a hot destination, I will use the sauna and steam room for a few days before getting my body adjusted to the heat.
Consider avoiding having to check bags by packing a carry-on. I pack a few lightweight dresses, a pair of jeans, a couple of work-out outfits, a jacket, a button down and some cotton or silk tops as my travel staples. Shoes and toiletries tend to be the hardest for me to fit into my carry-on, but I make it work. Often, I end up leaving a few pairs of shoes behind that would be nice to have while traveling, but I live without them. I think I could do a whole post on the versatile pieces to pack for travel! I’ll put it on my future topics list.
Always roll your clothes
To maximize luggage space, minimize creases and create a cushion for delicate items.
Cover your shoes
Purchase some cheap plastic shower caps to have handy for your shoe covers in your suitcase.
Use contact lens cases
Contact cases are useful for small amounts of liquid you need, but you don’t want to take the whole container.
Mark your checked luggage as fragile
I haven’t tried this yet but I will next time I check bags! It’s a great way to ensure that your baggage doesn’t get thrown around and chances are higher your luggage will be kept at the top of the pile and released first.
Carry-on Bag Essentials
- Reusable water bottle or empty plastic bottle Ask the flight attendant to fill up your bottle. This way you get more water than the small cup they usually serve. You can close the lid and take your time drinking.
- Saline Spray Flying can dry out the membranes in our noses – which, when moist, help keep germs moving to flush them out of our system. We can prevent getting a dry nose by packing a saline spray in our carry on.
- Bring a 3 oz bottle of lotion Apply lotion on your face and hands to combat the cabin’s dry air.
- Ibuprofen, allergy medicine
- kleenex, hand sanitizer
- face wipes/mouthwash/toothbrush
I never leave my house without a phone charger, but in case you forget an international adaptor, you can still charge your phone. As long as you’ve packed your standard charger, you can plug the head into the USB port on the back of your hotel TV. Brilliant!
I like to have my earphones handy for the plane and pre-boarding waiting area to listen to my audio books and watch movies on the plane.
I received two of these for my birthday and love them! Perfect for traveling and it looks classy. Use as a blanket, a scarf, a wrap, a shirt!
Travel Checklist for During Flight
It’s all about hydration! We lose so much water on an airplane. Water loss is a combination of the cabin’s lack of humidity and its oxygen-thin air, which increases your breathing rate.
Not retaining enough water in our bodies during flight will drain us of the moisture we need. With that comes a decrease our immune system along with fatigue, headaches, and nausea.
Drink Bottled Water, never tap from the plane
Even coffee or tea is questionable since tap water is used (although boiled is less risky). Ice is a no if flying from a country without clean water sources.
Drink Eight Ounces of Water for every hour you’re in the air
If we drink too quickly, we’ll dilute our blood, which causes our kidneys to excrete water faster, which means we’ll pee it all out before we can use it to get hydrated.
Make Up for Alcohol
One eight-ounce cup of water for every drink is a must.
Other Ways to Stay Hydrated
Fruit, yogurt, other food with water density. If the water is clean, coffee and tea are good choices too (despite beliefs they are diuretics).
So there you have it- My travel checklist. 1) Have all your documents ready 2) Pack light and smart 3) Arm yourself for your flight, so it goes quickly 4) Stay healthy by hydrating!
There is so much to talk about regarding how to be prepared for travel once at our destination, but that will also have to be a future post! Lot’s to discuss. I hope these tips about having a travel checklist will help you ease into your vacations.
Update: check out my post on Pack Only Carry-on Luggage for Your Next Vacation.