Erica Moss is the community manager for Georgetown University’s online masters degrees in nursing, which partner with Nursing License Map to offer nursing career resources. She enjoys blogging, TV, pop culture and tweeting @ericajmoss.
They say that it’s about the journey, not the destination, and that’s mostly true — except when it comes to travel headaches. Sometimes you just can’t wait to get to you destination and have a little less “journey” to deal with.
But travel doesn’t have to be a headache. There are a few simple tricks you can use to maximize your travel efficiency, thereby decreasing stress and making the journey a little more enjoyable. Here are a few tips:
It can be easy to get into the habit of just jamming fistfuls of clothing into a duffel bag or backpack if you’re taking a short trip, but spending a few extra minutes to flatten, fold and tightly pack things can make your journey much more pleasant. If you’re flying, for example, and you have a big, lumpy bag, you can encounter boarding delays as you’re trying to jam it into a tiny overhead bin. You can avoid having the annoyance just by making sure your luggage is packed neatly and tightly. When you arrive, it’s easier to unpack as well. Bonus!
Preload Your Devices with Destination Information
This is especially important for foreign travelers: You’re not guaranteed an Internet connection or wi-fi when you get to your destination country, so make sure you have some basic informational things preloaded onto your smartphone or tablet. Popular mapping applications allow you to store some things locally, meaning you’ll be able to get a map even while you’re offline. Make sure you have basic information saved as easily-accessible text documents; the name (and pronunciation) of your hotel can go a long way. Just knowing how to say the name of your hotel in the local language could be the difference between a simple journey from the airport and an expensive nightmare.
ABC: Always Be Charging
Make sure to bring your chargers! You can also consolidate them with several aftermarket universal chargers that have different adapters to fit a variety of devices. Having an external battery pack can be a huge lifesaver as well, and they’re not too expensive.
Also: See that spare outlet in the airport terminal? Plug in for five minutes. Plug in to the hotel lobby. Don’t be afraid to plug in while you’re at a cafe or restaurant. Additionally, make sure you have a proper adapter for the local electrical outlets.
Unless you’re planning on having a club night at your destination, it’s alright to leave the five-inch heels home. You’ll want to make sure you have footwear that is comfortable. Nobody wants to be hauling through an airport or boarding a train with luggage wearing uncomfortable shoes. Always assume you will be walking more than you might think, and don’t bring any shoes that even remotely have the chance of hurting your feet. You can’t predict what kind of situations or weather you might encounter, and shoes can make a big difference to your peace of mind.
Remember the TSA
If you’re flying, you do not want to be one of the hapless, clueless folks in line who have to keep being told by TSA agents what to do and what not to do. Make sure you understand the rules before you get onto the security line. Take your belt, shoes and jacket off. Make sure nothing is in your pockets, not even change or papers. Take your laptop out of the bag — and make sure it’s easy to remove and replace before you even get to the airport! With proper preparation, you can breeze through security even while other people are struggling with their bags or emptying their pockets. You’ll look like a pro.
Travel does not have to be stressful, and being prepared can go a long way towards making your trip a breeze so that you can enjoy the destination and the journey.
Photo credit: jetalone on Flickr