Monday Musing – My 5 Top Travel Tips
Many travel blogs are written with an eye to what you pack outfit-wise, and that is a very important element of travel preparation. (The above motto has been mine on many occasions, I have to admit.) I’ve found, however, that there are other considerations that are equally as important, if not more so, because they add to your overall ease on a trip. Here are 5 of my favorite travel tips (a couple of which are fashion-related) that will make your trips much more enjoyable:
- I usually have my boarding pass uploaded on my phone. Now here’s the trick – take a screen shot of your boarding pass, making sure to get the bar code in the shot. That way when you get into the airport, if your signal isn’t very strong, you won’t be fumbling around with your phone trying to bring up your boarding pass. You can just open your Photos, and voila! There’s your boarding pass. (I have to give credit where it is due here – my sister Lisa passed along that little tidbit to me, and I’m so happy she did. Really makes getting through the line so easy.)
- Speaking of lines, no one likes them. I don’t know about you but my heart always sinks a little when I see a line at security that snakes back and forth for many turns. We were early converts to Clear – the system that has a permanent record of all your identifying information. And by that I mean fingerprints and eye scan. When you depart from an airport that has a Clear line, all you do is give the personnel your boarding pass, put a finger or two on the pad on the machine so it can read your fingerprints, and boom! Up pops your picture and name. Now, for the best part, you are walked to the front of the TSA-Pre line, past that security, and there you are at the security belt and monitor. It is truly one of the fastest ways through security because there are never lines at Clear, although you’ll have to endure the hostile stares at your back of all the other people still standing in line.Since I’ve mentioned TSA-Pre, that’s the next best thing to Clear, but it’s something you’ll want to do since not all airports have Clear. Once you apply for TSA-Pre and complete your appointment for the fingerprinting etc, you’ll get a Known Traveler Number (KTN) which you’ll want to use every time you make a reservation. Your boarding pass will have the TSA-Pre emblem printed on it. If the airport you’re traveling from has TSA-Pre (and many do), you can go through that special line at security. The beauty of this is that you don’t have to remove your shoes, laptops, liquids, belts or light jackets when you go through security. The security clearance process is much faster. You can apply through TSA or, as we did, through the Global Entry system, which covers travel both domestic and international. They both involve a quick in-person interview and document check, in addition to the fingerprinting. It’s so worth it!
- I often find it difficult, when doing carry-on luggage only, to manage the liquids limitation. So many of my favorite products are liquid and the quart-size bag gets filled up very quickly. One way to manage this is to plan on using the shower gel and shampoo/conditioner provided by your hotel. You can get by for a few days without your at-home favorites, can’t you? When it comes to my face creams, I’ve found I can, for the most part, also get by for a short time using the little samples I’ve stockpiled from various gift-with-purchase items from the cosmetic counter. Everyone’s situation is unique, so this might not be possible for you, but if you can manage it, it will save a lot of space in your carry-on.
- I almost always travel with a cute pair of flip-flops (in the warmer months) or a pair of sneakers in the cooler months. When you need to pop down to get a cup of coffee in the morning, it’s so easy to just slip them on with your yoga pants and top and look somewhat pulled together. (I also always travel with said yoga pants/top because I love waking up early and lounging around the hotel room with my book or laptop at hand.) My flip flops are virtually identical to these, which I love because…well…sparkles!
- My Uniqlo down vest is a staple when I travel – it’s so lightweight, yet keeps me warm on the plane if I need it. It rolls up into a little ball and fits down in the corner of my carry-on, taking up almost no space at all when I don’t need it. I used to always travel with a pashmina, which is another option if you prefer that, but in the past few years my vest has usurped my pashmina as my favorite ‘keep warm’ item.
There you have it – a few of my favorite tips to help make travelling as stress-free as possible. What are your favorite tips? Do share!
Thanks for reading – stay stylish!