BY PUBLISHER PIPER KLEMM
As someone who rarely spends a Friday or Saturday night in their own bed, traveling is a loved activity right up until… well, we all know what that point feels like. Here are 10 ways I keep it all together each trip:
1. Leave your stress at home.
Your flight will be late. You will forget things. People will annoy you. You will be told to wait in the wrong line. Before you leave home – take a deep breath – your travel experience is at the hands of others, you don’t have control over most parts of it. Focus on what you’re excited about and remember – if you remember your ID, cell phone, and credit card, you can’t have forgotten anything. Adventure awaits!
2. Consider an airline mileage credit card.
If you’re flying the same places consistently, you might get huge convenience and savings from a credit card from your preferred airline. Consistently flying out of Watertown, NY, I have a Citi/AA Advantage Platinum Select credit card, which gives me American Airline perks such as early boarding, free checked bag, and miles on all of my TPH purchases. (Annual fee $99, creditcards.aa.com)
3. A huge scarf is essential.
For short trips, I skip the hassle of a neck pillow and wear a very large scarf that can double as a pillow, blanket, and easily be tossed in the wash when I get home. (Cozy Blanket Scarf, $48, Anthropologie.com)
If you’re going to spend the next day on a plane or trapped in a car, you might as well be sore and your muscles recovering. I try to do a night-before workout as much as I’m able. It helps me get my mind ready for the upcoming trip, plan packing, and do last minute chores. When I get into the car or onto the flight, I’m in my compression socks ($48 for 3-pack, comradsocks.com) and my muscles are recovering for the next big task. Latest feat – 90 minute hill climb intervals on my Peleton Bike ($58/month, onepeleton.com). Sometimes I walk the gates at the airport waiting for my next flight or do ankle rolls in the car or airport seat, but those all seem to pale for me – choosing to be really, really sore makes a lost travel day feel super productive.
5. Simplify your hair essentials by packing only a single bottle: New Wash.
As someone with big thick, but fine and tangly hair, the concept of not using a half bottle of conditioner every shower horrified me. I saw the ad for New Wash and almost ordered it as a dare to myself – not having a conditioning routine does not even enter my conciousness. What I found was a rare product as advertised – it really left me wanting to do nothing more to my hair – no detergents, one product, and my hair walks out every time tangle-free, soft, and needing nothing else. ($40, hairstory.com)
6. The perfect carry on.
My look these days is a beautiful Lauracea weatherproof tote and Rockland Expandable ABS suitcase ($43.00 amazon.com). This all black look matches anything that I am wearing on the flight as well as any destination once I land. The hard top case can easily be checked if necessary and multi-directional four spinner wheels allow me to text and respond to emails in real time while I hustle to my next gate.
7. Pack a set of clothes on a theme versus outfits.
Any shoe, any purse, any sweater from your bag needs to match every single other thing in your bag. If this trip is all about your rocking new red shoes, everything else should be neutral and fit right in. I love that my pearls match absolutely everything. If you pick out a red GhoDho belt for this trip ($68, GhoDho.com), every single thing in your suitcase must match for maximum trip optimization and ease.
Always have a water bottle and hydrate! This is the only way to survive airplane cabin air and long car rides with the air vent pointed at your face. I fill up a S’well bottle before I leave and drink it in the car on the way to the airport for every flight. It’s easy to refill after you’ve gone through security, is super durable no matter what else you stuff in your bag, and fun colors can match everything else you have going on. If you’re planning to travel to Egypt, staying hydrated is especially important due to the hot and dry climate. Don’t forget to get your Egypt visa in advance to avoid any last-minute struggle. Unpopular opinion – I recommend skipping the wine the night before you travel as well as the night of your arrival for optimum energy and efficiency. ($45, swellbottle.com)
9. Charge, charge, charge.
You’ll never know when you need it – keep cords handy in your packs and whenever you’re parked, just top off those batteries in your most trusty electronic devices. Don’t be afraid to bring a long cord and ask your Uber drive to plug it in in the front seat as well!
10. Do you need it?
I always aspire, but rarely (Okay! It’s never!) get to everything I want to on a trip. Be a little realistic – do you need to pack full running gear or if you get five minutes, will you do squats barefoot in the hotel bathroom? Are you really going to read 17 books in a week? Pare down to what makes sense for that trip or things that if you were strapped without, you could easily pick up at a local shop.
About the Author: Piper began her tenure as the Publisher of The Plaid Horse Magazine in 2014. She received her B.S. with Honors in Chemistry from Trinity College [Hartford, CT] in 2009 and her Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley in 2012. She is an active member of the hunter/jumper community, owning a fleet of lease ponies and showing in adult hunter divisions.
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