Over the short course of my adult life, I've developed a keen interest for the art of travel. I think it's worth every treasure on earth to appreciate such things. But I find it strange how most people claim to "love traveling", when they seem miserable at the airport; usually late & over packed. So I'd like to share some basic principles on traveling with ease.
- Check-in online. Why are you waiting in line? There's no reason to be surrounded by smelly irritated travelers. print your boarding pass, or download it to your smart phone. (If you have luggage to check, keep reading)
- Don't check a bag. Not only do most airlines charge you to check a bag, you have to wait in that unpredictable and stressful line that only moves when you're not late.
- Don't check a bag. I'm saying it again for those who pack too much. You only need 3-5 days of clothes, MAX! You can wash on your trip. As a rule, if you might need it, you don't need it. Plus you eliminate the chance of losing your bags.
- Arrive early. The biggest mistake travelers make is miscalculating how long it takes to get to their gate. For a busy airport, plan to arrive 1hr 30min before boarding time; then leave earlier.
- Lighten your load. Carry all your "pocket items" in the front pocket of your carry-on (Except for ID and ticket). this makes the unconstitutional portion of your trip--security checkpoint--easier.
- Dress for speed. Avoid a belt and wear shoes that slip on and off (see last point)
- Double check departure. Check the departures board when you arrive at the airport, AND at the gate. Flights change gates, and you should know about it.
- Purchase an eReader. Books are no longer meant for travel, they take up space. Plus, you can keep your itinerary on your kindle/ipad, airports will scan these for boarding.
- Learn how to move through an airport. Learn my trick for navigating large crowds with speed and grace. Click here to learn my technique.
- Have an in-flight task. Never board a long flight with the intention of just watching a movie & sleeping. Have something to spend time on that will keep you busy and engaged.
- Sit on the isle. Having the option to get up when needed is vital, plus you get more arm and leg room. It's little things like this that make all the difference.
- Get up and walk. Movement and light stretching will keep you refreshed and prevent that terrible, trapped, restless feeling.
If you take anything away from this post, it's pack light, have in-flight tasks, and leave early. When compared to the stressed traveller, there's nothing like strolling through an airport, unencumbered, with time to get some work done over a pizza and beer. And as a final note, please take time to notice your airport. It's a wondrous feat of exploration, science, and architecture. Don't let it pass you by.
Thank you, and I hope you enjoy the journey, not just the destination.
If you have any other travel tips, please leave a comment below. I'd love to consider them for my trip to Las Vegas next week.