If you’re familiar with our site, you know we’re big fans of travel, road trips, and crossing off bucket list items. However, while traveling is one of the best things you can do for yourself, it’s no secret that there will undoubtedly be some bumpy spots along the road(trip). Read on for some simple tips that can help keep your trip as relaxed and stress-free as possible.
Some people may be able to memorize what they need to bring on a trip, but if you’re like me, you need a list for everything, and packing for a trip is no different. If you take the time to write everything down, you will be able to check everything off as you go and avoid that dreaded feeling of forgetting something when it’s too late. If you aren’t able to write a list yourself, try Pinterest. They have plenty of pre-made lists that are easy to save, and may even have helpful tips for your specific destination. One of our favorites is Pack This Pad.
Above all, one of the most important things I’ve learned throughout traveling is to pack light. No one likes lugging a big, bulky bag through the airport, and if you’re flying, a heavy bag could end up costing you extra fees or charges. Pack items that you actually need, and then think about what other items you feel like would benefit your experience. In addition to packing light when it comes to clothes, carefully consider what valuables you’ll bring on your trip. Unfortunately, there is always the risk that your valuables could be lost or stolen, and while most hotels or accommodations will have some sort of safe, it’s better to be safe than sorry! Sorry, I can’t seem to help myself. I like puns.
One of the worst things that could happen during a trip is an unforeseen injury or illness. For that reason, make sure to keep a small portable first aid kit with you while you travel. Often something that is overlooked when considering what to pack, a first-aid kit is a solid way to ensure you’ll be prepared if anything should happen. Include essentials like bandages, antibacterial cream, gauze, hand sanitizer, and any over-the-counter medications you feel may be necessary (Tums, ibuprofen, etc). By having these items on standby, you can be sure to stay prepared for any minor injuries or sickness. Don’t forget your insurance card and any necessary medical identification as well in the rare case of an emergency!
While surprises can be fun, the last thing you’d want on your trip is a surprise new rule that could keep you from taking off. For that reason, make sure you’re up-to-date with travel rules and regulations for your trip. This year, a new change in policy requires that, in some states, you must carry your passport with you as a mandatory form of identification. Study up on the policies for any airport you will be flying in or out of to ensure you have any necessary documents. This is especially important if you haven’t traveled internationally in awhile, as your passport could be expired. Most passports last 10 years and can take several weeks to be renewed, so it is crucial that you plan ahead. For a list of states and more information on the new changes, read more in my article on tips for navigating the airport.
One of the easiest ways for your trip to go south (see what I did there?!?) is a missed, cancelled, or delayed flight. For this reason, if you are flying as your method of transportation, continue to check and receive updates for your flight starting several days before your trip. In addition, try to get to the airport as early as possible. You’ll be much happier relaxing at the gate than trying to sprint through security in a panic.
While you are traveling, the last thing you will want to worry about is what to do next or important numbers or addresses of locations. Take some time to do all the necessary research and write or type out an itinerary before you leave. You should also make sure you have a recorded list of any necessary confirmation numbers, the address and contact information for your accommodations, etc. Even bringing a small folder or notebook with printed materials can help ensure that you have a smooth check-in and check-out process. As I said before, I’m a big to-do list lover, and they can come in handy for more than just your packing list!
I love long car rides, and road trips are one thing that are undoubtedly one of America’s favorite ways to travel. However, after a few hours of driving or sitting in the car staring out the window, it’s easy to get bored and frustrated. Before you go, download music, videos (as long as you’re not the driver!) or podcasts ahead of time to stay engaged and entertained on your trip. In fact, we recently compiled a list of some of our favorite podcasts to get you started!
In addition, while family trips can be tons of fun, listening to young children ask the trademark question “are we there yet?” can get pretty old (I know this, because I used to be one of those kids). If traveling with kids or grandkids, consider purchasing a portable DVD player or downloading movies or TV shows to keep them entertained. If you run out of movies to watch, check out these 10 car games to keep kids occupied. However, they aren’t just for the grandkids: try these 6 adult-friendly car games that will keep you laughing for your entire trip.
Anyone who has traveled- near or far- knows that (while totally worth it!) going on a trip has its fair share of stress factors. However, by planning ahead and considering a few simple tips, you can eliminate big risks and ensure you have a fun and relaxing time. You can’t control everything, but you can control your attitude. Above all, the most important tip is to remember to enjoy the journey and seize every moment.
If you’ve taken an exciting trip recently, we want to hear about it. Are there any tips you can offer us? Share your thoughts with us!
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