Here are some ideas to consider the next time you get ready to go!
1. Check in online.
Airlines encourage us to check in online and it’s a win win when we do. If you don’t have bags to check you can bypass the ticket counter all together and that’s a time saver. Even when you do have bags to check, the Bag Drop line moves faster than the check in line. And if you don’t have access to the internet most airlines offer kiosks or curbside check in at the airport.
2. Get some money, honey.
If you’re traveling international, get some of your cash changed to the destination currency before you depart or when you arrive at the airport at an ATM. Try to avoid currency exchange offices at the airport because their exchange rates are typically not any where near as good as the bank rates. It pays to have some local currency when you leave the airport.
3. Traveling with electronics
Tape a business card or a contact number or email address on your electronics so you can be reached if you leave it in security or anywhere else.
4. Pack smart.
Pack the heaviest things in your bags toward the bottom, where the wheels are. Folding your clothes takes up space; rolling them up makes them compact and less wrinkly. I put those rolled items in a plastic bag from the cleaners then in the suitcase because it further reduces wrinkles and gives me a place to put my dirty laundry on the way home. I put shoes in plastic grocery store bags with underwear and socks inside the shoes, to create more space in my checked luggage. Every little bit helps.
5. Consider your carry-on.
Some airlines charge for carry on bags unless they fit under the seat in front of you. Keep this in mind when you’re deciding what bag to carry.
Do you have the essentials in there in case your luggage is lost? Medications, toiletries, chargers etc.
If you’re in doubt about an item, use the “When I fly can I bring my…” tool on tsa.gov to make sure your item is permitted in carry-on and/or checked baggage. Even better.. follow @AskTSA on Twitter. They’re responding to your questions in real time on Twitter from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern Time.
6. Bring your water bottle instead of buying new ones.
I have a hydration bottle that I take everywhere with me, to the gym, at my desk and when I travel. I’ll pack it empty in my carry on, then fill it at the airport. I’ll have something to drink long before the flight attendant reaches my aisle and it saves me from buying those expensive bottles of water at the airport and I have it throughout my trip. It’s eco friendly too. When you do buy bottles of water, reuse them.
Keep all your electronic cables and chargers together and bring an adaptor/converter when traveling abroad. I use a ziplock bag but I have friends that use pouches made just for electronics. I use Gearties to keep the cords separated but twist ties will work too. If you travel with a lot of electronics consider bringing a travel power surge protector, they’ll have outlets and USB ports on them. Many foreign hotels do have outlets for US electronics, but you never know. Pack all your cables together for easy access.
8. Learn a few words of the language of your destination.
You’re making an attempt and it will be appreciated.
9. Notify your bank you’ll be traveling overseas.
Credit card companies are on the lookout for fraud and are likely to freeze your account if sudden unexpected charges start appearing. This is true whether you’re traveling to Chicago or Cairo.
10. Noise canceling headphones are the best things ever.
Forget about loud passengers and airplane engines; you'll sleep peacefully on your flight.