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Travel….UGH! 5 Tips from a Traveling Tech

Plane

So as part of my “day” job, I travel from time to time. Typically my travel happens in bursts, meaning traveling non stop for 1 to 2 months straight. Now while I’m thankful for the experience, I’m pretty much over the whole process. Ah I remember when I first started at my job and traveling to a new state was exciting to me. Heck I even had a cute little map that I kept track of where ever I went. I made a true effort to explore everywhere I traveled too (you would believe how many covered bridges there are in PA!) Sadly I think I’m jaded. The process now is so emotionally and physically draining for me, that the most I ever see of a town is local mall or Target and that only if I forgot something at home. I guess that is what 8 years of traveling can do to someone.

However I would like something to come from all of these trips. I have found through the course of 8 years, I’ve picked up a few tips that I assume everyone knows. But after a recent trip with my mom, I realize that isn’t the case. So here are a few things I’ve learned along the way. If you have any tips feel free to share them here.

Tip #1: Always, Always, Always check in online the day before. I have seen to many people get bumped from a flight because it has been oversold and they waited till they got to the airport to check in. Plus in most cases you’ll avoid getting the dreaded middle seat.

Tip #2: If you are connecting, make sure to have a change of clothes. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had connections that either didn’t go out or in and I’ve been stuck in city X with nothing but what was in my carry on. One of my favorite hotels is the Hampton Inn because they hook travelers up with all the little extras that may still be in your bag. Speaking of bag, invest in a nice vertical wheeled bag like this (you want long not wide). It’s big enough to put everything you need including a change of clothes, plus it will fit nicely under any seat on the plane. Don’t mess with the bags for your shoulder. I have such a cute Coach laptop bag and within months I threw my shoulder out due to all the weight I was carrying.

Tip #3: Carry food with you. Now I don’t mean a sandwich or anything, but something like a granola bar or even a bag of pretzels. When I’ve sat on a runway for 5 hours, it’s those little snacks that have saved me from being a really mean hungry person. Right now my favorite snack to pack is from Kashi. Holy crap these are so good AND they are good for you? Someone must be pulling my leg.

Tip #4: If you travel a lot, invest in a good set of headphones and a video iPod. I waited way to long before I did this and wow I could never imagine traveling without both of these now. For me I choose to get the Bose Series 2 and have been extremely happy with them, however I know there are a ton of these types on the market…take your pick. Also if you use a program like DVDFab, then you can catch up on all the movies you don’t have time to watch since you’re traveling so much. When your sitting in the airport for 12 hours, you’ll thank me. Just be careful to not get too caught up in the movie and miss your connecting flight (yep that happened to me).

Tip #5: Designate your “travel wardrobe”. If I had to I could walk into my closet and pack for a 2 week trip in less than 30 minutes. It wasn’t until my mother-in-law told me she was amazed by this that I realized what I had accomplished. (she admitted it takes here a whole day to pack). Slowly over the years I’ve figured out what clothes worked well on the road. For me black and dark grey is key. I add color into my wardrobe in my tops, so I don’t look to dark. I also stay away from cotton. I know I hate to iron, so why bring clothes that you know you’ll have to iron. I make sure I pack 1 pair of shoes. Of course if you workout when your on the road this becomes 2 pair. I also keep a bag that always has my toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo and any extras ready to grab and go. And when you pack, always count the days you’ll be gone and pack enough underwear for all days plus 1. Seems silly, but you never know when you’ll get stuck somewhere or have to extend your trip.

So there are just 5 tips from me to you. Some you may already know, but hopefully it will make your traveling a little bit more enjoyable and you won’t become a jaded traveler like myself 😉

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5 thoughts on “Travel….UGH! 5 Tips from a Traveling Tech

  1. Hi Nicole,

    I don’t travel as much as you but thes tips are great. Tip no 3 I could have used multiple times. Even if you have a 1 hour transit time between flights it is not enough at may airports to stop and buy food. Flights also rin out of food. On United the fruits and cheese for $5 seems to be popular.

    I want to make sure more pople read these tips.

    Cheers!

    Shashi

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  2. JBS says:

    From one jaded traveler to another, great tips!

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  3. Colby Palmer says:

    Great advice, I realized that I often neglect #1 and hadn’t thought about getting bumped!

    I always pack an extra day’s worth of skivvies too, good to know somebody else thinks that’s a good idea…’cause it’s true, you just never know what might happen when you’re out in the field. 😛

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  4. JayJaySmaker says:

    Nicole,

    You are spot on with these tips. I also keep my liquids pre-packed in a TSA approved quart sized clear bag.

    Another tip: use those dry cleaning plastic bags in between your better clothes in your suit case. They don’t take any extra room and the plastic dramatically reduces clothing wrinkles.

    Another thing I did is get what I call a “Travel Sport Jacket”. It’s a light sport coat I got that I only use for travel. It looks fine over a white shirt and when I go through security I can put everything from my pants pockets, my watch, ring, phone, etc… into the jacket and have them all scanned through security. Then, when I am through, I simply pick up the jacket and I have ALL my stuff in one quick motion. I am rolling along before everyone else is finished picking up thier change and doo-dads from thier tray.

    Also, I always wear slip-on shoes through security. Since you must take them off for scanning, why mess with laces?

    That’s all I can remember for now.

    Great Blog. You rock!

    [Reply]

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