October 3, 2012 Posted by: Liann Walborsky
I always tell people that I love to travel. Is there anything more wonderful than taking an island vacation or heading to some foreign destination you have never explored before? But here’s the thing – the “being there” is great. The “getting there” can be incredibly stressful, long, tiring and annoying. Welcome to travel in the 21st century. Not fast, not fun and very time consuming.
First let’s talk about packing. If you can avoid checking your luggage — this is the ideal way to go. Consider using a duffel bag or large backpack — these can more easily fit into overhead bins. For your toiletries, forget the hard plastic tubes — instead you may want to consider a silicon version. They tend to fit better and are way more squeezable. Also, make sure you have your chargers (and an extra set) on hand. These are easily lost and you always need them. When packing, try to take things that don’t wrinkle easily and can be used for multiple purposes. Dress comfortably in loose fitting clothing on the plane. Remember to bring a pair of comfy socks — especially when traveling overseas. Those long flights tend to get chilly at night.
In terms of getting to the airport, there are all kinds of new apps and services that can help you speed along more efficiently. One of these, Uber, is a cashless car service that offers flat rates between airports and cities. All you need is a credit card on file — and no tipping necessary! Once you get to the airport, there is, of course, the very long security line to consider. One way around this is to register for Clear. It uses eye and fingerprint scanning to get you through as quickly as possible.
When it comes to avoiding rush hour or heavily congested traffic on your way to the airport, consider arriving really, really early (like four hours). You can always do work from the airport, there’s plenty to eat, and you know you’ll be able to get an electrical outlet.
You no longer need to carry heavy travel tomes — everything you want to know about your destination is generally online. There are now apps for everything from Frommers to the Lonely Planet. You can also connect with your friends on Facebook or LinkedIn to get any handy tips about where you’ll be staying. Consider installing apps of the airlines you frequent. These allow you to do everything from checking in ahead of time, to providing an easier way of making contact if you need to change your flight.
There are many things you can’t control when traveling — bad weather, mechanical delays, crying babies, annoying seat partners — but here are a few proactive steps you can take to smooth out at least some of the process. Happy travels!
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