The act of transporting yourself really sucks no matter what, but sucks the most during the holidays when everyone else is also traveling. Staying zen is hard to do when you’re crammed into a tiny plane with crying babies and gross sneezing people, or your three-hour train ride is taking nine hours.
As a person who has been on a plane almost every month of my life, I’ll let you in on some of the best tips to keep calm, and carry on. Literally, though…you should definitely always carry on.
1. Carry on: When flying, always carry on. This allows you to jump off the plane without waiting for your luggage with 5,000 other people at baggage claim. This also avoids losing your bag, which is just a hassle. Plus, it saves you a good $25 bucks that you’d have to spend on checking your bag.
2. Travel on the holiday: While it may not be ideal having to travel on Christmas or New Years’ Eve, it will be a lot smoother than traveling the day before, when most people want to get home. Less people travel on the day of the holiday.
3. Stay fresh: In case your trip becomes longer than you ever imagined, bring some toiletries to stay fresh. You don’t want to be uncomfortably smelly when you arrive at Aunt Betsy’s house on Christmas Eve. Savvy Travelers has one of my favorite hacks for this issue: “No Sweat” wipes which are in discreet little packages you can bring to the bus bathroom for a quick swipe.
4. Have a drink: The Carry-on Cocktail Kit is the cutest way to make a drink in the air. It meets carry on requirements and also gives you something to do if you’re stuck on the tarmac.
5. Load up on smartphone games: It really makes the time fly! I’m into a game called 1010! right now…try it.
6. Amazon Prime all your gifts: No packages to carry, no problem.
7. Download the Google app: If you have a Droid, you already have this, but for the rest of us, we need to download separately. The app is not just a Google search engine, but also alerts you of your travel plans. Just scroll down on the homepage, and Google has taken all the travel itinerary emails from your Gmail inbox and made them into easy to find travel alerts. Now you know which gate you’re at, or if your plane is delayed.
8. Print out your tickets: Smartphone QR codes are great, and usually work, but wouldn’t it be terrrrrrible if your phone died at the last minute after waiting for an hour in the security line? Print your ticket as backup.
9. Exercise the day before: If it’s a 10-mile run or just a brisk walk, exercising the day before you are stuck on a plane is KEY. I always get so antsy if I don’t, and feel kind of guilty for sitting all that time and then of course eating a ton of Christmas cookies afterward.
How do you #TravelChill? Lemme know @maryinmanhattan.