Stress-Free Travel: An Oxymoron?

The Organizing Professionals

I like to think I know a thing or two about travel. Living in six countries gives a person a little confidence and a laissez-faire attitude to the whole experience. More often than not I am the last to board a flight (see tip #7 for reason why) and can be found casually sauntering to the gate as the airline staff announces the last call (much to my husband’s chagrin!) My apparent care-free approach to travel has been developed, however, through careful, deliberate planning. Here’s nine of my favorite tips for traveling stress-free.

1. Keep a toiletry bag ready to go. Packing those little jars with shampoo, moisturizer etc. can take at least an hour and is one of my many pet-hates. My toiletry bag has travel-size labeled containers of everything I daily use filled and ready to go. When I return from a trip I re-fill the containers so they’re ready for my next trip.

2. I keep a digital packing list (in Evernote of course!) of all the items I usually take on a trip. Not an Evernote aficionado? (gasp!) Type and print out copies of the items you normally take.

3. Pack as many clothes as you can on hangers. It makes unpacking and repacking a snap.

4. I have a dedicated plane carry-on bag. I love this particular bag. It’s large enough for all of my carry-on needs plus small enough to fit by my feet in economy (which nowadays is a miracle!). It’s got lots of compartments and I’ve organized it so that I know by feel where items are located. I keep this bag packed and at the ready with a toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, brush, socks, eye mask, moisturizers, reading glasses, pen, pad etc.

5. I frequently wear a warm pashmina when I travel which doubles as a blanket on the flight and attractive evening wrap during my trip.

6. Even though I have a global entry card and TSA pre-check I always wear slip on shoes. You never know when the TSA pre-check line will be closed, plus on a long haul flight I like to remove my shoes (socks are packed in my carry-on). My feet seem to swell during the flight so slip-on shoes make it that much easier to well, slip back on.

7. For a trip lasting more than four days I always check my suitcase. This makes is possible to board last and let everyone else fight for the limited overhead space. If your suitcase is carry-on size you can also ask the airline staff to check it at the gate. As I usually fly American and carry an American Airlines credit card my checked bag is free.

8. Several days before my flight I download enough movies, shows and music to keep me well entertained. I pack my noise cancelling headphones in the top pocket of my carry on so I’m good to go as soon as I fasten my seatbelt.

9. Finally, pack well ahead of your trip. I like to lay out my outfits at least three days before, pack the day before but never the same day. This is the biggest, most important tip but you probably already knew this one!
Wherever you may be travelling this summer we wish you a wonderful, fun-filled, memorable trip!