My family loves to take a road trip. We have been known to hop in the car and head out on a thousand-mile, multi-state road trip on a quick weekend adventure. But recently, I’ve had the opportunity to hop on an airplane and take some solo adventures. Traveling alone on an airplane is a whole different world than taking a family road trip. Here are a few tips for traveling smart on your own.
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8 Tips for Traveling Smart on your Own
There’s just something energizing about walking through an airport knowing you are out and ready to take on the world!
Whether you are traveling by car or plane, it’s key to pack as efficiently as possible. Think about the activities you will engage in on your trip. Will you need business attire, or play clothes? Will the weather be colder than where you live? Can you pack clothes in the same color scheme so you don’t have to double up on extra shoes, sweaters or pants? Do you need to pack your own hair dryer or can you use the one at the hotel?
Remember that airplanes are sometimes cooler than the climate. You may want to wear a light sweater.
For most short trips, a carry on suitcase may be all you need. Just make sure you don’t pack it so heavy that you can’t pick it up to stow on the plane.
Pack your Purse; Use a Clip-On Pouch
I prefer to pack a flat purse in my suitcase and use a clip-on pouch that attaches to my backpack. This allows me to have one less thing I have to keep up with and gives me easy access to my ID, boarding pass, phone and small items. My clip-on pouch has multiple pockets so I can even store receipts and chap-stick for easy access.
Take a picture of the parking spot:
There’s nothing worse than finishing up a concert, ball game or returning from a long flight and not knowing where you parked. Some vehicles come equipped with a car finder alert or you may have downloaded a special app that will help you find your car. If your phone has a camera, the easiest way to remember where you parked your vehicle is to snap a picture of the lot number and a long shot of your vehicle. Tip: Wait till you’ve walked about 20 feet away, then turn around, look back and take your picture. This will let you see what it looks like when you are returning to your parking space.
I always travel with a filtered water bottle so I can stay hydrated while I travel. The Seychelle water bottle is lightweight and guarantees that I have safe water no matter where I am traveling. Carrying my own water bottle also saves me money since I can use the water fountains instead of buy bottle drinks.
Clean out your purse before you leave home:
If your purse is like mine, you have receipts from last month’s grocery shopping, half a dozen ink pens, random bits of trash, nail clippers, and other bits of junk. When you are traveling on your own, you want your purse to be empty and ready for travel. Empty the trash, make sure you can easily access your ID and pack only the essentials like lip balm, a pack of gum and your phone.
Pack a Snack:
My go to snack for travel is a bag of M&M’s. Whether I’m traveling by plane or car, I make sure I have a small snack in my purse in case I get hungry.
There’s nothing worse than getting delayed in an airport with a dead cell phone. You can pick up a small portable charger that will help you avoid the dreaded feeling of being isolated with no way to contact family and friends.
Portable chargers cost less than $30 and can be the difference between staying connected and having a dead phone when you are on the road or traveling. We have a couple and keep them charged so they are ready for any of us when we head out the door.
How do they work? Simply use the USB cord to charge it on your computer before you head out on your trip. Then when you are out traveling, you can just plug in your phone and it will charge while you are on the go. I keep it in my purse while I travel so I can plug in my phone if the battery starts getting low.
Tip: Keep your lap-top and phone charger in your purse instead of in your carry on bag. If you end up having to check your bag at the last minute, you don’t want to be without your chargers.
Keep a mental checklist:
If I am traveling with my husband, I often rely on him to get us there safely and make sure we don’t lose the keys or forget to lock the vehicle. But when I travel solo, it’s up to me to make sure everything is in order. I have a mental checklist that I go over at every new stop. Do I have my phone, my wallet, and my keys? I don’t want to leave an airport and remember that I left my wallet at the gift shop or leave my ID at the security checkpoint.
What are you favorite tips for traveling smart? I’d love to hear!