Whether you’re always on the go or just preparing for a Spring Break trip, I hope these tips for frequent travel help make the experience smooth and comfortable!
Hi everyone! I hope you had a relaxing weekend.
Today, let’s get the statement that will make me sound like a complete asshole out of the way first: my employer has been flying me between Columbus and Fort Myers every week since the beginning of November (this post explains why), and traveling all the time can be draining. Self-important sentence said, a few key habits and products I’ve picked up along the way have helped me to maintain my health and sanity. Follow the jump for a list of tips for frequent travel.
Consider TSA Precheck…If You Use Large Airports
For $85 and a background check, TSA Precheck allows you to go through a separate (usually shorter) security line, keep your shoes and light jacket on, and leave your laptop and liquids in your carry-on bags. A membership lasts five years, so the $85 fee is a small price to pay for the convenience. However, smaller airports (like Port Columbus and Fort Myers) rarely seem to have the precheck lanes open, possibly because they lack the necessary traffic and/or staff. If you fly exclusively between airports like this, signing up maybe not be worth the effort.
Follow the ‘No French Fry’ Rule
After a handful of trips to Columbus (where I stayed in a hotel without a kitchen), I invented the ‘no French Fry’ rule: if it comes with fries, you can’t order it. I wouldn’t normally eliminate a food from my diet based solely on nutritional composition; this guideline just helped me avoid heavy burgers and sandwiches that had become tired anyway. Sometimes the alternatives were healthier, sometimes they were enormous dishes of beef lo mein from P.F. Chang’s.
After wondering why a sore throat that went on for a few weeks never turned into a full-blown cold (did I have throat cancer? A rare disease?), I realized dry plane air had caused the irritation. Flying actually affected my throat and eyes more than my skin, which seems to be the focus of most articles written about the subject. Here’s a list of what I pack to combat dryness:
- Cough drops and tea bags for sore throat (most hotel rooms have a little coffee maker you can use to brew hot water)
- Refresh Tears for eyes
- Chapstick or Vaseline for lips
- Moisturizer for face (if you have oily skin, simply swapping in an oil cleanser may do the trick. Mario Badescu also makes a light facial spray you can use right after the flight and throughout your trip to refresh your skin).
Prepare For When You Return
Since you may end up eating heavier meals than normal while traveling (even if you avoid the fries 🙂 ), it helps to have healthy items waiting back at home. This way, you can get back to your normal eating habits even if you don’t have the chance to buy groceries right away. Apples, eggs, smoothie supplies like almond milk and frozen fruit, and plenty of other foods I can’t think of right now will keep even during weeklong trips.
Don’t Unpack Your Basics
I spend $5 on travel-size toiletry items about once a month and keep them in my luggage rather than packing and unpacking full-size bottles I need at home. You could also sort through your makeup and throw in products you own two of, like lipstick and perfume, to save time and minimize the risk of forgetting something.
Bring Workout Clothes
I used to have a near-phobia of bringing workout clothes in my luggage. How would I ever fit my shoes? Why would I sacrifice space for additional outfit options for tanks and shorts? But eventually – I think because I was traveling for work and not vacation, and therefore had no legitimate reason to deviate from my normal routine – I got over it, and hitting the hotel gym even for short periods of time has helped keep my energy up. Plus, warming up your muscles may help alleviate any stiffness and soreness after sitting through a full flight.
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- Where are you traveling next?
- Any tips you’d add to this list?