See the world! We all want to but, as lines get longer, airlines cut back and weather becomes more unpredictable, it seems to get harder. Here are a few simple tips to make your trip a wonderful adventure to remember.
Attitude is key! If you start with a good attitude, others you encounter
will mirror that, and you can handle anything that happens.
Be flexible. Sometimes things happen, good or bad, changing your plans
in an instant. If you are willing to just smile and "go with the
flow," you will certainly have an adventure, and it may even be
better than the original plan.
light. This can't be emphasized enough. If you plan carefully, you'll
have everything you need and you can carry it on the plane. Pack layers
instead of bulky items for cold weather. Pick a color scheme and pack
mix- and-match items you can wear in many combinations. Have a master
packing list on your computer. Before each trip, print it out, modifying
it for the length of the trip and the weather.
Pack chargers for your iPod, cell phone, camera battery, etc. Also pack
an extension cord. This way, if the outlets in a hotel room are limited,
you can plug three things on one cord, and if you need a voltage converter
or adapter, you need carry only one. Pack loose batteries in a plastic
bag in your carry-on. Since January 1, 2008, lithium batteries are permitted
in checked luggage only if installed in the electronic device.
Pack everything in a carry-on suitcase and a backpack, in neat layers.
Stow your carry-on in the overhead bin and your backpack under the seat
(ladies, put your handbag in the backpack!). Make sure any liquids or
gels are 3 oz. or under, and stored in one quart-sized zip-lock bag that
is easy for airport security to inspect. Also, take some twist ties.
These are great for securing zippers on luggage when you are on the move
and can be taken off easily at security.
If you must check luggage, make sure you have your toiletries, medications
and a change of clothes in your carry-on. Lost luggage can put a real
damper on a trip. Pack an extra bag that packs flat, for those once-in-a-lifetime
purchases and souvenirs. Check this bag on the way home. Many airport
luggage shops sell them. Check your airline's website for any specific
your airport arrival to give yourself enough time to get through security,
but don't arrive so early that you spend hours sitting around. Check
to see which carriers fly from the same terminal. A lot of short-haul
airlines usually mean a longer security line. Check your airline's website
for flight status updates which send text or voice messages to your cell
phone advising you of your gate number, and changes, delays, etc. Since
U.S. domestic flights no longer provide meals, we like to get to the
airport for a morning flight in time to get through security, then sit
down and have a nice breakfast.
Speaking of food, if you are flying domestically in coach, bring your
favorite snacks. Although airlines sell a variety of items, you'll save
money and have snacks you enjoy. For flights during mealtimes, buy a
sandwich and drink after going through security. If you buy them in advance,
be careful about liquids—salad dressing, drinks, sauces, etc. may
Our packing essentials for any trip: bathing suit, hand sanitizer pads,
or gel (in your quart-sized plastic bag), bandana (has many uses), extension
cord, head lamp (great for reading), plastic bags, twist ties, small
tripod for camera, small rolls of toilet paper, and most important, a