How to: Travel Easy (plus my must-haves when packing)!

Have you ever been at the airport, gotten to security, and wasted so much time that you almost didn’t get to your gate on time? Or have you packed so much stuff that you had to decompress all of your things to a single carry-on because checking a bag would cost as much as $50 per segment? Or have you been like me and pulled out undergarments trying to get your laptop out of your bag per TSA rules? What about getting on the road and ending up with a dead cell phone?

Well, if you answered “YES!” to any of these questions then this blog is for you, my friend! Here are some personal tips (some may seem like common sense), but nonetheless have been super helpful to me that I’ve learned traveling on the reg’.

1. Find a way to fit all of your items in a carry-on, if possible. 

Why? It’s easier to keep up with, usually lighter than 2 or 3 separate bags, and cheaper as most airlines don’t charge for a single carry on. This is also super helpful for road trips if you are traveling with multiple people and have limited cargo space. Me? I usually travel with a small  purse and put it in my backpack to avoid flight attendants calling me out for having two personal items.

2. Get a backpack or travel bag that has a separate compartment for your laptop only.

This prevents you from pulling out clothes and personal items that are mixed in with your large electronics that have to be taken out and placed in a separate bin when going through security.

3. Travel with a fully charged iPhone as well as a BATTERY CELL or cell phone power stick. 

No one wants to deal with getting off their flight, finding a power outlet, and waiting to get enough juice to make calls or arrange for an uber/lyft. You also don’t want to deal with this when using your cell phone as a GPS. The power sticks are super light and have been my most appreciated item for the reason my phone is my most used item while on the road. I paid $29 for mine at my local mall and recharge it at the end of every trip. The one above even acts as a Bluetooth speaker.

4. Take a light jacket and socks even if you’re going somewhere tropical and warm.

Cars, flights, restaurants, and the outdoors (really late or really early) tend to be where this comes into good practice. Plus, I hike a lot and always get dirty feet so I like a change of socks and/or shoes. I also think compression socks on long flights are also a good idea.

5. Purchase travel sized hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes.

As a nurse, hand hygiene is one of the things I advocate to prevent spreading infectious bacteria. Airports always feel dirty. If you get a chance to be there to people watch, you’ll see why. I have a clip on hand sanitizer plus some wipes that were both less than $5.

6. Organize your most used travel apps into one folder. Try your smart phone “wallet” feature.

IMG_3861I frequently uber/lyft from the airport as well as use Kayak to price check flights and hotels. I also use AA when booking direct American Airlines flights, checking in, or saving my boarding pass. My apps and phone save me time by allowing me to use my wallet to have my boarding pass handy without ever waiting in line at a kiosk. I also use my credit cards saved to my wallet to use wallet pay and apple pay. Most business that have wifi have this as an option. My time saving tip: organize these apps into a travel folder next to your wallet app icon, then save your boarding pass to your wallet.


7. Use travel insurance when you aren’t 100% sure you will be able to make the trip.

I recently booked a EuroTrip and used Allianz Global to protect my flight in case of interruption. Surprise! We had to see the doctor the day of our flight, provided our paperwork, and got the full flight price refunded as the excuse was covered in our policy.

8. Check in soon as 24 hours from your flight departure.

You are more likely to get a better seat sooner compared to someone checking in 1 hour before the flight because of less seating options at that point.

9. Have a designated place for your passport, ID, or other important documents.

Please realize how important your passport and ID’s are especially when travelling abroad. Becoming separated from a passport can cost you tremendous money, time, and stress if you have to stay abroad longer than planned because of this so I recommend a waterproof pouch that is secured and won’t leave your possession under any normal situation.

10. Be organized and be sure to enjoy yourself!

You don’t always have to have a detailed itinerary, but having some knowledge on where you’re going is definitely advised. You want to know the big landmarks, local cuisines, and be realistic on travel time between points of interest. Miles or kilometers doesn’t always matter in the city, so when I look at hotels or regions I will calculate travel time to the points of interest. Going back to packing in an organized manner, I recommend packing cubes or rolling outfits into a round roll to decompress and save room. Pick a bag with pockets, compartments, and durability based on your needs. The cutest bag isn’t always the most functional!

Happy travels: hope this was useful to you!

Drop some comments of what YOU recommend to travel easier as I’m always looking to learn something new as well.

As always, be sure to check me out on instagram!  BigWorldLittleGirl

Want more budget friendly tips? Traveling on A Budget is another recent blog I dedicated with more details to make your travels more affordable.

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