I’ve gone over the benefits of being a traveler. I’ve gone over business travel and how to make your stay at a hotel more pleasant and homey. What I have not covered, until this point, are the habits of a regular traveler. The things, whether they’re small or large, that those with wanderlust do in their day-to-day lives that help to make travel an overall more pleasant experience from start to finish.
Once you arrive at your destination, whether it’s a trip to the beach or an international vacation abroad with stops everywhere from Germany to Belize, you know what to do. You know what you want to see, where you want to go, and what you want to eat. What you may not know, is how you’re going to go about getting there.
Yes, of course, you’ll probably use a plane to get to your destination if it falls in the latter category of trips, but what about packing your goods? Do you have a pre-flight or pre-drive ritual? Do you have an airline you use? Are you really prepared to travel before you hurriedly board the plane, sit down, and finally exhale? Well, now you will be, thanks to this quick list of habits of regular travelers.
Make a Checklist, and pack the night before
Packing is, for many, the most cumbersome, annoying and dreaded part of taking a trip. No one really enjoys packing. It’s a slow process and it’s often the one part of the trip that is going to go wrong–you’ll wind up forgetting your phone charger, your ticket, or even a couple articles of clothing.
To avoid this, simply make a checklist of all of the items you’ll need for your vacation or trip and then pack the night before. That gives you extra time to sleep on it, and if something pops into your head in the hours before you leave it gives you a chance to pack it without having to rush.
Make sure a pocket dictionary is in that checklist
Among the many, many items you’re going to want to make sure that you’ve packed away, if you’re traveling internationally a pocket dictionary should be high on that list. Not everyone in every country is going to be able to communicate at a high level in whatever your native language is. While wearable real-time translation ear buds are entering the market as we speak, the technology (and price) may not be all it’s cracked up to be, so a pocket dictionary will serve just fine for most people for the time being. A combination of hand signs and basic words like “food,” or “bathroom” will be enough to get you around a city of your choosing.
Use one airline (primarily)
Frequent flier miles are a beautiful, beautiful thing. To collect them, you’ll need to frequent one airline in particular for the bulk of your travel needs. If you’ve got an allegiance to one airline in particular, I suggest hopping aboard their frequent flier program as soon as you can to capitalize on the rewards, which will accumulate to free flights over time.
It’s also important to note that, on occasion, an airline will offer a flight at a price that you can’t pass up, even if it’s outside your frequent flier realm. In these cases, I advise that you take up the offer, as saving money now is just as good as saving it later.
Keep a bag of toiletries packed
This is a quick and simple trick that cuts down on time spent packing and lets you leave a few things off your checklist. A small bag that includes items like small bottles of shampoo and conditioner, as well as soap and other travel-sized toiletries that you keep packed and stored away somewhere in your home makes it remembering them easy, and eliminates the need to pack.
Plan ahead and make a ritual
No matter where you’re traveling or what time your flight departs, remember to arrive at the airport early–even earlier than you expect you may have to. This makes it easier to create a small ritual around traveling. Do you like a cup of coffee before you begin your travel to keep you on your toes and alert? Make that part of your pre-travel agenda, and stick to it. Plan ahead with enough time to get everything you need finished and more.