Between my speaking, consulting and creative assignments I spend quite a bit of time on the road and away from my loving family.
This is certainly is not a list that will work for everyone, but these work for me so I hope at least one helps you.
C.C.'s Travel Survival Tips - Part 1:
- Get to the airport early. Being rushed is no way to start or end a trip. I'd much rather sit and chill than run through an airport stressed about missing a flight. Stress, more than anything else, kills all travel. Avoid it whenever possible.
- Bring lots to consume. I'm not talking about food, but content. I always have at a minimum several TV episodes or a movie on my iPad. Plus, I usually have a couple of magazines to read and always multiple books on my Kindle app. All of these make the down time or extra time you might spend in an airport or train station more bearable.
- Water is your best friend. Even when you are not thirsty make sure you keep drinking.
- TripIt is my travel buddy. Honestly without this free service I would be lost much more often. I use (and love) the $50 pro version for real time gate information, flight changes and other data. My wife has FlightTrack Pro installed at home and logged in to my account so that she can easily follow my flights. TripIt may just be powered by unicorns and rainbows because it is THAT awesome.
- Jump on the bed. Immediately upon arriving in any hotel room I drop my bags and dive backwards onto the bed. Trust me, you'll like it.
- Aisle Seats are my choice. That way I can get up and stretch anytime I want. Plus then I never feel bad having to bug my neighbors to get up.
- Fly JetBlue or Virgin America whenever possible. They are just better, friendlier and more dependable than the other airlines. I wish they flew everywhere I needed to go.
- Good luggage will save your sanity. I've written about the Eagle Creek Tarmac 22" bag I have and I love it. I got through a week trek across Canada in January with only this bag. Having a good bag that you know how to pack is key. It gets easier with time. I am still trying to find the perfect laptop bag to go with it, but I think that may be an eternal search. If you have suggestions I'd love them!
- SEE where you go. Always try to at least get out and walk the streets around your hotel or see the sights while in town. I love talking to local shop keepers, enjoying a meal and taking photos along the way. This keeps me sane and makes for some of the best memories.
- Stay in touch with home. I am constantly texting my wife and emailing photos to the kids. Every time I get a case of the miss-yous technology swoops in to help.
These are just a few and I have a feeling that as soon as I hit post I'll remember a few more.
I'd also suggest taking a look at this great presentation that my co-author Ann put together based on our recent book tour. I can't stop smiling because many of the memories she mentions I shared in.
What are some of your travel sanity savers?