Hi everyone! Today I’m traveling again across the country, headed to New York City for a quick business trip. I’m excited because the forecast is low 70s and there’s nothing like NYC in the spring! I’m going to do a lot of cross country traveling over the next four months, two for business, and two more trips for family vacations, so I’ll be spending a lot of time in airports and on planes.
Here are a few things I’ve learned for better business travel, and also a glimpse at my typical travel attire too! Packing for a trip can be tricky, right? Deciding everything you need to bring along with you is challenging and also whether you want to check your bag or not since sometimes there are fees and it adds to the travel time having to pick up your bag at baggage claim. If I’m only staying one night, I don’t check a bag, and pack everything in a small carry on, but if I’m staying two, well this girl just needs extra shoes and outfits and so I gotta check my bag.
Plane travel can be stressful and uncomfortable, but I’ve found that thinking about what you are wearing on the plane and what you bring on the plane makes for a less anxious trip. I don’t have the funds for anything but Economy or Coach seating so comfort is absolutely key! At the same time I don’t want to be caught looking like a complete hag when I arrive, so here’s what I typically wear for spring and summer airplane travel.
I usually wear my most comfortable dark jeans and a thin V-neck silk sweater (like this one) because I prefer having having my arms and legs covered during a flight – it’s something about that airplane air blowing all over my skin that gives me goose bumps, ick! I like to carry on a lightweight jacket (like this trench) on the plane to save space in my suitcase even if the weatherman says “sunny skies” and I use it as a makeshift blanket in flight (again, that airplane breeze). I prefer shoes (like these) and earrings (like these) that can easily slip on and off when going through security.
I always work for a few hours on the plane and I have a white attaché (similar to this one) I found last year that holds my lightweight Sony laptop. Because I blog with Windows Live Writer, I use a PC and I usually bring a small lumbar pillow so I can close my eyes and listen to music on my iPhone or grab a quick nap when I’m done working.
A few more travel tips I live by:
- To maximize suitcase space, roll baby roll! I gain more space in my suitcase by rolling up pajamas, tees, even jeans. A 6” flip top box holds bracelets and earrings, or I’ll stash the jewelry I plan to wear inside the handbag I plan to carry at the big event. I rarely wear necklaces, but rolling them in a washcloth is very helpful if you do. Anything that needs to be hung up in a closet once I arrive stays on a lightweight hanger and gets placed on top folded over once (but not rolled).
- Drink a lot of water! It helps with jet lag, and the dehydration that always occurs when you fly.
- Double check you have packed your itinerary, your ticketing information, all your phone and laptop chargers, and your earphones. You do not want to have to buy them in the airport or waste time on your trip going to a tech store to replace them. Although I once read that so many people leave phone chargers in hotel rooms that the concierge often has a box of them sitting there, so ask before you buy once you arrive at your hotel.
- Eat a light meal before you board, and bring a few items to snack on with you on the plane, especially on cross country flights, or you’ll end up paying for the high priced limited offerings on the plane, or worse, be on a flight that has no snacks at all.
- Research the weather where you are going and pack accordingly. For colder destinations, wear/bring your warm coat on the plane (I have a favorite gray peacoat) and for warmer destinations bring a lightweight coat or wrap.
- Skip the extra jewelry for traveling for both comfort and needless delays in security setting off the metal detector. Simple drop earrings always seem to work for me.
- Wear the shoes you think you’ll wear most at your destination on the plane (unless it’s flip flops and you’re headed to the beach, those are easily packed), especially if they are boots in winter since they can take up precious suitcase space. Make sure they remove easily for when you go through security. Also pick up a pair of ballet flats that fold up in your handbag (I use these, love them!) so you can switch them for your shoes for the duration of the flight and wear them in your hotel room too.
- I always have something to read on a plane for when you have to turn off electronic devices for that half hour during takeoff and landing. Since airplanes often have unpleasant noises, I always bring earplugs with me to drown them out. Soft earplugs also go in my suitcase to drown out potential noises in the hotel room, whether it’s from the street, elevator, or that loud partying neighbor.
- I also carry antibacterial wipes and use them frequently, since airports and airplanes can’t help but be a little germy.
Following all of these tips makes my travel experiences much more relaxing. If you follow me Twitter, I’ll be sharing some Instagram scenes from the Big Apple!
What about you? What’s the one thing you never leave behind when you travel? Headed anywhere special on vacation this summer? Got any tips to share for summer travel, with or without kids? Do share.