You're taking a trip. You've got your tickets and booked your hotel. Now it's time to get yourself prepared to travel.
Some of the travel tips you'll read online are useless, like marking your luggage as fragile so it's treated more gently.
I talked to a guy who worked in an airport. He and his colleagues NEVER read luggage labels. Too busy. The only things they handle with care are pets and musical instruments.
So whether you're a road warrior, flying on an airplane, or staying in a hotel, you're going to need these tested travel tips.
In this article, you'll discover:
- Dress Well
- Know Your Regulations
- Wear Your Bulkiest Clothing
- Wear Slip-On Shoes
- Double Check For Hidden Fees
- Copy Your ID's
- Pack Light
- Pack An Interchageable Suitcase
- Save Space On Athletic Gear
- Always Take A First Aid Kit
- Have A Calling Card
- Have Backup ID's And Credit Cards
- Call Your Credit Card Companies
- No Dirty Money
- Clear Out The Clutter
- Ask For Extras Early
- Iron Everything
Travel Tip #1 Dress Well
I'm not going to say you need to wear a suit – and I'm not going to say that this will get you upgraded to first-class – but I will say this:
When you dress respectably, people treat you with more respect.
You interact with a lot of people when you're traveling – when you go to grab a coffee, when you're in line to get on the airplane, when you arrive at the hotel – and if each of them treats you with respect, you're going to have a much better journey.
If you don't want to wear a suit but still want to look sharp, focus on the style pyramid – fit, fabric, function.
Everything you put on your body needs to fit you – you can get your casual clothing adjusted by a tailor, but it's better to find clothing that already fits you right off the rack.
Go with fabrics that don't look worn. In general, I like darker colors when traveling because they don't show the dirt – but a brighter color near the neck will help draw attention to your face and eyes, which is what you want when you're communicating with people.
Finally, function – make sure that your clothing fits its function, in this case, travel. So skip anything uncomfortable or quickly crumpled. If you're dressing casually, you can wear a piece of masculine jewelry to set yourself apart.
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Travel Tip #2 Know Your Regulations
You might see travel tips saying there are cheats for the security regulations – if you freeze a bottle of water, it'll still get through, and that kind of thing. But is it that hard to take an empty bottle and then fill it up when you're on the other side?
My thinking is: it takes less effort to know and follow the regulations than to try to cheat them.
The restrictions change all the time, and they're getting tighter. It's frustrating. But that's why it's so important to read up before you fly.
Travel Tip #3 Wear Your Bulkiest Clothing
This is one of my top travel tips when you're flying. It pays to free up space in your luggage and save on weight. It also gives you options when you're traveling from that incredibly hot terminal to that freezing airplane.
Travel Tip #4 Wear Slip-On Shoes
Shoes have a lot of weight, and they can be very bulky. Slip-on shoes make going through security faster and easier, but if you can find a shoe that is easy to take off and put back on again AND goes with all your outfits, you'll save the trouble of packing a pair.
Double monk straps, loafers, and Chelsea boots are all great choices.
Travel Tip #5 Double Check for Hidden Fees
Policies can vary a lot from airline to airline. I was over in Ukraine recently and found out I needed to check in with the airline two hours before, not at the airport like most US airlines.
When I checked in at the airport, they said I'd missed the deadline and would have to pay an extra $30.
What can you do? You have to pay to get on the airplane. But it's a situation where an assumption cost me money.
Travel Tip #6 Copy Your IDs
Take pictures of your passport and driver's license and email them to yourself. If you lose your ID or get your wallet stolen, you're at least going to have a copy of your identification that can help you get through security.
Travel Tip #7 Pack Light
You'll see hacks and travel tips out there about rolling clothing, and I think that's effective for certain pieces, but jackets and other structured items need folding correctly.
Packing expands to fit the space available.
You're probably going to fill any bag you take, so take a smaller bag rather than taking a big bag and putting in optional items.
Click here to find out how to keep packing light by using 16 items to create an entire wardrobe.
Travel Tip #8 Pack An Interchangeable Suitcase
Just like your wardrobe should be interchangeable, your travel wardrobe should be too. Every shirt, every jacket, every pair of trousers, every pair of shoes should work with every other item you're going to take.
Travel Tip #9 Save Space On Athletic Gear
Don't leave all your athletic gear at home – compromise. I don't take extra socks; I use the socks that I'll typically be wearing. I don't take swim trunks; I wear my running shorts. I don't take gym shoes; I wear my running shoes. You can also lift barefoot or in your socks if the gym allows it.
Travel Tip #10 Always Take A First Aid Kit
One of the most important travel tips is to take a first aid kit. You never know when you'll get sick or cut yourself and have to stop the bleeding.
Travel Tip #11 Have A Calling Card
I think every traveler should have a calling card with your name, email, and possibly your address. Tape those cards to the outside of your luggage, and put them in your luggage too. That way, if you meet a fantastic person and you don't have time to exchange information, you can give them a card and make contact right there.
Travel Tip #12 Have Backup ID And Credit Cards
This is one of those travel tips I've learned the hard way. When I travel, I take two forms of ID and three credit cards.
The two forms of ID are my driver's license and my passport. The credit cards are all different types- an American Express, a visa, and a MasterCard- Not everywhere takes American Express, so this way, I have a backup.
Travel Tip #13 Call Your Credit Card Companies
If you're traveling out of state or out of the country, call your credit card companies and let them know that you'll be using these cards in those locations. Otherwise, they may assume you've lost them and freeze your cards.
Travel Tip #14 No Dirty Money
When it comes to cash, I always make sure I've got crisp, clean bills that are new. Some countries won't exchange a hundred-dollar bill if it's got a tear or a mark on it or if it's an older issue.
Travel Tip #15 Clear Out The Clutter
When I check into a hotel room, I clear out all the magazines and brochures and put them in a drawer out of the way. I want a clean space so I can find my stuff and get my work done without distractions.
Travel Tip #16 Ask For Extras Early
Once I'm checked in and settled into my room, I call the service desk and ask for extras. I want an extra blanket because I sleep with the temperature low, and I'd like to be toasty when I'm in bed. I ask for extra hangers because I've got a lot of jackets and nice shirts.
If you get extras sent up to you early, there is almost no demand.
If you start asking for these at bedtime when everyone else is asking for them, you're going to get whatever is left, and sometimes it's going to take an hour for the staff to get you anything.
Travel Tip #17 Iron Everything
When I check into my room, I unpack all my luggage and iron all of my shirts immediately, so I don't need to later. But make sure the iron you get in the hotel isn't going to damage your clothing – look at the baseplate and make sure there are no stains or dirt on it. If need be, ask for another iron.
Click below to watch the video – Modern Travel Etiquette: How To Fly Without Getting Into a Fight
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