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Rules Of The Road: Travel Tips From A Fearless Road Warrior

Driving to the airport at 5am Monday morning and I realized I forgot to pack my travel pajamas (D’OH!).  Guess I’m a little rusty. Regardless of whether you travel for business or pleasure, trekking (especially air travel) will go much smoother by following a few simple rules:

1) Pick A Side – Black or brown – not both. Everything you pack should coordinate.  Spice things up with accessories (jewelry, ties, scarves, etc).

2) Pack An Extra Shirt – Bring one extra shirt/top for each day you’re gone.  This gives you another option in case there’s a stain, tear, missing button, etc (or breakfast slaloms down the front of your shirt!).

3) Roll With It – Rolling is the way to go!  Instead of folding t-shirts, jeans, and underwear now roll them.  They really do pack tighter.

4) Use Dry Cleaning Bags For Your Hanging Clothes – This trick REALLY works!  The bag eliminates the friction that causes wrinkles so your suit stays (nearly) wrinkle-free.  I need an iron maybe 1 out of 10 trips.  Another bonus is when you pack to go home you can toss the unneeded hangers leaving room in your carry-on for souvenirs 🙂

5) Try A White Noise Machine – If you have trouble sleeping in hotels due to noise from the hallway, street, elevator, other rooms, etc or it’s just too damn quiet (there goes my G-rating), invest in a white noise machine.  I use the Brookstone model pictured HERE.  Helps me sleep like a baby!

6) Ziploc Your Receipts – Ever lose a receipt you needed for your expense report?  Two to three states in a single week?…and one massive pile of receipts?  Before you walk out the door for your next trip grab an Easy Zipper Ziploc bag from your kitchen.  Label the outside with your destination city (Use a ballpoint or Sharpie as roller-balls will smudge).  If you forget to grab one from home you may be able to snag one at the airport security checkpoint.  Every time you make a purchase shove that receipt into the Ziploc instead of your wallet/purse/briefcase.  Even hotel receipts will fold neatly into the pint-size bag.  If you are fortunate enough to have an administrative assistant to process your expenses, he/she will appreciate your newly found organization.

7) I’m Not Your Mother – Do I really need to remind you to pack an extra pair of clean underwear?

8 ) Hydrate – Once you are through security, pick up a large bottle of water.  You may not finish it on the plane but it will come in handy in your rental car and/or nightstand.  Not all hotels provide bottled water in the rooms.

9)  Select A Loyalty Program – Choose one airline and hotel and stick with it whenever possible.  Hotel perks can include free bottled water, snacks, room upgrades, free stays, and executive lounge access (which offers free breakfast/happy hour appetizers/cocktails).  Airline perks may include free baggage check, early boarding, upgrades to First Class, standby priority, and Priority Access (which means you can bypass those long lines at security!).

10)  Arrive The Night Before – If you have an important meeting, and time/budget allows, fly/drive in the night before.  Not only will this prevent weather/mechanical delays from adversely affecting your meeting, you will feel more refreshed and ready.

So there you have it!  My Road Warrior tips.  What should I add to this list?  What’s the worst thing you forgot to pack? Let me know. Oh and by the way, I am now the proud owner of some very comfortable new pajamas from Old Navy!

Safe travels!

This is Day 7 of The 28 Day Blogging Challenge

Photo courtesy of FromTheNorth and Flickr