Traveling home for the holidays can be stressful, expensive and all together overwhelming. Since moving away from home I’ve had to learn to take holiday traveling in stride. I’ve become familiar with airport systems, learned the tricks of the trade, and tried to pick up a few new habits to make the whole process less exhausting.
(1) Always Travel with a Pashmina
Planes are always cold. I’ll say it again just in case you do not believe me. Planes are always cold. A pashmina is light weight and small enough to ball up in your purse when you aren’t wearing it (like when you are running from gate to gate in the terminal) but functions as a scarf, a blanket or a pillow on the plane (window seat anyone?). Trust me… you’ll be glad you brought it.
Bonus: Choose a simple black or cream color and it will serve you all trip long – from a scarf at brunch to an elegant shawl at a dinner party.
(2) Never Hurts to Bring a Travel Tooth Brush
I don’t know about you, but I always feel… icky… after a plane ride. A toothbrush and travel toothpaste will allow you to step off the plane and freshen up your mouth, even if the rest of you still feels cabin plane air-ish.
You will get hungry at the airport. Especially if you are like me, queen of snacking while bored. Unless you are in the mood to pay out $6 for a bag of chips at the airport gift shop, I advise that you pack a healthy snack. Something easy to carry, odorless (the people around you thank you) and healthy. I typically pack carrot sticks or crackers as an easy munching snack. This past trip I went for clementines. Yum!
Bonus: Bring an empty water bottle in your carry on. Almost all airports now have water bottle fill up stations for you to access. Avoid the $5 Evian at the shop!
(4) Dress Strategically
I can’t tell you how much easier this step has made my life. A little tip from me to you – if you are going on a plane, and you know your person and possessions will be searched by your friendly local TSA agent, dress light! Pack the watch and jewelry in an outside pocket of your purse ahead of time. Forgo a belt. Wear shoes that slip easy on and off. For god sakes wear socks if possible so you can avoid being barefoot where hundreds of others have gone barefoot. This will save you a few seconds on the clock, but so much patience in the overall experience.
(5) Be Determined to be Positive
Inevitably something will go wrong on your trip. Your flight will be delayed, your bags will get lost, there will be a screaming kicking child in the seat behind you. My advice to you is grin and bear it – literally. Even if you are in a bad mood, actively thinking that you will be happy, calm and not hit the panic button will trickle through your subconscious and you will somehow be more patient. I assure you.
(On my most recent experience? My flight was delayed an hour and a half, no reason given, and I shared my seat with a 17 month old girl name Lucy who sat in her mother’s lap. Lucy apparently had ants in her pants. But man she was cute. What fun!)