If you travel often, or every week like I do, you will find yourself constantly searching for new ways to make your trip easier. I know I do! Here are my current top 5 travel tips for stress-free travel . . . in no particular order.
#1 – Never unpack
I keep my travel bag packed . . . the only things I take out and put in are clothes and shoes. Everything else I have a duplicate of so there is no need to unpack it. Like my toothbrush, phone charger, etc. You get the idea. This way I can pack quickly and I never worry about leaving some “essential” behind. This totally takes the stress out of packing for me. Making travel stress free is important since I travel every week . . . if I’m not traveling for work then I’m on a trip someplace for fun and the last thing I want is to be stressed!
#2 – Take something with you that makes your trip “fun”
Do you like to read? Always travel with a book. I am never without my Kindle and I always have a book or 2 downloaded and ready for me. I can’t begin to describe how much I love my Kindle. I really like being able to shop for a book anytime I want and I also love not hauling heavy books with me. Do you love to go running? Make sure you bring shoes and a running outfit along on your trip. Are you a movie fan? The Kindle comes in handy again . . . I keep movies loaded to have on hand when I don’t feel like reading. I also like to scrapbook. This was the hardest hobby to incorporate into my travels because it’s hard not to want lots of “stuff” along with me.
I’ve compromised by always traveling with a small, monthly scrapbook where I document what is happening in my life. It keeps me from yearning so much to be home in my studio with everything I own. I actually make my own scrapbook each month, but there are lots of small travel scrapbooks you can buy to make your time on the road more fun. You can find one of my favorites called a “Snap Album” at www.simplestories.com.
#3 – Go to the gym
This is a tough one. I always want to work out when I’m on the road, but I actually have to make myself follow through with this on a regular basis. I like that working out on the road helps keep me in the “routine” when I’m back at home. I am in the same location each week so I am able to belong to a local gym near my office. The trick for me is to just make myself work out right after work before I go off to do something more fun. It takes a lot of discipline, but I’m always glad when I make myself follow through with this.
#4 – Connect with people
If you travel and are always with strangers connecting with people might be a challenge to accomplish. I’m lucky to have friends nearby my office that I make a point to see. I try to book dinner with someone at least one time during my week. I also really like the people I work with and I am thankful I get to connect with them and share their lives each week. And finally, I have lots of customers that are great people and I have been able to expand our relationship from all business to a friendship. It helps to make the day go by faster and I find I don’t mind spending my evenings alone if I’ve connected with a few people during the day. Business travel can be really lonely if you don’t make some effort to connect with someone along the way.
#5 – Keep To-Do Lists
I always have a list of things to do. I have a list for when I’m on the road AND a list for when I’m at home. I just focus on what needs to be accomplish on the road and at home. Having a list definitely keeps me from dropping the ball on things I really need to get done. And I love the feeling of accomplishment when I clear my to-do list!
These are my main strategies for traveling with less stress. Do you have any great ideas for me? Let me know in the comments. Thanks!