For someone who isn’t used to travelling, the day of the flight can be quite stressful and panic-inducing. You’re literally running toward the airport to make your flight on time, all the while the thought that you forgot something keeps nagging away at you.
Of course, many of us are great planners. We follow the “pre-planning” rule religiously when it comes to travelling. What ends up happening is that we enjoy our flights and the overall travel experience, because, well, we have that peace of mind.
We get up on time, sip our coffee in peace, even bite into a bagel or two, dress up nicely and lock the house without any rush or hurry.
However, for many of you, this isn’t really the case. For those who tend to always be late: late to parties, late for class, late to work, or even the last ones to arrive at their own birthday bash, chances are that the day of their flight is their version of “all hell breaking loose.”
Even if the airport process goes well, just imagine completely forgetting to make the hotel bookings and realizing it when you arrive at your destination. What do you do now? There goes the several hours of your life that you’ll have to spend hunting down the right hotel.
So, what exactly leads to this sort of situation and how can it all be avoided?
What Happens On THE Day?
If you are one of those people that don’t like to preemptively plan everything and want to go with the flow, odds are you that you will have too much on your plate on the day of the flight. So naturally, your schedule for the ‘day of travel’ won’t go as planned, assuming that you do have a schedule in the first place.
Your brain would be too tired to function properly and you’re bound to forget something or the other. You might even end up racing back home midway through your drive to the airport because you forgot some important travel documents. Honestly, there are so many things that can go wrong on the day, if you haven’t planned and prepared beforehand.
Safe to say, it is a mad rush. Ironically enough, the day you have to exercise the most patience and the day when punctuality is the key, is exactly the day when your patience deserts you and time just slips through your fingers.
While it is perfectly okay to not be a savvy-traveler and have countless stories of missed buses, forgotten passports, and foolish behavior to share with your friends and family, you can avoid all this with a little forethought.
The best solution that is easily accessible to anyone with a phone or the internet is instead of going it alone, banking on a travel agent. Travel agents can take a lot off your plate and take care of a number of important aspects of your trip. On top of that, a travel agent will also act as your security net in case anything goes wrong. From planning your travel itineraries and hotel accommodations to transport arrangements, they’ve got it covered.
The other bit, however, the part that concerns packing all the essentials, getting things right and being on time, is all on you. No travel agent can help you if you choose to be unprepared.
So, in order to avoid any trouble, here are some of the most useful and handy travel tips that will help make your next trip as pleasurable and as worry-free as possible.
Make a Checklist
The importance of a checklist cannot be emphasized enough. It is like a mental map or list of items that you are most likely to forget, and probably will forget if you don’t have them written down.
Your checklist could include anything and everything from your passport, visa, and cash to an extra pair of socks, charger and a box of full of bobby pins and hair scrunchies. Let’s face it; you can never have enough of bobby pins and hair scrunchies.
So, make a checklist and don’t forget to go through it when the day arrives. You don’t even need to take a lot of time out of your day thinking about everything you want to add in one sitting. Just put it up on the door of your refrigerator a few days prior and keep adding things to the list as you remember them until the day before you actually have to pack your travel bag.
Wake Up Early
If you want to be on time, you’ve got to wake up on time. There are no two ways about it. If you wish to leave the house without a worry in the world, knowing that you’re not forgetting anything, waking up several hours prior to your flight time is essential.
If it’s a late night flight, chances are that you’ll probably be awake already. However, if it’s any early morning flight, well, good luck with that.
Most people set a long list of alarms on their phone, one after every 5-minute interval, to make sure that they wake up on time. Even then, sometimes, nothing can shake them from their slumber. If you belong to this category of people, a loud alarm clock is your best friend. Missing your flight because of oversleeping is not an option!
Pack Your Bags ahead of Time
As important as it is to pack your suitcases and luggage a couple of days before traveling, there still are people who do it at the very last minute. God knows how they manage to do it, but many are able to successfully pack up two or three suitcases hours before they need to head out. Even if its last minute, they still do it.
However, this is a tricky feat to try. Not everyone has it in them to be perfectly calm and cool, and delay packing their travel bags till the very last minute and still get it right. Only the strong-nerved and fearless have the ability to do that.
Needless to say, always pack your bags way before hand and try to ensure that your luggage meets the airline’s baggage weight requirements. Otherwise, you know exactly what will happen: you will find yourself dragging your luggage to an empty part of the airport. Next thing you know, you’ve dumped all your stuff out and are now deciding what to take with you and what to leave behind. Not the best way to start a vacation, right?
Pre-Plan Your Travel Outfit
Sometimes, even if you diligently follow the first three tips with all your heart before your trip, chances are that you still don’t make it to the airport in time and are still running late. How did you end up in this situation, even after taking precautions?
Well, chances are that you probably found yourself spending hours on deciding what to wear prior to leaving for the airport. Is it jeans and a t-shirt? Is it a pair of sweatpants with a vest? Or is it a skirt and a fancy top?
Some people like to dress up and take their due time before they head out on their travels. For others, it’s just another day, and all they need to do is throw over a pair of PJ’s and a casual top, and they are good to go.
Regardless of which category you belong to, the ‘dressy’ or the ‘low-key’, always pre-plan your outfit. That way, you know exactly what to wear on the day of travel and the time spent on deciding and rejecting outfits can actually be spent on something worthwhile. Probably something like throwing in an extra pair of socks in your bag because god knows if you can ever have enough pair of socks!
Make Sure to Buy Travel Insurance
Many people think of travel insurance as an utter waste of money, but you really won’t realize its importance till you actually need it. These people believe that it’s only useful in situations where you wish to cancel your vacation last minute and want your money back. It’s true; cancellations do require insurance, however, accidents can also happen when you are travelling.
What if there is a last minute flight cancellation, or worse, there is a medical emergency? That is surely going to wipe out all your savings, and you certainly can’t afford that to happen. You may have prepared a list of the best places to travel that are safe and secure, but accidents really can and do happen whenever, wherever. You ought to have travel insurance up your sleeve for such situations. Better to be safe than go unprepared.
Always Carry a Portable USB Charger
As they say, your phone battery can die, your good mood shouldn’t. You certainly don’t want your phone battery to give up on you the second you step outside your house or the second you reach the airport, only to realize that you have no other means of charging your phone.
If that doesn’t truly kill your mood, I don’t know what will. So make sure that you have an extra, fully charged USB charging device that you can use whenever your phone decides to die on you.
Ensure Your Travel Documents Are Safe
While this may sound very obvious, many people often end up overlooking it. Of course, you must have checked your passport, your visa, and all other documents prior to your travel day, but better safe than sorry, right?
Checking and rechecking that you have all your important documents well in place, all safe and secure, certainly won’t hurt a bit.
You really don’t want yourself freaking out minutes before you are ready to leave because you realized that you don’t have the correct and proper visa, or worse, your passport is about to reach its expiry date. Now that, without a doubt, is a prime example of ‘all hell breaking loose.’
Pack Less and Travel Light
If you aren’t one, imagine yourself as one of those who does their packing the very last minute. And while you are doing that, imagine ending up with three or four huge suitcases. The realization of not knowing what to leave behind and what to take with you just a few hours away from departure can be end up being a nerve racking experience. Now you either quickly leave for the airport with all those heavy extra-weight bags because you don’t have a extra second to spare or you make an in the moment decision and quickly decide which bag to forgo.
This is one of the reasons why, as mentioned before, pack your bags beforehand but also, more importantly, travel light and pack less. This is because chances are that you will be returning from your trip with far more than you came in with.
So, travel light and make your traveling experience simple and comfortable, without having to worry about the extra number of suitcases and luggage bags. Despite, whichever places to travel that end up going to, it is always advisable to pack less and travel with comfort.
Always Be Patient
Last, but not the least, patience is the key to all your life’s problems. Even if you do wake up late on the day of your flight, don’t panic or be impatient. Don’t sweat over situations and things that are way beyond your control.
So you missed your taxi that was supposed to drive you to the airport? No worries, book the very next one that’s available. Or you realized at the very last minute that you don’t have foreign currency on you? Don’t worry, your local airport usually has a currency exchange station where you can easily go and get your money exchanged.
Remember, being impatient and anxious can make a bad situation even worse, and you really don’t want that to happen, not when you are already trying hard to calm your nerves.
As a last takeaway from this blog, always remind yourself that it could be worse!
If you need any help or assistance with your pre-travel essentials or anything that follows later, don’t hesitate to get in touch!