Ah, traveling. Exploring the cobblestone streets of Europe, hang-gliding in New Zealand, eating beignets in New Orleans.
As dreamy as it all sounds, even the most carefully planned excursion can be wrecked by stained clothes, forgotten phone chargers, or damaged luggage.
But don’t worry – Poise & Purpose is here with eight travel tips that will have you jet-setting like a pro.
1. Put a “Fragile” label on your luggage.
Baggage handlers are required to be gentler with items that may have delicate materials in them. Plus, these items are often stacked on top of the rest of the luggage in the airplane . This means they’re usually the first ones to be unloaded and placed on the conveyor belt at the baggage claim.
2. Always book a rental car ahead of time.
This one may seem like common sense, but most people wait until arriving at their destination before booking their rental car at the airport counter since it’s just so accessible. However, rental car rates are almost always cheaper online via travel websites, and by booking ahead of time you can lock in a low daily rate – usually without paying a cent until you return the car.
3. Buy plane tickets like a pro.
Thank basic math and human behavior for this one: If you’re traveling with a partner and you want to sit next to one another, book the aisle seat and the window seat in the same row. It’s unlikely that anyone will buy the middle seat, but if they do you can just ask them to switch with you (they’ll gladly oblige to get out of the middle, which is the least popular seat.)
Flying with a friend? Book the aisle and window seat in the same row. It’s unlikely someone will buy the middle seat.
4. Use a sunglass case to keep large pieces of jewelry organized.
All frequent flyers know that statement necklaces and big bangles do NOT fit in most jewelry bags. Instead, put these bulkier items in a sunglass case and toss it in your carry-on.
5. Invest (if you call 10 bucks an “investment”) in dry shampoo.
Even though visions of perfectly styled hair to match your perfect high-heeled outfit may dance in your head – the reality is that the day WILL come when you won’t feel like showering. Dry shampoo = lifesaver.
6. Pack dryer sheets in your luggage.
They are great for removing static from hair or clothing in a pinch. Plus they’ll keep your travel wardrobe smelling pretty.
7. Ship souvenirs back separately…
If you didn’t remember to leave room in your luggage for any items you purchase while you travel (and let’s be real, who does?), consider sending those items home via FedEx (or USPS, if you’re stateside) before you leave. The minimal expense is well worth it when the alternative is buying another bag you’ll have to check.
Don’t stress over fitting everything in your luggage – FedEx is your friend.
8. …And ship awkward items to your hotel ahead of time.
This is vice versa from the last tip: Ship any souvenirs back home, but ALSO consider shipping anything you’ll need for your trip directly to your hotel. For example: Send your snowboard to Denver ahead of time so it’s waiting at your hotel when you get there. Most hotel concierges are happy to accommodate this.