The new year brings lots of more travelling, which I am excited for and love. My first big trip of 2017 is planned for this Saturday …. I’m heading to LA!
I have pulled together my ‘Travel Essentials’ tips and tricks to make your trips stress free.
Before I set off:
I always ensure to charge all my devices before I set off, particularly if I am going to be on long haul flights. Even though some airlines offer charging points they can be hard to access, they can be shared, some I have come across don’t work, or there are none available at all! I also pack all my various chargers, adapters, leads in the one place so I can easily locate them when I need to. I use a Ted Baker Bag (which I think is in fact a cosmetic bag). Shop for similar Ted Baker Bags.
Having all your travel documents at hand and more importantly in the one place makes the process less stressful. Invest in a good travel wallet, I opted for this Kate Spade one, where you can have your passport, flights details, copies of visas, insurance and any airline loyalty cards all in one place. If you need to keep copies of expense receipts, keep them organised in a separate compartment of your wallet and put in order as you spend, it makes things much easier for me when I go to do expenses. I also keep separate purses for different currencies, that way I am not scrambling to find what I need.
Parking your car at the airport? If so, then remember to photograph your parking lot number! It is also a good idea to have details of your flight/s on your phone, take photos, that way you have a back up in the instance of misplacing anything. Finally, always have a photocopy of your passport or a photo, just in case!
Fuel Before You Go
Before I go on any flight I always ensure to get something proper to eat to set me up for the flight, as most times I’m on the go 24 hours, so getting proper food is really important.
In the Air
Hydration is Key
If your like me I always like to keep hydrated when I fly. Take your own large litre bottle of water, and don’t be afraid to ask the air stewards to refill it for you. Instead of tea/coffee I ask for hot water and lemon, which is another great way to keep you hydrated. I also bring my own flavoured tea bags, green tea mostly, and just ask for a cup of hot water, that way I can enjoy what I want.
Re-Fuel in the Air
I always take some of my own snacks and bites on the flight with me as I find it almost impossible to get any ‘proper’ truly, healthy, nutritional food on any airline I have travelled on. All their snacks are full of sugar, high in carbs or processed. I therefore bring my own, I like bags of nuts, mini cheeses individually wrapped, packs of crackers and sometimes even my own bakes come with me (when I have time to prepare in advance). I love this Gluten Free Buckwheat Loaf which I occasionally bake. I will be doing a separate post on some of my favourite bakes, so check back for this recipe and more.
I definitely suggest investing in a ‘sound’ pair of headphones, we all like to zone out and have some peace and quiet, whether we need to get caught up on some work, be transfixed by the latest movie or have some time to relax and sleep. I personally opted for the Bose headphones over-the ear, noise cancelling ones. I must say I absolutely adore them and they are an essential particularly on a long-haul flight. More importantly they do exactly what they promise to do, cancel out the noise!! Just be sure to have extra batteries with you, you don’t want to run out.
Shop these Bose headphones
During and after any flight, particularly a long haul one, I always love to freshen up and refresh my face. I keep a small makeup bag in my carry-on with some of my essentials: face brush, pressed powder, blusher and lippy. I also never go without my toothbrush and a travel size toothpaste to keep fresh. Hand sanitizer and hand cream are other essentials to keep my hands hydrated and feeling clean and fresh.
This neck pillow from Muji is the ultimate travel accessory and what I love about it is you can take off the cover and pop it in the wash, between travels, to keep it fresh. It is so comfy and keeps you snug. Another essential is woolly socks, I always find airlines quite chilly and always pack a nice cosy pair. I don’t have the luxury to fly business class so I always check for seats with extra leg room or a row with vacant seats beside one another, that way the journey is much nicer and more comfortable.
On the Ground
I always make sure I research my ground transportation in advance, especially when I am travelling solo. Mostly I like to take a hire car so I have total flexibility to move around and feel safer, but sometimes I have to rely on taxis/ airport transfers. I always make sure I book in advance from a reputable company or if booked on my behalf I will get the driver to contact the booking agent and then they speak with me before we set off on our journey. I also advise you to ask for the driver’s ID and I always track my journey on Google maps to ensure we are on the right route!!
I do lots of research to find the best hotel and I make my selection based on a wide range of things, which will depend and vary for each trip, some things I consider are location, facilities, food options on site, health facilities, car park (if required), time they serve breakfast etc. Its important that my hotel offers certain facilities, because even when I’m travelling I still like to continue with some ‘normal’ routines like doing some exercise and eating as well as I can.
I really love the app Hotel Tonight, it is more for last minute bookings but if you have some flexibility you can get some fantastic deals on great hotels. I was in Chicago back in November and had to find an alternative for one night, so thanks to Hotel Tonight App I was lucky to get a great rate to stay in Chicago Athletic Association, what a fantastic hotel, one you simply have to experience for yourself to appreciate it. It’s a revelation of historic architectural detail, not forgetting the incomparable Cindy’s rooftop terrace, restaurant and bar, which offers commanding views of the amazing City that Chicago is.
Seeking Out Delicious Food
I always like to do a bit of research before I travel to seek out some good options for breakfast, lunch, dinner and special bites, to eat outside the hotel if I can. As well as my own research I also seek other suggestions from the hotel staff and concierge and this proved invaluable on one of my most recent trips. I was in Vancouver back in September last year and I got the fabulous recommendation to have breakfast in a restaurant called Forage…wow, one of the best breakfast’s I have ever experienced…see below. They describe themselves as casual, comfortable and affordable and its all of these things plus more 🙂
Beating Jet lag
There are different pieces of advice about overcoming or trying to avoid jet lag, but I personally don’t think you can fully. I can never sleep on a flight, no matter how long it is, some people on the other hand are in a deep sleep before take off.. we are all different. Therefore my way to try to combat jetlag is to stay up to around 9pm of the country I am staying in, which helps regulate my sleep a bit, that said I normally find I wake very (very) early and can’t get back to sleep, but it gives me a good chance to get caught up on work!!
I Hope you found the above useful and if you want to share any of your own tips and hints for stress-free travelling I would love to hear about them.