Whether you travel a little or a lot, one thing is for sure. Travel is not as enjoyable as it used to be. Here are a few of my “musts” when traveling. Perhaps they’ll come in handy the next time you leave home.
• Water bottle. I take an empty water bottle on most trips. Once I clear Security, I fill it up at a water fountain, saving the $3 I’d have to shell out at with an airport vendor. When I get to my hotel, if my room doesn’t have bottled water, I visit the Fitness Room, as they always have a water dispenser so I can easily refill my bottle.
• Travel numbers. In my phone, I’ve created a contact listed simply as “Travel”. In the notes section I’ve recorded my frequent flyer numbers, airlines’ customer service numbers, hotel information, etc. If I’m traveling out of the country, I include the contact information and website link to the American Embassy.
• Travel confirmations. Once I receive an email confirming airline, hotel, car rental, etc., I drag these emails to my travel date on my calendar. This now syncs with my phone, providing me helpful information at my fingertips once I land.
• Power strip. If you’ve ever wandered aimlessly throughout an airport, looking for an outlet to charge your phone, you know how frustrating it is. Be an Airport Hero and bring a power strip with you the next time you travel. You’ll make lots of new friends…until it’s time to board.
• Similar to the power cord suggestion, pack a mobile charger. These are small mini battery packs for electronic devices. They are small (sometimes referred to as “lipstick chargers”), take up little space, and often save the day. I was once stranded on a plane, sitting on the tarmac for nearly 4 hours. I was able to “lend a charge” to many of my travel mates who were stressing out over dead phones.
• My own snacks. I’ve learned that I’m more apt to eat healthy if I’m not dependent on purchasing something from an airport vendor. I often take dried fruit or almonds (avoiding peanuts for those with allergies).
My final tip is to snap some photos with your phone. Depending on my destination, I may take any or all of the following photos:
1. Parking signage to show which level and aisle I left my car.
2. Passport – I recently traveled out of the country and kept a copy of my passport in the Cloud so it could be accessed anywhere, any time. And while I was at it, I also took a photo of my driver’s license.
3. Credit Cards – Copies of these will be handy in the event they are lost or stolen, unless you’ve got all those numbers memorized!
4. Luggage – If I’m checking it, I take snapshots of both inside contents and the outside before handing it over to an agent. If lost, you’ll be asked for a detailed description of both the inside contents as well as what it looked like on the outside. If you’re able to provide information on logos or markings on your bag vs. describing it as “black”, your chances of getting it back just might go up.
5. Boarding pass – I use my Smartphone for checking in for a flight, but what do you do when the airline’s app is down and you’re stuck without your boarding pass? I’ve started taking a screen shot of the boarding pass so I can access it in the Photo Gallery of my phone. Works like a charm and doesn’t require an internet connection!