How to travel better
June 12, 2011 6:06 AM   Subscribe

Packing and lifestyle tips for a frequent traveller

My job now entails me travelling a lot, usually on short trips lasting from two to five days.

I'm male and need to wear business suits for work. The problem this brings is that I usually carry a backup suit just in case I spill something on it, or if it's hot and I've been sweating in it for a couple of days, I'm worried about smelling like old sweat.

Another problem is because I am away so much, I hardly get time to empty the suitcase, sometimes just being at home for 24 hours to do laundry and off again. The suitcase seems to pick up a new item every week and consequently gets heavier and heavier! It doesn't help that I have to take a lot of equipment for my work with me, so there is no way I could just do the carry-on thing.

What has worked best for you when packing? How do you manage to take everything you need but keep weight to a minimum?

I also tend to go into a strange mental twilight world when travelling. I find it hard to concentrate on a book, or iPod, or any kind of entertainment because I'm always aware of the time, could miss the flight if I'm too engrossed, aware of having stuff stolen, and also airports are very distracting. I would like to be able to kick back a bit and relax more about it all, take it in my stride, rather than getting wound up and taking a day to recover from the feeling of being jostled and told what to do and where to go.

Given the economy these days, I don't get to go business class very often, so don't always have access to lounges, and as some companies are in major penny-pinching mode, I sometimes go low-cost airline with all the extra stress they can bring. It would be great if airports had quiet zones like they do on trains, but I don't see that happening!

Are there any pearls of wisdom from frequent travellers?
posted by stenoboy to Travel & Transportation (29 answers total) 33 users marked this as a favorite
I highly recommend reading everything on, a wonderful resource on how to travel with as little as possible.
posted by husky at 6:17 AM on June 12, 2011 [4 favorites]

I don't like so much. I am also not sure he knows what he is talking about.

Concerning vacations, traveling, off the beaten path: Forget about backpacking. Nothing beats a medium-sized/small duffel bag on rolls. If you go tracking in the Himalaya, take a backpack. For everything else: take a small duffel bag on rolls. It is also much more low profile in rough countries.
posted by yoyo_nyc at 6:32 AM on June 12, 2011

yoyo_nyc, what is a duffel bag on rolls? Not a roll top one like this I assume?
posted by Not Supplied at 6:39 AM on June 12, 2011

Something like this.

I always travel with it. Brazil, Colombia, China, wherever. The rolls make it very convenient to carry/roll. But it can also be carried like a regular bag, helping me stay a little bit low profile in countries like Colombia or Brazil. In addition I carry a bag or a really small backpack (something like eastpack) to carry my laptop and for day trips. The duffel bag is also something that I could let go if need be and run only with my small bag. I check in only the duffel bag on flights the other one is hand luggage with things I can not afford to loose.

But these huge backpacks? Never again.

Still, I don't think it is too helpful for stenoboy.

Stenoboy, have you considered having two identical bags and alternating? This would give you also a little bit more time with you laundry.
posted by yoyo_nyc at 7:01 AM on June 12, 2011

Have a look at this question I asked, which is around managing your home life as a frequent traveler (which is just as important).

As a frequent traveler, the things that have worked for me:
- Buy HEAPS more underwear than it seems reasonable for one person to own
- Have a set of toiletries that always live in your travel bag (and use small refillable containers, as otherwise they become a very heavy part of your luggage)
- also buy doubles of all the chargers you use, and keep a set in your luggage (always in the same pocket though, so when you are leaving your hotel, you can quickly check that you have them all)
- don't pack for the 'maybes', I am over carrying swimsuits and shoes that I never wear
- staying in the same hotels when you can, means you know what they already have and don't need to bring it (e.g. hairdryer, ipod dock)
- do pack something comfortable for lounging in your hotel room
- it may be placebo, but I really like Rescue Remedy spray to calm down
- make sure your bag is distinctive (color, or a bright tag) so you don't stress about people 'stealing' your luggage at the carousel
- in terms of entertainment, think light, think trash! I find it hard to concentrate much, so magazines are good, audiobooks where I know the book already are good, trashy novels that suck you in are good (Jeffrey Deaver, chick lit etc)
- wear earplugs when it is getting too much (either on the plane or the airport), this is my lifesaver!
- carry a snack so that you aren't beholden to either the airline or the airport for being fed, or so when you arrive and you are too tired to go anywhere, you have something
- drink water, it is dehydrating and I find it all harder to cope with when dehydrated
- consider a Priority Pass membership if it would work for the airports you use (lounge access, regardless of airline being flown, quite a reasonable deal, I think)
- a rolling duffle also is my choice of luggage where I need to also carry work supplies
- consider a watch instead of using the clock on your phone, easier to check the time and that feeling in airports of having to pull everything out of pockets or bags all the time is tiring
- put your boarding pass in the same place every time (shirt pocket, specific bag pocket)
- if you can (hotel and budget permitting), do some laundry or drycleaning while away (means you take less and/or it is clean when you get home)
posted by AnnaRat at 7:04 AM on June 12, 2011 [12 favorites]

If you have enough miles, you can use those to pay the annual fee for the airline clubs at the airport.
posted by belau at 7:14 AM on June 12, 2011

It sounds like you need to force yourself to go through your suitcase for each trip so you don't keep accumulating unnecessary stuff. As you get the hang of it/know what to pack, it will be less of a chore. My suggestion would be to type up and print a packing list, maybe even laminate it and keep it hanging in your bedroom or wherever you pack. Make pack a routine so it doesn't take as much mental effort. At first, take time to consider what is absolutely necessary for your travel but make sure this includes some little comforts that will keep you sane (see suggestions below)

Are you keeping your work/equipment sort of segrated from your personal stuff within your suitcase? This will make it easier to unpack and repack what you need in hotels. These type of zippable bags are handy, I particularly use their Eagle Creek "cubes and organizers."

If you will be doing this a lot now, could you spend a little money and invest in travel versions of important things that are smaller/better for packing? It is also handy just to have duplicates of things you use at home which are just for travelling and kept always at the ready (like a toiletries kit, an extra phone charger, etc.)

Some little comforts I like when travelling:
- an mp3 player with lots of podcasts or playlists from friends (ask friends to make you "mix cds" and email the tracks to you).
- A really comfy travel pillow (I have this one from thermarest. It is seriously a revolution for me in compressible camp pillows which actually puff up to be satisfyingly firm)
- A good snack or sandwich i packed ahead at home or got from a deli (even safeway grocery stores have pretty solid deli sandwich options) so i don't have to be stressed about how much i'm spending/how shitty the food is in airports and on planes. Fresh fruit!!
posted by dahliachewswell at 7:22 AM on June 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

Oh, and a tiny bit of advice on how to not get so riled up by the herd-mentality in airports and allow yourself to relax and enjoy, for example, a podcast:

Do online check in if you can, then go to a auto-check-in kiosk. Even with a checked bag, I find this less hassle and less time having to deal with maybe unhelpful airport personnel.

Have your flight itinerary printed out and keep it with any documents you need in a little envelope or pouch or wallet that is easy to stash in a pocket, once you check in, put your boarding pass in here and hold the whole thing in your hand as you go through security. You won't have to dig around everywhere and get stressed out about losing your boarding pass.

Keep your eye open for benches or places to sit (even the floor) that are out of the way but relatively near your gate, sitting near windows can be relaxing. I find removing myself from the CRUNCH directly around the gate to be very relaxing. If it helps allay your worries about missing a flight, go to the gate first, check the time/status of the flight, and THEN go find your spot. Set a cell phone alarm for 5 minutes before you need to board and force yourself not to check your watch.
posted by dahliachewswell at 7:32 AM on June 12, 2011

The good news is that the more you do it, the easier it will become. I think the reason there's no one really good one-stop answer to this question is because everyone's comfort levels are different. Some folks don't mind making do with the bare minimum on a trip and prefer to travel light for comfort - others don't mind lugging a bunch of stuff in order to be comfortable when they arrive at their destination. I'm more of the second, but I have definitely gotten better about knowing really what I'm going to need.

For me, the biggest issue is shoes. I want comfy shoes when I'm traveling, and those are never the same shoes I need to make the good impression I want to make when I am where I'm traveling to be. Packing those big shoes is dramarama for me - but I'm much happier now that I bought a pair of really nice, mid-calf soft leather boots. They fold up like whoa in the suitcase without being damaged. You're a fella so this is useless advice practically, but an example of a place you might be able to cut a packing corner.

The two suits thing is in particular probably bumming you out. How often do you spill on it? What if instead of a second suit you brought an extra shirt, some febreze, and some stain remover? That might make you feel more comfortable with the things you're worried about and they travel better.

I pack with a mind to getting through security. Everything I need to pull out is quickly removable, I wear slip on vans that are easy to kick on/off, and I never wear a belt.

I like to do crossword puzzles on the plane and while waiting, as I have the similar "mental twilight" problem that you describe. They seem to be a nice bridge between "nothing to do but stare off into space" and "totally engrossed in whatever I'm doing." I can hold the puzzle in my lap and just stare off into space if I want, or look down and get back at it if I get bored.

I stopped bringing pillows with me. I never use them. Instead I find it more comfortable to sleep with my head down on the tray.

I have a saved packing/get ready to go list in gmail tasks that I modify as needed depending on the trip I'm going on, and it becomes the "unpacking" list when I return home - unchecking the boxes and making it generic again. The packing list includes everything I need for a 4 day trip (that's about the average trip I take), and also all of the things I need to do before I feel comfortable leaving the house (turn off the lights, lock the windows, etc). Seems silly but it really helps me with that OCD OMG DID I LEAVE THE OVEN ON panic I used to get when I'd be halfway across the country.

My unpacking/packing life has gotten significantly simpler since I have committed to unpacking when I get to the hotel and when I get home, even though I don't feel like it. It takes 5 minutes, and saves me a LOT of drama. Also, putting everythign dirty into a plastic bag - I bring one with me for sanity in case the hotel doesn't provide one. Just drop the dirty stuff into the laundry. So much easier.
posted by pazazygeek at 7:44 AM on June 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

If you go tracking in the Himalaya, take a backpack.

Oh hi! I'm in Nepal this week. But granted, at meetings in the Valley rather than trekking. So I am here with my usual backpack/trolley bag combo.

My golden rule is if your trip is more than 5 days, you only ever need 5 days of clothes. If it is shorter, you need less. As a woman, I can get away with 2 pairs of pants in my bag, suit jacket (one that goes with all my pants), plain shirts, a couple of scarves to brighten things up, a couple of cardigans. Done. For men you may be doing laundry if you choose more formal shirts.

I have shoes that I leave permanently packed in my suitcase, have put most of my liquids into smaller containers (permanently packed), and don't take anything that can't be worn multiple times or doesn't have multiple uses - I have one multi plug converter, one cable for both phone and Kindle. Kindle itself is fantastic.

Everything goes in cubes, great for when security decides to deconstruct your stuff. is great for "where am I supposed to be now?"

Eat and drink conservatively. This goes no matter your destination.

But the best thing you can pack is a good attitude - so many things have the potential to throw you off track on the road, or put you in a bad mood. The better you are at going with the flow the better you will cope with this lifestyle. And if you have a family, remember to nurture them. It is hard on them being away all the time.
posted by wingless_angel at 7:53 AM on June 12, 2011 [2 favorites]

If you keep accumulating "stuff" every trip, and you're travelling domestically, start carrying USPS prepaid flat rate boxes. Send pack up anything extra and have your hotel ship it out. The prepaids come with a tracking number so you'll know if the shady part-timer behind the desk didn't send it.
posted by santojulieta at 8:08 AM on June 12, 2011

Shoes take up way, way more space than suits (because they don't collapse) so I never pack shoes. Never, ever. The only shoes you should ever have are the ones that are already on your feet.

If you're worried about your stuff getting stolen you're carrying too much stuff.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:21 AM on June 12, 2011

Unpack your case fully every time you get home and immediatly repack all the stuff that "lives" in your case. Helps to avoid the build up of random stuff in the bottom of the case.

Own enough underwear, socks and generic work approrpriate tops/shirts to last you at least two weeks between doing laundry. That means that you don't have to worry about doing laundry when you're only home for 24hrs between trips.

Have some ingredients in your store cupboard/freezer to not have to worry about shopping or about picking up food immediately or at all if you'r off again after a day or two. Should include some light snacks when you get home late from your trips and want something but not a meal.

Stain remover/febreeze/handwashing soap all help in an emergency and pack more easily than an extra suit.

If you exercise being stuck in a hotel for a few days is less painful because you can always exercise if there's nothing else to do. It's relaxing, and it's healthy and helps to minimise the adverse effects of eating out all the time.

I like to use the outbound flight to prepare for the trip mentally in terms of work, I'll go through the diary and to do list. I like to use the flight back to be "me time". If the airport has somewhere nice to sit and have a drink so much the better. If there are nice shops, brilliant. If it's a shithole pull out the ipod and close your eyes and listen to something you enjoy. Have your phone alarm give you 5min notice for boarding. This continues on the plane. On a return flight I quite often have a nap.
posted by koahiatamadl at 8:38 AM on June 12, 2011

My version of the packing cubes people have mentioned: I put everything in ziplock bags - one bag for each day's worth of clothes (neatly rolled when clean, screwed up when dirty), one bag to hold the various chargers, one bag for each couple of paperbacks, one for toiletries, and so on. I bring a couple of empties with me so that I have somewhere to put anything I acquire along the way. I've found packing much less hassle since I started doing this. It makes it quick to find what I need at any given moment, whether in the hotel or back at home, and protects everything against rain and spills (whether from within my bag or from anyone else's), which is one less thing to worry about. I also find it makes it easier for me to remember what's in the bag.

I have the advantage here of being female, and being able to get away with clothes that are fairly forgiving of being rolled up; I don't know how well dress shirts would react to my packing style.

I have the same problem as you at the airport - I don't relax until I'm in my seat on the plane with my carry-on successfully stowed. I try to deal with it by getting to the gate ASAP, even if that means being stuck in a barren wasteland of plastic seats without so much as a vending machine or a ladies' room on the same side of the security check; but it doesn't really work, because I'm still on edge waiting for boarding to start. Besides, some airports don't announce gates till the last possible minute, which really doesn't help. I have a suspicion that this one isn't a problem with a solution (if you're wired that way, you're wired that way) but I'm watching the answers with interest.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 8:40 AM on June 12, 2011

Watch (or, perhaps, read) "Up in the Air". Pack like George, not Rachel. But try to be like Rachel, not George.

Even with pretty good preparation expect things to screw up about 10% of the time: you (or your beloved travel agent) will book a return flight on the wrong day; there will be an accident which will make you miss your connection; you will leave some vital document behind in a hotel safe, you will get food poisoning the night before your presentation. Being prepared for such occasions is largely about leaving a buffer or money, time and patience for when they occur. And try to become a convert to serendipity if you are not already.

The task of tracking and filing your expenses will drive you mad unless you absolutely keep on top of it. A digital camera is a great tool in this regard - a photo of each receipt is the equivalent of a scan. Fill in the claim form as you go and keep a backup copy of the form and receipt scans in the cloud.
posted by rongorongo at 8:53 AM on June 12, 2011

A good men's suit can survive a lot. Most hotels will have either emergency cleaning (worth the cost) or a survival kit at the desk. Learn to sponge stains off a suit, and stop carrying a spare. Have it claned at home a little more often, so you won't worry about staleness. Carry a spare shirt instead. Hang up the jacket and pants immediately.

Spend the time to set up your smartphone, then rely on it. Put in the flight time and boarding time, with alarms; that way you can relax at the airport. If you really can't relax, use the time to update your expense report, or some other work task that you can get out of the way while you can't relax.

Get in the habit of dumping out the suitcase when you get home. Stop bringing home the hotel shampoo; the extra weight isn't worth it. Reload your toiletry bag immediately, so it's ready for the next trip. The advice about buying lots of underwear is correct; an extra couple of shirts, too, if necessary. The advice about having a spare set of chargers, and packing them in the same pocket is also excellent. You probably have laptop + smartphone? I keep the chargers in the laptop bag. Make things as routine as possible.

Do pack a tshirt & shorts, and use the gym, run, or get some form of exercise. Mobile life is hard on the body; exercise is the cure. I walk at the airport. Many airports have art displays, or cool exhibits, so I combine exercise with checking out whatever the airport has to offer.
posted by theora55 at 9:21 AM on June 12, 2011

AnnaRat's advice covers most of what I intended to suggest, but I'll also add this: One of the worst things that can happen when you're on the road is for your luggage to fall apart, so buy the highest-quality bag you can afford. If it doesn't hurt at least a little bit, you're not spending enough. Don't buy your luggage at a department store, either. Instead, buy it from a luggage shop, someplace like this one, if you can find one in your city. I HIGHLY recommend Travelpro - I've had my Travelpro rollaboard for 4 years (and about 400 nights away from home) and it's damn near as good as the day I bought it.
posted by deadmessenger at 9:22 AM on June 12, 2011

Whatever the pluses and minuses of the advice given on in general, his recommendation of the Red Oxx Air Boss Carry On bag transformed my experience of travel. As you say, if you're forced to check various pieces of equipment, then it won't enable you to really go "one bag", but at least it will minimize hassle as far as possible. It's ideally designed for packing cubes, etc, and you'll always find space for it in aircraft cabins while others fight to cram in their ridiculous not-really-carry-on-sized hard-case wheeled suitcases. The Sky Train is basically the same but can be adapted into a backpack.

Make a checklist.

Buy 2 pairs of Tilley socks and you need never add or remove socks from your travel bag ever again.

Borrowing from "Getting Things Done": buy some kind of pouch like this and throw all stray receipts, ticket stubs, post-its etc into it as you travel, then process them all when you're back at base. Do not attempt to keep a nicely organized filing system operational on the road.
posted by oliverburkeman at 9:26 AM on June 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

As someone who's job it was for a couple years to not only travel, but to sort out other travellers, I would suggest thinking in 'worst case scenarios' in order to quell the worrying you mentioned.

If someone steals your suitcase, what's the worst thing that can happen? You have to replace your clothes, and shell out a bit of money. Not worth worrying about.

If you miss your flight? You look a bit foolish if you have to reschedule meetings, but you get on another one. Again, a bit pricey but not the end of the world. Not worth worrying about.

If you get distracted in the airport and end up in the wrong terminal? Worst case, you miss your flight (see above) but probably, you simply correct the mistake and get on with your trip.

What if someone steals your laptop? Back up you files every few days on a portable hard drive and then it's merely a matter of replacing hardware. Again, a bit expensive but not worth worrying about.

Even losing your wallet or passport can be dealt with, although these worst scenarios are a bit trickier. My travelling routine? Wallet? Check. Passport/ID? Check. And then I'm good to go.

I watched so many people get very worked up about things that at the end of the day were very easy to fix. When you get that moment of worry or even panic, take a breath and then ask yourself, 'how bad is this really?' Usually the answer is 'not that bad.'
posted by scrute at 9:58 AM on June 12, 2011

I spend at least two months a year living out of suitcases (two months solid, not all broken up, but moving between 8-12 destinations during that time). Packing cubes are my salvation. I use a variety of sizes and keep like items together and that way it all fits together like a puzzle. It's easy to see when something's missing because there's a gaping hole! We put everything--EVERYTHING--in our cubes (which are a mixture of Eagle Creek, Rick Steves and some generic eBags version, bought as we find them on clearance). At least one gets used as a catch-all for the random crap; then it's relatively easy to pull that bag out and sort the junk.
posted by wallaby at 10:31 AM on June 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

Seconding the suggestion of Eagle Creek pack-it folders, cubes, and organizers. I use the smaller ones (quarter cubes or tube cubes) for small electronics, vanity/haircare appliances, etc. The 18" pack-it folders are the optimal size for shirts and lightweight jackets - they keep them smart-looking and crease-free (pack this on top of the other stuff in your case to keep shirts from creasing). The half cubes are the perfect size for T-shirts and underwear.The organization means that I can find exactly what I need in an instant - and somehow the organizers seem to provide much more space in my luggage ... :-) These packable organizers are relatively cheap on eBay, or from Sierra Trading Post (check back regularly: this is a great site for Eagle Creek closeouts). You can often get 20%-30% off their already discounted prices if you are on the Sierra Trading Post email list.

Get some well-organized rolling luggage. Again, my favorite is Eagle Creek, as their bags always seem to have just the right number of zipped pockets and separated compartments. If you travel with a spare suit, you could consider the Hovercraft Carry-on Garment Bag (look under buying options to the right, for a good price). My own personal favorite is the Ramble 22" rolling carry-on, which is just amazing. It easily holds as much as a 25" suitcase, in a carry-on. I can pack enough for a two-week trip in this -- and I'm NOT a light traveler! If you are going to use a rolling carry-on or check-in bag, make sure your other bag is a backpack. You can only manage ONE rolling bag on a trip! I travel with a 22" rolling carry-on and an 18" backpack which fits under the seat, then I don't have to check any bags.

Last of all, remember to also pack organizers for your toiletries/washbag and laundry. A hangable toiletries organizer saves lots of time and space, as you can leave this in the bathroom and always find things quickly. I travel with a small shower sponge, which makes a very small tube of shower gel last all week. A washbag organizer gives you pockets for wet items on your trip home. My go-to is the Eagle Creek Wallaby but there are lots of variants on this theme. Pack a large compression sac for your dirty washing -- clothes always seem to take up more space once they have been worn. The compression sac gets these down to size for the trip home, so your suitcase will zip shut!
posted by Susurration at 11:08 AM on June 12, 2011

Have a set of toiletries that always live in your travel bag (and use small refillable containers, as otherwise they become a very heavy part of your luggage)
- also buy doubles of all the chargers you use, and keep a set in your luggage (always in the same pocket though, so when you are leaving your hotel, you can quickly check that you have them all)

I cannot second these two items enough. I don't travel for business, but my father travelled for 1-2 week stretches adding up to 3-4 months a year all during my childhood. I picked up the toiletry go-bag (and by extension the gadget go-bag) habit from him and it's made my travels much easier when I do go.

I also maintain a google docs list of what I need per trip. "If x days I need x of this and x+1 of that, etc.", including optional list items for parties, swimming, or other unusual activities. I have the document open on my phone while I pack to be sure I don't miss anything.
posted by immlass at 11:11 AM on June 12, 2011

Can you ship anything to your destination ahead of time? In particular the equipment for your work. It would be an additional expense but would really cut down on what you are carrying. Just make sure you choose a date-certain delivery service. UPS or FedEx 1, 2 or 3 day services come with delivery guarantees.
posted by reeddavid at 1:28 PM on June 12, 2011

Have been travelling for work just like you will be, and here's my $0.02:

+ An airline club card is totally worth the $350 out-of-pocket it cost me. Even 15 minutes of calm quiet with a nice cup of coffee or water can make a huge difference
+ A $300 Bose QuietComfort goes wherever I go, and gets lots of use - amazing what a difference it makes
+ The TravelPro rollaboard, again a bit pricey but totally worth it
+ The rollaboard + my carryon (I get away with a nice Tom Binh backpack in my industry) eliminates all checking luggage (and pickup hassles)
+ As a male in a suit, recommend one suit and wear the coat on the plane, and use an undershirt if not already. Great for soaking up the scent, easy to clean and pack, and even on the hottest days will help out a lot, even in the hot humid Texas weather.
+ Empty the dirties as soon as you land, and reload the bag as soon as practical for the next trip. It's less stress and you've got enough to worry about (the task in the next locale, in particular)
+ Maybe obvious, but find one airline and one hotel to use religiously. The affinity programs are wonderful, even if for a few years you simply hoard them, you can take a round-the-world trip of a lifetime at a certain point, or whatever. I'm saving over $2K on a family vacation thanks to being diligent.
+ Stay in shape on the road; consider your exercise routine as well as eating very healthy while on the expense account. Believe me, those rich dinners and great beverages entertaining clients can really pack on the calories.
posted by scooterdog at 2:57 PM on June 12, 2011

Where do you live, and where will you be travelling to? I assume you live in and will be travelling domestically within the US.

If you don't fly enough on one airline (or fly most often on low-cost carriers like Southwest) then a Priority Pass might be a good investment. If you apply for the Ameriprise World Elite MasterCard you get unlimited access to PP lounges included in the card's annual fee (USD 150). Considering this normally costs USD 399 it's not a bad deal -- if they have member lounges in the cities you travel to most.

Consider asking this question at FlyerTalk, as it has many more members who are frequent business fliers, and you may get a better response.
posted by armage at 9:18 PM on June 12, 2011

LifeHacker Australia's Angus Kidman has done some "challenge" series on travelling- hand luggage only and most recently no luggage. These are a fun read and he explains what he does well, and it is a good "how to travel" primer.

Don't be turned off by the "no luggage" or "hand luggage only" words- the lessons can be applied to suitcase travel too.
posted by titanium_geek at 1:46 AM on June 13, 2011

(PS thought I should add that my links above are about business travel.)
posted by titanium_geek at 3:46 PM on June 13, 2011

If your company has a travel agent, butter them up and use them well. Travel got a lot less stressful for me when I didn't have to do much in the way of planning it. Repitition helps me a lot; the same stuff always goes into the same pouches, so I know where to look for it and avoid the panic that sets in if I think I lost my boarding pass or cell phone. I always pack sandals, since I want something comfy to hang out around the hotel. I'll even occasionally wear 'em with the suit on the way home if it's hot out. A small pocket notebook is helpful for jotting down notes and writing down addresses and the like; I like it more than using a smartphone for the same purpose. I don't listen to anything while I'm waiting for my flight, since I get nervous that I'm going to miss an announcement, but once I'm on the plane it's ipod me-time.
posted by craven_morhead at 11:19 AM on June 14, 2011

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