5 Tips from a Seasoned Traveler

It took years of savings, months of maneuvering schedules, and a pandemic with time to dream. The day has finally come to set off on that well deserved vacation. My life is about traveling throughout the world either on business or pleasure, but not everyone has the luxury to jet off on a Caribbean vacation or happen to have meetings in Paris.

When it comes to jet-setting, serial travelers have a prerequisite of steps in preparing for any departure, whether two days or an anticipated ten-day vacation. Experts can do it with their eyes closed and in record time. Lucky for you, they call me Champagne Travels, and I’m here to help you with the preparation portion of your next trip (you take care of the Champagne part).

Never over-pack

Eileen Callahan on vacationUnless you have the luxury of porters, bellhops or a loved one willing to haul your bursting roller bag through the massive O’Hare airport, overpacking is never an option, whether checking luggage or not. Each day is meticulously planned. If a trip is business by day, then cocktails by night, every outfit is microscopically reviewed, laid out on the bed with all accessories detailed. Organized packing is not so the load is lighter; it makes your vacation incredibly easy and surprisingly stressfree. The only question to ask yourself should be: eggs or pancakes at the lavish buffet. Don’t allow yourself to make exceptions or “just in case” I need it. The only exceptions not combined with an ensemble would be an extra sweater or a pair of flats in case of an unexpected downpour or inaccurate meteorologist.

Allow extra time...for everything!

You’re  going to Hawaii; nothing should be stressful! Why add more pressure by allowing yourself to hit the snooze button twice on departure day? However long something will take, I build 30 minutes on top of that. Airport security is a crap shoot, so early arrival means once you’re through security you can read the paper over a Starbucks or maybe even enjoy a mimosa in the airline lounge.

Wet wipes/sanitary gel

Sanitary wipesSanitary cleaners are now a daily part of our lives. It doesn’t not matter the season, viruses, colds, flu, or any other germ that exists. Don’t ruin a hard-earned vacation due to the many people not as conscious of cleanliness. Any local drug store has single packets of sanitary wipes or travel-size gels. A trick I use when exiting a bathroom or a bar is to use my pinky and thumb to open or close a door or throw my shoulder into it. Your index finger is what you use to wipe a crumb from your mouth or itch your eyelid. Keep those few fingers as hygienic as possible.

Pill organization

I mention this important necessity not as a reminder of your daily medication, as I hope you’ll be conscience of packing those. I wish to suggest a few other possible pills to accompany your prescriptions. I always have a regular over-the-counter acetaminophen for when that right shoulder ache sets in from shopping bags. You may not have allergies, but a Sudafed may come in handy for your partner. A multi-vitamin is always a good idea when not adhering to your normal eating schedule. I always have something for the tummy, especially when enjoying foods a body is not used to consuming.

Document folder

Champagne Travels documentsFortunately, most of our boarding passes and travel agendas are on our phones, so paper is the least of our worries now, but if you need documents, or meeting presentations, keep them meticulously organized in a specific location. Check out my favorite digital apps for travel here.

If you’re curious about other items I use on my worldly adventures, check out some of my favorites here.

Wherever your next destination may be, take the extra time to make your travels as stress-free as possible. You deserve this trip to your dream destination; pre-plan so zero worries or dramas occur. It’s your time to chill and relax, travel has never been desired, or deserved, more than now!