There is a lot to be said for establishing good travel habits. When you’re traveling, most of those good habits involve being prepared for a possible setback like losing your luggage, getting sick or having something stolen. Here are 15 travel habits that all savvy world-travelers should adopt to ensure you’re always prepared, no matter what setbacks you encounter during your trip.
1. Carry original copies of all your identification
Always have a photocopy of your passport in your wallet and a digital copy uploaded to an online account so you can access it even if you lose your phone or laptop. Having a copy of your passport on your person, or easily accessible online, at all times could save you much headache in a worst case scenario.
2. Get everywhere early. Very, very early
Travel is an exercise in patience and the number one stressor in travel is almost missing your flight. Keep your stress levels low and always much earlier than you think you should so you’ve got a buffer in case traffic or a long security line get between you and your flight. Then you can relax at the gate and get some things done while others panic.
3. Hide your money
Preparing for the worst case scenario means that you’ll never be totally stranded if your purse or debit cards are stolen. Hide cash in sneaky places, like in your socks, toiletry case, or sunglasses case.
4. Put socks and underwear in your carry-on
Losing your luggage is traumatic, but living in the same pair of underwear for days is pretty traumatic too. Always travel with a pair of big comfy socks to keep your warm on the planes and an extra pair of underwear just in case you get stranded sans wardrobe.
5. Never put valuables in your checked baggage
Whether it’s medication you need or a piece of jewelry with sentimental value, good travel habits all revolve around being prepared for the worst. Never let your most vital and irreplaceable possessions leave your sight while traveling.
6. Bring a scarf with you
Even if you’re traveling somewhere hot, a scarf is one of the best travel accessories you can have. You can use it as a blanket and pillow on the plane, you’ll be prepared for any conservative dress codes you can always use it as an accessory when evenings get cool.
7. Pack like a pharmacist
When you’re traveling, there is a myriad of illnesses are just waiting to sneak up on you. From seasickness to jet lag, make your traveling sick days a little easier on yourself by bringing along staples that you might not be able to find in a foreign country.
8. Moisturize like your life depends on it
Keep hand cream, a good face moisturizer, and lip balm in your carry-on and apply very, very liberally while you’re traveling to keep your skin hydrated. Trust me, avoiding cracked hands and lips is a lifesaver.
9. Keep (and update) your packing list
Keep a thin notebook of your go-to packing lists and after you return from every of trip, update your list. Cross off the things you took that you didn’t need and add the things you wish you’d had and after a few trips you’ll have the packing routine down to an art.
10. Pack the Night Before
Even if you love the rush of working under pressure, packing for a trip the morning before is a bad travel habit that you need to quit. Inevitably you won’t be able to find something or you’ll forget something in the laundry.
11. Charge everything before you go
Don’t depend on charging up at the airport or hotel because sometimes an outlet is a hard thing to find and nothing is more frustrating that starting your trip and having your iPod or camera die. Make sure you charge up all your devices the night before.
12. Take pictures of all travel details
Even if you keep a notebook on hand, when you’re on the run, it can be hard to find a pen. Instead of writing down important details like your parking space, your rental car or hotel room number (I’m not the only one who’s forgotten a room number, right??), snap a quick picture on your phone.
13. Cut back on drinking
Don’t roll your eyes- even if you’re on vacation, try to cut back on the alcohol and your body will really thank you. If you’re traveling solo, being a smart drinker is even more important.
14. Don’t rely on your camera to remember everything
Research has shown that taking too many photos can actually undermine your memories of a trip since you’re relying on your camera to make memories for you instead of really taking in the environment through all your senses. Keep a travel journal, stop and listen to the street musicians, enjoy a local dish and then you can take a photo.
15. Pack as light as you possibly can
Having the right outfit for the right occasion is great, but you’d be amazed at what you do with just a few key wardrobe pieces. Keep in mind that there’s really not a lot that you need when traveling and if you do need it, there’s a high likelihood you can buy it at your destination. Packing light is a great travel habit to adopt— it makes a huge difference.