15 Good Travel Habits To Start Doing Right NOW

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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.

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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.

What are your best travel habits? Any new ones you’re trying to adopt? Talk to us in the comments below!

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    August 12, 2015 at 11:01 pm

    A huge YES to #14 — I love taking photos, but it’s so easy to get caught up in trying to capture the moment perfectly and forget to experience it.

    MacKenzie Green
    August 10, 2015 at 8:16 am

    I took my first solo international flight this year and I wish I’d had this post when I went. But this blog is really motivating me to travel more, and travel solo more.
    I totally agree about the photos, I tried to soak in all the experiences, and only take 2-3 photos a day.

    Hannah Harding
    August 9, 2015 at 12:43 am

    These are some great tips. 🙂 The “bring your own Pharmacy” one is something I make sure I always do… Supplements, pain killers, etc.

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    A Stint Abroad
    August 7, 2015 at 11:31 am

    I whole-heartedly agree with this list. You’ve posted every single thing that I always think about right before a huge flight. Thanks for sharing!

    August 7, 2015 at 6:58 am

    Great tips! I’m just starting to learn how to pack light and it’s so much better and easier. Thanks for sharing yet another great post!


    Janet McGee
    August 6, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    Back in my married days, my husband liked to travel. We had a little girl (very little), and it was my job to pack for her. Since we took several trips a year, I invested in travel toiletries, both for Emily and for me. And, I became a firm believer in using ziploc bags for anything liquid. If a shampoo bottle leaked, the liquid was contained. So, there were combs and brushes (baby-sized and adult-sized), tooth brushes and toothpastes, shampoos and creme rinse, that were always packed and ready to go. On returning home, I made sure that the standard pack-ables were restocked and ready. I could pack with a fair degree of efficiency and never felt rushed, or that I was forgetting anything crushingly important. With a little experience, I was able to maintain a packing list that was consistent for virtually any trip. Now, as a single lady working as a private tutor, I travel only rarely. But in my bathroom cabinet are a couple of ziploc bags with safely-packed travel toiletries, all ready when the need arises.

    August 6, 2015 at 12:00 pm

    Great tips! So very practical.

    August 6, 2015 at 8:58 am

    I think moisturizing is so important as well as documenting all your excitement!

    Jennifer @ This Off Script Life
    August 6, 2015 at 5:32 am

    Now that I’m traveling on a regular basis, I abide by and agree with so many of these tips. Learning to pack lightly has changed my life. And, yes, to scarves. Always bring a scarf, sweater or jacket (except maybe Marrakech in the summer).

    August 6, 2015 at 2:09 am

    Such a great blog – I am in the process of quitting my job and leaving for Thailand for 5 months. After that I dont know what the world will bring. This was extremely helpful, as this will be my first time out of country for a long period of time!

    Pek Sim Koay
    August 5, 2015 at 10:35 pm

    i actually pack a set of spare clothes in my hand luggage. that gives me a day to find new ones

    August 5, 2015 at 9:23 pm

    Wonderful, and don’t forget to make a Memeoirs on your way back 😉

    Alisha Paul
    August 5, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    Incredible tips. I would likewise include having ear attachments and an eye cover on you at all times as you never know how thin dividers may be or when you may need to attempt and have a little snooze.

    Mary Anne Medina
    August 5, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    I agree with the underwear and socks on in carry-on. Sometimes flight delays are inevitable.

    August 5, 2015 at 10:56 am

    I am a frequent traveler, I know most of those tips.. The scarf thing was new for me by the way. Why am I ending up packing in the morning, why am I drinking a beer or two, and the next day I cannot find my paracetamol. Is it because I am a man, or have i lived too long in South America?

    Honestly number 1 is really number one. Number 2 is make sure that you have some cash and something like a credit card with you. Number 3 make friends on your trip.

    Above all have fun… and wear sunscreen…

    August 5, 2015 at 8:32 am

    Great tips. I would also add having ear plugs and an eye mask on you at all times as you never know how thin walls might be or when you might want to try and have a little nap.

    August 5, 2015 at 8:13 am

    Thanks for sharing these handy tips!

    August 5, 2015 at 6:43 am

    Definitely agree with all of these. As well as #4, I make sure I bring a change of clothes as well. Not only does it give you a second outfit should your luggage go missing, but it’s such a good feeling after a long flight to change into clean clothes!

    Taylor DuVall
    August 5, 2015 at 4:15 am

    I love every single one of these tips!

    August 5, 2015 at 2:26 am

    Reminding people to not see the entire travel experience through a camera lens is very important! I make sure to find a time to put the camera down or not take it with me so that I can experience everything just in that moment.

    Suggesting that people bring socks and underwear in carry-on luggage is a great idea too! I never would have thought of that, but it is an excellent idea!

    August 5, 2015 at 1:27 am

    A habit that I’m proud of being able to keep up is to adapt to the time zone I am flying into before I board my flight. If I am flying on a red eye heading East, and technically landing in the evening of my original time zone, I will force myself to stay up in order to sleep on the plane, and wake up ready for a new day as I land in the morning of my new time zone 🙂

    I love the tip about updating your packing list! I am awful at packing, and can never get it right, but that tip seems like it might solve my problem! Next time I come home I will simply cross out the stuff I didn’t actually need, so clever! 🙂

    August 5, 2015 at 1:23 am

    Great list! I especially like the idea of keeping a running packing list and crossing off the things you didn’t use. I’m notorious for overpacking, so I think this tip will be very useful!


    August 5, 2015 at 12:22 am

    This list is absolutely perfect! I especially agree with #14, and the idea that memories from traveling can’t all be stored onto a camera or phone. I always have a travel journal with me to jot down my feelings and important moments that happened so I can go back and really re-live the moment. Also, I never travel without a scarf because planes can get so chilly!

    August 4, 2015 at 11:44 pm

    I love this list. Every one one of these tips would have helped me tremendously on my first trip abroad. Particularly the bit about packing essentials (like underwear and socks) in your carry on. My luggage was lost for two days and so I ended up spending a miserable morning searching every gas station and grocery store in a tiny Polish village in desperate search of underwear. There was none to be found.

    August 4, 2015 at 11:34 pm

    All great tips! I’ll be saving this for our upcoming trip to Europe. I love the tip to keep copies of your important documents! Someone else I know brought up that important point. Things get lost. Keeping a journal is something I’m really going to work on as well. You can follow my journey!

    August 4, 2015 at 11:21 pm

    Already do most of these, been traveling to India for twenty years. It’s a grueling 30 hr trip if you go straight through. So as I got older now, am 75, I learned to stop in Europe for 2 or more days each way. So one leg to Europe then one leg to India. Makes the journey an exploration not a chore.

    Traveling in Europe say for 3 weeks we pick 3 or four great destinations each central to an area of interest. Usually try to travel with a small group of friends and rent a villa. The cost is much less then hotels and all have been close to palatial. We rent cars then are free to take day trips out from our destinations. We also have taken small intro tours for 10 days or so just to get to know an area then follow up with our own villa strategy in following years.

    We travel with carry ons only and have no problem with trips of three weeks. One on my bags is meds including CPAP the other a carry on with 4 wheels holds everything else.

    August 4, 2015 at 10:14 pm

    Oh! Thanks for the tips! I should remember to take a picture of the room number on those things, always forget it!!! With love,

    August 4, 2015 at 9:00 pm

    I follow most of these. Definitely can’t emphasis the packing light tip enough! Nothing worse than the burden of a huge suitcase that you have to lug around everywhere. I learnt my lesson about this the hard way when I first went on exchange at 16. Now I only take me 48L backpack everywhere!

    Graeme Voigt
    August 4, 2015 at 7:28 pm

    WOOH! Good list! I’m proud to say I already do all of these! 😀

    Leonie Parker
    August 4, 2015 at 7:24 pm

    Great Tips x

    Leonie ♥

    August 4, 2015 at 6:43 pm

    Great tips, especially about taking copies of all your important documents x

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    August 4, 2015 at 5:29 pm

    The underwear/second t-shirt in hand luggage is a thing I’m always telling my friends 🙂


    August 4, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    I would definitely add “Wear comfortable clothes” because there is nothing more annoying for me than spending hours and hours at airports and in tiny plane seats and wearing fashionable but uncomfortable clothes.
    xoxo Julie

    August 4, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    Good travel habits plus jetLAGFX a perfect combination for a worry free and enjoyable travel experience.

    August 4, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    Great tips. It would be nightmare, if #3 goes wrong.

    August 4, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    So many helpful tips! THANK YOU for this article! I especially love the tip about scarves. I take a scarf with me on literally every single trip. I was even inspired to design my own blanket scarves made specifically for travel!

    August 4, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    So many good tips! I’ve picked up a lot of these traveling over the past few years, but I feel like I’m still struggling to master the art of packing. Definitely keeping #9 in mind for next time!

    Nikki Vargas
    August 4, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    All fantastic tips! Love the scarf tip!

    August 4, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    For me 14 is most important! Sometimes you definitely just need to step back and appreciate without worrying about the “right angle”. All tips are great though!

    August 4, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    The last years I alsways kinda ended up to finish packing the night before…. that where long nights hahaha 😀 And I totally agree for the scarf, that’s a must!

    August 4, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    The scarf is a MUST. I took one big chunky one to Switzerland in March (it was still pretty chilly!) and it was a lifesaver. Fashion statement, pillow, and blanket all in one!

    August 4, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    Bringing a scarf is always such a good idea! They’re just so cosy too and come in handy on the plane most of all. x

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    […] 15 Good Travel Habits To Start Doing Right NOW. 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. […]

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    Just be careful with the “pharmacy” one! Some countries have strict laws about certain substances that are perfectly legal in the US, so do your research first.

    August 4, 2015 at 11:44 am

    Bring a scarf with you – YES!!! This is one of my best tips, too – it’s amazing how much they come in handy!!