Preparing for Takeoff: How Frequent Travel Has Changed Our Travel Preparation Routine

The reality is now settling in. We are leaving on a big trip in less than two weeks. We are all falling into our normal positions in this play that we act out every time we go somewhere; me in the role of the planner and the detail taker carer of-er and my husband as the frantic, panicky psycho. It is interesting to see, though, how frequent travel has changed our travel preparation habits.

Of course, we do all of the normal leaving home sorts of things-putting mail on hold, cleaning out the fridge, making sure that the dishes and laundry are all done so they don’t smell while we are gone (though this routine has become much more automatic from frequent repetition.)

These essential items on the to do list have become more a part of our daily routine and less something that is out of the ordinary, thus they don’t require so much extra focus and attention. Travel has become a part of our lifestyle, the same way that going to the gym or switching ones diet becomes easier as it becomes a part of the routine.

We have streamlined the routine quite a bit in the process. We have bins of travel sized toiletries sorted by type. We keep a well stocked travel first aid kit and other travel related necessities handy in our closet. I have been traveling so much recently that many times, my bag doesn’t even get fully unpacked between trips (the contents get customized for a different location, but there are some items that often just stay packed.) I even have a section of my dresser for travel friendly clothing.

In the past, before we were traveling as much as we do now, a two week trip would have been a major ordeal to prepare for. It would have been something that I would have prepared for for months, obsessing over to do lists and packing lists, making sure that all of the details were in place.

I still do a pretty insane amount of travel research for our trips, as I have never been the “figure it out when you get there type”, but I find that the more trips we take, the less I am fretting about having every little details planned out.

I am not a super, uber budget traveler who stays in hostels all the time and shuns all touristy things for off the beaten path gems, though I do pack for extended trips only in a small backpack, so I fit that part of the stereotype. I am a travel addict. I am also a normal person just like you who goes to work and lives in a house with a husband and a cat, and these are my adventures…

Simple Tips To Improve And Simplify Your Travel Packing

No matter if you are packing for a long or short trip, whether for business or pleasure, a time-saving way to begin is to make and use a list. Using a list, it will be easy to check off all items to ensure nothing is left behind and all items are absolutely necessary. Include the list in your luggage as a handy guide for not forgetting things when repacking.

When deciding on items of clothing to pack, mixing and matching clothing saves space and tends to reduce the number of outfits actually needed. If possible, select one or two pairs of shoes which coordinate with the majority of outfits.

Another important rule is don’t be fooled by the myriad of travel gadgets out there. Not only do many of these not perform properly they take up packing space. A simple rule to consider is: if it’s not a smaller version of something you absolutely can’t live without while on the road, then don’t pack it. One travel item that is of utmost importance though are clear and unique baggage tags. A unique tag makes it easier to spot your luggage on busy, fast-moving carousels when tired after a long haul flight.

Scanning important data such as passport, ID photos, paper tickets and other travel documents into an email account like Yahoo or Hotmail can be very useful and easily accessible should the need arise. It is also helpful to include the numbers to report loss for mobile phones, credit cards, travelers checks and your travel insurance policy. When packing these items distribute them between bags and do not include all of them, especially cash, in your carry-on bag.

Packing clothing in plastic easy-to-open bags organizing either by outfit, or item such as socks, underwear, etc. optimizes space and affords ease in the event of luggage inspection. If traveling with others, distributing one bagged outfit for each person among your party’s bags avoids luggage-arrival mishaps. Plastic bags should be used for personal care items with these items contained in small regulation-size containers and clearly labeled. Purchasing many of these items in travel size, will save inspection time as well as valuable space.

Travel and health insurance is definitely a must-take item. Some companies include some medical coverage with the travel insurance to provide for emergency medical care, physician consulting, treatment and prescription drug reference access. Travel insurance also offers protection for ticket loss, flight delay and any accidents while aboard public transportation. Ensure that you find the most acceptable coverage required for your requirements and have a great trip.