Thanks to the great folks at SC Johnson for making this travel post possible. My comments, opinions, and love for travel are my own.
As you know, I do quite a bit of traveling for my work, not as much as some, but more than average. If there's one thing I've learned after all these years, it's that a little planning can make a big difference. We've covered travel tips before, but new ideas pop up all the time. Here are a few ideas, both old and new, to help make your trip go more smoothly and comfortably.
General Travel Tips
1. Remember to pay bills before you go.
You want to enjoy your trip and protect your good credit.
2. Make copies of your important docs.
This can be very helpful in the event they are lost. Leave a set with a trusted friend at home, carry another set in a different place from your originals.
3. Photograph your luggage.
This could help the airlines identify missing luggage a little faster.
4. Ask a family member or trusted friend to pick up your mail, packages, newspaper, etc.
No need to signal to the world that you're out of town. You could also ask carriers to hold your mail and paper delivery.
5. Let your credit card company know about your trip.
If you live in Fresno, California, and your credit card starts logging charges in Machu Picchu, your credit card company might get nervous. Consider calling them ahead of time so they know your plans. The last thing you want on your trip is to have your credit card rejected.
6. Carry the Raid® Bed Bug Detector and Trap
Before our latest trip, my husband said to me after making hotel reservations, “I hope there are no bed bugs!” You've probably heard about the increase in bed bug infestations since the 1990's. The Raid® Bed Bug Detector & Trap is small enough to fit in your carry-on and can help you expose evidence of bed bugs earlier, if they exist where you're staying. You can place the trap anywhere bed bugs may hide including near the top of the mattress between the head of the mattress and the wall, under the box springs, or furniture closest to your head where you sleep or rest. If a bed bug enters the trap, there's a see-through window that lets you identify it. To effectively dispose of the bugs caught in the trap, just follow the directions on the package.
Specific Tips for Traveling by Air
7. Carry an Empty Water Bottle.
We noticed something odd this last trip while winding our way through the security screening line at the airport. There was a pile of half-filled water bottles on the floor just before the documents check. It's true, large bottles of water aren't allowed through security. So instead, consider carrying an empty bottle and then filling it up once through security. That way you can stay hydrated for the entire trip without having to depend on a flight attendant to bring you water.
8. Consider the Mobile passport app (For US and Canadian Passport holders when entering the United States, and currently available for use when entering only at specific airports. See app description in your app store for more info)
Want a chance to pass through US customs and immigration more quickly when returning to the United States? Check out the Mobile Passport smartphone app. Be sure to still carry your physical passport, follow the directions carefully, then skip the regular line and follow the signs for Mobile Passport control.
9. TSA Pre Check
If you think you'll be traveling a lot with one or more of sixteen participating airlines in TSA Pre-check, consider paying the fee (currently $85 for 5 years) and applying. You could receive expedited security screening (and the good chance of keeping your shoes on). Get more info here: https://www.tsa.gov/tsa-precheck
10. Don't forget snacks
So many times I've thought I'd have time to buy something in the airport, only to rush by the snacks while running to make my connection. So now I always try to carry nuts, granola bars or an apple to keep me going.