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What to Prepare for When Traveling on a Plane

Traveling by air can go as smooth as can be or it can be a challenge. This blog discusses what to prepare for when traveling by plane so that you aren’t caught in an uncomfortable situation. Here’s how to increase the odds you’ll have a good trip in spite of any unforseen circumstances.

Assume your bag will not arrive when you do

It happens, bags get delayed or lost on flights. If you’re traveling for something important (most things are) pack the first full day’s essentials in your carry on (bag, backpack, etc.). This includes a change of clothes, a toothbrush, other bathroom essentials, medicine, glasses, medical devices, your phone charger, and your wallet items. Airlines often locate lost bags within a day or two. The stressful time between when you land and when your lost bag arrives can be alleviated if you have your basics with you in the main cabin.

lost luggage

Always carry some cash

While we live in a credit card world, it’s a good idea to have cash with you when traveling. Cash is ideal for tips, times when there are issues with credit machines, places off the beaten path and more.

travel cash

Pack food and water in case of long delays

It’s not uncommon for an aircraft to push back from the gate only to be placed in a hold by air traffic due to weather, heavy amounts of planes in the sky or other reasons. If you find yourself in an extended wait, it’s nice to have some water and snacks at the ready. While the flight attendants can lend a hand, it’s nice to have what you want or need with you.

Fully charge your phone, computer, etc.

This is true anytime you travel. You want to be able to connect with others, do research and make online purchases when needed. It’s also a good idea to pack a second charger in case your primary one is damaged or lost.

traveling with phone charger

Do you lose stuff? Carry a backup pack!

Some people are prone to misplacing items. If this is you, consider a “backup pack” in your carry on bag. An extra credit card, extra cash, and additional form of ID and a list of important phone numbers. If you lose any of your very important items, you’ll be covered while on the road. This sounds like something that can never happen, but if it does and you have your back up items, you’ll have a much easier time with the remainder of your journey.

travel backpack

Call us old fashioned, but print or write out your reservation info

If you’re traveling, odds are good you’ll be renting a car or staying in a hotel or home. Keep the basic info needed to access these handy. The car rental company and your reservation number as an example – or the address, phone number and reservation number for the hotel. Sure, you have your cell phone for that, but what if you land in the city where you’re going, and the cell coverage is poor? What if you drop your phone and it doesn’t work properly? This preparation item takes 2 minutes to do but will save you considerable time and worry if needed.

Have you got everything? Good, bring one more thing.

Most people typically pack an outfit or so for each day they’ll be away plus sleepwear and maybe workout wear as well. What if you have a massive spill? What if you fall into water? What if there’s a sudden cold or warm front in the area? Always add something extra you can wear in various occasions and still look appropriate and be comfortable. Also, when leaving your hotel, it’s not a bad idea to bring this extra outfit along. Just put it in a plastic bag from the hotel and toss it on the back seat of your car. “Wardrobe malfunctions” like a broken shoe or a split in the seam of your clothes can present embarrassing problems. If you’re properly prepared, these become easily fixable.

traveling and packing

Staying with someone? Don’t forget a hospitality gift!

If someone opens their home to you either as a host or in a loaning sense, it’s a nice touch to bring them a gift of appreciation. Ideally, it’s something from your home state or region, but the idea is a little token of thanks. It’s a little tricky because whatever you select has to be small enough to pack and also appropriate for air travel. Present your gift to your host after you arrive and thank them again for having you.

In closing

Yes, this is a lot to think about, but that’s why we put it in a blog for you! While lost bags, lengthy delays and other travel concerns aren’t the norm, Murphy’s Law prevails. If you don’t prepare, that’s just when something will go wrong. A little pre-planning allows you to be comfortable, confident and prepared for what lies ahead. Make your own checklist one time and you’ll be set for future travel. Wishing you a safe business, personal, or leisure trip!

Arriving at your destination

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