I’m not exactly a globetrotter, but I have been doing a decent amount of traveling these days for business and pleasure. My takeaway: there are almost as many #traveltips as bags that won’t fit in the overhead bin.

So I thought I’d share my carefully curated list of tips and tricks for successful travails—er—travels.

Clean before you leave: Yes, yes you’ll arrive home to a sparkling abode. But to me, the real advantage is that if I meet my demise via a loose anaconda in baggage claim, people can talk about THAT rather than the towering pile of dishes in the sink.

Bring healthy snacks: That way you can mash them to tiny bits at the bottom of your bag so you have an excuse to eat (more) Funyuns.

Pack light: Instead of toting around a heavy case crammed with items you may need, forget key belongings that you had laid on the bed whilst packing. You’ll have extra room in your suitcase for new items you’ll purchase and forget on your next trip.

Arrive early: I like to really lean into my anxiety and arrive at the airport several hours early. #ProTip: pretend that you’re camping out for concert tickets for a fun carnival atmosphere!

Mind your liquids: Leave the cap of your shampoo ever so slightly open so that it leaks onto the outfit you’ve brought for an important meeting or gathering. You’ll smell like a spring meadow—and have extra volume to boot!

Keep it clean: Cleanliness is more top-of-mind than ever. I rigorously use disinfectants and sanitizers, but make sure to douse my top in coffee or sit on a pile of spilled M&Ms in order to balance things out.

Think universally: If you’re traveling outside the U.S., you’ll likely encounter a different system of measurement. Note that you may need to set your watch to metric time.  

Make new friends: Chat up strangers sitting next to you, in line, in the bathroom, etc. They’ll want to hear about your latest medical exploits and the deep rift in your family caused by a stolen potato salad recipe.

And some bona fide advice for a bon voyage:

Bring a book: Even if your flight is canceled or you’re stuck in traffic, you’ll be going places.

Keep a journal: Memories can be as short as travel-sized tempers. Write down what you want to remember. As Oscar Wilde said: “I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.”

Be chill: Problems don’t take PTO. I try to expect the aggravating as well as the hilarious so I don’t find myself journeying in an upright and locked position.

Don’t be afraid to fly solo: No travel companion? No worries. You are always enough.

Eat the treat: Your taste buds deserve a break. So do you.

Do the thing: Regret makes a lousy travel companion.

Pack in the fun: Whatever that fun looks like for you.

Traveling is a trip–whether it’s across town or around the globe, for fun or with purpose. So tell me, dear friends, what’s the #traveltip you can’t go without?  

31 thoughts on “Trippin’

    1. I’m a big believe in “packing light.” It’s not a real trip unless I unpack at my destination to discover I’ve forgotten something!
      On the practical side, I’m not a coffee drinker so I pack my own tea. Gotta have that caffeine. Cheers!

      Liked by 3 people

    2. Yes! I so agree, Tom! Last trip I went on, though, I brought my milk steamer (I add to regular coffee to make “cappucino”)–and forgot the bottom part that plugs in and actually heats the coffee.


  1. I’m absolutely gobsmacked! You just chose Funyuns over licorice? My tip: For this allergy-girl, bring extra meds and inhalers, etc. Plus, your own box of tissues help. In case the hotel, etc. sucks- you won’t be stuck with toilet paper as tissues.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Fill suitcase half full, so you’ve got room for the souvenirs you do not need, and will never see again after you are home. They make good emergency Christmas presents!
    Eat something you’ve never had before, so you can make sure the hotel bathroom is up to par.
    Bring an autographed book with you, and carry it with you at all times. Tell total strangers JC Kenney is your BFF, F’ing talented, and if they don’t know him, tell them they HAVE to run out and buy every story possible. Free promo for any author you choose.
    Legit tip? Roll your clothes. Takes less room and there is less ironing when you get there. Although, according to the but’er academy, you should pack your clothes with tissue paper. Now that I think is a bit much.
    Always have benedryl in your purse, carry on, checked bag, and hubbs even has one in his wallet for me. You never know how nasty the mosquitoes will be to you.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Yup. Been rolling clothes since I was in the army. I packed for a trip this weekend. 3 nights in an overnight bag, and it’s only half full! And yes, different clothes for every day, meds, snacks and electronics.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Pack light is the most important one. And hey, no one buy you (or your traveling partner) will know that you’ve been wearing the same three tops and slacks for the entire trip! (Though you may want to limit the number of selfies you post…)

    And do talk to strangers! For people are truly the best part of travel.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Kathy, this is wonderful! And funny! As a fellow frequent traveler, I will add, make sure you bring your current portable craft project so that you never touch it and feel guilty about that, but you know if you hadn’t brought it, you’d need it.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Kathy, I’m so glad you gave us these helpful tips because I am the worst, most disorganized traveler ever. I bring everything but the kitchen sink “just in case.” When visiting your stomping grounds in the Pacific Northwest, I always bring my yellow rain slicker, cute rain boots, and an umbrella. The looks I get, lol. I’ve been told that’s how everyone knows I am NOT from the Northwest. But hey, if anyone needs anything at a conference, hit me up. I bet I have it in my bag(s).

    Liked by 1 person

  6. These are great, Kathy! My tip: Always pack an extra pair of shoes. Even if it’s just for the weekend and you plan to only wear the pair you have on. I’ve had a sole crack completely in half, and gotten my only shoes completely soaked in a huge puddle! You don’t want to have to shop for new shoes on the fly and end up having to buy shoes you don’t really want, just to keep you from being barefoot!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I should’ve gotten these tips before I left for Bouchercon! Naturally, I left behind some items. Good thing Target is so close by! (Sometimes before I travel, I run through the actual motions, like brushing my teeth, to figure out if I packed everything. Should’ve done it this time around, too!)

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Well, on my last trip in July, I decided to pack my clothes, etc. in a box and mail them Fedex to my arrival location. It was about what they charge for a bag, but it was there in two days, and I did not have to worry about lost luggage. I did the same on the way home. The other option is Shiptogo or something like that. Look into it. Made traveling a lot easier and then I had room for my carry on with computer, pills, purse, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

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