Travel preparation tips for all types of travelers

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Travel is never easy, but it is always supposed to be fun. Whether you’re a business professional, adrenaline junkie or family on the go, here are a few travel tips that will maximize your time away from home:

For Family Road Trips

  • Find New Entertainment: Reduce the stress of packing toys for small kids by making it a throw-away-toy trip. Let your kids bring one toy from home that is special and stays in their suitcase. All other toys should be cheap enough that you can throw them away before returning home. Goodbye lost toy meltdown! To make a road trip extra special, let your young ones pick out a new toy at every stop if they are good. Even if you’re on the road for 24 hours, it will be the best $24 you ever spent.
  • Involve Older Kids: It’s often as easy as letting them have a say in the planning of the trip. Even if they just get to pick the hotel, the restaurant or the activity for the day, getting teens and tweens involved in the process might actually get them to put that phone to some productive use.
  • Get Active: While you may be exhausted, children tend to be overstimulated by travel. Find something to do at or near your hotel ahead of time that will wear them out, such as swimming or chasing a Frisbee at a park. Some hotels even have kid’s activities to choose from so you can get in a real nap.

For Adrenaline Seekers

  • Pack Multipurpose Items: Sure, you brought the first aid kit and checked your equipment twice. But, two items that may be missing are duct tape and lavender oil. IndieTraveller recommends wrapping wounds in a bandage and then duct tape to keep the bandage on and the wound free of water and debris. Use lavender oil as a natural painkiller, disinfectant and calming agent. Add it to aloe vera gel to quickly heal a sunburn, or add a few drops in a warm bath for a great night’s sleep.
  • Keep Your Bag Fresh: Bring dryer sheets to put in your dirty clothes bag to keep your gear from stinking up your whole suitcase. A bar of soap works great too. Wrap dirty shoes in a shower cap.
  • Feel Prepared: Getting mentally prepared for a trip is just as important as physical prep. Stress is a part of traveling, and it can wreak havoc on every part of your body. Try meditating once a day the week before your trip, even if it’s only for 5 or 10 minutes.

For Business Trips

  • Join a Rewards Program: If you travel for work, take advantage of all the customer loyalty programs out there. They are often more generous than Las Vegas casinos with upgrades, such as rental car delivery service right to your hotel. Travel Channel recommends these programs for business travelers.
  • Dress Professionally: People who dress well typically get better service no matter where they go. Plus, it’s never a bad idea to travel in an outfit that you can give your big presentation in, especially if you had to check your bag.

For All Travelers

  • Plan for the Worst: Realistically assess what could wrong during your trip, and develop a plan for the worst case scenario. If you have a plan, a lot more can go right and you will sleep much better knowing you’ve thought it through. This list of expectations versus reality from The Dig is a good place to get your mind going in that direction. Also know the closest hospital to your location. Always let someone know your travel plans, including when you’re leaving, where you’re going and when you’re coming back.
  • Pack Backup Documents: Be prepared for the unthinkable by packing two photocopies of each traveler’s passport, credit card (front and back) and a list of all medications and allergies. Print these on actual pieces of paper instead of saving them on your phone because if your phone dies, they won’t do you any good. Also keep one set of these essential documents in your carry-on and the other one on your person or in the hotel safe.
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