For nearly 21 years, I have been traveling full time for my work – I give motivational speeches that empower people to think better, do better and live better. When you speak at nearly 100 events a year, there is one thing for certain and that is travel can be unpredictable and things do go wrong. So, if you happen to be flying, here are a few helpful tips to assist you when things get off schedule and how to make your trip a little less stressful.
1. If you ever have a long lay over or are delayed at the airport, see if there is an international terminal and go hang out there.
It’s nicer, more restaurant options, not as crowded as domestic terminals, bigger bathrooms – the works. Find a comfy spot, a not too busy area and camp out. If there is no international terminal, I typically will walk around until I find an area that is not packed or busy. That area becomes my home until it’s time to go.
2. Always have 1 or 2 rechargeable batteries for you phone.
Recharge stations are always crowded and good luck finding an outlet.
3. Stick to drinking water.
Once you get through security – get a big bottle and stay hydrated. Avoid water fountains.
4. Be proactive, meaning have a back up plan or two if your flight is canceled, delayed or you miss a connection.
You will always get more helpful service if you call the airline agent verse standing in a long line to speak to a gate agent who is stressed out.
If they are not helpful over the phone, hang up and call back – most of the time it’s the person who is helping that determines if they are going to help your or make your day worse. And no matter what – be super nice on the phone. It’s not a therapy session to vent, complain and lose your marbles. Be nice.
5. Pack a change of clothes and any medications in your carry on…just in case.
I have been missing my bags for 2 days now, so pack essentials in carry on only.
6. Eat light – pack some protein bars in your bag.
Stick to small meals. Limit your salt intake as much as you can.
7. Pack a really good book and maybe download 2-3 favorite movies on your phone.
I love to read but sometimes I just love to veg and watch a good movie to pass the time.
8. Wear compression socks
They help fight fatigue and help your circulation when in the air. Amazon sells great ones.
9. Burn some calories – go for a walk.
If you try to get 10,000 steps in daily, you can take advantage of the time and space and walk.
10. Don’t complain
It will only stress you out more and make your situation that much worse. Just breathe and understand- no matter how mad you get it won’t help make things better for you or anyone. Keep your cool. Other travelers can be rude and do or say things that will make you shake your head, however, do whatever you can to keep your cool.
11. Everything is more expensive at the airport
Grab a baggie at home and load it with – Kleenex, Advil, headphones, hand lotion, sanitizer…whatever you need so your not wasting money at the airport travel store. Stick to buying only water there.
12. Download helpful apps on your phone like Uber or hotel booking, in case you get stuck somewhere.
And make sure when you book your ticket, you click the option to get text alerts if there is an issue with your flight. It’s always helpful when the airline sends you updates.
13. Pack a light weight sweatshirt
Even if it’s summer time, it can get really cold in the air and also you can fold it up and use it as a comfy pillow. Plus if the boarding area is really crowded and the only place to sit is on the floor, it helps in that situation also.
14. Get $50 -$100 cash in singles, fives and tens.
You can use it for tipping or you just never know. Keep half in your wallet and the other half in a special section in your carry on bag.
15. If you are traveling with kids
Pack plenty of activities, snacks, surprises and patience.
16. Wear comfy clothes.
Unless you are doing business right when you get off the plane, wear what makes you feel relaxed – jeans, flats, walking shoes, comfy clothes.