Don't Travel Often? 4 Tips to Keep Things Simple

This post was written in O'Hare airport in Chicago.  As someone who doesn't travel all that much, each trip is memorable.  For example, I can remember sitting in the rocking chairs in Charlotte, the shuttle trains in Atlanta and the (sorry) compactness of Pittsburgh.  

I like travel as it gives me the chance to explore new areas and try different foods.  It's something that I've learned to do rather than an activity that comes naturally to me. 

The flip side of travel that is infrequent is that you can overstress and overcomplicate the process.  Ever seen any of the following?

 -kids screaming while their parents check in with their luggage

-disgruntled travelers who take out their anxiety on an airline employee

-tired businessmen who just look like they want to get home

And so it goes... you may also think of any number of popular "travel movies".  Think back to Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Up in the Air or even Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.  Right now, I'm just trying to get better and better and how I travel.

Sometimes "getting better at it" can either be helped or hurt but your use of digital.  Whether you are at the Travel Ninja level or a novice like me, here are four simple tips that might help:

1. Use the airlines app.  This does two things. First, it cuts down on papers to print out.  These get wrinkled and can be lost easily.  Second, it gives you an easy way to self-calm yourself as you check on the status of your flight or see if you'll have an aisle seat via the seating chart section.  

2. Simplify your prep.  For those that don't travel often, it can feel like recreating the wheel and you'll spend way too much time just packing for a simple overnight.  The sollution: keep a list and save it in your digital task manager.  I have one in Todoist that is simple and saves me time and energy.

3. Cut down on your security check.  By wearing slip on shoes, no jewelry and a belt that comes off easily, you'll save so much time and stress.  Common sense, sure but it works like gold. 

4. A place for everything.  If you use a briefcase, keep things in the same location every time.  For me, wallet is always in the back right pocket and phone in the front right pocket.  By keeping things in the same places, you don't have to think about them and will (again, see the theme here) cut down on stress.   

I hesitate to write this post as I know so many of my friends who travel a ton and could write a book on travel.  Still, there are probably a lot of light travelers like me and perhaps these four steps will help you.   

What steps do you take to simplify travel? 


*Photo courtesy of FDP