Since I’m currently on vacation in Hawaii, traveling with family members who typically do not travel, it has become clear that travel tips I take for granted can be quite helpful – more than I realized previously.

  1. Keep lists – it is easy to forget things that seemed obvious yesterday. Lists can be used for many purposes: packing, your activities/ tasks (our tour person commented on how organized we were, yet all we did was keep a list so we didn’t get confused between the days who knows what the “majority of her guests” typically do), a get ready quickly in the morning list (this is a critical one for business trips!).
  2. Update your travel experience as often as possible- As my consulting mentor says, he has more status than the pilot and it comes in handy. My airline status has come in very handy in the last month, as I was the only person to get out of Dallas a day after a huge storm (everyone else was still standing around the gate agents, trying to work out whether they’d get home 2 to 3 days later, as I slowly walked away, trying not to draw attention to myself). There are many ways to utilize status with airlines, hotels, etc. Make sure to utilize it to the fullest and in a way that is best for you. Also, note that it is often times possible to combine and/or share status among partners, which can be quite handy if you do not travel often. Even if you don’t have or can use your status, be friendly and get to know the people. When I traveled frequently to NC, the lady in the hotel knew my preferences and waited for my late arrivals, put calls through to the workout room at midnight and provided excellent service.
  3. Find something to be productive and/or enjoy your travel experience – For example, I find an area in the airport to work on my laptop, read a book, make a phone call or something else productive and/or enjoyable while passing the time. Actually, there was a time when I got so many emails completed while flying (without interruption!) that I couldn’t keep up when I didn’t travel for a few weeks in a row! Of course, I think the people who worked with me dreaded when I synced my email:.
  4. Pack light – I used to insist on carrying around a huge suitcase until I discovered how much easier it was to travel with a carry-on suitcase, and I started saving up to an hour each time. Mix and match outfits, use the amenities the hotels provide instead of carrying your own, etc.
  5. Plan in advance- Get directions, pay attention to your baggage claim number (I wasn’t used to listening for that information since I carry on baggage, and we wandered around Honolulu with 6 tired people with a few who have ‘bad’ knees/ feet for much longer and further than necessary!), confirmation numbers etc in advance. Take food on the plane if you are traveling in coach and know you might be hungry. Bring a sweatshirt if you get cold on airplanes.