But one of the most persistent stressful elements of frequent travel is the constant packing and unpacking, which creates countless opportunities for something to get lost or forgotten. Expert travelers know that reducing stress on the road is not just about what you pack -- it's also about how you pack.
These "grab and go" kits will have you ready for easy and efficient travel at a moment's notice.
There's nothing worse than rushing the morning of an early flight to pick the best outfit, only to find yourself trapped in the air wearing an itchy or ill-fitting item for hours. Creating a go-to travel outfit ahead of time ensures you'll have a comfortable flight experience, no matter what time you board.
Pick a comfortable outfit with a removable long-sleeved layer so you can account for chilly plane temperatures and quickly adjust to different weather from one stop to another. Opt for comfortable shoes and minimal jewelry for security speed and comfortable plane naps. Consider a comfy beanie or scarf that can be used as a personal nap pod or pillow, if need be.
If you know what you're wearing each time you travel, you can reduce the time spent preparing on the morning of an early flight and eliminate the risk of trapping yourself in the air in something uncomfortable. By keeping this outfit clean and ready to grab, you'll always be ready for a comfortable adventure.
Tech Tackle Box
You only have to forget a phone charger or laptop charger once to realize what a stressful (and potentially expensive) mistake it is. To combat that possibility, and remove the stress of wondering, I built a "grab and go" tech bag that's always ready for take off.
Find a small zipper pouch and fill it with a dedicated second copy of charging devices for your laptop, phone, e-reader and anything else you typically need to keep charged while away from home. My kit also includes an international power adapter, a back-up USB drive, a set of ear buds, and a dongle for connecting my computer to a projector.
No more collecting cords from different rooms of the home, only to have to unravel and unpack them when you return. Now, before I leave home, I simply drop my ready-to-go tech kit into my suitcase, and I know I'll be charged and connected for the duration of my trip.
Though I highly recommend getting TSA Pre-Check (paired with Global Entry for international travelers), not every airport will offer these express lane services, so the more prepared you are, the faster your check-in will go.
Your travel ensemble should already include comfortable layers and shoes that can easily be removed, but opt for a security-friendly carryon bag that features outside-facing zipper pouches. This will allow you to remove your laptop and plastic bag with regulation travel-size liquids to be quickly placed in bins for screening.
Bonus points: Find a bag with a small zipper pouch out the outside, and keep it empty when you pack. This way, you can always add your phone, watch, boarding pass and other small pocket items while waiting in line, saving you the time and the hassle of wrestling multiple screening bins.
Old-School Info Pack
There are so many great apps and tools for booking and organizing travel, but the first time your device battery dies, you'll be in some trouble. Keeping the travelers version of an "emergency contact card" on paper can be a life saver.
Always keep a sheet of paper or note card with emergency contact information for family, the office, your bank and any other key people in the bag you carry with you. Write down any medications you take, and any important ID numbers, such as your frequent flyer numbers, Known Traveler Number and hotel rewards accounts.
For each trip, print out a paper itinerary with your schedule, including flight information and the names, phone numbers and addresses of any important locations on your journey. If you're traveling to a country where you won't speak the dominant language, put each address on a note-card you can hand to a cab driver.
By dedicating the time to find the perfect travel bag just once, and then filling it with the tech tools and paper information you need, you'll be able to toss on your travel-day ensemble and head to the airport stress free for future trips.
Now the only thing you'll have to worry about is whether there's a fresh slate of movies on the in-flight entertainment since you last landed...