If there's one time you really want to be organized, it's when you're traveling. I want to be organized all the time, but certainly traveling requires more organization than we may posses in our daily live. These travel tips for creating itineraries, packing carry-ons, going back to work after vacation, and organizing your travel momentos will help you be more organized when you travel.Cut the stress by following some simple organizing steps.
1. Tips to Stay Organized While You Travel
- Keep track of keys and important papers
- Plan outfits
- Wrangle souvenirs
2. Use a (Simple) Travel Planning Checklist
I get laughed at by friends and family for using too many checklists, but I truly believe in checklists to ensure I don't forget anything. This sample travel planning checklist can be used for big or small journeys and is flexible if you're planning really far ahead or spur-of-the-moment. In other words, whether you are planning a trip 6 months out or two days ahead, you can use this to check off what you need to get done ahead of time.
3. How to Pack Your Car for a Road Trip
4. Create an Itinerary
Keep an itinerary with the following:
- Flight numbers and times.
- Phone numbers of travel agents, rental car companies airlines and hotels.
- Address(es) of hotels and any place you plan to visit.
- When out of the country, the address and phone number of your country's embassy.
My friend Tom writes the times and numbers of his flights and hotels on an index card he keeps in the breast pocket of his blazer. I like to keep mine in a clear plastic folder. There's no great mystery here: having all of this information written down will save you from wondering where you're supposed to be and how you're getting there.
5. Pack Lightly and Bring Layers
In brief, my top tips for packing:
- Make a list before you begin. It doesn't have to be overly detailed, but a general outline of what you'll need.
- Roll your clothes. You'll fit more into your suitcase.
- Bring extra Ziploc bags and be amazed at how often they come in handy (think: leaky shampoo bottles, snacks, wet clothes, laundry, etc.)
- When in doubt, choose a rolling suitcase over a shoulder bag. Your back will thank you.
- Pare down shoes. They are heavy! Choose a few pairs that can multitask.
- Always pack layered clothing. Chances are you'll be going between indoor and outdoor venues. You will want to vary your clothes by temperature possibly several times a day.
- Consider complementary colors.
6. Learn How to Bring Just One Bag
I actually like to check my bags so I don't have to haul luggage around an airport terminal, but, if you can get away with just a carry-on, it will certainly lesson your load for the entirety of your trip.Travel writer Johnna Kaplan shares her tips for traveling with only a carry-on bag.
7. Bring a (Small) Travel Journal
Bring a small journal on the road as a catch all. Travel journals aren't just for writing; they are a great way to capture, store and display those little mementos and keepsakes you collect on a trip that may be just as meaningful as your gift shop purchases. Think: address cards, matchbooks, receipts from memorable meals, museum tickets, etc. You can also jot down notes you'd like to remember.
8. Decide Ahead Of Your Trip How to Deal with the TSA
I'm not an expert on this by any means, but I think it's wise to decide before you go to the airport if you're picked for a screening which route you're going to go. I typically fly out of JFK and I can't imagine the response from a bunch of angry New Yorkers if I held up the security line, stalling them while I decided between body scan and pat down. It would get ugly. Do your research and decide ahead of arriving at the airport or train station.
Airport Security Resources:
9. Make Sure Someone Has Your Itinerary
File this in the "This will never happen to me, whoops now it just did" folder. Chances are you are not going to have any issues on your trip but just in case, make sure a responsible adult whom you trust knows your general whereabouts.
10. Think Twice Before Posting About Your Trip on Facebook
Unless you know everyone on your friends list very well, it's not a good idea to have your whereabouts posted online anywhere. Chances are you've accepted a "friend" request from a former work colleague or someone you met briefly at a party, etc. It's best to keep the details of your trip private until you've returned.
And on a personal note, I find those "I'm lounging poolside. How's the office, suckers?!?" status updates to be plain old obnoxious.
Internet Security Resources: