Pack Your Bags: 8 Travel Tips

As you take time off this August to step away from the office and recharge, keep these 8 tips in mind. 

1) Disconnect

Chances are that during the workweek you are glued to your email, phone, slack, etc. Take a chance to leave your phone in your room and explore without it. I commonly travel with friends and as long as someone has a phone, I throw mine into the ocean.... 

 

2) Use your Points! 

If you've been racking up points on your Chase Sapphire, use them. Points lose value over time, so the same trip next year will cost more points. Might as well take that flight to San Diego for those surf lessons or to Costa Rica for sloth-spotting. 

 

3) 1 Checked Bag

Unless you're packing a bobsled, you can fit everything in 1 checked bag and 1 backpack. Don't be the friend who needs help carrying their bags. You need the freedom to move around and be flexible. So before you pack your bags, hold every item to your chest and ask yourself "What would Bear Grylls pack?"

 

4) TSA Precheck

TSA-PreCheck is the greatest service ever provided. It's on the same level as a restaurant hostess saying it's going to be 45 minute wait, but then finding a table 3 seconds later. For frequent travelers TSA PreCheck and Global Entry will not only save you about an hour on every trip, but greatly reduce any missed flights. You get to breeze past security and most importantly, keep your shoes on!

 

5) Be Uncomfortable

Vacations are not only a great time to relax, they're a great time to be put in odd situations. On my last trip to Puerto Rico, I found myself buying a Brooklyn Brewery flag from a bar in Playa Fortuna. It took 2 nights and an interesting negotiation with the owner, but I walked away with the flag and a story. Which leads me to my next point...

 

6) Forget Souvenir Shops

I enjoy picking great souvenirs to eternalize trips. However, souvenir shops are the equivalent of taking the tiny shampoo and conditioner bottles from hotels: if it's your first time, you're going to take as many as you can get, but you'll never use them when you get back home.

On  my trip to Whistler BC, I picked up a piece of art from a local coffee shop (see above). Made by a local artist Alicat Art Studio and costs maybe $20. It sits nicely on my wall and means more to me that I found it on my trip instead of making a forced purchase, just to buy something for my dear Aunt Sally (PEMDAS!).

 

7) Work Out

Stay balanced. You don't need to spend your entire vacation working on your bicep pump, but giving yourself a break to do something active will help you recover from the food you'll be eating.

 

8) Meet the Locals

Try to get away from the main spotlight and meet locals. They'll key you into treasures in each area and you'll get an experience that will be hard to replicate. Be open to throwing your vacation plans in the ocean with your phone and embrace the flow. 

 

Summary

As you approach this month's travel plans, try to take it easy. Recharge your batteries and relax. Without sounding too cliche, travel gives you a break from your normal life and provides a fresh perspective on your life. Safe travels!