With summer here, travel is back in full swing for 2023 — and for the days to come.
I traveled every year of the pandemic, and having traveled a handful of times since the new year, the travel scene is very reminiscent of a time before COVID-19 was a thing. Given my own recent uptick plus more travel on my roster this year, and my most recent trip to Italy, I felt compelled to share some travel tips and reminders as you get ready to embark on adventures, too!
Y’all, the lines are long, and this is one of those travel tips you should really put into action. It’s back-to-normal with travel, and you are missing out on an easier experience by not having TSAPre or Global Entry. From considerably shorter lines to less items in bins to keeping your shoes on, it’s really much easier. TSAPre is $85 and is good for five years. Global Entry makes getting through customs a breeze. If you get Global Entry, TSAPre is automatically included, so I think it’s a better investment. Some credit card companies like American Express cover the fees for you. Check yours and see.
Also, while you can apply for both online, getting to an office is going to be the best thing. We live in Dallas and there is a Global Entry office at DFW Airport. It just took a few weeks for my husband to get his finalized. Check to see what offices are near you vs. doing it all online.
Please note it may take weeks to months to get your final approval, but isn’t it better to get the ball rolling than to wait? I think so.
Airports are full of unmasked coughing people (no joke, I passed by three coughing people within 500 feet numerous times) that do not practice any sort of social distancing. OK, I’m sure you sense some frustration in my tone, but I already thought people didn’t understand the concept of personal space before 2020 and markings on the floor were a thing. Now, it’s like they never were a thing and people forgot what it’s like to be out of their own personal domain.
There are no longer sanitizer stations anywhere. You can make your own assessment further with that information. I think I’m going to continue to wear a mask. While I’m not undergoing treatment for ITP right now, I can’t compromise my health as an immunocompromised person.
With more people traveling, that means longer lines everywhere, including the food court and the dine-in restaurants. If you know you don’t have extra time to stop and grab a bite and you’re iffy about the food offerings on the plane, pack something to eat in your carry-on! I like to carry an apple, a bar (loving Sakara Life bars these days), some pistachios or nuts, and sometimes even a sandwich. Whatever you choose, please be mindful of stronger spices and aromas — and remember you are eating in close proximity to others.
You don’t want to wait until the last minute to plan out what you’re going to pack and what you’re going to do on your trip (hey, unless you’re into that kind of thing), but you do want to do a double check of the weather the week of the trip and then 72 hours out. Maybe there’s a weather system that’s moving in that will encourage you to pack additional layers or certain footwear. Maybe it means you should pack an umbrella or perhaps a sunhat. On a recent trip, it didn’t end up raining except for one day and a compact umbrella would’ve helped out significantly. Sure you can buy one on your trip, but it depends on the destination. What you need may not be readily available, so plan ahead.
Don’t be the person whose music or phone conversation is audible rows and rows away. It’s time to charge up those wireless earbuds, buy some classic headI also love to wear headphones sometimes to signal a “Do Not Disturb” energy. I’m friendly, but sometimes I don’t want to be bothered, and one doesn’t have to be so plop on the headphones, Airpods, whatever you got.
Being kind to the gate agents, flight attendants, front desk staff and more will go a long way. Whether that means you will get an upgraded seat, fresher food, a room upgrade or an above-and-beyond experience for something that is usually turnkey, it’s worth it in the long run. Everyone is in a hurry and wants to get to their destination; let’s go with low-stress – and let’s enjoy our time when we arrive. A simple, hello, how’s your day, and a please, thank you and ‘I really appreciate that’ seem to go a longer way these days with many folks leaving their manners behind in the pandemic.
I can’t stress this enough. Hydrate before, during and after travel, maybe a little more than you would under normal circumstances. Let’s keep your system running, flushing out toxins, and also help you with inflammation. Many transit hubs have filtered water stations, so bring your water bottle and fill ‘er up on the spot to save some dough and be eco-friendly. I always pack a hydration supplement with me in my purse and a few in my suitcase. (I’m a LiquidIV fan, but there’s a ton of others) for a little boost while I’m on the go.
If you’re usually a fragrance wearer, go lighter on your trip, particularly if you’re going to be sitting clsoe to someone and in a confined space. It goes in line with manners. Others may be sensitive and/or allergic to fragrances and perfumes. Don’t begin wearing a natural deodorant on your first day of travel (I hear there’s a little bit of a ramping up process to get the full benefits) – make sure you apply an antiperspirant of some sort, and stick to what usually works.
And don’t forget: personal aroma goes beyond fragrances and deodorant. If you’re traveling in the warmer months and/or you are someone who perspires more than usual or the average person, you may have to double up on the shower before traveling on a plane, train, bus or car. I’m just being real. You can’t cover stank with fragrance. It just makes it worse. Then people around you are smelling B.O. and Chanel. Ick.
So, whaddaya think? Are you going to put these travel tips in motion on your upcoming trips? It doesn’t matter if you are traveling by train, plane or car, at least one of these travel tips should help your trip kick off (and conclude) on a high note. Happy Trails!