World Wide Woman: 3 Tips for Easy Travel
“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” -Gustav Flaubert
Estimated time to read: 4 minutes
Every week for work, I hop on a plane and head to work. Although I leave home every week for a few days, it allows me to see the world in a different perspective from my typical vantage point. One thing is for sure – it allows me to meet people from all over the world and broaden my mindset of the possibilities of life.
Studying abroad in Paris when I was 19 gave me a crazy travel bug; needless to say, I love travelling so much so I do it weekly. Paris was one of my favorite places on Earth before I lived there because of the amazing fashion (surprise, surprise), and became my official favorite place on Earth after I touched down and ran around the city.
People are able to enhance their life story and experiences when they travel, and learn how similar – and different – they are to someone who grew up and lives in another part of the world, even if in the same country or state. You will be surprised how much of your own home city/country you have yet to discover.
Over the past few years, I learned quick tips that have made my travelling adventures easier, quicker, more comfy (and funner – check out the bonus tip). I share them below and hope you will also hit the road both domestically and internationally in search of your next story:
- Sign up for Global Entry – not TSA pre-check.
When you travel internationally, going through customs and security can be a big painful and tedious process. Global Entry makes it simpler to make your way back into your home country after you have a thorough background check. One of the beauties of having Global Entry is that you automatically receive TSA pre-check – considering you have already gone through a detailed screening for Global Entry so it’s like getting a gift. TSA pre-check is super useful for checking into the airport domestically in the USA or when you are heading out on an excursion across the seas. At a cost of $100 for 5 years, I will say it is well worth the investment.
- Increase your leg room.
This is a biggie! One of the major reasons why people hate travelling is because of the lack of legroom they have in their plane seat. Sitting in an uncomfortable position for an extended period of time can cause leg cramps, Charley horses, and swelling of the legs (something I experience more than I would like). One of the first things flight attendants make you do before takeoff is push your personal carry on item (e.g., purse and backpack) underneath the seat in front of you. This is one of the biggest limiters in your leg space. A [space] hack I discovered and live by is putting your personal item right under your legs, leaning against your seat, right after takeoff and you’re fully airborne (don’t do this before). This may prop up your legs in the air a bit, but it will allow your legs and feet to freely fit under the seat, making it much more comfortable and roomier than before.
- Pack lightly.
Master the art of packing lightly. Whether or not you travel frequently, pack strategically so that your clothes fit into a carry-on suitcase. Going to baggage claim can be a major pain of travelling and honestly one of the main risks because you can be delayed heading to your destination once you land or worse yet, your bags could be misplaced or lost – leaving you stranded without any of your necessities. Of course, there will be times when packing a checked bag is inevitable (like when you’re headed out internationally for an extended period of time), but keep all your most valuable possessions in your carry-on and personal item. Try rolling your clothes rather than folding them, and if possible, pack dresses or a couple of [simple] skirts with two or three shirts that can complement each one.
Bonus: When heading to a new city (or even one you “think” you already know), search for the best activities or restaurants in town. Explore doing something you typically do not have time for back at home – like skydiving, horseback riding, or ATV driving. If you’re anything like me, you’ll enjoy scoping out the best restaurants in town, considering at some point everyone has to eat. Check out the top eateries, and order their most popular dish(es) so you can give the best recommendations to people who may ask you.
Three places I am looking forward to travelling to someday soon are Israel, Ethiopia, and Ghana. Where are you looking forward to travelling to next? Let me know below.
I’m wearing this sparkly [bargain find] shirt from New York and Company and pencil skirt with detachable peplum high-waist belt made by Ismarh Couture.