Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Five Travel Tips

As a meeting planner, I have made countless trips across the state and the country (and a few outside the US) over the years, and have always found it to be a relatively easy thing to deal with, in spite of the delays and hassles of modern travel. Why? Well, it is partly due to the fact that I like to travel. I get to see new places, re-visit places I have not been to recently, or even just return to old stomping grounds. The main reason, though, that traveling is easy for me is because I have a few things that I do to make my trips more pleasurable. And, having recently returned from a five-day trip to Kansas City, I was considering why I was able to relax amid the stress of long travel days and thought I would share some of those thoughts with you. So… here are five of my favorite techniques for making travel easier.

1) Take a book. It doesn’t matter what you have to read – just have something available. Time passes quickly when you get buried in a good book. I am a book hound and usually travel with two or three of them. If you are not into reading, but have a smart phone, be sure to load up your favorite games, music, or movies to help while away the hours on a long trip.

2) Pack food in your carry-on. As airlines are cutting back more and more, it has become even more important to pack some snacks for yourself. I do a homemade trail mix that gives me some protein, some sugars, and lots of flavor to snack on during long flights. It does not truly replace regular meals, but can be a lifesaver when full, sit-down meals are not an option. Be sure that whatever you take can handle room temperatures without spoiling.

3) Dress comfortably and wear layers. Planes and airports can vary greatly in temperatures, so I always try to layer my clothing. This gives me something I can take off if I get too warm – and something to put on if I get too cold. Comfortable clothing also makes it easier to relax. If you are uncomfortable during your trip, the journey will seem to take much longer than it really is.

4) Give yourself some extra time to get where you’re going. Many people rush to the airport at the last minute, fly along the freeway, or otherwise try to get wherever they’re going in least amount of time possible. While I understand the desire to get to your destination quickly, I find that traveling is much more enjoyable and less stressful when I schedule extra time to get there. When I don’t need to rush to make it on time, I don’t stress about being late or worry as much about delays - and I can enjoy the scenery along the way.

And 5) Keep a positive attitude. This can be particularly hard when there are delays, cancellations, or even (especially!) when you’re stuck next to someone with a massively negative attitude of their own. I try to look at the bright side of the situation and remember that there are very few things about traveling by air that are under my direct control. My attitude, though, is something I can control. If I can “let go” of the things I can’t control, then I can more easily sit back and enjoy the trip…

- Karl Baur, CMP • Project Director, RDL enterprises

Do you have favorite techniques for making travel easier? Share them with us! Send your “ease of travel” ideas to and we’ll share them with everyone in future posts.