The final day and hours before a trip can be stressful. Particularly unnerving for some is knowing that you must catch a plane or meet others by a certain time. So do yourself a favor by planning ahead and avoiding procrastination.
Remember the packing list I recommended in last week’s article? Make sure you are diligent about checking it and keeping up with the tasks. Don’t leave everything until the last minute!
If you followed the advice in the previous article, you have most everything you need, along with your suitcase, out and ready to go. Now, you should finish packing your bag. Make sure that everything fits inside it, that it can close, and that it meets the weight restrictions. That means weigh your bag before you leave home so you don’t have to rummage through it at the airport taking heavy items out to avoid the hefty charges for extra pounds. Be sure you know what you packed and that everything is secured where it needs to be.
Plan the outfit you will wear to travel in. If you aren’t in first class, be comfortable! Wear something appropriate for the time you are in transit and the weather conditions you will be encountering upon arrival. Wear easy on-off shoes so you can get in and out of them quickly when going through security. Avoid wearing belts or other accessories you will have to remove to get through security — less chance of losing something you will miss.
Keep your carry-on practical and manageable. Put your documents and money in something small and easy for you to locate. Bring along only what you need to travel. While you are out of the country, chances are you won’t need your “frequent user cards” from the local shops. If you are taking along a computer, have it in an easy-to-get-to bag pocket or tote so you can take it out to get through security — that has to go into its own tray for the scanner.
Pack an empty water bottle — or plan to have an empty one by the time you get through security. I have to admit, I love this idea. I saw a woman go through security a few years ago with an empty water bottle, which at the time I thought was silly. But then, after security, I saw her go over to one of the soda dispenser machines and fill it up with water! Brilliant! In addition, pack easy-to-carry snacks in case you find yourself delayed or without a way to get something to eat when you need it. Nuts, protein bars, and raisins travel well and help keep you functioning if there is little food to get to.
The Night Before: Confirm and check in for your flight, and print your boarding pass if possible; pack that along with other travel documents in an easy-to-access pocket of your carry-on. Make one final list on paper of the very last-minute things to take or do before leaving your home. Tape this list on your exit door so you can’t leave without checking that you got everything on it done. Put your luggage by the door or, better yet, in your car if it is in your garage and secure. Have outer garments ready to go, as well as reading or entertainment items for a long plane ride or long wait for ground transportation. Don’t forget chargers for phones or electronics! Also list anything you need to do to secure your home before leaving.