In 2019 alone I was traveling for over 4 months out of the year, flew 80,000 miles, and was on 33 flights. Below are some of the most helpful tips I’ve learned along the way. You can apply to these tips to all travel, but they are especially useful for long international trips where more can go wrong.
Flights and Airports
- Download movies/media offline at home before the flight.
- Whenever I see long and interesting looking YouTube videos, I download them for watching on a future flight.
- Take photos of the receipt you are given when you check a bag. That way even if you lose the physical receipt, you will still have the photo receipt on your phone.
- Sign up for TSA precheck. Not only do you get to skip the standard lines, but you don’t need to remove your shoes or electronics.
- Optional: signup for Clear, Global Entry, and APEC
- Fly with a pen to fill out any travel paperwork.
- Always fill out your arrival paperwork the moment it is handed out and store it with your passport. This way you can go directly to the customs line without stopping to fill out the forms.
- For long flights (10+ hours) have a “Plane Uniform”
- super comfortable
- zipper pockets
- breathable material that isn’t too hot or too cold
- Buy extra water before you get on the plane or fill a reusable water bottle. In the chance that beverage service is delayed due to turbulence, or you are stuck on the runway, it’s always a good idea to have extra water on hand.
- Carry a small sling / bag for plane seat for snacks, sleep mask + earplugs, a pen, water etc.
- Have a second set of toiletries completely dedicated for travel. Always keep it stocked and ready to go.
- Use the same brand of toiletry products for home and for travel. This helps you feel more “at home” in hotels and during your travels.
- Pack a high capacity power bank. Anker makes the best portable power on the market.
- Avoid Sickness
- Sanitize plane area with wet wipes as soon as you sit down. Plane seats are not sanitized between each flight.
- Wash hands before eating
- Don’t touch face or nose
- Pack healthy and delicious snacks
- Epic Jerky (I love their salmon jerky)
- SuperFat Nut Butters
- Soely Fruit Jerky
Especially for international travel, getting good sleep is the single most important factor to ensure a healthy and happy trip. My tips below will help you avoid jet lag and get good sleep while away.
- Use the Timeshifter (iOS + Android) to strategically adjust your sleep schedule to avoid jet lag. I’ve used this to travel to China from LA and totally avoid jet lag. It works best when you follow the instructions exactly.
- Use melatonin to reset your biological clock when you arrive in the new destination. The Timeshifter app mentioned above will even tell you the optimal time to take melatonin.
- Wear a sleep mask and earplugs. How many times have you heard people tell you “I slept horribly in the hotel last night! It was right next to the elevator and I kept getting woken up! Plus there all sorts of lights in the room that prevented it from getting dark”? This is a completely avoidable problem. Wearing ear plugs and a sleep mask ensures you have dark and quiet sleep every night. This combo also works great to sleep on the airplane. See my favorite earplugs and sleep mask here.
- Sleep in a cool room. I like to sleep at around 65 degrees F. Between 60 and 70 degrees is optimal.