10 Steps to Stress-Free Flying

10 Steps to Stress-Free Flying

By Grace Belangia

With so much out of your control while traveling, you might as well at least be comfortable on your next business trip.

I travel every month by airplane, train or ferryboat, so I’ve slowly been able to acquire tips to make the trip more enjoyable and stress-free. Here are my 10 favorites:

1. Planning in advance. Go ahead and book the ticket so you’ll have a better chance at a good seat. I always favor the window facing the sun.

2. Give yourself an extra hour to get to the airport. You can always use the extra time in the airport to freshen up, get a snack or catch up on the latest business news. You cannot control traffic, bad parking spots or long lines in security. Once you get settled into the airport lounge you can relax a little.

3. Wear something comfortable but not sloppy. I am always amazed at the flip-flop crowd and tight clothing in the airport. Comfortable shoes are key, and dark clothing covers spills. Plus, sitting and walking around the airport is not the time to try out the new high heels or a winter white mini skirt.

4. Bring a colorful pashima or scarf. It covers your cold arms, doubles as a pillow or blanket. And if you’re wearing dark clothes, it won’t look like you are headed to a funeral.

5. Make sure all electronics are charged and ready to go. I get a lot of work done on trips. You can use all that waiting time to catch up on emails, photo management, the endless to-do list or just surfing the web.

6. Splurge on a light read. It will distract you from late planes and will keep you from checking your watch every five minutes. Plus, if your electronics fail, your mind will still have a nice distraction.

7. Bring an empty water bottle and refill once you get through security. I always pack a few powder drink packets – it keeps me hydrated and it’s cheaper than buying a new bottle (plus it’s more eco-friendly).

8. Try to keep luggage to a minimum. If you are taking a non-stop, consider a gate check for your bag. You don’t have to worry about overhead space and you aren’t charged a luggage fee. I take one rolling luggage and one large shoulder bag – enough for a four-day trip.

9. Spend a little money to be stress-free. Sometimes it’s worth spending a more on transportation. If I’m in an unfamiliar city, I like to take a taxi straight to my destination. It’s not worth the hassle after a long day of travel to try coordinating bus routes, travel times, luggage and transfers.

10. Enjoy yourself and relax. There are so many interesting places on earth and amazing people to meet. Try a local restaurant, seek out a cool souvenir and visit the community art museum if you have time before or after meetings. Try to take in at least one sight during your stay.

Grace Belangia is a writer, editor and columnist at Morris Communications as well as a PR, communications, event planning and marketing professional at GAB Consulting.

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