Five tips when traveling long distance

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

It seems as of lately all that i've been doing is traveling. From my adventures in Europe, to Chicago, and then back to Europe again in September I feel as if I have become a seasoned pro at traveling. Here are just a few tips that I have learned from my (mis)adventures that might be helpful so that you can have a stress-free trip.

(1) Bring copies of everything
         I had the misfortune of loosing my Drivers License while traveling in Europe. Fortunately since I had copies of my passport, Drivers License, and Birth Certificate I was able to go through TSA without my physical Drivers License or Passport in hand. By having extra copies of everything I was able to pass through security in a jiffy (with extra security clearance it took about 5 minutes for the entire process at Chicago Ohare Airport). No matter what, it's always safe to have copies because when traveling you never know what might happen. Better safe than sorry, right?

(2) Show up to the airport early
 The three hour rule for international travel and two for domestic travel is honestly becoming a thing of the past. With security checkpoints becoming longer it's best to get to the airport as soon as possible and get your ducks in a row. This is especially true with international travel and with larger groups. By having showed up even earlier than expected for check-in at the Venice airport my family and I were able to catch an earlier flight to Minneapolis due to a mechanical error on our original flight. Coming in early typically has perks (especially if you're traveling domestically with carry on luggage). If you're really in a rush see if you can fly standby on an earlier flight, just double check what the airline's rules are about standby (sometimes they will cancel your seat on the later plane). You wouldn't want to be stranded in an airport after all. Sign up for email notifications from your airliner so that you can constantly be in the know about your flight. Be aware though that there is a delay for emails so don't rely solely on those notifications, because you will be left behind.

(3) Understand that you can't control everything/ Plan for the worst
In order to get to Barcelona from Minneapolis we had to take a flight in from Paris CDG. Unfortunately we were unaware of the airport strikes at the airport. Having an hour and a half layover typically should be enough time to catch the next flight. This wasn't the case at CDG because of multiple factors that we couldnt' control, ultimately making us delayed by 9 hours and stranded at the airport. First, we had an arrest on the plane (both 13 year old boys- weird right?) and then after running to the next security clearance we were told that there was a strike for customs control officers, leaving a total of +300 frustrated people with three control officers. Two hours later and being "those people" at the airport who ran, we  had missed our flight. The next flight wouldn't be leaving till 9pm at night which meant we had nothing to do for a solid 9-10 hours in the section of the airport. Fortunately I had packed extra clothes and activities just in case of this situation in my carry on luggage. Traveling (no matter how long the distance) can be emotional, especially when there are delays. Bring distractions and before you know it you'll be off in the air in no time.

(4) Bring something from home with you
I'm one of those people who love feeling at home wherever I am around the world. Every time I travel I bring my favorite pillow and blanket along for the ride. This is great to have on your plane ride and going from hotel to hotel. As great as seeing the world is, sometimes stability is great- no matter how small it might seem.

(5) Read TSA's rules
I can't tell you how many times I have seen people get upset over TSA's rules. Let's remember that they are doing this for our safety and put signs up throughout the airport and online for as a point of reference. For avid travelers, check on the top of your ticket to see if you are considered Pre-Check. Know that with every airline you might not be Pre-Checked (for example I am always with Delta but never with Untied). TSA is there to help you and they are honestly the nicest people that I have met, and always get me excited and in a great mood when traveling. If you have any questions about their process you can check out their blog or follow them on social media. Trust me, you;'ll want to check it out because they are true lifesavers.

What are your top tips when traveling? Write them down in the comments below!

Until next time,

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