If you follow me on Instagram (if not, you totally should — @susangkoger), you know that I spend A LOT of time on the road and in the air traveling for ModCloth. As a seasoned road tripper, I’ve had my fair share of adventures — of both the good AND the not-so-good varieties — and I’ve learned a thing or two about how to handle them.
With summer road trip season upon us, I’m sharing my tips and tricks for surviving travel blunders big and small. Check ‘em out below and be sure to share your tripping tips in the comments.
You arrive, your luggage has not: The number one thing that has helped me weather the road less traveled is to always have a well-stocked tote bag. I’m not talking about your suitcase full of cute outfits and shoes, but a large shoulder bag to act as backup in case your luggage is lost, you’re in need of a layer or two, or you experience unexpected delays. Because there are always unexpected delays.
Check out my bag, above. In it, I’ve got all of my tech needs (stash cords and other small devices like flash drives in a reusable shoe bag, it’ll double as a laundry bag later on), an extra layer for warmth, and a handy circle scarf to change things up if I make it to my destination and my luggage does not. And that tennis ball? The perfect tool to help ease tension and sore muscles from long days of travel, just roll it where you’re feeling stressed. I’m also always sure to pack some basic toiletries, like makeup remover and a few reliable beauty basics; easy sandals to slip on and off for when you go through airport security; and cute socks, because planes are almost always cold (who wants to put their bare feet on that gross airplane carpet?) and if you’re gonna wear socks with sandals, you might as well roll with it. Oh, and you’ll also see a few pieces of my favorite chocolate up there, because being separated from your luggage is stressful enough — you’ll want some emergency snacks on hand.
You’ve got no #OOTD: So, you’ve made it to your destination only to open your suitcase and find nothing matches or you’ve forgotten an essential ensemble. To avoid a suitcase full of randomness (hey, we’ve all been there), the next time you’re traveling try this: roll your outfits together. Take a look at your itinerary and note how many outfits you’ll need. Then lay them all out and roll the pieces together. You can even take it one step farther and choose clothing that all works together for even more mix-and-match possibilities. I also love to grab the free fancy soaps when I’m staying at nicer hotels to throw into my luggage, they instantly make everything smell amazing!
Boredom strikes: We’ve all been there: After the initial excitement of being on the road or in the air wears off, you’re left with 10 empty hours stretched in front of you with nothing to do. Combat that boredom by stocking your devices with plenty of podcasts (some of my favorites: This American Life, Radiolab, 99% Invisible, Ted Radio Hour, My Brother My Brother and Me) and playlists, journaling, and catching up on that book you’ve been meaning to read.
You have no itinerary: While flying by the seat of your pants can be beneficial at times — that’s how some of the best memories are made, after all — you definitely want to have an idea of what you’ll be doing, and when you’ll be doing it once you reach your destination. Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, take some time to jot down any meetings or events, and make a list of attractions you’d like to visit, making note of distances and travel times from place to place.
You’re stranded: In this day and age of digital devices, no one wants to be left stranded without cell phone service or WiFi. If you’re exploring a new city, keep a small street map handy in case you lose service or your battery charge. And if you’re on the road, an atlas stowed under the passenger’s seat of your car is great insurance for when your map app refuses to work or you lose your signal (don’t forget your car charger, too). It’s also a good idea to print out your itinerary, copies of your plane tickets, and any directions you may need, because you never know when you’ll be forced to go off the grid.
Have any fun travel stories to share? Let me know in the comments!