From my many travels, I share some ideas today that have helped me prepare and travel easier…
Creating Your Travel Uniform
One of the things that I’ve learned through various business coaching programs I’ve been in is the importance of establishing routines or patterns for reoccurring activities of life so you don’t waste time having to make decisions or thinking through the same topics repeatedly. I actually applied this lesson to my travels years ago before I knew about this approach.
As I head off to Greece today, I go in the same outfit I wear every single time I travel internationally. It’s my travel uniform. It helps simplify planning, creates a better flying experience, and I have the opportunity to improve my system a little more every time. I recommend establishing a travel uniform for yourself to help create a smoother travel plan.
I have two uniforms. One is for international, over-the-ocean travel, or for flights greater than 6 hours. My other one is for travel in North America and the Caribbean or for flights completed on the same day. Of course, the uniform for long flights is most important. It’s really designed around comfort and flexibility. So today, and every time I fly over to Europe, I am wearing my Chico’s Travelers outfit which consists of black pants, black jacket, and an aqua tank top. When I come home, I’ll be wearing the same pants and jacket with a red tank top. I also have a specific pair of earrings, necklace, trouser socks, and walking shoes as part of this uniform. My Chico’s Travelers are extremely comfortable when trying to sleep on an overnight flight, and yet don’t get wrinkled. They are also very easy to pack and later pull out of the bag ready to go. They always look good. The walking shoes are very important. They are the shoes I will wear pretty much the entire time I’m in Europe, and it helps save packing space by wearing them.
I carry the same laptop bag on every trip. It has a very specific place where I keep my passport, notebook, laptop, and the electronics I’ll need access to while on the plane.
I carry a few essential items in a collapsible duffel bag because I always assume the airline will lose my luggage. I was once on a travel agent trip with two gals whose luggage was lost and not delivered to them for 5 days. Their coats were packed in the lost luggage and it was very cold. Therefore, I learned a valuable travel tip from that situation. Never pack something that’s really critical to the enjoyment of your trip in your checked luggage. In my duffel bag I carry everything I would need for the first 5 days of my trip, at least at a very basic level. I pack all of my electronic chargers, an extra pair of jeans, three or four lightweight tops, and then any specialty item related to the season or the destination, like a bathing suit or coat, gloves, and hat. Once I get to my destination and find my luggage has completed its journey properly, I put the items from my duffel bag (and the bag) into my regular luggage so I’m down to just one piece of luggage.
For domestic travel or any time I travel to the islands, my travel uniform is a little more basic. I always wear a pair of comfortable jeans that has pockets so I can stick my ID in them, a comfortable top, and flat shoes that won’t set off the buzzer in the scanner. I carry the same laptop bag and use the same packing plan with my duffel bag.
By creating a very definite plan for your travel uniform and travel gear, you can simplify your packing and your preparation time. You know immediately what you will be wearing and some of the key items that you will be packing. Of course, you will need to pack some items that may be specific to the destination or the time of year you are traveling but having a core plan already established saves a lot of time and effort. I highly recommend taking some time to create a travel uniform and basic packing plan. You may find it comes in handy and makes life a little less hectic when preparing for your future trips.