Travel days can be the worst, they are nowhere near the fun or beautiful instagram worthy moments of other days once your are in your destination. At best they can be tiring and a little stressful, at worst they can be totally panic attack inducing.
After three years of being on the road on and off, I’ve started to figure out a few things to keep me from having a total meltdown on a train platform (yes, that happened, remind me I’ll tell you about it some time).
- Find out where the airport, train station, ferry terminal, whatever is and how long it will take to get there from where you are staying. This might seem obvious, but it can be pretty easy to book tickets with out realizing where the station is or how to get there especially if it’s in another country. Waking up that morning and realizing that where you need to be is on the other side of town and you have no idea how to get over there in the next hour sucks.
- Book tickets online a few days or weeks in advance if you can. That way you ensure the fact that you’ll be getting on whatever mode of transportation you are taking. Sometime you can’t buy tickets online. A lot of trains in Europe and Asia require you to buy them at the station the day of. The best you can do for that is get to the station a few hours early to get those tickets and have a nice time cushion.
- Timing can be everything on a travel day. If you leave early to get to the station or airport you’ll ensure that no traffic or any other delay will screw up your timing.
- Make sure when you are booking tickets that you have enough time during your transfer or layover to get from one place to the other and a cushion for any delays. One of the most stressful layovers I’ve had was flying from San Francisco (which is notorious for delayed flights due to fog) to South Africa with only a one hour layover in Amsterdam. I’d never been to this airport and I didn’t know my way around. I was one of those people frantically running through the airport trying to find my gate in time. I did make it, but it was more stressful than it needed to be.
- Pack the night before, it makes life so much easier. I’m still not the best at this, and there have been many a stressful morning of me throwing all my stuff haphazardly into my bag and running out the door. And then when I go to grab something, like my passport, I have no idea where it is. That’s just a melt down waiting to happen. Save yourself the trouble and pack or get mostly packed the night before.
- In general I am a highly organized person, so when I can calmly pack the night before I make sure everything is in its proper place. Important documents like passport and tickets are where they need to be, easily accessible, and ready to go.
How to fit everything in a carry-on
- Have that glass of wine, or guilty pleasure snack once you are safely nestled into your seat and off to your destination. You earned it, so indulge a little bit. Plus travel day calories don’t count right? You burned them all off dragging your stuff to the train station already.
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