How to Be a Prepared Traveler

Travel is tons of fun for a lot of reasons, including its unpredictability! No one can possibly plan for every need, every scenario, every possible thing that could go wrong. (Did anyone see coronavirus coming? Point made.) However, everyone can do a few things to be prepared for certain common travel scenarios. Here’s your quick list for preparedness!

Bring a Printed Copy of Your Passport’s Picture Page

Do not keep this with your passport; instead, keep it in your carry-on. Do not put it in checked luggage. If your passport is stolen or goes missing, getting a new one at your country’s embassy or consulate will be easier if you have a copy to show. It’s also a good idea to take a photo of the picture page and your visa or stamp for the country you’re visiting, but if your phone also get stolen, dies, or gets lost, you’ll be glad for a paper copy!

You can’t go anywhere—even home—without this!
Keep reading: Your Ultimate Guide to Passports

Have a Plan B for Flights and Transportation

Everything will probably go according to plan. But in the case that a flight gets significantly delayed, you could miss your connection or arrive hours later than anticipated. So do a little reconnaisance on your airline’s app to find out what alternative options might be before you even go to the airport. Just know your options. If you end up having to call cutomer service or stand in line (and you should do both if both are available), you will have already done some legwork and they could get you on an alternative flight before someone else!

Similarly, have a couple of options in mind for getting to your accommodation after you land. If your flight was delayed enough that public transportation is closed, plan to take a cab or an Uber. If Uber is surge pricing, check Lyft or take a cab. If your pre-scheduled shuttle or hotel transportation doesn’t show up, find another way. My dad and brother’s ride didn’t show up at the Honolulu airport, so they ended up missing their luau that night because they didn’t have a plan B for getting to the hotel. Have a plan B!

Don’t miss your flight… but if you do, have a backup plan!
Read on: What to Do When Your Flight Gets Cancelled
and What to Do When You Miss Your Connection

Right-size Your Expectations

No, really, everything will probably be fine! But just in case, “right-size” your expectations so you won’t be disappointed if something does go wrong. Weather can’t be avoided, delays happen, people are just human, we all make mistakes. With that in mind, prepare yourself to deal with issues as they arise. Don’t let yourself get angry, realize that it’s okay to be frustrated, then start finding solutions—they’re out there!

Honestly, we didn’t love Bali! But instead of being disappointed and grumpy, we laughed about it and made the most of our time there… mostly at our accommodation!
More here: 5 Habits of Flexible Travelers

Go Carry-on Only (Do Not Check a Bag!)

This will literally take you places! If you check a bag and your flight gets delayed, you cannot take a different flight in most cases. You cannot be on a different flight from your bag for security reasons. If you travel carry-on only, you can change flights at the last minute instead of waiting around for your original flight to go… or maybe not go!

The other major benefit of traveling carry-on only is that you won’t have to wait for your luggage to come out at baggage claim! There was an instance in Australia where we flew from Sydney to Cairns on Virgin Australia, and we checked our bags—I don’t remember why. We ended up waiting at baggage claim for nearly an hour when we could have just walked right out and started our vacation!

Sometimes you need to be able to fly “on the fly!”
Must read: The Pros and Cons of Traveling Carry-on Only

Bring Snacks

No one want to get “hangry,” and guess what? No one else wants to deal with you getting “hangry,” either! It’s best to bring some snacks, just in case. Airport food is expensive, and sometimes they run out of food on long-haul flights, so do everyone a favor and bring a few things, plus a refillable water bottle!

You won’t always have the healthiest options available, so bring some if you can!
Read next: The Best Snacks to Pack for the Flight

Bring One More Pair of Undies

I am the #1 fan of packing light, but I do not shirk on undies! No matter how many days you’re traveling or whether you plan to do laundry on the go, pack one more pair than you think you’ll need. Just in case!

Every bag has room for one more pair!
Get the best packing tip and hacks on my Packing Page!

Are you ready to start traveling prepared? Comment below!

And for all the best travel planning tips and more, check out my Travel Planning Page!

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4 responses to “How to Be a Prepared Traveler”

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