A Travelers Guide of 5 To-Do's when Flying or Driving

It’s one of my favorite things to do and it’s one of the biggest things that helps me have a greater world-perspective. I’ve been a big traveler since childhood and can find the adventure in anything. Over the years as I have flown and driven to many different locations, I have gained quite the insight as to what makes up good and bad traveling habits. This is a list of five To-Do’s I came up with this past week in order to travel healthy.

Drink Water

If it’s one thing I’ve learned over the years since I have begun traveling, it’s that water is essential, especially if you are flying. I used to deprive myself of water and fluid before flying and find myself feeling parched by the time the flight attendant would come by to ask what I wanted for a drink. I always saw people who drank tons of water before and during travel times, but here I was depriving myself of the very thing my body needed. Now, I make sure to drink more of my needed daily intake the day before traveling and the day after (and in general, lets be real). It leaves me feeling more alert and more on top of the game when I am waiting in long lines at the security checkpoint or driving long distances. 

Prepare, Prepare, Prepare!

There’s nothing worse than having to pack your bag up the very last minute before you leave on a trip. It’s likely to leave you feeling more anxious and like you forgot something. I love preparing for a trip a few nights in advance depending on what kind it is. If I am driving somewhere, I prepare by packing everything I need the night before. If I’m flying domestically, I start making a list a few days in advance and pack everything together the night before. If I am traveling internationally, I begin my list a week out, make sure to have my passport in a place I’m not going to forget it, and start packing my bag up a few nights before I leave. If I have to travel by bus, I try to keep a change of clothes in my carry on backpack, so that way I don’t have to open up my suitcase and repack a number of times. (Seasoned Travelers Note: Packing Light is a wonder on the weight restrictions in the airport and if you know laundry is available to you in a place you’re traveling for more than a week, a weeks worth of clothing is enough).

Bring Snacks

Driving without snacks and water by your side might be a crime. Every good road trip has stops along the way, but if you’re looking to save money and time, having snacks along for the ride is one of the best things you can gift yourself if traveling with friends or alone. I personally love Cliff Bars and any kind of trail mix. They’re light enough and small enough to take up less space in the middle of my console (or carry on), and filled belly’s make for more alert driving and layover travel. Plus, everyone loves saving money, right? Do yourself a favor, grab a water bottle and some trail mix, and you’re good to go!

Get Healthy

I recently went on a trip to Florida with my family and was sick the entire two weeks prior to leaving and was luckily better the day before leaving. I have never traveled sick before and I wasn’t about to do it then. I prepared by resting the entire week before going, drinking gatorade for those electrolytes, stocking up on the probiotics for my stomach, and slowly reacclimatizing myself to food and bigger meals. I think that traveling healthy makes for a more enjoyable experience on the road and in the air, and fellow passengers and plane friends will appreciate not having to share air with your germs. Do yourself and everyone a solid and travel healthy, because one, it’s more enjoyable, and two, it keeps everyone in your proximity healthier.

Go with the Intention to Add Value wherever you are Headed

Maybe this is my missionary experience kicking in, but I love and prefer traveling with intention and purpose. If I am going on a fun trip, I look to encourage and share life with whoever I am visiting to help them feel loved, known, and seen. I have traveled internationally once with the intention of it only being a fun trip, but still went hoping to add value to whomever I met and to encourage whomever I was visiting. Since that trip, I have not gone anywhere just for fun again, because something has never sat well in my spirit for just "going to go.” After an entire year of intentional travel to third world countries for the sake of the Gospel being spread in 2015-2016 — it certainly changed my entire perspective and paradigm on traveling. Whether I am traveling with family, to family, for friends, or going somewhere on a mission trip, there is intention in it and it is my belief that that is what travel (and the heart behind going at all) is really all about.

What are your prime to-do’s when traveling anywhere? Are your to-do’s any different? It’s so good to travel. It’s good to get away and recenter. But it is also good to place roots and learn the power of staying. 

If you understand the divine power in both staying and going, there is nothing that can or will hold you back. Gratitude — and understanding the value and lesson in every place you go, I think — is key to every part of travel to-do.