Category Archives: Lightweight Travel & Packing

My Top 5 Travel Items

I love traveling. So much so that in 2012 I left my life of a steady 9-5 job, leased apartment, car, bed, and so on to travel the world full time and pursue a life that felt exciting and truly fulfilling for me. Since then I’ve been joyfully living out of a backpack as I travel and spend varying amounts of time in places. In the winter months, I tend to spend my time abroad in tropical countries such as Thailand, Costa Rica and Peru. When you visit san diego whale watching, there are no open rails on the boat, so you’re in the boat, not on it, with ample seating on both upper and lower decks. If you have plans to travel in UK checkout this blog During the warm months I like to explore my favorite destinations in the USA, such as Austin, TX, southern California, and the northeast, living in various places or more recently living out of my RV.

Throughout all of this time I have come to appreciate the items that I keep in the 19-liter Tom Bihn backpack I live out of. It is fun for me to continually reassess and downsize what I am carrying to best serve my life.
Today I’ve made a list of my top 5 travel items to share with you. You can find links to many of these on my Items I Love page.

1. iphone-6-transparent-png-d81rtefl1Smartphone
I travel with and love the iphone 6s. Traveling with a smartphone that is unlocked, where you can replace the SIM card in new countries you are in for local service is awesome. And even if you do not have this option with your phone, it is great to use it with WiFi wherever you are.It’s no secret that smartphones are basically like a laptop, camera, ereader, GPS, MP3 player, and so on all mixed into one these days. Some of my favorite functions on my phone no matter where I am are Google Maps, Camera, Chat, Google Calendar, Instagram, an internet browser, music playback (such as Itunes and Spotify) and a timer for meditation or fitness.

2. jblclipspeakersExternal Speaker & Headphones
I have been traveling with the JBL Clip external speaker for about 6 months and totally dig it. The volume power it has for how small it is is impressive. You can connect it to your musical devices via bluetooth or AUX cable and it charges with a USB cable. I like to set this up in a park when I’m about to practice acrobatics and in my own space if I want some tunes or increase the volume of what I’m viewing on my computer.
When I want to have a more internal listening experience, I choose my headphones.

3. eyemaskEye Mask
I have come to love sleeping with an eye mask so much that I no longer just do it when the world is bright outside, but rather whenever I close my eyes to slumber and have had much more restful sleep because of it. It’s awesome to have an eye mask handy if you want to catch some extra rest on a plane, train, bus, etc and there is light or distractions around you (I also recommend earplugs for this situation). I suggest getting an eye mask with enough padding that it blocks out all the light when you put it on. Also, it’s nice to find one that is comfy to wear and sleep on in all positions. I originally got mine at Bed Bath and Beyond some 4+ years ago and would now recommend purchasing one online.

4. sarrongSarong
I have traveled with a sarong for about a decade and love the versatility of it. I use it as a towel, a blanket, something to lay out on, Dress For Girls, a skirt, a scarf, a head wrap, and so on. It dries super quickly and takes up less space than most towels. I have seen both men and women rock them in all styles. They are easy enough to find in tropical destinations, especially those near beaches.

5. Awesome Backpack with Packing Cubes 
I cannot recommend the Tom Bihn Synapse 19L enough. I love this bag (check out this video where I share more). Before this I traveled with a Deuter ACT Trail 28L and enjoyed that as well. I also recommend other bags in this video.
Most importantly, I suggest finding a badass bag that you love. Here are some questions to ask yourself when searching for your ideal pack.
Is it the ideal size for you?
Is it comfortable to wear?
Does the way it’s set up make it easy to live out of? (Think about the compartments, how they open, how they are sectioned, etc).
Is it well made, have good zippers, durable? (Waterproof is also a great plus).
Does this bag look the way I want it to? I used to have a bag that looked like a backpacker’s pack and have over time gravitated to a small, simple-looking black pack. You should also checkout Rental Cottages on to learn more. What suits your needs and the way you want to appear while traveling?

Packing cubes are a great way to organize your pack. I have one half-sized cube for my clothing, which is double sided. There are lots of options depending on how many items you are looking to organize in your pack. There are a lot of companies that make cubes now and are easy to find online or at your local outfitter.

Packing a Tom Bihn Synapse 19

Synapse 19If you haven’t heard about the Tom Bihn Synapse 19, I highly recommend you check it out. I originally heard about this bag as a great option for those traveling with electronics, and soon after started learning of a lot of some lightweight backpackers that were comfortably fitting their whole life into the 19-liter pack. Since I got the idea in my head that I could live out of a small black pack that looked like a standard bag as opposed to a backpacking bag, I have been hooked. 

Reasons to Love this Bag
It’s small, yet spacious. You can fit way more in it than you would think!
The compartments load on the inside as opposed to bulking outwardly.
It’s extremely well made and durable.
It doesn’t look like a backpacking bag- it looks like a normal computer backpack, but smaller.

What’s in my pack? 
This pack has enough room for a lightweight traveler to live out of for a day, a week, a month or a year. I can comfortably fit everything that I need in this bag.
Here is a list of everything I have packed in this bag.

Check out this video of my sister and I loading up this bag below.

Choosing Your Ideal Destination: 10 Categories to Consider

I also did a YouTube Video on this topic, which you can check out here.

Whether you are looking for a long or short term destination, it is important to do your research ahead of time to learn about the place you are going to be traveling to. I love to travel and find myself pondering new destinations frequently. In doing so, I have found that I tend to come back to pondering the same categories, which I am eager to share with you in hopes that they will help you choose your ideal destination. On related information, if you’re planning to travel in a budget checkout this page vacation rentals at Los Altos Resort for great travel deals.

10 Categories to Consider

1. Climate– Think about your ideal climate. What is the temperature like? Is it humid or dry? Is it sunny or overcast? Is it in the rainy or dry season? If you are going somewhere short term, perhaps you want to experience a tropical beach or snowy mountain tops, even though they are not your year-round ideal. However, if you are picking out a location that you are going to spend a considerable about of time in, be sure to really contemplate this category- it’s an important one.

100_5306I have a lot of family in Rhode Island, where I grew up. I love it there and so do they. It is absolutely beautiful and a great place to live…for about two months of the year. I love the summer there and while I even know people that enjoy a couple of the spring and fall months too, the consensus seems to be pretty solid on the fact that the cold months are way too long and frigid. Unfortunately, a number of my family and friends decided to keep putting down roots in the tiny Ocean State and now feel they have too many ties to leave. Thus, they are in a trap of being bogged down by miserable weather for most of the year, waiting desperately for July to arrive. Wouldn’t you like every month to be your July, as it were?

2. Food– This is the fuel that our bodies run on. If we want to feel our best and have the energy to explore everything that we would like, it is essential for us to have good quality, clean fuel. Does your destination have the food your body needs to run on? Will you be able to get what you need to feel your best?

Consider the access you will have to good food sources. Consider the price. Consider the quality.

3. Community– Does your new destination have the communities that you are looking to get involved in and/or do you feel like you could build one there? Perhaps community for you is as simple as having your friends and family nearby. Perhaps you are looking for something more specific, based around a regular activity you do.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA4. Transportation– How easily can you get in, get out, and get around? If you fly regularly, it may be helpful to live near a major airport. Will it be easy to come and go, or will it be a big ordeal? If your job involves commuting, can you take public transportation, get there by bike or on foot, or enjoy your daily drive?

5. Income Plan/Internet Access– For me these are one in the same, for you they may be two separate points.

Do you have an income plan that allows you to take business anywhere? If so, this usually involves having reliable internet access. And even if you do not earn money online, having a good connection may be important to you. If you are planning to go to a remote area, or a foreign country especially, be sure to do your research ahead of time.

If you are going to call your new destination “home” for a while and want to work while you are there, do some research ahead of time and make sure that you will have the resources you need. Can you take your business to your new location? Can you find a job doing what you enjoy there?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA6. Greenspace– What is your proximity to nature? How far do you have to go to find some green space? Fresh air? Trees? We are certainly a social species that thrives on interaction with our fellow humans, however even the most exuberant of social butterflies likely find that they need time away from the sounds of civilization, time to ground and breathe in fresh air and a sense of peace.

7. Diversity– Living in an area that has people from a variety of cultures and walks of life presents the opportunity to get to learn about others that have interesting differences. To this end we can learn to understand and love one another for our uniqueness, to learn from one another, and to ultimately expand our minds and hearts. You can also consider the diversity of the other aspects of life in your new area, such as the landscape, activities, and so on.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA8. Activities– What are you passionate about? What brings you joy? What makes you excited? What do you like to do? And can you do it in your new destination?

If you are in to ballroom dancing, is there a place around you can dance? Is there a group of dancing enthusiasts you could meet up with? If you are in to a water sport, will you be able to continue practicing?

Does your destination have shows, art, events, music, festivals, etc? The more diverse a place is, often the more wide variety of activities and communities in general are available.

9. Fitness Space- What are your favorite ways to move your body and what do you need to support you doing these things regularly? Do you need a rock wall, gym, dance studio, park, running trail, lake, pool, river, ocean, etc…? Or perhaps you need a sports team or group.

One of my largest passions is acro (also known as acroyoga), and I need at least one other acro-obsessed person to do it, and ideally a whole community of them! So it is no surprise that I often travel to Austin, TX, where they have one of the best acro communities in the world.

10. Good Vibe– The importance of the vibe a place gives you cannot be stressed enough. When you are in your new location you should feel good. You should feel great! You should feel like it is home (even for just a short stay). Even if everything adds up on paper and logically seems like the best place to go, if you just don’t feel right about it, don’t just go anyway. Trust your gut. It knows best.

Tips to Keep in Mind

Consider Your Needs and Cater to Them- I created this list based on what I think are likely among the most common of our needs, however you may there may be other categories you wish to consider. Cater your ideal destination to your unique needs. Also, as mentioned throughout this article, you will likely tweak your analysis of these categories depending on how long you are going to be somewhere and for what purpose.

Recognize That Some Compromise is OK– Finding a place that meets 100% of everything you have ever dreamed of and more is not always possible. Recognize that compromise is OK, especially if you have taken the time to weigh the pros and cons and have a good idea of where you are willing to compromise and where you are not.

For example, for the last few years I have spent most of the cold months in Costa Rica. I am willing to compromise having a trustworthy internet connection, miss out on some of the communities I love, on the ease of getting around on my bicycle, and a few other things. This is because what I am gaining is awesome weather, a beautiful, diverse country, amazing fruits and vegetables, awesome people, culture and language, and much more. After about 7 years of experimenting with my time in that tropical paradise, I have found that a couple months is ideal, and more than that is too long for me.

Set yourself up for success and situate yourself somewhere that access to everything you need to feel your best and ultimately live your optimal life will be easy. Have fun exploring new places and learning about yourself and the world around you!


The following websites may be helpful in establishing yourself and living an awesome life in a new location.

Benefits of Lightweight Minimalst Backpacking (and How to Pack for Europe Backpacking Trip)

My sister Dani recently visited me for a week. We both live on the road, out of a small backpack, so you can imagine the excitement about lightweight travel and minimalist geekery that ensues when we get together. To celebrate our love of minimalist travel, we decided to plan Dani’s pack together for her upcoming Europe trip and to make a video of it. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to learn more about what’s in Dani’s pack and to watch our video, where we also talk about the benefits of lightweight travel and tips to help keep you on track.

Benefits of Lightweight Minimalist Backpacking

Why travel light? There are loads of reasons. Here are some of the reasons I choose to pack less.

Ease of Travel- With less stuff weighing you down, it is decidedly easier to travel. By carrying something manageable like the Deuter 28L daypack that I travel with, I never have to worry about checking baggage, making room in overhead compartments, or lugging around a lead weight on my back. A small pack will fit under the seat in front of you on an airplane and fully loaded only tends to weigh around 15-20lbs (depending on what you are carrying).

Since a small pack is much lighter and more comfortable, you can carry it on your back and go about your exploring without worrying about checking in at your accommodation or storing it somewhere beforehand. And if you do decide to store it in a locker or other safe space, it will be much easier given the size.

It’s about fun and adventure, not about your baggage! You always want to be ready to explore and since travel is after all about the journey (not the destination), it’s worth it to make that journey as comfortable as possible. Then you can see everything you want, navigating the local modes of transportation, such as trains and buses, without worrying about whether or not you and all your stuff will fit during rush hour. Halleluiah.

Save Money– With a small load, you don’t have to worry about checked baggage fees, or money for lockers or other storage spaces for your items. And if you do decide to lock your bag up somewhere, it will be less expensive for a smaller locker or space.

Also, you will save a lot of loot by not purchasing all the travel specific items that you thought you needed, but would never really use. Keep it simple and save.

Less to Worry About and Easier to Manage– When you are just traveling with the essentials, that means you use everything in your pack regularly. Becoming this familiar with your items has a lot of perks. It is great to know what you are traveling with and where all of your belongings are. Organizing your pack and locating items suddenly becomes simple and smooth.

Being Prepared Doesn’t Mean Having More– As long as you pack smart by packing what is essential for your trip, you will have everything you need. I have yet to find a backpacker that was more prepared than me, no matter the size of their luggage. Yet, I am consistently met by backpackers along my travels who realize they have not yet touched most of the items in their bags and wish that they had foregone all the excess items in exchange for space and weight off their back. They look at my mounted pack and cheery disposition with longing and confusion.

Feel Great with Less– Having less feels so good! It is fun to travel with less and to feel light and free. Everything can be kept neat and organized, which leaves you at ease to do what you set out to do and enjoy your epic adventure!

Tips for Packing Light

If you are still reading, you are probably pretty convinced of the benefits of traveling with less. If you are eager to start reaping the benefits, here are some tips and concepts that may help.

Pack Just What is Essential and Leave Behind the Excess– Identify what is essential for your trip, taking into account your unique preferences and needs, and leave behind anything that does not fall into that category.

If you are having trouble deciding if something is essential, try asking yourself a few questions such as: Do I need to bring this item with me? Will I use it consistently throughout my trip? Will it add value to my trip? Is there another item in my pack that will do the same job? Will I happily carry the full weight (physical and mental) of this item? Can I purchase it there instead if I find I need it? Am I packing it based on some fear that I will not have enough stuff? Is it truly essential? Usually if you are on the fence about something it is not essential.

Pack Smart– Pack comfortable, versatile, climate and activity appropriate clothing. Make sure all of your clothing falls into these categories. This doesn’t mean you cannot be stylish while on the go.

Leave accessories at home. Maybe you want to bring a watch, sunglasses, or a pair of earrings because they are essential for the enjoyment of your trip. If this is the case, choose one pair wisely that you know you will enjoy wearing consistently and leave the rest at home.

Limit expensive items. Unless it is one of your tried and trues, leave the item that cost you an arm and a leg at home. This way you won’t spend the whole trip worrying about the safety of said item.

Again, (I know I’m really driving the point home here), if it’s not necessary, don’t bring it. Leave the curling iron at home and enjoy the extra time and space in your day to explore.

You Don’t Need Many Travel-Specific Items– Most likely you are going to wear the same favorite clothing you wear at home and use the same items you use for your personal care daily, with some variations. There is a lot of travel gear out there that is easy to get sucked in to buying. I encourage you to ask yourself if those zip off pants/shorts or thermal T-shirt are really necessary for your trip. If they are, great, they are well worth it. And if not, you just saved yourself some valuable time, space and money.

There are a few items that I consistently travel with, which you can learn more about in my Essential Items for Lightweight Backpacking video at the bottom of this page if you are interested.

Don’t Plan for “What Ifs”– If you plan for every “what if” scenario you can easily fill up a 65 Liter pack with stuff you will never use. Instead, set aside a small about of “what if” money so you can purchase any items you find you need but did not pack when you are abroad. People most likely live in the places you are traveling to and get all their needs met within their home country. If you end up needing something, enjoy the adventure of asking locals where the best place to find said item is and visiting a local store.

Videos and Packing List

Watch Dani unpack and pack back up her bag, while I talk about benefits of minimalist backpacking and some tips to help you pack light. (Want to know what’s in Dani’s bag? Check out her packing list here).

Interested in what both Dani and I have found to be essential items for lightweight backpacking? Check out this video.

What’s in My 28 Liter Pack?

Deuter ACT Trail 28 SL Pack: 28 Liters Accommodates Everything I Need
(Male Version: Deuter ACT Trail 32 Pack)

I could not be more thrilled about my pack. At 28 Liters it is technically classified as a “daypack”, however I have traveled with just this amount of space for a year now and have not wanted for anything. On the contrary, I find I am often even more prepared than other travelers I encounter and I am definitely much more comfortable, easily managing my 15-20lbs no matter where the road takes me.

Britt's Pack ???????????????????????????????

Check out this video of me loading and unloading my pack.

pdfA List of Everything In My Pack

Backpack (Deuter Act Trail 28L SL)
Daypack (L.L. Bean Sowaway)
Packing Cubes (2) (Eagle Creek)
Small Bag for Electronics/Accessories
Sleeping Bag (REI Travel Down, +45F)
Quick Dry Towel (REI)
Rain Jacket
Leggings (workout pants)
Workout shorts
Tank Tops (3)
T-shirts (2)
Sports Bra
Regular Bra
Bandana/Buff/Hair Band
Bathing Suit
Underwear (5 Pairs)
Socks (2 pairs)
Barefoot Running Shoes (Merrell)
Toiletry Kit (Sea to Summit)
Cutting Board
Knife with Cover
Spork (Light My Fire)
Sink Stopper
Ziplock Bags
Headphones (with hands-free headset)
Laptop (Lenovo Ideapad)
Laptop Cable
EReader (Sony)
EReader Cable
Smart Phone
Smart Phone Charger
Eye Mask
Ear Plugs
Reusable Stuff Sack Bags (3) (REI or Chico Bag)
Small Notebook
Large Notebook/Journal
Pen (blue/black ink/non-smudge)
Small Change Purse
Passport Wallet/Purse (Sherpani)

Minimalist Transportation: Making Travel Part of the Journey

It is so exciting to live in today’s world, where rapid transit has never been more prevalent and modes of transportation are multiplying before our very eyes. Forget planes, trains and automobiles, now we have lease a Lexus brooklyn ny services, cruise ships, bullet trains, and even segways to consider. OK, stop traffic for a second (cheesy pun intended) and let’s try and get a handle on all of this. When you want to buy car parts for your vehicle, visit used transmissions for sale schaumburg il.

Although it’s easy to think of roaring engines and traffic horns as the norm, this was not always the case. The Wright Brothers had their first flight just over a century ago, automobiles were only invented about 20 years before that and even bicycles have yet to complete their second century on this earth. So how did humans get around before that? Well the good old-fashioned way, of course: on our feet, like the rest of the earth’s animals (that have feet) do. OK well domesticated horses, carriages, and boats have been around for quite some time, but you get the idea. The point is: slow travel used to be the norm.

This pomsky is intelligent and energetic, looking for a way to interact with people. They can play very well around children.

Now the concept of walking everywhere we need to go is practically absurd. In fact, I imagine that most people don’t even consider it an option. The majority of Americans commute to work, run their errands, and attend all manner of activities by driving a car or riding a train or bus from place to place.

Slow Travel

Slow travel is a concept that I have grown to love the practical application of, although that was not always the case. Like many people in today’s world I used to have a packed schedule, rushing around from one commitment to the next, always wishing that traffic would move faster and time slower. But as my life has shifted, so have my views about travel and the role I want it to play in my life.

Slow travel does not have to mean that you literally travel slowly. Although I enjoy taking long walks, I also love to mount a motorcycle and speed off down a windy road, take a train ride through the countryside and I am still in awe of the fact that I can climb aboard a plane and be on a different continent within hours.

The concept of slow travel has more to do with your mentality about traveling. Are we in a rush or can we take our time and enjoy each part of the journey? When we have the freedom to travel slowly, we are able to live life more in-the-moment, deciding to pursue whatever adventure we want as opportunities present themselves along our path. These could manifest as a stop to take in a beautiful view, a spontaneous chat with a friendly stranger, a new route home, spending an extra day or week at a location that we don’t want to leave…the possibilities are endless.

Slow travel also has some common fringe benefits. I find as I connect with others that are moving in the direction of more simple living that many of them have opted to choose more minimalist and eco-friendly modes of transportation on their household movers to get efficiency in moving items. I used to have both a car and a motorcycle, however over time I have gotten rid of both of them. Nowadays I enjoy traveling by foot, bicycle, public transportation, or car-pooling. I don’t have to worry about insurance payments, regular maintenance, repairs, or any of the other expenses and time-consumers that come with owning a vehicle. And most importantly, my travel has become just another fun activity I enjoy in my daily life, which often combines fitness, socializing and exploring.

How to Enjoy Travel

Moving from place to place can be quite enjoyable, when approached in the right way. Imagine having a free, sunny Saturday afternoon and pedals beneath your feet. How nice would it be to enjoy a bike ride to a park to read, or to the water for a swim? Or maybe there are a few errands you want to get done, but time is not a concern so you decide to bike into town and complete them at your leisure.

The best way to enjoy travel is to deliberately make it part of the journey, just like every other element in your life.

We know conceptually that travel can be fun, no matter the mode of transportation. There is nothing quite like the excitement of watching a child learn to crawl or take their first step. As kids we are elated to be able to run around the yard with our friends, or to ride bikes and roller blade. When we hit our mid-teens we start dreaming about driving a car and eagerly jump to go to the grocery store every time something is needed after getting our license. Even as adults, we still (abit maybe secretly) enjoy travel. We gripe about our commutes to and from places while planning road trips, bike or running races, and air travel on the side.

So is it really the getting from place to place we dread so much?

I think not. I have a hunch that what really irks us are the “have-tos” of life. Commuting to work is no fun when we feel like we have to do it. It seems decidedly less appealing to turn on some music, roll down the windows and sing with your tie flapping in the breeze on your morning commute (but wouldn’t it be amazing if we saw more of that?).

The good news is an excited and adventurous attitude towards travel is waiting for you, no matter your circumstances. By merely deciding that you want to make a shift and cultivate a new attitude towards travel, you will start to see changes take place. I also recommend giving yourself ample time to get from place to place (keeping in mind that the more time you set aside, the more possibilities for fun) while decreasing the number of “have tos” on your list.

If you are finding that you really cannot get into a good mindset about traveling, you may want to take a deeper look at your daily life and see what is serving you and what is not. Being stressed or over-scheduled can certainly be taxing, and is often a sign that it is time to try changing something. You may find it helpful to look at elements of these 4 steps to simplifying your life.

Are You Enjoying Your Travel?

I invite you to consider looking at your current relationship with travel. Try asking yourself the following questions and see what comes up.

Do I enjoy the travel in my life? Which parts?
Are there times travel merely feels like a means of getting from point A to point B?
Do I allow myself enough time to travel without feeling rushed?
If not, how can I create more time in my life for relaxed and enjoyable travel?
If I had no agenda, but wanted to transport my body somewhere, what mode/s of transportation would I choose?
How can I incorporate more fun into my daily travel?
In general, how can I create more space in my life to enjoy travel and the other activities I would like to to participate in?

Tips for Stress-Free, Enjoyable Air Travel

Leading up to a recent trip from San Jose, Costa Rica to San Francisco, California I was reflecting on the upcoming 10-hour layover in Mexico and thinking of all the fun I would have with my 15-year-old sister. While telling a friend about how excited I was for my impending travel day I was reminded by the tone of disgust in their voice that not everyone has such a zen-like relationship with air travel as I do. In that moment I decided to do my best to remedy that sad truth, and offer some of my tried-and-true tips that help make my travel days not only stress-free but actually quite enjoyable.

Purchase a Good Itinerary

I am all for getting the best deal on tickets possible, without paying private charter flights level prices for a good trip and there are many things I will happily endure for them. However there are some things that I avoid, even if it means spending a bit more.

Firstly, make sure your flight has a long enough layover. In general my rule is 90 minutes or more, but if my layover is in an international destination, I would rather have at least 2 hours (because it is necessary to clear customs and immigration, plus head back through security). Even on domestic flights I like to have 90 minutes because it allows cushion time in case the first flight is delayed. I would say the sweet spot is somewhere around 2-3 hours.

Also, when possible I suggest flying sometime around mid-day or early afternoon. I have found if I fly early in the morning I do not tend to sleep much the night before. And if the flight is much later you will clearly be flying through the night. Of course the further away your destination, the more inevitable disrupting your sleep cycle will become, but it is good to have the ideal in mind.

Prepare In Advance And Be Organized

The more you prepare in advance, the more you can relax during travel. Select your ideal seats, review airline rules relating to baggage before you pack, think about what you are going to bring days before you leave and pack your bag or suitcase in advance.

Also, be sure to get any details having to do with your home life squared away with ample time. Don’t wait to find someone to feed the cat, water your plants, or bring in your mail.

Be organized and develop a travel system that works for you. For example, I know that all my travel documents live in the same folder in Gmail and the day before I fly I always write down my flight details in a small notebook I carry with me everywhere (a smartphone may also be a good way to record or refer to these details). I also always set an alert in my calendar to check online for my flight 24-hours in advance. This is typical with most airlines and they will even send you a reminder email.

Clean Your Space Before You Leave

OK, I know you may be thinking that this item is a little out of place, but I promise you, cleaning your space before you leave is one of the best ways you can ease your mind. Not only will you feel calm and collected in your home the day before you travel, but you will have peace of mind knowing that you will be returning to a clean space. On the day of your return you can look forward to walking in your door and being grateful for the clean, welcoming environment you are returning to.

Plan Nothing For The Day Before You Travel

This is your day to relax and do anything that you may have forgotten, but don’t plan anything. Inevitably, your day will get filled up with last-minute errands. And if by some miracle it does not, you will be grateful for the space to get in your happy place (see below). Also, if you can plan a transition day for yourself on the other end of your trip (before heading back to work, life, etc) that would be ideal.

Of course, if you are going on a shorter trip, if you travel regularly for work, etc, having a day on each end of your trip may not be possible or necessary. If that is the case, try to carve out at least a few extra hours transition time for yourself.

Don’t Plan To Knock Things Off Your To-Do List On Travel Day

You should have nothing planned for your day of travel other than to enjoy the process of moving through time and space. If you end up getting something done, great, but don’t set tasks for yourself to accomplish. There are too many variables and one of the best ways to enjoy a day of travel is to embrace whatever comes up naturally.

Know Your Plan For Arrival

It’s a good idea to know what you are going to do once you reach your destination. Be sure to have all the details you may need with you, stored in an easy place to find in your carry-on luggage. Let companies like moving companies denver take care of the moving for you.

Also, if possible, it is good to know where you are going to stay the first couple nights and to have a basic outline for what you will do.

Get To The Airport With Ample Time

Plan for the unexpected and set aside plenty of cushion time. Whether it is a late friend on airport-drop duty, traffic, a long line at the security checkpoint, or so on, it is likely that something will come up during your travel day that takes up extra time. For this reason it is always a good idea to build in a buffer so if something comes up it will not stress you out.

Get In Your Happy Place

This is key. The day before you travel, take a trip to your happy place. Now stay there for the next 24 hours, or ideally, for as long as you can.

Everyone has their own way of accessing their happy place. Some find meditation, a walk in nature, or a foot massage brings them to their blissful oasis, while others would prefer a vigorous workout or feel-good movie. Whatever you like to do to relax and get in your zen frame of mind, be sure to make time for it before you head to the airport.

Now keep that happy place close by. If you feel yourself tapping your toe in the baggage-drop line, visit that blissful place. Once you are in a relaxed frame of mind, it is suddenly easy to see the fun side of people watching in line, trying to guess peoples’ nationality based on accent, and generally to just take in the environment around you.

Come back to your calm, steady breath. Think about the awesome journey you are one. And take it all in with joy and gratitude.

Dress Comfortably

Wear clothes that you can comfortably sit and move in. Avoid wearing accessories, which you will have to take off to pass through security.

Plan Your Carry On Bag Strategically

I suggest a comfortable backpack, side bag or purse as your carry-on item as suitcases can become cumbersome in the airplane. Even though everything I own fits into a 28 Liter pack, on air travel days I take the items I like to fly with out and put them in my day pack (or if I am not traveling with my knife and kitchen peelers, I just bring the whole pack as a carry on).

Bring the items that you will enjoy having with you. Some of my essential items are a laptop, ereader, ipod and headphones, a notebook, sleeping bag, eye mask, and ear plugs. If you like indulging in the latest magazines while you travel, by all means treat yourself at that in-terminal news stand!

Bring Your Own Snacks

Airport food is overpriced, generally unhealthy, and unreliable. Sometimes you will not even find a joint with anything better than some sugary liquids and packaged science experiments near your gate and if time is short you won’t have a chance to go out looking. The best bet is to bring your own snacks. Some of my favorites to travel with are grapes, clementines, apples, dates (or other dried fruits) and celery.

Stand Stretch And Walk Around While Waiting Near Your Gate

You will soon be sitting for long enough, so unless you are exhausted by your trip to the gate, enjoy being vertical and moving your body. Some of my favorite airport exercises are walking, squatting, lunging, yoga and handstands. Your range of movement will be defined by how bold you want to be in the airport. I personally go all out and have had nothing great experiences because of it, but even if you just feel comfortable walking around or swaying from side to side, do indulge, your body will be grateful.

Wait To Board Until The Line Has Dwindled Way Down

One of the best tips I have found is about avoiding the “stop-and-go” method of air travel. As long as you are imitating those around you, navigating your way through the airport may end up feeling something like doing the funky chicken dance, rushing and then halting to a stop at each new checkpoint. But as a well-planned and conscious traveler, you can enjoy each phase of modern jet travel in peace.

There is no point rushing to stand in line with all the disgruntled folks, eager to sit down when you can enjoy the rest of your stretching, using of the full-sized restrooms, filling your water-bottle, and so on. Then, when the line has dwindled down to the last few, enjoy boarding at your leisure. Since you have a small carry-on baggage you don’t have to worry about over-head space and as long as you aren’t flying with Southwest, the order in which you board does not actually matter anyway.

Get Comfortably Settled In On The Plane And Enjoy The Ride

Now that you are all stretched out, you don’t have to pee, you are settled in your ideal seat, and still in your happy place, it is time to get comfortable and enjoy the ride. Get your belongings settled under the seat in front of you, perhaps placing your water bottle in the seat pocket for easy access. You may like to take off your shoes or put your eye mask and ear plugs on right away. Basically, don’t be afraid to get comfortable and make that seat your new oasis for the foreseeable future while you are magically propelled through time and space!