Be a Better Traveler: Part 1

When I was in fifth grade, I had a huge crush on this boy that made straight A’s.  And, while he seemed to effortlessly excel, I took notes on what he was doing to achieve such greatness. After observing him for awhile, I noticed that he took a lot of notes, asked questions when appropriate and seemed to have all of this school work completely organized. I’m not sure if it was my school girl crush, but as I started adopting some of these habits, I started making straight A’s too.

Becoming a better traveler requires the same tools; Take notes of what excellent travelers are doing and start doing them.

  • Watch someone speed through security? Adopt their habits of light packing and slip-on shoes.
  • If you aren’t a great packer, practice packing when you don’t have a trip planned. (Check out our Travel Fashion Series, 30 outfits, 1 carry-on!)
  • If you’re awful at finding flights on a budget, spend some time on Kayak or sign up for Airfare Watchdog and set up some alerts so you can practice the whole process.
  • Bad at saving money to travel? Start small by limiting your “fun or going out” budget and over time add more money to your travel budget.

Practice really does make perfect.

On my last trip, I noticed the same passenger on both legs of my flight. He sat very close to the front of the plane and only had carry on bags. I didn’t realize it until I was watching him de-board the second time (while I was still waiting behind extremely slow passengers), but he was a smart traveler. He knew exactly where to sit so that he’d get served first, have easy access to the bathroom and quickly de-board once we landed.  (He was an A+  traveler.)  I was used to and enjoyed sitting on the exit row, but for a flight under 4 hours, I’d much rather be close to the front to get off first.

Lesson learned and on my next flight I tried it out. Love it! I really like getting a drink as soon as the flight attendants are up and moving around, and I really, really like getting off the plane as soon as we land. Being a better traveler is keeping note of how you like to travel and what your best travel experience is, and then changing or adapting to achieve that.

Have any experience with A+  travelers? Have you adopted any new routines that make you a better traveler?