I first got on an airplane when I was a year old. Since then I've gotten on many flights to many destinations, and over my 30+ years of travel, I've accumulated some pretty handy tips. I thought I'd take a few minutes to share them with you for your next trip!
1. Try and travel with just a carry on and personal item, especially if you have a connecting flight. This will reduce the chance of your bags not traveling with you in the case of delayed flights and tight connections.
2. Always, always travel in shoes that you can run in. See aforementioned delayed flights and tight connections. Also, if you're planning to do a lot of sight seeing, sneakers are your friend, and considering they come in so many cute options these days, you will not be forsaking style for comfort.
3. If you must check luggage, make sure you don't put all your clothes in one checked bag. Meaning, if you're traveling with a spouse or partner or roommate, split your belongings evenly between your checked bag and his/her checked bag. This way if one bag is lost, you will still have clothes.
4. Things you should definitely have in your carryon: basic toiletries, 2 pairs of underwear, a bathing suit, sleeping clothes, and an entire change of clothing. If you are someone who has to wear makeup, take the VERY BASICS in your carryon. Again, if your bags don't make it, you won't have be completely without options. My favorite travel pillow is this one - a must have on long-haul flights.
5. Always carry your jewelry and any essential medication in your carry on. Do. not. check. these.
6. Carry your international adapter and your phone charger in your carryon. This international adapter is my favorite because it also has USB slots to charge multiple devices at once.
7. Get a 6 foot USB charging cable. Your outlet may not be right by your bed, especially if you're in an Airbnb in Europe, and a long charging cable will allow you use your device while you lay in bed. My favorites are the Amazon Basics cables - they are way less expensive than the Apple cables and work just as well.
8. Take a picture of the first page of your passport and save it on your phone. If you're in Europe, you are eligible for a VAT tax refund, but you need to show your passport to the retailer to get it. Now, everyone knows it is not a good idea to carry your passport around (leave it locked in your hotel safe), but a picture of if will do for the VAT form.
9. Minimize your wallet. Take no more than 3 cards total (debit and credit) and leave everything else at home! You definitely don't need all your grocery loyalty card!
10. Layer up on the plane (scarf, cardigan, long sleeves over a tank top etc) - it will keep you warm, and you can always shed layers when you get to your destination. Also, see (1) and (2) - if your checked bags are delayed, it's just more clothing that you don't have to buy when you arrive!
Bonus: If you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, don't waste time applying for TSA Pre Instead, for an extra $15 ($100 total fee) apply for Global Entry, which fast passes you through immigration at most major U.S. airports and includes TSA Pre with it!! Learn more about Global Entry here.