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5 Essential Tips to Make Traveling Easier

Whether it’s a plane, train, bus or car, traveling for hours on end can be exhausting. However, with the help of proper planning, it doesn’t have to be. Over the course of three semesters abroad and countless adventures, I’ve managed to compile a few survival tips on how to make even the most miserable journey a little bit more enjoyable. 
If you have a cross-country road trip or transatlantic flight ahead of you, here are five fantastic ways to beat the challenges of travel and stay comfy.  

1. Hydrate Strategically

If you’re like me, then the thought of having to squeeze past fellow passengers in order to wait in a line for the (usually) stinky bathroom is one of the worst parts of traveling. A great way to avoid frequently getting caught in this unwanted situation is to start hydrating 24 hours before traveling.  
Loading up on H2O the day before a flight will help your body stay hydrated without having to chug gallons in transit. These preparatory measures will also save you from that nasty feeling of being parched due to the high altitude and thin air.  

2. Dress in Layers

There is nothing worse than sweating on an 8-hour plane ride, and vice versa. One of the best ways to avoid the fluctuating temperatures of any travel cabin is to dress in layers. I’m a naturally cold person, so in my case, I always bring a warm and comfy coat that can also be used as a blanket.  
It’s also important to keep in mind what the weather will be like at your final destination. If there's a 20- to 30-degree difference, consider bringing a few extra pieces of clothing in your carry-on to avoid feeling uncomfortable once you’ve arrived.  


3. Pack Healthy Snacks

You never want to find yourself stuck traveling without food. Whether it’s a 30-minute flight or an 8-hour train ride, make sure to pack enough snacks in the event that there aren’t any meals provided. It’s a good idea to include a few healthy options, as junk food tends to make digestion uncomfortable.  
Some of my go-to traveling snacks include berries, nuts, fruits and pretzels. I’m vegetarian, and the meat-free options on planes aren’t always the most appetizing; therefore, I’d suggest packing meals to bring along if you have any dietary restrictions.  

4. Come Prepared 

Thirty minutes into a flight, when the excitement of traveling starts to wear off, boredom tends to set in. To avoid reading the complimentary safety guidelines, it’s a good idea to bring along different forms of entertainment. Downloaded movies, TV shows, music, podcasts and audiobooks are great ways to ward off the boredom.  
Make sure to download all forms of entertainment pre-flight, as once you're in the air, internet connection is completely lost for the remainder of the trip. If you’re worried movies won’t do the trick, bring along a journal or schoolwork to keep you occupied.  


5. Always be Early 

While it’s not the end of the world to miss a flight, it’s a huge bummer and could potentially ruin all of your travel plans. In order to avoid getting caught in traffic or stuck in security check, plan to leave for the airport at least one to two hours earlier than the recommended amount of time (especially during holiday seasons!).  
I’d also recommend setting several alarms on different devices to avoid oversleeping. The stress of being late can be nauseating, so be sure to have everything packed and ready to go the night before to avoid any morning mishaps.  
Hopefully you’ve picked up some new tips for minimizing the misery of long-haul flights. I wish you the best of luck on your upcoming adventure, and never stop traveling!

Taylor Christie is a CEA Spring 2020 student studying and interning abroad in Prague, Czech Republic. She is currently a student at Baylor University.

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