1. I will make sure my passport is current.
Passports are the single most important document in traveling outside the country, whether you’re just visiting a border town for the day or spending two weeks in Tuscany. Make sure yours is up to date and ready to go when you are. Check here for more information on United States passports.
2. I will print out my electronic tickets 24 hours before I travel, and will check the TSA website for possible delays at my airport and connecting airports.
Last-minute delays happen, as do glitches in your electronic ticketing sometimes. Checking on things 24 hours ahead of your flight can help insure that you don’t run into unnecessary snags at the airport. You can check security checkpoint estimated wait times here.
3. I will follow TSA’s “3-1-1” rule for liquids in carry on bags religiously.
Nothing’s worse than delays through security checkpoints due to the one person who just HAD to have a full-sized 5 oz. bottle of perfume in his or her carry on bag. Be sure you know what will and won’t fit in your quart-sized clear zip-lock bag (check here if you’re unsure about an item), and have the ziplock bag in a place that’s really easy to get to so security can check it quickly.
4. I will pack everything I need the day BEFORE I travel.
You’re less likely to forget something if you keep a running list of the things you’ll need while you travel, and pack them ahead of time to make sure you can get out the door well ahead of your flight time. Better yet? Keep a “pre-stocked” carry on bag handy for those unexpected last-mintue trips. If most of your things are already packed, it’s much easier to pick up and go without worrying what you may have forgotten.
5. I will plan time for fun while I travel!
Just because you might be traveling for business doesn’t mean you can’t have fun just about anywhere you go. Check out information online about the city you’re going to, and plan for a little downtime in a cafe near your hotel that seems cool, or a meal at a 5 star restaurant, or a drink at a pub that catches your eye on a travel site. A tiny bit of background work on where you’re going can free up tons of time to just relax a little.
Have a great 2008, and happiest of travels!
Editor, diva in a carry on
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- M.I.S.S. Jet Set: International Travel Planning