If you’re like me, you like traveling. Young, wild, free, and no super big responsibilities to hold you down, a new destination is always welcomed. Not that responsibilities can hold you back from your desires. Traveling is a necessity in my eyes. It’s good to get out of your comfort zone and enter a new zone that is unfamiliar but amazing. It’s a goal of mine to make it out of this country and explore new cultures. I want to see how different things are in other places and just how similar they are as well. While college provided many opportunities to travel, life after college also provides those privileges and more than likely a better fund.
In the past six months, I’ve been to Arizona twice and Las Vegas. Not too many places, so far. I have no excuses, I work enough to take a vacation but I haven’t accepted the concept of taking that vacation by myself. I dream of a vacation outside of the country with my family. I do have plans to go to many other places the rest of this year; Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago and Detroit. Of course, none of those places are outside of the United States but I need to acquire my passport before I make my way out of the country. With summer right around the corner, it’s the time to get out and explore.
Airport traveling can be hectic. You have to time yourself right. Look up flights months in advance, get to the airport hours in advance, pray for good weather and hope for a memorable and safe trip. It’s not going to be all rainbows and sunshine and as adults, we are accepting of this notion more. Airports have happy people and grouchy people. Long lines and high hopes of bags not getting lost. At the end of it all is your destination though and that’s what it is worth. If there wasn’t a great place waiting for me at the end of all the planning then I would probably never step foot in an airport because why?
Book Early Flights
Many websites recommend ticket shopping on Tuesday and Wednesday. I do support this theory, I’ve noticed this is when tickets are the cheapest before they go up. Ticket sales will be at their best on Tuesday before going up the rest of the week. You want to book more than a month in advance especially if you want to get a good price for your ticket. I remember dropping $400 for Las Vegas, three and a half weeks before my vacation. If you know you want to go out of the country or to an amusement park, it’s probably best to book months in advance to you can also purchase necessities like amusement park tickets in the following months. Make sure you check out your Airline’s app and check-in early is you want, I always do this and it saves me tons of time.
Find a Place to Stay
Usually, people book this before they book the flight. I would recommend either doing that or waiting until you find a flight. Most places have a security deposit so prepare for that when you are booking — you won’t have to pay the total amount until arriving so look into different places. If it’s a trip with your friends, everyone should pitch in to find the best place to accommodate you all. Always check the reviews, they can be a hit or miss but you can find something out that is on a need-to-know basis. Web sites like TripAdvisor and Expedia can be pretty helpful — there’s also AirBnB. I can’t vouch for AirBnB but I’ve had multiple friends stay at places through it and for reasonable prices. I’m considering it for future trips especially since my people like what they’ve dealt with.
Be comfy! You can show up in heels and tight jeans but that long flight is going to be leaving you feeling some type of way. Everyone has their preference and we aren’t all Kimmy K’s — some of us are Zendaya’s that show up in sweats with slides. Going through the TSA check line and waiting in lines at the airport, you’re going to be dreaming of something comfy on your body. My preference is loose swears and Keds or flip-flops. It can get cold in the airport and on the plane, bring a blanket with your carry-on or pack a jacket. Four hours or more in the air and freezing is not fun at all. You can still be stylish while flying. My last flight I found a $12 maxi dress from Forever 21 and paired it with some Keds and a bomber jacket, comfy + cute.
I will own up to the fact that I’m the last person to check the weather. I read the first three hours and make my decision on what to wear. When traveling, it’s important that you pack the right things. You don’t want to bring shorts and be stuff in chilly weather with shivering thighs nor do you want to rock a hoodie in a desert. I never used to listen to my mother when she said to bring a jacket and now I’m finally getting it after twenty-four years of life. You want to be prepared for everything but you don’t want to overpack. In my opinion, go with one of everything and then pack extra of what you think will go along with the forecast.
Don’t Bring Your Closet
You can’t pick which shirt to bring so you decide on both which isn’t a bad idea but you don’t want to overpack. My mom always reminds me that the more room I have in my suitcase equals more opportunity to bring stuff back. Pack the necessities for the trip and like I stated before, check the forecast. If you’re going to a beach, don’t forget a swimsuit. If you want to try to fit in some workout time, don’t forget your gym clothes and gym shoes. Make a list, I think that’s the best way to do it and work off that list. You could always look up suitcase hacks and figure out how to roll your clothes into tiny balls so you can pack as much as you want but I wouldn’t recommend.
Don’t forget those distractions that will keep you busy while on your flight. When I flew to Arizona, which is a four-hour flight, I brought books and my iPad. You need something to keep you busy. My book kept me busy for most of my trip and American Airlines lets you rent movies which were nice to watch Jurassic Park and Fantastic Four for the duration of my flight. Pack water and chapstick, keep yourself moisturized. Little snacks will hold you over if you don’t want to pay for food on your flight. Southwest is the only flight I’ve ever been served free food on so shout out to them! It really depends on what you’re bringing, let’s be real. Headphones and chargers are a necessity. Don’t forget the gum, either!
This is just a short list. There’s so much to traveling — so much to put together. Make a preparation list, you won’t regret it. If you don’t like flying, like me, it’s better to preoccupy yourself so you can get through it and not worry. Also, best thing I’ve ever done when flying? Checking in twenty-four hours early. That’ll be the best move for you. May the best travels come your way! What are your plans for traveling this year?