Top Tips For The Type A Traveller
If you have a Type A personality, then traveling can definitely bring out the worst side of you. Already quick to feel the effects of stress and with a dislike of uncertainty, travel conditions, unexplained complications and delays can send you spiraling – you won’t exactly be known for taking things in your stride, and your love of order and routine means your mojo can easily be sent off balance with all the variables that traveling can involve. If there’s one time where a knack for being organized can really come in handy though, it is with travel arrangements. Creating sightseeing plans and itineraries, nailing your flights and other information, packing light in your carry-on and making sure everything is in place will not only soothe your stress levels, but it can also make sure that your trip goes smoothly. Take a little time to plan ahead – as you’re known for doing – and you can turn it into a huge benefit.
Love Your Pre-Travel Lists
Type A personalities love a list, and it’s a great way to transfer your thoughts onto paper – or a screen if you prefer – and really ensure that you get the most out of your trip. Use a travel planning checklist template to make sure that you’ve covered all the bases. What do you need to have organised before you fly? From thinking ‘where can I get my sunscreen?’ to ‘What if I needed malarone for my trip to Africa?’ think about what to pack, what travel and medical arrangements you need to make and factor in time for them.
Spend a morning with a coffee brainstorming what must-see sights and must-do activities you have in your chosen destination, whether you’re exploring the rich natural landscape of Costa Rica or checking out the culture and cafes in Italy. If you plan out your days, it means that you won’t miss anything, but be mindful of also scheduling in some much-needed downtime, too. Your break should be equal parts action and relaxing so that you don’t burn out. Take a low-key day or two after your arrival just to get your bearings and acclimatize to the time and weather differences – your body will thank you if you don’t plunge straight into it and save your big activities for a couple of days into the trip.
Create An Itinerary
Once you’ve worked through the pre-trip planning, write down your travel itinerary. You can either use an app like TripIt if you prefer a digital format or just create a travel itinerary spreadsheet to print out. It’s always advisable to carry a printed copy in a clear plastic wallet anyway, even if you do go digital – just in case of battery failures, lost devices or patchy WI-Fi. Note down your flight numbers and times, contact information for the airline, travel agent, hotels and any rental companies you are using, the key addresses you need for your stay, your passport number and travel insurance details and the contact details of your country’s embassy. You should also email a copy to yourself and someone you’re close to back at home. Then you have ultimate peace of mind.
Nail Your Packing
Learning to pack light is an art that gets refined over time, but barring extended overseas trips of months at a time, it should be possible to pack for one or two weeks in a carry on bag. This has multiple benefits – as well as giving you a cheaper ticket price, it means that you can immediately leave the airport rather than hanging around at the baggage carousel, and you also get to keep any valuables your traveling with close to you. However, it does mean a lot of restrictions on what you can take.
First of all, try to follow a packing rule like the 4-3-2-1 rule to stop yourself overpacking – and be especially strict on accessories and shoes, as these are bulky and heavy. Aim to pack light layers which can be combined in a travel capsule wardrobe to fit different occasions and weather conditions, and wear your heaviest items on the flight. Sticking to natural fabrics like silk, cotton, and cashmere means that your clothes are breathable and therefore much more comfortable for traveling in. As there are strict liquid restrictions on a place for hand luggage, try investigating solid alternatives to liquid products.
A solid shampoo bar can be used for hair and washing your body, eliminating liquid shampoo and body wash. Re-usable makeup removing towels just require a splash of water at the other end. Solid crystal deodorants, solid perfumes, and toothpaste powders are also available, while a pot of coconut oil can be used for a huge range of things, from an intensive hair conditioner to an overnight face mask and even a teeth whitener! Similarly, finding clothes which have multiple uses can be a great idea – a travel wrap which can be worn as a top, skirt or cardigan is a great idea, but also just generally pick versatile pieces. A pair of jeweled flat sandals and a black vest dress work equally well for many occasions, from sightseeing to going out for dinner. Rolling these items or using packing cubes is a huge space saver that can ensure everything fits neatly into that carry-on!
Make Coming Home Easier
All this pre-trip organization can make sure that you have a seamless, enjoyable experience on the way to your destination and during your visit – but what about when you come back? Post-trip blues can be a very real thing! Ease the load a little by also planning well for your return. Pack a simple canvas tote bag in your case and immediately put soiled items of clothing into it as you go – that way you can empty it straight into the washing machine when you arrive home. You could also order small food delivery with the basics like milk and bread via click and collect at the airport or direct to your place so that you don’t get home and have no way to make breakfast without going to the shops. Try to unpack your case as soon as possible so it isn’t hanging over you – then all you have to do is relax, look through your pictures and enjoy the memories!