Travel Tips: A guide to spring break
With spring break just around the corner, lots of Parkland students and staff are looking forward to packing up and jetting off somewhere, hoping for some much needed rest and relaxation. Complied below are tips for how to travel this spring break with minimal stress.
To start with the basics, figure out the main logistical details. The ‘where’ and ‘when’ are important to figure out first because different places have different temperatures at different times of day and will factor into the style of dress required, as well as what else goes in the suitcase. Nothing takes away from a good vacation like frozen limbs (only one example of the many atrocities that will undoubtedly occur if the weather forecast is not consulted). Make sure to pack a lighter tee shirt and heavier option, like a wool sweater, in case the weather fluctuates on either end.
Another factor to take into consideration is geography. Headed seaside? Pack a good jacket. Winds coming in off the ocean tend to make beach areas a bit cooler than expected.
This leads to the first packing tip: layers. Packing items that can easily be added or subtracted ensures that personal temperature is maintained while walking, sightseeing, sitting, or running to catch the right train. Basic items like tee shirts and long sleeves, button up shirts and pull over sweaters are good items for layering.
Another tip is to pack a variety of shoes geared towards the activities planned. For leisurely vacations, pack shoes for more casual events and maybe a nice dinner, but if there’s lots of sightseeing to be done, stick to a favorite pair of trusty, blister-me-not shoes that will be comfortable all day long. Keep clothes clean by packing shoes in plastic shopping bags, and save space by arranging them toe to heel. Pack socks inside of shoes to help them maintain their shape and save space.
Packing a suitcase can feel a bit like stuffing items endlessly into a clown car. Having a strategy in place helps, though, which leads to the next tip. When putting clothes in, roll them first; it saves space and keeps wrinkles at bay. Lay pants flat at the bottom of the suitcase or on top of a rolled layer of shirts and sweaters. Let the waistband and ankles of the pants lie over the edges of the suitcase. Place rolled tops and sweaters on top of the pant legs, and then fold the top and bottom of the pants over the layer of clothes.
Packing extra zip-able disposable bags is another great way to save space and stay neat. Using Zip-lock for dirty laundry maintains the freshness of other clothing (packing dryer sheets will also help keep clean clothes odor free). Sandwich sized plastic bag can help keep similar items together, like hairpins and jewelry. However, nearly all ladies know the pain of necklaces and jewelry becoming intimately acquainted with each other while traveling. To avoid this, string necklaces and other long chains through drinking straws to keep them separate.
To save a few bucks, invest in a set or two of Travel Security Agency-approved travel bottles. This helps to avoid the cost of buying travel sizes of favorite products, which are cheap at first glance, but add up quickly. Instead save samples and use those as travel sizes. Put pieces of plastic wraps over the openings of bottles before screwing the lid on to avoid messy mishaps and leaks.
After you are done getting packed, it’s time to check in and go through airport security. In the blessed age of the iPhone, checking in online has never been easier. Make sure to do so 24 hours in advance to get a good seat. Most airlines now have apps that make checking in a breeze, and will send notifications of flight changes as they occur. Downloading the airline’s app, even if it’s just during the traveling period streamlines the arrival-to-takeoff process and provides more accessible peace of mind.
Last but not least; when going through airport security, things can get messy. Jackets and shoes have to come off, laptops have to come out, passports and cell phones must go through the scanner. A favorite tip is to save tote bags, cotton or otherwise, and keep them folded in another bag. Upon arrival at security, take out the tote bags and put jackets, keys, phones, passports, shoes etc. in the bag. This ensures that everything stays together, and makes it delightfully easy to grab everything off the belt in one go, eliminating stress about who’s waiting impatiently to grab their items next.
Traveling should be something to enjoy, not to dread, and these hacks will help that dream become a reality.
So pack up, and don’t forget the sunscreen. Bon voyage, Parkland.