Thursday, August 3, 2017

Travel Far, Travel Wide, Travel Smart

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It seems that once I graduated and got my job, everyone wanted me to come visit them or wanted to organize trips. I've booked two flights and one hotel for three separate adventures in the past two months! For context, I have flown a grand total of once in my life and it was with parental guidance. 

Don't get me wrong, I am very much looking forward to the trips I have set up. I'm excited to see the mountains of Colorado for the first time visiting family there. I can't wait to fly up to NYC for a weekend to hang out with some friends from college. And of course, I couldn't be more amped to take a trip back to Pittsburgh with my mother for a weekend of college football and Steel City fun!

While I can pride myself on finding cheap plane tickets and reasonably priced rooms downtown for a holiday weekend, the actual air travel part is new to me. Like I said before, last time I had responsible people with me, and now I have to find my own way between gates and understanding flight etiquette.

But a few things stick out in my mind as the go-to tips that I definitely think are applicable to all forms of travel (just call me the queen of roadtrips!)

Keep it to a carry on. As a young person with very little to her name at this point, I am not a fan of spending money where I don't have to. For a four day trip you can expect me to cram MY LIFE into a carry on and my personal bag. It helps that my only suitcase currently is a small rolling bag that definitely falls in the carry on category. I have perfected the art of tightly rolling pieces that can be worked into at least three different outfits and sliding shoes along the edges. It is both an art and a science.

Travel comfy. I've book flights on complete opposite ends of the spectrum. My trip to Colorado will be long with tedious layovers — who needs to spend three hours waiting in Atlanta?! — while NYC is thankfully a single, straight shot from D.C. Either way you can expect to find me in leggings, a loose t-shirt, with a light sweater since being a comfortable temperature is not a luxury I can expect in any space I enter into.

Have all the entertainment. Books, mags, music; I've got it all. If you don't have a window seat you need to keep occupied, and people watching gets creepy after awhile. #lessonslearned

Stay organized. You probably know this. This note is mostly for me, when it's travel day and I go to look back on this post. For the love of all that is holy keep all tickets, passports, essential travel docs in one accessible pocket of your bag and avoid the, "Hold on, I swear I have it right here...nope..." moment in front of everyone who is already pissed they're waiting in line.

Look at me pretending like I'm a guru because I managed to book seats. :) I guess I could have worse reactions to performing adult tasks.

- Ashley

What are your biggest travel tips?

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