Traveling rookie mistakes

Hanging out in the cockpit, say hello to first officer Caitlin.

I just did the most unthinkable. I swear to you all, I am not usually this stupid. I’ll start here, this weekend I am visiting Portland to visit some friends from college, and am lucky enough to have a 3-day weekend because of MLK day on Monday. I’ve been eyeing flights since ~ November and right after Christmas, I finally bought my tickets!

I’ve been stoked to finally be back in the PNW and as I was preparing to check in for my flight, I realized I actually booked my flight for Saturday night instead of Friday night. WTF! After wallowing in my stupidity, trying to change my non-refundable tickets, I partially got over it and realized that I made a huge mistake and just need to swallow it.

This leads me to 5 traveling rookie mistakes:

1) Assuming you don’t need travel insurance.

You do, or at least I obviously do. From now on, I’ll always think that paying the extra buck is worth it, not only for the reason of booking the wrong flight, but also because you never know when flights will get canceled or delayed.

2) Overpacking.

Just because you have a lot of cute clothes that you wanna show off, doesn’t mean you have to bring it all. Especially for just a weekend trip. It’s better to just pack a carry-on suitcase, or even a backpack, full of one cute outfit, a pair of shoes you can wear everyday, 1 bottom, and a couple of tops you can layer or make different combos of.

Also, you definitely don’t need all of your electronics (i.e., laptop, tablets, iPod, etc.), you can do pretty much everything on your phone. I usually only travel with my cell phone and Kindle.

Liquids! Keep it to a minimal. You don’t need every single product you use maybe only once a week anyway. Luckily, I’m staying with friends and family, and I plan to borrow their shower stuff so that I don’t have to pack any! It also helps that I don’t wear makeup, so that also really lightens my load.

3) Over/underplanning.

I make this mistake all the time, especially if I’m only going a short trip. I look up all these crazy things I want to do while I’m there, and then I get super burnt out and can’t handle anything. Sometimes it’s nice to take things by stride and do things as they come. Some of my best travel memories include me not having a plan, getting lost and finding some great hole-in-the-wall restaurants or doing things I never thought I’d do. However, don’t solely go with the flow because then you’ll find yourself bored and with no plans!

4) Underestimating the power of jetlag.

Going from the east coast to the west coast and back won’t be too bad. But whenever I go from the east coast to Hawaii, Europe, or vice versa, the struggle is so real. And every time, I try to fight it. Let’s face it, it exists, pack some melatonin and learn to sleep on the plane.

5) Not giving yourself enough time at home to relax and recharge from your trip before having to go back to school or work.

I make this mistake all the time (hey, I’m still new), but I advise against it. You and your body need lots of rest.

Hope this helps you to avoid all the mistakes I’ve made and will probably continue to make until I’ve learned better! Until then, happy traveling 😉

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