Four travel experts share tips for traveling with ease.
Whether your work is travel or you travel for work, you learn a few things about being prepared.
Bring Your "Armor"
This is like your security blanket. For some it's a pillow or their iPod and headphones. For me, it's a pair of big sunglasses (Chanel, always) and an oversized scarf or wrap that I can use as a blanket or even to cover my head completely and shut out the world while sleeping on a flight.
Always Pack a Swimsuit
I don't care where you're going or what time of year it is, always pack a swimsuit. If you need it, you'll be glad you have it. Think, rooftop pools, the spa, an outdoor Jacuzzi après ski.
Have a Skeleton Itinerary
Of course, it's great to be spontaneous and stumble upon an adorable sidewalk cafe or bookstore. But if you don't do your homework ahead of time, you run the risk of stumbling into one tourist trap after the next and getting the wrong impression of a destination.
I'm a planner and an explorer. Zero in on the neighborhoods you want to discover, make dinner reservations at one well-reviewed restaurant, and get tips from friends who've been there before. Beyond a few must-dos that are pre-planned, let yourself wander.
Actress/Writer/Producer, "CSI," "The Tick," "Two and a Half Men"
Bring a Snack
I'm not a huge fan of "Mile High Cuisine," so I always carry snacks. Usually about four times the amount I would need to fly around the globe. You know, just in case. I also carry my laptop, and I stock it full of all the TV shows I've missed in the month before. Lastly, I take some form of work with me, pretend I'm going to do it... and never do.
Associate Artistic Director, The Performing Arts Project
Organize Your Entertainment
Before boarding, I take my headphones out of my bag and tuck my book and a magazine under my arm. Then, when I'm on the plane and in the crowded aisle, I can put my bag up immediately and sit down already holding the stuff I need for the flight.
Proceed With Caution When Using Overhead Bins
When boarding with a hot, full cup of coffee, don't assume it will be a good idea to set it down in the overhead bin, even for just a moment. I tried that, and another passenger's bag dumped it directly onto my head and all over somebody else's seat. It was pretty mortifying.
Explore the Movie Options Pre-Flight
When I fly an airline that has a personal entertainment system, I quickly flip through all the movie options before we take off. That way I can look up the ones I don't know on my cell phone, check reviews and things like that. I've discovered some great movies that way that I otherwise wouldn't have given a shot.
Fresh Breath Ready
I carry a tiny tin of Altoids Smalls in my pocket on every flight, in which I also stash a couple of aspirin, some antacids and other emergency medicine. You never know when you'll be glad to have it on hand.
Certified Personal Trainer/Race Director, Southernmost Marathon
I like to get a good workout in before I leave on a trip—it not only helps ease the stress of travel but also helps me to be less restless while inflight.
Soothe Once You Sit
Listening to relaxing music and taking a few minutes to practice deep breathing once seated helps to calm me, block out noise and often allows me to take advantage of a few hours of downtime for a nap. Napping in-flight is made easier and more comfortable by packing my favorite sweater in my carry-on.
Take Time to Stretch
Airplane seats are not made with people on the short or tall end of the spectrum in mind, therefore getting comfortable without contorting your body becomes difficult. On long flights, take a few minutes every hour to stretch out your back and neck.
This can be easily done by sitting upright in your seat and reaching your hands overhead, then bringing them slightly forward to round your back.
In addition, gently rolling your neck from side to side while sitting upright will help loosen up neck muscles that become bunched up in flight.