Whether you’ve got a big summer holiday coming up or you’ve just started a new job which requires regular travel, there’s a long list of things you can do to make your journey as seamless as possible.
With the combination of the right technology, accessories, luggage, and advice, your trip around the world could be a relaxing, pleasurable, and painless experience.
Here, together with Readly, we’ve collected 11 tips, from how to buy the perfect suitcase to knowing when to sleep on a flight, all of which will have you travelling like a professional in no time.
1. Wear a pair of noise-cancelling headphones
If there’s one thing you do on this list, it should be this. A pair of noise-cancelling headphones are a necessity for travel. They'll suppress the noise around you, preventing your music, podcast or audiobook from being ruined by a noisy plane engine, the chatty couple sitting next to you, or screaming child nearby. As a result, this will enable you to listen at lower volumes, potentially preserving your hearing as well as your sanity.
You may already have a pair of headphones, but, as you may soon find out, the headphones that are perfect for your 30-minute commute are uncomfortable on longer journeys and don't cancel out the sound of a jet engine.
You’ll want to look for a pair of Active Noice Cancelling (ANC) headphones, which use precise arrangements of microphones to continuously measure, compare and react to the sound-waves they detect. Essentially creating sound-waves to cancel-out the low frequencies.
Find the best noise-cancelling headphones at the link below:
2. Premium luggage is an essential
As well as getting a decent pair of noise-cancelling headphones, it’s also worth investing in a piece of quality luggage. After all, your suitcase should make travelling as painless as possible, not constantly get in your way.
There’s an incredible amount of choice when it comes to luggage and all kinds of considerations, from budget and size, to how long you’re going away for and security.
Here’s a basic rule: if you prefer freedom and your idea of travel is being a little adventurous, then you’ll want a backpack or duffle bag, whereas if your holiday is more luxurious and you travel with plenty of clothes, shoes, and toiletries, then a wheeled case would make more sense.
Find the best luggage at the links below:
3. Download Readly to keep you entertained on a flight
Watching films on a flight is all well and good, but you’ll quickly exhaust the list of actually good releases. Instead of just making-do with mediocre films, you should download Readly, which is like Netflix for magazines.
The Readly app gives you unlimited access to more than 4,000 national and international titles for a monthly subscription of just £7.99. It’s really well designed and gives you access to current and back issues of each magazine.
One subscription allows you to use the app on up to five devices – so your whole family can be entertained in the plane, train, or car as well.
4. Create a capsule wardrobe for travel
We’ve all been guilty of over-packing for a holiday or business trip, resulting in a heavy suitcase that quickly becomes an albatross around your neck. Creating a capsule wardrobe for travel is an exercise in narrowing down your clothing options to the essentials, all of which can work together and adapt to different situations and environments.
For example, a pair of Olebar Brown tailored swimming trunks can be worn with a polo shirt on the beach during the day, or paired with a smarter linen shirt in the evening for dinner.
It’s also important to think about colour combinations, for example, a cream pair of trousers will go with almost any coloured shirt, whereas burgundy or yellow trousers can only be paired with certain colours up top.
5. Try not to check-in luggage
Whilst we’re on the subject of packing light, we think that if you’re going on a short or a long trip there are very few reasons you need to check-in luggage – all you need to do is pack carefully.
With a cabin-sized suitcase and carry-on bag, you can keep everything you need with you, bypassing both the bag drop queue and the luggage carousel at your destination... and get to the taxi rank before everyone else on your flight. It’s simply a much more pleasurable way to travel.
You’ve already learnt the basics of creating a capsule wardrobe, but it’s also important to think about what else you’re taking with you, and question whether it’s really necessary. For example, could you replace large paperback books with a slimline Kindle? Do you really need multiple pairs of shoes?
6. Avoid jet lag by knowing which way you’re travelling
If you’re plagued by flight fatigue, there’s a simple trick to minimise it, all depending on which way around the globe you’re travelling, and what time you’re landing.
It might seem natural to fall asleep on every long haul flight (it’s even encouraged by the airlines, with dimmed lighting and reduced service), but it’s important to resist the temptation if you’re travelling east and landing in the afternoon or evening. This should ensure you fall asleep (and stay asleep) as soon as you get in your hotel room at night.
Obviously, the reverse is also true. You should always work out how to minimise the disruption of your internal body clock and return to normal sleep patterns.
7. Keep your toiletries in a transparent wash-bag
Every traveller needs a good toiletry bag because although shampoo and body wash is provided pretty much every hotel these days, you’ll still need toothpaste, deodorant, shaving cream, moisturiser, sun cream, medications… the list goes on.
While a luxurious leather wash bag may seem tempting, we’d recommend a transparent one if you’re only travelling with a carry-on. This will allow you to get through security quickly and easily, without having to empty everything into a fiddly plastic bag.
8. Make sure you have the correct travel adapter
Even if you’ve booked a digital detox in a Tibetan monastery, chances are you’ll still be travelling with some technology. Whether it’s your phone (to call a taxi when you land), a Kindle to keep you entertained on the flight, a camera, hair straighteners, or a pair of noise-cancelling headphones.
Of course, all of these will need to be recharged at some point, so a universal travel adaptor is essential for any and all trips abroad.
Basic adaptors are available to convert from one country to another, but it's better to invest in a universal travel adaptor that caters for everything. These should always be bought before your trip, as they're often overpriced at the airport.
9. Sleep when you can
Above all else, holidays should be relaxing, but, unfortunately, one thing we often sacrifice when on our travels is sleep. Whether it’s down to jet lag, or simply the fact you don’t settle well in an unusual location, it can be tricky to get the right amount of sleep to ensure you’re not miserable the whole time away.
So, whether you’re staying in a luxury hotel, or always on the road, you’ll want to get those 40 winks in wherever you can – on planes, trains, in cars, or even on the airport floor when your flight is inevitably delayed.
The one thing that will be your saving grace in these situations is an eye mask, neck cushion, and either earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones.
10. Always carry a smartphone power bank
Travelling with a smartphone can be tricky. It’s likely you’ll be using it for everything from listening to music and taking pictures, to navigating using GPS. All of that has a profound impact on your battery life. Of course, if you were at home you’d simply be able to recharge in your living room, in the car, on the train, or at the office, but when you’re travelling, you never know where the next recharge opportunity is.
Enter the portable charger, a large battery with a USB socket which can charge your phone on the go.
These portable battery packs are getting smaller, smarter, and able to charge faster, so there’s no reason you shouldn't have one when travelling.
There are two things to look out for; the mAh, which is the battery’s capacity (the more, the better), and how many USB ports the pack has, allowing you to charge multiple devices at once.
11. Take a bright coloured charging cable
And finally, this is a little trick we’ve picked up over years of travelling for work. Phone chargers are easy to leave behind in hotel rooms or AirBnBs, especially if they’re white and they blend into the decor. At the very least, this would be quite annoying, but it could also lead to a serious travel disaster such as not being able to contact a taxi, or losing your mobile boarding pass.
We’d recommend buying a bright coloured cable, maybe red or green, which stands out against neutral walls. This will be much harder to miss when you’re leaving the room.