I love to travel domestically and internationally for business or personal reasons. I believe that when you see how other people live, you either appreciate what you have more or develop new goals for your own life. However, traveling can be a taxing experience and can create chaos that prevents you from enjoying your trip to its fullest. Traveling in style is even more stressful because not only do you want to look like a jet setter but you also want to be able to act like one. Test out my tips to travel in style:
- Create an itinerary and budget for your travels. It’s ok to be spontaneous and veer off the beaten path but it is wise to have some idea of what you will be doing on your trip and how much you can afford to spend. This will help you to pack more efficiently and know where you can afford to take advantage of expensive dinners or shopping excursions without worrying about the consequences when you return.
- Make a packing list. This may border into the slightly anal-retentive zone but I like to create a packing list to make sure I don’t forget anything, to have an idea of what I need to go shopping for BEFORE I leave and to possibly to consolidate some looks to minimize my luggage.
Invest in coordinating luggage. I think it looks so chic when your luggage matches. Make sure you chose a durable material if you will be traveling with connecting flights and/or internationally because the luggage will go through many hands that don’t always have your baggage’s best interest in mind. You can opt for something light and trendy if it will be used primarily as carry-on baggage.
- Know the tipping standards. Nothing says classless quicker than someone who doesn’t pay for assistance. You may look like a million bucks but I assure you that won’t be the word whispered behind your back. You don’t have to make it rain everywhere you go but financially thanking the people that help you is the proper way to do things.
- Dress appropriately. I like to find a look that is comfortable yet professional and casual when maneuvering to and from airports. Going overboard with accessories and designer labels makes it look like you are trying too hard and are an amateur traveler. You don’t want to try to look rich because you make yourself susceptible to being robbed or scammed but you also don’t want to look like you just rolled out of bed. My favorite travel look consists of a comfortable pull over tee shirt and/or sweater, depending on the weather; jeans or slacks that I can sit comfortably in and flat comfortable shoes because I am notorious for running late. Having a light sweater and umbrella in your carry-on bag will help you look effortlessly prepared for any circumstance.
- Make your travel arrangements as far in advance as possible to take advantage of the best deals. Not only will it save you money but it will also give you time to make adjustments, if necessary, and to take your time creating your travel plan.
- Choose a chain. Many hotels and airlines reward you with frequent use award programs. Choose a chain that provides the optimal level of service for your taste and budget and use them frequently. The more you go, the more points you will accumulate and therefore begin to cash in for upgrades.
- Being high maintenance does not equate to traveling in style. I hate traveling with people that complain about every little thing. Set reasonable expectations for your accommodations but don’t expect the people around you to cater to your every whim. Unless you have private servants, people do not exist to specifically make you happy. There are instances where you should stand for your rights such as poor service or poor/inadequate accommodations but berating a valet for not bringing your car first, cursing out the flight attendant because they don’t serve your favorite drink or getting angry if what you want is not available at the second you want it is unacceptable.
Traveling in style much like life is subject to each person’s interpretation. Traveling in style for me involves having a great time without worrying about money (because I made a budget), looking great (because I packed for almost any situation) and enjoying my surroundings (because I created an itinerary and have reasonable expectations for the trip).