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Travel Tips to Make Your Trip Terrific! – Chrys Howard
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Travel Tips to Make Your Trip Terrific!

Travel Tips to Make Your Trip Terrific!

Hey everyone! Today’s blog is about traveling. Well, I guess it’s more about packing then traveling, but proper packing is what makes the trip more enjoyable. Many have asked me questions about all my travels: How do you travel so much? Don’t you get tired of traveling? How do you pack? Where’s your favorite place to go? So today, I thought I would address some of your questions and give you some packing tips.

First of all, I love to travel. Second of all, I love to be home. Bottom line: I love to go places, but Dorothy was right, there’s no place like home. But, today we’re going to talk about traveling. We’ll talk about staying home another day.

Traveling opens your eyes in ways staying home simply can’t. You get to see sights and interact with people and taste food in new and exciting ways. Traveling also allows you to work on your “patience” skills as you wait in line for a ticket or sit beside a grumpy stranger on a bus. In fact, traveling is a big plus in the “learn to adapt to life” skillset, better known as the fruits of the spirit. You know—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. In just one vacation, you’ll get to work on all of these! If kids are involved, you’ll get to work on them over and over.

My favorite place to go is anywhere family is. Twice, we’ve taken our entire family on a trip in place of Christmas gifts. Once on a mission trip to Guatemala and the other to Israel. Both of these trips make my favorite list. Not because of the destination, but because I was with family. Every summer, we go to the beach together. Our beach trip requires little more than a bathing suit, cover up, and shorts and t-shirts. We love it for its simplicity. We don’t plan anything, but meals. And cooking, when that is all you have to do, is enjoyable. Our time is not structured or planned out; it is relaxing and fun.

Before you go anywhere, whether it’s to the mission field or Disneyworld, packing is essential.  If anyone figures out how to travel without packing, I’ll be the first in line to use the service. That day might come, but this is not that day, so I’m going to give you a few of my personal fav packing hacks. These are good if you travel a little or a lot.

    1. Look ahead at the weather. This is so simple today. Of course, we know weather changes faster than a speeding bullet, but with new technology, we have a pretty good idea of what it will be. This takes away the excuse of packing too much because you don’t know what the weather will do.
    2. Having said that, even if it is supposed to be sunny and warm every day, bring a sweater or a sweatshirt. I have bought more sweatshirts in sunny California than anywhere in the world because I mistakenly thought California is always warm. It’s not! The evenings are cool and air conditioning is cool, so be prepared. Or you can buy a new sweatshirt. Plus, airplanes can be cold so have your sweater easily available.
    3. It’s hard to not over pack, but packing things that mix and match can help. I get it. All of us use the “I don’t know what we’re doing” excuse to pack way too many clothes, but in today’s world of paying for each bag, we need to simplify. Lay your clothes out and make sure each piece matches somehow. One shirt can go with either jeans, shorts or a nice skirt. Maybe a sweater, jacket or scarf is added to change the look. Then a simple dress that could stand alone or be paired with a sweater to make it look like a skirt is easy to do. With some careful planning, it’s easy to pack for a week in one suitcase.
    4. Shoes are challenging because they take up more space. But, stick with a neutral color in a heel, flat and tennis shoe. Wear one for travel (preferably the tennis shoe) and pack two versatile pairs. If you have room in your bag, especially for cooler temps, put in one pair of boots or wear them on the plane. I have found that many planes have cool air pouring out at feet level so
    5. I never wears sandals on a plane. There is nothing more miserable than three hours of freezing feet.
    6. Makeup, medicine and face-products are be a problem too. We use the same excuse: I might need it! Here’s what I do, especially when packing for a mission trip where luggage is almost always minimal—in a backpack. Completely pack your toiletries one day and night early. Everything-medicine, makeup, shampoo, conditioner, night cream, make-up wipes, etc. Then live out of your packed things for one whole day to be sure you didn’t leave anything out. If you do forget something, I’ve found a store in everyplace from Arkansas to Africa so no worries.
    7. Keep a small bag with sunscreen, bug spray, wet wipes, and hand sanitizer packed and ready to go. That bag can be easily grabbed and packed with no thinking. No need to reinvent the wheel every trip.
    8. Get a good backpack. A backpack is my essential go-to purse for travel. I pack a smaller purse or fanny pack for once I arrive, but use a backpack for travel days. That way everything is in one place and I’m not juggling bags. Be sure you have a place for water and a convenient pouch for your passport, tickets, and cell phone. One of my favorites has wheels so no carrying and causing shoulder issues.
    9. Have a “trip drawer” at your house. My trip drawer has my ear phones, my bug spray bag, my small bag or fanny pack, and any reading material I want to read on my next trip.  Anything that I take on every trip is in there. The exception is my passport. My husband likes to keep ours locked up in a filing cabinet because every trip we take is not overseas.
    10. Get a passport. You’re never going anywhere overseas if you don’t have a passport. It doesn’t take much time and, once you’re done, you’re ready for the next adventure God wants to send you on. 
    11. Always, check your tickets once you’ve booked them to be sure you have the times and date correct. I’m not saying that I’ve booked 6:00 pm flights when I wanted 6:00 am….okay, I am saying that, so check your tickets as soon as you get your confirmation. You usually have 24 hours to make a change without any change fees.

That’s it. I hope something in this blog helped you as you plan for your next trip. Traveling can be fun or it can be frantic. A little planning can go a long way to making it more fun and less frantic.Happy travels. Hugs, Chrys


  • Andrea McConnell

    That is a great idea about packing toiletries the day before and using them to make sure you missed nothing! I also love the idea about having a “go” bag ready as well as a travel drawer- both are things that I am going to implement soon in my own apartment. I am curious though- what backpack do you use that has wheels?

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