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Basics for Traveling Domestically

These are a few things a person shouldn’t leave home without.  Nothing like getting somewhere, realizing something is needed, and there is nowhere to get it (or without a cost).  Pack and prepare properly, and the trip will be more enjoyable.  First up, don’t over pack.  Every person should be able to pack for at least 5-6 days in a standard carry-on bag.  Anything more is too much. Think about what you really wear, not what you think you need.  Check the weather, never assume the average weather is going to happen.  Case and point Cincinnati.  The weather can turn on a dime, literally.  I’ve been there and gone from snow storm to spring casual in 24 hours.  A good traveler always is prepared for all conditions, but only those conditions that are expected.  Going to Miami isn’t going to require a parka, but a lightweight rain coat might be called for on trip.  Use packing cubes, they will make bringing that must have shirt or dress an easier fit.  Think of cubes as mini storage cases.  If you have multiple stops, a cube for each destination can be helpful, just grab and go.   They can also be helpful for thinning out the unwanted air in clothes making the packing effort effortless. Bring all the necessary power cords, chargers and adapters.  A single USB wall charger can go along way; but if you are missing the right cord or adapter it quickly become useless.   Look or know your electronics.  Not knowing what plug is required is disaster waiting to happen.  The good news, almost every major airport carries cords of all types and sizes.  So if you do forget, there is a hope.  Also most major hotels have a stash of left cords. Don’t be afraid to ask the front desk. Do bring a power bank on any trip that requires third party transportation.  Electronics like the cellphone can be game changers and life savers in a pinch.  When that power is gone, it’s gone.  And relying on places to have electrical outlets is just plain stupid.  The business traveler should consider extension cords to always have outlet at finger tips.  Do notify your banking institution.  In today’s world of hacks and thieves, banks are quick to turn the access off if there is anything out of the norm.  Don’t be caught without a card for those incidental charges.  Even the best planned trip will have a few hidden costs that the cash stash may not cover or be above your allotment.  Learn transportation options. Always know the 800 number for travel by air, train, or bus.  The best plans can get derailed quickly if weather or traffic happens.  Being able to make a call to get things organized and back on track can often be the quicker fix than waiting in lines.  On one of my trips to New Jersey, my change over in Detroit ran into a snag, and by calling I learned Philly airport was just as accessible to my destination as flying into Newark.  I made my destination in the same day while my fellow travelers caught flights the next day.  Plan medications, never assume the prescription can be refilled (at least quickly).  I never needed more than an aspirin, then I got cancer, and needed a few more meds on trips.  Any pill that can save your life should be over packed by a few days and kept on hand not packed where there is no access.  Might need or non-life threatening can be packed out of reach.  Bring copies of prescriptions if you have pills out of the norm.  Do have a water bottle.  Traveling dehydrates you.  Having a water bottle helps keep you hydrated but can also save you a few bucks.  Optional items include sanitizer/ soap, batteries, and pillow, as well as, downloading maps and entertainment in advance.  These are just a few tips for traveling domestically in the US.  Go, travel, and have fun.

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