5 Tips to Travel Better

travel betterEven frequent travelers can travel better.

As a health IT consultant, you may experience shuffling through security checks, packing light and waiting in airports twice a week or more, but there’s still hope to travel more comfortably. The new products, features and ideas below may make flights go more smoothly, help you pack and unpack faster and generally experience less hassle at the airport.

Enroll in TSA PreCheck. Available for $85 and with several proof-of-identity documents for a five-year membership, TSA PreCheck allows frequent fliers to experience an expedited security check at 100 airports nationwide. Passengers approved for TSA PreCheck can keep their shoes on, as well as keep their laptops and liquids in their bag. But sign up soon – appointments are going fast.

For extended stays, use a packing cube. Ranging from the inexpensive to the luxurious (in big name brands or with features like moisture-wicking construction), packing cubes are lightweight fabric suitcases that compress clothing to fit inside your suitcase. When you arrive at your hotel, just put the entire travel cube in a hotel drawer, meaning your clothes stay organized and can be repacked easily, said CNN iReporter TravelMoreRd.

Book a less turbulent seat. Turbulence may happen on any flight, but you can reduce your chances of experiencing turbulence if you book flights for morning departure (as the heating of the ground later causes bumpier air), or routes that don’t fly over many mountains or tall buildings. Secure a seat on a larger aircraft near the plane’s wings, typically between rows 10 and 30, depending on the airplane’s size. Seats in the middle of the aircraft bob less than seats near the head or tail of the plane.

Bring a mobile first aid kit. Knock out aches and minor ailments with a handy mobile first aid kit packed in your carry-on. In a zippered, plain cosmetics bag, pack ibuprofen, antibiotic ointment and adhesive bandages for minor cuts and scrapes, blisters and general mild pains. Then throw in Benadryl and hydrocortisone cream for any allergies, and Pepto-Bismol, anti-nausea medication, a decongestant, NyQuil and a Neti-pot with saline packets for any other mild sickness that pops up. For a more comprehensive mobile first aid kit list, read this post from frequent traveler Geraldine DeRuiter, creator of The Everywhereist blog.

Upgrade your travel pillow. With NapAnywhere, the new portable head-support pillow developed specifically for frequent travelers, you can catch up on your sleep while waiting to board or while flying on the plane. NapAnywhere is small enough to fit into a laptop bag, and its physician-developed design won’t leave you with a pain in the neck.