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I love to travel!  Here are my latest, greatest travel tips for making the journey joyful…

  • Healthy food is available! Once upon a time, you were stuck with Auntie Anne’s and cold pizza. No longer! There are health food stores and trendy restaurants.  There are green smoothies and hummus and fruit, real live fruit, for crying out loud!  Don’t use airport time as a reason to plow through a 30 gallon bag of Twizzlers.
  • Earphones and earplugs. Once boarding starts, I have one or the other IN. I am not chatty on planes because I love to sleep (Yep, open mouthed and drooling.  Sorry guy in 6B.)  Earplugs make me sleepy. Or, I’ll listen to music or an Audible book or a meditation program.  Fly time is recharge time.
  • Get thee to a spa or yoga room. A bit of vibrating massage-chair action and a manicure may help you enjoy the layover. A downward facing dog feels amazing between flights.
  • Seek out art. You’ll find galleries in the basements or corridors between concourses.  Skip the train and walk.  It’s good for your body and soul…a bit of exercise and brilliant paintings, sculptures and photographs.  A few of my favs:  The biology pictures on the way to the Gand H concourses at ORD.  The sculptures from Zimbabwe between terminals A and T in ATL.  The glass crowns in PHL.  Brilliant!
  • Airport floors are gross.  So try to keep your pants off of them.  When you “drop em” in the bathroom, there will be some pants-to-floor contact.  I’m not super creeped out about germs, however I don’t like dragging the icky from the restroom floor with me.  Solution:  Boots and skinny jeans or leggings.  (Dudes, may you be man enough to try this!)
  • Carry-on.  Now more than ever, you have better travel options if you keep your stuff with you.  You save the bag fees and you are ready to catch another flight if yours falls apart.  That means one small and one carry-on sized bag.  Don’t fill your hands with coffee and snacks and items of clothing as your board the plane. (Though I JUST broke this rule and poured my Starbucks all over another first class passenger. #classy)  Be in line when your group is called to board otherwise you may have to check your carry-on.
  • Carry Wet Wipes.  They are even better than hand sanitizer because you can wash the sticky off of you after you eat an apple (or dump coffee on your neighbor.)  You can clean up the questionable surface and offer some as needed to an overwhelmed mom.  Don’t flush them though.  Wipes cause clogs.  This, I know for sure.  #plumberswife
  • Don’t post your travel disasters on Facebook or Instagram.  We all have those stories and nobody wants to hear them.  Instead, post pictures of art!  Or a new friend.  Or a video of a plane taking off.  That “impossibility” never fails to inspire me.
  • “Be Good To People,” as my friend Kris Wittenberg says.  That’s also the name of her company. She sells T-shirts with those words emblazoned on them.  It’s hard(er) to be a jerk when your wearing that T-shirt. So…do. Be kind, especially to the under-paid and over0worked airline and TSA folks who are just trying to get you where you want to go safely.
  • One more thing…are you a nervous traveler? Bring your dog!  It may be worth a little red tape to bring your pet.  Pets reduce anxiety and stress…and may open up travel options that you have been avoiding. Here are some great tips for traveling with pets!

Travel is the ultimate Zen teacher.  (Maybe just behind parenthood and searching for forms on a .gov website.)  Aim to cut out the stuff that weighs you down.  Keep your suitcase and your thoughts light and breezy.  Embrace the adventure and appreciate the fact that not long ago you would’ve ridden in a covered wagon.  If you were lucky.

xo$ Ellen

PS…In travel, in life, distractions can keep you from getting where you want to go.  We are well served to stay focused on the stuff that really matters.  Alas…sometimes it’s hard to separate avoidable distractions from serendipitous opportunities.  I’ve got great tips to help you get focused – enough! – to make great things happen.  My latest FREE Webinar – How to STOP Distractions from Derailing Your Business is available now!