The art of organization on the road…
Years ago when I first started flying as a commercial flight attendant, I must have lost 20 cell phone chargers, countless hair brushes, toiletries, and even clothes on the road!
Every time I checked out of a hotel, I forgot or lost something…
It finally dawned on me that I needed a better packing routine and strategy for keeping myself organized so I didn’t continue to “donate” my stuff to every hotel I stayed in!
By the time I began flying corporate, I was much more organized but now I had a MORE things to keep straight. It was no longer just my own belongings I had to keep track of., Now, I had to remember additional items such as; all my catering including the shopping items I stored in my hotel refrigerator, My passports/ visas and any other paperwork I needed to travel all over the world, travel cell phone, and receipts for my all my expenses.
It was definitely a learning experience with lots of trial and error, but I finally got it together by doing the following..
First, I make a list of everything I need for each trip, a day before.
Second, I always keep a bag packed with staple items and just adjust it to the destination accordingly.
No more packing my whole closet! I now pack my work clothes, workout clothes, and a few versatile items depending on the climate I am going to. I DON’T pack a different outfit for each day I will be away ( yes I use to do this).
Third, I have made the following adjustments to my toiletries; I now use hotel body lotion, facial cleaning wipes instead of bringing my face soap, small containers of shampoo and conditioner, and basic make up. I bring a small container of coconut oil because I can use it for so many things like: face and body moisturizer, hair smoother, eye makeup remover! I also cook with it on the plane!!
If my trip becomes a lot longer, I just expense laundry, that simple.
In my small flight bag I keep a folder of travel and trip documents, my receipts, trip sheet,a flashlight,and my small make up bag for touch ups during flight.
Travel documents, receipts, and my expense forms now all have a home in a well-organized folder/ binder. I begin filling out my expense form the first day of my trip and continue to update it each day. . In the beginning of my career I would wait till the end of the trip to fill this thing out, Whoa! What a mistake! After a 2-week trip, I would have a million receipts to find, put them in order, and calculate all the currency exchanges for each date! Not fun ,,,
Additionally: I make copies of my passports, license, and trip sheet, I have 2 credit cards stored in different places, and make sure I have either brought a travel cell phone or called my long distance carrier to make sure my plan is still up to date with international adjustments.
I also suggest calling your credit card company so they don’t block your card due to “ suspected fraud” (which has happened to me like a million times).
Food and catering
If I have shopped on the road for my catering, I usually have a few options for storage. One; the FBO, Two; My hotel Room, or three; my hotels kitchen/concierge. . Each place has its own risks. I do not prefer to keep things jammed in my little hotel fridge where they may be forgotten, or go bad. Depending on the hotel I am staying in, I may or may not want to use their storage based on the risk of things going missing. So, my first choice is the FBO cold storage. Then I know its already at the airport and pretty secure.
When ordering from a restaurant or catering company, I always call a few times to double check they have all the information correct: haven’t forgotten items, and remind them of the time schedule for delivery or pickup. I don’t care if I come across paranoid of OCD, at least I know there will be no mistakes!!
The final sweep
The morning of my departure fro my hotel room, I pack up everything up a couple of hours before I need to leave, ( or the night before), only leaving out the essentials. I go through every inch of my room to make sure I haven’t forgotten everything. I do this a couple of times before I leave, and definitely pre-pack my phone charger!!
I know all of the above sounds like a lot of work, but its also less expensive and troublesome than:
Forgetting things in foreign countries, having your credit card shut off, or not being able to go home because you have lost your passport or been robbed. (ALL of these things have happened to me over the course of 13 years).
If anyone would like to share their favorite organizational habits, please comment!!
Fly safe and travel prepared ☺
Cobblestones and Heels