Hey guys! I’m excited to share with my updated travel dates for 2017:

>  JANUARY  |  Seattle, WA
>  MAY  |  Miami, FL
>  JULY  |  France
>  SEPTEMBER  |  New York City, NY
>  SEPTEMBER  |  France
>  SEPTEMBER  |  Asheville, NC
>  NOVEMBER  |  Spain

I think it’s time I get a travel credit card, don’t you think lol? I’m always up for meeting new people, making new friends and creating more art, so if I come to your areas let’s grab some coffee, a beer, or let’s find the coolest local spots & do a killer session!

Traveling as much as I do, I’m starting to get pretty darn good at it. Here are some tips that, when done together, can seriously add up and take away a lot of the stress that comes along with traveling:

Make a list of all the essentials, and all the destination-specific items you’ll need. There’s no way to remember everything when you start organizing yourself the night before leaving. Stress, lack of sleep and last minute errands will make you anxious enough, but making a list will alleviate some of the stress (and you won’t forget your phone charger!) You can even make that list in your phone, so you’ll never have to do it again. Some items to not forget: chargers to all your devices, a back-up battery for your phone (saves me EVERY TIME), medicine, band-aids for blisters (again, every time lol.)

I always get my suitcase out and start casually tossing things in it about a week before I leave. The night before I tidy it all up and go through my list one last time. When I leave to come back home, I always always back the night before. I hate leaving things for the morning of, that’s a recipe for a stressful morning and for running late!

I’m a girl, trust me, I get it. Different outfits, different shoes… a hat, because hats are back, and of course, all the personal care products in your bathroom (this hair doesn’t just happen, ok.) But I tell you what, it all hit me hard the first time I traveled without my husband and he wasn’t there to help carry things. I was just one small girl, carrying two giant rolling cases (one of which kept toppling over), running late like a crazy hyena through the airport. I cursed myself for bringing this much (half of which I did not need) and swore to myself right then and there, that I never again would do this. Since that day, I have traveled with nothing more than a carry-on. Why? It takes away the stress of “Will my bag get lost?” Plus I hate waiting at the carousel, it’s a waste of time. Also, I just want to carry one case and a purse. Sure, it seriously limits the amount of pretty clothes I can bring (especially when I’m traveling for work and that case holds primarily my gear) but it’s so worth the physical stress I’m saving my body (and the emotional stress that comes with being exhausted by it.) In and out is the way to go!

The time you should arrive at the airport depends on many factors, including (but not limited to) whether your flight is domestic or international, how busy the airport you are leaving out of is, and whether there are any unusual activities going on at the moment (bad weather, rallies/demonstrations, strikes, closed areas…) so make sure to research these things ahead of time. But on top of all of that, make sure to add at least an extra 30 minutes for traffic. Nothing is worse than being stuck behind a car accident on the highway and stressing out because you’re not sure you’ll make your flight!

At this point, I think we’ve all heard about (watched) the United Airlines debacle. I don’t agree with how this situation was handled but let’s face it, airlines over-booking their planes is (greedy) routine procedure. When flying for anything work-related, I want a whole day buffer in between flying out and the actual event, so I fly 2 days early. This way if anything unplanned happens (get bumped from a flight, the flight gets cancelled, I get sick, inclement weather, I get stuck in traffic and miss it altogether…) I still have time to catch the next flight out and get there on time and without stressing. And if all goes according to plan? Then I have a full day to recover from traveling and relax, so I can be in the best place possible to focus on work.

If you live in the US, the TSA Pre-Check Program IS SO WORTH IT!!! For a minimal fee ($85), you can get pre-screened so you will have access to a shorter airport security line. You won’t have to remove your shoes, belt or jacket, you won’t have to take your laptop out of your bag (not a big deal, but annoying) and best of all, you will be in and out in a flash. No more long security lines! It doesn’t feel like a big deal when you rarely travel. But if you do so at least 3 times a year, believe me, you become so grateful for it. That right there saved me so much time and stress. In you travel internationally, for just an extra $15 I suggest you get Global Entry. Both are valid for 5 years.

My last piece of advice is to either invest in first class (which is much more doable when you have an airline specific credit card) or, if you’re the average person (like me) choose your seat in the middle of the plane. Some plane check passengers starting at the back, some at the front. Either way, the last people in are very likely to have to check their carry on (and if all you’re bringing are clothes it’s not a big deal, but if it’s fragile gear like in my case, it super matters.) Being in the middle of the plane gives you the best chance of not being faced with that unpleasant situation. Note that it can still happen to you (it did to me once) but for the most part you should be okay.

I hope this helps you guys as you travel and saves you some time and stress! Anyone else have any expert travel tips & tricks to share with the class?