Smart Tips for Stress-Free Travel

Helpful reminders for planners and attendees alike

Upon Return
• Be excited to get home to your family. Close your eyes to dishes in the sink, clutter or other things that aren't as you like them to be.

• If feasible, arrange for a housekeeper to clean your home just before your arrival.

• Focus on the family first, and listen to their news of what happened while you were away.

• Share highlights of your great meeting or convention.

The following checklist was compiled by Carol Margolis, author, speaker and consultant at Business Travel Success Inc. ( and Smart Women Travelers Inc. (

Before Leaving Home
• Apply for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck as soon as you know meeting dates, especially if you travel a few times or more each year.

• Book the recommended hotel so you can be where the action is and have easy access both to your room and the meeting venue.

• Label electronics with your name. Tape a business card to the bottom of laptops and tablets.

• Keep your family informed with your travel itinerary, family appointments they should be aware of, medical and insurance information, and the contact details of someone with whom you are traveling.

• Plan fun kids' activities to entertain them during your absence (draw their own postcards of their daily highlights, storytelling over Skype). When your family is less stressed, you'll be less stressed.

Travel Day
• Take a photo of luggage contents and the luggage itself (in case your bag chooses its own itinerary).

• Travel with available space in your luggage (you know you'll be coming home with meeting goodies and perhaps souvenirs), or bring a foldable tote bag.

• Get to the airport in ample time. Relax with your favorite beverage while watching other travelers bustle about.

• Enjoy something you've never noticed in your airport (art exhibit, new store, mini-massage).

• Bring portable food (bars, fruit, nuts) and things to do on the plane (eBooks, movies) to weather any flight delays.

• Say thanks to flight attendants and pilots as you exit your flight.

Meeting Days
• Wear layered clothing (sweater or jacket over a shirt), as temperatures will not be everyone's ideal. For ladies, a shawl makes an ideal lightweight item for both warmth and a dressy evening look.

• Charge your electronics so you don't run out of phone or tablet power in meeting rooms or on convention floors.

• Wear comfortable shoes (yes, ladies, even you!). Whether walking the convention floor or sitting much of the day, ankles tend to swell.

• Check in with the family at pre-arranged times so they'll be available when you call.

Keeping Safe
• Carry a hotel business card with you, or a note with the hotel's name, address and phone number (for taxi drivers, or just in case an accident happens on your morning jog).

• For late-night hotel arrivals by car, call ahead to the hotel and ask for an escort from the parking lot into the hotel.

• When taking a taxi, get your taxi driver's permit or registration number, license plate or business card, just in case you leave an item behind.

• If driving, never leave valuables (laptops, especially) in your car. When leaving your hotel room, lock them in the safe.