I love traveling. But it can sometimes be a pain. I’ve been traveling for work for a little over three years now. This doesn’t make me the most seasoned traveler out there, of course. But having experienced some extremely uncomfortable flying conditions, I’ve learned a few tricks and tips for making my current and future trips more comfortable.

This post contains (and will continuously be updated with) my favorite and most relevant air travel tips that I learned and personally practice during my travels. These tips I mention here have all worked for me and made my travels a lot, lot easier and more comfortable. They may or may not work for you. You may or may not find one or two that do. But, if I’m lucky, you may be inspired to find similar solutions that work for you, and help you make your future travels ever less painful.

This blog post is part of a “Travel Challenge” I suggested to a fellow speakers on Twitter last week. Scott has posted the first post in this challenge. I love his tips, especially the travel spices rack. I will probably be carrying something similar, along with travel utensils such as this multi-utensil I recently pre-ordered on Indiegogo.

Pack Light, and smart: The last you’ll want while traveling is to drag yourself down (literally) by carrying too much.

I always check a bag in. This means that I can carry as much clothing and amenities as I need. Sometimes I check the amenities provided by the hotel I’m staying at and find that they don’t provide all the amenities I need such as an iron or kitchen utensils, so I bring my own travel-friendly versions with me. And I’m only able to do so because I check a bag in.

But when it comes to carry-on luggage, I try to stay as light as possible.

I went through a few bags before I finally settled for a couple of favorites. I switch between my bags depending on the length of the trip and the amount of stuff I’m carrying or packing. I’ll share which ones those are along with more details about my tech travel pack in a separate post.

Get through airport security as fast as possible.

Not having a lot of carry-on luggage is step one to moving quickly through security. In addition to the amount of lugagge, you can also move quicker by planning the kind of content you carry in your luggage.

Staying productive: getting more work done on the road.

Since I’m a freelancer who also happens to travel a lot, I try to make the most out of my time by getting more work done during my travels, so that my traveling doesn‘t disrupt my client development projects too much. So, being able to get work done on the road is very important to me.

I find that the most important things I need to get work done on the road are: my laptop (always charged and ready), a bottle of water, a snack, wifi (though not always required), and some quiet.

Healthy habits result in peak physical performance.

Getting sleep & staying comfortable on the plane.

It is extremely hard for me to get sleep in public places—unless I’m utterly exhausted and physically incapable of staying awake. But it got easier with time and practice. Now, I am able to get myself to sleep on planes as long as I:

Jet Lag is hard to beat, but easier to combat.

I read somewhere that it takes one day for every hour of time difference to get over jet lag. In other words: if you’re flying to a destination with 10 hours time difference, you’d need 10 days to get over jetlag and for your body to adjust to the new local time. This is not very efficient and will certainly be a problem if you’re traveling to a 10-hour-different time zone and are staying for 3 or 4 days only.

But I’ve learned that you can lessen—and sometimes maybe even neutralize—the effects of jetlag by following these few tips:

I’ve personally tried some of these tips and noticed that they did help me a lot. I’m still not completely able to handle jetlag all the time, but I’m getting better at it the more I travel.

Other things I always carry/do

In addition to the no-brainers such as passport, money and boarding pass, I:

The Tech Pack

I will do a separate post on this including photos of my tech travel gear, but here is a quick list of the most important things I carry when I travel for work (dev and speaking):

The background image used in this post is designed by Freepik.
Sara Soueidan