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Holiday Travel Pt. I: “Before” aka “OMG I’m going to forget something!”

Let me be the first to say, travel is always stressful, to some degree. However, a lot of that stress is simply self-inflicted! Aside from long TSA lines, increased amounts of people who have seemingly never heard of the “no liquids rule”, and more fussy kids, your stress level is within your control. In this three part series, I’m sharing some easy ways to worry less about if the cat has enough food, and more about if you’ll drink a whiskey soda or vodka soda as you hit crusing altitude or reach your final destination.

Quick clarification: “Travel” and “On the go” doesn’t mean a crazy business trip, or a fancy cruise. To me, I speak about being “on the go” as someone who simply rushes from point A to point B – and yes, personally there are thousands of miles between those distances. Even if just racing across town, these ideas, planning and tricks still apply! In easiest form, if you’re out of your own house, going anywhere – that is my own definition of “on the go” because temptation, pressures and mistakes are easiest to happen when we are outside of a controlled environment. Okay. On to these tips!

  1. Pack gradually. While some of us may get pulled into trips last minute, a majority of personal trips are pre planned, at least three weeks in advance – airlines and hotels book in advance at lower rates for a reason. With that in mind, I pack my best when I just start putting stuff into a tote or my suitcase, as I think of it, when I remove it from the dryer, or see an item hanging up. It’s much easier to gather everything then trim it down once you realize you have five different ugly sweaters instead of thinking you only pakced two at the last minute. If your trip isn’t a surprise, literally don’t act like it when it comes to the packing.
  2. Track immediately. Through trail and error, I’ve found I am much better with my macros and food intake when I track/log my food. The longer in the day I wait to track, the greater my chances of overconsuming calories or carbs without realizing. Now, I aim to track anything I bite, lick or taste (thanks Weight watchers 2012 for that BLT) within 30 minutes. Keeping this consistent even during travels is key for overall consistency but sometimes harder.
  3. The inevitable truth: You will, no matter how much lists you make and check them twice, forget something. Either with you, at your home, in your car, whatever. The sooner you realize it’s okay and most likely replaceable or some workaround possible, the sooner you can let go of obsessing over everything. Just pack some clothes and your toothbrush and underwear. Maybe some shoes.
  4. Figure out your top “not at home trigger/guilty pleasure” and decide if, and how much of it you will allow. Create a self-managed allowance. Personally, I am most tempted by baked desserts and ice creams, so I bring my own keto treats, low carb cookies, and then break them into half portions. It’s better to compromise than completely go down in flames.

And now, a few packing-specific tips:

  1. Contain all toiletries as if you know they will leak. Odds are, something will. Ziplock bags with a few extras are great for this.
  2. Ship stuff in advance for stays beyond a few days. I recently went to Disneyworld, and shipped about $100 worth of water and keto snacks to my room that would have cost around $220 if I bought it there. Plus, way easier to worry about. This applies to hotels, just confirm in advance they can accept your package, and some may charge an acceptance fee.
  3. Cut about 20% of your packed items. You probably won’t use as much stuff as you think you will.
  4. Two shoes rule: Unless I am doing lots of outfit changes in one day, I like to keep my shoes minimal – they take up a lot of space and also add weight. I usually trave with a workout pair of sneakers then a “universal” pair of something that will fit the situations I’ll mostly be in. To be, it’s not about perfection but at least making the best of what I have. What I don’t have: Unlimited suitcase space. I’m on a work trip in Minneapolis currently and found the tan ankle boots to get me through all my meetings, as well as evenings with jeans.
  5. Three colors rule: I keep my clothes all interchangable so that if needed I can rewear something or not spend a lot of time figuring out what to wear. Plus it cuts out the packing time since I have some guidelines for what’s going in my bag, as I casually add those items as mentioned above.

Leaving your home to go somewhere beyond your kitchen can be stressful, but with these few tips you can stay calm, cool, and keto-collected. Easy travel can be achieved simply by really making the most of the things you can control, so when the things you can’t control pop up, you can take it all in stride.

In part two, we’ll cover how to settle in for success once you’ve arrived at your destination – including some ways to save some money and worry. Happy travels!

-TKC

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