SNAFU (Situation Normal All F*** Up) avoidance is my main goal when traveling internationally. Since I've had so many mishaps and summer is the time when people travel the most, I thought I would give some helpful tips I've picked up on the way. If you missed the first two parts of this series, you can read them here and here.
Rule # 3: Clean Your House Before You Leave
I think this rule applies anytime you go on vacation but it's especially important on an international trip. In my opinion, there is nothing worse than coming back from a totally awesome vacation and facing a dirty house. Oh, it's such a buzz kill.
It's even worse when you're exhausted from traveling. You've probably spent the last 12 hours or more traipsing through airports, dealing with security, eating bad food, and wrestling with your tray table and movie selector while crunched into a seat for hours on end. Once you're released from this special kind of purgatory, the only thing you're going to want is a shower and a bed.
And having clean sheets ready and waiting only makes that process easier. :) So, do yourself a favor and clean before you go. You'll be happy you did.
Rule #4: Prepare for Jet Lag
Jet lag sucks. I'm mean, seriously sucks. For me, it's one of the worst parts of traveling probably because I love my sleep and can never really manage to get it on the plane.
BTW, I seriously admire those people that can sleep anywhere. I've seen people sleep in the airports on those hard chairs. They sleep on the plane. I've even seen them curl up on the floor. I cannot do this. At all. I've had trips where I was awake for more than 24 hours, so tired I can't make a complete sentence, but I still won't be able to sleep on the plane.
Anyway, the longer your trip, the more jet lag you'll have. Prepare for it. Don't schedule your return flight for the day before you have to be at work. You'll be stupidly sorry.
A good rule of thumb is one hour for every time zone you cross. I don't think that's exactly true, since many people can recover faster, but it's a good starting place. Definitely plan on feeling like you've been run over by a train for the first few days. You're not only dealing with the jet lag, you're also recovering from the long travel. Try to reduce the number of things you have to do during those days following your trip and be gentle with yourself. It will take time for your body to adjust.
What about anyone else? Do you have some great travel tips? If so, comment below.