Time Saving Tips for Short Winter Trips

The start of a new year always brings a bout of inspirational changes – from newly healthy dieters to gym goers, resolutions run amok. Yet every year, it always seems that once we get busy, back into our routines and away from the waist-gaining deliciousness of the lazy holidays spent at home with friends and family gain, we never actually live up to the resolutions we try to set.

We get back into our routines and often tell ourselves we’re too busy to achieve the things we once resolved we’d do.  For many of us, this means we get into a habit of hibernating through the colder weather and shorter days. Whether you’ve already been an avid traveler or plan to become one in the decade to come, the truth is that there’s no time like the present to take that trip or go on that journey.

It doesn’t matter what kind of traveler you are – from solo travelers to families of 5, we all can relate to that feeling of never having enough time. No matter where you choose to travel this winter, check out our 6 tips for maximizing your most precious resource to give yourself more time for what matters.

1) Use packing cubes

Not only do these help you pack less and keep your clothes wrinkle free, but they also make the packing/unpacking process a breeze. If you get a few cubes in different sizes, your suitcase can stay organized and you’ll know where everything is if you group your things by category.

2) Keep connected

While we hate to admit it, we’re addicted to our devices. They really do make our lives a

whole lot easier, especially when we’re traveling. From hand held computers to music players – the amount of time we spend staring at and using these screens means they tend to run out of juice rather fast, and that happens even quicker when we’re on-the-go using them to take lots of pictures or navigate our way around an unfamiliar city. Why not treat yourself to a portable charger? These days they can be rather affordable.

3) Save the planet one page at a time

Check amazon for “Reusable notebooks” – there’s a few brands that offer a kindle-like screen that you can write directly on, much like a real notebook. But once you’re done, the page will upload directly to Google Docs and reset itself. It’s way better for the environment and much faster than manually typing up your handwritten notes!

4) Bring some earplugs

Lots of long-haul flights offer a free pair, but if you purchase your own, you’ll get a higher quality option for tuning out the world to catch some z’s. Earplugs can help you sleep in transit, snoozing on long bus rides or planes. Suddenly, when you’re able to sleep more soundly, a 16-hour plane ride doesn’t feel so long. And if you’re traveling on a budget taking overnight trains or busses, you save money on a night at a hostel or hotel, but usually compromise your sleep in exchange for the value.

5) Don’t waste time choosing toiletries

Convenience kits are fast, on-the-go toiletry options that pack light. Throw one in a weekend duffel bag and hop on the train or chuck it in your carry-on suitcase. Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, razors – don’t worry about running through the check-list of toiletries in your head. It’s all in there. You don’t have to worry about getting all the items separately or worse, forgetting something. Plus, they’re nearly weightless and excellent options for a short-term adventure.

6) Charge your devices faster

In addition to our phones, we’re often juggling a whole laundry list of tech goodies with us. From wireless headphones to laptops, you’re bound to need a few charged devices. Sometimes when you’re on the go (a la in your car or an airport), you can only find one outlet…if you’re lucky. If you buy a multi-prong adaptor, it’ll let you charge several things at once, meaning you don’t have to wait around as long and can get back to doing the things you enjoy.

These 6 tips will hopefully help you kickstart a more efficient adventure. But while you look for travel gadgets and time hacking tips, don’t lose sight of the fact that your time off is a moment to bask in the present. It’s a time to enjoy the company of those around you, the rush of exploring unfamiliar territory right in front of you, and expand your horizons with enriching experiences. Sometimes, especially with all this technology at our fingertips, it’s easy to get lost in a transactional mindset – we have to “do” this country or tick this place off our bucket list.