For many of us, Monday mornings start very early as we fly to work or get behind the wheel to begin a long drive to another city. Flights at 5:30 or 6:00 a.m. get you up and out the front door before some people have even gone to bed! I’ve been such a Monday-morning traveler for many, many years and so have many of you. I often run into the same folks at the airport week after week. Monday morning out, Thursday night back home … this is what’s common for many of us, though I had many years where it was Monday to Friday.
Having a travel routine is critical for these half-asleep (ok, mostly asleep) departures early in the morning. Having too many bottoms or not enough tops, or forgetting toiletries or medicines, are things at high risk with wee-hours of the morning packing. Add in sneaking around the bedroom closet in the dark so as not to wake your partner and the risk exponentially increases. How do I know? I once got to Las Vegas for a conference and had no clothes in my bag. They were still hanging in my bedroom closet.
Ditto for packing up the laptop bag. You don’t want to get a half way to the airport and realize that you don’t have your phone or chargers for all your gadgets or that your sun glasses or umbrella are still sitting on the kitchen counter.
So what’s my Monday Morning Travel Routine to keep the forgotten item risk low?
Well, it all starts on Sunday night.
- Pack my bag (clothes, toiletries, shoes, etc.). Having a second set of toiletries makes this easy.
- Have clothes planned out for Monday morning, along with shoes and accessories. I may change a thing or two as I put them on, though at least the color scheme has already been decided.
- If there are clothes that I want to leave hanging until the last minute, I leave a note on my suitcase to remind me. I do not rely on my memory!
- Pack up my laptop tote with any files, presentations or other papers needed, along with all my technology (laptop, iPad, camera, power cords, Wi-Fi card. All my gadgets are charged on Sunday during the day so that they’re all ready to go. I do my system backup on Sunday also. I do have to share that I have extra power cords at home due to expensive lessons learned in forgetting to pack my power cord and having to make emergency purchases. A travel checklist for gadgets definitely helps (and use it again when packing up to come home so as not to leave a power cord under the hotel desk).
- Prepare a take-with breakfast. Hard-boiled eggs or lettuce ‘sandwiches’ are my usuals and I get these made on Sunday evening. A note is written and put atop my laptop bag to remind me to grab the food out of the refrigerator (yes, more lessons learned the hard way here, too!)
- Have the coffee pot ready to brew with a to-go cup sitting on the kitchen counter.
- Boarding pass is printed for international flights or a photo snapshot taken of it if electronic. The latter I do just in case I can’t get Wi-Fi access as I’m going through security or at the gate.
Then on Monday morning, it’s wake up, grab a hot cup of brewed coffee, shower, get dressed and go! After hopefully being awake enough to get mascara on my eye lashes and not all under my eyes.
It may seem like a lot to do on Sunday, though because it’s routine it goes pretty quick. And yes, maybe flying on Sunday night would be a better solution than the zombie state of Monday morning, though for me, I much prefer zombie over leaving on Sunday late afternoon.
So on this Monday morning, what’s your travel routine? Feel free to share any hard lessons learned as well, as I can’t be the only one who has forgotten a thing or two!