How to be Productive When Planning Your Next Trip

Do you ever find yourself frazzled and frantic when getting ready to travel?

I used to feel that way until I started taking control of my plans and being productive about it. This week I wanted to share a quick video where I share three tips you can use as you plan your next trip.

I just came back from a trip, but I'm getting ready to go on another trip, and so I realized that trips can be a big time suck for a lot of people and get people off their usual schedule. Some of the things I do to stay productive and when I asked people on Instagram what they would do, these were some of the suggestions.

First would be to make sure you have a regular packing list because often we start to decide what we have to pack and we're not sure of the list of items that we need.

How many clothes should I pack and what's the weather going to be like at this new place? Do I have that item and buying items last minute for packing. But, having your go-to list in a document on Evernote or Google Drive to be able to say, “Here's my list of what I need to pack and I'm going to stick to it.” It limits having to overthink about it or having to always repack and decide again for the next trip depending on how much time you have, so consider packing list as the first thing.

The second thing is to then think about your to-do list before you go on your trip.

There are lots of things I want to do all of the time, right? But as the trip approaches, I start to think about what's realistic for me to complete before I go on this trip. I do a front and back piece of paper. I like my paper lists and I say, “Here is everything that has to happen before I go on this trip and it has to be truly must happen.”

And then there could also be a list of things I would like to get done, but probably may not get done. And then on the back, what will be here are things that absolutely must get done when I return home from this trip.

That helps me balance out the anxiety of feeling, “I didn't get everything done that I wanted to get done before I leave.” Knowing it has to get done for the items on your to-do list, so that's the second thing. So, a packing list and your to-do list before and after your trip.

And then, the third thing I would say is I really make sure now that I protect my time before and after a trip.

And so what I mean is, if I'm leaving on Friday for a trip, I make it a point to not do anything the Thursday night before that trip and even though I want to go to my regular social event, hang out with friends, spend time doing a regular activity or going out and about, instead I say, “No. I know I'm going to need this rest time before I drive or before I get on the airplane.” And that helps with those last-minute things especially – even just the rest before getting on a plane or driving in a car. I have extra time to do that and I'm not feeling anxious before my trip.

I've also started playing on the other end of a lot of people do this the day of recovery, so knowing that as soon as I get back, is there anything I could do to make sure I don't have five meetings or extra commitments to take care of right after a trip. It's not always possible, but if you can help it or build in an extra day into your weekend, coming home on Saturday instead of Sunday, that type of thing can help.

Another rule I made for myself which keeps me on track for productivity would be to not travel two weekends in a row if I can help it because I know I need that time to rest and recharge at my own home before I go on to the next trip. That has been a really effective way to help balance out the month, so that I don't end up with four weekends gone in a month and then no time to just be able to rest.

Again, those three things were: Make sure you have an ongoing regular go-to packing list that you use, have a to-do list before and after your trip so it helps keep all the things we want to do manageable, and then protect your time both before and after a trip.

Those are just three tips, but I'd like to hear what else you do to help be productive either while you travel or when you're getting ready to travel. I'll see you next time. Thanks.

So which tip will you use next time you travel? Tell me in the comments or share it on social media!