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Not Your Everyday Travel Tips

Not Your Everyday Travel Tips

Not Your Eveyday Travel Tips

    Stop me if you’ve heard this before… it’s a good idea to differentiate your luggage by tying a brightly-colored object to the handle… oh, you’ve heard that one? Here are some tips that may not be as common, based on experience and mistakes I have personally made or have learned about from my frequent flier clients and colleagues.

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    Don’t travel with gel pens. One time I fell asleep on a plane while holding a gel roller-ball pen in my hand. I woke up with a pool of black ink all over my notebook, my hand, and very nearly on my pants too. Evidently the air pressure changes caused the ink to burst out.

    Bring some of your pre-printed return address labels with you. You can quickly slap one of these stickers on a paper airline luggage tag or use them to fill out a form. A few of these labels are good to always keep in your wallet, not just while traveling, to use conveniently if you buy a bunch of raffle tickets or have to fill out school forms.

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    ALWAYS take a second to look at the airline luggage routing tags that the ticket agent is putting on your checked baggage, and look at your claim stubs too. Don’t just assume they are putting the right tag on the right bag. My son’s bag once was tagged as belonging to some other guy going to Memphis (we were going to Puerto Rico… not good).

    Take note of something interesting about the contents of your bag so you can better identify it. Once when my luggage was lost, the paper ID tag was torn off in transit, and the baggage agents asked me to tell them about something unique inside my bag to help identify that it was mine. I was able to tell them about my tiny orange travel hair dryer and that did the trick. Of course, it’s also great if you provide your contact information on the inside of the bag (I did, but they didn’t find it… do make sure it’s clearly visible).

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    Do travel with Sharpie® markers and zip-closure plastic bags. They are great for marking and identifying things quickly, like which child’s identical souvenir rhinoceros toy belongs to whom… or whose bottle of half-consumed water that is in the back seat. You can use the plastic bags (gallon size is great) to store open snack food packages, seal up a leaky toiletry bottle, or contain wet clothing.

    If your flight is cancelled, don’t wait in the long line in front of the ticket agent to get on another plane. Just step aside and call your airline directly from your cell phone. It’s just like cutting in line, but nobody will get mad at you. (Bonus tip: have the airline number with you!)

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    Love your Bucky®. I have a Bucky travel pillow, the neck pillows that are filled with buckwheat hulls. Mine has a protective travel case that you can take off and stuff inside the pillow while you’re using it. There is nothing worse than giving yourself a neck injury while trying to sleep!

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    Last Updated on March 13, 2019

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

    You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

    Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

    1. Work on the small tasks.

    When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

    Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

    2. Take a break from your work desk.

    Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

    Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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    3. Upgrade yourself

    Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

    The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

    4. Talk to a friend.

    Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

    Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

    5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

    If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

    Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

    Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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    6. Paint a vision to work towards.

    If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

    Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

    Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

    7. Read a book (or blog).

    The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

    Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

    Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

    8. Have a quick nap.

    If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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    9. Remember why you are doing this.

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

    10. Find some competition.

    Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

    11. Go exercise.

    Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

    Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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    Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

    12. Take a good break.

    Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

    Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

    More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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