Pre-Travel Routine: 5 Things I Always Do Before a Big Trip

travel tips
travel tips


I spend more time living out of a suitcase than I do at home, so I’ve learned what it takes to set myself up for a successful trip. While planning a streamlined itinerary and finding the best hotel deals is great, the true magic of a trip is what happens before you board that flight. 

How you prepare for a big trip can prevent problems on the road, make the journey more comfortable, and get you extra excited for the adventure ahead. That’s why I created a pre-travel routine with a few easy steps that never fail me.

Sticking to this easy-to-do (and fun!) routine has helped me feel confident going into any travel experience and soothe those pre-travel anxieties — from packing hacks to the perfect spray tan and getting a good night’s rest. 

Here are the five things I do before every trip. 

Get a Spray Tan

Nothing gives me a confidence boost more than a good spray tan, especially if I’m visiting a tropical locale where I’ll be living in my bikini. For an allover glow, I always go to Sugared + Bronzed, which offers professionally airbrushed spray tans and natural sugaring treatments (also a great thing to do before vacay, ladies).

I’ve been going to Sugared + Bronzed studios for years, and I love that the formula looks natural and lasts through a full week of travel. Besides, the older I get, the more mindful I am of taking care of my skin. And a spray tan means less time directly in the sun to get that bronze.

To maintain my tan on the go, I pack my Sugared + Bronzed Sunless Tanning Glow Bag, which comes with travel-sized versions of the brand’s best-selling products. Sugared + Bronzed has studios all around California, Texas, and New York, as well as locations in Pennsylvania and Florida — with more coming soon! 

Book your spray tan or sugaring hair removal appointment HERE.

packing tips, best suitcase, beis carry-on roller

Packing & Outfit Planning

Packing can be the most daunting part of a vacation. Planning the activities on your itinerary is a blast, but figuring out what to pack for them…not so much. Here’s how I make the packing process easier, especially if I need to fit everything into a carry-on. 

I plan specific outfits ahead of time and base them on the itinerary. Going on a sunrise hike? Bring a pair of running shorts, a tank top, and a pair of comfortable running shoes (my favorite pair are Allbirds). Taking a museum tour and shopping downtown? Pick a cute dress, a light sweater, and comfortable sandals for the day. 

Going through your plans for the trip and selecting a head-to-toe look will save room in your suitcase and save you stress when getting dressed each day. If your travel plans are more spontaneous and up in the air, still try to pack full outfits based on the climate and general excursions available in the destination. Bonus points if you can bring pieces that work for multiple outfits!

airplane window aesthetic, sunset airplane window

Travel-Sized Essentials

I wish I could pack up my entire cabinet of skincare and hair products, but TSA won’t let that happen. Carry-on liquids and gels need to be 100 milliliters (3.4 ounces) or less. My solution? The answer to any and all of my problems: Target. 

Target has a full aisle of travel-sized toiletries that all cost between 99 cents and $3 — mouthwash, hand sanitizer, sunscreen, shampoo, face wash, you name it. I stock up on all the TSA-approved essentials I might need before a trip.

It helps to make a list beforehand so you don’t forget any destination-specific necessities. For instance, I added bug-repellent spray and an extra tube of sunscreen to my cart for my recent trip to the Caribbean. 

If you’re not sure exactly where to start, I’ve got you covered. Shop my full list of Target travel-sized products HERE.

One Last Workout

No matter how many times I try to convince myself I’ll work out while I’m traveling, the chances of that actually happening are slim to none. Besides, jetlag and sightseeing can leave you exhausted, so it’s not worth overexerting yourself in a stuffy hotel gym when you can lounge at the pool with a piña colada in your hand instead. 

However, I can feel better about indulging in local delicacies when I take care of my health in the week leading up to a trip. I always like to finish strong with a good workout the day before I leave (I love a Yoga Box sculpt class). Plus, it helps me feel more energized for the journey ahead. 

Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Between red-eye flights, time changes, and the excitement of hitting the town in a new city, a lack of sleep is bound to happen at some point in your trip. That’s why I always do my best to sleep well the night before takeoff. But, of course, those pre-vacay jitters don’t always make it so easy.

So, I take the night before my trip to do self-care and relax. I’ll read a book instead of watching TV, take a hot shower or bath, make a cup of tea, and do my full nighttime skincare routine. If I have an extra early wake-up call, I’ll take a scoop of Beam Dream, a hot cocoa drink that’s infused with a light dose of melatonin. It puts me right to sleep so I feel well-rested for the long travel day ahead. 

And that’s my pre-travel routine! I hope these simple tips help your next travel experience run smoothly. 

Is there a blog post topic you want to see next? Let me know in the comments or DM me on Instagram — I’d love to hear from you! 

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