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Jet lag be gone: set your clock to the local time as soon as you land. Photo credit – Benson Kua/Flickr/CC

It’s that time of year. Business travel becomes hectic. Family holidays loom. A Mama’s weekend away is a must have. Whether you’re a boss lady biz traveler or young family looking to cross an ocean, there are a myriad of ways to travel smarter.

Recently I was looking for some travel advice in the luggage care, packing and jet lag departments,  so I asked a number of pro-traveler buds about their best travel hacks. Here you’ll find practical advice involving cubes, luggage cleaning and getting the right amount of sleep. Smart travel is only a glass of water or suitcase polish away.

Smart Packing Cubed 

Travel blogger and mother of a one year old Char Taylor of Taylor Hearts Travel recommends packing in pods to keep big and little goodies sorted. Her fave pod packing system? Taylor loves the PacaPod change bag includes three compartments and is great for moms on the go. “I use one for my baby’s food and one for his nappy stuff. It means that I can just grab the relevant pod, rather than lugging a massive bag into a tiny cubicle or rummaging around into a seemingly bottomless pit.”

Meanwhile, Mum on the Move Marianne Rogers loves cubed packing, too. Her favourite packing cubes are eBags or any brand that has either mesh or a window. Being able to see what’s inside is what really matters says Rogerson. “I find packing cubes work really well for longer trips, particularly if you have multiple destinations and need to be continually packing and repacking. I divide clothes up into cubes, for example one for my son’s shorts, another for my daughter’s tops, and this way you can easily find each person’s clothes when you need them. And re-packing is simply a case of putting the cubes back into the suitcase when you move on. Just make sure you buy packing cubes with a window so you can see at a glance what is in each one.”

So now that you have your packing cube system down, I’d suggest compartmentalizing even further with smaller bags. I’ve just finished a two year membership stint with Ipsy and as a result have a couple dozen cute, petite make up bags that are perfect for packing those small things. Jewelry, electronics (chargers, cords, battery banks, etc) and toiletries all fit perfectly into the Ipsy bags. Because no two are the same, they’re easy to find in your bag because they’re all different colours and patterns.

Clean, condition, protect. Poppy Barley co-founder Justine Barber's tips for luggage care.

Clean, condition, protect. Poppy Barley co-founder Justine Barber’s tips for luggage care.

Love your Luggage

For Justine Barber, one half of Edmonton’s wildly popular bespoke shoe and accessory company Poppy Barley, travel is a personal and professional must. Travelling back and forth between Edmonton and Leon, Mexico where Poppy Barley’s production facility is, Barber knows the value of loving your luggage. Her three leather luggage care tips include: cleaning, conditioning and protecting.

“The two steps [of proper luggage care] are cleaning and conditioning. Clean first, following the instructions of your leather care (and make sure your own hands are clean.) A trick is to not use too much product and more elbow grease. Then conditioning, especially with higher quality, more natural leathers, is essential. Think of a good quality leather like our skin – just as we moisturize to replenish the moisture in our skin you need a conditioner to put life back into your leather. Finally, try to keep your bag off the ground and store it when not in use stuffed (to maintain its natural shape) and in a dust bag.”

Peace Out Jet Lag 

For dad-on-the-go Mark Wyld of Wyld Family Travel, the key to overcoming jetlag is to set your clock to the destination time as soon as you get off the plane. Notes Wyld, a dad of two and Australian citizen, another way to avoid the throes of jetlag is to try to schedule your flights so they land in the evening. “Landing in the p.m. reduces the change of falling asleep during the day and helps you settle into your new time zone.”

Meanwhile, Barber recommends granting yourself some mercy and sneaking in a cat nap. “Don’t make yourself miserable. Grant yourself a power nap and an early bedtime if you arrive in the morning or afternoon. In between, the best way to fight feeling tired is going out and exploring your destination.”

The Life Delicious wellness coach Catherine Roscoe Barr fights jet lag with water, some contrast hydrotherapy and exercise. Her tips especially ring through for busy business travellers. Once she had a 27 hour flight from Vancouver to Lisbon, Portugal and had 60 minutes to get ready for a cocktail party. “‘I’d been hydrating like crazy on the flight, did a quick 12 minute workout at the hotel gym, and had a hot shower followed by a one minute cold blast, got ready and felt like a million bucks!”

How will you travel smarter in 2017? What are your packing, luggage care and jet lag avoidance tips? Please feel free to share in the comments below.