After years of traveling around, be it on international flights, road trips, or boat trips, there are a few rules I have developed:
You and YOU alone are responsible for your own comfort. DO NOT rely on others to see to it.
This is the underlining principle to all my rules. Also!:
If at all possible, make sure you are the one driving. (If on a road trip) This will give you control over your environment, i.e. when you stop to get food/restroom, what music is played, and the temperature of the car. If not, the following are very important:
Food– Be sure to pack a good amount of snacks and drinks. You can’t be sure when exactly your next meal will be, and you don’t want to go hungry.
Clothing– Wear loose, cool clothes. You won’t be in control of the temperature of whatever you’re traveling in, an it is easier to put a sweater on to warm up than it is to cool down.
Entertainment– The last thing you want is to be stuck in a car/plane/bus listening to babies cry, or somebody else’s music, or a movie you don’t want to watch. Take a music player with you! Or at the very least a pair of ear plugs.
Medicine– There is a chance that you might become ill during the trip. This will kill your comfort zone faster than anything else, and will make the trip miserable. Be sure to always have headache or stomach medicine on hand! You don’t need a lot, but just enough to make you feel better. Having your own tissues is also very important.
Money– It is also important that you don’t travel without at least some backup money. You don’t want to be stuck needing something, only to not have any money with which to buy it.
Lastly, two very important things to keep in mind:
Expect the unexpected! I know that sounds cliche, but it’s true. Always leave buffer room in your trip. If a road trip take 8 hours, leave 9 hours before you have to be at your destination. I guarantee things will happen! (Also, this way you’re not rushed)
If you think you’ll need it, bring it!!! Seriously, even if you have the slightest feeling you need it, take it with you. Every time I think to myself “Nah, I won’t need it” I end up being sorry. EVERY TIME! Save yourself the pain. Better to be prepared and not need it, than need it and not be prepared.
Follow these rules and you’ll have comfortable trips all the time. :-)