5 Ways to Make Your Return to Traveling a Breeze

While each product featured is independently selected by our editors, we may include paid promotion. If you buy something through our links, we may earn commission. Read more about our Product Review Guidelines here.

Let's be honest: this last year has made us forget pretty much all of our social skills. More than 365 days of staying at home definitely threw a wrench into how we manage everything from casual social interactions to how to pack for a trip — because, remember travel?! There's so much we've forgotten how to do, like pack a suitcase, for one, or even how to deal with waking up in a different time zone.

But not to fear! We've got the tricks to get you back in the swing of your travel routine, with resources you need to get back in the jet-setting game. Keep reading for our five essential refreshers to get out the door with ease.

Remember: Masks Aren't Going Anywhere
Shutterstock

Remember: Masks Aren't Going Anywhere

Even if you're vaccinated, you'll still need to wear a mask in the airport and on the plane. Plus, depending on where you're traveling to, mask mandates might still be in place. If you're into cloth masks, remember to pack extras so you have a few on hand when one is drying after being washed. You'll also want to choose a mask that will be comfortable for the long haul, so grab something in a fabric that won't irritate your skin or pull at your ears.

If disposable masks are more your thing, plan to have at least one mask per day ready to go. It will also serve you well to keep them all in one place like a nice pouch for easy access.

Don't Forget About Sleep
Shutterstock

Don't Forget About Sleep

The last thing you want to be on your first excursion out into the world is sleep deprived. Make sure to keep yourself on a relatively normal sleep schedule so you can make the most of your days and nights abroad. If your body is fighting you to fall asleep, give yourself a little nudge to shut-eye with OLLY Sleep products. With just two gummies or softgels, you'll get melatonin, L-theanine, and botanicals like chamomile, passionflower, and lemon balm that will help you drift off to dreamland in no time.

Note the Change in Support-Animal Travel
Shutterstock

Note the Change in Support-Animal Travel

If you have an emotional support animal and have been used to flying with your pet for free and without a carrier, keep in mind that the rules have recently changed. Now, according to the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA), nearly every airline has banned ESAs; only trained (and certified) service dogs will be allowed, which means "a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a qualified individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability."

ESA dogs and cats will now be treated as regular pets on the flight — you'll need to pay a fee (usually $125 one way), and they have to fit into a carrier that can go in front of your feet.

Stay as Sustainable as Possible
Everlane

Stay as Sustainable as Possible

Even if we don't realize it, we go through a ton of unnecessary waste while traveling. Everything from plastic water bottles to single-use shopping bags to snack wrappers add up as you're traveling. Try to be a little more conscious of this as you get back onto the roads or into the skies — bring reusable products like water bottles, silicone bags, and tote bags with you on your trip. It's super easy and a great way to reduce your impact on the Earth as you're moving around.

Pack Smart!
Shutterstock

Pack Smart!

OK, you likely haven't actually packed a suitcase in a while — so remind yourself not to go overboard! Do yourself a favor and make a checklist of everything you'll need ahead of time, like full outfits, beauty products, chargers, and documents. Planning this out will help you avoid overpacking and stay organized once you're actually on your trip. And if you do end up going all out, opt for an expandable suitcase that will grow if you need.