1. Go with the flow and be flexible.
Regardless of how carefully you plan, something might go wrong. Or if you are an optimist and have a flexible nature, you may see it as an opportunity for discovery and adventure.
I met some very close friends on a layover in Heidelberg airport. I was flying to Copenhagen, to embark a 9 nine day Kosherica cruise of the Baltics. The layover was supposed to last 2 hours but due to an engine malfunction it lasted 12. Instead of a mayhem, everyone was calm, and we all got 12,500 frequent travel miles for our trouble. Some of us made lifelong friends too.
2.It is smart to travel a day early if you can, just in case of a mishap.
It was wonderfully comforting to arrive in Copenhagen the night before the ship sailed. We were able to sleep late and have time to wander around the gorgeous city before the 5:00pm embarking. No stress, only joy.
3. Now lets back up to pre travel: make a list.
For a week or two before the trip it is smart to jot down things you want to take and will kick yourself if you will forget. It is really not enough to have a mental list, best to jot down and mark off as you go so that nothing important is left behind.
4. Your camera and charger (with extra battery).
To miss the perfect shot because you forgot your camera or your battery is dead is infuriating. Catch the beauty for posterity.
5. Learn a few key words in local language.
Please, thank you and sorry in the local lingo will make you friends and will go a long way. Really.
6.Make photocopies of your travel documents, just in case.
Lost or stolen passports, green cards, visas, etc. can be much easier replaced if you have a color copy.
7.Buy travel insurance.
You never know what can happen and its always better to be safe than very, very sorry.
8.Put youre your medications in in your carry on.
Losing them in the luggage could cost more than the trip and can be quite time consuming as well.
9. Electronics, chargers, cords, toothpaste, sunscreen, moisturizer and you are set.
These all must be in your carry-on.
10. Pack light.
Less to carry, and let your big bright smile be your adornment.