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Let me give you a Seattle weather stat: 25 out of 26 days rainy.

That means it’s time to take a trip! If you haven’t been on the road since last Summer, use these four tips to make life easier:

  1. Protect your plan. Here’s a new outlook: Your trip actually starts the night before you leave, and it should include a good night’s sleep. (Raise your hand if you’re like me and wait until the last minute to download movies.) Squawkfox has the ultimate pre-travel and packing list available for a free download. Make a travel plan and stick to it!
  2. Protect your place. Let a friend or neighbor know your itinerary, even if you’re only going for a long weekend. I learned this lesson recently when my sump pump alarm went off while I was out at dinner. Imagine that for 2 weeks straight. No thanks!
  3. Protect your cash. If you’re traveling outside the US, RFID accessories are a must (try Travelon and Pacsafe). And you can learn how to skip those surprise transaction fees by reading the US News article, “Best Credit Cards With No Foreign Transaction Fee“.
  4. Protect your sensitivity. Take good care of yourself by taking along little things that make you happy (and this is especially helpful if you’re traveling with sensitive kids). Invest in noise cancelling headphones. Buy travel sizes of your favorite soap or lotion. Pack fuzzy socks for your long haul flight. Travel will go from being a hassle to a delight.

Bon voyage!