If you want to make traveling fun, having a fixed routine can help. A user asked the forum, “What’s your preferred travel routine?” Here are the top responses. 


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“When traveling overseas, I try to exercise and then shower, then stay up until an early but decent bedtime, and start the exploration in earnest the next day.

Domestically, I like to depart late morning/early afternoon. I know I’m risking problems; I hate early mornings. I plan stuff, so it’s not a big deal if I’m delayed.

Work trips, though, the scheduling is sometimes out of my control.”


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“Depending upon where you are and traveling to, some hotels may be well geared up for early arrivals as that’s standard for flights into those cities.

I usually take early morning arrivals into Hong Kong, and my preferred hotel will allow me to check in at 6 a.m. on arrival and leave at 10 p.m. on the day of departure for no extra cost.”


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“I never care about the arrival time, only the departure time. I like to leave in the morning (but not extremely early!) because I cannot sleep on planes, which cuts down on the time I’ll be awake. 

If I am scheduled to arrive at 5 a.m. somewhere, I’ll book the room one night early so I can check-in immediately. I’ll message the hotel a few times before I get there to let them know I won’t be checking in on X day but the day after! Early! Never had an issue so far.”


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“I always take the first flight of the day and because of that, I rarely have flight problems, which all happen later in the day. Delays cascade into cancellations.

Bags? What bags? I don’t check bags, ever. I tend to bring a small pack, a ‘personal item.’ So I can even fly nickel-and-time airlines like Spirit and Frontier. I’m flying one next month, the ticket cost me $20 one-way flight, which saves me six hours of drive time and $100 in gas. I never thought I’d live to see the day when airplanes cost less than cars. But here we are.

Since I only have the small pack, I’ll cheerfully carry it to my destination. Or I’ll leave it with the hotel if that makes logistical sense. My travel bag only weighs 12 pounds, so I barely notice it.

I would also prefer to shower right after disembarking the plane. But not at the expense of flying later in the day and potentially having my trip ruined by thunderstorms at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport.”


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“We usually do direct flights from the United States to Europe, and most are overnight flights. We will land, go through the exhausting process at the airport, and then check into the hotel. If we can get early check-in, we will shower, do light exploring of the city, early dinner, and early bed. But the key is early bedtime the first night (and no naps no matter how bad you want one!).”


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“With domestic flights, we have a routine. Here, red-eye flights are the cheapest, then they get expensive around 7 a.m., and they only drop off in price again at 6 or 7 p.m. We always take the earliest flight there due to price considerations, and also, they seem the least likely to be delayed/at least there are the following flights you can get onto if you are bumped.

We also heavily favor a particular hotel chain, so our routine is that we take a 6 a.m. flight and get to our destination by 7 or 8 a.m. We go to the hotel, and usually, with our history, we can get into a room early. We unpack, refresh, and then take a nap for an hour or 2. Then we get up, and it’s time for brunch or lunch, and we are good and rested for that day!

On our way home, we usually book a 6 p.m. flight back which gives us a pretty chill last afternoon, and we still have a few flight buffers if our flight gets canceled.”


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“I plan my day based on my flight. I’ve had flights where I landed at 11 p.m., checked into my hotel, and went to bed. I woke up in the morning for day 1.

I’ve had flights where I flew in early. Usually, I’m tired because I sleep poorly on planes. I drop my luggage off at my hotel, then go for breakfast and explore/grab some food for lunch. Check into my hotel and have an early night.

If I land mid-day, I check in, shower, and go out for dinner/have an early night.”


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“I always choose flights that arrive in the late afternoon or evening so I can check in to my hotel, go get some food, then have an early night. There’s no need to debate whether to have a nap or not, and I don’t have to force myself to do some sightseeing; it’s just a chance to have a rest and recover from the flight. Combined with sleeping with the curtains open, it minimizes jet lag.”


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“My preference is always to arrive in the afternoon during the check-in time because I prefer to avoid the feeling of getting stranded. I avoid scheduling activities on my day of first arrival since I want to settle in, relax, and rest after a long flight.

The only way I would be okay to arrive early is if there is a rental car available so that I could keep my luggage in the car while I do something else while waiting for my hotel check-in time.”


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“I guess I’m the minority here, but I fly late. Most of my trips only involve 2-3 hours of flights, so to save vacation days, I usually leave after work. I usually get to my destination around 10–11 p.m., so I always go directly to bed. I’m pretty tired after traveling no matter the time, so this is ideal. I’d probably sleep either way, so at least it’s night. 

The next day, I’m fresh and ready to explore. But for overseas trips, I would change this. On my first trip outside of Europe, I’ll land around 2 p.m., which I think is ideal; I can check in right after I get to the accommodation and maybe explore a bit to fight jet lag (which will be funny; I have no idea how my body will react).”


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“On the day of a flight, I get a bit antsy, and I’d instead just get to the airport and do nothing at the gate instead of doing nothing elsewhere. Once I arrive, I want to get through customs and get to where I’m staying and then I like exploring.”


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“When I was younger, it was go go go. Now, my husband and I have day one as a travel day and day two as taking it easy and relaxing. We like to get massages or take a soak in a hot spring. After that, it’s time to start seeing the sights.”


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“I usually download a few movies on my tablet to watch on the plane since my flights are always long. As for arrival, I prefer to arrive midday, between 1-3 pm is ideal. By the time I arrive and have showered, unpacked, and changed, then it’s time to hit a bar and get into vacation mode.”


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“If traveling overseas, we always get a room or rental the day before arrival. That way, we can relax and unload our luggage.”


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“I’m the same with not sleeping on flights/in airports (even when >24hrs) or otherwise in public and having a delayed sleep phase. I need to wake up at 3 or 4 a.m. which means I’m not sleeping! 

I book based on price, but I’m fortunate that I don’t generally have jet lag issues. I can arrive, do whatever for the day and night, and then sleep. 

I think traveling for pleasure also is nice enough for my brain that I don’t mind the lack of sleep as much. Of course, I also reach a point of being tired where I become energized, which then usually carries me for the rest of the day.”

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