10 ‘Smart’ Life Skills You Learn from Traveling

For the last few years, I have traveled quite a bit for my business from California to Las Vegas, Nevada, then back to California. I have done this on a weekly basis. It is always an overnight trip, so I need to pack two days of business clothing, workout clothes, shoes, personal items, computer stuff, etc.  I’ve got to tell you, in the full two years that I have been doing this, I have learned quite a lot about packing, so if you ever need any tips, I am your woman! But seriously, what I have come to realize is that becoming an experienced, efficient traveler, you can definitely use those skills for life in general, and be extraordinary in your personal and professional life! So check out these 10 things I have learned from traveling that I believe is really helpful to live a successful and happy life!

10 ‘Smart’ Life Skills You Learn From Traveling

  1. Arrive EarlyYou never want to miss that plane!  Importance of Life Skill: When you arrive to your destination early, you are eliminating avoidable stress for the rest of the day. Also, by arriving early, it shows you know how to effectively manage your time. Bring a magazine or grab a cup of coffee. Make arriving early just a normal part of your day.
  2. Be Prepared – With lots of traveling, you learn to dress appropriately, have food and beverages, have electronics charged etc. Importance of Life Skill: When you are prepared, you don’t get caught off guard in life, as much as possible. Always remember that it’s better to over-prepare because you never want to under-deliver! Don't just go through life. Grow through life.
  3. Be ResourcefulYou learn how to pack lightly, always have a plan B for travel plans and know who to call and where to go when traveling. Importance of Life Skill: It’s important to not put all your eggs in one basket as they say. It’s important to think of all the possibilities and have resources available to you. The more resourceful you are, the more opportunities will come to you.
  4. Ask QuestionsRemember that almost everything is negotiable, from upgrading hotel rooms to car rental rates, etc. Importance of Life Skill: Real successful people ask the right questions and gain the most opportunities. If you don’t ask, you can’t expect a chance!
  5. ListenIt’s amazing the people you will meet while traveling and the positive impact it has when you just listen to what others have to say.  Importance of Life Skill: I truly believe that the quality of what you say is so much more important than how much you say. And listening is where you learn and grow. So don’t just hear what people say, really listen to the message that is being said.   
  6. Keep Your Eyes and Mind Open to Possibilities and Opportunities  – It’s amazing the interesting and quality people I have met when I just started a conversation while traveling. Importance of Life Skill: Keep your eyes and mind open to opportunities, they might be closer than you think. The person you want to work with might just be sitting next to you.
  7. Have PatienceDelays and cancellations happen. Expect it. Importance of Life Skill: As we know, things don’t happen at the exact time that we want them to. But your goals and dreams are worth it. So be persistent in going for what you want but patient enough to know it will come at the right time in your life.
  8. Think On Your Feet I’ve learned that when cancellations happen, don’t follow the crowd, think outside the box. Instead of waiting in line with everyone else, call the airline and you might just get that seat on the next flight. Importance of Life Skill: Things in life are constantly changing. Those ahead of the curve will get the opportunities that are merely just possibilities for others.
  9. Have GratitudeWhenever I am away from my family traveling, I have great gratitude of what I have in life. Importance of Life Skill: When you start each day with gratitude, everything else just seems to fall that much nicer into place.
  10. Pay it Forward Traveling can be stressful. Luggage is heavy. It’s amazing the gratitude people have when you help them out. Importance of Life Skill: The most beautiful people are confident but humble people and giving people. What you give out positively will come back to you, in so many awesome ways.

Even if I stop doing a lot of business travel, I know that what I have learned during those times will always stay with me.  You may travel a lot or not at all, but I believe we all have input on what are some of the best life skills to have. So which of the ten on my list do you most resonate with? What other life skills do you believe are important to live a successful and happy life?  I look forward to hearing from you!


Cynthia Bazin is absolutely passionate about YOUR success and happiness. She will teach you very ‘smart’ strategies for you to SOAR! If you’re ready and committed to invest in yourself, contact Cynthia today to start a conversation! Cynthia@smartchic.me

Also! Cynthia is now City Director for a national magazine ‘Today’s Innovative Woman’! Check out her city page today! http://todaysinnovativewoman.com/sacramento

2016-11-11T11:55:58-07:00By |Inspirational Articles|22 Comments


  1. Terri Klass May 20, 2014 at 2:24 pm - Reply

    All of your ten life skills are incredible and right on the mark when it comes to travel!

    I always expect delays when I travel so I plan out my reading carefully and download all of kindle books ahead of time. I actually look at the waits as a time to catch up on my reading, that I usually have to squeeze in. So the life skill is: Use time in between projects to expand yourself with reading or taking courses to just talking to others about new things.

    Thanks Cynthia for a great post!

    • SmartChic May 20, 2014 at 2:41 pm - Reply

      Thanks so much Terri for your comments! I am just like you that I ‘expect’ delays when traveling, so I am always super prepared! I love your advice about expanding ourselves in-between projects. Life is about learning and growing!

  2. Adam McGinness May 20, 2014 at 2:42 pm - Reply

    I can relate well to this post Cynthia. It is amazing how many life skills you can learn from traveling. All 10 skills you listed definitely apply.

    Here are the ones that jump out at me:

    2) Be Prepared……you must always be prepared, whether you are traveling or whether you are dealing with every day life situations.

    5) Listen……a life skill that we can all improve upon.

    7) Have Patience……when traveling things are not always going to go the way you planned them to. You will experience delays, lines, etc. Every day life works the same way. If you are patient good things will come your way.

    9) Have Gratitude….not much to say about this one. Have gratitude every day of your life no matter where you are at or what you are doing. Your life will be improved because of it.

    Keep up the amazing posts my friend.

    Happy Travels-


    • SmartChic May 20, 2014 at 2:47 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much for your input on my blog Adam! The 4 skills that you mentioned are so important to have in life! Have an amazing day!

  3. Linda Mastroianni May 20, 2014 at 5:23 pm - Reply

    Cynthia, this is absolutely fabulous. All ten points are spot on and truly applicable in daily life skills. I’m printing this one and placing it right beside my computer where I can see it every day as a beautiful reminder! Thank you so much for sharing such a wonderful post!

    • SmartChic May 20, 2014 at 5:29 pm - Reply

      Linda, thank you SO much for your feedback! I really appreciate it. You are an amazing woman and I am honored to know you!

  4. Terri B May 20, 2014 at 5:36 pm - Reply

    Great post Cynthia! Your 10 points are fantastic and most of them are already a part of my everyday life. I’m a stickler for arriving early, reminds me of the saying if you’re on time you’re late. The few times I have been running late seems to set the tone for a bad day. Your blogs are always great, so many tips that can be incorporated into every aspect of life!

    • SmartChic May 21, 2014 at 4:36 am - Reply

      Thank you so much Terri for your comments. I love that you arrive to places early. So important to be successful in life! Here’s to a fantastic day!

  5. Geoff Conn May 20, 2014 at 6:46 pm - Reply

    Great stuff Cindy. I take these tips to life in general too. I especially like #1. Nothing irritates me more than when someone is late. I always make a constant effort to be EARLY. I have made it a habit because I need to be prepared to call games on the air. Arriving extra early to set up/prepare for games is a top priority. If you say you are going to be somewhere at a certain time, than make it happen! 🙂

    • SmartChic May 21, 2014 at 4:39 am - Reply

      I am so much like you Geoff. I believe it is so important to get to places early! It sets up the day for fantastic success. Thanks for your comments, you are very much appreciated!!

  6. Giovanni Gaudelli May 20, 2014 at 8:14 pm - Reply

    Thanks for another great post, Cynthia! Amazing how many of your travel tips can be applied to life skills! I love #4: Ask questions. I’ve learned that if you don’t ask, the answer is always no! Patience and gratitude also work wonders for me and so does arriving early. It’s a great stress buster. Priceless. 🙂

    Grazie mille!
    ~ Giovanni

    • SmartChic May 21, 2014 at 4:40 am - Reply

      Thank you so much Giovanni for your wisdom! It is amazing how much traveling skills relates to general life skills! And I really enjoyed hearing which of the 10 resonated with you. Awesome!

  7. Caryl Loper May 21, 2014 at 12:53 am - Reply

    Cynthia …. All valid, strong points. You always add so much value, and touch many people’s lives. When I first read the headline these words jumped off the page … “Life Skills’. The foundation of life is to ‘Lead with Heart’, and everything will follow — when your heart is open, you can engage in life, fully, intimately, candidly. Heart allows everything to flow. ♥ ♥ ♥

    • SmartChic May 21, 2014 at 4:42 am - Reply

      Thank you so much Caryl for your wisdom. I love what you say about Leading with the Heart. You are appreciated. THANK YOU!

  8. Carla May 21, 2014 at 5:41 pm - Reply

    Great advice and awesome tips as always Cyn!! Thanks for sharing your wisdom with us!! :))

    • SmartChic May 22, 2014 at 4:53 pm - Reply

      Thank you Carla for the shout out! I am so glad you enjoyed the blog post! I appreciate you!

  9. Pip Brennan May 22, 2014 at 4:17 pm - Reply

    I loved how positively you framed being early! While I have mastered that for travel, I am often 15 minutes late. No more! I feel how that compelling impulse to be early for a plane will serve me so well to early for meetings and appointments!

    • SmartChic May 22, 2014 at 4:53 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much for the shout out and comment. I am glad you enjoyed my blog post!

  10. Aubrey Welch May 23, 2014 at 12:54 am - Reply

    If ever there was the occasion for essential advice then this is it.

    How spot on once again can Cynthia be?

    Although everything she says is laid out in relatively simple terms they don’t detract from how vital these points are.

    If everywhere prepares in this manner then they’ll be set and ready for the challenges that lie ahead.

    Keep these points to hand and use them wisely!

    Good luck to you.

  11. Debbie May 23, 2014 at 1:21 am - Reply

    Hi Cynthia,

    Amazing post and great correlation between travel and life skills. All fabulously smart travel/life skills. The ones that resonate most for me are be prepared, be resourceful and being open to opportunities and possibilities. I think that travel also gives us plenty of opportunities to practice flexibility and resilience as well.

    I find that through travel we find realize that no matter where on the globe we travel, we are more alike than different from the people we meet and that we all have the same core desires. I’m always grateful for the opportunity to travel, whether for business or pleasure and find myself meeting the most amazing people.

  12. Tony Adams May 26, 2014 at 10:33 pm - Reply

    Hi Cynthia,
    Another fabulous, thought provoking post! Well done, you!

    Two of the lessons jumped out at me for different reasons.

    Lesson #1 resonated becasue I think it’s a great whole-of-life tip. Arrive early and you take control of the situation – you remove a source of stress, you have time to relax into the space, you put yourself in charge, you give yourself room to slow down and breathe! How incredibly empowering.

    Lesson #8 also struck me. When I was in Los Angeles in 2011, my plane to Australia was delayed…delayed…delayed…cancelled after 3 hours. Ugh. It was 1:00am and the airline did not have any vouchers or advice on where to spend the night. What they DID do though, was give everyone a list of 35 hotels to contact. So 300 people did exactly that – started at the top of the list and worked their way down. Needless to say, tempers were soon frayed and many people resigned themselves to roughing it in LAX for the night (no thanks!).

    But I took a different tack…I started at the bottom of the list, phoned hotel #35 and had a room within 10 minutes. Easy. I then spent a lovely, relaxing 3 days in LA, courtesy of my travel insurance, whilst the backlog cleared.

    Your lesson there is so right – “Things in life are constantly changing. Those ahead of the curve will get the opportunities that are merely just possibilities for others”.

    Oh yeah!

  13. Karin Hurt May 27, 2014 at 6:30 am - Reply

    Great post. I wrote this one a long, long time ago. But your post reminded me of this… lessons from a road warrior. How to find health and fitness on the road. http://3plusinternational.com/2012/08/road-warrior-wisdom/

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