I travel a lot. A whole lot. Until recently most of my travel has been within the US but this year I have been all over the globe. Right now I’m writing this post somewhere over Russia. There’s an art to traveling well, even if you can’t go first or business class as is my case right now. Here’s a few thoughts on the art of travel.
- Book an exit row or bulk head seat (some airlines charge extra for those seats). The extra leg room is really helpful on a long flight.
- Board as early as possible. Boarding early secures you the overhead bin near you. They fill up quickly specially on overseas flights.
- Dress for comfort. Make sure you wear comfortable clothing and specially footwear since your feet will swell up during long flights.
- Wear dark colors. You never know when you or someone next to you will spill something. Coffee stains look a lot better on jeans or black pants than it does on kakis. Dark colors do better than light after you’ve had them on for a couple of days as I have learned on this trip. (note as I wrote this I was 17 hours of a 36-hour trip to get home. I was not able to change clothes during the trip)
- Wear layers. I like wearing a coat on long trips to help me keep up with my travel documents my passport while keeping me looking sharp after a long trip.
- Bring noise reduction headphones. My Bose headphones have been a life saver. They have protected me from screaming babies, obnoxious seat mates and from the low rumble of the plane engines while providing great sound quality. It’s money well spent. And besides, the music from Glee sounds amazing on the Bose.
- Buy a traveling neck pillow. On long flights the neck pillow is a wonderful invention. It supports your head while allowing you to sleep. I bought the tempur-pedic version. It costs more but offers great support. On short flights, however, they make you look like a dork who doesn’t get out much. So use it wisely.
- Buy an iPad. Ok this might seem extreme, but on a 26-hr flight, my iPad was a life saver. I read books, answered emails, watched a whole season of Glee and wrote blog posts. And if you don’t have a charger near your seat there’s no problem since the iPad’s battery lasts a very long time. Besides the flight attendants will strike up conversation upon gazing at your might iPad and you might score free drinks and left overs dessert from first class (Ok, I’m not proud)
- Call a reservation agent when in trouble. If your flight gets delayed or canceled, you might find yourself in a long line waiting for a gate agent to rebook your flight. Oftentimes calling the airline reservation number is the best option. I once called from inside of a plane that was being pushed back to the gate due to engine problems and got one of the last available seats with another airline leaving within minutes of my original itinerary. People might get angry that you got booked and they didn’t but they’ll take their anger at the agent while you board for home.
This will have to be a multi-part blog. I will post more tips later.
So what’s the best travel tip you’ve ever gotten?