I travel a LOT. It’s the nature of my business and I actually enjoy that aspect of it most of the time. I wanted to pass along a few tips that I find useful in my travels. There are a variety of ideas here and I hope you find some of them to be helpful to you!
As always, I’d love to hear your feedback!
When flying, you want to sleep as much as you can. On very long flights it is good to also get in whatever exercise you can between naps. Walking up and down the isles, standing, doing squats are all good and get the blood moving. Stretching and muscle tension and relaxation exercises are very good to do while seated. If you are able, get off the plane at stopovers and go for a walk. And having a shower is very effective at helping to recover more quickly after a long flight.
Cancelled Flights – time to be in two minds…
It’s NO fun, but it happens. Time to pick up the phone. When you have a cancellation, or delayed flight, passengers are usually herded into long lines to “wait for the next available representative”. Do that, but while you wait, also call the airline directly. This essentially puts you at the front of the line, and can make the difference between grabbing the next flight, and having to experience the absolute joy of sleeping in the airport. If you are told by the person on the phone that you have to take care of it at the airport, you’re at least as far up the line as you can be.
After first class, the best seats are based on your preferences and priorities. For comfort and a smooth ride, pick a seat over the wings. For silence, sit as far forward as possible, but avoid the galley and rest rooms. For leg room, try the first row or seats beside the emergency exits. And, if you’re prone to motion sickness, choose a seat over the wing on the right side of the plane. Most flight patterns turn left, so you won’t be flung around as much if you sit on the right.
This is a handy tip if there are TWO of you travelling together. If the aircraft has rows 3 chairs wide, reserve two seats – one by the window and the other by the isle, with a single seat between you. Seats located in between to others are usually EVERYBODY’S least preferred choice – and the last to be booked. This is a bit of a calculated gamble, but you have a very good chance of having the seat between you and your companion to be vacant. Obviously, this is a nice change from the typical “Wedge ‘Em!” seating in most aircraft and who doesn’t like extra room? If someone DOES show up and claims the seat, you can bet they will switch for either the isle or window seat so that “my ‘friend’ and I can sit together”.
And on the flipside of that…
When you find yourself in the situation where you’re late getting your. airline seat assignment, and all they’ve got left are middle seats, ask to be seated in a three-across row between two passengers with the same last name. The premise is this: Those two people are a married couple or relatives, and they’ve booked the aisle and window seats in hopes that no one will take the center one and they’ll have room to stretch out. You’re going to spoil their plans, but improve your situation: When you come along, the odds are that they’ll opt to sit next to each other, hence you’ll be able to trade your middle seat for one of theirs (and whatever your preference, aisle or window is certainly better than middle).
Jet Lag is a reality and no fun at all. It’s always a good idea to make sure to exercise in the days leading up to your trip and get as much sleep as you can the night before. While flying, drink plenty of water. The air in aircraft is very dry causes dehydration, which will compound your Jet Lag. No booze while flying! < btw: to avoid paying stupid prices for bottled water at the airport, bring a bottle with you. Dump out the water but put the empty bottle in your carry on and bring with you through security. They might take a look at it, but you are allowed to bring an empty container with you. Refill it at a water fountain).
Consider renting the most popular car the company offers. There is a good chance that when you arrive it might not be not available (that’s why you pick the most popular) and they will upgrade your car for no extra charge.
While the official check in times are often 3 PM it’s often easy to arrive earlier and find a room. Just be a nice person to the front desk workers (which you are all the time anyways, right?) and they will do their best to help you out and likely find you a room with minimum delay. Employees in the hotel (or any service industry) know how critically important customer service is today and as long as you are not a jerk, you will be treated like royalty.
And filing under “Apocalyptic“: If you aren’t a big fan of being on fire, please note that you may want to invest in a hotel room on the 7th floor OR LOWER. Fire truck ladders cannot reach the 8th floor…
To avoid unwanted visitors, ALWAYS have the “Do Not Disturb” sign on your door. When going out, I put the television on (doesn’t need to be loud) also have the bathroom light on and close the door.
If staying more than one day, I always talk to the housekeeping staff let them know I won’t need the room tidied and get them to give me any items needing refilling.
I learned from a friend who traveled lots with his band, that the first thing you do when you enter your hotel room is pack EVERYTHING you see into one single drawer. Menus, magazines, everything. Then, when you are checking out, anything you see laying around – is yours.
Stuck with two double beds because all the Queens and Kings were taken? You should choose the bed furthest from the television. it is most likely less used, and the mattress will be in better condition for you.
When you’re staying alone in a hotel room with a king-size bed, sleep on the side that does not have the telephone on its nightstand, as it will be the less-worn half of the mattress.
Consider packing a flying kit when you travel. A ziplock bag containing..
Toothbrush and toothpaste
And if you want to go hardcore – some noise reduction headphones. Not cheap, but…
This small bag takes up very little space in your carry-on bag, and will make a huge difference in the enjoyment of your travel. If you want to be really decadent, pack some slippers too!
You might also consider adding your travel itinerary, including connecting flights; name, address and telephone numbers of all hotels where you will be staying; and the dates when you will be there. Place a copy inside your luggage as well as on your luggage tag. If your luggage gets lost, just having your home address and telephone number does you no good when you won’t be there. I put two name tags on every checked bag, and something with my name and contact info. in an OBVIOUS place inside. If your bags are lost and the tags come off, you don’t want them to have to go through everything in your bag checking to see if it’s yours.
Never buy bottled water at the airport. The markup is grossly inflated. While you cannot bring a bottle of water through security – you can bring an EMPTY bottle through without any problems and refill once past security.
Chapstick will loosen a stuck zipper!
Til We Meet Again…
Nobody wants to experience the horror of “Lost Luggage” – or even think about it – however, “be prepared” and “travelling” are very closely related terms. Keep photo’s of your luggage in your carry-on and your phone. One picture is worth a million words when dealing with lost-baggage handlers.
And you know those obnoxious colored ribbons and tassels hanging off of peoples luggage at airports. In addition to helping them find their luggage quickly, it also very effectively signals to others that this bag will not be mistaken for their own.
Take your Vitamins! Do some research and find out which vitamins would be most beneficial for you. Travelling can really wear you out and lower your bodies’ defences – vitamins will help. And it’s another opportunity to DRINK MORE WATER, lol.
I hope you find something of use in these Travel Tips . I’d love to hear YOUR suggestions!
Happy Trails to you!