If it’s Monday I must be in a plane. It’s the story of my life. And it’s a good life. I don’t mind traveling. Over the years and hundreds of thousands of miles, I’ve come up with some travel tips that make travel a little easier. Especially if you travel a lot, these tips are designed to provide a little bit of extra comfort and convenience.
A successful trip starts before you ever leave home. If you are going to be traveling a lot, double everything. I don’t mean clothes. Double the stuff you take with you. This includes toiletries.
This is my travel kit. I only use it when I travel. The great thing about it, is I don’t have to worry about forgetting my razor or toothbrush or deodorant. By keeping it in a travel kit, I can throw it in a bathroom drawer until I need it and I only need to remember one going instead of a list. Just remember to restock when you get back from a trip.
I also have duplicate of chargers and USB cords. These just stay in my travel bag. I don’t have to remember to pack my cell phone charger.
If you are going to travel very much at all, TSA precheck is a great investment. You go down to the airport prior to your trip, fill out some paperwork, and pay them $85. For that your life becomes one of privilege and prestige for the next five years.
You add your TSA id to your profile at the various airlines and when your boarding pass prints out it has a TSA Precheck designation.
What does your $85 get you?
– you get the short TSA Precheck security line
– you can leave your shoes on going through security
– you can leave your coat on
– leave your laptop in its bag
– leave your liquids in your bag
– go through the metal detector rather than the full body scanner
I got it last year and I haven’t taken more than 2-3 minutes to get through security in the last ten trips. That’s total time from when I first get in line until I’m headed for the gate. Even if you only travel once per year, I think it’s worth it. If you travel every week, it’s stupid to not get it. My company wouldn’t pay for it, but I didn’t even mind the money for the convenience it gives.
Keep the bottle
That empty water bottle is worth a couple of bucks every time you travel. And with planes traveling at full capacity, if you’re in row 43 it’s going to be a while before the beverage cart makes it to your row.
Just remember to empty it before you get to security. Instead fill it up at one of any number of filling stations in most airports.
It’s a tough time of year to travel. It was fifty degrees when I left Utah and a blizzard which New York City’s mayor describes as “unlike anything to ever hit this city” is headed for the east coast. Knowing what clothes to wear the day you travel can be a challenge. I use a technique I learned from years of camping: layers.
A polo shirt, a hooded sweatshirt, a scarf and a leather jacket. The scarf might be superfluous, but the rest of it allows me to add or remove layers as
needed. Airplanes are strange environments. Sitting on the Tarmac in Salt Lake City in fifty degree weather, I was opening up the air vent to keep from getting too hot. At 33,000 feet the outside temperature is about thirty degrees below zero. At that altitude, you absolutely rely on the heaters to keep you from becoming a flying popsicle.
But there is just one problem with my layering strategy. It’s near,y impossible to take off your coat packed into the middle seat. Here’s what I’ve found works for me. Pull your coat up over your head. Continue until your entire coat is bunched up in front of you. At this point, it looks like you have your coat on upside down and backwards. But, it’s also simple to pull your arms out and you’ve successfully removed your coat.
The same strategy works when you are driving, but I couldn’t recommend that in good conscience.
These are the strangest inventions in travel. They look like something you would put on a life sized version of My Little Pony. But, if you are going to spend hours cramped into a 17″ wide seat, they are literally the opposite of a pain in the neck.
Hopefully these tips help make your next trip a little easier. Do you have a travel tip? Leave it in the comments.
Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday at 7:00 AM Mountain Time. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and one grandchild.
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