I travel often for business and pleasure, and am always surprised by the lack of planning people put into travelling. Here are my Top 6 Travel Tips from the hundreds of thousands of miles I’ve travelled:
1. Plan Ahead. I can’t emphasize this enough. If you know you’re going though airport security, take the cuticle scissors out of your toiletry bag. Pack light. Pack efficiently. Know what’s in your bag. I’m extremely habitual and always follow a systematic packing order: a place for everything and everything in its place.
2. Carry-On. Soon, your bags will cost more than your seat. Unless you’re moving cities, carry-on. I carry-on every time and never have a problem. Sure, I have to buy razor blades when I land, but it’s a small price to pay for knowing my bag is going to get there on-time. Think you need those extra seven shirts? You don’t. On the luggage front: spend the money and buy a quality rolling carry-on bag. My preference is Victorinox Swiss Army for its lifetime warranty… that, and I feel like a Navy SEAL with all the ballistic nylon.
3. Have iPad. Will Multitask. The iPad is a multitasker’s dream. What other tool allows you to: read books, watch movies, listen to music, catch up on emails, downloaded blogs/articles and Excel spreadsheets on 10+ hours of battery life? My carry-on goes in the overhead and my iPad, iPhone and headphones stay with me in the seat. Sure, Kindles are great, but an iPad is the ultimate.
4. Silence. I still remember buying my first pair of Bose QC headphones with noise-cancelling technology. WOW. This product is a religious experience unto itself. At $350, they’re not cheap, but are well worth the initial investment. Sure, people whine that these headphones are larger than in-ear models, but the sound quality and noise-cancelling they provide is unsurpassed. Buy them. Travel with them. Thank me later.
5. FlightTrack Pro. Tired of wandering through airports looking for flight information – praying your flight hasn’t been delayed, or your gate changed? Enter FlightTrack Pro. This fabulous app tells you everything you need to know about your flights including: gate information and changes, flight delays, airport schematics and even arrival gate information. Having used this app hundreds of times, I can honestly say it’s more reliable than most airport screens, as it often updates flight delays and gate changes before its prehistoric counterparts. At $9.99 it’s a sage investment. The only pain is entering your flights one-by-one, unless you use TripIt. (Note: Don’t use the free version – it doesn’t provide real-time gate changes!)
6. Know Where Your Essentials Are at All Times. A shout-out to my high school history teacher Steve Martin for teaching me the single most important rule of travelling: Know where your essentials are at all times. When we traveled to Italy in the eleventh grade, that meant my passport, wallet and plane ticket. Today, not much has changed, save the iPhone and emergence of e-tickets. Now my essentials are my passport, wallet and iPhone (in order of importance). My passport lives in my back right pocket, the wallet in the left. A quick swipe of my backside tells me they’re where they should be. Sure, it looks like I’m touching myself in public, but I swear I’m not! (Thanks, Mr. Martin.)
A few more words of wisdom: If you’re travelling outside of North America, always carry American currency in case of emergency. Also, take the time to upload yours consulate’s contact information and address for the cities you’re traveling to… you never know when you’ll need them!
Travel safe. Travel smart. And let me know any other travel trips you’ve accumulated.