One advantage of traveling so much in this season of life is that I’ve gotten pretty good at it. I realize how challenging travel can be when I encounter obvious rookies trying to navigate the maze that is airline travel in the 21st century. So here are a few tips to help you travel like a road warrior even if you’re just a weekend newbie.
1. Slip-on shoes. Save the great looking footwear for when you arrive, slip-ons are essential to traverse security smoothly.
2. Aisle seat. I know a window seat sounds great, but veterans always go for the aisle. The bathroom may only be available for 37 seconds on your flight; you don’t want to have to wake up your 375 lb seatmate to get to it.
3. Power is power. Charge all your electronics before you head to the airport. Carry an extension cord (A six foot indoor, not a 50 ft heavy duty); the multiple outlets may be a lifesaver in an emergency. Bring the cable to plug your phone into your computer for emergency power.
4. Never, never, never check bags. Airlines can barely be trusted to get you to your destination, they should never be trusted to get your belongings there. Do laundry, don’t check.
5. Early is good, earlier is better. There are 517 things that can go wrong between your house and your seat on the airplane, the more time you give yourself the less likely you’ll miss your flight. There is enough stress in travel, no reason to add more by being late.
6. Your backpack should always have the following:
b. Wall phone charger
c. Car phone charger
d. iPad, Kindle or Nook
e. Book (in case your iPad, Kindle or Nook is dead)
f. Extension cord (See 3 above)
g. Pen and paper (in case your computer and/or iPad is dead)
h. Bag of trail mix (in case your connection is too tight to grab a bite)
i. Gum (in case you need to pop your ears or clean your coffee breath)
7. You’re roll-aboard (the bag with wheels that fits in the overhead bin) should be easy to identify. Mine has bright green stitching. No one ever picks it up by accident.
Follow my advice, young traveler, and you will no longer be looked on with disdain by us grizzled plane ponies. Any tips I’ve missed?