The majority of my professional career has been as a frequent traveler, a Road Warrior if you will. With all the travel I've had in the past few weeks, I thought I'd bring back Tuesday's Traveler and share some travel tips with you.
Last time I shared how I managed to stay on track with eating & Weight Watchers while traveling. This time I thought I'd share some tips that will help you travel a bit easier, smarter if you will.
Booking your ticket
When booking your ticket, make sure you get the best seat in the house. Those in the know research their trips and seat maps on Seat Guru. This site allows you to plug in the information on the airline you're flying and the type of plane and pick the best seat.
If you're flying USAir on an Airbus A319, would you know that your best seat (unless you're flying first class, which let's face it - only happens if you pay for it [like whoa!] or are a frequent flyer with high status) is seat 10A or 10F? Why is that the best seat on the plane? There isn't an actual seat in front of you. That’s right, no 9A or 9F which gives you extra leg room to stretch.
Now, granted, on most major airlines you'll pay an extra bit of money ($10 - $15) for these "premium" seats (i.e. exit row) but if you're on a 3+ hour flight, would it be worth it? To me it would!
My other consideration when flying is departure times. I don’t like to deal with huge crowds if I can avoid it. My patience wears thin and instead of being gracious, I tend to snarl at people when they cut me off.
If you can pick your departure time & are not on a tight schedule, try to fly after 9am and before 3:30pm. Any business travelers will have already flown and the lines at the airport won’t be as busy.
Packing your bags
Wondering how to get by without your favorite products if you’re carrying on your luggage? The good news is that you don’t have to. Most companies produce small, travel size products now. If yours doesn’t, stop by your local drugstore and look for the small, three ounce bottles. You can fill these up with your must haves.
If you use a deep conditioner & don’t want to go without it, pick up a contact case. A “serving size” of your conditioner will fit into each pocket and you’ll be assured of not using too much.
Take a good look at what you’ve packed. Are there things that could work double duty so I have to pack less? The less I pack means more room for bringing things back. You know, like new sweaters, new skirts, new tops, new jackets…you know, shopping!
Packing less also means that your bag is easier to hoist into an overhead. I’ve seen way too many women who teeter in high heels trying to get a bag into the overhead that is clearly too heavy for them to lift. It is usually women as men are typically taller & stronger – easier for them to reach the overhead.
A Must Have
One thing I always advocate is packing a pair of slippers. They don’t have to be luxurious, any pair will do. Why slippers? Here’s the thing, ladies. We all know how clean we keep our homes – to the level we’re comfortable with. What you don’t know is how clean other people keep their homes. And hotels? Forget about it!
I won’t walk barefoot in a hotel. Ever. I used to work for a clean home company and the knowledge I gained is enough to scare you clean. Seriously. You don’t know what other people do in hotels & you don’t know the standards of cleanliness. I’ve found cracker crumbs in corners before. I don’t eat crackers.
Ever looked in a hotel bathroom? I look at the grout. They’re all tiled, but look under the sink where no one ever stands & compare the color of the grout there to that in front of the sink. I guarantee once you do you’ll line the floor with towels just like me.
I’ve been traveling so long I usually hit the highest preferred level in my frequent “traveler” programs which lends itself to an insane knowledge of how to travel smartly. I also have airport codes memorized – makes me useful in games that test your knowledge of that.For the moment, I’m happy to be home and not in a hotel or an airport. If you have questions about traveling and how to make it easier, let me know & I’ll include them in another edition.