Friday, September 25, 2015

Best Travel Hacks

Best Travel Hacks
Travelling is fun especially when you’re aware about travel hacks. Here are some of the best Travel hacks, which you could explore:

On the Plane: 
  • first and foremost, be nice! help a woman with her bag, smile, say something nice to a flight attendant, let someone in front of you in line, meet someone interesting next to you ... even when you don't feel like it :)
  • emergency exit row seats aren't always what they're made out to be. while they offer more leg room, they are slightly narrower and often have thinner cushion (bad for your butt and tailbone on long flights)
  • remove magazines from the front pouch to give yourself an extra inch of leg room (i know it doesn't sound like much, but if you're tall it makes a difference!)
  • take ambient (game changer for international flights)
  • i used to be a fan of aisle seats, but have recently become a believer in window seats because they give you a place to lean head and sleep (otherwise, i just do a lot of head bobbing in the aisle seats)
  • if tall, take shoes off to give more leg room (give it a try, it will feel like you've gained a couple inches of knee room)
  • wear pants and long sleeve shirt on planes (always), hoodies also work wonders for keeping you warm and helping drown out noise and light
  • eye blinds and ear plugs are a game changer (i'm a recent convert and can't live without them now). invest in a good pair of eye blinds and the best ear plugs are Howard Leight brand (soft, painless, easy insert, high performance)
  • get a nice pillow (Therm-A-Rest Compressible Pillow is my favorite)
  • use airline's mobile app to optimize seat selection last minute
  • invest in a nice headset. in-ear can be painful on long flights, but otherwise can be nice and compact. i prefer over-ear noise cancelling headphones and many  Online Business Magazines will help you in this.
  • keep a two-prong headset adapter from the free sets they hand out (some planes require a two prong headset still)
  • if you are tall and don't have status, you can get early access to emergency exit rows by calling your airline (I think if over 6'4")
  • remember some seats are high risk (bulk head seats often have minimal legroom, any row in front of an emergency exit row will not recline)
  • if plane seems fairly empty, avoid emergency exit rows (they fill up and you can't lift armrests up). you'll be better off in a normal seat where nobody is sitting next to you - consider choosing a middle seat in an empty row (people will often choose other seats to avoid sitting next to you, plus you eliminate couples sitting in your row
Travel Technology:
  • use your airline's mobile app to optimize seat selection last minute (i've often changed seats after boarding to assure an empty seat next to me) and  and read digital magazine for more information.
  • good apps: tripadvisor (my favorite app for finding nearby and good restaurants, hotel reviews, things-to-do tips, etc.), carrentals.com (best site/app I know of to find cheapest car rentals), kayak (my favorite site/app for flight deals), converter+ (international travelers often need currency and metric conversion help), hotels.com (good for finding hotel deals and their reward program is awesome), uber (only available in some cities, but great in cities where finding a taxi can be difficult), seat guru (okay app for those who aren't experts in airplane seat selection)
In the Airport:
  • shower whenever possible (many of the airline lounges have showers - nothing better than feeling clean and refreshed after a long flight)
  • get access to lounges somehow, it is amazing how much better this can make your travel (Amex Platinum, status)
  • make sure your laptop bag has a sleeve that slides onto roller bag (and consider a bag that allows you to put it through the x-ray machine without removing your computer)
  • make sure you have a belt and shoes that don't set off the metal detectors (many international airports don't require shoe removal - unless your shoes set off the metal detector)
  • when possible, always check-in before you arrive to airport (use smart phone instead of printer)
  • arrive a little early (i disagree with idea that if you don't miss one flight per year your spending too much time in the airport) - the stress is not worth it
  • keep passport and ticket in the front pocket of shirt or back pocket of pants for easy access (until boarding)
Packing:
  • i like to keep a very small travel bag with a toothbrush and floss in an immediately accessible location (without having to unzip your suitcase). there's nothing worse than having something stuck in your teeth during a long flight
  • buy a separate set of toiletries that you just leave in your suitcase (i forgot deodorant and my razor before, not worth the hassle)
  • keep aspirin or tylenol in your travel bag
  • roll your clothes (it takes up MUCH less space, often they are less wrinkled than when folding)
  • don't check bags, almost ever (not worth it, delays leaving airport quickly, risks lost and damaged bags, you rarely need that much stuff anyway)
  • buy shoe bags to keep your shoes from getting your clothes dirty (http://amzn.to/QsEUEe)
  • keep an extra phone charger in your travel bag (if you forget, housekeeping will have extras)
  • worth investing in quality roller bag (Tumi or Briggs & Riley)
  • learn to pack fast (be home when you're home) - minimize down time
International Travel:
  • take ambien on those 7+ hour flights (game changer)
  • buy sim cards if your somewhere for more than a couple days (buy sim card holder if you have multiple sims)
  • change your sim card before landing (they allow you to use your phone upon landing, but if you've forgotten to change the sim card, you'll have to wait to change the card until you've cleared customs)
  • have a second passport (on several occasions I've had my passport sitting in the consulate of one country and needed my passport desperately to apply for a second visa)
  • apply for visas well in advance 
  • opt for a longer layover in a stopover city and leave the airport for a few hours
  • have pen easily accessible so you can fill out custom forms while on the plane
  • memorize your passport number (and frequent flier #)
Frequent Flyer:
  • pick an airline if you are flying 25-50k miles in a year. once you have status, you get bonus frequent flier miles (often 100% additional miles)
  • status perks: (lounges, cut ticketing, security and boarding lines, bonus miles, better seat selection, faster phone service, receive checked bags faster)
  • when using your miles, try to use them on traveling companions and buy your own ticket (if you have status) so that you collect those additional bonus miles
  • make sure your miles never expire (can link credit card to account and certain regular purchases can keep your miles active)
  • frequent flier miles: only use when ticket price is higher than 1.5 cents per mile
  • keep an eye on your miles - it may be worth connecting to a further city if it gets you to the next mileage status level
  • if your airline screws up in a major way, call them and let them know (they will give you free miles or credit vouchers), but don't abuse
  • when picking an airline consider: quality of service, frequent flier mile programs, best alliances (all alliances are not equal), consider hubs (if your city is a hub there are positives and negatives - hard to get upgraded out of major hub because many more will have status, but typically best flight options)
Saving Money: 
  • when searching for deals, be flexible with airports (within limit), flexible dates (remembering hotel costs)
  • if you're really on a budget, buy someone's frequent flyer miles for 1-1.5 cents per mile (place an ad on craigslist) - have them buy the ticket for you and pay them through paypal (i did this a few times in my college days and nothing beats the price!)
  • use AirBnB.com to find cheap rates on apartments, condos, rooms for rent
  • buy airfare ahead of time (domestic travel often gets more expensive within the last two weeks of travel)
This is our online magazine store which is always there to help you any time any where.