Sunday, August 3, 2014

10 Travel Tips

Just back from vacation and thought I would share a few travel tips that I often use:

  1. Pack light.  One small backpack carried on the plane with you will hold more than enough stuff for a multi-week trip.  This saves checked baggage fees and your sanity.  Info here.
  2. If at all possible, get into the TSA's Pre Check program.  This saves loads of time and hassle at security check points.  Note that frequent travelers can opt into this program while regular travelers are randomly drawn to participate.
  3. If you qualify, using USOs at airports around the country and around the world is a great way to kill time in airports.  Similarly, airport lounges for frequent fliers is also a great benefit for travelers.
  4. Be sure to download apps that are pertinent to your travels (like local transit routes, maps, weather, etc).
  5. And don't forget to put some important phone numbers on your phone such as a number for the local taxi service, your hotel, etc.  Note, you should also carry a written list of a few important numbers in your wallet in case of the theft or death of your cell phone.
  6. While you can Google questions about your travels and destinations, the quickest and probably most authentic way to find pertinent information on your travels is the subreddit for your destination (example here).  Note that redditors are also good at coming through in a crisis for those in need.
  7. The best place to find flight tickets/compare prices?  I always use Google flights (and since Southwest Air is one of the few not covered by this search program I check their website as well).
  8. Five items I never travel without: an Asus T-100 tablet/notebook, my Samsung Galaxy Note 2 cell phone, good walking shoes (I prefer Brooks), a Sansa Clip MP3 player (it saves the battery on my cell phone), and acidophilous (takes care of all stomach ailments quite nicely).
  9. We are fortunate to live in an area with a great library system so before (and while) I travel, I download a dozen e-books from our local library--all for free--onto my Kindle app on my cell/tablet.
  10. Bring more cash than you think you will need.  Most travel problems can be fixed with cash.

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