- Bring empty water bottles (we drink bottled water at home and thus have buckets of them) and fill them up after you get past security.
- Be patient. I swear people are becoming dumber and ruder as the years go by (or maybe I am just getting older and crotchety-er). Getting to the airport early, giving yourself plenty of time to check in, keeping a good attitude when you want to strangle someone, planning ahead to prevent inconveniences, etc. will go a long way towards keeping the peace and reducing your blood pressure.
- Consider getting Amazon Prime. I mostly use it for two-day shipping and downloading books but the spouse loved it because you can download free movies from Amazon Prime and watch them when you are off-line (like when you are on long flights with no access to WiFi).
- Find out some things about where you will be staying. We were at a friend's house for a few days and the friends were at work. Cue an outdoor siren at 130 dB. After running through my limited list of "WTF could that have been?" and ruling out tsunamis (too far in on the coast) and wondering about air raids (I haven't heard an air raid siren in decades), I hopped online and figured out that it was a siren from a local nuclear plant. Fortunately it was a test of some sort. I didn't even know there was a nuclear plan in the vicinity.
- Pack small. I pack one small carry-on backpack for weeks or months of travel. Pack durable clothes, wear them multiple times, do laundry more often, and remember you can buy anything you need almost anywhere on the planet.
- Consider earning and using air miles. I only keep a couple of credit cards but Delta had an American Express deal that gave me 50,000 miles for getting their card. That 50k miles paid for four flights.
- Always carry extra food with you in the event you get stranded (or just get hungry); you won't be at the mercy of extortion-level prices at airports and on airlines.
- Speaking of getting stranded, be ready to make up an impromptu camp if necessary. Who knew it would snow in April and strand us overnight at the airport? Instead of getting a hotel room for a stay of six or seven hours until we could catch the next available flight in the morning, I whipped up a few airport chair sections, a bunch of jackets, and a poncho into a tent-like structure which served the purpose (although my old bones are getting a bit too delicate to sleep on the rock-hard floor and be happy about it the next morning).
- Be a good house guest. Depending on what our hosts need, we will cook, do small home repairs, and help out other ways as needed. We also clean up after ourselves, don't disrupt their schedule, and are basically the most low-maintenance house guests possible which means we are always invited to stay, have reduced our hotel bills considerably, and were even gifted with a week at a 5-star resort during our last trip from one friend who enjoyed their stay when they came to visit us a few years ago (we reciprocate all of the hospitality we receive when people come to visit us in Vegas).
- Be flexible. Have more money available than you think you will need, be ready to change plans at a moment's notice, take advantage of any unique opportunities you come across, and enjoy things as they happen (even the snow in April).
Thursday, May 5, 2016
10 Travel Tips
I was on the road the entire month of April, thus the lack of posts. Here's some travel tips that I made note of as we went along...