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Rules for Life

Making Travel Tolerable – Part Three: Supplies for a Successful Journey

11) Invest in good luggage. Quality luggage allows you to store a lot, while keeping things organized and neat. A good carry on suitcase won’t have issues with the wheels, the handles won’t break, and it will easily fit in the overhead compartments. I really like Briggs & Riley because they make quality products and back them up with a lifetime warranty. Several flight attendants have commented on my bag saying it’s the “best they’ve ever used” and they “never break”. Tumi is a close second, and makes a variety of excellent, aesthetically-pleasing luggage. Your luggage should not cause you problems or slow you down. Choose wisely.

12) Cancel the noise: Want to completely check out during your flight and actually sleep or enjoy your movie without distractions? Invest in a good pair of noise canceling headphones. Forget listening to the baby crying, or the loud annoying person talking for four straight hours. Yes, they are expensive, but they’re an investment that will bring you true relaxation. I recommend the Bose Quiet Comfort 35 headphones, but the Sony noise canceling 1000XM2 headphones are also very good.

13) Take care of your body: Flying will wreck your body. Between the changes in air pressure and the germs you’ll come in contact with while confined to a small capsule for a few hours, the odds of you making it out unscathed are small. Throw in the guaranteed dehydration and bloating and you’ve got a very unhappy human body. Once you land, drink water and take a shower if you can. Pop an airborne into the water for extra vitamins. A Zantac or Tums will reduce the bloating in your belly. If you can get a quick workout in, even better. This will help your system get back to normal faster.

14) Everyone likes Cash: You could book the best flight, stay at the nicest hotel, and experience the best weather, but if the service you receive sucks, it will ruin your trip. The best way to ensure good service is by showing appreciation and tipping the staff. This applies for the bellhop that takes your bags, the person checking you in, the concierge that helps you book your activities, the cleaning staff that keeps your room neat, the bartender that makes the drinks extra strong, and the room service staff. Make it a point to hit the ATM at the airport and grab some cash, then go to the bar and get change. $5 tips are sufficient for each time you’re assisted. Showing your appreciation to the staff goes a long way and enhances your overall trip.

15) Internet Assistance: If you don’t do homework on your destination, you will be lost in a foreign city. There are various apps that can help you get around town and enjoy the best the city has to offer. Uber & Lyft are essentials for ride sharing, but before you use them did you check to see if that city offers these services? Many don’t, but do have suitable alternatives like Cabify. Do some research using Tripadvisor or Google to understand what the local scene looks like, and then try Opentable and Yelp to make your dinner reservations. Google translate is incredible for navigating foreign cities that do not speak English. The Scan & Translate app is perfect for reading menus and signs that are in a foreign language. Literally take a phone and the app will translate it all for you. The XE Currency app will help you understand what the exchange rates are for money. Hotel Tonight is a great backup app to have in case you have problems with your hotel or your room is not suitable. Make sure you understand:

  • the weather forecast, so you can pack accordingly and avoid severe weather
  • transportation options, so you can get around town
  • currency, so you are clear on the exchange rate
  • local crime issues and bad areas, so you can avoid being robbed
  • local customs, so you can fit in without offending anyone

Traveling is fun, but so many factors can negatively impact your experience. Prepare using these tips, and you’ll be sure to enjoy everything about travel. Safe travels!

– Your Big Bro