Summertime is here. If you aren’t someone like me who travels all year round, odds are you’ll be going somewhere this summer.
Since I’ve been doing this stuff for 37 years and been practically everywhere at some point in my life, here are some of my travel pointers.
- Have your toiletry bag always ready. I never understood why anyone who travels doesn’t do this. You are just a lot less likely to ever forget anything if you do. Keep your prescription mess in there, too, and periodically check your inventory of everything that should be in there. If you check your bag, pull this bag and put it in your computer bag. That way you can always brush your teeth and have your prescriptions in case your checked bag gets lost.
- Leave early! Anything that can go wrong will, so give yourself TIME and leave early. And in the (frequent) case that something does happen with your flight, you will have a better chance of being able to find another way to get where you are going than the other people who aren’t there.
- Bring extra phone chargers and extension cords. They get lost. They break. Don’t be stuck without being able to charge.
- Buy a large separate battery. I paid $50 for a good one and it can charge my phone a couple times over. NEVER leave home without it!
- Bring snacks/gum/Advil. If you get hungry, have something to eat. If you get stink breath, have something to chew. If you get headaches, pop an Advil!
- Leave shirts on hangers. I just roll them up and they usually look pretty good. Far better than folded shirts that always show signs of folding. And if you do get wrinkles, hang your garment on the hook that is on the back of the bathroom door and turn on a hot shower and close the door. Will steam out practically anything!
- Print boarding passes on outbound flights even if you use an app. Your phone could break or the app could malfunction.
- ALWAYS carry on. Never check a bag unless you absolutely have to. Ditto for gate check. Bags get lost. Gate-check can hold you up, too, and make you miss your connecting flight while you wait in the jetway for your bag.
- Get a duffle bag or soft bag versus one on wheels. You can always wad it up and jam it anywhere including the seat in front of you. You can’t when you have wheels.
- Get an aisle seat so you aren’t trapped and can’t get to the bathroom. Get an emergency exit row seat if you can – more legroom – poor man’s first class.
- NEVER take a bulkhead seat. You won’t have anywhere to go with your “personal item” (i.e., computer bag/purse/briefcase).
- Get Gogo on a monthly subscription if you travel a lot. It costs about $50 a month for unlimited Wi-Fi. That could be made back on your first day of flying in the month depending on where you are going.
Safe travels wherever you go!
Mark Zweig is Zweig Group’s chairman and founder. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.