It’s 7:30 am Thursday January 23rd and I’m on my way to LVO.
I’ve been up since 2:30 am.
I am running on 4 coffees and a sausage, egg and cheese biscuit and I am sitting next to a woman that is determined to show me all of her 17 grandchildren once she can figure out how to unlock her phone.
I’m a little tired, I’m a little wired and I am ready to run the rest of the way to Vegas if I must, but it’s my turn to write our blog entry. The overlord known as Kyle Dornbos is breathing down my neck for his monthly blog tax and I figure I could write it while flying the friendly skies. Just one problem… I have no idea what to write about.
As I am sitting here in the Boston airport (yes, I realize that is the opposite way from Vegas) sweating like a man hiking in the woods that just stumbled upon a family of bears, then it hits me… I should write about how to travel.
Long before I was the podcast hosting, networking building, mediocre Legion player you know today, I was a jet setting Ad Man. Traveling from city to city to attend tradeshows, meeting customers and bumping elbows with all sorts of people. I have flown on hundreds of planes and racked up 10s of thousands of frequent flyer miles and have picked up some tips and tricks on the way that I can share with you!
Prepare yourselves my trepid traveling friends, this is about to get REAL!
Jay’s Unofficial, Unequaled and Unbelievable Guide to Traveling!
Are you, a family member or someone you know a first-time traveler? Have you seen an airplane and thought to yourself: that’s an odd-looking bird? Are you nervous about flying over the Bermuda Triangle and getting trapped in alternate dimensions with dinosaurs and lizard people?
Well fret no more my friend because for just the low cost of reading this blog I can cure what ails ya!
Let’s just cover flying, that will be most of your trip and seems to be the thing that confuses people the most.
So, you are online looking to book a flight. You don’t want to leave to early and you don’t want to get to your destination too late. Let’s say you see a great flight that meets all your requirements and has just one layover. However, the layover is 30mins. I know, I know… this looks great, little to no downtime in another airport and you’ll get in at a reasonable time! This is possibly a trap. Here is a scenario that happens more often than seems reasonable:
Delays. They happen… a lot. Sometimes its weather, sometimes its other planes or other passengers. Your 30 min window just shrunk to 10 mins.
You’re thinking to yourself its fine! 10 mins is plenty if I walk/jog to the next gate. Wait a second… my next plane is in another concourse on the other side of the airport and I have to take a shuttle to get there. Your time has now shrunk to zero. They will only wait a few minutes… They will call your name a few times then they will go. The needs of the many etc. etc.
Ok. Let’s say you made it, barely. You get into your destination and are waiting for your checked bag and as you watch weary travels being united with their precious bags you are left starring as bag after bag slowly moves past you. Oh Wait! Is that my bag??? It looks like it… let me get up there and see… nope not mine. Turns out you made it to your flight by the skin of your teeth, but your poor bag did not. They know where it is, but it won’t be in until tomorrow… or worse, they have no idea where it is.
You have entered the Travelers Zone!!!! This is a pretty common story and has happened to me a few times. I know what you’re thinking “Get to the F*$#ing point, Jay!” With that being a bad scenario, here is my tried and true advice for flying to keep you calm and avoid headaches like the above:
- Try not to book a flight with less than 40 min layover.
- Avoid checking a bag if you have a layover less than an hour.
- Research your connecting airport ahead of time to see how big it is if they split flight types to different concourses etc.
- Turbulence is normal, don’t freak out. Turbulence does not bring down planes.
- Drink lots of water stay hydrated.
- Bring entertainment. Download videos, music etc for your trip.
- Bring non iPhone headphones with a normal audio jack.
- Fly Jetblue or Southwest. They are the best and worth a little bit more money. Jetblue for example has built in Dish TVs in every seat on every flight. You get snacks and drinks with no upcharge. Also, they generally have Wi-Fi as well.
- International Flight? Try to schedule it in a way where you get to your destination in the evening and don’t sleep on the flight! Then when you get in you just go to sleep at the normal time and BOOM your body is shocked into your new time zone.
- Nervous? Don’t drink too much. It will end bad.
- You will need to take off your belt, shoes and jacket/sweater at security. You will also have to get out your laptop as well. Try to keep your belt in your carry on until after security. Go to the airport with your shoes easily able to slip on and off. Put your laptop somewhere easy to grab. This will be a huge time saver and will make you the hero of airport security.
- You cannot bring water or liquids with you… just don’t. It causes so many headaches. You can literally buy whatever your heart desires once you are past security.
- Wear layers. It can transition from boiling to freezing going from outside to airport to airplane. Even the bathrooms seem to have a different thermostat.
- That noise when you are getting ready to take off is normal. It’s not a baboon or some other wild animal the plane ran over, it’s the hydraulics. NORMAL.
- Flying is not your right. Remember that if you feel like being cranky with anyone at the airport.
- Take airborne or emergen-c the day before and all the way through your trip. It will help keep you healthy.
- If they overbook a plane, you can generally get a free flight out of it if you volunteer to get on a different flight. So, if you have time and aren’t in a rush think about it.
- You will meet some amazing people when flying. Be open and friendly the person you’re sitting next too maybe super interesting and could potentially keep you occupied for the remainder of the flight. I have met some amazing people on flights some I am still in contact with years later.
There you have it, eighteen tips about flying. Enjoy yourself and next month I will have more travel tips for you! Until then fly safe and have fun.