Forums

The recent thread on travel got me to thinking...I'm sure there are a lot of travelers here, and everyone probably has their own little tips or tricks, things that you do to make travel easier. Whether its how you pack, how you eat, tips to make crossing time zones easier, websites you use when traveling, etc. Just little things that you do or tools you use that you've learned along the way.

I'll start; I have a couple ideas to get this rolling:

[b]Going through security[/b]
I have a specific way that I go through TSA security checkpoints:
1. Grab 2 bins
2. Lift carry-on suitcase and laptop bag onto counter, with carry-on suitcase closer to the X-ray machine
3. Place one of the bins in front of my suitcase (so it's the first item "in line"), and the other bin behind my laptop bag (so it's the last item "in line")
4. Place shoes, wallet, keys, coins, and phone in first bin and send it through
5. Send roller suitcase through
6. Take laptop out of bag and place in bin. Send laptop bag and bin through

Now here's the beauty of this. All of my items are going to emerge from the X-Ray machine in the order that's easiest for me to quickly re-assemble myself.

The first bin, with my shoes, wallet, etc and other personal items are at the least risk for stopping the conveyor for further inspection. So those items will come though and I can quickly put on my shoes, watch, and put my coins and wallet away

Then my suitcase will come through and I can take it off the conveyor and place it on the floor.

Then my laptop bag will come through and I can place it on my suitcase (which is already on the floor with the handle extended).

Then finally my laptop will come through and I can slide it into my laptop bag, which is already on my suitcase waiting for it. Then I simply grab the handle of the roller suitcase and walk away.

If you think about ordering your items in a way that makes it easiest for you to reassemble on the other side, it's a breeze. On the other hand, if you send your laptop bag through first and it stops the conveyor for further inspection, well then your dead in the water because everything else is behind your laptop bag.

[b]Websites[/b]
www.flightmemory.com
This site is more of a novelty than anything else, but still fun. You can enter all of your flights and it maps them out and shows some interesting statistics

www.tripit.com
This is an itinerary building site. You can simply email all of your travel confirmations to the site and it builds your itinerary with amazing accuracy by simply extracting data from your email itinerary. It also has a lot of other convenient features, like being able to send it commands via email. For example, you can email TripIt the command "get flight tomorrow" and it will respond with your flight details. Its emails come in plain text and are easy to view on a smartphone. There are many other commands too.

http://matrix.itasoftware.com/cvg/dispatch
This is the website that I use to determine which flight I want to take. It has a very handy graphical UI. You can't book from the site, but it does display flight costs. Once I've used this to determine which flights to book, I then go directly to the airline website to book.

That's all that I can think of for now, I hope that you found this valuable!

Jason

dennis_sherman's picture

[quote="jclishe"]

[b]Going through security[/b]
I have a specific way that I go through TSA security checkpoints:
1. Grab 2 bins
2. Lift carry-on suitcase and laptop bag onto counter, with carry-on suitcase closer to the X-ray machine
3. Place one of the bins in front of my suitcase (so it's the first item "in line"), and the other bin behind my laptop bag (so it's the last item "in line")
4. Place shoes, wallet, keys, coins, and phone in first bin and send it through
5. Send roller suitcase through
6. Take laptop out of bag and place in bin. Send laptop bag and bin through

Now here's the beauty of this. All of my items are going to emerge from the X-Ray machine in the order that's easiest for me to quickly re-assemble myself.
[/quote]

A slightly different approach:
0.1) put all my "pocket stuff" (wallet, keys, PDA, phone, etc.) inside the laptop bag. That includes change -- I've got a "pocket purse" that holds change, so its a single object to move. I do this before getting to the security checkpoint counter, along with loosening shoelaces.
1 & 2 above) agree
3) order as roller, bin, laptop bag, bin
4) pull 3x1 toiletries ziploc bag from roller, put it, shoes, coat, hat in first bin
5 & 6 above) agree

And on the other side,
1) drop the ziploc back in the roller, and put the roller back on the floor.
2) put computer back in laptop bag, toss the laptop bag strap over my shoulder.
3) pick up the clothing pieces, and move out of the traffic path to put shoes etc. back on.

I can't quite get through security without breaking stride, but on a good day it can come close.

terrih's picture

One thing I'm starting now that I have an iPod Touch—choose reading materials for the trip that I can put in the device. No more heavy books!

a) There are a number of audiobooks available through iTunes
b) I installed the eReader app, so I can buy ebooks through them if I want
c) I bought a Bible app so the whole thing is on there, in several translations even! (The free Bible apps require wifi)
d) If I have stuff to read that's in PDF format, I can email the files to myself at my gmail account and can then open them out of the email app (no wifi required once the email has synced)

All of the above also applies to the iPhone, of course—plus you have online access more of the time, so the wifi caveats aren't as big of a concern!

jclishe's picture

Great tips, thanks for replying!

[quote="dennis_sherman"]
I can't quite get through security without breaking stride, but on a good day it can come close.[/quote]

I know what you mean. I typically fly out of Dayton on Sunday evenings, when traffic is light. Some days it seems like I'm through from start to finish in all of about 90 seconds.

Jason

tomdoepker's picture

Jason-

As a fellow Cincinnati-area member, I can't help but notice that one of the most important things you do is fly out of Dayton! Smaller airport, easier to park and get around in, plus FAR less expensive.

And I second audio books, which I have had a great deal of luck finding at the library. http://aldoblog.com/audiobooks/itunes/importing-audio-cds/ has a great breakdown of how to do this.

Tom

jclishe's picture

[quote="tomdoepker"]

As a fellow Cincinnati-area member, I can't help but notice that one of the most important things you do is fly out of Dayton! Smaller airport, easier to park and get around in, plus FAR less expensive.
Tom[/quote]

Agreed!

I live near Kings Island so it's actually a pretty even split between DAY and CVG, but like you said DAY is cheaper and easier.

CVG prices are crazy. For example, just last night I was booking a trip to Seattle for next week. I normally fly Northwest but options were limited due to the short notice, so I looked at Delta too. There was a Delta flight out of DAY with a connector in CVG then to SEA, or I could have driven to CVG and just flown direct from CVG to SEA. But the thing is, if I started in DAY with a layover in CVG, I would still be on the exact same flight as if I drove to CVG and flew direct to SEA. But it was cheaper to fly out of DAY to CVG and then get on the connector to SEA!! Once I get to CVG it's the same stinking flight to SEA as it would have been to fly direct out of CVG!Unbelievable.

Anyway, regarding eBooks I've been looking pretty seriously at the Kindle for awhile now, but back in the spring I read that a new Kindle would be coming out for the 08 holiday season so I've been holding off. I read Fortune magazines when I travel, and I sometimes travel with 2 of them because I'm usually behind in my reading. 2 Fortunes adds a lot of heft to my already heavy laptop bag so the Kindle would work well for me. I absolutely LOVE the option of subscribing to magazines and having them delivered directly to the Kindle.

Jason

kklogic's picture

[quote="tomdoepker"]Jason-

As a fellow Cincinnati-area member
Tom[/quote]

Hey, Tom. Check out the meet up board. Jason and I are trying to get a group together.