About this time of year, every travel blogger comes up with their travel tips regarding airports and travel for the holiday season. For the most part, they suck, and aren't real helpful or are complete no-brainers.
So here are my totally amazing holiday travel tips.
1. Don't be a Dick.
This should go without saying. From the time you leave home until the time you get to your destination, don't be a dick. You'll be tired, cranky, irritable and stabby, but please remember, we're all in this together. Sure, the TSA guy grabbed your junk without buying your dinner first and the checkin lady totally overcharged you for checked luggage because it was a pound over, but c'mon - remember to breathe in your nose and out through your mouth. And remember your manners - say please and thank you.
2. Bring Snacks.
Holidays mean delays and you'll need to keep up your energy and to prevent the blood sugar from dropping. Low blood sugar generally leads to choking someone and I certainly don't want to see you end up in jail.
Please keep in mind that food on an airplane from places like McDonalds, while delicious, tends to stink up the entire plane. While the McRib is amazeballs, spending 2 hours in an enclosed metal tube with the air being recycled and having to smell it would make even the most hardy of souls puke.
And I certainly wouldn't condone bringing a few 3oz bottles of your favorite alcohol in a shampoo bottle in your carry-on bag. No sir, I would not.
3. Get There Early.
Airports will certainly be filled with rookie travelers who think it's perfectly acceptable to bring knives and flamethrowers on the plane. They'll also be the ones who think it's ok to dress in 34 layers and have metal everything and not realize that they have to take it off at security. Again, go back to rule #1 and remember to use your inside voice when swearing at them, and be happy I recommended that getting there early means you've got ample enough time. Getting there early certainly means you can watch eyecandy.
4. Don't Check Your Bags If Possible.
Not only will you get charged on most airlines if you check them, but odds are that something will happen and it will further delay your trip. Invest in a good carry-on bag, roll your clothing and pack light.
5. Bring a Book and Headphones.
If you've got kids, snacks and books will keep them entertained. Plus you can use the headphones to drown out the cries of screaming children due to bad parenting. Also, make sure you charge all your gadgets before you leave home.
6. Don't Ask About First Class Upgrades.
Every dumb travel blogger will tell you about how they have a strategy for getting an upgrade. They don't work because people like me with the millions of miles will ALWAYS get upgraded over you. Sorry, it's just how it works.
If you are traveling by yourself and don't have luggage checked and have time to kill, ask if you can be bumped if the flight is oversold *if* they can put you in the front of the bus. Not to mention that you can get a voucher for future use and possibly more cocktailing time. If you're being delayed, it might be worth buying a day pass to your airline's lounge and relaxing there. Plus most of them have complimentary cocktails, free wifi and less screaming children. It might be worth it. American Airlines' Admirals Club is $50 for a one-day pass, for example.
7. Remember Names and Reward Good Behavior
Did the gate agent or checkin person do an awesome favor for you? Did the flight attendant make you comfy? They work like hell and get paid less than they should. They take abuse all day long. So, if they did, write their names down and remember to send them an email via the customer service section of their website and let the airlines know they did you a favor and you appreciate it. Not only is it good karma, but if you only write the airline when things go bad, they'll think you're a jerk but if you take the time to write a nice letter to them, they'll be totally cool to you. For Serious. If you're super nice, buy a few $5 Starbucks gift cards and give them out to your favorite airline people.
So what do you think? Am I dead on? Full of crap? Got any other holiday tips you want to add?
Filed under: Flying