So recently both Chris Brogan and Chris Garrett posted travel tips, and included arguments for both the window and aisle seat. I hope they don’t mind if I weigh in with my own point of view, and also offer some of my favorite travel tips. I’m not as photogenic as Chris or Chris, so I won’t be taking it to video as they did, but as someone who has been traveling for business more and more lately, I have a few tips to share.
Window or Aisle?
As you can see, both Chrises have valid reasons for liking to sit where they sit. My preference is for the window seat and here are my reasons:
- When I’m on a plane, I like to relax. I like to take down my tray table and set up my laptop and write or play a game. I enjoy listening to my iPod, watching the little TV on the seat in front of me or reading. I don’t like to have to get up every ten minutes because the person next to me has a wee little bladder and needs to use the rest room twice every hour. I especially don’t like having to fold my laptop, fold my tray table, untangle my earbuds or stop eating because the person next to me has to go.
- The beverage cart always bumps my elbow. In the aisle, my options are either to sit with my arms drawn in tight, or have bruised elbows. Also? Plenty of people claim the aisle is great for stretching the limbs, which would be great if everyone wasn’t tripping over my legs all the time.
- I like to look out the window. I enjoy seeing city lights and pathworked farmlands. I enjoy blue skies, clouds and sunsets. I could stare out the window of a plane for hours.
Check or Carry
Chris Brogan also discussed why using a carry on bag as opposed to checking in luggage and I don’t disagree with any of his points. If I’m on a short trip I only take a carry on. However, there are times when a carry on just won’t cut it.
- I carry more shoes than Chris Brogan.
- If I’m gone for a week, I need at least two outfits per day plus workout clothes, sleeping clothes and my toiletries and incidentals. Ok, I don’t need that stuff, but if I am away for that long I’d prefer not to be all bare bones.
- I don’t like having to carry my carry on everywhere in the airport – in the bathroom, at the restaurant, browsing the newsstand. It’s either get a locker or get caught in the aisles.
- I get through security quicker when I’m not taking out my little bag of toiletries. If I check luggage, my only carry on is a laptop case and maybe a small personal bag. I’m less likely to be stopped and having my things rummaged through without the carry on suitcase.
Mind you, my preference is for bringing a carry on bag. However, this only works for me if I’m gone for only a few days though. If I’m away for five nights or more, I have to check my bag.
I also want to share a few random tips, feel free to take them with a grain of salt. This is what works for me, your experience might be different.
Curbside check in
This is my best travel tip. The curbside check in takes away up to an hour of waiting in line at the desk. I check in from home and access my boarding pass from my smartphone in order to eliminate paper waste. Most of the time, it only takes a few minutes to check in. I’ve never been in a curbside check in line longer than five minutes. I can’t say the same about the line for the desks and check in computers.
Best time to fly?
I find that if I book an early flight, preferably the first or second flight of the day, there’s less chance of my flight being delayed. The later I fly, the more likely I am to wait for a plane that has to be cleaned after a long flight, or that my flight crew needs rest or that my plane is caught in a traffic jam. With the first flight or two of the morning, the plane is generally gassed and ready to go long before boarding time.
Avoid holding up others in the security check point
So one of my pet peeves at the airport is people who take forever at the security checkpoint. You know who I’m talking about – the woman with the thigh high lace up boots, or the man with 100 chains and electronics that need to be removed, and they all do it at the very last minute. I found that I expedite my own visit through the checkpoint – and others – if I wear slip on shoes (I wear Crocs for airports) and take my jacket off while waiting on line (not when I get to the bins). I don’t generally fly wearing jewelry and keep my iPod and cell phone in my purse. I remove my laptop from the bag while waiting in the security line and by the time I get to the bins, everything is ready to go.
When flying isn’t necessary
Sometimes flying isn’t necessary. For example, Baltimore or Boston are three hours away. It’s more convenient and comfortable to take a train. Flying is quick, but it’s also more expensive. A train will still get you where you need to go and it’s a better trip.
Those are some of my travel favorite travel tips, now tell us some of yours!