Ever since moving to Birmingham to work with Avalaunch, I have had a few more chances to travel than I did while I was in any of my previous roles. The newness of flying and renting cars has worn off and now it is more of a game. Maybe it is the strategic planner in me, but I really like to travel for the game of it all. The game of getting off the plane as quickly and efficiently as possible. It is a challenge, similar to picking the quickest line at the grocery store or getting out of the HOV lane in traffic at just the right moment. Hard to describe, but none the less satisfying…
I have picked up some tips from other folks along the way so it only feels right to share them. So here you have it. My top 10 keys to sanity and overall kick-ass efficiency on the road.
10. Starbucks Iphone App – Not only does this handy guy tell you where they are, but it tells you if they are open at any given moment. Of this, I am a fan.
9. Southwest Airlines – Talk about a fun game, there are no assigned seats, and if you play your cards right, you might have the chance to have no one in the middle seat between you and a colleague? What about that isn’t fun..? Also, they have by far the best website for booking flights that I am aware of.
8. Orbitz.com – Really handy when you have all of the information already saved in there. (Credit cards, birthdays, names, airline frequent flyer miles..)
7. Passport – Traveling with a passport is completely unnecessary when you are flying domestically, but I swear you get treated better in security when you flash it around. Try it and tell me I am crazy..
6. Twitter – If you are married, you are more than likely not traveling with your spouse on trips for work. But, when you both tweet all of the stupid trivialities of your day, it helps you not feel like you are as far away. Before you go saying that I am a bad husband for not calling, I do still call, but this just helps in the times when you aren’t on the phone.
5. iPhone – I can’t imagine traveling without an iphone. Not to be overly dramatic, but I always struggle to remember 5 years ago when you had to print confirmation emails and had to write down phone numbers in your journal. Throw on top of logistics ease the fact that you can throw in headphones and bounce back and forth between music, TV shows, and phone calls with the touch of a button on your headphones and not even take your phone out of our pocket. All that to say, I think we take smartphones in general for granted.
4. Netflix – Streaming access to your favorite shows and movies without having to pack DVDs in your bag.
3. Blazers – No, this is not the name of a fancy app that keeps up with your information for you, I am referring to a good old fashioned jacket with an inside pocket. 9 times out of 10 they keep you the right temperature, and like the passport, I am convinced that people treat you a little nicer when you have on a nice coat.
2. Beat Headphones – But not the kind that make you look like you are a record producer, but the kind that fit in your ear like normal ones. These guys not only sound pretty tasty, but work with the iphone. Add to that noise canceling powers and you have a pretty good bargin for the price.
1. Tripit.com – This thing is amazing. Truly. When you make any plans, just add them to your itinerary by forwarding your emails to firstname.lastname@example.org. That is it… that adds them to your iCal, Tripit Iphone App and keeps up with confirmation numbers, dates, departure/arrival times, the local weather and directions in a taxi as well as connecting you to the other people on the trip. There is a PRO version of this program that in my opinion is overpriced, but I have no problems with the free version. Check it out, and if you are disappointed, I will buy you a cup of coffee.
There you have it. Got any tips that I need to hear?