Last year I took around 66 flights and visited over 30 countries. Since I spend most of my time traveling I thought I’d share my own travel tips with you.
1. Never check a bag There’s a chapter about this in Cabaret Secrets, and stand by every word.
2. Let your bags go Business Class… even if you can’t! When you’re one of the last to board a packed flight, there’s a good chance there’ll be no room for your hand-luggage above your seat. Just place your bags above the seats in Business Class and keep on moving to your own seat.
Get your bags as you leave the plane. Of course if you happen to be travelling Business Class and you see someone pulling this stunt, demand to see their boarding pass and have them thrown off the plane.
3. Priority Pass Get a Priority Pass card (or something similar) and get access to 1000s of business class lounges all over the world. Most of them have free wifi, lots of space and plenty to eat and drink. Unlimited access costs around £300 a year, but you’ll get that free with a Platinum Amex card, which also gives you great travel insurance cover.
4. Get an e-book reader When you’re short of space, a few books can send you over the edge. Get an e-book reader and have 100s of books at your finger tips. I use a Sony PRS-350. It’s smaller and lighter than a Kindle.
5. Ditch the iPhone for a Blackberry I know, I know, but if you use a lot of email when you’re out of the country, you’ll slash your data roaming charges with a Blackberry. All data goes through RIM’s own server which strips out unnecessary formatting and keeps data usage down to a minimum. I’ve looked closely in to this and the consensus is that a Blackberry will use around one third less data than an iPhone. If you really can’t do without Angry Birds, get an iPod Touch.
6. Use an inflatable neck support For maximum bang for your buck, take the strain off your neck with an easy to pack inflatable neck support. I have mine in a pencil case (it’s just the right size) along with earplugs, an eye mask, “bud” headphones, pen and ipod.
7. Check in online It saves time and you can get the seat you want. If you’re not sure where you want to sit, visit Seat Guru
8. Get an aisle seat near the front You’ll have the freedom to get up and down when you like and be one of the first off the plane.
9. Get a Santander Zero Credit Card Other than small change, I hardly even use any foreign currency. Almost everywhere accepts credit cards but the hidden charges when travelling abroad can be a shock. There’s often a transaction charge every time you use the card (around £1.50) and they’ll concert to Sterling at a rate that is very favourable to them. The Santander Zero MasterCard has no transaction fee and a good rate of exchange. This means I can use it as easily as I do in the UK, and it’s free.
10. TripIt This very handy website will automatically collate all your travel plans to save you copying and pasting from emails to your diary. A similar application for the Blackberry (Blackberry Travel) does the same thing and gives you reminders, weather reports and updates when flights have changed. They work for hotels, trains and planes. There are other similar sites and apps too, have a look around and choose the best one for you.