How to travel like a BOSS
I'm on the road about 250 days a year. I am in trucks, RV'a, rental cars, airplanes, hotels, taxis (well Ubers; I hate taxis) and trains ALL THE TIME! I've been touring this country and others since 2003 and have some easy tips to make your travel life SO MUCH EASIER!
If you are flying for the first time or planning a trip with your family I promise these tips will not lead you astray, but will make your traveling experience so much better. Trust me. I'm a Game Show Host. :-)
Step one: This is the most important step. It's also the hardest, so let's just get this out of the way. You HAVE TO RELAX AND NOT BE STRESSED.
Seriously. So many people show up to the airport or to the hotel STRESSED OUT! I've seen tears from grown men and women, fist fights, cussing matches and marriages end. I am not exaggerating any of those examples. Here is the real secret. No matter how crappy the airport or the hotel, they are designed to get you what you want. Some do it WAY better than others, but even the worst has signs and built in procedures to help you get what you want. Breathe. Don't get flustered. Give yourself permission to be on the adventure and out of your daily surroundings. I promise it will make all the difference in the world to your trip.
Step 2: Be early!
This one hurts when I have a 6am flight and make myself get to the airport at 4am. But here's the deal, it ties back into rule #1. You can't think when you're stressed and you can't be calm when you are wishing the elderly lady in front of you would spontaniously catch fire so you could roll your bag over her slow smoldering corpse. It also lets you figure things out without sweating it. Things always seem to take longer when you are pressed for time. Take control of your time, don't let the stress of the airport control you. Being early is all part of the game.
Step 3: Travel light.
Baggage leads to extra work. Extra work leads to stress. Stress breaks rule #1. Breaking rule # 1 leads to the Dark Side. When traveling with my full show, I once had to take 4 large luggage bags out of the hotel to the rental car. Rental car return to bus to off site return. Off site return on bus to airport. Airport to baggage drop off. It took me over an hour and I was stressed and soaked in sweat. It was aweful! Traveling as light as you can cuts that stress WAY down. It makes you more mobile and gives you more options when you are in airports, rental cars and hotels.
Step 4: Sign up for rental car rewards and express programs.
Do it now. I will wait.
No rental car company is great. I've had good and bad expieeiences with all of them. BUT here is the secret. If you sign up for the express programs that they all offer you can skip the line! Rental car lines can take HOURS, plural! From start to finish if you haven't pre booked is a 20 minute up-sale and pressure by fear interaction. It's aweful. The express programs allow you to enter all your information and wishes in ahead of time and walk around the line (or have your own line), get your keys and get outta there!
Step 5: Control your environment.
When you travel, you trade your home environment for one you are unfamiliar with. You are taken out of your routine. Here is what I can't live without on the road. Earplugs, Bose noise cancelling headphones, a travel power strip, my kindle for books, a bottle of water, and a napkin/small towel. So equipped, I am just fine sitting next to crying babies, or waiting in any line with all I need.
I'm sure there will be more specific tips on travel that I will be posting, but if you follow these rules you are sure to get to your destination much more relaxed. Hope you enjoyed!