For many of us, the next few weeks are going to be the busiest time of the year. As we all prepare to travel “over the river and through the woods”, I thought I would share a few airline travel tips. I have been traveling a great deal over the last ten years for work and have found just a few things that really help along the way. So, if you are getting ready to head out to the airport, here are a few things I suggest:

• Check in on your mobile device and download your boarding pass into the “wallet” function. Next take a screen shot and save it (just in case). Email it to yourself so you will have access on your iPad or another device if your battery decides to take a nose dive.

• Have your boarding pass and ID ready before you go in the TSA line.

• Don’t wear a belt or jewelry to the airport. Put it on after you clear security.

• Be aware of the TSA requirements, no one wants to be held up by you becase you are unprepared.

• Travel comfortably and be aware of the people around.

• Dress simple and chic. Dark jeans/pants, simple plain t-shirt, layer with a cashmere or knit hoodie and wear a great pair of slip on shoes (that aren’t too tight). Layers are always the best option.

• Dress for the way you want to be respected. A little “less is more” can go a long way and a big kind smile along with it will get you a whole lot further than a frown, sweatpants and Birkenstocks. As much as you want to think you are not judged – everyone is looking at you. As much as you say you don’t care, just know that we live in a shallow society and you will have a much more pleasurable experience when you feel good about yourself.

• Invest in a packable down jacket (this is all you need to keep warm). Please see my blog a few weeks back for the best options on the market.

• Travel with wheels and a small bag with each access. Don’t waste your money on disposable luggage. Buy a great Tumi piece. If you are concerned about the investment, subscribe to their emails as well as Nordstrom Rack. From season to season specific colors are reduced or the styles are changed slightly. I travel at least 2-5 times a week and I have yet to have any issues with Tumi. If I did, they have a wonderful repair service.

• Check your bag. Don’t bring everything with you on the plane. Why would you make everyone wait on you to squish it in an overhead compartment? Better yet, why would you schlep all that stuff with you? Dress monochromatic. Keep it simple and bring great accessories.

• Be gracious when going through an airport and give other the right of way – karma will always be there for you when you are there for others.

• Pay the fee and obtain the American Express Platinum Card. If you are a frequent traveler or shopper it will pay for itself within the first 30 days. Why? You are going to get Free Boingo Internet access, entry to Premier Lounges all over the world, reimbursement for TSA Pre & Global Entry, $15 credits each month from Uber, discount hotel rooms across the world, discounts with purchases at Saks Fifth Ave and other retailers as well as insurance on purchases.

• You must sign up for TSA Pre-Check.

• You must have access to airport internet services.

• Before you get on the airplane, collapse your rolling trolley handle and make certain your handbag or backpack isn’t smacking everyone in the face as you work your way to your seat.

• If you are traveling as a group or pair, respect those around you and talk and a quiet tone. Those around you really don’t want to hear your conversations. Also, no need to whistle or yell either.

• Bring your own empty water bottle – Save Our Planet and don’t waste your money on buying bottled water. Many airports and shops now have their own “hydration stations”.

• If you don’t have a small portable charger, it’s time to purchase one. I found one smaller than a business card case. It is perfect and will charge my phone up to two times.

• Noise cancelling headphones are a must. I have been a fan of Bose for many years but I must say, I am loving the Beats Studio set. They filter very well and are Bluetooth.

• If you travel first class, many airlines are providing large iPads for inflight entertainment and allow you to use their Bose noise cancel headphones. I am not really interested in wearing “used headphones”. Please make sure if your headphones are wireless, you bring the cord that comes with them. The Bluetooth function does not work on these iPads.

• Order your dinner in advance of your flight.

• Sign up for first class “bidding options”. Many airlines that have long flight are now offering an option to their guests to bid for first class seats if there is an excess not sold. The highest bidder gets the upgrade. Many flights require a $350 minimum bid in addition to the cost you already paid towards the fare. You find out about 24 hours before your flight if you won!

• If you need to travel with a razor and you are a worried about destroying the blade or worse putting it back inside a piece of plastic, try using a binder clip to protect it.

• Feeling jet lag is the worst – and I often do, you need to go out and walk or run. This open your lungs and allows your body to start burning that built up energy.

• Lost or forgot the plug for your small electronics or phone? Most modern TV’s have USB ports located on the black. Simply plug them in the back of the TV and you are charged for the next day.

• Bring Gold Bond Powder. You can use it for everything from rashes, moisture control and odors.

• Don’t forget Chapstick and eyedrops. You are going to be super dry.

• Pack a few dryer sheets in a storage bag. These little sheets can do wonders for smelly shoes and dirty laundry when you are on the go and live an active lifestyle. Simply add them to your shoes or place them with your soiled clothing.

• When you are repacking, fold your soiled sock and underwear inside your shirt. These will keep the more odor absorbing items away from your fresh clothing.

• Always bring shoe bags with your shoes. If you are hotel hopping you certainly don’t want germy shoes on your clean clothing.

• Lastly, I always travel with my oldest “unmentionables”. If you need to lighten u the load to keep your suitcase under the weight requirement, toss the panties and t-shirts and wear your heaviest shoes on the plane. You were going to need to replace those undergarments anyway, so don’t feel bad and most certainly, do not ever pay the over the weight fee.

David Brown
Mulberry Seed Design